Vote Climate Team
Karyn Strickler is founder & president of Vote Climate U.S. PAC, has executive-level experience leading successful issue advocacy, congressional, U.S. Senate and ballot measure campaigns. Under Karyn’s leadership as executive director, MD NARAL made history passing legislation to put the principles of Roe v. Wade onto Maryland’s law books. "Abortion Politics in American States," calls Karyn a “gifted grassroots organizer.” As executive director of the MDNARAL PAC, Karyn won 100% of targeted state senate races in Maryland creating a pro-choice, supermajority. Karyn was the finance director for Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s (MD-8) breakthrough race, raising an historic amount of money. Time Magazine called him "a hero to environmentalists." Karyn was the executive director of the national Endangered Species Coalition. She hosted and produced the first and only TV show ever, dedicated exclusively to climate change, called "Climate Challenge." She worked in Botswana Africa to train women in the campaign skills necessary to run for public office, doubling the number of women in Parliament in a single election cycle. She is a worldwide lecturer on grassroots organizing and fundraising for United States Department of State. Karyn Strickler earned her BA in Political Science at McDaniel College, where she was a member of Pi Gamma Mu, an international social science honor society. She is a Chesapeakeman, Ironman triathlon, age-group champion with 140.6 total miles of swimming, biking and running.
Mary Gill is the treasurer of Vote Climate U.S. PAC and has worked as an issue and electoral campaign expert in the southern United States from 1980–2001, specializing in media, grassroots organizing, fundraising and organizational development. She most recently worked to pass the The Health Security Act, also known as the Clinton Health Plan. She took a break from politics to go back to school to become a landscape designer, while remaining an armchair observer of local and national politics. She has decided to return to the political fray for 2016 by contributing her impressive skills as Treasurer of Vote Climate U.S. PAC.
Jake Assael is a lead researcher for Vote Climate U.S. PAC. He is currently a Public Policy Advisor for Warwick Group Consultants. He has extensive experience in government, consulting, and the non-profit sector. Jake has previously worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, during which time he analyzed the President’s FY 16 and 17 budget proposals, as well as the House and Senate budget language and bill reports. Jake highlighted key provisions and riders in the bill language, as well as financial differences between the President’s budget and those submitted by the House and Senate. Jake also worked for the Sierra Club on its Responsible Trade Team, researching the financial holdings of oil and coal companies across the United States. He also ran communications for the American University Center for Environmental Policy. In May, Jake received a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a minor in Finance from American University in Washington, D.C. His degree included a semester in the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark where he focused on sustainable development.
Trevor Wilson is a senior phone bank supervisor for Vote Climate U.S PAC. He is currently a sales associate for Marriott International. He has held operational positions in travel and tourism and has had been able to travel to Europe and Asia. Trevor is working towards finishing his degree at the University of Maryland while working full time to further his career. He has volunteered in various capacities while balancing both school and work. Last year he worked with Montgomery Community College and coordinated the schools Earth Day activities for the Rockville campus. He has aspirations to stay politically active and shows true passion for the issue of climate change and our need to make the planet a more inhabitable place.
Mark Dann, the former treasurer and advisor to Vote Climate U.S. PAC, is an expert on voter targeting, fundraising, grassroots mobilization and message development in the U.S. and internationally. Mark’s career has been at the intersection of public policy, strategic campaign management and international development. Currently he is the Director of Federal Affairs at Compassion & Choices. His job is to pass laws and regulations to improve care and increase consumer choice at the end of life. Mark served as a Program Manager for the National Democratic Institute (DNI) in Moldova where he assisted in the country's transition from an authoritarian state to a mutli-party democracy. He worked in Iraq to train and advise ethnic political parties to broaden and diversify their base of support. Mark is a veteran of numerous campaigns. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Drew University in International political economy.
Kwame E. Bidi is an advisor to Vote Climate U.S. PAC. He recently received his Master's Degree from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He specializes in the entire facet of the project cycle: needs assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and impact assessment. He has more than 5 years managing development projects in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa with the UNDP, MIT and Global Environment Fund. He currently works for a Boston-based organization and reviews development projects in the MIT Global Ideas Challenge program. Social entrepreneurship excites Kwame.
Dave Finnigan is an advisor to Vote Climate U.S. PAC and a social entrepreneur. From 1966-1976 he served as Information, Education and Communication consultant to the family planning programs of South Korea and Taiwan helping them bring average family size down from six kids to two. From 1976-2006 Dave visited over 2,000 elementary schools where he taught over one million students, their parents and teachers to juggle with slow-moving nylon scarves and sold them juggling "props" of his own design. Since 2007 Dave has been refining Climate Change is Elementary a program designed to take families from awareness to significant action with regard to their carbon and water footprints. He is now ready to teach other people how to deliver that program in schools worldwide.
Joy Towles Ezell is an advisor to Vote Climate U.S. PAC. and an environmental activist and community organizer. She is the founder of several, local environmental groups including: HOPE (Help Our Polluted Environment); Friends of the Fenholloway River and TRUE (Taylor Residents United for the environment, where she serves as Vice Chair. She founded and is Vice Chari of the Environmental Alliance of North Florida. She is President of Florida League of Conservation Voters and is co-chair of Floridians Against Incinerators in Disguise. Joy’s son Trey would say each time they crossed the Fenholloway River, “Mom, make them clean that nasty river up.” After Trey was killed in a tragic automobile accident in 1991, Joy dedicated her life to cleaning up pulp pollution. Joy, her friends and supporters challenged Procter & Gamble to improve their environmental practices in order to restore the Fenholloway River, the Floridian Aquifer and the Gulf of Mexico. Joy has appeared on CBS’s 60 minutes, Australian Broadcasting and told her community’s story in the books, “Soap Opera” and “The War Against the Greens.” Joy has spoken at Earth Day in Washington, DC, testified before the U.S. Congress on the Clean Water Act, spoken at the National Academy of Sciences Dioxin briefing and on NPR. Her work has been featured on CNN and National Geographic magazine. Joy is an organic farmer and rancher.
Paul Corbit Brown is the President and Chair of the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting the Mountains, water and People of West Virginia. He is a photographer and educator, passionately committed to producing images that further the goals of Human Rights, Social Justice, and Environmental Responsibility. Paul became the first male in his family to escape working as a coal miner. For more than 30 years, Paul has used his camera as a vehicle to give voice to those who are least often seen or heard. He has photographed many humanitarian issues throughout the United States, Mexico, Kenya, Jamaica, Russia, Israel, Laos, Thailand, Rwanda, Indonesia, Haiti and Northern Iraq with significant gallery exhibitions in Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Columbus, OH; Minneapolis, MN and West Virginia. He is recognized internationally and has travelled extensively to share his work and message. Paul has lived very comfortably for 10 years with all his home electricity coming from solar. He does it to show people in a very simple and clear way that renewable energy is viable NOW. His work inspires people to ask, “How can I be a part of changing this for the better?”
David Miller is an advisor to Vote Climate U.S. PAC and an expert on the science behind climate change. He follows the science from the published work of many climate scientists and translates it into the real-world effects in the physical, political, environmental, and energy spheres. He is currently the Senior Manager of Technical Operations for the Digital Services division of NPR. David’s burning passion is for the development of innovative new clean energy sources.
Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D. is a digital/social media strategist, professor & thought leader and Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy at turner4D. He is a regular columnist at SocialMediaToday.com and co-founder/host of the Internet Advocacy Roundtable. Alan taught the first college course on digital politics (1995), created and built the Center for American Progress’s social media program (2007-13) and trained nearly 20,000 people across the world in digital/social media strategy, including civil society leaders across the Arab world in 2009; executives at leading advocacy groups and news media outlets; Members of Congress and their staff; as well as a couple future kings. Alan has a Ph.D. in Political Science. He teaches digital political strategy at Johns Hopkins, American, and George Washington Universities. Find him across social media @DrDigiPol.
Independent Production Crew
Andrew Harper is the producer and director of Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s Holy BLEEP Mabel ad campaign, President of 60iMedia and award winning producer/director. His clients include: Department of the Interior, United Planning Organization, Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Refuge System, Moroccan American Center, Health Reform Coalition, Kids in Need of Defense, Share Our Strength and the School-Based Health Alliance. His productions have promoted national and state advocacy campaigns including: green buildings, conservation, health care and hunger issue and have been featured in campaigns promoted at the White House and on Capitol Hill. He strongly believes in producing media that matters and brings passion and creativity to all of his productions.
Ross Stansfield is the co-producer and director of photography for Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s Holy BLEEP Mabel ad campaign and has 30 year of experience in the film and photo industry. Since 1990, Ross has acted as a director, producer, director of photography and editor, creating TV spots, commercial films, short films, music videos and a documentary on Raymond Loewy currently showing at the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, VA. In 2009 he produced radio spots and TV stills for Allied media on the 2010 Census. Recently Ross co-produced, shot and edited a PSA for APVote.org, and also a film with Wandering Hat, illustrating the construction of an interactive display using time lapse and HD video. Last November he was the co-producer a three-camera shoot working with Forest Whitaker at the National Portrait Gallery, during the “Black List” reception sponsored by AT&T. He coproduced and lit the web series “Hard Fix” with Rubacam productions.
Sam Lichtman is assistant director of the Holy BLEEP Mabel ad campaign for Vote Climate U.S. PAC. He directed, produced, filmed and edited the Vote Climate U.S. PAC, Indiegogo campaign video. Sam is a cum laude graduate of American University in film and media arts. He directed a documentary on climate change and attended FAMU, the top film school in Europe, where he made a film that won the AU Visions Craft Award. He is the co-founder of Sixty Four Hundred Productions, clients include: Deutsche Welle, ESPN, The Washington Nationals, Wounded Warrior Project, Florida George Line (band), and Champion Boxing and Fitness. Sam worked with Ventana, the independent production company, on projects for networks such as National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel, CNBC, Animal Planet, HGTV, Smithsonian Channel, MTV and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Angel Clemons is a combat veteran who retired after serving 20 years in the U.S. Army. He has eight years of teaching experience and has served as a Radio Disc Jockey during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Chief Videographer and Segment Producer for a Television Station in Italy, Video Producer, Senior Drill Sergeant, and he earned a Bronze Star Medal for his demonstrated leadership and actions as a Director of Visual Information and Operations in Iraq. Angel holds a BA in Electronic Media and Film from Towson University and a Professional Certificate in Digital Filmmaking from Boston University. In addition, he has broadened his horizons as an instructor to teach journalism, photography, videography, digital multimedia, and print production. Angel is passionate, personable, and hardworking with a lifelong commitment to visual storytelling.
Marla Allard stars as Mabel in Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s Holy BLEEP Mabel ads. She is the creator, producer and host of “Relatively Speaking,” an award winning family issues talk show, originated at Montgomery Community Media. Marla also performs in the Shakespeare Theater's annual "Will on the Hill" fundraising event in Washington, D.C. Marla is a member of the Friar's Club in New York City. She is a magna cum laude graduate of American University's School of Public Affairs, Marla earned her Master's degree in Comparative Politics at the University of Sussex in England. She has been very active in many political campaigns and is a self-described total political junkie. Marla resides with her husband Nick in Washington, D.C. and has 3 children and 3 grandsons.
Tony Hacsi stars as Manny in Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s Holy BLEEP Mabel ads.Anthony Hacsi has acted in various theaters in the DC area. He created the role of Rupert in John Feffer's "The Pundit," which played the 2012 DC and NYC fringe festivals. Other favorite roles include Adolph in “Last Night of Ballyhoo;” Velasco in “Barefoot in the Park;” Jimmy Jack in “Translations,” Leo Fairchild in The Lady in the Van, and Al Lewis in "The Sunshine Boys." He played the title role in the award-winning short film, “The Last Paperboy,” and Jack in the indie feature, “Ultrasonic.” He is the author of the one-act, "Coffee Break." He loves playing Manny.