STAFF


Aryeh Alex, Director

Aryeh leads advocacy and electoral programs to build a powerful, grassroots environmental movement in Ohio. Previously, he served in the National Political Department at the Service Employee International Union where the focus of his work centered on developing and executing electoral, community base building, union, and social justice campaigns in states and municipalities across the country.

Prior to this, Aryeh led the then-newly formed organizing department at OCSEA/AFSCME Local 11 as its organizing director and has held senior staff positions on numerous candidate and issue campaigns. Aryeh resides in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Grace, where he enjoys hiking, volunteering as a naturalist, and serving on the board of Friends of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks. 

BOARD


Heather Taylor Miesle, President

Heather Taylor-Miesle has more than 18 years of experience advocating for greater environmental and public heath protections, and working with our nation’s top decision-makers to bring environmental issues into the political spotlight. 

Prior to joining the OEC and OEC Action Fund, Heather was the leader of the NRDC Action Fund, where she grew the organization from a mere concept into an environmental powerhouse in national politics. She also served as the NRDC’s deputy legislative director and held key aide positions on Capitol Hill. 

Heather studied political science and government at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. She recently completed her master’s of public administration from the University of Southern California.


John Marshall, Chairman


Daniel Gray, Chief Operating Officer Empower Gas & Electric

Dan Gray is the Chief Operating Officer for Empower Gas & Electric, an Ohio based company that helps individuals and communities reduce their traditional gas & electric usage through energy efficiency and renewable generation. In this role, and as a long- time supporter of clean energy development and environmental protection, he regularly consults with end users and providers of clean energy in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Prior to his work in clean energy development, Dan ran grassroots engagement programs for successful political campaigns across the country, including the election of multiple Governors, Senators and Congressmen. Dan is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, earned his MBA at The Ohio State University and is long suffering Cleveland sports fan.


Krista Magaw, Tecumseh Land Trust Director

Krista Magaw has been the director of Tecumseh Land Trust for 14 years.  Her twenty-five years of non-profit organization and government experience complement the preservation project experience of the 25 year old Southwestern Ohio land trust.  

Krista’s time with the land trust has been packed with local government and land owner contacts on the Clean Ohio program and the federal Farm and Ranchland Protection program. Through Clean Ohio, Tecumseh Land Trust (TLT) has brought over $20 million to Clark and Greene Counties for conservations easement purchase.  

Historic preservation and restoration has long been an avocation for Krista and her husband, who is a history professor at Capital. Art, photography, gardening, and cooking are also interests of Magaw, interests that she shares with her husband and daughter. 

Krista has a master’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University. 


Brewster Rhoads, Principal Brewster Rhoads & Associates

Brewster Rhoads is consults on political campaigns, ballot issues, and advocacy projects. He has managed or provided strategic advice on more than 150 candidate and issue campaigns in Southwest Ohio.

He is the former Executive Director of Green Umbrella, the sustainability alliance for the region around Cincinnati. Prior to his position with Green Umbrella, Brewster served as the Southwest Ohio regional director for Governor Ted Strickland.

Brewster participated in the first Earth Day celebration in 1970 and has been an environmental advocate and political strategist ever since. A graduate of Williams College, he worked as a community organizer in Western Massachusetts, the director of the Coalition for a New Foreign Policy in Washington, DC, and the director of the Cincinnati Office of Ohio Citizen Action.

Brewster lives in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati with his wife Ann, an attorney specializing in whistleblower law. Brewster is the founder and chair of the Ohio River Paddlefest and an avid kayaker.


Mark Shanahan, Principal, New Morning Energy LLC

Dr. Shanahan provides clients strategic guidance on clean energy technology policy and deployment through New Morning Energy LLC.

As Governor Ted Strickland’s Energy Advisor, he played a key role in designing, negotiating and implementing SB 221 that created Ohio’s first advanced energy and efficiency portfolio standards.

During his tenure serving four Governors as Executive Director, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority issued $5.8 billion in bonds, supporting investments in air pollution control and prevention, energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

After getting his undergraduate degree from Boston College, Shanahan received his Master’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University.  He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Pari Sabety.    


Mike Shelton, Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, Scotts Miracle-Gro

Mike has coordinated corporate social responsibility and sustainability efforts for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company since June 2011. In this capacity, Mike works to establish new partnerships to help the company accomplish its corporate responsibility goals, and works with an internal team to continuously improve the environmental footprint of the company’s products and operations. 

Prior to joining Scotts, Mike served as Chief of the Office of External Affairs for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. During his tenure at the Department, Mike negotiated the enactment of numerous pieces of legislation, including the state’s ratification of the Great Lakes Compact. 

Before his service with the Department of Natural Resources and the Governor’s Office, Mike served as the Assistant Director of Government Relations at The Nature Conservancy’s Ohio Chapter. 

Mike served as a Legislative Service Commission Fellow at the Ohio Senate and graduated with a B.A. in sociology from Kenyon College.  He and his wife, Gena, are learning about patience from their four-year old daughter, Madeleine.


Shanelle Smith, Sustainability Director

Shanelle Smith, 31, grew up in Lima, Ohio in the shadows of an oil refinery. From her very beginnings, Shanelle experienced the intersection of environmental pollution and economic barriers. Today, as Deputy Director of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County, she helped lead and now manages innovative public/private/community efforts to build financially sustainable, socially equitable and environmentally protective economy through implementation of Cuyahoga County’s Clean Energy Finance Hub.

Shanelle’s path and her commitment to accelerating the clean energy economy, started at Apollo Alliance where she forged alliances that lead to good jobs, a cleaner environment and a more energy‐independent and inclusive economy. At Apollo, Shanelle advocated for the continuation of the state’s Advanced Energy Fund, and as the Ohio Coordinator for the BlueGreen Alliance, Shanelle managed the Ohio Green Manufacturing Action Plan Taskforce to create a policy plan for Ohio’s manufacturers to transition to clean energy manufacturers.

In August 2012, as the Director of Emerald Cities Cleveland, she helped organize a frank conversation between environmental, community and labor leaders about maximizing public and private investments in Cleveland through community benefits agreements.

During her tenure at Emerald Cities, Ohio took a regressive approach to energy policy and recognizing that that Cuyahoga County couldn't afford to wait on the State to lead, Shanelle started to build and operate local and regional solutions using global best practices. Shanelle developed the nationally‐recognized RENEW Cleveland‐Cuyahoga program, sparking a $1.9 million municipal retrofit for Seven Hills, Ohio and kickstarting county’s Department of Sustainability and a $225,000 investment into the county’s regional green bank.

Now, as the Deputy Director of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County, Shanelle brings together surprising partners from business, labor, finance, environmentalism and local government to catalyze sustainability that get done in a way that is inclusive and high quality. Her work reduces the use of expensive and polluting fossil fuels; cuts energy costs, creates good jobs now in the County, and ensures that African American workers have a shot at those jobs. She has proven adept at navigating complicated national coalitions, repeatedly finding ways to bring federal resources for Ohio’s largest county—including a $357,000 federal grant to kick start Cleveland‐Cuyahoga’s bike share program.

Today, with the Cuyahoga County Clean Energy Finance Hub— an innovative approach to clean economic development, under Shanelle’s leadership, and in less than six months on the job she has identified more than $110M in energy efficiency and renewable projects.

A two‐time cancer survivor, Smith was named “One to Watch” in 2011 by the Ohio Environmental Council, and Top 40 Under 40 by Midwest Energy News.

Smith has a B.A. in Political Science from Kent State University, where she was president of the NAACP chapter, and a M.A. from the University of Toledo.