Cheryl Schnitzer, President. Cheryl holds a Ph.D. from Tufts University in physical chemistry and a B.A. from Skidmore College in chemistry, with a minor in environmental studies. As a chemistry professor at Stonehill College, Cheryl’s laser-based research interests include the environment and photonics. At Stonehill, she has been a member of the campus-wide Environmental Stewardship Council since 2012, and Chair since 2017. Cheryl became Vice President of SSC in 2015, and President in 2017—thoroughly enjoying her work with the other inspiring volunteers.
Ellen Bordman, Vice President Ellen holds a MAT Elementary Education degree from Regis College and a BA in Performing Arts from Emerson College. She is a public elementary school ESL teacher. Ellen is an active member of the congregation at Unitarian Church of Sharon, and has been a volunteer with SSC since 2016. She is a mother of two teens. An avid reader and writer, Ellen has been keeping a journal since 4th grade. She is a lazy gardener but intends to try harder. She enjoys cooking and baking, especially gluten-free treats. Ellen is a cat person.
David Slater, Treasurer. Dave has 20+ years experience managing nonprofit organizations. Dave’s environmental interests include composting, and furthering the availability of sustainable electric power.
Marlene Arnold, Secretary. Marlene holds a B.S. degree in computer science from Union College. She spent her early career working in the computer and industrial automation software industries. Later, while raising her family in Sharon, she started her own professional organizing business and volunteered for several years on Temple Sinai’s Board of Trustees. She was eventually recruited to be the Temple’s Executive Director where she served from 2011-2018. Marlene’s interest in leading a more sustainable life prompted her and her family to grow a vegetable garden, build a composting pile, eliminate cow’s milk from their diet, and most recently, add solar panels to their house. Marlene joined SSC in 2019 and is inspired to work with and learn from such a talented group of environmentally conscious individuals.
Paul Lauenstein Paul is a retired print shop owner, and has lived in Sharon since 1986. He is a founding member of the Sustainable Sharon Coalition. As a former member of the Sharon Water Management Advisory Committee, he helped promote Sharon’s award-winning water conservation program. He started the Sharon Solar Network, a group of families with solar panels who share solar production data. As a Board member of Sharon Friends of Conservation, he helped create a database of wildlife sightings in Sharon at www.sharonfoc.org.
Bri McAlevey. Bri holds a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from Boston University. After working for many years in a bilingual cultural and arts program, designing for non-profit organizations throughout the US, and teaching graphic design, Bri cared for rescued farm animals at her home in upstate NY. Since childhood, she has been devoted to social justice, human rights, animal rights, and environmental concerns. Bri is a founding member of No Sharon Gas Pipeline and the UCS Green Team. She also serves as the SHS PTSO recycling chairperson. Bri has been practicing a vegan lifestyle for several years and when she’s not busy cooking up vegan meals for her family, she is recreating a farm animal sanctuary.
Kathi Mirza. I am passionate about waste reduction, and always open to an honest conversation about reduce, reuse, repair, recycling, composting, consumption behavior and trash. I love reuse (40+ years), composting (25+ years), deep dives into shared responsibility as well as resource conservation. I hold a B.S degree from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy from Tufts University. For 20+ years I’ve served as a Regional Coordinator for MassDEP’s Bureau of Waste Prevention, and I have been honored to volunteer in many communities I’ve lived in, from San Francisco to Boston.
Helen Poynton. Helen (she/her) is an Ecotoxicologist and a professor at UMass Boston where she loves teaching the next generation of environmental scientists through courses on Marine Pollution and Climate Change. She received her PhD from UC Berkeley in toxicology and spent several years as a researcher at the Environmental Protection Agency, before moving to the Boston area. At UMass Boston, she has been involved in state and federally funded research grants to study the effects of emerging chemicals and pesticides on aquatic and marine animals including an ongoing risk assessment in Vieques, Puerto Rico. In SSC, Helen is most interested in issues that impact the health of our waterways including Lake Massapoag and issues of environmental justice including reducing waste and climate justice. Helen and her husband Albert have three sons and enjoy vegan cooking and baking, hiking, camping, and all sorts of outdoor games!
Ricky Stern. Dr. Ricky Susan Stern is the Founder and Executive Director of “e” inc., the non-profit planet science learning and action center based in Boston, serving thousands of children and youth across the Metro area. Dr. Stern is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton (BA), New York University (MA), Harvard University, (MA-Human Development), and received her Ed.D. from Harvard in Human Development and Psychology with a minor concentration in Evolutionary Biology in 2002.
Dr. Stern is the Founder of three non-profit organizations: The Boston Institute of Arts Therapies (leadership 11 years); a local non-profit called Sustainable Sharon (leadership 3 years); and now “e” inc. (leadership 16 years).
Since Harvard, “e” inc. has brought the science of the planet and the skills to make a difference to urban schools, after schools, and youth teams in the Metro area. All “e” inc. work is focused focuses on underserved communities and results in student action tasks in classes, after-schools, and teen teams.
Dr. Stern loves to travel abroad to areas with amazing wildlife, swim in any body of warm water, and read or garden whenever possible. She lives in an old farmhouse with an amazing and talented musician husband, is parent to a daughter who is the light of their lives, and is herself a pianist and singer.
Simone Tamkin. Simone is an engineer (electrical – BS) from Brazil. She is a Digital Analytics Implementation expert and data analyst with demonstrated success in developing digital analytics strategy, architecture, integration, and leadership in an agile scrum/kanban methodology for a variety of companies. She has worked at Google, IBM, CVS Health, and now Amica Insurance. She is very passionate about sustainability. and has been a fan of natural life from a very young age. In college, she made her own yogurt and advocated for a more natural lifestyle. In 2016, she started the “save a bag’ pilot program at CVS Health stores to reduce the single-use of plastic bags, and in 2017, helped with SSC’s “reduce my waste” campaign and became the communications committee chair. During that time, she led the new SSC website creation, created SSC’s Instagram account, and increased SSC’s Facebook presence to more than 300 followers. In 2018, she was elected vice president and during that time, supported Sharon’s plastic bag bylaw. Very recently, she led the SSC Energy Internship HS Pilot program hoping to get young people to care more for our natural resources and protect our planet.
Debbie Tatro Debbie holds BS and PhD degrees in Physiology from Michigan State University and The University of Michigan, respectively. She had a 25+ year career as a principal investigator on research awards from the National Institutes of Health, conducting basic bench research into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease. Debbie joined SSC in 2018, became a Board member in 2019, and the Co-Chair of the Zero Waste committee in 2020. She has led campaigns to pass Sharon’s plastic bag bylaw and to oppose artificial turf installation. Her interests include outdoor activities and a journey to plastic- and waste-free living.
Sandra Widland Ms. Widland is an Associate Project Director at the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ), a national nonprofit dedicated to better health outcomes for children. She is responsible for ensuring high quality projects deliverables. Ms. Widland has worked in all sectors of the healthcare industry, both locally and internationally, including: government, non-profit, academic and industry settings. Sandra has devoted much of her career to designing and executing both small- and large-scale health behavioral-change policies and initiatives. She has taught public health at the collegiate level and most recently, she led a special project initiatives team focused on environmental health issues associated with lead poisoning. Sandra is passionate about issues related to the intersection of social equality and environmentalism.