People

Meet The Executive Committee

Joel Segal, J.D.
Executive Director
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Joel Segal received his law and undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a former senior legislative assistant and speech writer in the U.S. Congress from 2000-2013; where he was the lead Hill staffer on universal health care from 2000-2009, and worked on climate change and clean energy legislation. Joel lead efforts to draft the first 100% Clean Energy Resolutions introduced in Congress. Joel was the former Senior Legislative Director for former Charlotte City Councilman, Mayor, and N.C. State Senator Dan Clodfelter. Joel serves on the Board of Directors of Mecklenburg Ministries; a leading interfaith organization in Charlotte, N.C.

He has spearhead efforts in North Carolina to pass 100% clean energy resolutions in City Councils and local governments across the state. This includes the unanimous passage of the City of Charlotte’s first 100% clean energy Resolution; and the implementation of Charlotte’s unprecedented 100% Clean Energy “Strategic Energy Plan.” Joel is the Co-Founder and National Coordinator of the “Justice Action Mobilization Network,” a diverse and intersectional climate action network comprised of national and international civil leaders and civil society groups. JAMN works to intensively educate the public on climate change, green jobs, and the need to pass 100% clean energy legislation on the local, state, federal, and global level.

Joel works closely with leading climate scientists, clean energy experts, dignitaries, elected officials, civil society organizations, and artists to help expedite the passage of 100% clean energy legislation. He lead efforts to create a Solarize Puerto Rico Coalition with elected officials and civil society organizations inside and outside of Puerto Rico. The bill will be introduced in Congress in 2019; and a similar bill is now being debated in the Puerto Rico General Assembly.

Joel spearhead efforts in 2000 to launch the national universal health movement on the steps of Capitol Hill. He was a senior technical consultant on Michael Moore’s documentary movie SICKO. Joel recruited rock artist Bono of U2 to help lead efforts to fight global HIV/AIDS; and is co-founder of the Global HIV/AIDS Alliance. Joel speaks regularly on national radio and television shows on 100% clean energy and ending poverty. He is a professional bass player and recording artist.

Gayle Tuch
Co-Chair
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Gayle Goldsmith Tuch is a general practice attorney with 30 years of experience in litigation and alternative dispute resolution. In addition to a law degree, Gayle has a Master of Environmental Science from Miami University and a Master of Environmental Law from Vermont Law School, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.  For over thirty (30) years, she has been an environmental advocate with community groups and governmental entities. Gayle is a founding board member and current co-chair of North Carolina Climate Solutions Coalition (comprised of environmental organizations and individuals) working to combat climate change through a transition to clean renewable energy, support of green jobs and other initiatives.  Gayle started and is a member of Temple Emanuel’s Environmental Movement, which won the FAIN Award which has been hosting a documentary film/speaker series since 2007.  From 2010 – 2016, Gayle was a board member and president of the board of Yadkin Riverkeeper and, in from 2008 – 2010, she was a board member of PEA (Piedmont Environmental Alliance) where she focused on presentations and demonstrations for the local earth day fair.

Amanda Robertson
Co-Chair & Treasurer
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Amanda Robertson has worked in the educational design industry for more than twenty years and is founder and CEO of The Farthest Pixel, an educational media design firm based in Pittsboro, North Carolina. She served as Assistant Director of Educational Media Development at NC State University where she taught for ten years in the College of Design. In her work she has written about how differences in culture should influence the way we approach design solutions, and about how design can leverage Internet media to facilitate cross-cultural understanding. She is a member of the American Sustainable Business Council.

In her work on climate change, she serves as co-chair of NC Climate Solutions Coalition and also leads a local group of volunteers in the Chatham Clean Path, an effort by local citizens in Chatham County, NC to encourage solar energy use in all areas. This is a program organized through the non-profit, NC WARN. She also helped organize the Chatham County Climate Change Advisory Committee in 2015, a county committee that informs policy makers on decisions that will impact climate change. She serves on the board of Abundance NC, supporting local, sustainable communities in North Carolina. Additionally, Amanda is a leader and lecturer in the Climate Reality Leadership Program.

Denise Bruce
Co-Vice Chair
Coalition Organization:
Sustainable Sandhills
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Jennifer Roberts
Co-Vice Chair, Co-Chair, Fundraising and Finance Committee
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Jennifer Watson Roberts is a former Mayor of Charlotte and a lifelong champion of issues related to education and equality. She is the first person to be elected to serve as both Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Commission and later as Mayor of Charlotte.

Roberts was instrumental in creating a public/private partnership to build a new shelter in Charlotte for survivors of domestic violence and spearheaded the creation of Charlotte NEXT, an initiative dedicated to improving after school programs for at-risk teens. During her tenure as Mayor, the City of Charlotte set a goal of funding 5,000 affordable housing units over 3 years and is currently on track to exceed that goal.

Roberts has been a life-long advocate for clean air and water and for environmental justice.  While Chair of the Mecklenburg County Commission, she championed a Park and Rec Master Plan, supported energy reduction and conservation in County operations, and headed a Clean Air Works initiative to reduce carbon emissions in area businesses and the County’s carbon footprint.  As mayor, she signed the Mayor’s Climate Pledge and introduced a Clean Energy Resolution for the City of Charlotte.

She has worked as a diplomat for the State Department, as an international banker, as an adjunct professor at UNC-Charlotte, and as a high school math teacher.  She currently serves on numerous community boards and commissions, including the Corporate Climate Alliance, NC Climate Solutions Coalition, Meck Ed and Mecklenburg Ministries.

Roberts is a proud recipient of the Maya Angelou Women Who Lead award, the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Public Policy Leader of the Year award, and Equality North Carolina’s Ally of the Year award.  She received her B.A. with highest honors in English from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Masters in European History from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.  She and her husband Manley live in Charlotte, but can usually be found on the weekends hiking the NC mountains. They have two college aged children.

Terry Lansdell
Chair, Program Committee
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Terry Lansdell is Executive Director at BikeWalk North Carolina, working to improve the safety, funding, and construction to support multimodal transportation and to improve North Carolina’s health, economy and environment. Formerly with Clean Air Carolina in a variety of roles, he also serves on the Mecklenburg County Air Quality Commission and the City of Charlotte’s Transit Services Advisory Board. Terry has a foundation of working with a variety of boards, organizations and nonprofits to advocate and promote safe active transportation and healthy environments for kids and adults. Recently Terry received the 2015 Sustain Charlotte Community Sustainability Award for being Charlotte’s most outstanding leader.

Meet The Board Members

Astrid Chirinos
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Astrid Chirinos, Founder and Principal of Diverso Global Strategies (DGS) has been providing Multicultural Marketing and Multicultural Workforce Development Strategy to Fortune 500 companies and other large organizations in the Charlotte Region through an integrated approach that includes the Cross-Cultural Competency, the Organizational Readiness and the effective Community Outreach and Action Plans required to retain and increase our fast growing multicultural markets. DGS has provided In-Culture, In-Language Strategy, Event Planning, Public Relations and Community Relations, Current Reality Assessments, Leadership, Skills Training and Development, as well as, Bilingual Support to organizations such as Goodrich, Loweʼs Home Improvement, Compass Group NAD, Time Warner Cable, Wachovia Bank, The Diversity Council of the Carolinas, The United Way, The Urban League of the Central Carolinas, The US Department of Labor and Johnson C Smith University, La Noticia Spanish Language Newspaper, AT&T, The Charlotte Sports Hall of Fame, Compare Foods Supermarkets, Food Lion, Called Cinco Festival and the Hornetsʼ Nest Girl Scouts among others. She was also a partner at Afina Solutions, a Multicultural Corporate Talent Development and Realignment consulting company and at Calor Energy, LLC facilitating the green culture-shift for an organization through sustainable business practices and renewable energy, and she is currently the Executive Director of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte, organization that she helped to get established fifteen years ago.

Astrid is past chair of the Charlotte Mayorʼs International Cabinet, The Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte (LACC), the Latino Pathways Partnership, and past Vice-Chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board. She is currently a board member of other organizations committed to improving the Charlotteʼs region and the state such as the Centralina Economic Development Commission eleven County Region, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board, the Womenʼs Intercultural Exchange (WIE), The Knight Foundation, The North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research and the McColl Center for Visual Arts. Astrid has also served on the boards of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, The Levine Museum of the New South, Childrenʼs Theatre of Charlotte and WFAE 90.7 NPR. She served on the United Way Community Investment Council and as one of the 16 members of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools System CMS Task Force in 2006.

Astrid has been the recipient of several awards and distinctions in our community. Amongst those: 2010 Recipient of THE MAYA ANGELOU-WOMEN WHO LEAD and the Urban Leagueʼs 2010 WHITNEY M. YOUNG JR. Award ; 2009

Dr. Rev. Rodney Sadler
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Rodney S. Sadler, Jr. is a graduate of Howard University (1989, B.S. Psychology/Philosophy), Howard University School of Divinity (1992, M.Div.), and Duke University (2001, Ph.D. Hebrew Bible and Biblical Archaeology), and has also studied at Hebrew University (1990). He is an ordained Baptist minister and presently serves as Associate Pastor of Mount Carmel Baptist Church and Associate Professor of Bible at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Dr. Sadler’s work in the community includes terms as a board member of Siegel Avenue Partners and Mecklenburg Ministries. He currently serves on the boards of Loaves and Fishes, the Hispanic Summer Program, and the Executive Committee of the North Carolina NAACP. His activism includes work with the Community for Creative Non‐Violence in D.C., Durham C.A.N., H.E.L.P. Charlotte, the Middle East Peace Working Group, and the U.S. Africa Ebola Working Group. He is Vice Chair of People Demanding Action, Vice Chair of the Justice Action Mobilization Network, Vice Chair of the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, the Co‐chair of the Truth Reconciliation and Anti‐poverty Commission, and has worked organizing clergy with, and developing theological resources for, the Forward Together/Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina. In addition, Dr. Sadler hosts a weekly national radio program for the People Demanding Action Network called, the “Politics of Faith.” He currently serves as the North Carolina NAACP chairperson of their Healthcare Committee.

He is a widely published author and editor. Among his research interests are the intersection of race and Scripture, the impact of our images of Jesus for the perpetuation of racial thought in America, the development of African American biblical interpretation in slave narratives, the enactment of justice in society based on biblical imperatives, and the intersection of religion and politics.

Avram Friedman
Coalition Organization:
The Canary Coalition
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Avram is a founder and current Executive Director of The Canary Coalition. He has been a grassroots activist and community organizer since the late 1960’s when he was involved in the movement to end the Vietnam War.

In the 1970’s he became involved in the anti-nuclear movement and, in 1980, was instrumental in securing the first successful ballot measure in the nation to prevent the construction of new nuclear power plants, in the state of Oregon.

In 1986, he initiated a successful campaign to hold a statewide referendum, in North Carolina, to prevent the federal Department of Energy from locating a high-level nuclear waste repository in our state.

In 1988, he ran for Governor to help raise the profile of the issue of North Carolina’s agreement to become the “host state” in the Southeast Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact. North Carolina subsequently withdrew from the Southeast Compact.

In 2001 The Canary Coalition, under Avram’s leadership, was among the groups that introduced and worked for the passage of the NC Clean Smokestacks Act, a landmark piece of legislation that passed in 2002 resulting in the cleanup of antiquated coal-burning power plants in this state and region.

Avram developed and initiated The Efficient and Affordable Energy Rates Bill, and the NC We the People Act, both currently pending in the NC General Assembly.

He is among the founding members of the NC Climate Solutions Coalition.

Adam Collette
Coalition Organization:
Dogwood Alliance
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Adam Colette – Program Director, Dogwood Alliance
Adam has a passion for organizing people and fighting the corporations whose practices destroy our earth. For over 10 years, he has worked with several organizations to protect Southern forests and communities, end coal fired power, protect our public water systems and challenge over-consumption by building the sharing economy. Currently, Adam directs the programs for Dogwood Alliance. In his spare time, Adam loves spending time on/in the rivers of Western NC. 
Lou Zeller
Coalition Organization:
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL)
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Lou joined the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s staff as a community organizer in 1986. Since then, Lou has worked on every major League project with community groups in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.  As the League’s chief scientist, Lou specializes in technical research and computer modeling.  Although he is not an attorney, Lou filed pro se license interventions opposing nuclear power plants in four states and argued before the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board.  Also, Lou has organized challenges of Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act permits for power plants and other industries.  Lou has also done international work for the League.  With the American Delegation on Plutonium Problems and Solutions in Russia, he presented at the Fourth International Radioecological Conference held in Krasnoyarsk.  He also represented our organization at the Group of Eight Summit in Okinawa, Japan, working with an international team of non-governmental organizations to produce The NGO’s Joint Declaration to the G-8 Summit.

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