WHO WE ARE
The People and Pollinators Action Network’s staff and leaders bring deep knowledge of and experience with pollinator protection, community development, environmental policy, sustainable agriculture, and habitat management. Staff and Board members work closely to forge strategic wins for people, pollinators, and the state of Colorado.
Director of Programs
Joyce is the chief coordinator of PPAN. In this multi-faceted role, she directs organizational development and project implementation. She leads the organization’s advocacy work, builds constituency and develops community outreach programs. She has worked as an environmental professional for 20 years for consulting firms, nonprofits and the National Park Service. Prior to her work as a pollinator advocate, she did rivers work in New England for 12 years.
Director of Communications & Development
Sabina has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years and has extensive experience in fundraising and communications—most recently with small organizations working to build movements at the local level. Through her work with individual, foundation, and corporate donors she has grown partnerships and surpassed funding goals. She has a masters in International and Intercultural Communication from the University of Denver and a strong foundation working with diverse audiences. Sabina is particularly passionate about socio-environmental issues and helping communities enact change through nature-based solutions.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
TIM PLASS, J.D.
Former Boulder City Council Member
Tim is a long-time Boulder resident, enthusiastic backyard gardener, advocate for a sustainable, local food system and a community activist. He has served on the Boulder City Council, the City of Boulder Planning Board and Landmarks Board. A lawyer by training, Tim received his undergraduate education at Harvard University and his law degree from the University of Denver.
Sue has worked in the non-profit sector for over thirty years in Vermont, Colorado and Washington state, as well as in Asia and Africa. She has worked primarily in the areas of social justice, environment and civic engagement serving as executive staff and on many boards of directors. Currently she serves on the boards of Conservation Colorado and the Community Foundation of Boulder and is on the national advisory board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She is a beekeeper and grows things on a small farm outside Longmont.
Owner, Bee Squared Apiaries
Beth Conrey is the recently retired president of the Colorado State Beekeepers Association, a position she held for the past 6 years. For the previous 6 years, she was president of the Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association. She is co-chair of People an Pollinators Action Network (PPAN) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Pollinator Stewardship Council (PSC). She operates Bee Squared Apiaries, a chemical-free, 100 hive beekeeping business in Berthoud which produces terrific honey, gorgeous beeswax candles and indulgent soaps.
Integrated Pest Management Coordinator, City of Boulder
Rella Abernathy coordinates pesticide reduction and ecosystem protection policy for the City of Boulder. Rella also is responsible for the city’s pollinator conservation and mosquito management programs. She leads the Boulder Pollinator Garden Project, a network of public agencies, universities, NGOs, businesses and community members working together to create high-quality pollinator habitat. Rella has a B.S. in botany and an M.S. in entomology from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Florida and has spent her career on the development of ecologically-sound land management practices. Rella also serves on the board of Beyond Pesticides.
LOUISE TURNER CHAWLA
Professor Emerita, College of Architecture & Planning, University of CO
Louise Chawla is Professor Emerita in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her work focuses on the benefits of access to nature for children, the development of active care for the natural world, and participatory methods for engaging children and youth in design and planning, as a means of civic development and education for sustainability, and to create communities that support the well-being of all ages. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Children and Nature Network, which works to document the benefits of access to nature in spaces of everyday life and promote city greening. She finds common cause in creating green spaces for people and pollinators, and in ensuring that people as well as pollinators are protected from toxic pesticides.
Vice President of Communications & Development, The WILD Foundation
Amy Lewis has spent the last 15 years researching the building blocks of collective action. She has brought this knowledge to bear in her own work as an award-winning nonprofit leader and as a scholar of environmental policy. Her research explores the relationship between democratic decision-making and policies that benefit the environment. Nothing inspires Amy more than a good mystery, and she delights in uncovering the deep forces that determine a society’s political and ecological future. Recently, she has employed her knowledge and skills at the WILD Foundation, aligning her personal goals with WILD’s mission to activate an international ethic of care for our wild planet. In addition to lending her support to a growing community of people taking action to keep our Earth wild, Amy is also finishing the last two chapters of her doctoral dissertation, something she has resolved will be completed before the conclusion of this decade.
Instructor, University of CO / Chair, Sierra Club, Indian Peaks Chapter
Rebecca has a doctorate in English literature and teaches at the University of Colorado in Boulder for the Writing and Rhetoric Program. She has published on the Second World War, Kate Chopin, Jane Austen, as well as on many environmental issues. She has long been dedicated to addressing environmental concerns and has won regional awards for her work as an activist on climate change and the protection of pollinators. Most recently, she was awarded PLAN-Boulder County’s environmental awardand the Sierra Club-Rocky Mountain Chapter’s Networking Award. She also has been awarded the Charlie Oriez Environmental Award for her political activism. She has served as editor of various Sierra Club publications. She is dedicated to helping her students understand the central sustainability problems that the world faces while conveying the importance of how we talk and write about those issues.
Animal Rights Advocate
Marije’s international background fed her passion for global conservation and wildlife advocacy, and led her to study Zoology at Michigan State University. After having spent a couple decades in the modeling world, she was excited to return to the world of science. She is co-owner of View into the Blue®, where she helps to connect people to both their immediate environment and more exotic wonders across the globe. She enjoys focusing on everything from the largest ocean inhabitants to the smallest insects doing their important work, supporting our ecosystems, which brought her to People and Pollinators Action Network. Marije lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she enjoys working between two oceans. In addition to supporting the important work of PPAN, she advises on a citizen science platform called The Ocean Blueprint, is an Advisory Council member at Project V.E.T.S., and previously served as a Board member of Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund.
Associate Teaching Professor in Department of Biological Sciences, University of Denver
Julie's work focuses on biology education and outreach, especially environmental education and strategies to improve engagement and learning effectiveness in large introductory and non-major’s biology courses. She is passionate about preserving biodiversity and is actively involved in several sustainability initiatives on DU's campus and in the surrounding Denver community. This includes managing DU’s community garden, and advising two undergraduate student organizations: the DU Pollination Association and the DU Botanical Society.
Mario Padilla is an entomologist from Alamosa, Colorado. While pursuing his undergraduate degree at Adams State University he became extremely interested in entomology, especially insects in the order Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Organismal Biology, he attended Pennsylvania State University to pursue a Master’s degree in Entomology under the advisement of Dr. Christina Grozinger. His thesis, Social Mechanisms Regulating Reproductive Division of Labor in Bumble Bees (Bombus impatiens) explored how queen bumble bees regulate worker reproduction via pheromone signaling and aggressive behavior. Findings from this thesis have recently
been published in Royal Society Open Science under the title Chemical communication is not sufficient to explain reproductive inhibition in the bumblebee Bombus impatiens. Shortly after defending his thesis,
Mario was hired as the laboratory manager in the Grozinger lab, where he managed 40+ colonies of honey bees and was the primary contact for all researcher needs. In 2015 Mario was hired as the entomologist at Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, CO, and in 2019 Mario was promoted to Director of Animal Collections. His job duties include; managing honey bee colonies, teaching beekeeping courses, overseeing multiple research and conservation projects, and managing all animal care.