Executive Committee (ExCom) Election Information
The Executive Committee of the Long Island group is the governing and local policy making body of the Long Island group. It is composed of 11 Sierra Club L. I. group members who volunteer their time to serve for a two year term. They are elected only by the Sierra Club members who live in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. They act as representatives of the full membership.
On December 31st, the terms of 6 Ex Comm member’s expire. Seven members are running to fill the 6 seats. The candidate personal bios are below.
Do not vote online if you have mailed or intend to mail a ballot.
Online link for the voting ballot can be found here*.
Dec 31: Excom ballots (votes) due. When you follow the link, please make sure to scroll down and select the group for Long Island before you cast your votes. Thank you.
Biographies for LI Sierra Club Executive Committee
My passion for nature and professional skills will be an asset to your Executive Committee. As a Long Beach resident, I see the impact of straws and bottles polluting our shores. My walks on the beach include clearing plastic and leaving the area better than I found it. I prevented the clear cutting a berm that was a beautiful habit to deer, fox, and rabbits by organizing residents and city reps. As a corporate trainer and negotiator, I’ve worked on 6 continents. This allowed me to work with diverse cultures and personalities. As an entrepreneur, I’ve built an 8-figure business in under 10 years using leadership, marketing, and organizational skills. I help teams be more efficient and achieve their goals. I love nature, have a fond appreciation for fauna. Our environment needs advocates and protection. I’d be honored to use my skills and experience to help.
I am a life member of the Sierra Club along with my wife, Jan Brenner, and over the years I’ve participated in numerous Sierra Club functions. For much of my life I’ve regarded the Sierra Club as America’s environmental advocate, beginning (for me) with the fights over the snail darter and Con Ed’s proposed pumped storage project at Storm King Mountain. Activism in the 1960’s made me aware of the broad range of environmental issues. Local outdoors clubs made me aware that the Sierra Club was here in my community. My academic training is in chemical engineering, with a 40 + year work career. Project areas of possible relevance in which I participated were water, wastewater, building energy conservation and electrical construction. My hope is to learn how to view projects/issues in a holistic manner, and my goal is to be able to contribute my skills to the Sierra Club.
I am proud of LISC’s work in protecting our clean air, water, food, and wildlife. I try to practice what we preach and reduce carbon footprint with solar panels and electric air-sourced heat pumps to heat my home, driving Toyota Prius since 2005, buying local or organic food, and using re-useable bags and coffee and water bottles. I organize community programs. I have attended rallies with the Sierra Club-LI Group to protest GMO’s in food production and building natural gas infrastructure and advocating for renewables and investments in energy efficiency vs. building new power plants. I volunteer at LI Native Plant Initiative and parks in Nassau and Suffolk removing invasive plants. I coordinate volunteer days on the second Saturday removing invasive plants with a member at a local preserve on hold since March due to the coronavirus lock down. I help organize and participate in beach cleanups and more.
I’m a volunteer walk leader for the LI Sierra Club Group. For the past 6 months, I’ve served on the executive committee, filling a vacant seat. As a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Master Naturalist, and life coach, with a longing to protect our environment. As a published writer, blogger, and podcaster, I speak for the rights of nature, designing and facilitating educational programs for all ages. I’ve been interviewed by the Organization of Nature Evolutionaries, the North Forker, Long Island Naturally and WABC. My photography skills were utilized at Hempstead Lake State Park walking with an arborist in light of a pending Resiliency Project to remove 700+ trees. I‘m learning about the issues that challenge our communities and the governance side of protecting the environment. I’m eager to continue in this capacity, currently proposing education about the impact that feeding wildlife has on both wildlife and our waterways.
I’ve been a member of the Executive Committee for 13 years, first as its Webmaster and, since September ‘09, as its Treasurer. As Treasurer, I've reduced our monthly expenses: killing fees on our Ski account, helped reduced phone costs, revamped our monthly Treasurer Reports first by using terms that match National's terms and then by editing all previous Treasurer's categories to be consistent. Due to my efforts the other members of our ExCom fully understand what is going on in our accounts. I've also enabled backup of our banking data so that it is both safer and accessible to other members of the ExCom and lots more. Though my efforts may be complicated at times, I enjoy every minute of it. I ask for your vote so that I can continue what has proven to be an experience that all the members of our ExCom have appreciated.
Thomas J. Ward
A native of Annapolis, Maryland, Tom Ward is an Assistant Dean at Farmingdale State College. Before coming to Farmingdale, Dr. Ward was the chair of history department at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Dr. Ward is the author of two books, Black Physicians in the Jim Crow South (Arkansas, 2003) and Out in the Rural: A Mississippi Health Center and its War on Poverty (Oxford, 2017) as well as numerous articles and essays.
Tom Ward has a long history of community involvement in the environmental field. He is a long-time member of the Sierra Club, Mobile Baykeeper, and the Alabama Coastal Foundation, which he served two terms as board president. He is currently the Conservation Chair of the Long Island Branch of the Sierra Club.
He and his wife Margaret, a nurse at Stony Brook, have three sons. They live in Northport, where they enjoy boating and hiking.
I became an environmental educator in the public school system and worked as a New York Street Tree Consortium also as a program coordinator at the Botanical Gardens. The bulk of my 40 year career was in Parks Department management, first as a Park Administrator in New York City and then as Commissioner of Parks and Recreation in the Town of North Hempstead. I have worked on a wide variety of environmental issues over the years, all with the goal of acting locally and thinking globally. With the current political climate and growing concerns about climate change and environmental degradation, this work is more important now than ever. I have been on the LI Sierra Club Executive Board and the Political Committee since the winter and it is rewarding and important work. If selected, I hope to continue to work hard to advance the interests of the club and its members.