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About Us

The Southeastern PA Group (SPG) of the Sierra Club is part of the Pennsylvania State Chapter. The SPG area is the 5 counties surrounding Philadelphia.

Sierra Club's governance structure is as follows (from top down): The National Organization; State Chapters; and Groups within those chapters, defined by geographic boundaries. SPG, like all Sierra Club Groups operates at the grassroots level and is run solely by volunteers.

Executive Committe

Elected by area Sierra Club members to 2 year terms, the Executive Committee of SPG meets once a month to discuss the developments of the various committees, finances and upcoming opportunities.

Current chair assignments are:

Jim

Ex-Comm Chair, Conservation Chair, Web Admin - Jim Wylie

Jim is a graduate of Bucknell University with a BS in Electrical Engineering, holds a graduate certificate in Sustainable Development from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Having spent 28 years with Burroughs/Unisys, Jim is a full-time environmental advocate and part-time managing partner at Hybrid Cycles in West Chester, web designer and sustainability consultant.

Jim is a resident of West Chester Borough, Chester County where he and his wife have just downsized to reduce their environmental (and financial) footprint. An active leader of the Sierra Club of Chester County and a contributor to the local Beyond Coal Campaign Team, he works to promote clean energy and reduce pollution from fossil fuels.

"I'd like to increase the awareness of environmental issues impacting our area, including local pollution downriver, downwind and across the planet. Sierra Club has the scope and resources to make a difference in our lives and our children’s lives."

Email Jim at jim.wylie@verizon.net

Dave

Vice Chair - Dave Moscatello, Ph.D.

Dave Moscatello earned a B.S. in Microbiology from Penn State, and a Ph.D. in Biology with a focus on cancer cell biology from Purdue University. After teaching at Purdue and Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, he returned to research at the Kimmel Center Institute at Thomas Jefferson University, moved to the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, and recently retired as Chief Scientist at American CryoStem Corporation.

Dave joined the Sierra Club in 1984 and has been active in the Indiana and New Jersey chapters. He planned to become more active after he retired. He believes that proper regulation of all forms of fossil fuels, from exploration to final waste disposal, will expose the fossil fuel-based economy as the unsustainable, uneconomic folly that it is. In conjunction with the rapid improvements in solar and wind power, He thinks we can transition to a greener civilization much more quickly than naysayers might think.

Email Dave at dkmoscatello@verizon.net

Dennis

Treasurer - Dennis Winters

Working since the original Earth Day to protect the natural environment, and as a member of the Sierra Club since 1980, I have been active with Club as either a volunteer leader, an employee, or a contractor. I am a past Chair of the Pennsylvania Chapter and have also served as the chapter's Political Chair. Currently I am Vice-Chair, Conservation Chair, and Treasurer of the Southeastern PA Group here in the Philadelphia area.

In 2011, I received a lifetime achievement award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club for "dedicated volunteer service and outstanding work in pursuit of the conservation and protection of Pennsylvania’s environment."

I also served 10 years as president of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, 2 years as president of the Green Woods Charter School board of trustees, and 6 years as chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Regional Citizens Committee.

Email Dennis at dennis.winters@verizon.net

Pat

Newsletter Editor - Pat Beaudet

I have been a volunteer for the Sierra Club for almost 20 years. My first undertaking was to recruit 75 volunteers for Earth Day on Belmont Plateau in 1992. My contributions to SPG have largely focused on organization, events, communications and fundraising. I have done several “stints” as newsletter editor; organized successful Earth Day events in the 90’s, and worked to make the group leaders a cohesive, effective group. I held the chair position for 7 years and am happy to have turned it over to a younger member of the ex-com in January 2012.

I have also represented the group at the PA Chapter meetings numerous times. My goal now is to stay on the executive committee as a “senior” member who has a broad knowledge of how the Club works at the national, chapter and group levels.

Email Pat at pbeaudet@juno.com

Alexa

Nominating Cmte Chair - Alexa Manning

As a volunteer of the Sierra Club for 25 years and Chester County resident, I am deeply concerned about the health of our planet, and am dedicated to education and actions to preserve this. We need to think individually and collectively how to achieve our goals and sustain the results of our actions. There is much to be accomplished in a short time, and it is achievable. I am committed to preserving Earth and encouraging behaviors to do so.

I am from a farming family who uses sustainable practices, stewardship, and open space preservation. As an educator, I teach the importance of the environment in public schools, as well as summer nature camps, and environmental education for non-profit conservation, agricultural, and horticultural organizations. When I was a Congressional aide, I developed the skills needed to effectively address and affect positive outcomes for constituents’ concerns with environmental and other issues. I have participated with SC on the issues of climate change, Beyond Coal Campaign, renewable energy, anti-fracking, pipelines, air and water pollution, lobbying legislators, testifying at EPA hearings, interviewing candidates for endorsement, Clean Energy march, and Ready for 100.

Email Alexa at alexamanning1@gmail.com

John

Exec Cmte Member - John Butler

John Butler holds a B.S. from Georgia Tech and worked in inventory control, planning and purchasing, in the corporate world. His background taught him the value of conservation and efficient use of our natural resources. He is currently the VP of Preserve Our Pennsylvania Towns, a Climate Change Project Presenter, certified as a Tree Tender with PHS, volunteer at the PRC weekly farmers market, member of the Brigantine Green Team and a consultant in utility cost reductions and sustainability.

He was a Marple Commissioner for sixteen years and some of the accomplishments were revising the storm water management controls, impact fee on new development to fund capital improvements in parks and recreational facilities. I want to make better use of the internet to promote conservation to our members and get their feedback on their areas of interest they want for the Sierra Club. It is an organization I am proud to be a member of and would be proud to serve.

Email John at jbutler@verizon.net

Mathew

Exec Cmte Member - Mathew Himmelein

Mathew has been a grassroots volunteer for more than 7 years on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Group of the Sierra Club, and an Environmental activist since birth. Having grown up in Philadelphia to parents in the peace, women's rights, and labor movements he has a lifetime of knowledge and passion for the issues that affect us all, especially in the environmental arena. This background, and environmental education at Temple University, drives him to help change the ugly status-quo of our environmental stewardship toward a new clean energy green jobs future our planet and people deserve.

He has worked and volunteered with SPG for 7 years; specifically working for the Sierra Club and the BlueGreen Alliance and sitting on the Group Ex-Com contributing to the fight for our environment locally. For the last year he has chaired the Southeastern Pennsylvania Group where he has dedicated to making SPG a leader for the environment locally.

Email Mathew at mathew.himmelein@gmail.com

Ken

Communications Chair - Ken Hemphill

In July of 2013 Ken co-founded Save The Valley, Inc., a pressure group set up to preserve a 325 acre taxpayer-subsidized wildlife refuge in Beaver Valley on the PA/DE border. Much of that effort involved organizing fundraisers, producing a trove of online communications, articles, and videos, coordinating public demonstrations, facilitating community outreach, and recruiting new supporters to the cause. In 2014 he also founded the Beaver Valley Preservation Alliance which would adopt a more aggressive activist approach.

Seeing the threat to eastern Delaware County’s last large forest at Don Guanella in Marple, Ken joined Save Marple Greenspace and became their communications coordinator in August of 2015. That group’s efforts led the township to reject the developer’s plans. Ken has also joined up with two organizations oppposing the Toll Brothers' development plans for Crebilly Farm in Westtown Township.

Ken’s articles have frequently appeared in several Pennsylvania newspapers as well as the nationally syndicated Truth-out.org. His 2014 film Blank Spot narrated by Peter Coyote won “Best Documentary Short” at the Oregon Film Awards. Ken has a Masters in English and recently completed training for the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program at the Stroud Water Research Center. If you go looking for Ken, you can usually find him in the woods hiking or mountain biking.

Email Ken at kenne.hemphill@gmail.com

Prasad

Exec Cmte Member - Prasad Ramnath

Prasad holds a Ph.D. in Operations Management from Carnegie Mellon University and has been working in Software at Oracle for 18 years. Before that he grew up in India. A Sierra club member for 25 years, he is active in the Bucks County Sierra Club Conservation Committee where he organized cleanups of Neshaminy Creek, meetings, and maintained the website. His passion is wilderness and urban sprawl. With fellow members he successfully lobbied Bucks County Congressmen to cosponsor America’s Redrock Wilderness Act.

He has volunteered with the Nature Conservancy and Bucks County VITA. Living in Newtown, Prasad will represent Bucks County.

Email Prasad at PrasadRamnath@msn.com

Prasad

Exec Cmte Member - Sgt Gerald Brown

I am a retired steamfitter and welder and earned 3 Purple Hearts as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. My wife of 47 years and I have children and grandchildren affected by asthma, so I am especially concerned about air quality and urban pollution, particularly in minority communities where asthma affects as many as 1 in 4 children. I have been active with Veterans for Clean Air and the Beyond Coal campaign for the past 3 years, and would like to bring my passion to advocate for clean air policies to the SPG.

Email Gerald at geraldbrown55927@gmail.com

Margaret

Exec Cmte Member - Margaret Nersten

Margaret is a brand new member of the Ex Com and of the Sierra Club in general, having recently moved to Philadelphia after graduating college. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with a minor in Global Sustainability from the University of Virginia, and is a LEED Green Associate designer. She has previous experience as Advocacy Chair at UVA’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, and has lead spring break trips building houses in various cities in the US. She wants to show people that thriving and growing urban areas do not have to compromise sustainable practices and that a healthy relationship with the environment is important in urban settings. Although still learning, she anticipates that her participation with the Group will give her the opportunity to advocate for environmentally friendly practices in a more material and meaningful way.

You can reach her at margaretnersten@gmail.com.


Emily

Secretary - Emily Davis

While not a voting member of the Executive Committee, Emily has volunteered to perform this thankless job of recording the minutes of the monthly meetings.

My interest in nature and the environment developed from childhood scouting, camping and canoeing experiences. My lifestyle is an ongoing effort to reduce my foot print. I have had a number of experiences that might qualify me for the Executive committee of the Sierra Club of Southeastern Pa. These include serving on the boards of several organizations (local Habitat for Humanity Chapter, a Girl Scout Council, a wildlife area advisory council, church councils).

I am active in politics as committee person in my democratic ward and a member of Liberty City Democratic Club.

My professional life has been primarily in education, first as a museum educator, then in several positions relating to professional development and training of teachers. I am retired now and have spent the past two summers developing interpretive signs and programs for a state park in Maine as a volunteer.

Email Emily at emilylambertdavis@gmail.com