Staff

Policy & Program Team

Jesse Kharbanda
Executive Director

Jesse Kharbanda is the Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest environmental policy organization.   He oversees HEC’s strategic and program development, legislative initiatives, operations, and fundraising.  Jesse has spearheaded focusing HEC’s efforts on three core initiatives: clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and 21st century transportation systems.  Jesse has made it a priority of HEC to build bridges with groups that may not have been as engaged with the organization in the past, such as the business community and religious conservatives.   Jesse was named to the “Forty Under 40″ list by the Indianapolis Business Journal in 2011, and was the sole Indianapolis-based community leader named to Delta Omega, the national public health honorary, in 2010.  Jesse has graduate degrees from Oxford University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Chicago.

Jesse can be reached at jkharbanda@hecweb.org and (317) 685-8800, ext. 103

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Tim Maloney
Senior Policy Director

Tim leads the Hoosier Environmental Council’s programs on forestry, land use, and public transit. In addition, Tim is the Council’s principal presence at the Indiana legislature. He has served as the Council`s Executive Director and previously as its Natural Heritage Director. He has also been chair of the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club as well as a field organizer for the Sierra Club and National Clean Air Coalition. Among his extensive volunteer activities, Tim has served on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. He was a Founding Member of the HEC Board of Directors. He has a bachelors degree in Forensic Studies /Psychology from Indiana University.

Tim can be reached at tmaloney@hecweb.org and (317) 685-8800, ext. 115

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Kim Ferraro
Water & Agriculture Policy Director and Senior Staff Attorney

Kim Ferraro is HEC’s Water and Agriculture Policy Director and Staff  Attorney.  Kim comes to HEC from the Legal Environmental Aid Foundation (LEAF), the state’s only non-for-profit legal aid services organization focused on the environment.   Kim served as the Executive Director of LEAF from its founding until its merger with HEC in Dec. 2011.   As LEAF’s ED, Kim achieved several legal victories that have helped communities impacted by industrial pollution, factory farm waste, reckless residential development, and coal ash contamination.   Kim’s honors include “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Indiana Lawyer, “Legal Advocate of the Year” by HEC, and Dean W. Kohlhoff Memorial Award for Excellence in Environmental Law.   Kim has a law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University.

Kim can be reached at kferraro@hecweb.org, and at HEC’s Valparaiso office at (219) 464-0104.

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Indra Frank, MD, MPH
Environmental Health Project Director

Indra coordinates HEC’s work with local communities reviewing environmental exposures and their links to health.  She is a physician who practiced pathology until 2004 when she shifted her career to environmental health.  She has since earned a masters degree in public health with a focus on environmental health and spent 10 years working in environmental health programs, education and policy with Indiana-based nonprofit organizations.  She teaches environmental health and environmental toxicology at the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health as an adjunct member of the faculty.  She has an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Pomona College, an MD from Johns Hopkins University, and a masters in public health is from Indiana University.

Indra is reachable at ifrank@hecweb.org.

Please click here for a press release regarding Indra joining the HEC team.

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Amanda Shepherd
Senior Program Associate

Amanda is HEC’s new Senior Program Associate. She will be developing multi-platform educational materials as well as be serving as a major point of contact for  HEC’s statewide network of supporters and partners. In addition, Amanda will play a critical role in strengthening our Sustainable Agriculture Initiative and assisting our Clean Energy Initiative in terms of research, policy analysis, and outreach. Amanda’s professional experience includes work in the private sector, teaching, and scientific research. Her voluntary work includes serving as a regional coordinator for Sustainable Indiana 2016 and advancing a unique grassroots effort around climate change. Amanda has a B.S. and M.S in geology from Indiana State University, where she performed research in the fields of paleoceanography and paleoclimatology.

Amanda is reachable at ashepherd@hecweb.org and (317) 685-8800, ext. 108

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Amelia Vohs
Staff Attorney, Water Program Associate, and Donor Relations Coordinator

Amelia is part of our legal team, assists with our water program, and serves as a key liaison to our donors.  She played a key role in engaging citizens impacted by factory farm pollution as part of our Sustainable Livestock Farming Initiative.  Amelia completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College where she earned a degree in English and went on to attend Valparaiso University School of Law where she graduated magna cum laude.   Amelia joins us after volunteer experience clerking for both state and federal judges as well as numerous legal assistance organizations including Legal Environmental Aid Foundation of Indiana, Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, and the New York Legal Assistance Group.

Amelia can be reached at avohs@hecweb.org and at HEC’s Valparaiso office at (219) 464-0104.

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Development, Marketing, Media and Accounting Team

Julie Rhodes
Development Operations Director

Julie L. Rhodes brings over 20 years experience in the environmental field, for local and state government, non-profits and the private sector.  She served for five years as executive director for two national environmental and social non-profits organizations.  As HEC’s Director of Development Operations, Julie is working with a team of seasoned professionals to enrich relationships between HEC and their supporters. In 2011, Julie worked with HEC to organize the annual Greening the Statehouse event, and has collaborated with HEC on other efforts prior.

Julie can be reached at jrhodes@hecweb.org.

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Renee Sweany
Special Projects Manager

Renee is an experienced green business professional.   She also writes a green advice column called “Ask Renee” for Indiana Living Green.  Renee serves on the Board of Directors of RecycleForce and People for Urban Progress, and she is a member of The Nature Conservancy Gen C Giving Tree and a Founding 200 member of Indy Food Co-op. She received a 2009 Sustainability Award from the Mayor’s Office for her Rush Hour Recycling events where more than 75 tons of electronics and cardboard were recycled and was recognized by Hoosier Environmental Council as the 2013 Green Business Advocate of the Year.   At HEC, Renee is leading our emerging green business initiative and will be organizing our signature annual event, Greening the Statehouse.
Renee can be reached at rsweany@hecweb.org.

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Sharlene Fish Kipfer
Community Relations and Donor Coordinator 

Sharlene will be helping to expand and deepen HEC’s network of relationships, working to increase financial and advocacy support for HEC’s mission.  Sharlene has experience working in the private sector and as a field organizer with public interest organizations in both Indiana and Ohio.    In her spare time, Sharlene advocates for humane wildlife treatment and sustainable agriculture.  She holds a BA from Kent State University and an MPA in nonprofit management from Indiana University’s SPEA, where she worked with the IU Office of Sustainability and gained field experience in stream and terrestrial ecology and environmental management.   

Sharlene can be reached at skipfer@hecweb.org and (317) 685-8800, ext. 116

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LWagoner photoLisa Wagoner
Donor Relations Specialist

Lisa’s diverse career includes working for both private sector businesses and non-profit organizations in call center management, business and process analysis, quality assurance, and fundraising program management. As a volunteer, Lisa served for twelve years on the Board of Directors of Earth Day Indiana (EDI), and as a key volunteer organizer for the annual EDI Festival. For seven years, she served on the executive committee responsible for the annual Hair Ball charity event benefiting Spay-Neuter Services of Indiana. Lisa attended the very first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, and, as a lifelong environmentalist, she brings passion for environmental responsibility and stewardship into her conversations with HEC donors. In her role as Donor Relations Specialist, Lisa is focused on deepening the relationships and cultivating the financial support so essential to the fulfillment of HEC’s mission.

Lisa may be reached by e-mail at lwagoner@hecweb.org and by phone at (317) 685-8800, ext. 109

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Marianne Holland
Media Consultant

Marianne Holland is the Media Consultant for the Hoosier Environmental Council.  She is responsible for the public relations and media outreach efforts of the organization.  Before undertaking work for HEC, Marianne had a long and distinguished career in broadcast journalism, most recently, working for WFYI Public Broadcasting in Indianapolis.  Her more than a decade in public radio took her to stations across the country, from Dillingham, Alaska, to Burlington,Vermont.  She first came toIndiana as News Director for WVPE in Elkhart.  She’s known to many public radio listeners as the Statehouse Bureau Chief of Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, a post she held from 2006 to 2011.  Marianne has won numerous awards in both journalism and public relations and holds a journalism degree from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont.

Marianne can be reached at mholland@hecweb.org and (317) 685-8800 Ext. 2

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Kim Bisinger
Accountant

Kim Bisinger is a seasoned accounting professional who most recently served as Chief Financial Officer for a major non-profit in southeastern Indiana.    In Kim’s role with HEC, she ensures that HEC continues its commitment to abiding by the highest standards of accounting practices, generates various financial reports for our organization, and serves as HEC’s liaison to several vendors on both A/R and A/P matters.

Kim, who works at HEC 1-2 times a week, is reachable at kbisinger@hecweb.org.

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