Policy & Program Team

JesseKharbandaSpeech_WebJesse 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 faith-based groups.  Jesse’s decade-long involvement in Indiana legislative matters began in 2006 while at the Environmental Law and Policy Center.  Jesse’s leadership honors include being named to the “Forty Under 40″ list by the Indianapolis Business Journal in 2011, being recognized as the sole Indianapolis-based community leader named to Delta Omega, the national public health honorary, in 2010, and winning the Hulman Health Achievement Award for Public Policy Advocacy in 2015.  Jesse has graduate degrees from Oxford University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Chicago.

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


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 and (317) 685-8800, ext. 115


Kim Ferraro
Senior Staff Attorney, Director of Agriculture Policy

Kim Ferraro is HEC’s Agriculture Policy Director and Senior 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 and continuing with HEC, Kim has 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, and at HEC’s Valparaiso office at (219) 464-0104.


Indra Frank, MD, MPH
Environmental Health Director

Dr. Frank coordinates HEC’s work with local communities reviewing environmental exposures and their links to health.  She is also the Indiana representative for the Great Lakes Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit.  After practicing as a board certified pathologist, she shifted her career to environmental health in 2004 and has since worked in environmental health programs, education and policy with Indiana-based nonprofit organizations including Improving Kids’ Environment, the Health by Design Coalition, and the Indiana Environmental Health Summit.  She teaches environmental health and environmental toxicology at the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health as an adjunct member of the faculty.  She has a bachelors degree in biochemistry from Pomona College, an MD from Johns Hopkins University, and a masters degree in public health from Indiana University.

Indra is reachable at


Amanda Shepherd
Outreach Coordinator

Amanda is HEC’s Outreach Coordinator. She leads HEC’s efforts at engaging grassroots volunteers and building grasstops contacts in order to build the organization’s ability to better the lives of people, animals, and the environment in Indiana. Amanda develops multi-platform educational materials, researches information regarding legislative districts across the state, heads HEC’s Greening Your Community Initiative, and manages our Environmental Advocate volunteer program. 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 and (317) 685-8800, ext. 109


sam_at_computer_2010Sam Henderson
Associate Attorney

Sam Henderson is a Legal Fellow at the Valparaiso office, supporting HEC’s work with legal and technical research. When Sam isn’t slaving away at a hot keyboard for HEC, he works as a freelance legal and patent translator, primarily from Korean into English.  He has also passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and is a member of the patent bar.  Sam has a J.D. summa cum laude from Valparaiso University Law School, a master’s degree in applied linguistics from the University of Southern Queensland, and a B.A. from Shimer College. A longtime Northwest Indiana resident, Sam was a member of the very first stewardship crew for the Shirley Heinze Land Trust in the 1990s.  Sam lives in the Miller/Aetna neighborhood of Gary, in the Grand Calumet River watershed (HUC 04040001020020), near the seasonal flyways of the sandhill crane and parasitic jaeger, and just close enough to hear the blast furnace roar.

Sam can be reached at


Bob WeaverBob Weaver
Mounds Greenway Outreach Manager

Bob is the Mounds Greenway Outreach Manager. In this post, he works to lead engagement between the public and Mounds Greenway, with special emphasis on organizational and business partnerships. He previously served as Director of Marketing for Indianapolis-based brewer, Flat 12 Bierwerks. Prior to that post, he worked for Scotts Miracle-Gro, Marysville, Ohio, and Williams Randall Marketing Communications, Indianapolis. Among his volunteer activities are leadership in Nora Alliance and Spring Mill Dad’s Club, as well as active involvement with Exodus Refugee Inc., St. Luke’s UMC and FBA Athletics. Bob has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from DePauw University and a master’s in business from Indiana University Kelley School, Bloomington.

Bob can be reached at or 317-850-8843.


michaelMichael Popa
Mounds Greenway Outreach Associate

Michael is the Mounds Greenway Outreach Associate. His responsibilities include planning events to build support for the Mounds Greenway, recruiting formal endorsements for the Mounds Greenway proposal from a variety of organizations and businesses, and playing a key role in coalition-building with a special focus on the recreational, university, and young professional communities. He has a lifelong interest in environmental issues and is particularly passionate about land and water conservation. Michael has a bachelor’s degree in Health Services Management from IUPUI.

Michael can be reached at


Paula Brooks

Environmental Health Associate

Paula is our Environmental Health Associate.  She works with our Environmental Health Director on our new Environmental Justice Initiative, which aims to identify, prioritize, and ultimately mitigate environmental health risks in low-income communities in Indianapolis.  Paula has been deeply committed to the betterment of her neighborhood, Ransom Place, where she was the President from 2015-2016 and has long-standing interests in sustainable agriculture.  Paula has a BBA in Finance and MA in Development Policy and Planning, both from Howard University.

Paula can be reached at


Development, Marketing, Media and Accounting Team

Renee Sweany
Special Projects Manager

Renee is an experienced green business professional.  She also writes a green advice column called “Ask Renee” for NUVO/Indiana Living Green. 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 has been instrumental in growing and developing a partnership with Aveda in support of clean water initiatives, and in organizing the annual Greening the Statehouse event.  Currently, Renee leads HEC’s Green Business program, an emerging green business initiative.

Renee can be reached at

megan-sharpMegan Sharp
Community Relations Manager

Megan Sharp is the newest member of our development team.  She will lead the assessment, planning, and coordination of HEC’s development efforts and take part in direct donor engagement.  In addition, Megan will handle a variety of administrative and development operational endeavors and organize special events.  Megan has a strong, community-oriented leadership background, serving as Program Coordinator for a community center, Campaign Manager for a legislative campaign, and Youth Director for a church.  She has complemented her leadership skills with studies in Natural Resource Management and International Community Development, and has experience as a Staff Scientist for an environmental consulting firm.  Megan has a Master’s degree in environmental science from Taylor University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Ball State University.

Megan can be reached at and (317) 685-8800, ext. 108


Sharlene Fish Kipfer
Senior Development Coordinator 

Sharlene is helping to expand and deepen HEC’s network of relationships, and 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.  She holds a BA in Political Science 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 also enjoys volunteering as an animal welfare advocate and ambassador within the SPEA alumni network. She has lived in South Bend and Bloomington and now resides in the Englewood neighborhood of Indianapolis.   

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

(Sharlene sometimes calls HEC’s friends and supporters from (574) 248-4401, a “Skype for Business” outcall-only line.)


JeniJeni Jenkins
Senior Development Associate

Jeni is responsible for organizing the Hoosier Environmental Council’s biggest public event, the annual Greening the Statehouse, and is a part of HEC’s donor engagement team. Voted “most likely to save the world” by her high school classmates, Jeni has had long-standing interests in sustainability.  She is an accomplished entrepreneur, with a drive for self-study of ecological issues, from native and invasive plants to wildlife and local water ecology.  Jeni has degrees in business and Spanish from Indiana University.

Jeni can be reached at or (317) 685-8800, ext. 105.

(Jeni sometimes calls HEC’s friends and supporters from (317) 910-2561, an outcall-only line.)


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 to Indiana as the 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 and (317) 685-8800 Ext. 3


Kim Bisinger

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