Staff

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 four core initiatives: clean energy, sustainable agriculture, 21st century transportation systems, and environmental justice.  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 public health organizations, the business community, and faith-based groups.  Jesse’s more than 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, being recognized as the sole Indianapolis-based community leader in 2010 named to Delta Omega, the national public health honorary, winning the 2015 Hulman Health Achievement Award for Public Policy Advocacy, and being awarded with an honorary degree by DePauw University.  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
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 kferraro@hecweb.org, and at HEC’s Valparaiso office at (219) 464-0104.

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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 ifrank@hecweb.org.

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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 ashepherd@hecweb.org and (317) 685-8800, ext. 109

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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 shenderson@hecweb.org.

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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 bweaver@hecweb.org or 317-850-8843.

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michaelMichael Popa
Program and Outreach Associate

Michael is our Program and 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 mpopa@hecweb.org.

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Jeni

Jeni Jenkins
Special Projects Senior Associate

Jeni is part of HEC’s Mounds Greenway team and also assists with outreach events such as the annual Ride for the Mounds. 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 jjenkins@hecweb.org or (317) 685-8800, ext. 105.

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

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PaulaPaula 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 2015-2017 and has long-standing interests in sustainable agriculture and community development. Paula has a BBA in Finance and MA in Development Policy and Planning, both from Howard University.

Paula can be reached at pbrooks@hecweb.org.

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Development, Marketing, Media and Accounting Team

Sharlene Fish Kipfer
Development Manager

Sharlene oversees HEC’s development strategy and is helping to expand and deepen HEC’s network of relationships while increasing 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 Indianapolis.

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

(Sharlene sometimes calls HEC’s friends and supporters from (317) 644-6797, which is a Skype line.)

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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 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 rsweany@hecweb.org.
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Mary Hayes
Development and Administrative Coordinator
Mary works to deepen donors’ understanding of critical environmental issues and handles the administrative aspects of HEC’s development efforts. Her education background at the Department of Natural Resources, local nature centers, and in the non-profit and consulting sectors informs her work as she builds relationships with HEC’s diverse constituency across the state. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music and English from DePauw University and a Master of Science from Indiana University Bloomington in Outdoor Recreation, with an emphasis on environmental education and interpretation.
Mary can be reached at mhayes@hecweb.org or (317) 685-8800, ext. 116.
(Mary sometimes calls HEC’s friends and supporters from (317) 644-6797, which is a Skype line.)
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Alexis Davenport
McKinney Development Fellow

Alexis is a graduate student and McKinney Fellow at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Through her fellowship, Alexis is helping to increase financial and advocacy support for HEC’s mission by expanding and deepening relationships with our supporters in a variety of ways. Alexis is also a dedicated plant enthusiast and a self-taught tapestry weavestress. She holds a B.A. from the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and a Sustainable Technologies Certificate from the IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology.

Alexis can be reached at adavenport@hecweb.org

(Alexis sometimes calls HEC’s friends and supporters from (317) 644-6797, which is a Skype line.)

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Marianne Holland

Manager of Media Relations

Marianne Holland is Manager of Media Relations 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 mholland@hecweb.org and (317) 685-8800 Ext. 3

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Kim Bisinger
Senior 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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