CIPL is governed by a Steering Committee that is composed of individuals representing faith-based organizations throughout California. The Steering Committee provides general oversight and guidance to the staff and helps deliver CIPL’s mission of environmental stewardship throughout the state.
Rev. Susan Hendershot Guy, President, The Regeneration Project & CIPL
Prior to becoming President of California Interfaith Power & Light, as well as the National IPL, Susan served as the Executive Director at Iowa Interfaith Power & Light for seven years. She is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with an M. Div. from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, a B.A. from Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia, and a certificate in Spiritual Direction. Prior to Iowa IPL, Susan served as a pastor in both Disciples of Christ and United Methodist congregations, focusing on social justice ministries. She also served as the first Heartland Field Organizer for the ONE Campaign on global poverty. Currently Susan serves as co-chair of the Executive Committee for the RE-AMP Steering Committee, a network of over 170 climate, energy, and environmental organizations throughout the Midwest. Susan believes that climate change is a moral issue, disproportionately impacting those who are most vulnerable in our world. She gets her motivation and inspiration from her two sons.
The Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Sr., Senior Pastor of The Church by the Side of the Road, Berkeley
The Reverend Doctor Ambrose Carroll, Sr. is one of the nation’s premiere Practical Theologians. After graduating from Oakland High School in 1987, Ambrose went on to do his undergraduate work at Florida Memorial College in Miami, Fl and received a Master’s of Divinity from Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta GA, a Doctor of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio, and a Master’s of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA.
Dr. Carroll combines theology with ecology and challenges the church universal to embrace its mantle of creation care. At present Dr. Carroll and his family are expanding their work to the Bay Area and creating a national campaign to “Green the Church”. His non-profit, Renewal, is poised to educate the Black Church and lead in the creation of sustainable programs to under-gird the work of creating green and efficient Church buildings.
Mark Carlson, Director, Lutheran Office of Public Policy
Mark Carlson is a native of Idaho and attended public schools is Yakima, WA and Fremont, CA. As a toddler, he was imprinted with the Snake River, and several national parks and forests. As a five-year-old, he was exposed to the consequences of “progress” when his father took their family to the spectacular Native America salmon fishing grounds at Celilo Falls, shortly before it was flooded by The Dalles Dam. Mark graduated from Bethany College, Kansas, with a degree in history and political science, studied Swedish environmental politics and policy for a year in Stockholm, received a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and worked as an organizer and consultant in opposition to a new coal and a new nuclear power plant in Kansas.
Mark has been in Sacramento with the Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California since 1984, where he works on a variety of poverty, human rights, and care for creation issues for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Part of his work has included ballot proposition campaigns where care for creation values are at stake. In another life, Mark worked 29 seasons as a firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, offering a different perspective on forest policy and practice.
Mohammad Hoda, Energy Advisor, Shura Council of Southern California
Mohammad has a degree in Mechanical Engineering with focus on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. He works as an Energy Engineer where he develops energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability projects in greater Los Angeles region. Mohammad is also involved with the youth at the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley, advises Islamic Shura Council of Southern California on energy initiatives for mosques and Islamic Centers and volunteers with Alzheimer’s Association.
Born in India, Mohammad has firsthand experience of what it is like to live in a society with scarce resources. He has seen major changes in the nature when over used and not protected/replenished. Apart from the strong technical understanding of energy and sustainability issues, he believes that preservation and sustainability work is an imperative religious duty. Mohammad is married to Mariam and has one son, Zachariah (Zach).
Recently, back from Rome, where he was invited to be part of Emerging Leaders Multi- Faith Convergence on Climate Change. He was part of the group that marched to St. Peter’s Square in support of Pope Frances focus on climate change and social justice in his recent encyclical.
Barbara Bisel, Commission for the Environment, Episcopal Diocese of California
Barbara is a lifelong Episcopalian, and a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Orinda. After starting and chairing a Caring for Creation team at her church, Barbara was asked to co-chair the Commission for the Environment for the Diocese of California, in partnership with Rev. Canon Sally Bingham. At the request of Bishop Marc Andrus, and with help from the members of the Commission, they developed a network that includes Liaisons from over 70 churches in the diocese – supporting education, action, and legislative advocacy to reduce our carbon footprint and live more sustainably. Barbara was an Alternate Deputy to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, during which time she wrote and testified for two resolutions which were passed at the Convention: Government Policies for Environmental Stewardship; and Scientific Integrity and Environmental Policy.
Barbara holds a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University, where she focused on Policy Analysis in Health Care Organizations. She has sat on the Board of St. Dorothy’s Rest diocesan camp and retreat center, and has served on church vestry. Additional philanthropies include National Charity League; Cantare Con Vivo Education and Outreach in Oakland; and PTA.
Rabbi Marvin Goodman, Executive Director, Northern California Board of Rabbis
Marvin Goodman was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological of America in 1975. He studied at the seminary after having earned his BA from Indiana University in 1970. From 1975-1988 he was the Executive Director of the Northern California Region of the United Synagogue of America as well as the Regional United Synagogue Youth Director. During that time, he was very instrumental in the development of Camp Arazim. From 1988-2007, he was the rabbi of Peninsula Sinai Congregation, a Conservative Congregation in Foster City, California. Since 2007 he has been the Rabbi in Residence at the San Francisco based Jewish Community Federation and the Executive Director of the Northern CA Board of Rabbis. Marvin is married to Deborah Kelman and has two daughters, Rena and Naomi.
Rev. Earl Koteen, Consulting Minister for Climate Justice, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry California
Rev. Earl W. Koteen is the Consulting Minister for Climate Justice, Unitarian Universalist (UU) Legislative Ministry California. He serves on the board of UU Ministry for Earth, and is currently community minister at the Berkeley Fellowship of UUs. Before attending training at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Earl had a 30-year career in strategic planning, organizational development, and human resources. He has two adult daughters.
Fr. John Coleman, S.J., Associate Pastor, St. Ignatius Parish, USF
John A. Coleman S.J. is associate pastor at Saint Ignatius Church, San Francisco. He holds his PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He was the Charles Casassa Professor of Social Values at Loyola Marymount University from 1997 to 2009.. From 1974-1997 he was a professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkely. Among his most recent books are: John Coleman and William Ryan, eds., Globalization and Catholic Social Thought ( Orbis Press, 2005) and Christian Political Ethics ( Princeton University Press, 2007).
For the past several years, Coleman has been lecturing and writing on environmental topics. He keeps a blog at the popular national Catholic magazine “America.”
G. L. Hodge, Church Administrator, Providence Baptist Church, San Francisco
In the 1990’s, Hodge worked in business and community development, helping to open a Kmart store in Compton, California. where he interviewed and hired 70 people. After the Rodney King verdict, which rendered severe civil unrest throughout the immediate area, Hodge’s relationship with the community provided the security and personnel to operate during the crisis. This deliberate act of mitigating the disaster by maintaining store operations, promoting a sense of normalcy, and being a consistent resource of goods and services to the community before, during and after the crisis, was successfully achieved. Under the management of G. L. Hodge, the fully operational Compton Kmart became the National Guard’s Compton Command Headquarters 48 hours after the verdict.
G.L. serves on the Boards of The San Francisco Foundation FAITHS Program, The San Francisco Interfaith Council, The United Way FEMA, and the A Philip Randolph Institute Board. G. L. was a BRMA Community Member in 2010-2011. Today, Hodge consults with non-profits on facilities capabilities and disaster preparedness, as they fulfill the needs of the surrounding community and neighbors.
Yolanda Park, Environmental Justice Program Manager
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Stockton
Yolanda Park graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in English and a minor in Avian Sciences and is the Program Manager for the only Environmental Justice Program at a Catholic Charities in the nation. The Environmental Justice program addresses three priority areas: air quality, sustainable communities and health equity. According to the American Lung Association, California contains the top six out of ten cities with the worst air quality, with the Central Valley holding top spots. The EJ program engages in sustainable community strategies, prioritizing low income communities and social determinants of health such as affordable housing, access to healthy food, economic stability and access to transportation. It engages Catholic parishioners through the Church’s longstanding teaching mechanisms, its decision-making processes at the parish level, and by local staff and parish volunteers trained in Catholic Social Teaching on the Environment.
Yolanda and her family live in Stockton and attend St Bernadette’s Parish. She and her husband have three fast growing boys. She lived in South Korea for two years as an English teacher and really misses the food! Since childhood she had a great love of nature, especially birds. Yolanda also enjoys reading and writing, as well as journal making and art.
Juana Torres, Associate Director, Advancement Department, Sierra Club; Volunteer Coordinator, Pastoral Juvenil,
Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese
Juana Torres has been a part of the Sierra Club team since 2005. For over seven years she led the Club’s work on the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Campaign, a diverse coalition partnership working to preserve Southern California’s most scenic and valuable natural resource: the San Gabriel Mountains. In 2013, Juana transitioned into the organization’s Advancement Department as an Associate Director. In this role, she has raised crucial funds for the Sierra Club’s national programs with an emphasis on fundraising for clean energy work.
During her 11 years in the environmental field, Torres has focused on increasing the diversity of the Sierra Club and the environmental movement. In her volunteer work she has dedicated much of her time to building relationships with the faith communities of the greater Los Angeles area. She currently serves as a Pastoral Juvenil volunteer coordinator at the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese where she teaches the Faith and Ecology formation courses to Latino Young Adults. She is also a former youth coordinator at her parish St. Catherine of Siena in Reseda. She holds an MA in Public Policy and a BS and BA in Environmental Science and Political Science, all from California Lutheran University. In her spare time, Torres loves traveling, hiking, spending time with her 5-year old nephew and exploring the diverse restaurants and cuisines of Los Angeles.