Board of Directors

2022

Previous Boards listed below.  Organizations for identification only.

Rabbi Nathan Martin — President
he/him

Rabbi Nathan Martin serves as the Associate Rabbi at Congregation Beth Israel in Media and is currently serving as President of the board of PA IPL. Prior to his pursuing the rabbinate, Nathan worked for nearly a decade in the field of energy efficiency research in California at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  He has sought out ways to integrate his passion for environmental sustainability into his rabbinate including participating in the Greenfaith fellowship program, offering teaching around the intersection of Judaism and the environment at various conferences, and his ongoing work for PA IPL. Nathan feels that his best stewardship work is done in collaboration with other religiously minded climate activists and is thrilled to put his energies to the important work of the PA IPL Board.
short bio
PA IPL cyclist profiles 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022

Dr. Melinda Krokus — Vice President
she/they

Dr. Melinda Krokus has been on the Board of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light since 2018 and currently serves as Vice President. She is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Marywood University (Scranton, PA), where she is also Chair of the Environmental Studies program. Her scholarly work has taken her to Turkey, the Balkans, South Africa, Mauritius, and across Europe, where she has seen the effects of climate change first hand intersecting with war and its aftermath as well as political and social unrest. Inspired by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Sallie McFague, and the Dalai Lama at a 1991 conference called Spirit and Nature, Melinda went on to study conservation ecology and religious traditions of the world at Prescott College, Harvard Divinity School, and Boston University spending several years working for the Forum on Religion and Ecology. As a Muslim, she has been a student of Shaykh Taner Ansari of the Qadiri Rifa’i Sufi order since 1994 and currently serves on the Board of the Islamic Center of Scranton. She has witnessed the devastating loss of adequate habitat and biodiversity on this planet take place within a clear and scientific context that increasingly understands the anthropogenic nature of our collective climate reality. She has chosen to work with PAIPL because she believes that in order to make the shift toward a planet of flourishing habitat, biodiversity, and justice, a morality driven by love and knowledge is necessary.
short bio

Bill Cozzens — Treasurer
he/him

Bill Cozzens is a member of Germantown Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in Philadelphia, and has been an active member of the Philadelphia chapter of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light for four years. Bill is married to Carla Price Childs. They are long term residents of the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. They are parents of 3 grown children and now two granddaughters.
Bill was born in New Jersey and spent most of his youth in Texas. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Political Science and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Bill is now retired. While working his career included technical and management positions in state government, technology companies and management and policy consulting. For the last 20 years Bill worked as a consultant and project manager for several electric and gas utilities, primarily in the information technology arena. It was during this period that Bill became aware of and concerned about the issue of fossil-fuel based greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
In retirement Bill has been active with several environmental and energy-focused groups in addition to PA-IPL. He is clerk of the Environmental Concerns Committee of Germantown Friends. He participates in the Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) PECO campaign. He is a member of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) General Committee representing Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. He has lobbied in Washington DC and Harrisburg on environmental and climate issues with other Quakers, with Penn Environment, Penn Future and Clean Water Action. He has testified at EPA public hearings on the Clean Power Plan and Car and Light Truck Fuel Efficiency Standards.
As a member of the PA IPL Board Bill will work to maximize the reach and effectiveness of our congregations and individual members’ faith-based advocacy for sane environmental policies, including rapid transition from fossil fuels. As Treasurer, Bill will ensure that the organization’s funds are responsibly managed and accurately accounted.
short bio
PA IPL cyclist profiles 2019, 2021, 2022

Sr. Donna Korba, IHM — Secretary
she/her

Sr. Donna Korba is a member of the Congregation of the
Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
She holds a BA in Art Education and MA in Studio
Art from Marywood University. Donna taught in
various high schools in Pennsylvania and New
Jersey.
She served as missionary in Chichicastenango,
Guatemala where she lived and worked alongside
the Quiche’ indigenous people for twelve years, and
presently serves as the Director of the Office of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation for the IHM Sisters.
She chairs the congregation’s JPIC and EarthCARE Committees, serves on the OSP/IHM Healing Racism Committee, and is involved in various collaborative justice endeavors with Marywood University and in the wider Scranton area. She accompanies the Latino Community at John Neumann Parish in Scranton.
Donna is a member of the planning committee for the National Justice Conference of Women Religious and is a board member of the canadian non-profit, Together Education Works, which collaborates with education in Guatemala.
short bio

Phyllis Blumberg, Ph.D.
she/her

After a long academic career as a professor, faculty coach, and administrator, Phyllis Blumberg now devotes full time to advocating for reducing the effects of the climate crisis and helping people understand how climate change is affecting them. She uses her expertise in organizing people, researching complex topics, and presenting to help citizens and policy makers to enact effective climate solutions.

She is active in many environmental organizations that are working at the local, state, and national levels and helps connect people to resources from these organizations.

Phyllis has been on the PA IPL board for one year where she

  • runs a monthly informational webinar for PA-IPL with the aim of educating others and helping them learn to advocate through letter writing and presentations,
  • helped to organize the Philadelphia section of the 2022 Annual Conference,
  • engaged with the National IPL in get out the vote efforts,
  • presented at the Main Line chapter meeting on countering climate misinformation in conversations.

Phyllis believes approaching climate change from a moral perspective is important because Judaism’s central values, as expressed in sacred writings, rituals, and ethics, are to increase the quality of life and make the world better in every act that we do. Thus, I, as a Jew must grapple with climate change. Jews believe in Creation as an ongoing process. God renews the act of creation every day. So too, I must be an active participant in the work of Creation. by protecting the fragile natural world in which we live. (Inspired by contemporary Rabbis Yitz Greenberg and  Rabbi Art Green).

Kelly Yagatich Burns
she/her

Kelly Yagatich Burns has been on the board of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light (PA IPL) since November of 2021, and she currently serves as the board secretary. Kelly brings to the board 5 years of professional experience in the non-profit advocacy sector working on a variety of campaigns to improve air quality, halt fossil fuel development, and promote sustainable employment in Pennsylvania and the broader Ohio River Valley region. She has bachelor’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in both economics and urban studies and has a minor in English literature. As a catholic, Kelly has always approached her environmental advocacy work through a moral lens – preserving clean air for her neighbors to breathe, clean water for them to drink, and a livable planet for future generations is a moral imperative, not just a passion project. Kelly is honored to be part of the PA IPL community where folks from all faith backgrounds can come together to align on their shared care of creation and to sound a moral alarm against the injustices of environmental degradation. Kelly is a lifelong resident of southwest Pennsylvania and cares deeply about her home and community. She and her husband currently reside just east of Pittsburgh and are members of St Mary Magdalene Parish. At the parish, Kelly is a cantor and member of the choir.

Patricia M. DeMarco, Ph.D.
she/her

Patricia M. DeMarco is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. with a doctorate in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. She has spent her fifty-year career in energy and environmental policy in both private and public sector positions. She served as Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association (2006-2011) and as Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University where she holds an appointment as Senior Scholar and Adjunct Faculty (2011-present). She holds the position of Vice President of the Forest Hills Borough Council and sits on the Board of Trustees for Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and for The Allegheny Land Trust.

George Dempsie
he/him

George Dempsie is a retired early childhood/elementary teacher who spent most of his career in the State College Area School District. While in the classroom, George spent his time and energy encouraging his young students to recycle and respect the environment. He is a frequent environmental editorial contributor to his local newspapers in the Central PA area. In his free time, George enjoys gardening at his home in rural Huntingdon County. He is also active with other local PA IPL members in helping to eradicate many of the invasive species at Detwiler Park in Huntingdon. He enjoys helping to coordinate many of the Spiritual Care events held by PA IPL.
PA IPL cyclist profiles 2021, 2022

Dee Kochirka
she/her

Dee Kochirka is a registered nurse with over 30 years experience in healthcare, her passion is helping others to heal holistically. She believes this is particularly challenging due to the toxic environment we face today. A member of an organic community, BallField Farm, she sees food as medicine. As vice president of the Izaak Walton League Association of Allegheny County she is active in planting trees and blueberry bushes in urban minority communities. Efforts to restore natural habitats is another priority. Dee teaches the public on the harmful effects of plastics and fracking through presentations at libraries, AARP groups, schools, clubs and churches. Collaborating with Green New Deal of SWPA she stresses that there cannot be environmental justice without social justice. Dee hopes to expand PA IPL’s chapter in Southwestern PA.
short bio
PA IPL cyclist profiles 2021, 2022

2021

Previous Boards listed below.  Organizations for identification only. Year in parentheses is the last year of that member’s current Board term.

  • Rabbi Nathan Martin (2022) — President
    Congregation Beth Israel, Media
    short bio
    PA IPL cyclist profiles 2018, 2019, 2021
  • Dr. Melinda Krokus (2021) — Vice President
    Ansari Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order
    and the Islamic Center of Scranton
    Scranton
    short bio
  • Bill Cozzens (2021) — Treasurer
    Germantown Friends’ Meeting, Philadelphia
    Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
    short bio
    PA IPL cyclist profile 2019
  • Sr. Donna Korba, IHM (2022) — Secretary
    Congregation of the Sisters, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton
    member of the planning committee, National Justice Conference of Women Religious
    short bio
  • George Dempsie (2021)
    St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, McAlevy’s Fort (Petersburg)
    short bio
  • Wanda Guthrie (2021)
    Pittsburgh Friends’ Meeting
    GreenFaith Fellow
    Board Member of the Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh
    short bio
  • Greg Williams  (2021)
    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Altoona
    bio
  • Eric Sauder (2022)
    East Chestnut St. Mennonite Church, Lancaster
    Regenerate Lancaster
    short bio
    PA IPL cyclist profile 2015
  • Dee Kochirka (2023)
    Vice president of the Izaak Walton League Association of Allegheny County and Registered Nurse (RN)
    short bio

2020

Previous Boards listed below.  Organizations for identification only. Year in parentheses is the last year of that member’s current Board term.

Group photo from the 2019 Board working retreat
  • Rev. Barbara Ballenger (2021)—President
    Associate for Spiritual Formation and Care
    Church of St. Martin in the Fields (Episcopal), Philadelphia
    blog profile piece, 2016 Faith Climate Action Week sermon
  • Rabbi Nathan Martin (2020) — Vice President
    Congregation Beth Israel, Media
    short bio
    PA IPL cyclist profiles 2018, 2019
  • Bill Cozzens (2021)— Treasurer
    Germantown Friends’ Meeting, Philadelphia
    Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
    short bio
    PA IPL cyclist profile 2019
  • Dr. Melinda Krokus (2021)— Secretary
    Ansari Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order
    and the Islamic Center of Scranton
    Scranton
    short bio
  • George Dempsie (2020)
    St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, McAlevy’s Fort (Petersburg)
    short bio
  • Wanda Guthrie (2020)
    Pittsburgh Friends’ Meeting
    GreenFaith Fellow
    Board Member of the Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh
    short bio
  • Marali Kalra (2020)
    Third Way Collective, The Pennsylvania State University
    short bio
    PA IPL cyclist profiles 2017, 2019
  • Sr. Donna Korba, IHM (2022)
    Congregation of the Sisters, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton
    member of the planning committee, National Justice Conference of Women Religious
    short bio
  • Dr. Alexandria Poole (2022)
    Spiritual unaffiliated
    Elizabethtown, PA
    short bio
  • Eric Sauder (2022)
    East Chestnut St. Mennonite Church, Lancaster
    Regenerate Lancaster
    short bio
    PA IPL cyclist profile 2015
  • Greg Williams  (2021)
    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Altoona
    blog profile piece

2019

Previous Boards listed below.  Organizations for identification only

group photo from the 2018 Board working retreat
  • Greg Williams —President
    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Altoona
    blog profile piece
  • Barbara Ballenger —Vice President
    Associate for Spiritual Formation and Care
    Church of St. Martin in the Fields (Episcopal), Philadelphia
    blog profile piece, 2016 Faith Climate Action Week sermon
  • Bill Cozzens— Treasurer
    Germantown Friends’ Meeting, Philadelphia
    Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
    short bio
  • Rabbi Nathan Martin — Secretary
    Congregation Beth Israel, Media
    short bio
  • Rev. John Creasy
    Associate founding pastor, Open Door Pittsburgh
    Manager, Garfield Farm
    short bio
  • George Dempsie
    St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, McAlevy’s Fort (Petersburg)
    short bio
  • Wanda Guthrie
    Pittsburgh Friends’ Meeting
    GreenFaith Fellow
    Board Member of the Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh
    short bio
  • Melinda Krokus
    Ansari Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order
    Scranton
    short bio
  • Bill Lochstet
    Wisdom Table at St. Peter’s (UCC), Lancaster
    Green Justice Ministry Team, Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
    blog profile piece
  • Behzad Zandieh
    Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Harrisburg
    blog profile piece

2018

(Previous Boards listed below.  Organizations for identification only)

  • Greg Williams —President
    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Altoona
    blog profile piece
  • Barbara Ballenger —Vice President
    Associate for Spiritual Formation and Care
    Church of St. Martin in the Fields (Episcopal), Philadelphia
    blog profile piece, 2016 Faith Climate Action Week sermon
  • Chuck Marshall — Treasurer
    Central Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches USA), Wayne
    blog profile piece
  • Rabbi Nathan Martin — Secretary
    Congregation Beth Israel, Media
    short bio
  • Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel
    The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, State College
    short bio
  • Rev. John Creasy
    Associate founding pastor, Open Door Pittsburgh
    Manager, Garfield Farm
    short bio
  • George Dempsie
    St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, McAlevy’s Fort (Petersburg)
    short bio
  • Wanda Guthrie
    Pittsburgh Friends’ Meeting
    GreenFaith Fellow
    Board Member of the Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh
    short bio
  • Bill Lochstet
    Wisdom Table at St. Peter’s (UCC), Lancaster
    Green Justice Ministry Team, Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
    blog profile piece
  • Behzad Zandieh
    Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Harrisburg
    blog profile piece

2017

img_2804
August 2017 working Board retreat

  • Rabbi Daniel Swartz —President
    Temple Hesed (Union for Reform Judaism), Scranton
    blog pieces, including personal reflection,  OpEd reprints, and testimony
  • Rev. Doug Hunt —Vice President
    (ordained UCC, retired)
    member: Main Line Unitarian Church, Devon
    sermon given to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Pottstown, 2014
  • Barbara Ballenger —Secretary
    Associate for Spiritual Formation and Care
    Church of St. Martin in the Fields (Episcopal), Philadelphia
    blog profile piece, 2016 Faith Climate Action Week sermon
  • Rev. John Creasy
    Associate founding pastor, Open Door Pittsburgh
    Manager, Garfield Farm
    short bio
  • Barbara Giovagnioli
    member, Diocese of Scranton
    short bio
  • Wanda Guthrie
    Pittsburgh Friends’ Meeting
    GreenFaith Fellow
    Board Member of the Thomas Merton Center, Pittsburgh
    short bio
  • Bill Lochstet
    Wisdom Table at St. Peter’s (UCC), Lancaster
    Green Justice Ministry Team, Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
    blog profile piece
  • Chuck Marshall
    Central Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches USA), Wayne
    blog profile piece
  • Rev. Paul Metzloff
    Holy Trinity Church (ELCA), Kingston
    GreenFaith Fellow
    testimony to the DEP
  • Greg Williams
    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Altoona
    blog profile piece
  • Peter Winslow
    P’Nai Or Congregation, Philadelphia
    blog profile piece
  • Behzad Zandieh
    Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Harrisburg
    blog profile piece

2015-2016

  • Rabbi Daniel Swartz —President
    Temple Hesed (Union for Reform Judaism), Scranton
  • Rev. Doug Hunt —Vice President
    (ordained UCC, retired)
    member: Main Line Unitarian Church, Devon
  • Barbara Ballenger —Secretary
    Associate for Spiritual Formation and Care
    Church of St. Martin in the Fields (Episcopal), Philadelphia
    blog profile piece, 2016 Faith Climate Action Week sermon
  • Barbara Donnini
    St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Norristown
    Villanova
    blog profile piece
  • Bill Lochstet
    Wisdom Table at St. Peter’s (UCC), Lancaster
    Green Justice Ministry Team, Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
    blog profile piece
  • Rachel Mark
    Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
    Religion and Society Center, Harrisburg, and Interfaith Coalition on the Environment
    blog profile piece
  • Chuck Marshall
    Central Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches USA), Wayne
    blog profile piece
  • Rev. Paul Metzloff
    Holy Trinity Church (ELCA), Kingston
    GreenFaith Fellow
    testimony to the DEP
  • Greg Williams
    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Altoona
    blog profile piece
  • Peter Winslow
    P’Nai Or Congregation, Philadelphia
    blog profile piece
  • Behzad Zandieh
    Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Harrisburg
  • Sr. Donna Zwigart, OSF
    Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, Mt. Alvernia, Millvale
    (through August 2016, when she was moved to a new position in upstate New York)
    testimony to the EPA: July 2014, September 2015

2014-2015

  • Rabbi Daniel Swartz —President
    Temple Hesed (Union for Reform Judaism), Scranton
  • Rev. Doug Hunt —Vice President
    (ordained UCC, retired)
    member: Main Line Unitarian Church, Devon
  • Barbara Donnini —Treasurer
    St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Norristown
    Villanova
  • Rachel Mark — Secretary
    Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
    Religion and Society Center, Harrisburg, and Interfaith Coalition on the Environment
  • Rev. Cheryl Pyrch —co-chair, Philadelphia PA IPL
    Summit Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
  • Bill Lochstet
    Wisdom Table at St. Peter’s (UCC), Lancaster
    Green Justice Ministry Team, Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
  • Chuck Marshall
    Central Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches USA), Wayne
  • Rev. Amy Reumann
    Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (ELCA)
    GreenFaith Fellow
  • John Roe
    State College Presbyterian Church, State College
    GreenFaith Fellow
  • Peter Winslow
    P’Nai Or Congregation, Philadelphia
  • Behzad Zandieh
    Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Harrisburg
  • Sr. Donna Zwigart, OSF
    Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, Mt. Alvernia, Millvale

2013-2014

First fiscal year with our own 501c3 status.

  • Rabbi Daniel Swartz —President
    Temple Hesed (Union for Reform Judaism), Scranton
  • Rev. Doug Hunt —Vice President
    (ordained UCC, retired)
    member: Main Line Unitarian Church, Devon
  • Barbara Donnini —Treasurer
    St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Norristown
    Villanova
    began in April 2014 by unanimous decision of the Board, formally elected October 2014
  • Rachel Mark — Secretary
    Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
    Religion and Society Center, Harrisburg, and Interfaith Coalition on the Environment
  • John Bechtel
    Tree of Life Lutheran (ELCA), Harrisburg
  • Rev. Cheryl Pyrch —co-chair, Philadelphia PA IPL
    Summit Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
  • Bill Lochstet
    Wisdom Table at St. Peter’s (UCC), Lancaster
    Green Justice Ministry Team, Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ
  • Chuck Marshall
    Central Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches USA), Wayne
  • Sylvia Neely (Acting Treasurer through April 2014)
    University Baptist and Brethren Church, State College
  • Rev. Amy Reumann
    Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (ELCA)
    GreenFaith Fellow
  • John Roe
    State College Presbyterian Church, State College
    GreenFaith Fellow
  • Behzad Zandieh
    Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Harrisburg

2012-2013

Fiscally sponsored as a project of the Religion and Society Center, Harrisburg

  • Rev. Bill Thwing — President
    St. Paul’s (UCC), Johnstown
  • Rabbi Daniel Swartz —Vice President
    Temple Hesed (Union for Reform Judaism), Scranton
  • John Roe — Treasurer
    Calvary Baptist Church, State College
    GreenFaith Fellow
  • Sylvia Neely —Secretary
    University Baptist and Brethren Church, State College
  • Christine Brotherson
    Sustainability Initiatives Through Campus Ministries, Erie
    (Roman Catholic)
  • Krista Showalter Ehst
    Bally Mennonite Church, Bally  (MDiv thesis)
  • Rachel Mark
    Unitarian Church of Harrisburg
    Religion and Society Center, Harrisburg, and Interfaith Coalition on the Environment
  • Chuck Marshall
    Central Baptist Church (American Baptist Churches USA), Wayne
  • Rev. Daishin Eric McCabe
    Mt. Equity Zendo (Soto Zen Buddhist)
  • Rev. Cheryl Pyrch —co-chair, Philadelphia PA IPL
    Summit Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia
  • Rev. Amy Reumann
    Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania (ELCA)
  • Behzad Zandieh
    Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Harrisburg

2010-2012

Fiscally sponsored as a project of the Religion and Society Center, Harrisburg.  Steering Committees included: 

Sylvia Neely

Jon Brockopp

Joy Bergey

Peter Dugas

Rachel Mark

Chuck Marshall

Rev. Jane Ellen Nickell

Rev. Cheryl Pyrch

Jay Searles

Bill Sharp

Rabbi Daniel Swartz

Rev. Bill Thwing