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Community Broadband Networks Initiative

Jericho Casper — Associate Broadband Researcher

Jericho Casper is an Associate Broadband Researcher with ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Science from the University of Virginia’s Media Studies Department. Jericho believes the policies governing communications infrastructure should increase social good and well-being — rather than private political interests. Before working for ILSR, Jericho was Assistant Editor of Broadband Breakfast, a Washington D.C.-based telecommunications news outlet.

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DeAnne Cuellar — Community Broadband Outreach Team Lead

DeAnne Cuellar is a tech equity advocate and communications strategist from San Antonio, Texas. She served as Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s digital inclusion appointee to the City of San Antonio’s Innovation & Technology Committee, resulting in several policy and funding priorities to close the digital divide. As a social impact entrepreneur, she co-founded several cross-sector nonprofit initiatives, advocating for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for historically underrepresented communities.

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Tessa Eidelman – ACLS Leading Edge Fellow 

Tessa is an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Leading Edge Fellow with ILSR researching Internet access as a health imperative and the potential for telehealth services to help address health and racial inequities. Her previous research has examined issues of housing and racial segregation and the ways in which people organize to resist unjust social conditions. She holds a PhD in Community Research and Action from Vanderbilt University.

 

Emma Gautier — Contract Researcher

Emma Gautier is a Community Broadband Networks intern for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. She supports data collection and analysis within the broadband initiative. Emma recently received a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Carleton College, and since graduation has been working in research, advocacy and political organizing for social and environmental justice. She is interested in the synthesis of research and on-the-ground action in communities.

Sean Gonsalves — Senior Reporter, Editor, and Researcher

Sean Gonsalves is a a Senior Reporter, Editor, and Researcher for ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. Sean was a longtime former reporter, columnist, and news editor with the Cape Cod Times. He is also a former nationally syndicated columnist in 22 newspapers, including the Oakland Tribune, Kansas City Star and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Washington Post and the International Herald-Tribune.

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Henry Holtgeerts — Multimedia Consultant

Henry Holtgeerts is a Multimedia Production Intern with the Community Broadband Networks Initiative. With a background in broadcast engineering, filmmaking, and web development he often finds himself at the intersection of storytelling and technology. Henry believes the internet is wasted on multinational corporations, and that real innovation happens as people build networks in the places they love.

Dozmen Lee — Outreach Coordinator

Dozmen Lee is the Outreach Coordinator for ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative, helping communities and local leaders at all stages considering investment in Internet infrastructure. He was a political science major at Iowa State University and brings experience in grassroots organizations and helping build power for communities facing income disparities and adverse outcomes for youth populations.

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Maren Machles — Senior Researcher and Multimedia Producer

Maren Machles is a Senior Researcher and Multimedia Producer for ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. She has a background in investigative journalism and has spent her career digging into the finances and backgrounds of powerful political figures as well as the systemic oppression of a variety of marginalized communities. She was a recipient of the 2020 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Grand Prize Award for her work on criminal justice issues in Indian Country.

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Ry Marcattilio-McCracken — Senior Researcher

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken is a Senior Researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. He is interested in the democratizing power of technology, systems engineering, and the history of science, technology, and medicine. Previously, Ry worked as an Adjunct Professor of American History in Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Minnesota. Ry holds a PhD in American History from Oklahoma State University.

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Christopher Mitchell — Director, Community Broadband Networks Initiative

Christopher’s work focuses on telecommunications — helping communities ensure the networks upon which they depend, are accountable to the community.  He has published several reports, articles, and interviews while also offering technical assistance to communities around the country.

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Christine Parker — GIS and Data Visualization Specialist

Christine Parker is a GIS and Data Visualization Specialist with ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. Christine spent 15 years working on projects to support efforts from non-profit entities focused on bird and habitat conservation. She is interested in creating and sharing maps and images that illustrate complex information in a way that is accessible and impactful. Christine earned her PhD in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Revati Prasad — ACLS Leading Edge Fellow

Revati Prasad is an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Leading Edge Fellow with ILSR researching how Native Nations build their own broadband networks as an expression of their sovereignty, and the challenges therein. Her previous work has focused on the politics of connectivity in India and she is interested in issues of digital infrastructure, labor and media. She holds a PhD in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Composting for Community Initiative

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Linda Bilsens — Project Manager, Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders Program

Linda is the Project Manager for ILSR’s Composting for Community project and Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders community composter training program. Her role is dedicated to fostering a skilled, collaborative network of composters who are regenerating their communities, both socially and ecologically.

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Sophia Hosain Baltimore Project Lead

Sophia Hosain is the Baltimore Lead on ILSR’s Composting for Community project and Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders community composter training program. A graduate of the Neighborhood Soil Rebuilders program and part-time vegetable & flower farmer, Sophia now works in sustainability and is interested in alternative energy, permaculture and circular economies.

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Sophia Jones Intern

Sophia Jones is an Intern with ILSR’s Composting for Community project. She is passionate about sustainability at all levels and has previously worked with the United Nations, the Government of Barbados, and Plant NOVA Natives on various sustainability-related projects. She has a B.A. in Environment and Development Studies from McGill University as well as an introductory certificate in Permaculture.

Clarissa Libertelli — Intern, Composting for Community Initiative

Clarissa Libertelli is an Intern with ILSR’s Composting for Community initiative, primarily working in graphic design. She is also currently working as Graphic Design Consultant for the Montgomery County Food Council and as a freelance artist. She received her Bachelor’s at the University of Vermont in Environmental Studies and Political Science.

Brenda Platt — Director, Composting for Community Initiative

Brenda Platt directs ILSR’s Composting for Community project, which is advancing local composting in order to create jobs, enhance soils, sequester carbon, reduce waste, and build healthy communities. She has worked 35 years fighting trash burners and promoting a zero waste economy. She is nationally known for her research documenting jobs through reuse, recycling, and composting.

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Energy Democracy Initiative

Drew Birschbach — Audio Engineer

Drew Birschbach is a former Energy Democracy Intern working as an audio engineer on the Local Energy Rules podcast. They are studying Professional Journalism with minors in Sustainability Studies, Information Technology and Computer Science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

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John Farrell — Co-Director of ILSR & Director, Energy Democracy Initiative

John Farrell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its work on energy democracy. John is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy.

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Katie Kienbaum — Senior Researcher

Katie Kienbaum is a Senior Researcher with ILSR’s Energy Democracy initiative, where she researches and writes about equitable and decentralized clean energy and its impact on communities across the country. Before joining the Energy Democracy initiative, she was a Research Associate with the Community Broadband Networks initiative

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Maria McCoy — Research Associate

Maria McCoy is a Research Associate on the Energy Democracy initiative, where she contributes to blog posts, podcasts, video content, and interactive features. Her research focuses on how communities can transition to clean, decentralized energy systems that are both equitable and economically viable.

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Independent Business Initiative

Luke Gannon Intern

Luke recently received a BA in journalism, creative writing, and ethnography from Hampshire College. She wrote, designed, and edited a magazine titled The Politics of Land in Teton Valley, ID that analyzed the environmental, economic, and social patterns of the region amidst Covid-19. Additionally, Luke enjoys podcasting and is currently writing and producing her own content. Growing up in Driggs, ID, Luke experienced the devastation that local businesses face and wants to improve the economic stability of rural America.

Susan Holmberg Senior Researcher and Editor

Susan Holmberg is Senior Editor and Researcher on the Independent Business team. She shapes the strategic direction of the initiative’s research and manages the publication process for all team content. She writes on corporate power, small business, inequality, and systemic racism. She has been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, The Nation, and Democracy Journal. Susan holds a Ph.D. in economics from UMass, Amherst.

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Ron Knox — Senior Researcher and Writer

Ron Knox is a Senior Researcher and Writer for ILSR’s Independent Business Initiative. A combined storyteller and antitrust expert, Ron is building our deep bench of reporting and research on the ways extreme corporate concentration has come to dominate and damage industries throughout the economy. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Slate, The American Prospect and elsewhere. He is based in Kansas City.

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Katy Milani — Senior Policy Advocate 

Katy is the Senior Policy Advocate for ILSR’s independent business program where she works closely with coalition partners and policymakers on antimonopoly and small business policy and advocacy. Previously she was Director of Advocacy and Policy at the Roosevelt Institute where she led strategic engagement with allies, partner organizations, and elected officials on a range of corporate power policy areas, including banking reform and corporate governance.

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Stacy Mitchell — Co-Director of ILSR & Director, Independent Business Initiative

Stacy is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative to decentralize economic power and level the playing field for independent businesses. She has produced many influential reports and articles, designed local and federal policies, and collaborated to build effective coalitions and campaigns.

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Kennedy Smith — Senior Researcher

Kennedy Smith is a Senior Researcher with ILSR’s Independent Business initiative. Kennedy is one of the nation’s foremost experts on commercial district revitalization and independent business development. Her work focuses on analyzing the factors threatening independent businesses and developing policy tools that communities can use to address these issues and build thriving, equitable local economies.

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Mary Timmel — Small Business and Consumer Organizer

Mary Timmel is Small Business and Consumer Organizer for ILSR’s Independent Business initiative, where she supports and develops the leadership of small businesses and consumers to win policy changes that check Amazon’s outsized power and address rising corporate concentration across the economy. Since joining ILSR, Mary helped launch Small Business Rising — a coalition of over 20 organizations representing more than 150,000 independent businesses that fights to level the playing field for small business.

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Waste to Wealth Initiative

Neil Seldman

Neil Seldman — Director, Waste to Wealth Initiative

Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and is Director of the Waste to Wealth Initiative. Seldman is a leading recycling and zero waste activists assisting citizen, environmental and small business organizations in stopping garbage incinerators in scores of US cities. Subsequently, he works with these cities to increase recovery of materials from the waste stream and grow the local economy by adding value to materials through local processing, manufacturing and job creation. Prior to founding ILSR Seldman was a manufacturer of consumer products and professor of political science.

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Communications, Development, and Operations

David Morris

David Morris — Distinguished Fellow

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR’s distinguished fellow. He writes the blog, From the Desk of David Morris. He has served as an adviser or consultant to local, state and national governments and to private businesses large and small.

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Jess Del Fiacco — Communications Manager

Jess Del Fiacco is the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Communications Manager. In this role, she works closely with program staff to develop and implement communications strategy that supports ILSR’s mission. She promotes ILSR’s work through the organization’s newsletters, website, social media, events, and more. Jess also hosts ILSR’s Building Local Power podcast.

Contact Jess for media inquiries.

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Virgil McDill — Communications Director

Virgil McDill has more than 20 years of experience developing and executing media campaigns for government and non-profit organizations. Before joining ILSR in 2020, Virgil served as Associate Director of Public Affairs at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where he led key national media campaigns focused on saving historic places and revitalizing communities.

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John Bailey — Development Director

John is the Director of Development and is responsible for coordinating fundraising and related outreach for ILSR. He was a senior researcher at ILSR from 1992 until 2011, specializing in decentralized energy policy and analysis including topics of renewable energy, climate change, efficiency, tax policy and electric vehicles.

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India Gorden — Operations Director

India Gorden is the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Operations Director. India has managed day-to-day office operations for non-profit organizations since 2003 and maintains her professional relationship with various vendors. Her focus is in office management, finance and general human resources.

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Executive Directors

Stacy Mitchell — Co-Director of ILSR & Director, Independent Business Initiative

Stacy is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative to decentralize economic power and level the playing field for independent businesses. She has produced many influential reports and articles, designed local and federal policies, and collaborated to build effective coalitions and campaigns.

Full BioContactRecent Posts – Twitter

John Farrell — Co-Director of ILSR & Director, Energy Democracy Initiative

John Farrell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its work on energy democracy. John is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy.

Full BioContactRecent Posts – Twitter

 

Board of Directors

NoraGoldsteinNora Goldstein

Nora Goldstein is the Editor of BioCycle, the magazine and website authority on composting and anaerobic digestion, where she oversees such projects as “www.findacomposter.com” and manages conferences related to composting and zero waste. She received the U.S. Composting Council’s “Hi Kellogg Award” in January 2014, and the American Biogas Council’s “Biogas Visionary Award” in October 2013.

JolieJonesJolie Jones

Jolie Jones is the founder of the Take It Back Foundation, which has worked to encourage recycling efforts.  Her varied career spans art, modeling, and music.

Chris-LewisChris Lewis

Christopher Lewis is President at Public Knowledge. Prior to joining Public Knowledge in 2012, Chris served at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs and advised the FCC Chair on legislative and political strategy. He is a former U.S. Senate staffer for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and has over a decade of organizing and campaign experience. Chris graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelors degree in Government. He lives in Alexandria, VA where he loves working on local civic issues and is elected to the Alexandria City Public School Board.

KirkMarckwaldKirk Marckwald

Kirk Marckwald, the Chairman of the Board, helms California Environmental Associates, a consulting firm that works with a wide range of businesses, nonprofits, foundations, and public institutions to promote conservation. Marckwald has extensive experience with energy and environmental regulation, and prior to founding CEA in 1984, worked as the Under Secretary of California’s Natural Resources Agency, and as a consultant with the Environmental Defense Fund.

David MorrisDavid Morris

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and currently ILSR’s distinguished fellow. He writes the blog, From the Desk of David Morris. He has served as an adviser or consultant to local, state and national governments and to private businesses large and small.

RoyPriestPhotoRoy Priest

Roy Priest is a Commissioner on the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (Md.) and retired Executive Director and CEO of the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority in Alexandria, Va.  Priest has worked in community economic development and finance over his 50-year career, and prior to his current position, served seven years as the President and CEO of the National Congress for Community Economic Development, and 17 years with the U.S. Department for Housing and Urban Development, including as the Director of the Office of Economic Development.

AndyReicher

Andrew Reicher

Andrew Reicher is Executive Director of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board, where he started in 1978 and which he has led since 1981. Over his tenure, UHAB’s base of tenant-run and tenant-owned housing cooperatives has grown from several dozen to more than 1,500 in New York City and beyond. He is the 2003 recipient of the National Association of Housing Cooperatives’ highest honor, the “Jerry Voorhis Award.”

Photo credit: Carol J. Ott

Gina Schaefer

Gina Schaefer is the Founder and CEO of 13 Ace Hardware stores in and around Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md. She and her husband employee more than 250 people and have formed an ESOP to begin transitioning ownership of the company to their teammates.

She serves on the Board of Directors of CCA Global Partners.

Neil SeldmanNeil Seldman

Neil Seldman, Ph.D., co-founded the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and is Director of the Waste to Wealth Initiative. Seldman is a leading recycling and zero waste activists assisting citizen, environmental and small business organizations in stopping garbage incinerators in scores of US cities. Subsequently, he works with these cities to increase recovery of materials from the waste stream and grow the local economy by adding value to materials through local processing, manufacturing and job creation. Prior to founding ILSR, Seldman was a manufacturer of consumer products and professor of political science.

 

To reach ILSR staff members not listing an address, please e-mail info@ilsr.org