Board of Directors & Coordinating Council | Staff

Board of Directors and Coordinating Council

Gail Nordheim
Board President, Coordinating Council Member

Gail serves as President of the 350 Madison Board of Directors, as well as Fundraising Team Lead. She joined 350 Madison in 2016. She strongly believes that fighting for the climate is the most important thing one can do.

Gail held management positions in state and local government and has worked as a management consultant. In her free time, she enjoys reading, bread baking, hiking, Pilates, and being with her three grandchildren.


Tanace Matthiesen
Board Vice President, Coordinating Council Member

Tanace joined 350 Madison in August of 2019 and is now Board Vice President. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Tanace has lived in Madison since 1977. She has degrees in both Geography and Planning from the UW. Tanace spent her career working in a number of different capacities for the State of Wisconsin, including as a budget analyst for the DNR, a planner at the Coastal Zone Management program at the DOA, and a manager for the eminent domain activities at the DOT. Recently retired, she loves camping, traveling, reading, cooking, spending time with her three children and two grandchildren, and learning how to quilt and draw!


Bill Backes
Board Treasurer

Bill has been involved with 350 Madison since early 2017 and became treasurer the summer of 2017. He is very passionate about climatology and climate change’s impacts on people and mother earth. He is married to Diane, and they have three adult children and two grandchildren. He worked in Respiratory Therapy at UW Hospital for more than 40 years and retired the summer of 2016. He has been very involved with the AFSCME since 1978. He is currently financial manager for AFSCME Local 1942, a delegate to the South Central Federation of Labor, and active with AFSCME retirees. Bill is also on the board of the Wisconsin Coalition of Annuitants where he represents AFSCME state retirees. He is on two church committees, including the Care of Creation Team. This team emphasizes and has studied Pope Francis’s Laudato si’ encyclical. Bill’s faith is a driving force for his environmental and social activism. He volunteers at Schulte Garden, which is part of the Madison Area Food Pantry Gardens. He enjoys walking, gardening, traveling, playing cards (especially Sheepshead), and of course family.


Lili Behm
At-Large Board Member

Lili joined 350 Madison in July 2020. She is an attorney who represents employees in employment discrimination and worker’s compensation matters. She moved back to Madison in 2019 to work at Hawks Quindel, S.C., and wanted to become involved in the fight against climate change and environmental injustice.

Lili graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 2012, where she studied history and German; she received her law degree from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in 2015. A proud native Wisconsinite, Lili spends her free time reading, hiking, running, writing, and exploring Wisconsin’s wilderness and public lands.


Phyllis Hasbrouck
Coordinating Council Member

Phyllis joined 350 Madison in 2013 and came on staff as community organizer in 2016. She has been organizing for the environment, peace, and justice since 1974 and doesn’t plan to stop. She is the past director of Fitchburg Fields and the West Waubesa Preservation Coalition, and feels that there is no cause more important than preserving a livable climate. As the Tar Sands Team Lead, she loves meeting and supporting people in frontline communities who are threatened by oil pipelines. Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, dancing, and learning foreign languages.


Kermit Hovey
Board Secretary, Coordinating Council Member

Kermit serves as Board Secretary, Coordinating Council member, Community Climate Solutions (CCST) Team Co-Lead, and CCST Middleton Community Working Group Lead. Kermit’s life work has expressed his Christian faith through building up and sustaining not only the church, but the disadvantaged, as well as the environment (creation) for as long as he can remember. That triple focus converged in 2012 when he became overwhelmingly convinced of society’s failure to sustain a livable climate. In joining the then new Madison chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and 350.org, he began a long journey of varied action, advocacy, and effort. From protesting in the streets to lobbying in legislators’ offices, from the state capitol to the U.S. capitol, from public hearings in city halls to testimony in federal administrative meeting rooms, he has advocated for climate action. From coordinating efforts to pass the Middleton Climate Referendum to helping convene secular and faith-based climate events, campaigns, and conferences, he has mobilized, directed, and educated climate advocates. He is grateful for all the individuals and organizations he has had the privilege of leading, collaborating with, and working for in this effort to protect the climate from the ravages of human-caused global warming. In free-time, squeezed too often in-between meetings, he especially enjoys reading, writing, and biking. Kermit perseveres with the ever appreciated support of his wife, Diana, and three adult children: Christine, Joseph, and Cyndi.


Seth Jensen
Board Member, Coordinating Council Member

Seth has participated in a number of campaigns for climate justice, including the White House sit-ins to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, the follow-up Pledge of Resistance, and related actions combating fossil fuel extraction. A thriving massage therapy practice kept Seth busy until COVID-19 came to Wisconsin. He looks forward to returning to bodywork when the time is right. Meanwhile, he draws inspiration from the examples of feminists like Alice Paul, Angela Davis, and Flo Kennedy.


Kelly Kearns
Coordinating Council Member

Kelly became more involved with 350 Madison after riding in the three-bus caravan to the People’s Climate March in New York City in 2014. She represents the Monthly Meeting Team on the Coordinating Council. Kelly is a botanist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, coordinating work on invasive plants. She does other social justice and community work, mostly through the James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation. She spends her free time growing vegetables and exploring natural areas.


Kurt Kimber
At-Large Board Member

Kurt has been actively involved with MN350 since 2011 and wants to leverage some of that experience for 350 Madison. He believes that climate change is an existential threat to the biosphere and that civilization needs to radically change to come into sync with the natural world, our home, and do so in a racially just manner. In addition to climate justice activism, Kurt (who lives in Minneapolis with his partner Angie) runs his family’s farm, aspiring to grow plant-based food for local consumption and to have the farm become part of a growing, flourishing local food web.


Emily Park
Board Member, Coordinating Council Member

Emily joined 350 Madison in January 2019. She moved to Madison in 2015 and wanted to get involved in a local group that was committed to fighting for climate justice. She represents the Communication Action Team on the Coordinating Council (CC) and is one of the CC reps to the Board. Emily is also involved with the Divest & Defund Team and has participated in multiple actions, including two acts of civil disobedience. Emily works as an industry analyst for a company in Cleveland and writes reports on trends in chemical industries. Before moving to Madison, she lived in Cleveland, OH, and St. Louis, MO. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 with degrees in Earth & Planetary Science and Environmental Studies. Emily grew up in Boise, ID. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, knitting, crafting, gardening, hiking, playing needlessly complicated board games, and talking to her cats.


Staff

Nikki Darga
Volunteer Coordinator

Nikki is the Volunteer Coordinator at 350 Madison. Nikki comes to 350 with experience coordinating volunteers for a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Henry Vilas Zoo, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, and the Dane County Humane Society. While at the Henry Vilas Zoo and Habitat for Humanity, Nikki also discovered a love of working with youth and has experience creating and running new teen programs that focus on career skills, professional development, and introducing young people to careers in the field of nonprofit management and environmental stewardship. Nikki has always had a deep love for animals and wildlife and spends her free moments spending time with her wide variety of pets. She also likes to spend time with other people’s pets and is a certified professional dog trainer. Her other hobbies include reading, learning new things, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with her friends.


Phyllis Hasbrouck Community Organizer

Phyllis joined 350 Madison in 2013 and came on staff as community organizer in 2016. She has been organizing for the environment, peace, and justice since 1974 and doesn’t plan to stop. She is the past director of Fitchburg Fields and the West Waubesa Preservation Coalition, and feels that there is no cause more important than preserving a livable climate. As the Tar Sands Team Lead, she loves meeting and supporting people in frontline communities who are threatened by oil pipelines. Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, dancing, and learning foreign languages.


Stephanie Robinson
Development Director

Stephanie is 350 Madison’s Development Director and manages our fundraising campaigns, events, and grant-writing programs. Stephanie began her career as an environmental planner, directing air quality, transportation, and planning projects for local governments, regional agencies, transportation authorities, and utilities. Stephanie received a master’s degree in City Planning with a Resource Management concentration from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Government from Cornell University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. In her spare time, Stephanie loves spending time with her family, reading, gardening, hiking, and doing crossword puzzles.