Mike Tidwell, Executive Director

Mike Tidwell is founder and director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming in Maryland, Virginia, DC, and West Virginia.

Under Tidwell’s leadership, CCAN has helped pass landmark clean-energy legislation in Maryland and the District of Columbia; blocked coal and oil development plans in Virginia; and worked with groups nationwide to push for a fair and effective carbon cap policy on Capitol Hill.

Tidwell is also an author and filmmaker whose books include The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Race to Save America’s Coastal Cities. Tidwell’s documentary film – “We Are All Smith Islanders” – vividly depicts the dangers of global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. Tidwell has received numerous awards for his advocacy work, including the Audubon Naturalist Society’s prestigious “Conservation Award.”

A long-time resident of Maryland, he lives in Takoma Park with his wife Beth and son Sasha. Read more about Mike here.

Contact: mtidwell [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org, 240-460-5838

 


Kirsten-Collings

Kirsten Collings, Deputy Director & CFO

Kirsten Collings joined the CCAN team in 2008, first as Campaign Director and later moving into her current position of Deputy Director. With expertise in campaign, staff and organizational management, Kirsten oversees CCAN’s senior campaign team, manages the organization’s finances, and guides the strategic direction of CCAN’s campaigns throughout the region. In her time at CCAN, Kirsten has directed dozens of campaigns including CCAN’s work to expand Maryland’s clean electricity standard, to stop the nation’s biggest proposed coal plant in Surry County, Virginia, and to expose our region’s biggest climate foes, including Dominion Energy.

Kirsten has been fighting for environmental and climate victories for over 15 years, starting as a student at North Carolina State University and continuing with her tenure in Green Corps, the Field School for Environmental Organizing. Kirsten served as a Green Corps trainee and subsequently as a trainer and supervisor for dozens of the program’s recent college graduates wanting to launch their careers in environmental grassroots organizing.

Contact: kirsten [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Anne-Havemann

Anne Havemann, General Counsel and Foundations Grant Manager

Anne Havemann is CCAN’s General Counsel and Foundation Grants Manager. She has a decade of experience working on environmental issues at the regional and national scale. At CCAN, she works to fight climate change and promote clean energy through litigation and policy development, while also providing general legal support and foundation grants management. Prior to CCAN, she worked at a think tank, the Center for Progressive Reform, on its Chesapeake Bay program area. She focused on enforcing the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to clean up the Bay, with a particular emphasis on industrial chicken farms. Anne has clerked for U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the American Wind Energy Association. She served as CCAN’s first communication director before leaving in 2010 to further her education in environmental law. Anne received her law degree with a certificate in environmental law from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. She was editor in chief of the Maryland Law Review. Anne received a B.A. in environmental science from Colorado College.

Contact: anne [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Jamie-Demarco

Jamie DeMarco, Federal Policy Director

Jamie leads CCAN’s Capitol Hill lobbying and Maryland advocacy. Before joining CCAN, Jamie led state-level lobbying for the Citizens Climate Lobby, was a campaign manager for the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative, and worked as a legislative assistant at the Friends Committee on National Legislation. He got his start as an advocate interning at the CCAN years ago. Jamie graduated from Warren Wilson College where he led a successful divestment campaign, and helped close the Asheville coal plant. Jamie grew up in Baltimore and now lives in College Park with his girlfriend and their dog Mila. As a child and young adult Jamie spent his summers being a camp counselor in Shenandoah. Now he enjoys morning runs around lake Artemesia, laughing with friends on the back porch, and going to bed early.

Contact: jamie [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Victoria Venable, Maryland Director

Victoria (she/her/hers) is the Maryland Director at Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Victoria joins CCAN after earning a Master’s in Public Policy degree at Oregon State University, where she studied environmental policy and researched the social equity considerations of climate resilience planning. Prior to her move to the West Coast, Victoria worked as the Legislative Director for Delegate Benjamin Brooks in the Maryland General Assembly. Victoria has been involved in several electoral and issue advocacy campaigns including Maryland’s ban on fracking, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and local candidate races throughout Maryland. Victoria grew up in Frederick County, Maryland and received her undergraduate degree at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. After a couple of years exploring the Pacific Northwest and witnessing firsthand how rapidly climate change is threatening our survival, Victoria returns to Maryland ready to advocate for progressive and equitable climate action. In her free time, Victoria enjoys hiking, baking, exploring the world with her partner and her dog.

Contact: victoria [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


KC Chartrand KC Chartrand, Communications Director 

KC Chartrand is the Communications Director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Prior to joining CCAN, KC spent over 25 years promoting innovative solutions for sustainability and risk management – including environmental (e.g., carbon management), health, safety, disaster response/recovery, and more. He headed up communications teams for leading providers such as the EHS & Sustainability practice at IHS Markit, Environmental Support Solutions Inc. (ESS), and Marsh Crisis Consulting. In each of these roles, he showed corporate and government decision makers how the latest technologies and best practices dedicated to regulatory compliance or operational excellence could help them better serve their respective stakeholders, as well as the public and planet. 

Recently, KC has served as an Advisory Board member to SABER Institute, the Single Automated Business Exchange for Reporting. SABER is a nonprofit partnership that supports disaster relief operations for hurricanes and other natural disasters that are increasing in frequency and severity due to global climate change. Now KC is proud to join the CCAN team and fight for the kind of proactive, scalable public policy change that the world needs. KC lives in Rockville, Maryland, with his wife Jennifer. He enjoys biking, hiking, drawing, and occasionally still rides his unicycle.  

Contact: kc [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org 

 


Quentin Scott, Federal Campaign Coordinator

Quentin Scott joined CCAN in January 2021 as the Federal Campaign Associate working to build political will for groundbreaking climate justice policies in the Executive Branch and Congress. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, he got a first-hand look at the two Americas and sought to bring the two Americas closer together through advocacy. Quentin’s passion for math and science landed him at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Instead of using his skills for engineering, he uses his knowledge to build data-informed campaigns. Before joining CCAN, Quentin was chief of staff for an Illinois State Representative and a legislative correspondent in the US House of Representatives, and has led numerous issue and candidate campaigns across the Midwest. In his roles he has stood with neighborhood advocacy groups to hold industrial polluters accountable in communities of color and looks forward to bringing that fight to the federal level.

Quentin enjoys exploring new places and has been to 36 states. When he is not traveling you can find him engaging in some form of competition, whether that’s video games, board games, or on the basketball court.

Contact: Quentin [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Mustafa Abdullah, Field Director

Mustafa Abdullah (he/him) is the new Field Director for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network where he will help lead the organization’s efforts to build grassroots power and infrastructure to help our communities in DC, MD, and VA to tackle the biggest threats and take on the biggest opportunities to achieve climate stability. Mustafa’s commitment to organizing work is driven by sharing moments with people when they realize their own power and have a clear sense of hope and what is possible. 

Mustafa has been organizing professionally since 2010 and has significant experience building volunteer programs and organizing on a wide range of civil rights and liberties issues at a municipal and state level. He also has experience leveraging elections to get candidates to adopt critical policy positions. Among his proudest achievements are setting up a legal support infrastructure for movement work, which led to volunteers and activists being trained on how to work with lawyers to file effective litigation in courts to protect their rights. Additionally, Mustafa is particularly proud of working with activists on the ground in St. Louis to get the top two vote getting Mayoral candidates in 2021 and a majority of the members of the Board of Aldermen to adopt the ACLU of Missouri’s civil liberties platform to mitigate police surveillance, reduce arrests for low level offenses, closing a local jail, and increasing police transparency.

Contact: mustafa [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Courtney Dyson, Fundraising Director

Courtney grew up on the family farm in Southern Maryland and is CCAN’s Fundraising Director. Courtney first delved into nature in the 1st grade when completing a science project on squirrel nesting habits. This fascination led her to complete her undergraduate degree in Conservation and Wildlife Management from Delaware Valley University. After working as a naturalist and on wildlife management surveys, Courtney chose to pursue a master degree in International Cooperation and Development from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, where she focused on climate change adaptation in vulnerable communities and food security.

Prior to joining the team Courtney was a Communications Fellow with CCAN and completed an internship with the United Nations Climate Change secretariat. In her spare time Courtney enjoys birding, board games, and spending time on her family’s farm.

Contact: courtney [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Mari Schimmer, Director of Staff Support and Operations

Mari Schimmer (she/her) is the Director of Staff Support and Operations at CCAN, managing recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes and executing the internal equity and culture plan and day-to-day operations. She brings over a decade of experience in staff management and organizational leadership. Before joining the CCAN team, Mari specialized in designing and managing field organizing programs for national nonprofits. She led issue advocacy, leadership development, and electoral programs at URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, Democracy for America, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Earlier in her career, Mari organized for clean cars and other environmental protections and managed voter contact canvassing projects in Colorado. She has also directed national recruitment for a political consulting firm.
  
A native of Northern California, Mari’s first organizing experience was campaigning in defense of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at UC Santa Cruz. She lives in Takoma Park with her partner and an ever-growing crew of rescue pets. She enjoys exploring state parks in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, kayaking, reading on the beach, and knitting.
 

Contact: mari [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Holly Bradley, West Virginia Organizer

Holly joined CCAN in April of 2021 as the West Virginia Organizer. She obtained a BS at West Virginia University in Design Studies with a minor in Horticulture. While in college she worked for Clean Vibes LLC. an event waste management company that focuses on waste diversion efforts such as recycling and large-scale composting. Upon graduating from WVU she began to focus on growing and preserving food working on farms in Colorado and California before making her way back to her home state in 2014. Becoming a farmer allowed Holly to learn first-hand the devastating effects climate change has had on our food systems. This led her to begin volunteering for Mom’s Clean Air Force which connected her with folks active in the climate world. As a ninth generation West Virginian she wants to make sure WV doesn’t get left behind as the nation transitions to cleaner energy.

She now lives at the Gesundheit Institute with her partner and their two sons where they focus on regenerative agriculture and host educational workshops based around the importance of community, activism and alternative healing. In her free time Holly can be found dancing to old time string music, dabbling in herbal folk medicine and foraging for wild foods.

Contact: holly [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org


Charles Brown II, Hampton Roads Organizer

Charles Brown II is CCAN’s Hampton Roads Organizer. A Hampton, Virginia native, he is a proud veteran who served in the United States Navy. After returning home from service, he interned for Defjam and Atlantic Records before becoming Virginia’s Defjam Promotions Representative for five years. He then served as Area Director for the Virginia League of Conservation Voters for three years. Following his time with VA LCV, he became a county lead for a vaccination outreach program. He then briefly served as the Hip Hop Caucus’s National Respect My Vote Organizer. He brings to his role with CCAN a sense of community, creativity, and passion for the region’s environment.

Contact: charlesb [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Jesse Buff, Volunteer Program Coordinator

Jesse leads CCAN’s Invasive Vine Removal Program. Before coming to CCAN, Jesse led volunteer programs at Rock Creek Conservancy. Prior to that, Jesse worked at the intersection of international conservation and development for much of his career. He has worked for international development companies, NGOs, and the federal government. His passion is working with communities to protect their natural resources. He has an MS in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and a BA from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. In his spare time, he enjoys birdwatching, cooking, and hiking with his dog and family.

Contact: jesseb [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Elle De La Cancela, Central Virginia Grassroots Organizer

A New York native, Elle (she/her/hers) now calls Richmond home as CCAN’s Central Virginia Grassroots Organizer. While obtaining a BA in Environmental Studies, she served as the chair of the Environmental Justice Task Force for The People’s Lobby and a member of the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, a group dedicated to removing toxic petroleum coke from uncovered storage facilities in the 10th Ward. The rich history of community organizing and rampant environmental racism in Chicago directed her efforts and honed her skills that she now brings to Virginia.

Upon graduation, Elle built trails in Acadia National Park before moving east of the Sierra Crest to fight wildfires in California. Less than a year after the devastating blaze through nearby Paradise, she saw firsthand the havoc wreaked by wildfire and was resolved to dig back into organizing. She then joined the Bernie 2020 campaign in Iowa, canvassing on the necessity of the Green New Deal and Medicare for All. To blow off steam, Elle rollerblades, reads, and plays guitar (not simultaneously).

Contact: elle [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Courtney.StaffHeadshot

Anthony Field, Maryland Campaign Coordinator

Anthony Field joined CCAN in the summer of 2019 as the Maryland Campaign Coordinator working to protect Maryland communities and ecosystems from the risks posed by fossil fuels. His passion for social justice and environmental advocacy took root during his freshman year at the University of North Texas where he pursued a major in Political Science and a minor in Peace Studies and Diplomacy. It was during this time that Anthony joined the local effort to institute a citywide fracking ban. He and dozens of activists were able to take on the big oil interests and successfully saw Denton become the first city in Texas to ban fracking. While this ban was eventually overturned by Governor Abbott in May of 2015, Anthony is proud to have been a part of the movement.

His impassioned dedication to championing progressive values and fighting for traditionally under-represented communities did not end there. He served as a 2015 White House Intern for former President Obama and after began managing the ground efforts for ballot initiatives and State and Federal races in Texas, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Virginia. His compassion and drive to help positively impact his community also saw him assist in managing disaster relief efforts for FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria. When he is not trying to save the world he can be found spending time with friends, enjoying the company of his two dogs, and playing video games both for fun and competitively.

Contact: anthony [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Megan McHargue, Executive Operations Assistant

Megan (she/her/hers) is the Executive Operations Assistant at Chesapeake Climate Action Network. As someone who was born and raised in Baltimore, Megan has always known that she has wanted to be involved in protecting the Chesapeake Bay and other areas of her home state. She completed her B.A. of Environmental Studies at Goucher College and is currently working toward her Master’s in Environmental Management. She has also done coursework with the Yale School of Public Health to expand her knowledge on how climate change will continue to affect public health and has a background in administrative work for another environmental non-profit organization.

Outside of trying to make the world a better place, Megan is a photographer and loves to explore new places with her dog, Tundra.

Contact: megan[at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Monica O’Connor, Content Writer & Special Projects Assistant

Monica joined CCAN in the Fall of 2019 as a content writer and special projects assistant. Monica began her work in grassroots advocacy in 2016 by co-founding the Maryland WISE Women where she worked to promote environmental legislation on the state and local level. In 2018 Monica worked as a coalition partner with CCAN in her position as the Clean Energy Jobs Act Organizer for the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. Currently she is a Legislative Liaison for the Maryland Legislative Coalition and a member of the March On Maryland Board.

Monica is a long time proponent of sustainable farming and has supported and promoted local farmers and CSAs for 20 years. She considers the 8 years spent in upstate New York producing food for her family as a point of pride. Monica spends her weekend hiking with her family.

Contact: monica [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Zander Pellegrino, Northern Virginia Organizer

Zander (He/Him/His) spent the first two decades of his life in Virginia. Born in Harrisonburg, he studied biology and environmental policy at William & Mary. Zander went on to work in and research international sustainable development projects, focusing on participatory planning and just climate adaptation in Egypt. During and after earning a master’s degree from Yale School of the Environment he joined local and regional fights for climate justice and against green gentrification in the US.

Zander is thrilled to join CCAN and come back home.

Contact: zander [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org  

 


Riley Pfaff, Executive Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator

Riley (he/him) grew up in Maryland and serves as CCAN’s Executive Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator. He attended Duke University and interned with the League of Conservation Voters and Defenders of Wildlife as an undergraduate. After graduation, he worked as a field organizer in North Carolina during the 2020 campaign before interning for Rep. Don Beyer (VA) in the House of Representatives. 

Outside of climate work, Riley is a huge Washington Nationals fan and hopes to one day visit all 30 MLB stadiums. He also enjoys biking around D.C. and crabbing and fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.

Contact: riley [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org

 


Doug Siglin, D.C. Coordinator

Doug Siglin has been an environmental policy creator, advocate, nonprofit leader, and business owner internationally, nationally, and regionally for more than four decades. He began as a clean water and aquaculture Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and has lived and/or worked in the District since 1983. Doug has chaired or co-chaired several boards, including the National Peace Corps Association, the America’s Great Waters Coalition, the Choose Clean Water Coalition, and the Low Impact Development Center.

Doug is thrilled to be able to work with CCAN on the most important environmental issue of our time. 

Contact: doug [at] chesapeakeclimate [dot] org