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, and DC.
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.
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.
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.
Harrison is CCAN’s Virginia Director, advocating for strong climate policy and managing CCAN’s grassroots campaigns around the Commonwealth. He also serves on CCAN’s Executive Campaign Committee, helping to plan the future of CCAN’s campaigns region-wide. Most recently, he was CCAN’s Policy Coordinator & Coastal Campaigns Manager, where he led CCAN’s policy team and coastal grassroots campaigns. Harrison has previously served as the co-chair for the Virginia contingent of the 2017 People’s climate march. He also serves on the boards of the Virginia Civic Engagement Table and the Virginia Progressive Leadership Project.
Harrison is a lifelong Virginian, born in the Shenandoah Valley and then spending the rest of his childhood in Richmond. After graduating from James Madison University in 2013, he immediately began a career of organizing as a campus organizer for the Terry McAuliffe for Governor Campaign. He worked on two other political campaigns before feeling a moral call to action that led him to dedicate his career to holding our elected leaders accountable on the most consequential issue of our time: climate change. That decision led him to move to Norfolk and start his career with CCAN as the Hampton Roads Organizer at the end of 2014. He has continued to pursue that mission ever since. During his free time, Harrison loves to stay active by playing basketball and going to the gym. He also enjoys relaxing by the James River in Richmond or on the beach in Hampton Roads.
Steven Hershkowitz, Maryland Director
Steven is CCAN’s Maryland Director, working with lawmakers and regulators to enact bold climate action. Prior to CCAN, he worked for Maryland’s statewide teachers union, the Maryland State Education Association, as policy director and press secretary. Steven has also worked for two Maryland gubernatorial candidates—Ben Jealous in 2018 and Heather Mizeur in 2014—who ran on strong climate action platforms.
Steven is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he served as the student member of the university system board of regents. Outside the office, he sings in the DC-based post-rock band, If Only the Trees (the name is unrelated to the climate!).
Denise is Communications Director at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Before joining CCAN, Denise was Deputy Director of Media Matters’ climate and energy program, where she worked to improve media coverage of climate change and hold journalists and outlets accountable for covering the most important stories of our day fairly and accurately.
Denise is the co-author of the book Rising Tides: Climate Change Refugees in the 21st Century, which sounds an urgent wake-up call to the growing crisis of climate refugees. And she is a former board member of DC EcoWomen, a nonprofit focused on empowerment and professional development for women in the environmental field. Denise is a graduate of Cornell University and a native of Madison, Wisconsin, which she still visits regularly for the world’s best beer and cheese.
Courtney Dyson, Executive Assistant & Special Projects Coordinator
Courtney is a Maryland native and is CCAN’s Executive Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator. Courtney became fascinated with nature in the 1st grade when completing a science project on squirrel nesting habits. This led her to a B.S. in Conservation and Wildlife Management from Delaware Valley University and a Masters in International Cooperation and Development from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, where she focused on climate change adaptation in regards to agriculture and food security.
Prior to joining the team Courtney was a Communications Fellow with CCAN, and interned with the United Nations Climate Change secretariat and The Nature Conservancy. In her spare time Courtney enjoys almost any outdoor activity, reading, travel and exploring, spending time on her family’s farm, and the occasional Netflix binge, weather permitting of course.
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.
Emily Frias, Maryland Grassroots Coordinator
Emily Frias joined CCAN in 2018 as the Maryland Grassroots Coordinator. A Baltimore native, Emily became focused on climate issues after learning how it would affect a port city like her hometown. She was especially interested in environmental justice issues, and studied Economics and Geography at UMBC to further understand how climate change would interact with different communities.
After graduation, Emily served as a Legislative Secretary in the Maryland General Assembly, where she gained valuable insight into the workings of a political office. Shortly after, she worked as a Field Canvasser for Clean Water Action, fundraising and mobilizing grassroots energy on a range of campaigns. She then moved on to a development position as the manager of University of Maryland’s Phonathon, where she managed a staff of over 80 student callers. At CCAN, she utilizes the full range of her experience in the dynamic Coordinator position. A self-described “huge nerd”, Emily collects indie comic books and tabletop games. She also spends time volunteering and visiting her partner in New York City.
Lauren Landis, Hampton Roads Organizer
Raised in Texas, Lauren moved to Virginia to attend William & Mary and graduated in 2011 with a degree in Government. She went on to work in the nonprofit sector, specifically leading community outreach, volunteer coordination, and event management at organizations addressing healthcare and hunger relief. In addition, Lauren served as Associate Director in the conference industry at her alma mater.
Lauren joined CCAN to help protect the region she loves and to build local relationships centered on climate justice and progressive policies. While pursuing these goals both at work and in her personal time, Lauren also enjoys listening to podcasts, trips to her local library, and spending time with her family around Hampton Roads.
Hannah Laub, Virginia Grassroots Coordinator
Hannah Laub is the Virginia Grassroots Coordinator at CCAN. Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, she grew up hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, which fueled her passion for the outdoors. After graduating from Kenyon College in 2016 with a degree in sociology, Hannah completed two years of AmeriCorps service in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Seattle, Washington. In Baton Rouge, she was a City Year member at Kenilworth School of Science and Technology. In Seattle, she worked at the University of Washington Women’s Center, where she supported first-generation high school students in pursuit of STEM careers. Hannah returned to Virginia to work at Inspire US, where she continued to work with youth by conducting voter registration drives in high schools throughout Virginia.
Hannah joined CCAN to help protect the land she grew up in, and to help fight against environmental injustices. She was additionally inspired by her former students, who recognized the devastating effects of climate change and were already fighting for the environment while still in high school. In her free time, Hannah enjoys hiking, swimming, watercoloring, and eating good food.
Stacy is CCAN’s Digital Campaign Coordinator, and joined the team in Summer 2017. Stacy works on CCAN’s digital communications and social media.
A New York native, Stacy moved to DC in 2015 to attend graduate school. She holds a Master of Public Administration from American University, and a BA from the University of Rochester. Her academic work included study of environmental justice, water policy, food systems, and renewable energy.
When she’s not working she enjoys hiking Rock Creek Park, rowing on the Potomac River, playing in a recreational kickball league, and going to games at Nationals Park.
Paolo Mutia, Central Virginia Organizer
Paolo Mutia hails from Richmond, Virginia, and is a graduate of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia with a degree in Environmental Science. Paolo is a Central Virginia organizer based in Richmond, Virginia where he mobilizes communities to fight climate change and achieve climate justice.
Paolo is a former public health practitioner who worked in the planning, implementation, management, and evaluation of major, complex public health communication and campaigns at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Office of Minority and Health Equity and the Children’s Center for Environmental Health at Emory University. He was a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, a UCLA Dream Summer Fellow at the Advancement Project in DC, and a Young People For Fellow. He has attended the Harvard Public Policy Leadership Conference and presented at the Breaking the Cycle of Health Disparities Conference at Emory University. Paolo is called to community organizing as both a vocation and a way of life. He is committed to co-creating a world where everyone knows how powerful they are and utilizes that power towards justice. In his personal life, Paolo enjoys hiking, cooking, listening to music, and playing with his dog, Kai.