Staff

We believe that one way to advance sustainability is to have work produced by people who love what they do. Energy, inclusion and collaboration are just some of the values embodied by our staff.

  • Jade Chalkley, Resources Intern
    Jade Chalkeyjade@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 

    Jade loves traveling to new places and exploring new towns, as well as the local state and national parks.

    As a senior studying Environmental Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, Jade became passionate about higher education and its impact on local culture as well as on global Society several years ago. Her leadership experience around the institution includes working with a diverse range of people that provide a unique take on how students look at sustainability in higher education. Her current positions with FGCU include Environmental Ambassador, Research Assistant for Environmental Health & Safety, Eagle I Ambassador for the Office of International Services and Student Government Director of Sustainability. These positions allow Jade to bring a unique student perspective to the AASHE team. She works as the Resources intern for AASHE, where she assists updating the Resource Hub, examining STARS reports and other important tasks to support the higher education sustainability community. After graduation, she hopes to work at another institution for a sustainability or environmental department while pursuing a master’s degree.

  • Jessica Chase, Director of Membership & Marketing
    Jessica Chase Head Shotjessica@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 126

    As a “Navy Kid”, Jessica started almost every year at a different school which allowed her to encounter many cultures and taught her to appreciate diversity.

    Jessica Chase, CAE, has a decade of association management experience in various functions including membership, administration/governance, marketing and communications. Jessica entered association management in 2004 as an Associate for an association management company. Since then, she has held roles of increasing seniority serving as the manager of membership and administration and director of marketing and membership for the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and director of membership and marketing for AASHE. Jessica holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential and is a member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and a Hubspot Certified Inbound Marketing Specialist. In 2001, she earned her BS in Marketing Management from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.

  • Julian Dautremont-Smith, Director of Programs
    Julian Dautremont-Smith Head Shotjulian@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 127

    Julian enjoys cooking Indian and Thai cuisine and reading journal articles.

    A long-time leader in the higher education sustainability community, Julian was one of AASHE’s co-founders and served as Associate Director from 2004 until 2009, when he left AASHE to pursue graduate studies. He rejoined AASHE in 2015 as the Director of Programs. In his work with AASHE, Julian played leadership roles in creating the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) as well as the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Outside of AASHE, Julian served for two years as the Chief Sustainability Officer of Alfred State College and spent another year as Senior Program Manager with GreenerU. Julian has an MBA and an MS in Natural Resources and the Environment from the University of Michigan and a BA in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College.

  • Tylor Dodge, Web Application Developer
    Tylor Dodgetylor.dodge@aashe.org

    888.347.9997

    Whether it’s woodworking, or web applications, Tylor loves building.

    Tylor completed a B.A. in Political Science at DePaul University, as well as Peace Corps service in Armenia. Returning to New England, Tylor realized that web development was a field that he had a passion for. After years of formal and informal training, Tylor took a position at Partners Healthcare, building custom reporting applications. He is excited to now work not only in web development, but for a group that advances the cause of sustainability.

  • Bob Erb, IT Manager
    Bob Erb Head Shotbob@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 35

    Born in a small town in western Pennsylvania, Bob fled for the big city as soon as possible. While studying Creative Writing at Carnegie-Mellon University and then English Literature at the University of Pittsburgh, Bob picked up many bad habits that, over the years, have come to feel more like old friends rather than character defects. Eventually following his girlfriend to Boston, Bob worked at a bookstore in Wellesley while taking classes in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts. Bob paid his dues by surviving a few years in Tech Support Purgatory, before finally being granted entry to the League of Paid Computer Programmers. Bob is grateful to have been employed writing code since (except for a few years when he renounced the marketplace to study Buddhism). Bob began happily working at AASHE in 2012.

  • Meghan Fay Zahniser, Executive Director
    Meghan Fay Zahniser Head Shotmeghan@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 20

    Meghan lives for the cool temperatures of fall, loves winter and spends most of her non-working time outside with her dog and husband enjoying the many parks and urban landscape of Philadelphia.

    Meghan has been with AASHE for seven years and previously held the positions of Director of Programs and STARS Program Manager. Prior to AASHE, Meghan worked as Sustainability Specialist at NELSON, where she provided sustainability expertise and consulting services to various clients. She also spent over five years working at the U.S. Green Building Council where, as Manager of Community, she developed and managed a local chapter network for building industry professionals and helped create the Emerging Green Builders program that integrates students and young professionals into the green building movement. Meghan also worked as Environmental Educator for the University at Buffalo Green Office, organizing campus and community education focused on energy conservation, green building, and sustainable living. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, with concentrations in environmental studies and health & human services, from the University at Buffalo, a master’s degree in Organization Management and Development from Fielding Graduate Institute and a certificate in massage therapy from the Potomac Massage Training Institute.

  • Andrea Huggins, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
    Andrea Huggins Head Shotandrea.huggins@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 123

    Andrea starts most mornings rowing on the Potomac River enjoying views of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol Building.

    A Northern Virginia native, Andrea always had a knack for being able to gather people together toward a common purpose, whether that was to arrange a fundraising event for the victims of Hurricane Katrina or to help coordinate and promote adoption events for City Dogs Rescue, communications is in her blood. Andrea joined AASHE in 2014 to provide strategic counsel, digital expertise and media support in order to best serve current and potential AASHE members. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington Women in Public Relations.

  • Nikia Johnson, Member Services Manager
    Nikia Johnson Head Shotnikia@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 108

    In her spare time, Nikia enjoys spending time with family and friends.

    Nikia joined AASHE in 2010 as the Membership Outreach Coordinator and now functions as Member Services Manager. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s degree in Communications & Information Studies with a minor in Political Science from the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining AASHE, Nikia worked as a Recruiter for the Kentucky Blood Center in Lexington, KY and was the Community Development Manager for Hermann Park Conservancy in Houston, TX. Nikia’s background includes customer service, recruitment, community development and working with diverse populations.

  • Allison Jones, Director of Finance & Administration
    Allison Jones Head Shotallison@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 14

    When she’s not working, Allison enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews and camping by the lake.

    Allison joined AASHE in January of 2009 and has over 15 years experience in nonprofit financial management, administration and human resource management. Allison holds a certification as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) with the HR Certification Institute and a certification as a Society of Human Resources Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). Prior to joining AASHE, Allison served as the Finance Director for Habitat for Humanity. Allison has a bachelor of science degree in Accounting at the University of Southern Maine.

  • Chris Pelton, STARS Program Manager
    Chris Pelton Head Shotchris.pelton@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 27

    When he’s not working, Chris enjoys long walks with his short dog and a pint (or two) of plain.

    Prior to joining AASHE in 2011, Chris evaluated social service programs and policies and helped design assessment tools for the state of Tennessee. He also conducted participatory, community-based research projects and helped lead a living wage campaign at the University of Tennessee. Chris has a master’s degree in Sociology (Political Economy) and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sociology from UT-Knoxville.

  • Daita Serghi, Education Programs Manager
    Daita Serghi Head Shotdaita.serghi@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 124

    Daita enjoys getting out in nature with her family including a toddler, preschooler and highschooler.

    Daita has a strong interest for both higher education and sustainability. Her focus is on planning, organizing and delivering professional development opportunities including: webinars, workshops and the program of the annual conference. Prior to joining AASHE, Daita was the first Interim Sustainability Coordinator for the University of Hawai‘i System, and the main coordinator for the Annual Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit. Additionally, Daita lectured at the University of Hawai‘i both introductory biology classes to non-majors as well as advanced molecular or cell biology classes. She was involved in developing new curricula to integrate sustainability in the classroom. Furthermore, she was the coordinator of the non-profit organization Sustainability Association of Hawaii where she developed programs, organized workshops and conferences and was involved in the passing of legislation to allow Hawai‘i businesses to operate as Sustainable Business Corporations. Daita is a LEED Green Associate, a Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) certified reporter and an ISSP Certified Sustainability Professional, and holds a BS degree in Molecular Biology and Biosciences from the University of Bucharest, Romania and MA, MPhil and PhD degrees in Biological Sciences from Columbia University in the City of New York.

  • Crystal Simmons, Programs Coordinator
    Crystal Simmons Head Shotcrystal.simmons@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 36

    Crystal set up an aluminum recycling station for her family in 1984 (she was seven) so she could have some spending money.

    Crystal joined AASHE in August 2013 as editor of the AASHE Bulletin. In addition to editor, she supports various member resources, including STARS and the AASHE Sustainability Awards. Before coming to AASHE, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Appropriate Technology from Appalachian State University where she later worked as the communications and outreach manager for the university’s Office of Sustainability. Crystal believes sustainability begins within. Caring for and nurturing the mental, spiritual, physical and emotional wellbeing of oneself has resoundingly positive impacts on our shared existence. In her spare time, you’ll find her hiking and admiring the biological diversity in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and practicing and teaching yoga and meditation.

  • Kimberly Smith, Director of Conferences & Events
    Kimberly Smith Head Shotkimberly.smith@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 130

    A virtuoso performer, Kimberly worked her way through college by crooning with her band at area restaurants and clubs.

    With over twenty years of association and conference management experience, Kimberly has expertise in contract negotiations, event design, and production. Prior to joining AASHE, she served as the President of an independent meeting planning company where she worked with a variety of clientele on meetings and events ranging from small groups to city-wide conventions. A veteran of the association community, she previously worked for an association management company where she served as Director of Fund Raising Services and Executive Director for several national and internationally based professional medical associations. She has a tremendous passion for meeting planning which has earned her numerous accolades including the “Rising Young Association Executives Award” by Association Trends; she was named a Top Ten Event Planner by NJBIZ, New Jersey’s only weekly business journal and was profiled by Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine for her expertise as an independent meeting planner and business owner. She is also the recipient of several client bestowed and community awards for her commitment and dedication to service excellence. Kimberly is an active member of several professional associations where she has been a national conference speaker, ambassador, and served on various local committees. A graduate of the University of Central Missouri, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication and Management, and a Master of Science degree in Education and Speech Communication.

  • Noah Swistak, Member Services Coordinator
    Noah Swistak Head Shotnoah.swistak@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 128

    When he’s not advancing campus sustainability, Noah enjoys going to shows, maintaining his home aquarium and drinking seltzer.

    Noah Swistak joined the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in 2015 as Member Services Coordinator. Prior to AASHE, he served as Associate Director at the Philadelphia Folksong Society, a membership-based non-profit arts organization, and was employed by Philabundance, the Delaware Valley’s largest hunger-relief agency. Noah holds a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and a BA from Villanova University.

  • Monika Urbanski, Data & Content Manager
    Monika Urbanski Head Shotmonika.urbanski@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 26

    Outside of work and family, Monika spends free time traveling, hiking, and practicing holistic healing  and martial arts.  

    Monika joined AASHE in Summer 2011 and currently manages AASHE publications, resources and STARS submission review. Before coming to AASHE, Monika worked in institutional research, planning and assessment at Frostburg State University. During that time, she helped launch the University’s Learning Green, Living Green (LGLG) sustainability initiative and developed LGLG’s first climate action plan. Monika holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages from Frostburg State.

  • Margueritte Williams, Staff Accountant
    Margueritte Williams Head Shotmargueritte.williams@aashe.org

    888.347.9997 ext. 15

    Margueritte enjoys playing saxophone in two different bands! She also is an excellent knitter.

    Margueritte is originally from Williamsburg, KY. She currently lives in Lexington, KY. She studied Business Administration, IT and Music while in college and has over 20 years of experience in Accounting. She started working at AASHE in February 2010.