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.
- Allison Jones, Director of Finance & Administration
When she’s not working, Allison enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews and camping by the lake.
Allison has served as AASHE’s Director of Finance & Administration since January 2009. She has over 20 years’ experience in nonprofit financial management, administration and human resource management. She has a bachelor of science degree in Accounting from the University of Southern Maine and holds a certification as a Society of Human Resources Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). She currently resides in Southern Maine. When she’s not working, Allison enjoys spending time with her family, fostering animals for the Animal Refuge League and spending time at their family camp on the lake.
- Aubrey Organ, Education Intern
Aubrey’s favorite pastimes are ice hockey, hiking, and spending time with friends!
Aubrey is a freshman at Villanova University with a major in Environmental Studies and Communications. Since she was born, she has been working with the environmental nonprofit organization Project Green Schools as a way to educate others on sustainable ways of living. Aubrey has spoken about climate issues at the Massachusetts State House, United Nations events, and others as a way to make a difference. She recently created the water conservation initiative Rink Redemption as a way of spreading awareness about the climate crisis towards the hockey community. With this project, she has gained recognition through sponsors such as the Boston Bruins, the Climate Pledge Arena, Providence Bruins, Seattle Kraken, and others. In the future, she hopes to create an impact among those with little knowledge on these topics.
- Chris Pelton, Senior STARS Program Manager
Chris has experienced the wage system as a researcher, technical writer, library worker, groundskeeper, union organizer, musician, restaurant worker and janitor.
In his role at AASHE, Chris manages the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). He has an MA in political economy, a BA in environmental sociology, and an abiding interest in working-class history, prefigurative politics and the New York Knicks.
- Crystal Simmons, Bulletin Editor & Program ManagerCrystal moved into the AASHE orbit in 2007 as a student activist at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where she later helped open the first office of sustainability and conducted its first STARS report and GHG inventory. In 2013, she left the university and became a contractor with AASHE, before being hired as staff in 2015. Crystal earned a bachelor’s degree in Appropriate Technology from Appalachian State University while being a student project manager for a community scale, 100kW wind turbine project. Being a graduate of Rockwood Leadership School and a certified listener through Seek Healing, her purpose is to infuse an ethic of care and concern in her relationships. Some of her identities include being a passionate community organizer, daughter, sister, partner, plant whisperer, and dog mom.
- Daita Serghi, Senior Education Manager
Daita enjoys getting out in nature with her family including a pre-schooler, first grader and high schooler.
Daita has a strong interest for both higher education and sustainability. Her focus at AASHE is on managing all the education and professional development offerings 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.
- Domna Gallion, Accounting & Operations Manager
Domna is the daughter of immigrants; her mother was from The Netherlands (Dutch) and her father was from the island of Cyprus (Greek).
Domna joined AASHE as Accounting & Operations Manager in July 2022. She has over 35 years’ accounting and tax experience, with 8 years in nonprofit accounting and administration. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Management from Winthrop University in South Carolina. She also earned her certification as Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP). Originally from Chicago, she has lived her adult life in Charlotte, North Carolina. Domna has previously volunteered on two nonprofit boards as Treasurer. She loves domestic and international travel, reading, volunteering, writing, and spending time with close friends. Together with her husband, they share four adult children.
- Heather Lynch, Membership Development Manager
Heather enjoys hiking in the mountains, gardening, snuggling with her cats and taking an annual trek with her husband out West to a National Park in search of solitude, inspiration and Pikas.
Heather has been in the sustainability field since her undergraduate days at the University of New Hampshire, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Conservation with a concentration in Environmental Affairs. Interested in how institutions of higher education were playing a role in reducing their impact on the environment, she spent her senior year working as the Campus Climate Intern at Clean Air-Cool Planet (now part of the UNH Sustainability Institute). It was this internship that introduced Heather to AASHE and cemented her belief that institutions of higher education are the beacons of hope we need for a sustainable future.
In 2007, Heather spent a year in Durango, Colorado as the Environmental Center Intern at Fort Lewis College. From 2008 to 2018, Heather became the first Director of Sustainability at Saint Michael’s College where she oversaw the Recycling Program, created the Garden Program and its expansion into a 1.75-acre Farm, taught in the Environmental Studies and Science Department, managed the Eco-Rep Program, advised the student environmental club, maintained the college’s greenhouse gas inventory and completed the college’s first STARS report.
She is a certified UVM Extension Master Gardener and holds a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College.
- Julian Dautremont, Director of Programs
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.
- Kimberly Smith, Director of Meetings & MembershipWith over twenty-five years of association and event management experience, Kimberly has expertise in contract negotiations, event design, and production. Before joining AASHE, she was the Owner & CEO of SOJ Events, an independent meeting planning firm where she worked with various clientele on meetings and events ranging from small groups to city-wide conventions. In addition, Kimberly previously served as Director of Fund Raising Services for Slack, Inc., an association management company, where she served as an Executive Director, Director of Corporate Relations, and Director of Fund Development for several national and internationally based scientific organizations.
She has a tremendous passion for the association and meetings industry and has earned numerous accolades for her work. She has also received several client-bestowed and community service awards for her commitment and dedication. Kimberly graduated from the University of Central Missouri and earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication and Management and a Master of Science in Education. She previously served on the Board of Trustees for Benedict College in Columbia, SC, as Chair of the Development Committee and on the National Executive Board of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C, and was the Atlantic Regional Director and Chair of the Regional Directors.
- Maddie Bruns, Marketing Intern
Maddie loves making art and spending time with her dogs!
Madison “Maddie” Bruns joined AASHE in the summer of 2021 after graduating from Villanova University with a BS in Environmental Science and Geography. During college, Maddie worked as a Graphics Associate for the Office of Sustainability at Villanova where she developed a Bi-Annual Sustainability Report, managed the institution’s sustainability Instagram account, led marketing efforts for Villanova’s Earth Week in 2021 and more! She also proudly served in a leadership role on the Student Sustainability Committee while at Villanova. In her free time, Maddie loves to draw, do yoga, and hang out with her family’s dogs. She is excited to bring her passion and creativity to the team!
- Meghan Fay Zahniser, Executive Director
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 since 2009 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.
- Monika Urbanski, Senior Manager of Resources, Data Quality & Publications
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.
- Nikia Johnson, Membership Development Manager
In her spare time, Nikia enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Nikia is AASHE’s Membership Development Manager and has been with the organization for over ten years. 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. Nikia brings over 15 years of nonprofit experience to AASHE, previously working with the Kentucky Science Center, Hermann Park Conservancy and the Kentucky Blood Center. Nikia’s range of professional expertise includes member engagement, recruitment, and racial equity organizational development.
- Robin Frederick, STARS & Resources InternRobin is a graduate student at the University of Louisville, pursuing a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, concentration in Sustainability. She has been an advocate for AASHE and the STARS Reporting Framework since she was an undergraduate student at Indiana University Southeast, where she introduced the institution to AASHE and STARS. She has collaborated with stakeholders across IU regional campuses, and has presented research independently and co-presented with other regional campuses at past AASHE conferences. Presentations included how STARS reporting can drive innovation in higher education, most specifically on regional campuses. Robin has first-hand experience with the STARS Reporting Framework and enjoys researching topics relevant to sustainable development in higher education. To her, higher education is one of the most powerful tools and can be used to educate, motivate, and inspire students to contribute to sustainable patterns of living.
- Rogelio Zuniga Rubio, Platform & Software Development Manager
Rogelio (Ro) enjoys all things more when he is outdoors such as rock climbing and acro yoga, but most of all reading and being with family.
His commitment to “environmentalism” began at the Bronx High School of Science as part of L.E.A.P. The League for Environmental and Animal Protection and continues today through the O.C.A. The Outdoor Climbing Alternative, a climbing education and advocacy non-profit he co-founded in 2019.
He started with a Commodore 64 at 16 and moved on to an Apple II and then discovered FreeBSD and Blackbox but returned to the fold with Darwin and never looked back.
Prior to AASHE Ro worked with Intel in hardware and networking, owned a company that built Intel clones, participated in Java-related open source projects and then began coding in earnest and has since developed and maintained many different systems, all of the web via 2 startups he began in Chile and New York City.
His greatest interest is in human systems, systems thinking and education.