Executive Committee Members, 2023

Sue Levene, Phippsburgh, Chair
Sue has enjoyed serving on the Sierra Club Maine’s Chapter Executive Committee this past year. In the middle of the year, she agreed to step in and become the acting chair of the executive committee. Sue has been working hard to improve our outreach and communications efforts as well make it easy and rewarding to volunteer to help move forward the important issues that we all care about. She looks forward to working together and continuing to build our chapter and make progress on protecting our environment, resolving our climate crisis and supporting a more equitable and just society for all. Sue lives in Phippsburg and is an avid outdoors-person. She enjoys hiking, paddling and cross-country skiing and is currently our Chapter Outings Team Leader. She also enjoys playing music with the Bath Municipal Band and the Hallowell Community Band. Sue is also an elected member of the Town of Phippsburg's 3 person Select Board. And, she has spent over 25 years as an engineer and IT professional.
Jacob Stern, Pownal, Vice Chair & Acting Treasurer
Since 2014, Jacob has been organizing and leading progressive grassroots campaigns at the state, regional, and local level. He's worked on political campaigns in Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey. From 2017 until 2021 he served as a staff member at the Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter, most recently as Deputy Director. In 2020, he co-founded the Sunrise Boston Political Team, fighting to elect climate champions in the Boston area. Jacob is thrilled to bring his experience as an organizer, activist, lobbyist, coalition-builder, and communications professional -- as well as his commitment to economic, racial, and climate justice to the Maine Chapter. A Maine native, Jacob is equally at home in both the state's granite mountains and on the cold waters off the coast. You'll find him one place or the other most weekends. Jacob currently lives in Pownal with his partner Madelyn and their dog Ziggy.
Ezra Sassaman
Ezra Sassaman, Bar Harbor, Secretary

Ezra Sassaman (he/him) is the Advocacy and Organizing Coordinator at Maine Youth for Climate Justice (MYCJ). Working at MYCJ has furthered his knowledge of the inextricable links between climate justice and social justice. Ezra recognizes protecting the climate must also mean overcoming unjust and unsustainable hierarchies such as colonization and capitalism.

In his MYCJ role, Ezra has supported MainePERS divestment implementation, the Pine Tree Amendment, tribal sovereignty legislation, and funding climate education in public schools. He is currently helping organize MYCJ’s offshore wind speaker series, where experts in the field share their perspectives and answer youth-led questions about wind power in the Gulf of Maine.

At the local level, Ezra serves on Bar Harbor’s Warrant Committee, which approves the annual town budget and makes voting recommendations for land use ordinance changes and citizen’s petitions.

Ezra believes it is past time for everyday people to take back the power that has been concentrated for far too long in the hands of the few. We know the status quo is not working, so let’s be uncompromising and bold about the future we know we can create!

Philip Mathieu
Philip Mathieu, Portland, Council of Club Leaders Representative

Philip Englund Mathieu (he/him/his) is a MS Data Science student at The Roux Institute, Northeastern University’s campus in Portland, ME. He currently works as a Software Development intern for Kelson Marine, an ocean engineering company based on the Portland waterfront that specializes in design and simulation of offshore structures. Prior to starting his master’s program, Philip worked in conservation, most recently as the Program Coordinator at the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust. He also hosted and produced Ecology is Everywhere, a podcast about careers in environmental education and adjacent fields.

In addition to his studies, Philip is a volunteer co-lead of Sierra Club Maine’s 30x30 team, the chapter's representative to the Council of Club Leaders, and a member of the Executive Committee. He is also Vice Chair of the Portland Rent Board. When not juggling all the above responsibilities, he enjoys gardening, playing and recording music, cooking, home brewing, and skiing (both alpine and Nordic).

Becky Bartovics, North Haven
Becky is a grandmother, farmer/gardener, networker, community and environmental activist. Working in alternative energy and water conservation, and as a teacher, she has long been involved in promoting energy and water conservation, in Massachusetts as well as Maine. Formerly President of Penobscot Bay Alliance, she became involved with Sierra Club Maine through the Sears Island Planning Initiative during the Baldacci Administration. Ever more concerned about her grandchildrens’ future, she has become increasingly involved in climate change activism and protecting biodiversity. Serving on the Sierra Club Council of Club Leaders, Legislative, Climate Action, Political and Advancement Teams, she has been involved in most aspects of the Chapter and its growth. 
At home, she has participated in the Comprehensive Planning Committee for North Haven and has been an elected member of the North Haven Planning Board and the North Haven Budget Committee. Founding member of a new group on North Haven to address significant invasive intrusion, she has been experimenting on her farm with livestock, primarily eradication followed by cover cropping. Collecting native seeds and starting a native plant nursery, the goal is to create a biodiversity found on this island only during the time of Indigenous habitation.
When not on zoom or working on Sierra Club Maine programs, she can be found midwifing a flock of dual breed sheep, broad forking the market garden, laughing at chicken antics or pulling grandchildren in the garden cart. She firmly believes that activism is empowering and inspiring.

Laura Berry
Laura Berry, Bar Harbor

Laura Berry is a climate justice advocate working at the intersections of democratic engagement and the climate emergency movement. As Sustainability Coordinator for the Town of Bar Harbor, she leads planning, outreach, and implementation of projects in support of the town’s goal of zero emissions and energy independence by 2030. Laura also serves as the Director of People’s Voice on Climate, a national nonprofit network working to elevate deliberative democracy as a key pathway forward to addressing the climate crisis. In 2021, she led the planning and implementation of the Washington State Climate Assembly – the first-ever citizen’s assembly on climate change in the United States. In her former role as Research and Policy Director at the Climate Mobilization, Laura helped lead the development climate emergency movement in the U.S. and abroad, including designing the climate emergency resolution framework now adopted by over 180 governments in 25 U.S. states, including Bangor, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Saco, Portland, and South Portland. 

Whether facilitating public forums to support community engagement in local climate planning or designing effective legislative campaigns, Laura brings an interdisciplinary perspective, backed by over a decade of experience in climate advocacy, community-owned renewable energy, social justice organizing, and environmental policy, to her work. She is excited for the opportunity to serve the Sierra Club of Maine as a member of the Executive Committee in support of the vision of a democratic, zero emissions Maine, where equity and justice are central tenets of climate policy and environmental protection. Laura holds a MSc in Global Environment, Politics and Society from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic.

John Fitzgerald, Sedgwick

John is an attorney and advocate, working primarily with non-profit conservation groups and think tanks.

John has served on Sierra Club Maine’s Executive and Political Committees since early 2022 and co-chairs the Legislative Committee. He is a Council of Club Leaders Alternate, and serves on the Conservation Policy Advisory Committee of National Sierra Club.

A part time consultant, he is the legal advisor to the Climate Intervention Environmental Impact Fund, a new group that will help scientists prepare environmental assessments in advance of field tests of safe, controllable climate interventions such as methods of destroying or sequestering greenhouse gasses. He served from Autumn 2020 to August 2023 as Legal and Government Relations Counsel to Methane Action which
merged with Spark Climate Solutions in 2023.

He is Vice President of the Board of the Climate Protection and Restoration Initiative founded by Climate Scientist Jim Hansen and his Policy Advisor, Dan Galpern and allies.  John is also a member of the Board of the Environmental Investigation Agency, an NGO based in the US and the UK that documents and works to end environmental crimes world-wide.

As chief counsel at Defenders of Wildlife from 1984-94, John was a leader in the Endangered Species Coalition, crafting strengthening amendments enacted in 1988, and returned again to the Coalition when he was Policy Director of the Society for Conservation Biology from 2007 to 2013. At Defenders, he prepared and coordinated numerous lawsuits including the one that ended United States agencies’ assistance in building the Three Gorges Dam in China. He helped strengthen the Marine Mammal Protection Act, served on the Northern Right Whale Recovery Team and drafted the original dolphin-safe tuna labeling law. He also drafted the amendment to the Lacey Act that banned imports and interstate trade in illegally harvested wood. John helped to strengthen oil spill legislation in the United States and sanctions against nations that undermine international conservation agreements.  He helped to negotiate the Convention on Biological Diversity, and helped to prevent several attempts to weaken the treaty as it was being drafted and at the United Nations’ Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992.  Before joining Defenders he served as a legislative aide and subcommittee counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 1979 to September 1984 helping to staff the Solar Energy Caucus, to write a strong Superfund law and close loopholes in the Ethics in Government Act.  

His methods for ranking nations’ stewardship of natural and human resources helped shape a foreign assistance initiative, known as the Millennium Challenge Corporation while he was in the Policy Bureau at USAID. He was featured as an Earth Champion by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility who represented him in a successful whistleblower challenge of the Bush Administration’s elimination of his position at USAID for briefing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others on their Treasury Department’s continuing violations of the Pelosi Amendment regarding environmental impact statements for World Bank projects. He worked with Speaker Pelosi, Senator Leahy and others in Congress to strengthen the law that she originally championed in response to those violations.

John received the 2012 Brock Evans Award presented by the Endangered Species Coalition (ESC) for his long-standing work to protect endangered species and the Distinguished Service Award from his college preparatory school alma mater, Northfield Mount Hermon School, for his service to the public.

Jonathan Fulford, Belfast

Jonathan Fulford is a carpenter and lives in Belfast where he has served on the Belfast Energy Committee for five years. He has been on the Sierra Club Executive Committee for one year. He helped organize the May 2019 Building Thriving Communities Climate Conference. He represents Sierra Club on the Maine Climate Action Now coalition which has served to empower youth and their voices on Climate Issues. He participates on this year's Legislative Team.

David Gibson, Morrill

David has over a decade of experience implementing climate solutions. He serves as the Director of Energy at College of the Atlantic, where he is leading the campus-wide transition off fossil fuels by 2030. With SCM, he was the primary organizer of the June 2020 green bank summit, and in 2021 led successful legislative efforts for LD1659 to create the Maine Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator (Green Bank) under Efficiency Maine and for LD99 requiring the Maine Public Employee Retirement System to divest from fossil fuels. Previously, David led the development of Envirolution's "Project ReCharge," a training program for middle and high school students in Reno, NV from 2009-2014. From 2014-2016, he implemented efficiency programs statewide in Nevada for the Governor's Office of Energy, where he helped create a program for low-income seniors, and developed over $50 million in self-funding performance contracting projects for public buildings. From 2017 to 2020, David designed solar and heat pump systems for ReVision Energy. He is a resident of Morrill, and has transitioned his home, a post and beam farmhouse built in 1828, entirely off of fossil fuels.

Patricia Rubert-Nason, Fort Kent
Tricia is the mother of two young children, a scientist, an engineer, an experienced project manager at a small consulting company where she works with major corporations to solve their technical and innovation challenges, and a climate activist. 
The climate crisis poses an urgent threat to all of our futures. It calls us all to bring our talents to the work of finding solutions and implementing them as quickly as possible. Tricia brings scientific literacy, a dedication to facts even when they aren't what we wish them to be, project management skills to go from idea to plan and a compelling sense of the urgency and scale of the problem. She is an active member of the energy and legislative teams and has found great value in the community, tools and platform she has found in the Sierra Club to make a real impact on the most important of issues. We are more powerful together. Join us!
Anna Siegel
Anna Siegel, Yarmouth

Anna Siegel (she/her) is the Advocacy Director of Maine Youth Action (MYA) and a founding member of Maine Youth for Climate Justice (MYCJ). She goes to high school at Waynflete in Portland, Maine. Anna is a volunteer with the Sierra Club Maine Political Team and works with them each electoral cycle to elect climate champions. On a municipal level, she is a member of the Yarmouth Committee for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability and the Yarmouth Climate Action Taskforce. In 2019 and 2020 she served as the Maine state lead for the global climate strike efforts and worked with MYCJ to organize actions that spurred over half a dozen climate emergency declarations in municipalities across the state. During this time she was also a member of a working group of the Maine Climate Council. Anna’s work since then has included legislative initiatives, more municipal policy, electoral advocacy, and other grassroots campaigns. She is particularly passionate about climate finance, conservation-oriented forestry, and building power through successful action models. In 2022 she was named a Brookie Awardee by the Natural Resources Council of Maine and a Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awardee. Anna also worked in 2022 and 2023 as a Coach for The Climate Mobilization, advising local groups on movement-building. 

Anna first became interested in climate advocacy because of her love for birds. She is a proud member of the Maine Young Birders Club and worked in the summer of 2022 as the Outreach Lead for the 30-Year Bird Project. She hopes to engage more in bird-related research. She enjoys birding, hiking, and writing poetry.