Chapter Leadership

North Star Chapter Leadership - June 2023

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (ExCom) is the governing body of the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, with responsibility for overall activities, budgeting, and strategic planning of the Chapter.

Fifteen members comprise the ExCom, elected by Minnesota members of the Sierra Club for rotating three-year terms. Members serve as volunteers and reflect a diversity of backgrounds and talents. They are brought together by their common interest in environmental protection and a commitment to help the North Star Chapter thrive and grow in its work as the leading grassroots voice for Minnesota’s environment.

Constance CarlsonConstance Carlson

Constance Carlson (she/her/hers) grew up on an organic farm in western Minnesota and as a result, has a deep connection to soil, water, and community action. She witnessed firsthand the positive impact humans can have on natural resources when they intentionally commit themselves to the lifelong work of environmental stewardship. Carlson works for UMN Extension-Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) supporting communities across Minnesota to lead place-based sustainability projects. A key part of Carlson's work is connecting farmers and businesses with the UMN Forever Green Initiative, a UMN research platform developing new crops that protect the soil and improve water quality while also providing economic opportunity so farmers and rural communities can thrive. These new crops are proving effective at protecting water resources, building habitat, and encouraging communities and consumers to take an active role in caring for each other and the land. Carlson lives in Buffalo, Minnesota, with her husband and family. She has been an avid gardener for many years, enjoys reading and good conversation, and makes time most days to take a walk with Hugo, the boxer pup who joined her family in 2021.

Luther DaleLuther Dale

Luther Dale has been involved in environmental issues for over 30 years and has held many volunteer roles in the North Star Chaper and national Sierra Club. He is an avid hiker, biker and canoeist and was previously a pastor at Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview. 

Email: Luther Dale

Drew DavisDrew Davis

Bio coming soon...

Email:  Drew Davis

Katie EukelKatie Eukel

Katie Eukel joined the Executive Committee in 2010 and has served on the communications committee. Katie is the President and CEO of Fourth Sector Consulting, a national consulting firm that uses strategic communications to work across sectors and advance social change. She was previously the communications director at Transit for Livable Communities, where she worked closely with the North Star Chapter to advocate for a stronger regional transit system. A graduate of Macalester College with a B.A. in Communication & Media Studies, Katie has also worked as a philanthropic communications consultant, partnering with national foundations and nonprofit organizations seeking to change America’s food system.

Email: Katie Eukel

Gaagigeyaashiik-Dawn GoodwinGaagigeyaashiik-Dawn Goodwin

Protector and advocate for the environment and the Anishinaabeg traditional lifeways. She is a lifelong resident of northern Minnesota and has lived next to Lower Rice Lake on the White Earth Reservation since 2001. Dawn graduated from Bemidji State University in 2009 with a B.A. in Visual Arts and is near completion of a B.A. in Native American Studies.

In 2009 she began to learn about the tar sands industry and climate change. This knowledge and concern for the health of our waters has led her into advocating for the protection of the lands, plants, animals, people and nibi/water for the next seven generations. She is a board member of the 1855 Treaty Authority, a trained Climate Reality Leader and a presenter at the 2019 Climate Reality Leadership Corp Training. Dawn was the expert witness for the White Earth Reservation during the Line 3 MN PUC hearings.

Her work centers around networking with other nonprofit environmental organizations and building community. Dawn works as a representative of the Indigenous Environmental Network, and is a co-founder of RISE Coalition; an indigenous led group of women calling on others to “RISE TO PROTECT ALL THAT IS SACRED”

Email: Gaagigeyaashiik-Dawn Goodwin

Michelle Hesterberg

Michelle Hesterberg

I currently volunteer on the Sierra Club North Star Chapter's Political Committee, and I have 15 years of political organizing, environmental advocacy, nonprofit leadership, and fundraising experience.

I've worked as a fundraiser and organizer for Quinn Nystrom for Congress, OutFront Minnesota, Save the Boundary Waters, Environment Minnesota, Friends of the Boundary Waters, and MPIRG. I am also currently a member of the YMCA Camp Menogyn Board and Out After Carleton Board.

I’ve rallied for racial justice, fundraised to protect the Boundary Waters, organized events on climate change, lobbied to protect clean water, canvassed on public health issues, and much more.

As an LGBTQ+ woman, I am dedicated to fighting for those in our community who are most marginalized, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

I am a passionate advocate for environmental protection and would be honored to be part of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter's Executive Committee to continue working towards a sustainable and equitable future.

Email:  Michelle Hesterberg


Sasha Lewis-Norelle

Sasha Lewis-Norelle

Sasha Lewis-Norelle is a youth climate activist who has worked on a number of climate and environmental justice campaigns and issues. He got his start organizing with the divestment campaign Fossil Free Macalester, pushing for his college, Macalester, to divest from the fossil fuel industry. After learning that the school had tens of millions of dollars invested into the industry that is destroying his future, he knew he had to act. He has continued to volunteer and help lead groups like the Twin Cities chapter of the Sunrise Movement and MN350’s Pipeline Resistance Team. He spent much of last year organizing around the Line 3 pipeline, and continuing to advocate for his school to divest, which they eventually did. Since graduating, he has worked at Clean Water Action Minnesota, advocating for healthier communities and equitable systems.

Email:  Sasha Lewis-Norelle

Emma NeedhamEmma Needham


Emma Needham is an Anishinaabe mother, writer, and media professional. She has experience in communication, leadership, and cultural competency. Her background includes everything from live on-air radio personality, media contracting, customer service, marketing and social media, food safety, grassroots organizing, political and legal experience, and human services. She is a lifelong Minnesotan with a love of music and the outdoors. She received her AAS at St. Cloud State University and is currently majoring in Communication Arts and Literature, seeking a B.S. Ed., also at SCSU. She is proud of her strong work ethic, abundant kindness, and desire to be a good role model and future ancestor to her children and other Indigenous relatives through hard work and intellectual curiosity. She believes strongly in the mission of the Sierra Club and how its work serves the Next Seven Generations. She also serves as vice chair of the Discovery Woods Charter School Board and donates blood whenever she can fit it into her schedule. She loves all children, especially those in her life, including her two daughters, nieces, nephews, and niblings, and the children of her dear friends. She never turns down a chance to talk about changing the systems that prevent change in the world.



Lois Norrgard

Lois Norrgard

Lois Norrgard has been volunteering with the North Star Chapter for many years and currently serves on the Forests and Wildlife Stewards. She has served on many non-profit boards and action committees and has been working full-time in the environment field for the last decade as lobbyist and grassroots organizer, presently working for Alaska Wilderness League. Prior to the environment field she was a small business Co-Owner/Partner and Manager of the Creative Department for a Presentation Graphics Service Bureau in Minneapolis.

Email:  Lois Norrgard

Rhyan Schicker

Bio coming soon...



Tom ThompsonTom Thompson

Executive Committee Co-Chair

Tom Thompson moved to the Arrowhead of Minnesota in 2010 after a career in special education in Kansas teaching in a state psychiatric hospital. There he had been an active Sierra Club member for over 30 years, serving on the Kansas Chapter Executive Committee as Vice-Chair, Political Chair, contract lobbyist in Topeka and Kanza Group Chair. He also served as a member of the Kansas Legislature, served on the City of Mission Business Development and Sustainability Committees and chaired the Third Congressional District Democrats.  After moving to NE Minnesota, Tom continued to be active in the Sierra Club as a member of the chapter's Political and Mining Committees. He has rallied for clean air and water testifying against sulfide mining, fossil fuel powered electric plants and the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. He traveled to Washington D.C. to protest the XL pipeline and participated in civil disobedience in Bemidji to protest Line 3. He has also participated in protests against wolf hunting in Minnesota. More recently he has been a member of the Duluth Leadership Team, Chapter Coordinating Team, North Star Executive Committee and represented the Chapter on the Council of Club Leaders. He worked with others to start the DFL Environmental Caucus, serving on its first Board.  Today, Tom resides in Northeastern Minnesota with his wife Mary and cat Tinker. He is a member of the Pequaywan Lake Garden Club and the Brimson Area Volunteer Fire Department.

Email:  Tom Thompson


Kamau WilkinsKamau Wilkins

Executive Committee Co-Chair

Kamau is a lifelong social activist. He was born in Portland, OR and grew up in a small midwestern town as one of very few minorities. He attended his first protest in a “Take Back the Night” protest for women’s rights when he was just 11. His next protest landed the story on MTV news as he led a protest to remove his High School’s racist “Indian” mascot. Soon after he became friends with Ralph Albert Abernathy who encouraged his education and success as an activist. Kamau attended college at Winona State University, and became President of the Black Cultural Awareness Association while studying Fine Art. 
Kamau Wilkins is a celebrated Rochester civil rights activist. Kamau co-founded and serves as President for Rochester For Justice, a Rochester group seeking to bring about racial justice and awareness through education, advocacy, and community organizing. Kamau also serves on the planning team of the Racial Equity Advisory Team, Rochester's first Task Force of the School Board. He has given lectures on the militarization of American police forces, raised thousands of dollars for charity and food drives, and recently created a Basketball League for underprivileged youth. As an activist Kamau has participated in dozens of protests including the 9th Precinct Occupation, Standing Rock, and the Line #3 protest in Bemidji. 
Kamau currently works as the Southeast Minnesota Regional Director for the Youth Enrichment League, as well as continuing to be a professional youth coach in Fencing, Track, Football, and Basketball for over twenty years. Kamau has also served as a NorthStar Sierra Club Ex Comm Board member and on the Rochester Sierra Club Political Committee since 2018. He is deeply committed to environmentalism and remains focused on the intersectional connections between environmental health and social causes. 

Sarah WovchaSarah Wovcha

Sarah is the Executive Director of Children’s Dental Services and has a background in law, public health, and advocacy. She brings over 20 years experience in board service including for the Wedge Community Coop, Ain Dah Yung Shelter, the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, the Ramsey County Public Health board, and several others. Her family, originally from the Iron Range of Minnesota, spends part of every summer at an old log cabin along the Canadian border. Sarah is excited to serve on the North Star ExCom to contribute to preservation of this wild place, among the many others that grace Minnesota.

Email:  Sarah Wovcha

Volunteer Leaders

Please find contact information for our grassroots teams below.

Greg Allison Outings Chair
Bob Graves Forests and Wildlife Stewards Chair
Marya Hart Communications Chair
Michelle Hesterberg Political Co-Chair
Mat Hollinshead Conservation Chair
Risa Hustad Land Use and Transportation Chair
John Krenn Clean Energy Chair, Legislative Chair
Ben Kuhnke Sierra Action Co-Chair
Marcy Leussler Beyond Oil Chair
Matt Mikesell Inspiring Connections Outdoors Chair
Lori Olinger Zero Waste Chair
Steve Ring Stewards - Water & Wetlands Stewards Chair
Sam Rosemark Sierra Action Co-Chair
Adaline Shinkle Political Co-Chair
Delaney Russell Change & Equity Team Co-Chair
Tom Thompson Executive Committee Co-Chair
Michelle Weinberg Legal Chair
Kamau Wilkins Executive Committee Co-Chair