Nominations, Recruitment & Elections

Utah Sierra Club's Executive Committee (ExCom) is an elected, all-volunteer body responsible for the day-to-day governance of the chapter. It is an important group that should fulfill the chapter's mission and represents our values. Learn about the organization's core values.

A one-month voting period is open to all members beginning in November 18th. We have eight excellent individuals excited to join the Executive Committee. Some have been involved with Sierra Club in different ways and offer an inside perspective. Others are new to the chapter, bringing fresh ideas, skills, and insights. 

Members, you have a very difficult choice! Meet the qualified candidates for the 2022 election! We have six open ExCom seats, two that will be one-year terms. Those receiving the least votes of the top six will receive one-year terms.

Some Things to Know:

  • Terms are for two (2) years and begin January 2023

  • The Chapter has several Executive Committee positions becoming open that begin January 2023.

  • To be eligible to run for the Ex Com, candidates must be a Sierra Club members.

  • The election voting period will run for one month, from November 18th - December 18th

  • We encourage nominees to volunteer with us, if not already, before the election period to become familiar with our local and regional issues.  There are many ways—digitally and remotely—to contribute, support, and become an activist on the various intersectional issues we’re focused on.  Get involved today!

Vote Now

Learn About the Candidates

Eric Albers

Eric Albers is a policy analyst at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. He specializes in data analysis and visualization, geospatial analysis, and demographic modeling. He also is a member of the Great Salt Lake Strike Team – an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the state’s research universities and state agencies.

Eric is a graduate from the University of Utah’s Public Policy masters program, where he specialized in Public Lands Policy. His master's thesis assessed the feasibility of achieving the Thirty by Thirty land conservation goal at a national and state level.

Outside of work, Eric is heavily involved with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. In addition to tabling at events and delivering newsletters, Eric is a member of the Grassroots Leader team. In this role, Eric lobbies for the America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act and was able to get Chris Himes (D-CT) to sign on as a co-sponsor in the house.

In his free time, you can find Eric climbing, trail running, biking, kayaking, birding, or skiing as he seeks solitude in wild places. Whether in the Central Wasatch, red-rock desert, High Uintas, or the West desert, he seeks to dedicate his life to exploring and defending the wild places this state has to offer.

Jim Catlin

I am currently on Utah Ex Com, and have spent the last fifty or more years involved in Environmental issues. I joined the Sierra Club in 1977 to help work on off-road issues in our nearby National Forests. I helped the Club work on our campaign to protect candidate BLM wilderness areas in Utah. I served on a number of state, regional, and national Sierra Club committees over the decades. I was on the Sierra Club board of directors 2002-2008 and am currently serving on two national Sierra Club grassroots teams, Recreational Issues and Grazing Teams. I was the past executive director of the Wild Utah Project, a nonprofit group that brings scientific support in promoting landscape network planning.

Ava Curtis

I should be considered for the position because I have been working with the Sierra Club and Granite Clean Energy for two years, and am currently leading that team.

I really hope to bring youth voices into the conversation, as well as the voices of those most impacted by climate change and ecological disasters.

My priorities would be working with youth organizations, increasing the efforts we put into helping save The Great Salt Lake and other bodies of water, and reducing air pollution especially on the west side of the valley.

I would also want to work more on the impacts of nuclear waste and nuclear energy. This is an issue that is deeply personal to me. My mom's family comes from a town called Oak Ridge, TN where large parts of the town are radioactive and are a superfund site. Exposure to these toxins has led my grandmother and her brothers to develop cancer. I think we need to do everything we can to help communities that are being affected by nuclear energy in our home state, especially the indigenous community who bear the worst impacts.

Paula Decker

Paula is an Instructor with the School of Geography, Development and Environment at the University of Arizona, where she teaches courses in Physical Geography, Environment and Society, and Biodiversity through the UA Online program. She has research experience in wildlife conservation policy and politics. Upon moving with her husband and teenaged son to Ogden in 2021, she determined to start taking action on long-standing concerns about climate change and found a home in the Sierra Club with the Utah Needs Clean Energy group. She is greatly enjoying learning and growing with the Sierra Club’s members and staff while exploring the mountains and canyons that drew her and her family to Utah from the also beautiful, but hot, desert of Tucson, Arizona.

I want to join the excom because I care deeply about advocacy work for wild spaces, and inclusivity’s role in building a better future here in Utah.

Jess Oveson

My name is Jess Oveson. I’ve been involved with the Utah chapter of the Sierra Club since 2017. I’d initially interned after meeting a Sierra club outdoors group that I’d had the opportunity to meet on a six-day river I was guiding.

After 10 years of working on public lands, I’d been looking for something new and that trip changed the trajectory of my life. I fell in love with advocacy work, DEI in the outdoors, and environmental education. I currently work with the volunteer engagement task force of the Sierra Club working to create a more inclusive environment within the Utah chapter.

Professionally I am currently the lead naturalist at the Swaner Preserve, where I strive to educate people on the import of wetland ecosystems and watersheds. Personally I enjoy skiing and hiking with my family and dog.

Mayren Rancifer

Growing up in Utah with the Wasatch Mountains in your backyard creates a love and appreciation for your surroundings and environment on a level that you can only understand if you’ve lived here. As a military spouse, I have had the privilege to travel around our great country and share that same appreciation for the vastly different landscapes that exist throughout. I've focused my professional career in communications on political campaigns, working to elect pro-climate candidates like U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Boston Mayoral candidate John Barros, and most recently, Utah State Representative Rosemary Lesser. I hope to bring to the Sierra Club the bold ideas for change that I have picked up along the way from the incredible advocates and candidates I have had the honor of working with. While I have called Utah home for the majority of my life, I am a DACA recipient and Dreamer who immigrated to the United States from Mexico as a child and continue to use my native language of Spanish to help advocate and share important causes and messages to the Latino community.

Sol Vargas

I was born and raised in Mexico City and immigrated to the United States with my family in 2013. Leaving our home and family behind to move to another country was difficult, but thanks to that sacrifice, I have enjoyed opportunities I never thought I would; one of those opportunities is higher education. I am currently on my way to finishing a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and preparing to take the LSAT to attend law school in the next two years. My ultimate goal is to practice as a civil rights or immigration attorney-- both being areas that intersect with environmental justice in one way or another. I believe my studies and passion for social justice and climate/environmental justice would allow me to contribute with high-quality work to the Utah chapter Ex Com. If accepted, I would also be looking forward to expanding my leadership skills and experience.

Eric Weck

A Sierra Club lifetime member since 2011, I served on the Valley of the Fox Group (Illinois Chapter) Board from 2013-2018. I coordinated the Group’s citizen science Water Sentinels water quality monitoring efforts, involving 18 volunteers, before moving to St George, UT in April 2018. In 2021, I was voted onto the Utah Ex Com for the remainder of the year, and am currently serving. In 2015 I joined the National Water Sentinels Leadership team and currently serve as its Water Quality Monitoring lead. My work background culminated as an IT Manager with a major corporation before retiring from that position in 2016. I have a strong electronic tools acumen and penchant. I am the designated user of Sierra Club’s Salesforce application which is used to distribute Water Sentinels bulk emails pertaining to quarterly informational calls and newsletter editions. I strongly believe that clean water and clean air are prerequisites to enjoying life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Vote Now

The Nominating Committee “NomCom” is composed of 3 members. Wayne Hoskisson, France Barral and Patty Becnel. Please contact Patty at with questions.