2023 WI Chapter Executive Committee Elections

2023 Chapter Executive Committee Elections

Wisconsin Chapter Elections:

Sierra Club, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization, is proudly democratic and member-driven. Nine at-large delegates along with six appointed Group delegates direct the work of our chapter here in Wisconsin.

This year four individuals have been nominated to run for three open at-large seats. Those elected will start their three-year term in January 2024.  Read the candidate statements below then cast your vote here. Only Sierran's with an active membership on October 5, 2023 are eligible to vote in this election. Deadline to vote is November 11, 2023.

Cast your vote click here to go to ballot


1. Please describe your interest in the Sierra Club, and any leadership or volunteer activities with our organization or other non-profit groups that will help you fulfill your role.

2. What unique skills, experience, or perspective from your personal or professional background (fundraising, legal, accounting, communications, Board, political) will you bring to the Sierra Club – Wisconsin Chapter’s Executive Committee?

3. Looking forward over the next 3 years, what do you think the Chapter needs to do, or how do we need to grow and change to be effective on our issues?

4. Although the Wisconsin Chapter works on a variety of conservation issues, we focus on a limited number of priority issues affecting Wisconsin. Of the Chapter’s priority issues, which one are you most passionate about and why? Currently these are: 1.) Protecting Our Water Resources 2.) Moving Beyond Coal to Clean Energy, 3.) Moving Beyond Oil to Clean Transportation 4.) Protecting Habitats from Destructive Mining and 5.) Protecting native Forests and Wildlife.


Candidate Bios: 

Scott Coulthurst
Of Germantown, Washington County

Scott Coulthurst

My interest in the Sierra Club is based on my belief that volunteering is an important part of who I am. The Sierra Club allows me to participate in causes which relate to my love of nature. I have been a member of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group Executive Committee as Secretary since 2022. Previously, I was a member of the Village of Germantown Park and Recreation Committee for 9 years, during 8 of which I was Chair of the Committee. 

For much of my 30-year career in operations and human resources, I have been leading and developing people. I believe my unique skills in emotional intelligence can help facilitate success in a group setting.

I believe Sierra Club, or any group trying to influence environmental activism, needs to reach out to people on how issues affect their everyday life. No one is going to outright say they don’t want clean air, clean water, or more birds in their local park. However, we must show society, and specifically voters, how decisions on fossil fuel pipelines, large carnivore regulation, or electric utility increases directly influence the lives of Wisconsinites from the rural Northwoods to inner city Milwaukee.

I am most passionate about protecting native forests and wildlife. Since a young age, I have been an outdoor enthusiast. I treasure my time in nature, whether it is hunting whitetails in fall, mountain biking the great trails of southeastern WI or just taking a walk in a local nature preserve on my lunch hour. Being a member of the Sierra Club helps me share this passion to preserve and protect nature and help people understand the value nature brings to people of all backgrounds.

Leland Pan

Leland Pan
Of Madison, Dane County

While I recently moved back to Madison, I spent several years in Milwaukee.  There, my neighbors and I started a Parks People group in our neighborhood to support our local park – Friends of Valley Park. In addition to community building, park beautification, Menomonee River cleanup, and promotion of gardening, we took a stance against the proposed I-94 expansion. We joined the coalition that Sierra Club is part of in pushing back against highway expansion. This effort reconnected me with Sierra Club's work.

Previously, I had experience as a community and labor organizer and as a former elected Dane County Supervisor, where I pushed back on the Enbridge pipeline and served on the Environment, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee for two years. I am also currently an elected representative in Madison Teachers, Inc., the union representing Madison Metropolitan School District educators, and have some experience in organizational logistics from this.

I bring an equity-oriented perspective driven by my own identity as a person of color and my experiences in majority nonwhite and majority working class communities in both Madison and Milwaukee. We know environmental issues disproportionately affect these communities, but these communities face extra barriers to self-advocacy and organizing. Continuing to build these relationships, such as through the I-94 expansion coalition, is an important step to accurately address the most pressing environmental concerns.

While all of Sierra Club's causes are critically important, Clean Transportation has been my focus for the past few years.  Car-centric urban planning has directly harmed communities I live and work in.  Moving away from it is not only necessary for our climate and environment, but critical for people’s health and to reduce the socioeconomic disparity, as we expand public transit and remove the pressure to fall into the financial hole that is car ownership.

Peter Skopec

Peter Skopec
Of Madison, Dane County

Over the last decade, I have been fortunate to work in close partnership with the Sierra Club–Wisconsin Chapter’s outstanding staff, leaders and volunteers on a number of issue campaigns. I deeply admire and have learned a great deal from the Chapter’s strategic, grassroots-driven and inclusive approach to advocacy and organizing, in service of protecting our climate and environment for this and future generations. I would be thrilled to support the Chapter’s impactful work as a member of the Executive Committee.

I hope to bring my ten years of professional experience in grassroots organizing, advocacy, campaign planning, and organizational and financial management – including as the past executive director of a Wisconsin public interest group, and as the current advocacy director of a national voting rights organization – to the Chapter’s Executive Committee.

The Sierra Club–Wisconsin Chapter is an indispensable, widely respected voice in the state’s environmental movement; as such, I hope the Chapter will continue to lead by example and demonstrate how grassroots-driven, inclusive organizing can produce lasting change and more just outcomes for all Wisconsinites. I also hope the Chapter will invest in welcoming young people into the environmental and environmental justice movement. Finally, I believe the Executive Committee should play a strong role in ensuring the Wisconsin Chapter remains a fulfilling, rewarding and welcoming place for staff to work.

I am particularly passionate about Moving Beyond Coal and advancing Clean Transportation. Our continued use of fossil fuels in the energy and transportation sectors is detrimental to public health, the global climate, and current and future quality of life in Wisconsin, particularly for already vulnerable populations. The work of the Sierra Club’s staff, leaders, volunteers and partners has led to important wins in these issue areas, and I’m grateful that the Chapter is continuing to push for progress.

Sarah Streed

Sarah Marie Streed
Of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County

I have a lifetime of environmental advocacy behind me. I began a wetlands group, I was the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Interfaith Climate & Energy Campaign, and project writer for the River Alliance of Wisconsin, among others. I also am a writer. My book Leaving the House of Ghosts was published by McFarland & Company. I have written lots of climate journalistic pieces and I taught writing at UW-Madison for some years.

I am passionate and enthusiastic and that inspires others. I can write almost anything quickly and easily. I also finish what I start and so can be relied upon. Most of all, I am persistent and do not give up.

I think the chapter needs to do concrete things. I have written up a plan to follow the Held v Montana lawsuit here in Wisconsin based on the Wisconsin Public Trust Doctrine, which I would love for the Sierra Club to go after with all their resources.

1. Protecting our Water Resources and 5. Protecting native Forests and Wildlife

Schedule & Nomination information

Watch the October Sierran for your ballot and candidate information for the Chapter Executive Committee!  The Nominations Committee will produce its slate of candidates from the names previously submitted for consideration. Please note that candidates can also run for election as petition candidates, on written petition of at least 15 Chapter members. Candidate petitions are due by September 15.  Members can also submit ballot petitions by August 30 with the signatures of at least 15 Chapter members. 

WI Ch.ElectionSchedule.2023.pdf234.18 KB