I’ve been organizing people and campaigning for social change since 1983, when at 13 I placed hangers on people’s doors reminding them to vote. I have worked on campaigns ever since. Most of the six kids in my family and our friends in the neighborhood wanted to grow up to help people by becoming doctors, firefighters, police officers and teachers. And although I did get to teach for two years, I found myself pulled back toward campaign work as the best way to serve. My driving passion is to connect good people together to do great things. So often, folks working on the same issue agree with each other and recognize everyone should work together, but are marginalized and disconnected and thus never collaborate. Bringing the childhood obesity movement together at PreventObesity.net is changing that by building great collaboration among everyone who cares about providing a healthy future for our kids. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and I hope that by connecting us, we can shift public policies that will result in healthier lives for generations to come. Personally, PreventObesity.net has woven together so many of my interests, including as a dad, organizer, teacher, advocate for justice, change maker and online strategist. As a director on the project, I focus our team on working side by side with everyone aiming to build a healthy world for all children.
Policy Passion: Reducing the amount of food and beverages that are marketed directly to children. As a dad, I know parents need all the help we can get to make sure our kids eat healthy. When companies advertise unhealthy products to children, they undermine us.
Favorite Food: Fruits. I love cold cantaloupe on a hot day. I cut them and my kids beg for my slices. I can never tell if coffee makes the healthy list for us adults, so I'll just call it a guilty pleasure.
Favorite Exercise: Rowing Machine. It’s the only place I can get in the zone and a runners high without destroying my knees. I actually like the erg more than any other machine. It is great and distraction free when I need to think and sweat at the same time. A close second would be yard work (not easy to explain, but done well, it is definitely physically and spiritually good exercise).
Director of Internet Strategy
I’ve spent more than 12 years organizing online efforts in the nonprofit sector. My work has brought thousands of motivated advocates into the environmental movement and helped shape major policy shifts in the corporate and government worlds. At PreventObesity.net, I help connect passionate Leaders with thousands of caring people like you. I’m making it easy for you to take action on important issues impacting children’s lives and health. I believe the childhood obesity epidemic is one of the most serious and yet solvable issues we face, but we can’t reverse the epidemic without people getting engaged in this movement. My job is to make sure you’re empowered to make a real difference.
Policy Passion: Encouraging people to drink more water. It’s the healthiest thing you can drink, and best of all, it’s free!
Favorite Food: I’m a salad fanatic! Really, I love vinegar, and salads give me a healthy excuse to combine lots of great veggies (and sometimes fruits!) with my favorite vinaigrettes. I probably have as many types of vinegar in my kitchen as I do spices.
Favorite Exercise: I’ve been going to pilates at least once a week for a little more than five years now. It’s a great way to stay in shape and a great stress-buster.
As the website manager, I’m focused on any and all online projects for PreventObesity.net. I spend my day creating petitions and web graphics, as well as managing the development of new apps, our website and online engagement tools. Before joining PreventObesity.net, I spent four years at Greenpeace USA, and I also worked on web and environmental advocacy at Ocean Conservancy and Oceana. I love checking out new technologies, writing, hiking and spending time with my two young sons and hubby.
Policy Passion: Stopping the marketing of unhealthy food to children. As a mother, I see firsthand how difficult it is to get my sons to eat their fruits and veggies. The struggle is made even worse when my kids see their favorite cartoon characters plastered on high-calorie, high-fat, low-nutrient foods and beverages. It’s time to give our kids a fresher, healthier view of nutrition.
Favorite Food: I’ve never met a fruit I don’t like. I always keep my kitchen full of fresh fruits. Not only are they delicious, but they’re quick to grab and eat when I’m in a hurry. Apples, bananas, Clementine oranges and strawberries are my faves.
Favorite Exercise: I love playing outside with my kids. We have lots of hiking paths and playgrounds nearby that we explore all the time. Whether I’m swinging from the monkey bars, climbing rock walls or pushing a stroller — I’m having fun with my kids while getting fresh air and exercise.
Senior Writer and Editor
I like to think of myself as PreventObesity.net’s storyteller and matchmaker. Most PreventObesity.net Leaders know me as the author of our weekly newsletter, The Inside Track, which features exclusive news from the childhood obesity movement and profiles of the folks working to reverse the epidemic in their community. I also write other content for PreventObesity.net, including blog posts and action alerts designed to get people motivated and engaged to fight childhood obesity. Before joining PreventObesity.net, I spent six years at the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call and also have written for the Orange County Register, Press-Enterprise and Almanac of the Unelected.
Policy Passion: Increasing time for physical activity in schools. I think all students should have an opportunity to exercise and take a break from lessons. Not only do studies show students do perform better in school when they move around during the day, they also deserve the chance to just run around and be kids. Those playground memories last a lifetime!
Favorite Food: I love Mediterranean cuisine, food such as couscous, hummus and whole grain pasta. I’m also a big fan of fresh tomatoes. I can eat them like an apple!
Favorite Exercise: Running, especially on the beautiful National Mall here in Washington. A few years back, my new year’s resolution was to run a 5K race. Last year, I ran my first half-marathon! Now I’m preparing to run the Marine Corps Marathon in October.
Customer Relations Manager
As the customer relations manager, I’m the one you’ll connect with when you use our contact us page. I research and find new Leaders working to create healthy communities for kids across the country and it’s always exciting to hear about your healthy programs! I also work with our great Leaders and Supporters to make sure you’re getting the most out of our site and network. I am a proud Michigan State Spartan and lived in the Great Lakes State until I served two terms with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps. This program was the adventure of a lifetime. I traveled around the country with a 10-person team and performed community service with more than 20 different nonprofit organizations. I love Michigan State sports and regularly wear green and white to support my alma mater. Go Green!
Policy Passion: Offering healthier foods in schools. Since I was a child, I’ve thought vegetables and other healthy foods were delicious but hard to find. In high school, I focused more on eating healthy, and it was always hard to find a healthy lunch in the cafeteria. Iceberg lettuce smothered in cheese and ranch dressing didn’t do the trick!
Favorite Food: Oh man, I love vegetables. I will pretty much eat anything, except tomatoes, and try to keep fresh produce on hand for a snack. I’ve been told my roasted asparagus and cauliflower is pretty amazing. I’m also a huge cottage cheese fan, and of course, I love Michigan cherries and Michigan apples from the orchard.
Favorite Exercise: Ultimate Frisbee! I’m actually the captain for a local Frisbee team called the Dolphriends. I also enjoy adventure races like the Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash. I'm also running a half-marathon in New Orleans this fall.