Leaders / Steering Committee

Kim Ross is the president and founder of Rethink Energy Florida, a non-profit dedicated to educating, engaging, and empowering citizens to take action toward achieving energy independence and a sustainable environment. As an owner-member of EarthSTEPS, an environmental consulting firm, she also works as a Program Manager for the City of Tallahassee’s Demand-Side Management Program and leads EarthSTEPS’ sustainable ‘LEED’ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building division. Kim is also a mother of two, and believes that her passion for protecting the Earth coincides with protecting her children. She was honored by the Tallahassee Democrat as one of “25 Women You Need to Know” in 2014.

Jorge Aguilar is the Florida Director of Food & Water Watch. Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.  He has been working on water issues in Florida for 8 years and fought against the privatization of water in the state.

Michelle Allen is the Florida Organizer at Food & Water Watch. She is based in St Petersburg and works across the state to ban fracking. Prior to joining Food & Water Watch, Michelle managed a canvass office raising funds for water and solar energy issues in Florida. She also worked on campaigns to ban fracking and offshore drilling in North Carolina with the NC Conservation Network. Michelle first became passionate about social change work while a obtaining her undergraduate degree in Geography at Kennesaw State University. As a student volunteer organizer with Greenpeace, Michelle worked to get her university to commit to a transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. She can be reached at mallen(at)fwwatch.org.

Patty Whitehead representing Preserve our Paradise.

Marybeth Dunn representing Physicians for Social Responsibility – Florida.

Mary Gutierrez is the Executive Director for Earth Ethics, inc. a non profit organization that works with individuals, communities, and organizations on environmental and social justice issues. Ms. Gutierrez has an undergraduate degree in environmental science and a masters in sustainable community development. She has worked as an analytical chemist, field biologist, and an environmental planner over her expansive environmental career.

In addition, Ms. Gutierrez lends her environmental expertise to various community organizations.  She serves as the Co-Chair for the League of Women Voters of the Pensacola Bay Area Natural Resource Committee, as a Board Member for the Scenic Highway Foundation and .as a Board Member for the Northwest Chapter (and State) of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals. She is a committee member for the Environmental Career Worker Training Program Advisory Board. She also is part of the regional groups Gulf South Rising, and Another Gulf is Possible. She is past Chair for the City of Pensacola’s Environmental Advisory Board and the City-County Storm Water Advisory Team (SWAT). She is also a recipient of the numerous awards[KR] , including 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) Designated Contact Point for the U.S. Climate Action Network, 2015.

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson is a Campaign Organizer for Sierra Club Florida.

Merrillee is a founding member of FLAF working with many individuals and groups to ban fracking in Florida for the past 3 years.  She has been a champion for clean water for over 10 years in Florida as a volunteer and one of the founders of Our Santa Fe River where she served as a Board member, President and Policy Director. A tireless volunteer, she also served as President of Save Our Suwannee; sat on innumerable committees, boards, advisories; and consultant groups for non-profit organizations.  As an ardent activist for natural systems, she gives countless lectures, radio and TV interviews, and appears on panels and round tables.  In the past, as a volunteer, she attended a huge number of governing meetings, from water management boards, county and city commissioners, to the State Legislative Sessions. Now with the Sierra Club, she is focused on organizing others to take the leadership role in protecting our environment.

Michelle Suarez is a Community Organizer for Organize Now and F.I.R.E., born in Bogota, Colombia, Michelle has resided in Central Florida for the past 16 years. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Central Florida. Her disciplines include Humanities: Philosophy, Religion, and Popular Culture, Music Performance, and Environmental Studies. Michelle has been a long-time advocate for Sustainability and Climate/Environmental Justice. Her organizing experience includes involvement with resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, on-campus Divestment campaigns, “Change the Course” training for the Rainforest Action Network, Power Shift, and more.  Michelle believes in bringing change through an intersectional and interdisciplinary approach that includes racial, socioeconomic, gender, spiritual, and ecological lense. Ms. Suarez is passionate about the interconnectedness of social issues and changing the current narrative to one that includes equity and justice for all.

Doug Miller – ex-officio – as the Statewide Anti-fracking Coordinator. Doug first got involved in environmental organizing during the Tar Sands actions outside the White House in the fall of 2011. After graduating and returning home to Tallahassee Florida, Doug volunteered with a number of  organizations,  including the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network, mentoring and coaching student leaders in the  Southeast. Doug’s passions are for engaging and empowering Florida’s residents to be citizen leaders in their struggle  for energy  independence.