Board of Directors

Evelyn (she/her) is a finance professional with over 6 years of experience since moving to Utah in 2015. She moved to Salt Lake after earning her undergraduate in Finance, Economics, and the black line on the bottom of the pool (as a swimmer) from Whittier College. While she focuses primarily on financial analysis, underwriting, and contributing to the growth of the “unicorn” fintech start-up she works for during the day, she is passionate about the world around her. You can find her doing all the outdoor activities, painting, cooking, and in the pool at Steiner when not working or advocating. After living in their 1986 Toyota Winnebago for some time, Evelyn, her partner, and their German Shepherd have moved out of the valley and into the mountains in order to protect their health from the poor air quality. She will be part of the finance committee while on HEAL’s board. 

Evangeline is a partner at a litigation boutique (translation: she’s a lawyer) where she works on a wide array of matters, from founders’ disputes to trade secret theft cases.  She attended Yale University and then the University of Michigan Law School, graduating with honors from both.  Before returning to her hometown of Salt Lake City in 2019, Evan lived in four different states and five cities.  She loves theater, coffee, succinct emails (with bullet points), and going skiing/hiking/biking with her husband and their three small children.  With those three small children in mind, Evan wants to leave the world a better place for the next generation — and she is proud of the work HEAL is doing to achieve that goal.

Cameron is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and performs financial and control focused audits at a local accounting firm. He has worked with clients in various industries, but specializes in insurance, SOC, 401(k) and nonprofit. Cameron was born and raised on the green and rainy side of Oregon and moved to Utah in 2007 for college. After falling in love with a Utah native and the different, but wonderful mountains and parks, Cameron decided to stick around. Cameron enjoys running with his goldendoodle, preferably in the warmer summer months, reading, and pickleball.

Craig earned a degree in mechanical engineering and worked in Bolivia, Barbados, and the Gulf of Mexico before attending law school at Boston University. He is a member of the Utah State Bar and a partner at Ramey & Schwaller LLP. He has practiced intellectual property law in Utah for over a decade, specializing in mechanical and electromechanical technology, as well as chemical and energy practices. Craig has been a longtime supporter of HEAL and previously served as a Special Advisor to the Board for energy issues.

Sophia is the Communications Manager for the Salt Lake City Sustainability Department (aka “SLCgreen”) where she manages the public outreach platforms and activities for the capital city’s sustainability initiatives. This includes waste & recycling, food access programs, the SLC Climate Positive plan, and others. She previously had the pleasure of working on HEAL Utah’s staff from 2008-2016 as the first development director and then associate director. She’s passionate about protecting Utah’s environment, engaging people in actions to safeguard the planet, and continuing the strengthen HEAL Utah’s community of inspired activists and supporters. She grew up in Salt Lake City, attended college in Massachusetts, and joined the HEAL Utah Board in 2018.

As the Managing Senior Staff Attorney at Western Resource Advocates (WRA), Sophie Hayes represents the organization in state regulatory proceedings and other policy-making forums, with a particular focus on the Utah Public Service Commission. Her work emphasizes renewable resources, grid decarbonization, energy efficiency, and utility-regulatory policies that mitigate and adapt to the harms of a changing climate.

Prior work included private practice, as well as eight years at Utah Clean Energy, directing their regulatory intervention and representing them in regulatory proceedings related to integrated resource planning, net metering, renewable resource acquisition, and energy efficiency.

A Utah native, Hayes isn’t the first in her family to embrace the West’s natural resources. Her grandparents were naturalists, often taking her bird watching and rock collecting. Her grandfather was a geologist, and her grandmother was an environmental advocate in their community. It’s a legacy Hayes is proud to continue.


She holds two degrees from Brigham Young University, including a Juris Doctor from J. Reuben Clark Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a sociocultural emphasis.

Hayes currently resides in Utah with her cat Agate, and enjoys walks along the Jordan River Parkway, table-top games, and planning elaborate parties and Halloween costumes with her nephew.

Dee spent 25 years directing the Peace & Justice Commission for the Salt Lake Catholic Diocese. A long supporter of HEAL causes, her volunteer efforts also include chairing the boards of the League of Women Voters, Utah Issues, Utah’s Health Insurance Risk Pool, and the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah. Some of the many other boards Dee has served on include United Way of Salt Lake, the Utah Foster Care Foundation, and Utah Safe Drinking Water Committee. She has also spent time in Kazakhstan, Kenya, South Sudan, and the former Soviet Union to advocate and provide relief services. A proud mother of grown daughters, Dee enjoys tennis, singing, hiking, and sailing in her spare time.

Gabriela Portugal was born and raised in Mexico City, where she studied medicine and worked in clinical research for over 15 years. She later moved to Salt Lake City, where she became the Director of Cancer programs for Alliance Community Services and later joined the IMC Community Board and the Mexican Consulate Medical Consulting group.


In her little free time as a mom of three, she enjoys CrossFit gym with her teenage son (sometimes her husband joins), traveling, attending concerts, and spending time with her dog Moshi.

Briana Kobor grew up in California and moved to Utah with her family in 2017. She has spent her career in energy policy in various positions, including energy regulatory consulting, nonprofit rooftop solar advocacy, and private sector decarbonization efforts.

She enjoys taking in all the natural beauty that Utah offers in her free time–hiking, climbing, skiing, and exploring with her partner and two young kids. Living along the Wasatch Front, she sees daily how vulnerable our communities are to climate change, air pollution, and other environmental threats. She is honored to be joining the board at HEAL to help support the critical work they are doing every day to give voice to our communities and safeguard a healthy environment for all Utahns.

John R. Contreras is from Nogales, Arizona. He is an epidemiologist and has worked for the Arizona Department of Health. He moved to Utah in 1997 to attend the University of Utah and subsequently attended Johns Hopkins University and Arizona State University. He is the Chair and Director of the MPH Program for Westminster College. He has a depth of experience in environmental health research and has conducted numerous studies here in Utah. 

John enjoys riding his mountain bike and spending time with his son (who currently attends the University of Utah). 

He is very excited to work with HEAL’s board members and serve on the Board.

Board meets on the third Wednesday of every month unless otherwise noted

HEAL maintains a list of interested Utah residents to add to our board as openings occur so that we can continue to incorporate a diverse array of skills, expertise, and life experience.  If you (or someone you know) could contribute in the areas of environmental science or regulation, grassroots organizing, public policy and law, engaging with diverse communities, or non-profit finance and governance, contact us at bod@healutah.org and we’ll send you more information including the expectations of service on our board and an application form.

About Lexi Tuddenham

Lexi Tuddenham has dedicated her career to building healthy relationships between people and their environment for over twenty years. During this time, she has served as a researcher and advocate for public health and the environment, social justice, and community-based conservation. She has degrees in biology and environmental management from Harvard and the Yale School of the Environment, and spent several years living and working in Nepal and China before returning to the US to work in the Mountain West in the landscapes that she calls home.

As HEAL’s Executive Director since January of 2022, she believes deeply in the power and talent of HEAL’s staff, board, and community to create a safer, healthier, and more livable world for every Utah resident.



About Jordan Stein

As HEAL’s dedicated office manager, Jordan ensures smooth operations by handling administrative tasks, HR responsibilities, and financial matters. A Utah native from Park City, she cherishes the nearby mountains. Jordan is a University of Utah alumna with dual Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Sociology. Her career journey spans 16 years, transitioning from small business administration to working as a location sound mixer in Utah’s film industry. For the past few years, she’s dedicated her expertise to the nonprofit sector, contributing to both large national organizations and small local nonprofits. Beyond her computer at HEAL, Jordan relishes outdoor adventures, passionate Star Wars discussions, and visits to the library with her two sons, Julian and Jonah, along with their beloved dog, Sue.



About Melanie Hall

Melanie Hall is the Policy Director at HEAL Utah. In this position, Melanie works to ensure that all of Utah’s communities are free from harmful pollutants and have access to a liveable planet. Her focus areas include sustainable and equitable transportation and ensuring that Utah pursues an energy future that builds resilient and safe communities. Before HEAL, Melanie pursued graduate degrees in US environmental history, and the history of science and technology at Northwestern University in Illinois. Prior to attending Northwestern, she received a B.A. from Westminster College in Utah and an M.A. in women’s history, immigration, and human rights from Binghamton University in New York.



About Carmen Valdez

Carmen ValDez has been volunteering for local, national, and international nonprofits for over a decade, focusing on human rights and advocacy. She has experience in a range of nonprofit roles, from grassroots outreach to policy to board membership. She earned her degrees in political science and international affairs from the University of Utah and  excelled in numerous internships while working for one of Utah’s largest law firms. 



About Meisei Gonzalez

Meisei Gonzalez is an environmental justice advocate and communicator based in Salt Lake City, Utah. As the Director of Communications for the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah), he focuses on addressing environmental disparities faced by the Latino and LGBTQ+IA communities.


Meisei has successfully lobbied for environmental-focused legislation at both the national and state levels. With a unique perspective as a first-generation Latino, he is known as the “EnviroCowboy” and is dedicated to making a lasting impact in the fight for environmental equity.


Please reach out to Meisei in regards of any press questions.