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WE ARE UTAH'S ENVIRONMENTAL WATCHDOGS

We work to protect Utah’s environment + people.

Our 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 is an advocate for public health and the environment, social justice, and community-based conservation. Since obtaining degrees in biology and environmental management from Harvard and Yale, Lexi has been professionally engaged in building healthy relationships between people and their environment for over 15 years. 

 

 She has lived in China, where she worked for the Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge; Nepal, where she worked on alternative livelihood strategies in mountain villages for the dZi Foundation; and Alaska, where she did environmental anthropological research on the Pebble Mine

 From 2016 to 2021 she served as the Executive Director of Sheep Mountain Alliance, a mountain west conservation organization based out of Telluride, CO. 

 

 She has volunteered as an EMT for ten years and has been on the screening committee for the Telluride Mountainfilm festival for the last 8 years. She previously volunteered as an instructor/guide for an adaptive sports program and took regular hotline shifts as an advocate for a domestic violence and sexual assault resource organization.

 

In her free time she spends as much time outdoors as possible, hiking, climbing skiing, and camping with friends, family, and her dog Tilly. She loves to dance bake, cook, and spend time with her son Martin.

 

info@healutah.org

About Melanie Hall

Melanie grew up in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, where she learned to love and value Utah’s unique landscape and geological history. Once in school, Melanie translated her appreciation of the built and natural environment into a love of history and a passion for social justice.

Thus, Melanie Hall comes to HEAL via Chicago, where she specializes in environmental history and the history of science and technology at Northwestern University. Prior to attending Northwestern, she received a B.A. from Westminster College in Utah and an M.A. from Binghamton University in New York.

 

Melanie has pursued numerous opportunities with nonprofit organizations, including environmental justice campaigns in Chicago as part of her participation in Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement. After being away for a decade, she is back in Utah and excited to be a part of the journey at HEAL Utah where she can bring her intellectual and social justice interests together as she researches and advocates for policies that will protect Utah’s landscape and communities.  

 

In her free time, Melanie and her Australian Shepard, Hubble, enjoy long hikes and trips to the desert. When they are in Chicago, you can find them at the beach on Lake Michigan. Melanie is also a huge baseball fan, and enjoys following her Chicago Cubs and, of course, the Salt Lake Bees

About Carmen Valdez

Carmen is a double University of Utah graduate, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science with a minor in Campaign Management and then a Master’s degree in International Affairs and Global Enterprise. Her professional background includes political organizing in Washington D.C. and Utah, as well as local legal work at some of Salt Lake City’s most esteemed law firms. 

 

 

Outside of work, Carmen is still advocating for other causes she cares about. In the last three years, she has not only created the Women’s International Diplomacy Initiative but has volunteered, sat on the board of, and attended national conferences for four separate organizations working on issues like anti-genocide, conflict free sourcing, Latinx leadership, and developmental disabilities. 

 

 

When she somehow finds spare time, Carmen is either at a concert or a campground with her two dogs and is even trying to visit all of the U.S. national parks in the next 2 years. 

 

Please reach out to Carmen with any questions regarding HEAL’s nuclear waste and clean energy

 

Carmen@healutah.org

About Alex Veilleux

Alex Veilleux (He/him/his) is a graduate of the University of Utah, where he earned a double major in Environmental Studies and Political science. His professional background includes working on several political campaigns, as a grassroots organizer for the Utah Rivers Council, and outreach and development for Seven Canyons Trust. 

 

Alex grew up on the east coast but moved to Utah when he was 18; he has done environmental work in Utah and internationally, in places like Germany and Cuba. This work includes Creating low-cost air quality sensors with the Atmospheric Trace Gas and Air Quality lab at the University of Utah.

 

Besides advocating for the environment, Alex enjoys skiing, fly fishing, and has recently gotten into mountain biking in his free time. He also enjoys reading, cooking and takes time to garden and maintain a flock of chickens. 

 

Please reach out to Alex for any questions regarding our clean energy campaigns. 

 

Alex@healutah.org

 

About Turner Bitton

Turner is HEAL Utah’s Development Director. Turner has been passionate and invested in public service and advocacy for years. In fact, he ran for his local city council when he was only 22! Hailing from western Weber County, the farm he grew up on is dedicating some of its land to become a solar farm – so Turner is no stranger to the world of energy and environmental activism. 

 

Prior to joining HEAL Utah, Turner has worked at a number of nonprofits ranging from Equality Utah to the YMCA. He most recently received a Certificate from Harvard Kennedy School in Applying Behavioral Insights to the Design of Public Policy.

 

Turner first became a supporter of HEAL Utah when he went to one of our presentations back in high school. He is excited to join a team that he describes as “small and mighty” (we sure are!) and looks forward to furthering our efforts to make a real, innovative impact.

 

When he’s not writing the commuter column for Cycling Utah magazine, you can still find Turner getting involved in local politics or attending a board meeting for one of the 10 – that’s right, 10! – nonprofit and community organization boards that he serves on.

 

Turner@healutah.org

About Jordan Stein

As HEAL Utah’s part-time Administrative Assistant, Jordan provides essential logistical support for our staff and campaigns by keeping the office running smoothly, making sure our contracts, accounts, and databases are up to date, and she pretty much coordinates everything and anything in between.

 

Jordan is a Utah native and a proud graduate from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology and Psychology. Her previous work includes management, operations, and administration for local businesses and Utah nonprofits, like the Utah Foundation and the Sundance Institute.

 

When it’s not football season, which she usually spends cheering for her alma mater, she enjoys camping, hiking, or otherwise exploring the best that the west has to offer with her son Julian and their dog, Sue.

 

Please contact Jordan for administrative, billing, accounting, technology, or other queries.

 

Jordan@healutah.org

About Meisei Gonzalez

 Meisei Gonzalez is HEAL Utah’s Communications Director. He graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Strategic Communications. Since graduating he has done advocacy work for immigrant rights and environmental justice. Meisei believes that in this digital age, anyone can make a difference through the power of community and mass mobilization

Reach out to Meisei with any press inquiries.

Meisei@healutah.org

About Kenna Patiño

Kenna Patiño is a graduate of Weber State University, earning a degree in botany with a minor in environmental studies. Her professional background includes spending time in Oregon, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona, surveying rare plants, and working on various ecological monitoring projects.

Kenna is a Utah native, where she has volunteered at various organizations. She has participated in many rallies and marches for social and climate justice here in Utah and nationally at rallies like The Women’s March in Washington DC. Kenna is currently a member of the Botanical Society of America and the Utah Native Plant Society. In the past she has interned at HEAL Utah, where she worked on the legislative session of 2020.

In her free time, Kenna loves to spend time with her adorable pup Aurora and cat Kida. She also enjoys doing yoga, trying different coffee, and catching up on reading.


Please reach out to Kenna for grassroots outreach efforts, like event participation or collaboration.

kenna@healutah.org

About Evangeline Burbidge

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.

About Evelyn Beguiristain

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. 

About Christy Clay

Christy has lived in Salt Lake City since 1997, when she took a job with the non-profit Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE). For three years she served as USEE’s Programs Director, working with schools along the Jordan River to integrate research-based science and environmental education into daily curriculum. In 2007, she earned her PhD in Biology from the University of Utah. Since then she has been a professor of Environmental Studies and Biology at Westminster College. At Westminster, Christy helps students find their place in the world of environmental science and civic engagement, which includes working with organizations like HEAL Utah. In her free time, Christy can be found working in her garden, trail running or mountain biking, or working as a community organizer for social and environmental justice causes.

About Cameron Hodson

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.

About Paul Zuckerman

Paul joined the HEAL Utah Board in October of 2016 after being a dedicated supporter and volunteer in recent years. As a recently retired teacher, Paul has enthusiastically jumped on board to be part of HEAL’s important work. He’s written letters to the editors, attends rallies and community events, fundraises, and is willing to fill just about any role to help fight for clean air and renewable energy.

About Craig Buschmann

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.

About Sophia Nicholas

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.

About Sophie Hayes

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.

For all media inquiries, please contact our Communications Associate, Meisei Gonzalez, meisei@healutah.org.  Please download the HEAL Utah Media Kit here.

About Dee Rowland

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

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

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.