Doug Bland, AZIPL’s Executive Director, Doug Bland is one of the founders of Arizona Interfaith Power & Light and has served as the Executive Director since 2009. He also is a member of the Board of Directors for the national Interfaith Power and Light. Doug is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and recently retired from the Community Christian Church in Tempe where he served as pastor for twenty-three years. The church’s inter-religious and multi-cultural storytelling concerts earned the Diversity Award form the Tempe Human Relations Commission. He earned a BA in Zoology from the College of Idaho and an M. Div. from Duke Divinity School. Besides his interest in connecting spirituality and ecology, Doug is passionate about the art of storytelling. He is adjunct faculty at the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute, where he has taught “The Art of Storytelling”, “Telling Sacred Stories,” and “Using Storytelling in Businesses and Organizations,” “Storytelling & Advocacy,” “Storytelling & Healing.” He is a national coach for the Arizona Storytelling Project.
Sally Rings, taught for more than 25 years in the Maricopa Community Colleges and was a founding faculty member of Paradise Valley Community College. Long before her retirement, she felt drawn to participate in efforts to preserve this beautiful planet and has served on the board of AZIPL since its inception in 2009. She loves working with others who are also passionate about healing Earth. In addition to her work with AZIPL, she serves on board of Catalyst AZ, which promotes theologically progressive ideas and actions.. She is fascinated and awed by the intricate interweavings of all life and loves to hike both in the Arizona deserts and Colorado mountains.
Nona Siegel, is a Family Nurse Practitioner who has been passionate about how humans interact with the earth since graduating from UC Berkeley in Conservation of Natural Resources in 1975. Born and raised in Montana and Los Angeles, the contrasts made a big impact. She has been curious about the human need to find spiritual meaning, and AZIPlL has been a great way to connect with fellow Eco-travelers, and turn environmental angst into action. Exploring nature, cooking, reading, creating and teaching grandchildren to savor the natural world are her favorite activities.
Chuck Necker, has had a long list of computer related positions serving a number of businesses in Ohio before relocating to the Phoenix Valley in 1992 to work at AlliedSignal’s Corporate Data Center and then IBM before retiring. He volunteers attending to the snake collection at Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary and as a Park Steward for the City of Phoenix Mountain Preserves. He is married with four children and four grandchildren. He enjoys taking long cross-country motorcycle journeys and hiking the precious Sonoran Desert.
Karen Schedler was raised on a farm in Michigan by conservation-minded parents and credits her childhood as the place where she fell in love with nature. Her love of learning about the natural world led her into the field of Environmental Education (EE) for the past 40+ years, and climate change education has become her life’s calling since attending a NASA workshop for teachers 20 years ago. She consults as Natural Teacher LLC, facilitates EiE (Engineering Is Elementary) workshops, and is an ASU Faculty Associate. She is inspired by a quote from Rachel Carson, which originally addressed chemicals (especially DDT) in our lives but readily applies to our current climate crisis as well.
Soumya Parthasarathy, originally from India moved to US in 2009. She is a computer science engineer with work experience in both IT and the field of sustainability. Soumya enjoys learning about spirituality and it’s sustainable practices for keeping planet, mind and body healthy. She lives with her husband and son in the valley. Her interests are personal development, yoga, Indian classical music and waste diversion. Soumya runs her own waste diversion program called www.zerowasteplanner.com in the valley to help divert organic waste to promote circular economy and cut back on GHG emissions. She is excited to serve as a board member for AZIPL to help and learn as much as she can.
Born in CT, Bill Janiga was interested in sports and creating things from an early age. He graduated from College with a teaching degree in industrial Arts where he met his wife Ellen. He taught Junior High for two years before leaving to pursue a BS degree in Engineering, and has subsequently worked at for over 40 years with Honeywell as an aviation engineer. His work took him to AZ in 1995 and it has been a tremendous growth period for him, his wife and 3 children. He is active on several committees at his church, and a Big Brother. When not working or volunteering, he loves to read, run, design and build furniture, bike, and be a father/grandfather. His favorite place is their cottage on Cape Cod reading on the lake in the summer. In 2019, he has made a commitment to do his best to make sure his children/grandchildren can enjoy this place called Earth.
Teri Raml spent more than four decades working for the federal government in natural resource and public land management, split equally between the U.S. Forest Service (early years) and the Bureau of Land Management (later years, up until her retirement). Her career took her from Colorado to South Dakota, Washington DC (twice), southwest Virginia, northern and southern California, Oregon and Arizona. In her early career with the U.S. Forest Service’s Washington Office, she managed the Endangered Species and Neotropical Migratory Bird program. During her tenure with the Bureau of Land Management in Arizona and especially in southern California, she was responsible for authorizing several large-scale renewable energy projects. Teri retired in April 2019 and is working to become an effective citizen activist. She wants to work with others to utilize her diverse experience to help address the serious environmental challenges facing us. Teri and her husband Steve like traveling, playing music, reading and attending all types of theater.
Jeff Grout is an Energy Engineer and Certified Energy Manager with a passion for energy efficiency and harnessing the vast solar power potential of the Desert Southwest. He is committed to eliminating high pollution advisory days in Arizona and securing the right to clean air and clean water to all, especially the underserved communities. The technology for a clean, green economy exists, it just needs to be implemented. Jeff is a member of Valley Unitarian Universalist congregation in Chandler Arizona and has learned that there is a common theme running through the world’s religions that includes peace, love, compassion and stewardship of the earth. Jeff tries to incorporate all of these into his daily life. He is proud to serve on the Arizona Interfaith Power and Light Board as they are a diverse community of different faiths working together to combat global warming while promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, conservation and social justice. He is a strong believer in strong, diverse communities and renewable energy. Jeff has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management, both from the University of Massachusetts. Jeff is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard and paid his way through college on the GI bill. As an Energy Engineer and Project Manager, Jeff has managed Energy Efficiency projects with Commercial and Industrial customers in Arizona for over 10 years. His experience includes working on Demand Response and Demand Side Management programs with major utilities from coast to coast.
Derrick Elliott has a Christian foundation rooted in the Baptist tradition from childhood to young adulthood until the “God is Still Speaking,” campaign when, he says, “the United Church of Christ campaign spoke to him.” This led him on a journey to become a Member in Discernment with Casas Adobes Congregational Church, UCC in Tucson, AZ and the Southwest Conference in 2013. He was ordained as an authorized minister within the United Church of Christ in 2016. Derrick is currently the Pastor of Desert Heritage Church in Mesa, AZ and also an Air Force Chaplain Reserve Chaplain stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in the rank of Captain. Prior to serving as an Air Force Reserve Chaplain, he spent twelve years of service in the Louisiana National Guard as an enlisted Administrative Assistant and as a Military Intelligence Officer. He has been an elementary school teacher, Community Outreach Specialist for Homeless Veterans, a Correctional Chaplain, a Hospital Chaplain, a Youth Worship leader and a member of the Board of Directors for Arizona Interfaith Power & Light. He currently holds a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary, along with Master of Education and Bachelor of Art degrees from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is in the process of enrolling into a doctoral of ministry program.