Mariel Nanasi – Executive Director & President of New Energy Economy
Mariel Nanasi is the Executive Director and President of New Energy Economy. A civil rights and criminal defense attorney, she is licensed to practice in both the state and federal courts. Legal cases she has won and settled have been featured in the major media, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican, and on many television stations, including a documentary, “End of the Nightstick,” on PBS. When Mariel realized the urgency of climate change, she came to work for New Energy Economy as the senior policy advisor. Two years later, she was asked to serve as executive director. A zealous organizer, Mariel’s can-do spirit is infectious. As comfortable with complex policy and legal challenges as on-the-ground organizing, she easily connects with the public, including young Hispanic artists, firefighters on the front lines, acequia caretakers, grassroots Native leaders, funders, and legislators. Mariel lectures on climate change and environmental justice at conferences and college classrooms and her essay, A Future Without Coal: In New Mexico Supreme Court, Again, can be read at http://www.climatestorytellers.org/stories/mariel-nanasi-a-future-without-coal-in-new-mexico/. She is also a rhythmic skier and enjoys having friends over for delicious meals and lively discussions.
Bianca Sopoci-Belknap – Program Director
Bianca Sopoci-Belknap joined New Energy Economy to serve as the Program Director in September 2012 in order to focus her organizing work on the most pressing issue of our time – climate change. She oversees the effective development and implementation of New Energy Economy’s climate justice and renewable energy projects and campaigns. Originally from Santa Fe, Bianca has been involved in community development and organizing efforts in her hometown for over a decade. She brings years of nonprofit management and program development experience through her role as the Founding Director of Earth Care’s Youth Allies and Food Cadre Programs as well as her work for community & educational organizations throughout the country, including Antioch College, Global Exchange, Destiny Arts Center, the Border Network for Human Rights, Del Pueblo Inc., OffCenter Community Arts, and Local Energy. In addition to her work with New Energy Economy, Bianca is the Executive Director of Earth Care where she mentors an amazing staff to run youth empowerment, social justice, and environmental stewardship programs and projects in the community. With a background in global justice and youth organizing, she brings a passion for community empowerment and radical grassroots-led change. She has served as an advisor and consultant for a number of youth development and empowerment programs throughout the country. She is the former Chair of the City's Sustainable Santa Fe Commission and served on the Santa Fe Food Policy Council for 3 years. She holds a B.A. from Antioch College in Social and Global Studies with a focus in Sustainable Economic Development and is the mother of two little ones.
Lyla June Johnston – Communications Director
Lyla June Johnston was raised in Taos, New Mexico and is a descendent of Diné (Navajo) and Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) lineages. Her personal mission in life is to grow closer to Creator by learning how to love deeper. This prayer has taken her on many journeys and materializes in diverse ways. She is a student of global cycles of violence that eventually gave rise to The Native American Holocaust and the destruction of many cyclic relationships between human beings and nature. This exploration birthed her passion for revitalizing spiritual relationships with Mother Earth and cultivating spaces for forgiveness and reconciliation to occur between cultural groups. She is a co-founder of The Taos Peace and Reconciliation Council, which works to heal intergenerational trauma and ethnic division in the northern New Mexico. She is a walker within the Nihigaal Bee Iiná Movement, a 1,000-mile prayer walk through Diné Tah (the Navajo homeland) that is exposing the exploitation of Diné land and people by uranium, coal, oil and gas industries. She is the lead organizer of the Black Hill Unity Concert which gathers native and nonnative musicians to pray for the return of guardianship of the Black Hills to the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota nations. She is the also the founder of Regeneration Festival, an annual celebration of children that occurs in 13 countries around the world every September. In 2012, she graduated with honors from Stanford University with a degree in Environmental Anthropology. She is a musician, published writer, public speaker and internationally recognized performance poet.
Marisol Fernandez y Mora - Outreach Coordinator
Marisol Fernandez y Mora started as an intern at New Energy Economy in 2012. Since then, she has returned every summer as an active member of the team to assist with community engagement through public speaking, fundraising, and coordinated events highlighting important environmental issues within New Mexico. Marisol is a graduate of the United World College and is in her final year at Smith College where she is pursuing a major in Government with a minor in Spanish. She is passionate about social justice issues and is currently focused on environmental advocacy, with a particular interest in its intersections with racial justice and anti poverty movements. Marisol has committed to a number of projects for youth involvement and community improvement, including her work as a youth mentor. Marisol founded and served on the board of two teen centers in El Dorado and Las Vegas, NM, and has used her talents as a musician, vocalist, songwriter, and public speaker to engage youth on issues of poverty, racial justice, LGBTQ equality, and sustainability. Marisol was previously Assistant to the Director of the Bartos Institute for Constructive Engagement in Conflict. Her work with New Energy Economy has fueled her passion for environmental justice and community organizing. Marisol hopes to continue to advocate for change, especially within traditionally under-served communities in New Mexico and beyond.
Jessica Eva Montoya - Operations Manager
Jessica Eva Montoya, born and raised in Santa Fe, NM, has worked in prevention of gender based violence and Survivor Justice through rights based education and advocacy since 2000. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the College of Santa Fe where she graduated with honors and a recipient of the Who’s Who Award. Jessica is a Global Coordinator with One Billion Rising and has been actively involved with One Billion Rising since 2012. Through her involvement with One Billion Rising Jessica has come to understand the intersections of gender based violence and violence against Mother Earth. She is excited about working with New Energy Economy to transform our energy system with renewable energy resources that honors and sustains Earth's natural balance. Jessica believes that local community members can become unstoppable leaders. She enjoys sharing ideas and connecting conversations. She is a living testament, that survivors can be at the heart of activism.
Betsy Taylor – Young Climate Leaders Director
Betsy Taylor leads the Young Climate Leaders Action Network, an informal yet highly dynamic network of predominantly young social entrepreneurs working for climate solutions and a sustainable economy. She is President of Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, a small consulting firm offering strategic services to philanthropic, business, and nonprofit clients. Her consulting practice focuses on high-impact, catalytic initiatives to address climate change and promote a sustainable culture and economy. Betsy is former president of the Center for a New American Dream and board member of Garrison Institute. She is the author of three books, including More Fun, Less Stuff; What Kids Really Want that Money Can’t Buy; and Sustainable Planet: Solutions for the 21st Century.
Gibrán Rivera is an internationally renowned master facilitator who has devoted his life to the development of leaders and organizational transformation. Gibran's graduate studies were in diplomacy, mediation, and negotiation. He brings special expertise in helping organizations create a new paradigm of communication, leading to inclusive, democratic and results-oriented practices. Gibrán is a Senior Associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change, a consulting practice that works with organizations, communities and networks to build their capacity for more effective, equitable, and inclusive social change. Through IISC Gibran helps design and facilitate the Barr Fellowship, a program dedicated to building connections between Boston’s most prominent non-profit and public school leaders to drive positive change in our community. As a facilitator, organizational consultant, leadership trainer and speaker Gibrán has partnered with several organizations, including The Lambent Foundation, Web of Change, Social Change Institute, Creative Change, OPEN-US, Creative Leadership Lab, Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, The Rauschenberg Foundation and many more.
Toby Herzlich is a facilitator, trainer, and organizational consultant with a focus on leadership, sustainability, organizational excellence, and culture change. With a practice aimed toward the diverse needs of multicultural groups, Toby's participatory methods emphasize dialogue and joint problem solving to foster collective intelligence toward sustainable solutions. Her work helps leaders, organizations, and networks cultivate transformative practices that build purposeful, tangible, and effective social change results in the world.