Teresa Mills, Executive Director
Grove City, OH
For over 25 years Teresa has worked as a grassroots leader to help communities to find their voices, analyze data and develop strategic plans. She began her activism career by shutting down the Columbus Incinerator, which was polluting her neighborhood and was later defined as the largest emitter of dioxin in the country. Today she works with Torch CAN DO! and other community groups living near and around toxic injection wells.
Among her many awards, Teresa was presented with the 2017 Appalachian Advocate Award for dedicating herself to enhancing the well being of Appalachian communities, Appalachian women’s health , Appalachian families and Appalachian land issues through her many years of dedicated service as a proponent of environmental justice.
Tim Kettler, Board of Directors
Tim Kettler is a resident of Warsaw in Coshocton County. A small business owner in an environmental field Tim has 33 years in the wastewater industry and holds a Class 1 Wastewater Operators certification. Surface and groundwater protection are a daily task and he is keenly aware of the threat posed by the development of oil, gas and plastics that put his community at risk. Tim is a founding member and current Board member and Treasurer of Coshocton Environmental and Community Awareness Inc. (CECA) an environmental education and advocacy org. Supporting community outreach CECA has organized, funded and held an annual youth-oriented Earth Day Celebration for the county for the past 4 years. In 2015 Tim worked on successful tax-exempt status for CECA as a 501(c)3 organization. CECA waged a 2-year battle with Buckeye Brine over the re-classifying of Class 2 wells to Class 1 operation. Continuing work and organizing -has been sidelined recently since CECA is the funder and principal organizer of Educate a Legislator Day September 25, 2019 to stop Ohio SB 33. A former two-time candidate for statewide office and former co-chair of the Ohio Green Party Tim has a well-experienced and wide personal, professional and political perspective important in stopping the environmental onslaught that we are facing.
Dr. Ted Auch, Board of Directors
Ted’s primary responsibilities include mapping and bringing to light data gaps associated with the waste, water, and land-use footprint of the unconventional oil and gas build-out across the Midwest/Great Lakes region of North America. Ted’s primary interests include frac sand mining, watershed security/resilience, the food-energy nexus, and oil and gas waste production, transport, and disposal.
Ted came to FracTracker after a successful stint as a Cleveland Botanical Garden postdoc fellow quantifying the Great Lakes Basin’s (GLB) vacant lot portfolio, constructing various Vacant Land Repurposing (VLR) scenario models, and working with institutions, urban planners, and community groups to understand the cost and benefits associated with VLR from an economic, social continuity, and environmental perspective. Prior to that, he completed a postdoc at Green Mountain College. Currently, Ted is also Adjunct Faculty at Cleveland State University.
Ted’s dissertation while finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Vermont was titled “Modeling the interaction between climate, chemistry, and ecosystem fluxes at the global scale.” Prior to this work, Dr. Auch pursued an MS at Virginia Tech looking at the ecological effects of strip-mining and Mountain Top Removal (MTR) in West Virginia, southwest Virginia, and eastern Kentucky with a focus on soil ecology and plant diversity
Ted is currently on the Board of Faith Communities For a Sustainable Future (FaCT) and serves on the NAACP Ohio Environmental Justice Advisory Board. He lives with his wife and two amazing boys in Shaker Heights, Ohio. He has been committed to fighting for environmental justice and our ecosystems’ since he was an undergraduate at the University of Vermont working with Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann at the Native Forest Network (NFN) now Global Justice Ecology Project in their effort to protect Lamb Brook Old Growth Forest tracts in the 1990s.
Cheryl Johncox, Board of Directors
Union County, OH
Cheryl is a proud Ohio native. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources management and policy from The Ohio State University. She has spent more than 20 years working to protect Ohioans and our land, air, and water from polluters. In her current role as part of the Sierra Club’s National Beyond Dirty Fuels team, Cheryl works to move Ohio and Pennsylvania beyond fossil fuels. Originally from the Cuyahoga County area, Cheryl, and her family live in rural Union County. Cheryl was a candidate for Ohio’s 86th House District in 2012. In 2005 Cheryl was the recipient of the National Conservation Achievement Award, from the National Wildlife Federation for her work on International Sustainable Development.
Leatra Harper, Board of Directors
Wood County, OH
Leatra (Lea) is the Managing Director of FreshWater Accountability Project, started by her family in 2012 in response to the threat of fracking in her neighborhood in SE Ohio. Since that time, Lea has been a consistent advocate for public education, community action and individual empowerment to initiate actions to protect public health and the environment from the highly toxic and unregulated industry of fracking and its associated infrastructure, including pipelines, midstream processing, and most recently, the planned petrochemical buildout along the Ohio River. Lea has been a long-time environmental advocate. As a small business owner of the Nature Reserve, Lea began the “Walk for the World” Earth Day celebration in Wood County, which continued for 10 years to raise funds for the Maumee River. Lea has a graduate degree in Organizational Development from BGSU and is a grandmother hoping to make a better future for her granddaughter in the face of climate change. Lea continues to work with community members, media and researchers in efforts to expose the false propaganda, externalized costs and political compromise, teaming up with others statewide to hold the industry accountable for its harms.
Elizabeth Hixon, Board of Directors
Elizabeth is a 22-year-old who was introduced to capitalism versus indigenous rights saga in 2016 during a two-month stay at Standing Rock. Upon her return, she began educating herself on dirty oil/ gas projects, struggles Ohioans were facing regarding historic environmental concerns and the pervasiveness of native themed mascots in Ohio school systems and businesses. She attended actions put on by organizations and shared their messages in the meantime. She’s been focusing on the health within her human and non-human community. This also includes broadening her knowledge of native plant and fungal kingdoms and how to prepare native foods and herbal medicines for personal use. For the past year, she’s attended workshops to build communication skills, digital organizing skills, as well as policy background relating to the rights of nature.
Elizabeth is currently involved in organizing the Ohio Climate Strike and Week for Future campaign with youth in Columbus, Erase the Space (which is a school program focused on bridging communication gaps between students across districts in Columbus), and volunteering with Magic House Farms and with food give-away’s at NAICCO
Becca is an independent multimedia journalist/digital communications specialist. Other skills include outreach, recruiting, training and event planning and management. Becca is passionate about social justice issues, and community organizing has a life-long love of wildlife and outdoor recreation and cares deeply about conservation. She has worked with a variety of grassroots non-profit organizations and is a founding member of Keep Wayne Wild. She is also a member of Heartwood, Ohio Environmental Council, Sierra Club, and Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action. Becca is currently employed by the Sierra Club.
Linda has a great deal of experience in dealing with local environmental issues. She fought to protect her community from a highly flammable facility that refines magnesium. While her neighborhood group was not successful in stopping the facility, they were very successful in getting Ohio EPA to change several provisions in the facility’s permit. She still acts as a watchdog of the facility. Linda also continued to follow the Class 1 Hazardous Waste injection wells not far from her home. The childhood cancers brought a lot of environmental issues to light, and Linda was involved in a lawsuit against Whirlpool when they were found to be in violation of the law.
Linda was the chair and a founding member of the original BEN Board of Directors but had to resign after she moved with her family to Florida. Linda recently moved back to Ohio and desires to become a member of the current board of directors for the Buckeye Environmental Network. Linda has kept in contact with the current Executive Director over the years and feels like she has remained part of the team all along. Linda brings energy and enthusiasm to the board with a can-do attitude.