The ecoAmerica staff has built multi-million dollar consumer businesses, developed and ran some of the most innovative successful environmental, political, and social marketing programs to date, fostered collaboration and change amongst dynamic and diverse leaders, driven strategic consumer campaigns for global brands, and produced award-winning events.

Kara Ball

Blessed Tomorrow Program Director

Prior to joining ecoAmerica as the Faith Sector Director, Kara served as the Director of Strategic Relationships with National Wildlife Federation where she helped build new partnerships and relationships with business, faith leaders, President's Advisory Council members and supporters to advance climate solutions, environmental education, and habitat conservation priorities. 

Kara served as Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in Virginia, where she provided leadership and strategic direction to advance environmental education, sustainable agriculture and cultural history programs. She also served as Director of Sustainable Countrysides with Western Pennsylvania Conservancy where she established the Conservancy's first place-based program in a high priority conservation area - the Sideling Hill Creek watershed. She also worked for seven years with Booz, Allen & Hamilton management consulting firm, directing projects for private and public sector clients including the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Kara holds a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in environmental policy and an emphasis on sustainable economic development, and a Master of Business Administration, both from the University of Maryland. 

 When she's not working, Kara enjoys jogging and birding. She is a certified Virginia Master Naturalist, a trained Climate Reality presenter, and joined her husband Rev. Jim Ball for the "What Would Jesus Drive" tour and educational campaign to reduce pollution and fuel consumption from our transportation choices.

Dan Barry

Path to Positive Communities Program Director

Prior to joining ecoAmerica as the Path to Positive Communities Program Director, Dan served as the Senior Climate Policy Analyst for the District of Columbia Department of the Environment’s Office of Policy and Sustainability, where he advanced climate mitigation and preparedness plans for the nation’s capital and created sector-based sustainability pledges.

Prior to DDOE, Dan worked for 25 years with local, state, national and international environmental advocacy organizations, including VPIRG, Rural Vermont, Environmental Working Group, CLEAR, Americans for the Environment, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defense Fund, and Save Our Environment.

Dan grew up on a dairy farm in Vermont and lived in Saudi Arabia as a teenager. He earned BA degrees in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Vermont, and an MS in Environmental Policy and Communications from Green Mountain College. Dan, his wife Maria, and son Ethan live in Washington, where they are active in local parks advocacy, and promoting underground music events. On weekends, Dan coaches sports he never played to other peoples’ children.

Jane Chang

Climate for Health Program Manager

Jane Chang plays a lead role in supporting Climate for Health, engaging national health leaders and institutions to elevate climate change as a visible health priority, build climate literacy, and collaborate for collective impact. Prior to joining ecoAmerica, Jane was a Program Officer at the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). She managed the planning, implementation, and evaluation of NEEF’s environmental health programs, striving to improve the public’s health through advanced environmental health knowledge, with an emphasis on children and underserved populations. Jane is also a Lecturer in Prevention and Community Health at the George Washington (GW) University Milken Institute School of Public Health, teaching Community Engagement and Advocacy for the MPH@GW program. She also received her Masters in Public Health from GW on the Community Oriented Primary Care track. In her spare time, Jane can be found cheering on the Washington Capitals and traveling with her friends and family!

Ashley Fisher-Poggio

Ashley Fisher-Poggio

Events Manager

Prior to joining ecoAmerica, Ashley was the Global Exchange Fair Trade Store East Coast Manager where she led and directed all activities including organizational management, event coordination, strategic marketing, training, procurement, and payroll administration. A California native, Ashley moved to D.C. to attend The Catholic University of America where she received a degree in Sociology for International Development and a minor in Comparative Politics. With an extensive international background and long time involvement in international social justice work, she brings an in-depth understanding of the connections between cultures, organizations, and people around the globe. As part of her international experiences in places such as Poland and South Africa, she has worked closely with representatives from the International Relations community such as the Permanent of Secretariat of the Community of Democracies as Assistant Head of Regional Programs and External Relations Coordinator.

Dirk Kincannon

Chief Administrative Officer

Dirk Kincannon is ecoAmerica’s Chief Administrative Officer, responsible for finance, human resources, systems, and operations. Prior to ecoAmerica Dirk was the Chief Operating Officer at Vivaterra where he oversaw finance, operations, and administration. Before Vivaterra he held positions in financial management as Director of Finance at Napastyle and as Controller of eGain Communications (EGAN), where he helped lead the company through its IPO in 1999. Dirk began his finance career at Velocity, Inc. and served as accounting manager there and later at WhoWhere?—now part of Lycos, Inc. Dirk received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley and his MBA from Golden Gate University. He was a volunteer English teacher in West Sumatra, Indonesia with Volunteers in Asia and also taught in Hungary. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and daughter. He enjoys playing piano (especially duets with his daughter) and loves to cycle and swim.

Peggy Knudson

Vice President of Development

Peggy is responsible for identifying, cultivating, winning and stewarding donors for ecoAmerica. She has nearly 20 years of experience in fundraising and grantmaking, including at the Brookings Institution, where she was Director of Development for Foreign Policy; at the Center for American Progress, where she was Senior Vice President for Development; at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, where she was Vice President for Development. She started her career at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, where she was promoted to Acting Director of the Fund’s Berlin office in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Peggy has also been Associate Senior Editor at The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Executive Director of Women In International Security (a networking organization designed to promote women as decision makers in foreign and defense affairs), and a Marketing Manager at the Treuhandanstalt, the German privatization agency that restructured and sold formerly state-owned East German companies. Beyond the professional realm, Peggy has volunteered as a third-grade teacher in Ibadan, Nigeria. Peggy has an M.A. in European studies and economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in journalism and English from the University of North Dakota, in her home state. She is fluent in German and has lived in Freiburg, Dresden, and Berlin, her favorite city, where you can always bring your bike on the mass transit system and the trains run everywhere and on time. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family, and dreams of the day when the 200-year-old post-and-beam cabin they are rebuilding on the Cacapon River in West Virginia will be finished.

Kirra Krygsman

Research Manager

Kirra Krygsman supports the planning, production, and management of sector engagement marketing, programs, and strategic partnerships for ecoAmerica’s MomentUs program. Formally, Kirra supported both of ecoAmerica's research and marketing departments, and has recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Molecular Environmental Biology with an emphasis in Human Health and the Environment. Prior to joining ecoAmerica Kirra interned for the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she gathered and analyzed information on developments in international clean technology market trends for companies in the Bay area. She also has a passion for scientific research, as she has worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab researching and presenting on carbon fixation in algae for biofuels. Kirra throughly enjoys running, yoga, surfing and during the winter months she can be found snowboarding down the slopes in Tahoe. Go Bears!

Hanna Simone Mandell

Marketing Coordinator

Hanna is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley and earned a B.A. in Integrative Biology, accompanied by a minor in Spanish Linguistics. In the past, Hanna has worked in various healthcare settings; she volunteered at a free clinic for three years, as well as contributed to the implementation of a medical clinic in a rural village of Honduras. Aside from her aspiration to attend medical school, Hanna is the founder of The Brain Connection, a non-profit tutoring organization that she developed and launched in 2008. Under her supervision and off-site direction, the program continues to encourage the academic success of young learners. Hanna’s passion for innovation allows her to bring a creative perspective to her work at ecoAmerica, where she works with the marketing team to make climate engagement in America a reality. When she’s not working or preparing for medical school, Hanna loves to dance, listen to music, and travel the world with her family. Go Bears!

Bob Perkowitz
Founder and President

Bob Perkowitz is an entrepreneur, environmentalist, writer, investor and distance cyclist. Over the past 25 years Bob has been President of direct marketing and manufacturing organizations with revenues reaching $600 million, including Cornerstone Brands, Smith+Noble and Joanna Western Mills. Bob currently is Managing Partner of VivaTerra LLC and ecoSalon LLC and a partner in Arqua Equity Partners, LLC. In the non-profit sector, in addition to his work with ecoAmerica, Bob is on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Defense Fund of North Carolina and World Bicycle Relief. He also served a Trustee of the Sierra Club Foundation from 2001-2007. Bob received a B.S. in Social Thought from Lake Forest College and an M.B.A. from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He resides in Washington, DC and San Francisco with his wife Lisa Renstrom. Bob has ridden his bike across North and South America, Australia, Europe and part of Asia, and is currently trying to figure out how to complete the Asia ride and pedal across Africa.

Gibbs Rehlen

Director, Program Operations

Gibbs Rehlen has a background in communications, corporate social responsibility and international development. Gibbs comes to ecoAmerica from Pact, an international development organization. At Pact, she project managed their rebrand, oversaw two signature initiatives on small scale mining and creating a new international development paradigm as well as managed a corporate engagement and due diligence program to engage prospective partners responsibly. Previously Gibbs managed pro bono activity at NCTM Studio Legale Associato, an Italian law firm. A fluent Italian speaker, Gibbs spent ten years living and working in Italy. She has also spent time living and working in Costa Rica, India, Kenya and South Sudan.Gibbs received her BA in Comparative Religion from the University of Vermont and an MS in Non-profit Management from SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont.

Meighen Speiser

Chief Engagement Officer

Meighen is ecoAmerica's Chief Engagement Officer, overseeing the strategy and management of marketing, programs, and research for ecoAmerica and ecoAmerica initiatives. Before joining ecoAmerica, Meighen was the Brand Director for (RED). She was integral to the conception, launch and continued growth of the (RED) brand, and led collaboration with partners (Gap, Hallmark, Windows and more) on all consumer-facing expressions of their (PRODUCT) RED partnership. Meighen also worked at Mattel, Inc. where she held roles in brand and marketing for their consumer products division with over 1,000 worldwide licensees of the Barbie other Mattel brands. Previously, Meighen achieved success in financial services as VP Marketing for Robertson Stephens Investment Bank. As Chief Engagement Officer at ecoAmerica, Meighen fulfills her long-time goal of a career in sustainability and to lead marketing for an eco-progressive organization. Meighen lives in San Francisco with her husband and two young children.

Jennifer Tabola

Climate for Health Program Director

Prior to joining ecoAmerica as the Health Sector Director for MomentUs, Jennifer served as the Senior Director of Education at the National Environmental Education Foundation where she led national strategy, programming and partnerships to advance K-12 environmental education and equip youth to develop solutions to environmental challenges through grants, awards, learning resources, contests and events, including National Environmental Education Week, the country’s largest celebration of environmental education. Jennifer’s career spans the nonprofit, government and philanthropic sectors and includes serving as one of the inaugural AmeriCorps Program Officers and the Director of Training and Education for the National Civilian Conservation Corps at the Corporation for National and Community Service, helping to establish an early literacy initiative in Minnesota which has become the country’s largest state AmeriCorps program, conducting executive search with the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group, and running a consulting practice tackling environmental, education and civic engagement issues.

As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador with her husband, Jennifer helped develop the country's first urban environmental youth service corps and collaborated with international and local NGOs to establish a community mobile health clinic. A Las Vegas, Nevada native, Jennifer earned a Bachelor's in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine, and holds a Master’s in Education, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University. She has served as an Executive Fellow crafting welfare to work policy within the California Governor’s Office and as an Education Policy Fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership. Jennifer serves on the Green Schools National Network Advisory Council, is a certified Master Naturalist, and loves adventures on the sports field, in the great outdoors and urban centers, and on the stage with her two young boys.

Jasmine Thomas

Sector Administrative Coordinator

As Administrative Coordinator for the Network Team Jasmine provides administrative support to the Vice President of Programs and Program Directors by performing scheduling/calendaring, overall program support such as event logistics, meeting management, meeting minutes, research and records oversight (for Network GDocs and Salesforce). Jasmine comes to us having spent more than seven years as an Executive Assistant/Administrative Assistant for the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development and the American Foreign Service Protective Association. In those roles she provided administrative support for senior leadership teams, trained new staff, managed meetings, calendars and prepared documents for external stakeholders. Jasmine is currently in her second semester at Trinity University, studying to obtain a bachelors degree in Business Management. In her free time when she’s not studying, Jasmine enjoys spending time with her family and friends and traveling.

Kaoshoua Vang

Graphic Designer

Kaoshoua brings more than 5 years of experience in print design, including brochures, flyers, infographics, illustrations, layouts, logos, and branding. Before joining ecoAmerica, she worked for ESET, an anti-virus software company located in San Diego, where she combined her graphic design and project management skills to organize and successfully execute numerous creative requests, promotional campaigns and was instrumental in planning large company events. Kaoshoua also spearheaded many philanthropic campaigns that raised a significant amount for non-profits such as Feeding America, ASPCA, and Crisis House. Before joining ESET, Kaoshoua worked at National University as the office administrator and interned at Custom Interior, an interior design firm. Kaoshoua earned her BA in Graphic Design from San Diego State University in 2012. In her free time she enjoys cooking, baking, do-it-yourself projects, and spending time with her dog, Hachi.

Candace Williams

Executive Assistant

As Executive Assistant, Candace will be providing administrative support to ecoAmerica’s Founder/President Bob Perkowitz and VP of Development Peggy Knudson. She will act as a liaison to internal staff and external contacts at all levels. After receiving her BS of Business Administration from UMUC, Candace worked as the Executive Assistant/Web Manager for the American Foreign Service Protective Association and served as an intermediary for the Senior Living Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in Washington, D.C.

Ellen Hall

Communications Manager

As ecoAmerica’s Communications Manager, Ellen is responsible for defining and managing content strategy for ecoAmerica and its programs. Prior to taking on this full-time role, she had a part-time position as Senior Writer for ecoAmerica, where she managed the ecoAffect blog and social media content. She has over 18 years of experience in advertising and marketing, having worked both in-house and freelance for ad agencies such as McCann-Erickson and J. Walter Thompson, large companies like Old Navy and Esurance, and a variety of small design firms and startups. Her position at ecoAmerica fulfills her long-held ambition of a career in climate advocacy. Outside work, she can be found traveling the world with her husband, cheering on the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors, and hiking in the Bay Area hills.

Michelle Watts

Marketing Communications Manager

Prior to joining the ecoAmerica team, Michelle spent five years as the Marketing Manager for an LED lighting company in Santa Barbara, California. There she directed and executed all marketing initiatives, including strategic planning, event participation, and campaign implementation and analysis. Originally hailing from rural Washington state, Michelle attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where she graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and Religious Studies. Michelle lives in San Francisco with her husband. She loves to run, bake, travel, and explore the numerous San Francisco neighborhoods.

DC Office: 1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20036

SF Office: 870 Market Street, Suite 428, San Francisco CA 94102

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