We are a team of people that is committed to three things: we are committed to taking on climate change as the biggest challenge that is facing mankind, we are action oriented and are focused on measurable results, and it has to be fun. Working on climate change is working with people, which makes us a social movement where interaction, activities and fun are ingrained in our DNA.
Anybody can be a Climate Buddy, and we work with a variety of dedicated wonderful people, but the core team that is keeping the fire burning are the following people:
(alphabetical on first name and appearance in the group photo)
Richard and Beki Halpin. Beki grew up camping whenever she could in the fragrant forests of northern Louisiana and east Texas. She worked as a Girl Scout camp counselor through college and still celebrates the singular pleasure of helping children connect to the earth. For 20 years Beki worked as a physical therapist in home health, schools and private practice, a deeply enriching experience she left to homeschool her four daughters. She helped start a vibrant homeschool support group, taught at a homeschool co-op, learned many times more than she ever taught her daughters, and loved every minute of it. Beki works with her church’s environmental ministry to address the biggest issue we will face as people of faith and people of the earth, climate change. She and her husband, Richard, work with other faith organizations to empower and inspire one another to celebrate ways we can be good stewards of the earth we all love and depend on. She is all in.
Courtney Meijer is a yoga teacher and personal trainer who is passionate about sharing her love of health and wellness with others. As a self-confessed food nerd, she is always looking for ways to enhance nutrition not only for her friends, family and clients, but also for the environment. By focusing on healthy, sustainable food choices, she is interested in helping to shift from a manufactured and sick food society to one that can sustain people, plants and animals in harmony. She is all in!
Greg Choban is a retired Army Officer and former operations and marketing executive in several Information technology businesses in Central Texas. His 20-year military career initially consisted of assignments to troop-based combat units and later capitalized on his expertise in the information technology arena. He spent the last 8 years of his career in the Pentagon managing several highly classified computer systems in the war rooms of the Army Staff and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his private sector career, He managed several large-scale information technology projects programs and served as a marketing executive in two small businesses, developing and executing strategies that successfully helped them grow their market share with current customers and to penetrate entirely new markets. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University. He enjoys backcountry hiking and mountain climbing in Colorado and Utah and is passionate about preserving nature’s beauty for future generations. He is all in.
Joep Meijer is an environmental chemist from Europe and has worked with industry and government for the last 15 years to quantify sustainable performance. He works with companies that make materials for us to build with and companies that design products for us to use. He trains design teams in sustainable design and helps companies guide innovation and research and development towards greener products and services. He serves on several national committees, for example at the US Green Building Council. He believes in the good of people and wants to see people succeed in what is important to them. He started Climate Buddies because in the end it comes down to people taking responsibility and with the understanding that a million small steps together represent a huge step forward. Why not focus that inspiration on our single most important challenge. So he is all in!
Nancy Choban is a retired Austin Realtor who, having grown up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, has a deep love for the environment and a great concern for today’s pressing environmental issues. As a pastel artist and art museum docent, she brings a different perspective to the scientific based problems facing global warming. In Austin, she has served on mental health boards, worked on political campaigns, and formed and conducted “grief and loss” workshops in local high schools. Together with husband Greg, she supports and helps to grow the momentum toward a sustained environment. She is all in.
Patty Stephens draws years of experience in empowering people’s skill in discovering their common life managing differences in the personal, organizational and community arenas. Currently, in private practice, Patty consults with organizations on Board and Leadership Development. She also leads groups and individuals seeking increased life effectiveness and emotional well-being. Patty began her career as a community organizer, founding and directing Community Education in Austin, a neighborhood-directed program using school buildings as a center for learning for all ages and solving neighborhood problems. This program became a national and international model applied in Lima, Peru and Monterrey, Mexico as well as cities throughout the United States. She went on to found and direct Wilderness Forum, Inc. a national leadership education program using nature as the center. Patty joined Climate Buddies, the non-profit devoted to making a difference on Climate Change. For her now, this the most important, imminent problem that has to be resolved by our generation. She is all in!
Robert Murray is a former General Manager of Seattle City Light, the nation’s 6th largest publicly-owned electric utility, the 2nd largest municipal utility. His responsibilities included serving on the Board’s Executive Committee – at the time the largest nuclear power construction project yet attempted. Prior to that assignment, he coordinated an Energy Study for the Oregon Governor and Legislature, which outlined a 50-year energy plan that would gradually transform the state’s energy system to one that would be all-renewable (primarily solar-based), using integrated electricity-hydrogen distribution to the urban and industrial centers. His energy consulting career included numerous engagements which, taken together, established energy efficiency investment on a equal footing with new energy supply options, demonstrating in most cases the decisive financial, employment, and environmental advantages of the energy efficiency “bridge” to all-renewable regional energy futures. He is fond of pointing out that he is cute, smart, and doggone it, people just like him. He is all in.