2021 Executive Committee Election

The Miami Group has nine seats. Members are elected for two-year staggered terms. 

There are five open seats so please vote for no more than five candidates for the 2022-2023 Executive Committee. The candidates for ExCom this year are Chris Curran, Doug Jose, Kathy Kugler, Barry Randall, Em Rhodes and Brian Williams. Candidate statements are available below.

Voting will begin October 27 and end December 10, 2021.
Chris Curran

Chris Curran

Chris Curran has been a long-time member of the Sierra Club and active with both the Miami Group and the Ohio Chapter, serving on the Miami Group ExCom and as the Miami Group’s representative on the Chapter ExCom. She helped to initiate chapter grants to groups, which provided funding for numerous Miami Group campaigns and supported the group of numerous college interns involved in environmental advocacy.

Chris was the long-time chair of the Wild & Scenic Conservation subcommittee charged with protecting the Little Miami River and successfully stopping the planned Eastern Corridor highway which would have included a major new bridge across the river and severely disrupted numerous parks and neighborhoods in Newtown, Anderson and Mariemont. This work transitioned into advocacy for green transportation, which has continued in her role as Professor of Biological Sciences at Northern Kentucky University where she received EPA funding through the People, Prosperity and the Planet which received an honorable mention for innovative strategies to reduce traffic-related air pollution (TRAP).

She is currently funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study genetic susceptibility to TRAP and is anxious to use her scientific skills to support the work of the Miami Group.

Doug Jose

I have previously served on ExCom, been Communications Chair, and most recently Innings Chair. I have also been an Outings leader for more than 10 years. If elected, I would help focus our energies in the areas that appear to have the greatest potential for success.

Kathy Kugler

Kathy Kugler

Hello, I am Kathy Kugler, a retired school psychologist and avid nature lover. I support the work of Sierra Club on both a national and local level. I strive to bring clean air and clean water to my world and to my local environment. To do this, I have worked to be the change I seek. I have involved myself in Township politics to ensure that the need for clean air and water, and quality of life for all, is recognized and addressed in the Township in which I live. I have seen that zoning regulations are the route to improving clean air, clean water and better quality of life for all.

Check me out on Women of Cincy Kathy Kugler: ‘There is nothing like a cookie.”

Barry Randall

As a Sierra Club member for many years, I have tried to live our motto “Explore, Enjoy and Protect”. An avid hiker, backpacker, paddler and cyclist, I’ve always enjoyed Sierra Club activities. In 2013 I became certified as a Miami Group Outings Leader so that I could encourage others to enjoy the natural world as I have throughout my life, believing that those who experience the outdoors will come to love, respect and protect it. In 2018 I became the Miami Group Outings Chair, inheriting a vibrant and active group of volunteers that every week introduces new people to Sierra Club and the outdoors through a variety of activities. While unable to conduct in-person activities during Covid, we introduced an extremely successful Virtual Outings Series on Zoom. In addition to Outings, I have been an active member of ExCom for the past 2 years, help lead the Miami Group Communications Committee, and am a member of the newly-formed Ohio Sierra Club Communications Committee.

If given the opportunity to continue to serve on the Executive Committee, I will do my best to promote our values and goals across the community.

Em Rhodes

Em Rhodes

Hello, I am Em Rhodes and I am seeking your vote for the Executive Committee. In the few years that I have lived in Southwestern Ohio I have come to strongly believe that our region is uniquely positioned to be transformed into a sustainable region that could be a shining example to the rest of the country.

I left my career as a speech language pathologist to join the environmental studies program at the University of Cincinnati, and I will graduate with a B.A. this December. I did this because I want to devote the rest of my life to reversing the effects of climate change or, as our Sierra Club motto states, to “educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment”. At UC I have received a firm base in the latest knowledge about the environment and climate change. This knowledge base will serve me well as a member of the executive committee.

I also plan to continue to cultivate the connections that I have with the university, and develop more connections with the many environmental groups in our region. I was very inspired by serving this year on the Political Action Committee of the Miami group – I feel like we will really have a positive impact! By making endorsements in the Cincinnati Mayoral and city council races we have increased the chance that city government in the largest city in our region will make positive changes for the environment.

By serving on the Executive Committee I’m sure that I can continue to find ways to have a positive impact.


Brian Williams

Brian Williams

As a Miami Group ExCom member since 2018, I’ve worked to increase the visibility of the Sierra Club in the Dayton area. In support of renewable energy, I played a role in adding Dayton to the Sierra Club’s list of Ready for 100 cities earlier this year. I drafted the Miami Group resolution opposing proposed industrial development of the Knoop Prairie adjacent to the Dayton International Airport, a project that would have undermined the aquatic ecosystem of the nearby Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm. As ExCom Chair this past year, I’ve sought to improve communications with the Ohio Chapter, which had fallen into disarray the past several years but is now under the guidance of an appointed Steering Committee. The Miami Group is now playing a key role in getting the chapter back on track. I’ve also supported an effort to study sources of PFAS chemicals in public drinking water systems in Southwest Ohio. If re-elected, I’ll continue efforts to raise public awareness of the dangers that forever chemicals present to the public health.

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