Chapter Leadership Committee
Our chapter was one of the first in the country, established on Oct. 1, 2017. Elections are currently held in March each year with terms lasting one year — from April 1 to March 31. There is a two-year term limit for contested positions.
The Leadership Committee and other roles may evolve and the election schedule may change over time.
If interested in playing a leadership role, let us know — especially for helping us build diversity and youth involvement.
CHAPTER CHAIR | Tom Coleman
A native of Boston, Tom has worked at many organizational levels in manufacturing, information technology, and in process improvement disciplines. In 2018, he retired as chief information officer and now works in the field of environmental, social, and governmental education and activism. He is a Climate Reality Leader, the chair of the chapter’s Electric Vehicle Campaign, and is actively engaged with the work of the chapter. Tom holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, is a Certified Business Process Master, and is Certified as a Change Management Professional. Tom has rooftop solar panels and two electric vehicles.
CHAPTER VICE CHAIR | Bruce Mainzer
Bruce currently serves on the Electrify Public Transit and EV teams of the Chicago chapter. After getting a masters degree in transportation from Northwestern, Bruce worked for 10 years in public transportation, including stints with the Chicago area RTA, Illinois DOT and Metro-North Commuter Railroad in New York City. He then worked in the travel industry for United Airlines, Norwegian Cruise Line, Vail Resorts, Hyatt Hotels and Carey Worldwide Chauffeur Services. Bruce retired in 2019, after serving for the last 13 years of his career as a marketing and pricing consultant for hotel owners and major travel industry brands. Bruce enjoys all forms of transportation and after owning convertible foreign sports cars, he is now a big fan of his EV. He and his wife love to travel, especially to Paris, which is his second favorite city after Chicago.
CAMPAIGNS CHAIR | Pam Tate
Pam is currently chair of the chapter’s Campaigns Committee and co-chair of the Task Force on Electrifying Public Transit. After serving as the CEO of a national non-profit in the education and workforce development field, she left that role in 2018 to devote her life to the climate crisis and was trained in 2019. She has a two dogs and loves to go for walks in nature. She is a lifelong lover of giraffes and spends considerable time on saving them from extinction. She’s on the board of American Forests.
PUBLIC EDUCATION CHAIR | Vidya Bommi
Vidya Bommi has lived most of her life in the Midwest except for two years in Haiti with the Peace Corps and Hospital Albert Schweitzer. Vidya has a Master’s in Social Work at Loyola and has worked over 20 years in public and private mental health. She is now in the Doctorate program of social work at University of Southern California with an emphasis on the intersection on environmental injustice and women. Vidya was trained by the Climate Reality Project in Las Vegas 2022.
COMMUNICATIONS CHAIR | Cynthia Linton
Cynthia helped start the Chicago chapter, has been chapter chair, and is now communications chair. She is retired as a journalist and j-school professor at Northwestern’s Medill. Former VP Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ inspired her in 2007 to take action on climate. She was active with the Sierra Club, then trained with The Climate Reality Project in 2017 (Seattle).
MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT CHAIR | Sara Parikh
Jeff, who lives in Glenview, went to Trinity College in Connecticut and got an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern. He worked in IT for over 20 years. His goals are to address the fossil fuel-driven climate crisis, the loss of biodiversity, and income inequality. Jeff is a researcher, analyst, and communicator, and has used these skills in his role as co-leader of the Evanston chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, lead of the Divest, Defund, De-sponsor team of our chapter, and a member of the 350 Chicago Divestment team.
Kristina Murphy is co-founder of Accelerate Climate Solutions and serves as Vice President of the Board. She owns Confluence Climate Consulting LLC. Professionally, she is an atmospheric scientist with nearly 25 years of experience in water engineering. Kris is a Certified Climate Change Professional (CC-P). She chairs the Sustainable Aurora Advisory Board; participates in the Naperville Environment and Sustainability Task Force; and co-chairs our chapter’s Suburban Climate Action Planning committee. When Kris is not giving presentations on ways to reduce our emissions and create resilient infrastructure, she enjoys baking and organic gardening with her young son.
Danica, a junior at the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA), is passionate about climate action and its intersection with STEM and innovation. In addition to serving on the leadership team, she leads the chapter’s Youth Action team, is co-head of the Chicago Climate Youth Coalition, co-president of the IMSA environmental club, and is co-head of Fridays for Future Chicago. She completed the April 2020 Virtual Training and hopes to continue inspiring climate action in high school, college and beyond.
Karen is a psychotherapist and educator working in private practice in Chicago. She is on faculty at the Institute for Clinical Social Work. Karen joined Climate Reality in 2020 after completing a MA in Conservation Biology in 2019 and our leadership training in 2020. She started our Tree Team in 2021 and joined the leadership team in 2022.
PAST CHAPTER CHAIRS
Cynthia Linton, 2020–2022
Jennifer Linton, 2017–2020