Mike Belliveau, public policy expert and social entrepreneur, is recognized nationally for promoting environmental public health and green chemistry. For thirty years, he has advanced innovative policies and strategic organizing to prevent harm and develop a sustainable economy. Through Mike’s leadership of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, the state of Maine has set the national pace for protecting human health from unnecessary dangerous chemicals.
Mike co-founded the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, which led the campaign that passed a landmark state law that requires safer chemicals in everyday products. He’s also a co-founder and policy coordinator of SAFER, the State Alliance for Federal Reform, a multi-state coalition working to overhaul chemical policy throughout the United States. At the Strategy Center, Mike launched a model economic development strategy through the Sustainable Bioplastics Council of Maine, a business-university-nonprofit consortium working to research, develop and commercialize production of bio-based plastics made from Maine potatoes. The manufacturing of this non-toxic, petroleum-free, and bio-compostable material will create good green jobs and boost the regional rural economy.
Previously, Mike led the most comprehensive mercury reduction campaign in the nation for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. In California, he directed Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), which he built into a powerful voice for urban environmental health and justice, and industrial pollution prevention. He was named by California Magazine as one of the people most likely to have a major impact on the state. He was appointed by then-Governor Jerry Brown to the California Hazardous Waste Management Council.
Mike grew up in New England and graduated from MIT with an environmental science degree. He lives with his family on Pushaw Lake in Maine on the edge of l’Acadie, the homeland to ten generations of his Acadian ancestors. When he’s not on the road, Mike loves to paddle or ski from his back door, or wander round the garden.
Amanda Sears co-founded the Environmental Health Strategy Center in 2002. Amanda is the Development and Communications Director for the Center working to build support for the organization and our work. She also chairs the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, a broad based coalition working to phase out the use of unnecessary toxic chemicals in Maine, and beyond.
Amanda is a past President of the Maine Public Health Association, a member of the Prevention Working Group of the Maine Cancer Consortium and one of Maine’s representatives to SAFER, a group of state based organizations working together to reshape federal chemical policies.
Prior to working with the Center Amanda organized Mainers to force the State’s biggest air polluter to clean up to modern standards with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, helped secure funding for protection of natural and cultural resources in NH with Citizens for NH Land and Community Heritage and the Northern Forest Alliance, and trained college students to be effective political advocates with the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group.
Amanda and her husband Brad recently welcomed a new baby, Forrest, into their family. Meanwhile daughter, Chloe has already been making headlines as the littlest advocate for safer products. Check out her media debut here.
Jenny Rottmann is Managing Director at the Environmental Health Strategy Center, where she works to maintain the effectiveness of EHSC as a powerful and efficient organization.
Prior to joining the Strategy Center in 2009, Jenny was Organizing Director at the Maine People’s Alliance and Maine People’s Resource Center, Maine’s largest citizen action group and a key partner in the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, where she coordinated a team of seven community organizers working on a range of campaigns around the state. Prior to her role as Organizing Director, Jenny was a community organizer herself. She came home to Maine after working with the Center for Community Change in Washington DC, an organization which helps low-income people build powerful, effective organizations through which they can change their communities for the better, and the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows program of the Congressional Hunger Center.
Jenny has a masters degree in Public Policy and Management with a focus on financial management from the Muskie School of Public Service and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. A native of Blue Hill, Maine, she now lives in Portland with her husband, Andy.
Coalition and Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator
As EHSC’s Coalition and Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator, Emma Halas-O’Connor has lead responsibility for building a network of activists and leaders for the organization. Emma began work as a Grassroots Organizer with the organization in 2011. She first developed her interest in community organizing as an intern for the Maine League of Young Voters, where she worked on several issue campaigns in Lewiston and Portland. In the fall of 2009 she became a field organizer for Southern Maine with the National Education Association, and later spent a year as a labor organizer with the Maine Education Association, where she worked to increase membership and participation within staff unions in the University of Maine.
Emma graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in US History from Bates College, where she studied the local history of textile workers in Lewiston, Maine. Her studies also brought her to Ecuador, where she interned at a rural school as an English and literacy instructor and assisted local leaders in a socioeconomic survey of surrounding indigenous Kichwa communities. In addition to her work with EHSC, Emma is an active member of the Maine League of Young Voters where she sits on the Elections Committee. Emma grew up in downtown Boston but was always fond of her summers at Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center in Lincolnville, Maine. She has been Maine resident for the past several years and has enjoyed hiking, skiing, and exploring this great state ever since!
Executive Program Assistant
Emily is Executive Program Assistant at the Environmental Health Strategy Center. In this role, she supports the organization’s Executive Director in carrying out high-level program development, policy research and analysis, advocacy, organizing, negotiations, communications, coalition building, organizational leadership, management and fund raising.
Emily graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2011, where she studied Human Ecology with a focus on Environmental Justice and Food Systems. Her thesis explored coalitions between labor unions and environmental organizations around toxics issues. She has worked on public health issues on local and national scales – in her own community, as well as at Food & Water Watch in D.C., and the Silent Spring Institute in Boston. She also worked as a preschool teacher; and her experience working in neighborhoods still laden with asbestos and lead redoubled her commitment to protect children from the most dangerous chemicals. Emily has spent the past few months studying Spanish and traveling through Central America and Mexico, and is very excited to join the team at EHSC – and to come back to Maine! Emily loves hiking, farming, baking, and reading.