Ballot and Candidates, Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group Executive Committee Election

The calm, quiet election with no campaign speeches, TV ads, or robo-calls!

Nine Sierra Club members in Southwest Michigan serve on our Executive Committee, all for two-year terms. Five terms will expire at the end of this year, four at the end of 2018. We are now holding an election to decide who will fill the five expiring terms. The members chosen will serve through 2019.

Two ways to vote

  1. Members who have opted out of Sierra Club emails will receive a paper ballot by postal mail. The paper ballot will include the web address for this page. If you get a ballot by mail, you can fill it out and mail it back to us, or you can come to this page and vote online. December 13 is the deadline for online voting and for your ballot’s postmark.
  2. If you subscribe to our emails, you will get an email notification and not a paper ballot. Your email will give you a link to this page. The online voting form is at the bottom of this page. If you receive an email notification but prefer to vote by postal mail, please download and print this paper ballot and mail it to Sierra Club Southwest Michigan Group, P.O. Box 1863, Portage, MI, 49081-1863. It must be postmarked no later than December 13, 2017.

If you are a member who joined very recently, it’s possible that you won’t receive an email notification or a mail-in ballot. You may still use the online ballot below, but please enter your membership number if you’ve received it or your email address if you haven’t.

December 13 is the deadline for both online and mail-in voting. The online voting form below will be removed first thing Thursday morning, December 14.

Our candidates and the information they provided

RAY MICKUS: I live in Marshall, work as a probate attorney in Calhoun County, and have always had a strong interest regarding environmental issues. Growing up in the Los Angeles area, I attended law school and worked with environmental activists to create an organization named Heal The Bay (which is still active) that forced the state to impose tertiary wastewater treatment protocols for any discharges into the Pacific Ocean at or near Santa Monica Bay. Having moved to Michigan, I want to keep working on behalf of the environment. I believe that I would continue to be an objective and committed Executive Committee member.

BEN BROWN: We know of no other place in the universe as beautiful and miraculous as our Earth. My belief in Sierra Club’s motto and your trust in me as a member of Southwest Michigan Group’s Executive Committee motivate me to help people explore, enjoy, and protect our planet and its resources. I’m committed to connecting people with the wonders of our natural environment by supporting SWMG’s causes – Kalamazoo’s Earth Day, Drive Electric Week, presenting movies like Tapped, and much more. Our work with legislators on efficiency and clean energy, water, and air can assure humankind’s sustainable future on this beautiful Earth.

MARK E. MILLER: My first environmental talk was to my church on “The Limits to Growth” in 1975. I have been an environmental activist ever since. I am a Climate Reality Presenter and a member of, Citizens Climate Lobby, and the WMU Climate Change Working Group. I have taught “Energy and Environment” in the WMU Physics Department. Southwest Michigan Group should take leadership on a broad array of local issues, and assist other groups working on climate change, the greatest threat we face. I am currently Chair of Southwest Michigan Group, and I look forward to different ways to serve in the future.

KRISTI LLOYD: The focus of my environmental activism has been on wildlife since 2010, primarily advocating for wolves, and I’ve been Southwest Michigan Group’s Conservation Chair for the past year. I’ve also been active in political issues from the local to federal level. I’ve lived in the Kalamazoo area for 33 years. I make frequent trips to the UP and Yellowstone National Park to watch wolves and wildlife and to network with other advocates. Wildlife is negatively affected by climate change, air and water pollution, and loss of habitat. Being involved with the Sierra Club is the best way to make positive changes for wildlife and for us.

JOE ZIOLKOWSKI: As a Boy Scout, I always loved the outdoors and camping out. My wife and I have camped all over the United States. I came to appreciate the beauty of the environment that I was enjoying, and I knew I needed to help protect it. In 1990 I joined the Sierra Club. I began separating and recycling my trash, and composting what I could. I quit buying bottled water and cut back on plastic use. I guess that means I’m an environmentalist. When I retired in 2009, I decided to become more active with the Sierra Club. Since then I have served in leadership roles for the Southwest Michigan Group, and was Co-Chair from 2014 through 2015.

REBECCA BROWN: Now that I have recently retired, I have more time to devote to issues that have always been important to me, and I have discovered that I believe in everything the Sierra Club stands for – especially the need to transition to a clean-energy future and keep the Earth livable for my grandchildren. To help Sierra Club’s Southwest Michigan Group, I have been learning about maintaining the Group’s website. As a former medical transcriptionist, I’m can also take care of the monthly meeting minutes, so I’ve volunteered for that as well. If I’m not elected to the Executive Committee, I will still keep helping anyway.

LINDA DIGBY: I love the natural world and I have devoted my life in protecting and preserving it. I served on SWMG’s Eecutive Committee during the Kalamazoo River spill days bringing in speakers on river  recovery and oil soaked animals. I have led hikes to bat caves, frozen waterfalls, and bald eagle watches. I organized conservation projects like tree plantings, lobbied for the Endangered Species Act, restored prairies and wetlands, started a Sierra Club group in Illinois group due to urban sprawl, and serve on the Illinois Chapter ExCom. As a former journalist, my graduate studies focused on environmental law, communications, and outdoor education.