Sierra Club Florida
Sierra Club Florida Leaders
The SC Florida Executive Committee - 2013
There is a new Executive Committee (ExCom) of 7 members to handle the month to month work of the Chapter.
The election was held at the Fall meeting of Group Chairs in St. Petersburg.
Deborah Longman-Marien (Turtle Coast), Marti Daltry (Calusa), Tom Larson (Northeast) and Rudy Scheffer (Suncoast)
will join current members Debbie Matthews, Stephen Mahoney and Bev Griffiths. Debbie Matthews is now the Chapter Chair.
For more information on the structure of the Chapter, see the bylaws below.
The Chapter has a lot of work to do and needs your help. We need new members for the Political Committee, new local contacts for
the lobbying committee, volunteers to help with conservation issues, and volunteers for the chapter nominating committee to find
candidates to run in the fall election.
To find out more, email Debbie.Matthews@florida.sierraclub.org.
Be sure to tell her you want to work for the chapter and what skills you have to offer.
New Florida Chapter Bylaws.
The Sierra Club Board of Directors has agreed to a new set of bylaws for the Florida Chapter. The structure of the Chapter
has changed and is now more like the Sierra Club Council of Club Leaders (CCL). There will be a small executive committee
elected by a Council of Group Chairs, and a greater role for Group Chairs in the management of the Chapter. You can
read the new bylaws here.
Elections for the new ExCom
The bylaws call for elections to be held in the fall of each year. Group Chairs (or Vice-Chairs) of record as of July 1 are
eligible to vote, along with sitting members of the excom. Voting will take place in person at the fall meeting and results
announced at the meeting. Members are encouraged to review the nominees when announced and to discuss the elections with their
Group ExCom. If you want to be on the next nominating committee for chapter excom, please email John.Swingle@florida.sierraclub.org or let
Debbie Matthews know you are interested. Nominating committee members are picked half by Group Chairs and half by the current excom.
Who should run for the next chapter executive committee?
The seven member excom has a conference call every month, and four face-to-face meetings a year. They work a lot over email, including
reviewing proposals and then email voting. To be on excom, you should have a good grasp of the processes of the Sierra Club and time each month
to work on club activities. Good candidates are group leaders who have been Group Chair or on a Group Excom, and who have good skills in working
on a team.
A list of committees and members can be found at 2013 SC Florida Committees
Sierra Club Florida Meetings
Group Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Group Leaders are invited to attend the face-to-face meetings of the Chapter ExCom and take part
in the discussions. Each of these meetings has a specific agenda and goals pertaining to the work of the club at the time.
First meeting, Spring, is for leadership training and conservation work planning for the year. The early summer meeting is for
committee training and campaign planning. The fall meeting is elections, lobbying planning and organizational planning.
The winter meeting's goal is optionally set by the Group Chairs and the ExCom. See the calendar page for dates.
Sierra Club Florida Conservation Priorities:
Sierra Club Florida has changed how we set our conservation priorities. This was announced at the October 1 meeting of group chairs
in St. Petersburg.
The new model separates annual planning into three categories: organizational, legislative and conservation.
Organizational goals are reviewed with the Group Chairs at the Fall meeting and announced in January.
Legislative lobbying priorities are reviewed and suggestions made at the Fall meeting. The lobbying team will publish those priorities after their
The Conservation Priorities will be set by our leaders and activists themselves. It is up to you. If you have an issue of statewide
importance and can organize people, set a goal, and work to achieve it, the executive committee wants to help. They have created an outline or form to
get you started, and have leaders ready to talk you through the process.
For 2012, Florida Waste Minimization, and Florida Nutrient Standards (aka Red Tide or Clean Water), will carry over as priority campaigns, as will the
work of the Phosphate Committee.
The Waste Minimization team engages state and local waste regulators and organizes events to achieve
a goal of 75 per cent recycling and elimination of plastic bags.
The Sierra Club Florida Phosphate Mining Issue Coordinating Committee is made up of representatives from four groups.
It investigates phosphate mining impacts, participates in the processes regarding permitting and regulatory issues for mining,
educates the public regarding phosphate impact issues and coordinates with other environmental organizations regarding phosphate matters.
The Florida Nutrient Standards Campaign work is found on the Clean Water for Florida page.
And yes, Sierra Club Floridq continue to try and focus efforts to save and restore the Everglades, and protect panther habitat. We are currently
working on a new strategy, the new Greater Everglades Campaign team, which will have a new set of goals,
and bring together our Everglades work, including our successful Red Tide/Nutrient Standards work, under a national Sierra Club
campaign. For details, see Greater Everglades Resilient Habitats Announcement.
The next step is up to the members and leaders of Sierra Club in Florida. If you think there should be a team working on an issue of
statewide importance, the Sierra Florida Executive Committee wants to help you get it approved and successfully working.
The point is to set a team up for success on a Chapter Conservation Campaign. By answering the questions in the outline,
a team will have the information needed to develop a clear charge and strategy for accomplishing its goals.
The Executive Committee will help the teams with training, identifying resources and advertising for volunteers. You can access the
form here Set a Chapter Conservation Priority.
Group Advisory Council
The bylaws call for a Group Advisory Council to be formed to assist Groups in staying healthy and active and to
advise the ExCom on Group matters. This council is looking for more members from across the state. More info on this new committee
and its work can be found on their webpage.
Standing Committees and Procedures
The Executive Committee has prepared the following information on the standing committees and
In addition, information on the following volunteer committees activities can be found on their web pages:
2013 Executive Committee Members
Chapter Chair. Debbie Matthews was the Miami Group newsletter editor for several years before becoming
Miami Group Chair in 2007. She served on the SC Florida Group Advisory Council, which she helped to establish, and she has gotten to know
group leaders through her Advisory Council conference calls and by working for National Sierra on leadership training programs.
She serves on the SC Florida Waste Minimization Committee and has
helped spread the campaign work throughout the state.
In 2011 she received the Palm Leaf award for Administrative Leadership to the Florida Chapter, and has served as a national chapter trainer
in the Sierra Club Leadership training program. Debbie is a world traveler, but now enjoys hiking the natural areas of Florida.
Bev Griffiths is a leader in the Tampa Bay Group. She has an AA degree from Santa Fe Community College followed by work experience
as a dental assistant and certified nursing assistant. She joined Sierra Club in 2003 and served as Tampa Bay Group Chair from 2006-2010;
Group Political Chair from 2008 thru 2010; and as site captain for Adopt-A-Road and coastal cleanups.
Bev has represented Tampa Bay Group at public hearings and has had Op-Eds & LTEs published in the Tampa Tribune.
She is currently Chair of SC FL Phosphate Committee.
Bev was awarded the Black Bear Award in 2010, the highest honor bestowed by the Tampa Bay Group, for her dedication to the goals
and principles of the Sierra Club. She enjoys kayaking, visiting National Parks, and reading the newspaper.
Rudy E. Scheffer has been an active member of Sierra Club since 1988. He is presently serving as the Suncoast Group Treasurer, Sierra Florida Outing Chair and on the National level serving as the Outdoor Activities Volunteer CO-Lead. In the past, Rudy served as: the Fl-Chapter Council Delegate and Alternate Delegate; Chapter Outing Chair; chair of the National Group and Chapter Outings Committee; member of the National Outdoor Activity Governance Committee; and chair of the National Outdoor Activity Training Committee. On the Group level, Rudy has served as Outing Leader, Outing Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer. Rudy has a great love for the outdoors, the preservation of wilderness and for wildlife protection world wide. He hopes that Sierra Florida can work to build coalitions and working relationships with like-minded organizations to elect "Green" candidates, and help to educate the public and political leaders about the importance of environmental issues.
A member of the Sierra Club since 1994, in 2000 Tom Larson became active with the Northeast Florida Group and got involved in a member’s SC-endorsed campaign for state senate. After a time, he joined the Group’s Executive Committee, then in early 2004 was tapped to be its Chair. “Fortunately for us all, club members are active in various committees and we share a wonderful vision for Florida’s and our planet’s future.” Protection of the headwaters of two urban creeks from development was one of the early goals for his work with the club—and continuing engagement of the club as an important player in the civic dialog remains a focus. Tom's advised the Florida Energy Commission and is on the Sierra Club Florida Energy Committee, as well as the Florida Steering Committee and serves as Treasurer for Sierra Club Florida. Dealing with global warming/climate change issues and protection of Florida wildlife habitat and natural areas are major tunes in his song book, as are expanding member and neighbor enjoyment of outings, and participation in community leadership and advocacy.
Stephen Robert Mahoney is an Associate Professor in the department of Arts and Sciences at Johnson & Wales University, in North Miami, where he
has been teaching for 15 years. He has taught environmental science, chemistry, biology, oceanography, physical science,
marine biology, ecology, zoology and botany. Since 2000, he has been a member of the Miami Group ExCom,
and a corresponding member of Sierra Club National Parks Committee. With Sierra Club Miami
he worked against the Homestead Airport project, on the Everglades Restoration, against Rock Mining in Miami, and
against the Port of Miami Dredging Project, along with other issues. He is originally from Scotland, as was famous Sierra founder John Muir,
and Stephen suspects that it may have something to do with his wanting to work with Sierra Club.
Marti Daltry lives in Fort Myers and has most recently
been a Regional Conservation Organizer for Sierra Club in Florida, and her passion is engaging the community to become better stewards of the environment.
Her degree in Communications from Gulf Coast University helps her bring that passion to government and community meetings and get her points across.
Deborah Longman-Marien comes from the Turtle Coast Group where she is an excom member and an outings leader. She is an avid birder, has worked as an Aviary Aide at the Brevard Zoo and
President of the Space Coast Audubon Society. She also has experience managing educational programs and once worked as Assistant Coordinator of the
Royal Ontario Museum.
|To ask questions about the executive committee process, please send an email to|