State Executive Committee Candidates are Nominated


The Florida Chapter’s nominating committee has found five qualified candidates for the state’s Executive Committee. The Suwannee-St. Johns group Executive Committee will discuss the candidates during the regular Executive Committee meeting on September 8, 2011, and vote on the candidates the group will endorse. If you have any comments on any of the candidates, please email your comments to Brack Barker, the Executive Committee chair: brack154@msn.com.

Bev Griffiths resides in Riverview, Florida. 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 served as the Group’s FLEXCOM representative and is now Chair of SC FL Phosphate Committee. She enjoys kayaking, visiting National Parks, and reading the newspaper.

Susan Kairys-Courech resides in Chuluota, Florida, She holds a B.A in Anthropology from Rollins College. Susan was Flexcom Secretary, Central Florida Group Newsletter Editor and 1998 recipient of Sierra Club Pine Tree Award for outstanding leadership. Susan has lobbied and spoken at a Legislative subcommittee meeting pertaining to citizen’s rights to speak out. Assisted in organizing residents against urban sprawl in eastern Seminole County which threatened the Econlockhatchee River Basin. Freelance political journalist for The Sun in St. Petersburg. Founding Mother, Geneva Herb Society. Susan enjoys wildlife photography, world travel, organic gardening, and planting trees in the rainforest of Costa Rica. She supplements home energy with solar energy.

Stephen Mahoney lives in Miami, Florida. “I am an analytical and goal-oriented individual with a strong educational and technical background. A dedicated team player with strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills. I meet people at all levels and effectively work with others to attain goals in an efficient timely manner. Currently I am an Associate Professor in the department of Arts and Sciences at Johnson & Wales University, North Miami where I have been teaching for 15 years. I have taught environmental science, chemistry, biology, oceanography, physical science, marine biology, ecology, zoology and botany to more than 150 students in large to small classes inclusive of curriculum development, performance evaluation and student development. From 2000 I have been an executive member of Sierra Club Miami Group Board, EXCOM Secretary and a corresponding member of Sierra Club National Parks Committee. Whilst with the Sierra Club Miami Group we have 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. I have attended state meetings at Rollins College and in Homestead.”

Debbie Matthews lives in Miami, Florida. She has been a member since 2003. She was the Miami Group newsletter editor and has been the Miami Group Chair since 2007. She currently serves on the SC Florida Group Advisory Council and the SC Florida Waste Minimization Committee. This year she received the Palm Leaf award for Administrative Leadership to the Chapter. “With my involvement on the Group Advisory Council, I have been to most of the steering committee meetings. I already “understand the process”, and feel like it would be an easy transition. As an office manager/ executive assistant for the past 18 years, the skills I bring to SCFL are organizing, planning as well as other administrative functions. I have helped plan and facilitate recent chapter meetings. As chair of the Miami Group, I have over 4 years experience. I am aware of the conservation and hot issues facing our group and the state. I know how to be diplomatic and offer up solutions.”

Steve Tryon lives in the Tampa Bay area. “It was fate. I wandered into the general meeting of the Tampa Bay Group Sierra Club back in the spring of 2006 and emerged as their new volunteer webmaster. Seems the webmaster at that time had to resign and asked if anyone was interested in taking on the website. I had just earned my Microsoft certification as a webmaster-web designer, so the timing was perfect. Thus began the subtle shift from being a simple happy-go-lucky outings enthusiast, to my full-blown present involvement as a somber (joking : ) member of the Tampa Bay board since 2007. I started attending executive board meetings each month to report on the website and they couldn’t seem to get rid of me, so the executive committee asked me to fill in a temporary board seat. I have since been re-elected – twice! In addition to my role as the technologist for our group, I table events, perform service outings, lead club outings and engage in environmental activism. Stewardship of the earth – looking for ways of giving back to the environment what it so freely gives to me, to us – has become a life goal. If elected to the Florida Chapter Executive Committee, I will serve the club and the environment to the best of my ability.”