About UsMidwest Pesticide Action Center

Our Mission

Midwest Pesticide Action Center is dedicated to reducing the health risks and environmental impacts of pesticides by promoting safer alternatives.

Continue reading for for: History, Staff, Board of Directors, Advisory Council, Partners and Supporters

History

The Sierra Club, Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and Business and Professional People for the Public Interest founded the organization in 1994 to address widespread concerns over pesticide use.

We work at the local, state, and regional levels to implement long-term policy changes and develop replicable programs for pesticide-use reduction. We are the only organization in the Midwest dedicated to protecting people and the environment from the serious impacts of pesticides. Recognition for our successful programs includes an Environmental Protection Agency Children’s Environmental Health Award, an Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice Award, and a Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award.

In 2013, after a thoughtful evaluation that included input from our staff, board, and stakeholders, we changed our name from Safer Pest Control Project to Midwest Pesticide Action Center. This new incarnation reinforces our core commitment and mission: to reduce the health risks and environmental impacts of pesticides by promoting safer alternatives. As Midwest Pesticide Action Center, we will continue to address issues related to pesticide use, while expanding our reach throughout the Midwest.

Staff

Ruth Kerzee, Executive Director

Ruth Kerzee, Executive Director, has been on Midwest Pesticide Action Center’s staff since 2005. During her tenure, Ms. Kerzee has been responsible for Midwest Pesticide Action Center’s work related to promoting Integrated Pest Management in schools and childcare facilities, and primary responsibility for developing the Integrated Pest Management in housing program. Ms. Kerzee is also responsible for all executive duties such as generating evaluative programs and strategizing on the growth and development of the organization. She has a Master’s of Science degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois Chicago, more than 15 years of experience working on occupational and environmental health issues, and is a licensed pest control technician. (773) 878-7378 ext.201 rkerzee@pesticideaction.org

Kristin Weiss, Development Director

Kristin Weiss, Development Director, directs Midwest Pesticide Action Center’s fundraising efforts. Ms. Weiss earned her undergraduate degree in Marketing and Communications from Washington University in St. Louis. She has more than 12 years experience in development, including work for Chicago Children’s Choir, Common Threads, and Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights. (773) 878-7378 ext.208 kweiss@pesticideaction.org

Nishaat Yunus, Program and Communications Manager

Nishaat Yunus, Program and Communications Manager, leads and implements Midwest Pesticide Action Center’s integrated marketing campaign and housing program. Ms. Yunus has a dual Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and Science, Technology, and Society from Butler University. As communications manager, Ms. Yunus oversaw the development of Midwest Pesticide Action Center’s new website and social media strategy and has primary responsibility for keeping the information updated, engaging and timely. Previously, she worked with the Center for Urban Ecology in Indianapolis. Most recently, she worked as a Research Fellow at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office. (773) 878-7378 ext.203 nyunus@pesticideaction.org

Board of Directors

Meleah A. Geertsma, President Staff Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
Jennifer Farley, Vice President Senior Environmental Risk Administrator, Chase
John Poast, Treasurer Senior Vice President of Residential Lending, Key Mortgage
Jonathan Higgins, Secretary Director of Conservation, Great Rivers Partnership, The Nature Conservancy
Ann Alexander, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
Susan Besson, Chair, Evanston Environment Board
Pamela Brookstein, Market Transformation Specialist, Elevate Energy
Kevin Dick, LEED AP + O&M Project Manager, Delta Institute
Pallavi Phartiyal, Senior Analyst & Program Manager, Union of Concerned Scientists
Julie Samuels, Community Garden Organizer, Openlands

Advisory Council

Julie Brown, Senior Staff Counsel, Business & Professional People for the Public Interest
Raymond Cloyd, Ph.D. Professor, Kansas State University, Department of Entomology
Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides
Kevin Greene, Associate Director, IL EPA, Office of Pollution Prevention
Keith Harley, J.D. Environmental Law Program Director, Chicago Legal Clinic
Marc Lame, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor, Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Philip Landrigan, M.D., M.Sc. Dean for Global Health, Ethel M. Wise, Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine, Professor Pediatrics, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Director, Children’s Environmental Health Center
Peter Orris, Professor of Internal and Preventative Medicine, Rush University College of Medicine; Adjunct Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Illinois School of Public Health; and Adjunct Professor of Preventative Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School
Rachel Rosenberg, Manager, Corporate Relations, Chicago Botanic Garden; Former Executive Director, Safer Pest Control Project
Kim Stone, Councilwoman, City of Highland Park; Former Associate Director, Safer Pest Control Project
Jill Viehweg, Director of Foundation and Government Relations, Denver Museum of Nature and Science; Founding Executive Director, Safer Pest Control Project

Partners and Supporters

Peter and Lucy Ascoli Family Fund
The Boeing Company
Boston Foundation Philancon Fund
Chicago Wilderness
City of Boulder
City of Chicago
City of Evanston
Clif Bar Family Foundation
Cornell Douglas Foundation
EarthShare Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Illinois Department of Public Health
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
National Center for Healthy Housing
Pesticide Action Network of North America
Patagonia
Pierce Family Foundation
Polk Bros. Foundation
Public Places Healthy Spaces
Roberts Family Foundation
Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc.
Thomas and Donna Stone Foundation
Village of Franklin Park
Wallace Genetic Foundation
Whole Foods Market