Staff and Board


joanJoan Brown, osf,  Executive Director (Catholic) Joan is a Catholic Franciscan sister from the Rochester, Minnesota community who serves as the Executive Director of NMIPL. Her farm background, passion or the Sacred Earth Community and many years of experience in the non-profit and social justice sector inform her work.  She holds a Master’s Degree from California Institute of Integral Studies where she studied with Brian Swimme, Joanna Macy and others. Fr. Thomas Berry and Teilhard de Chardin inspire her work for the long haul in helping people come to a sense of wonder at the marvelous world we have been given and are called to take care of for the future of all beings.

Mary Jo Picha, Volunteer  Mary Jo offers NMIPL experience and love for earth motivated by her children and a deep spirituality as a volunteer. She faithfully keeps up the database NMIPL. She has taken various workshops and classes in transition town, master composting, permaculture design and has just finished a Masters  in Social Work. Mary Jo lives in Albuquerque with many weekends spent at Ghost Ranch with her two children where her husband is on staff.

Grace Picha, Volunteer Grace helps support NMIPL with her great database skills.

Virginia Muggenburg, Bookkeeper

IMG_0513 (1)Bill Edwards, Webmaster





Tom Stark, Board President (Unitarian) Tom is a member of the First Unitarian Church in Albuquerque. He is actively involved with and has led their Earth Web group. His passion for a sustainable revolution to proceed the industrial revolution has led him to organizing and advocacy work with NMILP and other organizations. Tom recently retired from the Albuquerque Fire Department where he was a Paramedic/Firefighter for the past 21 years.

MarilynMarilyn O’Boyle, Treasurer (Unitarian) Marilyn is a member of the First Unitarian Church, where she is an active leader in the church’s environmental group, Earth Web. She is a Suzuki Method Violin teacher and performer who also offers her musical gifts by serving on her church Worship Committee and in their choir.


liz pawlakLiz Pawlak (Bahai) Liz comes from a family of environmentalists, beginning with her grandfather. Liz lives in Santa Fe and participates in national/international Bahai conferences on sustainability and environment, including the UN Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992. She completed the Wilmette Institute on Climate Change in 2013; engaged in the Climate Masters class sponsored by the Santa Fe Watershed Association, of which she is a member. She believes it is critical for all humanity to be good stewards of the planet for the survival of future generations.

Todd Walker

Todd Wynward (Mennonite Minister) is an author, public school founder, small-scale farmer, wilderness educator and Mennonite minister for watershed discipleship living with his wife and son in Taos, NM. He has been engaged in education reform and social change movements for twenty years, and his new book, Rewilding the Way: Break Free to Follow an Untamed God, encourages Christians to practice an earth-honoring, simple-living, despair-erasing path of creative cultural defiance.


Judyand phone DC-1

Judith Chasnoff Smith (Jewish) comes from St. Louis and has called Albuquerque home since 1979.  A member of Congregation Albert since 1987 she brings her Jewish commitment to the NMIPL board and her life experience in Special Education and Administration. She serves on the Green Team of Congregation Albert where they are working on strategy to reduce fossil fuel consumption and be good stewards of water.  She is excited to be the Jewish representative on the board and looks forward to engaging Jewish members with renewed energy to care for creation and address climate change.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJohn Dickel (United Church of Christ) John Dickel is a professional astronomer. He has been an active conservationist in many organizations since the 1960s. 



Robert Bloom (Episcopal) My wife and I moved to Santa Fe in 2010.  I am a member of St Bede’s Episcopal Church, where I serve on the Building and Grounds Committee.  Our national church is highly supportive of Interfaith Power and Light and I appreciate that even one of our masses talks about “this fragile earth, our island home.”   We try to live our faith. Our home has a drip system for flowers and trees, we are installing rain barrels, and installed solar panels. The Climate Masters class I am taking reinforces my belief that we need to take individual and group action to save our environment.

Joyce Overton (United Church of Christ) Joyce Overton joined the New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light board in December 2016 so that she could help spread NMIPL’s mission for climate justice through advocacy, education, and action for sustainability.  Joyce is a lifelong member of the United Church of Christ and now a member of First Congregational/UCC in Albuquerque.  She is particularly interested in working on renewable energy and helping to expand solar and wind power in New Mexico while also working with local congregations to make their congregations sustainable.  Joyce retired and moved to New Mexico in 2015 after spending over 35 years in Chicago working as a nonprofit fundraiser.  She is glad to have found a group of activists who shares her interests and feels that together we can make a difference and make New Mexico beautiful, clean, and healthy.

Stephen Picha (Staff at Ghost Ranch) Stephen Picha is a leader and teacher with more than twenty-five years of experience in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations as well as in the public school system.  He currently serves as Event Recruiter at Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center where he has worked the past 5 years.  Stephen served as Executive Director of the Center for Action and Contemplation for over a decade and during that time helped to birth MALEs – Men As Learners and Elders (now known as Illuman).  Stephen lives in Albuquerque with his wife, Mary Jo, and children Grace and Luke.  They are currently developing their 1/2 acre in the North Valley of Albuquerque into an urban farm with chickens, bees, orchard and plants/vegetables.

Fr. Stephen Gaertner, O.Praem (Norbertine)



Rev. Karen Bash, President-elect (United Church of Christ)

Wayne Evelo (Unitarian)

Necip Orhan (Muslim)

Randy Madonna (United Church of Christ)

Idolia (Dodie) Hawkins (Methodist, UNM Women)


Advisory Board

Rev. Anita Amstutz (Mennonite Minister)

Larry Rasmussen (United Church SF, Author, Earth Ethicist, Lecturer)

Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, MM (Director of the Office of Life, Justice, Peace and Creation Care, Diocese of Gallup)

The Rt. Rev Michael Louis Vono (Bishop for Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande)

RNA (1) Rabbi Neil Amswych (Temple Beth Shalom, Santa Fe)