Our Board

The CoIPL board meets monthly and considers itself to be a “working board.”

 

  • Tina YankeeThe Rev. Tina Yankee, President, is an ordained Lutheran pastor with experience in urban and rural church leadership, substance abuse counseling, and non-profit management.  Rev. Yankee is passionate about the development of sustainable economic enterprises. As co-executive director of SEE Economic Solutions Institute, and the Jobs For Thy Neighbor Program (www.JobsForThyNeighbor.org), Rev. Yankee provides faith communities and schools with education about recycling and re-using.  The Jobs For Thy Neighbor Program has set up a glass recycling network that creates jobs for disadvantaged populations.

 

  • Jessica AbelJessica Abell, Treasurer & Project Director, has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning and a Master’s of Divinity, or as a friend says, “Jessica. She has both Kingdoms covered.” As a GreenFaith Fellow and Board Treasurer of Colorado Interfaith Power & Light, Jessica is wholly committed to ecumenical and interfaith stewardship of the earth. A wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, Jessica values relationship and connection above all. She has served as Ministerial Associate at First Baptist Church of Denver, CO, and Pastoral Associate at Metropolitan Community Church of the Rockies.

 

  • Maliheh Jabbari, Secretary, is a Dental Hygienist who is seeking a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Denver. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL, and comes from a family that came to America from Iran. She follows the Islamic Faith and originally joined the Board of Directors in the fall of 2015.  She worked with other board members, making outreach to the Environmental/Sustainable community at DU and assisted in preparing for the November 2015 student panel event focused on Laudato Si’. Maliheh continues her studies and says she is intrigued with the environmental justice perspectives of people from different faith traditions.

 

  • Jerry KotasDeacon Jerry Kotas, Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Church (Conifer), is a retired environmental scientist with US Department of Energy and US Environment Protection Agency; he resides in Evergreen.

 

 

  • Nelson BockThe Rev. Nelson Bock, Co-Director of Wartburg “West” College, Denver, CO. He has long term interfaith involvement in social ministry, including the board of Interfaith Alliance of Colorado, and he resides in Denver.

 

 

  • Rabbi GersonRabbi Bernard R. Gerson has been the spiritual leader of Congregation Rodef Shalom since 1993. He also teaches Bible and Talmud at Denver Jewish Day School. Ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, he holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Brandeis University, as well as an MA in Rabbinic Literature from the Seminary. His favorite rabbinic role is that of teaching. Whether in the classroom or behind the pulpit, he aims to educate and to facilitate access to our precious heritage and lively traditions. He derives much inspiration and joy from his wife, Sue (who serves as Associate Director of the Mountain States Anti-Defamation League), and their children, Elliot and Jennie. Rabbi Gerson involves himself in the wider community through his involvement in community organizing through Together Colorado and his involvement as a board member of Colorado Interfaith Power and Light.  In addition, he is the Past President of the Rocky Mountain Rabbinical Council.

 

  • Sheikh HusaynShiekh Husayn El-Mekki Abdullah-Aziz is  originally  from Philadelphia. He is fluent in Persian (Farsi) and Arabic. He is well-traveled and has spent nearly a decade in seminary in addition to completing his MA at the University level. He is also the author of many articles, poems, and the book Una Nueva Cara del Islam (A New Face of Islam). He enjoys sports, reading, and community involvement.

 

  • Jacob WilkersonJacob Wilkerson and his wife are new parents of a baby girl, born in October 2015. He is a traditional and practicing Roman Catholic. He and his wife had the great pleasure and privilege to meet Pope Francis and receive his newlywed blessing at a Wednesday audience in Rome over the summer (2015). In November, Jacob served as a student panelist at Iliff Theological Seminary during an event co-sponsored by Colorado Interfaith Power and Light. He shared a somewhat unique perspective on Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’, and delved into the depths of Catholic social justice and teaching therein. Additionally, at CoIPL’s Souls Going Green event in April 2016, he served as moderator of a discussion on the encyclical. In May, 2016, he graduated from Regis University’s Honors program, with an English major, and minors in Philosophy, Music and Computer Science. Currently, he is undergoing spiritual direction at a local parish to discern the diaconate, and he is making plans to begin master and doctoral level studies in Ecological Poetics in the fall of 2017.

 

  • Deb Profile Photoo Aug2016Deb Phenicie is a registered professional civil engineer working primarily in the area of environmental restoration. In the last decade she has focused on community-based collaboration combining her technical expertise and facilitation skills to complete projects with environmental, social, and economic benefits. She designs and facilitates meetings and workshops that move groups from polarization around topics to breakthrough ideas and new possibilities. Deb engages people in exploring their connection to nature, discovering how it moves them toward individual and collective action in caring for creation. At her home in the foothills southwest of Denver, she plays with organic and biodynamic gardening at 7,200 feet elevation as well as improving wildlife and pollinator habitat.