New RMC ExCom Chair faces big challenges
By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team
Bryan has a big job ahead of him. Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter’s
(RMC) new volunteer Executive Committee (ExCom) chair, Dave is already
making exciting plans for a successful and productive term in office.
member of the Pikes Peak Group since 2002, the Colorado Springs
resident sees his main ExCom chair goals as the following: Using social
media for a greater outreach for the Chapter; finding additional funding
for a part-time organizer in the Chapter office; and promoting
collegiality, cooperation and respect among the Chapter’s many dedicated
and passionate activists.
“We need to increase our ‘Klout’
across all age groups using social media tools,” he says. “We also need
someone on the RMC staff who would function as both a volunteer
organizer and in a Group support role. Perhaps most importantly, I
learned early in my career that all people want to feel satisfaction in
their endeavors and to be acknowledged by their peers.”
Oh, and, one more “little” thing on his ExCom to-do list—he’s looking for a co-chair to assist him on the board.
Why is Dave taking on these tough challenges?
been a political junkie since birth and the Club affords me the
opportunity to combine my passion for the environment with my interest
in politics,” he states. “I’ve often said that if you are passionate
about something that eventually you will need to be political. Good
governance and good stewardship of the environment go hand in hand.”
Busy volunteer for a decade-plus
member of Sierra Club for (as he puts it) “only” 11 years, he has not
been one to just sit around watching everyone else do all the active
volunteering. Not only does he serve on both the RMC ExCom and as an
alternate on the Chapter Political Committee, he also is a member of the
Pikes Peak Group ExCom and serves as the Group’s Political chair.
Previously he served as vice-chair on the Chapter Excom.
appreciates the fact that Sierra Club takes a “holistic approach” to
environmental activism and protection. By this he means that the Club
combines the best of grassroots activism with outings, legal challenges,
candidate endorsements, education and lobbying. He knows from
experience that “in the long run this approach is most effective, and
that the Club respects the inherent worth of all peoples and the
back at his decade-plus with Sierra Club, Dave is pleased to note there
have been success stories along the way. For example, he is gratified
to have been active in helping get fair-minded, progressive candidates
elected in El Paso County.
are often told that they represent the difference in the State
Capitol,” he states. “Progressive candidates in El Paso County seek out
the Sierra Club because they know we are pragmatic, politically savvy,
hardworking and can help them get elected. Making a difference where you
live for the people you love is very rewarding.”
is also personally proud of the 16,000 commuter miles he has put on his
bike in the last six years commuting to work, Sierra Club meetings,
movies and dinner. “Living our values is as important as the words we
speak. This is a trademark of most Sierra Club members,” he emphasizes.
Bumps in the road
that everything has been smooth sailing for this dedicated
environmental activist. Increasing levels of harmful oil and gas
extraction throughout the state, for example, is a huge frustration.
has created a tremendous sense of helplessness in the impacted
communities and only recently has there been any hope at the local
level. The Club is feeling its way through the morass to hopefully a
path of greater effectiveness. It will be a difficult fight; there is so
much money involved and the illusion that local production reduces
dependency on foreign oil. “
he knows that activists like himself will continue to experience
frustration at how slow the going can be with some issues that feel
urgent—and oil and gas is not the only one. What helps getting through
the rough spots is the strong sense of camaradarie with fellow Sierra
Club members who share his enthusiasm for working in a united way to
protect the health of the planet.
is pleased to acknowledge the accomplishments of several Chapter
leaders and colleagues in recent years. Specifically he points to the
hard work and unwavering commitment of Myrna Poticha, a former ExCom
co-chair; Will Walters, also a former ExCom co-chair; and Joshua Ruschhaupt, Chapter Director.
with other volunteers’ energy and support, they have quietly created a
new Denver Metro Network, giving Denver Sierra Club members a place to
belong and participate,” Dave states. “They have also assembled a
wonderful Communications Team, revamped the Legislative Committee,
formed a new Legal Committee and Conflict Resolution Team, and have the
Chapter on solid financial footing.”
understands that every Chapter leader, member and friend at every level
of participation is important in keeping the RMC strong and vibrant. He
encourages every activist and supporter to not lose sight of why they
belong to, financially support and volunteer for the Club.
should take time to hike with a friend or a child and acknowledge our
partners and family who share us with the Club. We should also tell at
least one person a day why climate change is real, who the Sierra Club
is and why we can make a difference."
Return to May E-newsletter...