ElenorElenor Hodges has been ACE’s executive director since 2000. Her previous experience includes environmental consulting with DynCorp, developing the Animal Tracks environmental education program for Wal-Mart and program management in the education department at National Wildlife Federation. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Education from George Mason University.  She lives in Arlington with her husband and two daughters.


Carolyn Semedo-Strauss has been the program manager at ACE since 2012 and manages the Arlington Energy Masters program. A life-long learner with an enthusiastic love of nature, Carolyn’s certified master naturalist and interpretive guide, and has enjoys taking advantage of learning opportunities through Project Learning Tree, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the National Audubon Society, and more. In addition to more than 17 years of experience in the environmental, education, and non-profit fields, Carolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Northeastern University. She lives in Alexandria with her husband and three children, guinea pig, fish and neighborhood chipmunks.


Kari KramerKari Kramer is the program and administrative coordinator and at ACE.  She is interested in the non-profit world specifically in sustainability.  She also previously worked with a local non-profit coordinating programs and teaching healthy cooking to elementary children in DC.  Kari received her Bachelor of Science in environmental biology from the University of Dayton.


Board Openings

Read about our board openings.


Elizabeth Appel, Chair

Colleen Morgan, Vice Chair

Rick Keller, Treasurer

Open, Secretary


Vacant, Student Member
Stephanie Dix Clifford
Takis Karantonis
Bruce Leathwood
Don Masters
Michael Murtha
Linh Ong
Patrick Tallarico

Liz AppelElizabeth Appel
As an attorney, I recognize that laws are a necessary backbone of environmental protection, but I strongly believe that community-based initiatives are the key to proactively facing all types of environmental challenges—ranging from litter, to expanding landfills, to global warming. Since its establishment more than 36 years ago as a litter control agency, ACE has grown to help the Arlington community confront new challenges and promote sustainable living. I’m honored to have the opportunity to share both my urban planning and environmental law expertise to help ACE continue on this mission and make Arlington a model in sustainable communities.

Stephanie CliffordStephanie Dix Clifford
As ACE continues to expand our outreach and services and raise our profile in the community,  I am looking forward to having the opportunity to continue my role in the organization. I’ll use my background in environmental technology, community organizing, non-profit management, and communications to build our internal organizational strength and capacity to effectively serve the community. Working with the rest of our team, we will make ACE a go-to source for information on sustainable living and expand our outreach to those who are not typical environmentalists. We will reach out to more renters, homeowners, and businesses who could benefit from the services ACE specializes in. ACE will continue to grow and play a major role in larger community conversations and strategic plans on the future of Arlington as a model sustainable community

TakisTakis Karantonis
I have been actively involved in environmental outreach since the mid-1980s, while still a student. This basic interest soon evolved into an academic and professional commitment as an environmental economist and consultant. I learned to appreciate ACE’s invaluable contributions while leading the efforts of the historic neighborhood in which I live (Arlington Village, Columbia Heights) to become more sustainable and green. As a member of the Board my primary goal is to empower Arlington’s green volunteers which is ACE’s core mission. I care deeply about environmental education in our schools, about the inclusion of our very diverse minorities in protecting and preserving our common natural environment, and about harnessing the extraordinary potential of Arlington’s entrepreneurs and businesses in order to become a world class sustainable community.

Rick KellerRick Keller
My environmental awareness began in 1970 at a sparsely attended Earth Day event in State College, PA. Over the years I volunteered at various environmental events and contributed to organizations doing environmental work, but it was not until I retired from the Federal Government at the end of 2004 that I became a true activist. I was looking for something to do that had meaning and would benefit the future of my (now adult) children. I realized that for me the solution lay with environmental stewardship. It seems trite to say we only have one world so we better take care of it. Yet there are so many powerful voices that try and convince us otherwise. Through ACE I hope to continue to work toward overcoming those voices and support Arlington’s efforts to make this a sustainable place to live for future generations.

Bruce Leathwood
I have spent more than 25 years raising awareness and revenue for non-profit organizations including some of the World’s largest and most effective environmental groups. As a long time Arlington resident, I have witnessed the incredible population and infrastructure growth in the County and recognize the pressure that puts on our local environment. Through programs like Energy Masters and the Green Living Expo, ACE offers practical solutions that can empower all Arlington residents to participate in protecting and preserving the community we all love. ACE’s commitment to environmental education and sustainable living is making an effective, lasting impact. I am proud to apply my passion and experience to helping advance ACE’s mission.

Don Masters
As a young resident of Arlington in the 1980’s, I watched the building of I-66 as it came through the neighborhood, bringing with it a multitude of changes. From those early days I have been involved continuously in the Arlington community through my community association, stream clean-ups, invasive plant removal actions, Christmas in April events, the reconstruction of the Reed School and Westover Library, and the East Falls Church redesign planning effort. I am honored to be a board member of ACE where I can continue to make a difference in the environmental quality of Arlington life for all its residents.  I have a great respect for the environment and will use my talents in support of ACE’s goal to provide a sustainable community that will be a shining example for other communities to follow. My interest is in bringing the environmental efficiencies and choices that are now being heavily implemented by businesses and real estate developers to all Arlington residents in ways that are cost effective and convenient to implement.

Colleen MorganColleen Morgan
I have been an environmental attorney for nearly 25 years. While I’ve worked on national environmental programs and supported many other community’s sustainability efforts, through Leadership Arlington I’ve re-committed to contributing more directly to the community that I have lived in for 15 years. I also hope my personal experiences – watching and participating in my home town’s (Portland, Oregon) efforts to be a model in sustainability – can contribute to my adopted town’s continued progressive leadership in being the most sustainable community in the region. I have witnessed the reach of ACE and would be proud to be of any service I can.

Mike MurthaMichael Murtha
I have a vested interest in preserving Arlington’s environment as a resident of the county since 1945, a past chair of the Arlington Planning Commission and a current member of the county’s Environment and Energy Conservation Commission, and through my efforts as a co-chair of the Task Force on the Physical Environment for the Commission on Arlington’s Future, a member of the Task Force on Arlington’s Future: A Vison for the 21st Century, and co-founder of the Arlington Community Sustainability Roundtable. In addition, I have parallel professional interests as vice president and co-founder of the Community Sustainability Resource Institute and my past work with the National Institute of Building Sciences, the National Building Museum, and the Association for the Study of Man-Environment Relations. I am currently working on a book, tentatively titled “Sidewalks Are For People: How Your Neighborhood Can Become a Sustainable Village,” which contains many of the elements of ACE’s Green Living Challenge.

Linh OngLinh Ong
“Think Globally, Act Locally” is where it all starts. Arlington is my home and I believe that protecting and preserving this awesome community and its natural environment must have priority. When I established my sign and graphics company Pure Media Sign Studio, I learned not only to offer my clients greener alternatives but found the greater impact to be in educating other businesses in the sign industry about how to grow a greener clientele. As a member of the Board, I would focus on working with Arlington’s business community to be more involved in traveling on ACE’s path towards a clean and sustainable community.

Patrick TallaricoPatrick Tallarico
I have been working in the environmental field for my entire career – over 25 years. I have been fortunate to be part of the evolution of the environmental field from an early focus on regulations to the more recent emphasis on long-term sustainability. I now spend my career helping bring individuals and organizations together in productive dialogue to solve their environmental, organizational, and programmatic challenges.  I moved to Arlington in 1998 – at the beginning of a redevelopment boom that continues today. Growth across the County has meant increases in amenities, but it has also put obvious stresses on our infrastructure and environment. I joined the ACE Board because ACE fills the gap in environmental protection between federal, state, and local programs and on-the-ground results. Its focus on mobilizing citizens to action is key to keeping Arlington clean and helping preserve our local environment for future generations.