Elenor 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 is the program manager at ACE. She’s communications professional and freelance writer who spent many years in the non-profit sector and engaged in entrepreneurial endeavors. Carolyn recently changed careers to meld her passion for the environment and environmental education with her livelihood. A certified master naturalist and certified interpretive guide, Carolyn has participated in a number of educational programs through Project Learning Tree, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the National Audubon Society and more. Carolyn has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Northeastern University. She lives in Alexandria (where she spreads the good green word through her Green and Simple column on Patch) with her husband and three elementary school-age kids.
Barbara Englehart – Energy Program Coordinator
Alexandra Kougentakis is the data entry analyst at ACE. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), with a specialization in environmental policy. At UMCP, she is works as a writing coach, and was a research assistant for the Center for Integrative Environmental Research in her first year as a graduate student. Alexandra moved to the Arlington area after living in Washington, DC for four years, during which time she worked as a policy analyst at solar project developer Distributed Sun, and as a research assistant on the energy team of the Center for American Progress. She received her Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and political science from the University of Pennsylvania.
Read about our board openings.
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 30 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.
Jennifer Bagnell Stuart
As a resident of the South Arlington Columbia Heights neighborhood since 2004 with two kids attending Arlington Public Schools, I appreciate the importance of ACE’s grassroots efforts to engage Arlingtonians to better the environment. I would like to see ACE continue to cultivate its core constituency of green volunteers, and at the same time expand its outreach to people who don’t understand, don’t care, or don’t have the time or resources to assume their role and responsibility in being a responsible steward of our environment. I am pleased to offer my professional expertise in program planning, evaluation and consulting in the nonprofit sector, as well as my extensive experience in technology project management, to help ACE achieve even greater impact.
Stephanie Dix Clifford
Bio coming soon.
Serving an ever-growing community, it is important that ACE continues to cultivate a multi-pronged approach in its effort to defend the environment. When my involvement with ACE began, the many facets of environmental protection in which members are able to contribute was immediately impressive. I have tried to apply this same principal of a diverse tool kit to myself. In my short career of service, I’ve had the opportunity to labor around the country on projects bridging recycling, education and invasive species removal. I see joining the ACE board as an opportunity to apply the skills I’ve learned and expand my involvement in the local community. I feel privileged that my path has lead me to ACE.
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.
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.
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.
Jenna Mikus is excited to return to Arlington after spending the past few years in NYC and London. During her time away, Jenna pursued graduate studies in architecture and sustainable environmental design, which further developed her passion for urban renewal and environmental protection. With that came an appreciation for how other cultures protect the resources they have and how they create policies and designs that use these resources sparingly and smartly. She is excited to bring that understanding back to the US through the sustainable strategy and smart building solution work she does at AtSite, Inc. in DC as well as through her involvement in community groups such as ACE. Arlington’s sustainable/green living initiatives are respected throughout the DC Metro community and studied for its Ecodistrict characteristics throughout the country. Its policies are innovative and its inhabitants eager to learn about and implement eco-friendly initiatives. ACE provides the community with outlets for acting upon this interest—supplying the community not only with the know-how but also with opportunities to practice what is learned. As a member of the board, Jenna looks forward to enhancing her participation in local community activities and to leveraging her background in business, engineering, and sustainable design to further develop ACE’s role in the community and help ACE achieve even more far-reaching impact in future endeavors.
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.
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.
“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 travelling on ACE’s path towards a clean and sustainable community.