Meet Our Staff


Michael Brown – ExecutMPB7ive Director

Michael has a diverse background in environmental work including training of volunteers in ecological monitoring for the Illinois EcoWatch, service as a Peace Corps volunteer at Pirin National Park in Bulgaria, management of a 320-acre educational park for the Peoria Park District, work in environmental health with the Peoria City/County Health Department, and restoration of natural areas for Peoria Wilds. He has served on the boards of multiple nonprofit agencies including Peoria Wilds, the Illinois Recycling Association, and the ParkLands Foundation, where he serves as chair of the Stewardship Committee. Michael is certified as a Sustainable Resource Management Professional, and is a 2006 recipient of Peoria’s 40 Leaders Under Forty Award, 2013 recipient of the Illinois Recycling Association’s President’s Award, 2014 recipient of the McLean County Public Health Award, and 2015 recipient of Illinois Central College’s Alumnus of the Decade award.

Kris HallKris Hall – Education Coordinator

Kris joined the EAC team in the spring of 2010. Previously, she worked for over 20 years as the Education Coordinator at Miller Park Zoo, where she taught thousands of children and families about fascinating animals. But those animals cannot thrive on a planet with eroding resources and habitats, so now Kris’s focus is teaching people about making choices that will lead to a healthier world for everyone! The daughter of an Air Force family, Kris grew up living all over the world. Her love of travel has spread to her husband Mike and son Dave, and they have been to Australia, Costa Rica, Botswana, South Africa, and many national parks here in the U.S. Kris has a Bachelor’s Degree from DePauw University, where she majored in Zoology and English.

LALarissa Armstrong – Program Coordinator

Larissa was hired in the fall of 2010 to provide assistance with a wide variety of programs at the Ecology Action Center and now coordinates the BN Energy Bright program, Yard Smart, and the Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo.  Larissa has a Bachelor’s Degree from Illinois state University in Politics and Government, and a Master’s Degree from Rutgers University in Global Affairs with a research focus on Global Environmental Issues.  When Larissa isn’t busy during the week working for the EAC, she is off hiking the trails of nature preserves in Illinois and adding more native plants to her mini backyard prairie.

Gary KamplainGary Kamplain  – Program Assistant

Gary joined the EAC in June 2011; previously he worked for over 30 years in the safety and agricultural fields. He is from central Illinois with a B.S. degree from Illinois State University. With seven rain barrels in use at home he was a natural for teaching the Ecology Action Center’s rain barrel workshops. He is also part-time resident Handy Man for the EAC. He greatly enjoys finding out how many ways the EAC serves the community and being part of this dynamic team.

 Marcus Ricci – Stewardship CoordinatorDSCF4795

Marcus coordinates the Sugar Creek Stewards program for the EAC on a part-time basis while acting as a Planner for the City of Urbana during the week.  Marcus is interested and experienced in a wide range of resource management disciplines, from stormwater management, erosion control and land conservation, to renewable energy generation and energy conservation and efficiency. He is an avid native gardener, repurposer, cyclist and activist, and lives in Charleston with his partner, Jeannie, and their cats and dog.

1002600_1377222935840159_1144266297_nMelanie Ziomek – Executive Assistant

Melanie joined the EAC in August 2016 as the Executive Assistant. She has extensive administrative experience and office knowledge that she is using in her new position. Melanie is an avid recycler and while trying to find ways to lessen her impact on the environment, she oversees drop off sites for Terracycle in the community. Since 2011 Melanie has collected Terracyle items and with the help of the community is one of the top collectors. Melanie has long volunteered at many of the recycling events that Ecology Action Center holds throughout the year as well as working with the youth at the Boys & Girls Club to promote recycling.

img_6819Lacey Monterastelli – Program Coordinator

Lacey joined EAC in September of 2016. Her efforts are focused on updating the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, overseeing the Radon Program and providing assistance with solid waste planning. Lacey graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Environmental Health and is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS). She spent the last several years living in Alaska, where she worked for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) as an Environmental Health Consultant and focused on conducting non-regulatory surveys of Tribal landfills, water plants, sewer systems and health clinics. In her last year at ANTHC she switched her focus to air quality and started managing Tribal Air Quality Projects throughout the state of Alaska.

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