Ohio IPL Board

Dr. Tim Van Meter, Board Chair

In the early 1990’s, I worked as an environmental planner for an engineering firm writing environmental impact statements for road projects in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. It was in the midst of this work that I first read The Sand County Almanac. Aldo Leopold – along with Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Thomas Merton, Rachel Carson, Mary Oliver, Thomas Berry, and others – raised crucial questions about the interrelationship of community, place, health, and land. …More




Kelsey Ryan-Simkins, Board Secretary

Kelsey Ryan-Simkins followed passions for food and agriculture, social justice, and theology to Columbus and discovered the work of Ohio IPL through these interests.

Before moving to Ohio, Kelsey facilitated ecojustice educational workshops and a permaculture-based youth leadership program at The GrowHaus, a nonprofit urban farm Denver, CO. During this time, Kelsey completed a Permaculture Design Certificate, which has inspired her to think about the ways we learn from patterns in the environment around us…More




Rev. Peter Galbraith

Peter Galbraith became pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Nelsonville, Ohio in February of 2011. Prior to coming to Nelsonville, Peter worked as a hospital chaplain at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California.

He also taught English as a second language for three years in Vietnam and served there another two years in organizational leadership. Peter has a B.A. from Miami University of Ohio, and both an M.A. in Cross-Cultural Studies and M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary…More




Valerie Gilbert

Valerie Gilbert is an Energy Analyst with Energility LLC. She works with small companies and Houses of Worship to determine building energy profiles and assist in the development of energy management plans. She is a firm believer in “Everything is Connected” – that we cannot cause harm to the earth without causing harm to ourselves and every living spirit…More




Mark A. McClain

Mark A. McClain received his BA degree in sociology from Harvard College and his law degree from Columbia University School of Law. He spent 20 years in the law profession serving in various capacities, including Chief Prosecutor of the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland, assistant U.S. attorney, judge, civil rights and defense attorney. In 2006 he was called to the ministry in the Primitive Baptist Church…More




Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart grew up in Scioto County, Ohio, and her wanderings did not take her far. In college, she interned at United Campus Ministry in Athens and explored questions of faith both through a few different churches and UCM’s Interfaith Impact group.

After attending Ohio University for social work, she served two terms of National Service (AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps State/National) and landed at Rural Action, managing the Ohio Stream Restore Corps AmeriCorps program. She helps to run a tiny but growing farm in Glouster…More