Who We Are …

The Climate Action Alliance of the Valley (CAAV) consists of a steering committee of up to 18 individuals and an email list of over 700 addresses. We consider all those on the email list and everybody who “likes” our facebook page to be a member of CAAV.

We invite anyone interested to join one of our four standing committees or occasional ad hoc groups.

The steering committee (SC) currently consists of:

Jo Anne St. Clair, CAAV Steering Committee Chair 2019, member of the L&E and E&E Committees, joined the Steering Committee in September 2017.

Irvin Peckham, CAAV Steering Committee Vice Chair, and Coalition & Communication Committee Chair. Irvin joined the Steering Committee in February 2019.

Now retired, he has been teaching writing at the high school and college level for forty years– in Morgan Hill, CA; the University of Nebraska, Omaha; Louisiana State University; and Drexel University. He specializes in and writes about social-class relationships, personal writing, and writing assessment. He has been involved in the anti-war movement ever since he first got a letter telling him to report for duty in Viet-Nam. He keeps a blog at personalwriting2.blogspot.com.

Joni Grady, CAAV SC Recording Secretary, Chair 2017 – 2018, former Chair of the Education and Events (E&E) Committee, CAAV facebook page administrator.

See Joni’s evocative letter to the Daily News-Record published May 3, 2016: Climate Skeptics Imperil Us All.

Joni delivered an eloquent and moving sermon to the Harrisonburg Unitarian Universalists congregation on October 4, 2015: Reality Check, and another on December 30, 2012: Intersecting webs of our lives Or, The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Carl Droms, has been the CAAV treasurer since 2012.

Rosie Lynch, JMU graduate Class of 2016, joined the CAAV Steering Committee in May 2017, and Chairs the new, as yet to be named, combined E&E Committee and ad hoc Resilience Committee.

As a student, Rosie was a founding member and media coordinator for a fossil fuel divestment campaign, Divest JMU, and its parent organization, the Climate Justice Coalition. She wrote a couple of Letters to the Editor in JMU’s newspaper, the Breeze, (see A call to action, Feb. 9, 2017 and Administration doesn’t understand importance of Divest JMU, Oct. 14, 2015) and worked with local student-led radio (WXJM), the Daily News-Record, and TV station WHSV to publicize the campaign.

Cathy Strickler, CAAV Founder, organizer of The Defenders protest against pipeline sculpture, former SC Chair, and former Chairs of the E&E and L&E Committees

Cathy’s opinion pieces in the DNR include: Our Enemy: Climate Disruption, 8/29/13; Renewable Energy Must Be Mandated, 11/18/10; Climate, Energy Real Problems, 7/12/10; Celebrate Earth Week In April, 4/7/08.

Cathy spoke at the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s March 24, 2012, March to End Dominion’s Power Madness in Richmond. Find her at 1:40 in this CCAN video.

Les Grady, SC Chair from 2012 through 2014, Chair of the Speakers’ Bureau, compiles a weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup

Les has authored Open Forum pieces published in the Daily News Record (DNR) on 7/29/14, Goodlatte Wrong on Climate, 4/14/14, Congress Must Tax Carbon, 2/7/13, Keystone Pipeline is a Bad Idea and 12/5/12, We Must Stop the Warming.

His engineering background gives him the credentials to speak knowledgeably on Climate Change, an Urgent Need for Action.

Les gave a talk, What Aileth Thee, on April 21, 2013, at Harrisonburg Unitarian Universalists based on the book Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.

Sally Newkirk, Former Chair of the L&E Committee and involved with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Sally is a local realtor specializing in environmentally-conscientious choices. She keeps a blogsite: Sally’s Healthy Homes. See her post about the benefits of LEED buildings here.

Alleyn Harned, member of the Coalition Building and L&E Committees

Alleyn is the Executive Director of Virginia Clean Cities.

Joy Loving, available to speak on local solar initiatives, member of the L&E Committee, was the local coordinator for Solarize Harrisonburg and Massanutten Regional Solar Co-op, and is involved with Renew Rocktown

Lynn Smith, founding member, member of the L&E and E&E Committees, organized What a Wonderful World, Earth Day 2017 celebration among many other events

Charlie Strickler, founding member, member of the L&E Committee, involved with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Charlie participated in an 18 day fast in front of FERC Headquarters in September 2015.

Michele Thomas joined the Steering Committee in September 2018. She is a member of the E&E Committee.

Adrie Voors, CAAV website developer, member of the E&E Committee, and Coordinator of the Market Compost Drop-off Program

Rickie Wertz, founding member, Recording Secretary until mid-2019

Matthew Wade joined the CAAV SC in January 2020.

Matthew serves as Deputy Director of Virginia Clean Cities (VCC). He joined VCC in 2013 after six years in local government administration with the goal of comprehensively reducing petroleum use and harmful emissions in Virginia. As Deputy Director, he oversees the management of staff operations and VCC’s grant portfolio for alternate transportation fuels infrastructure, vehicle deployment, education, and outreach. He earned a Masters of Public Administration from James Madison University in 2007 and Masters of Business Administration in 2018. A Shenandoah Valley native, Matthew enjoys being outdoors with his wife Kelly and black Labrador Retriever, Dakota.