CivicSpark has 5 AmeriCorps Members serving in the Greater LA Region. CivicSpark is partnering closely with San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments to complete projects addressing energy efficiency, outreach, and climate action planning.
As part of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments’ (SGVCOG) EASY Program, Mikaela Vournas, John McQueeney, Kaitlin Ward, and Katlynn Rathbun are working with the SGVCOG to provide free home energy assessments to residents of seventeen participating cities. “Building the program from scratch has been a challenge,” John McQueeney said. ‘Though challenging indeed, creating a program with little prior knowledge has been a truly rewarding experience,” reflected Mikaela Vournas.
Over in the Inland Empire, Suzanna Kirchner is working with the City of Redlands and the City of Fontana on different aspects of implementing their Climate Action Plans. She has already completed a first draft of the Climate Action Plan for Fontana, and is now digging into Redlands work.
CivicSpark Great LA Region Projects
|San Gabriel Valley Point-of-Permit Energy Audit and Education Program
Conduct home energy assessments as a means to educate homeowners about energy efficiency, and a way to
encourage them to incorporate energy efficiency (EE) measures into planned renovation projects.
Beneficiaries: Alhambra, Arcadia, Bradbury, Covina, Diamond Bar, El Monte, Irwindale, La Canada Flintridge,
|City of Fontana Climate Action Plan
Help Fontana prepare a climate action plan, which will be incorporated into the City’s General Plan.
Beneficiary: City of Fontana
|City of Redlands Localized Climate Action Plan
Integrate Redlands Community Sustainability Plan, Mayors Accord, Regional GHG and associated environmental
documents and template into a localized Climate Action Plan.
Beneficiary: City of Redlands
Meet our Team
|Ken Herron, Regional Supervisor
Ken Herron has over 35 years of professional experience in the direction of government and non-profit organizations, economic development and marketing management in the private sector and instructing management and public relations at the university level. Ken spent his career in the Inland Empire, working with communities, including the cities of Covina and Fontana in Parks and Recreation, Community Resources, and Economic Development. Before retiring in 2008 he had the opportunity to become Fontana’s first Community Services Director and create an inaugural department.
Susie Kirschner is a recent graduate of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. There she received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a minor in Chemistry. During her undergraduate education, she performed a research project looking at heavy metal soil contamination of a site impacted by acid mine drainage.
| John McQueeney
John McQueeney is a recent graduate from UC Berkeley with a Major in Development and a Minor in Energy and Resources. Before CivicSpark, he interned for Asia Carbon Energy in Beijing, China, where he project managed four graduate university students and produced a sustainability investment report for Western and Chinese government officials.
Immediately after receiving a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Florida, Kate Rathbun headed west to work as a habitat assessment technician. After her prior experience at the municipal level with Gainesville Parks & Rec, Kate knew that CivicSpark would be the perfect opportunity to apply her skills again at the local level.
Mikaela is a recent graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she majored in Anthropology and Geography, concentrating in Human Ecology. She is interested in gaining first-hand experience in sustainability, and is dedicated to the service of her community.
Kaitlin recently graduated from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona with a degree in political science. She has held numerous positions based in government organizations, including the Los Angeles Superior Court and the United States House of Representatives. Kaitlin’s goals for the future are to pursue law school with an emphasis in environmental and public law.