Our Staff 2018-01-19T09:22:57+00:00

Melissa Malott, Executive Director

A lawyer by training, Melissa is passionate about bringing people together to identify solutions to achieve clean water, a key component to healthy and thriving communities. Prior to joining Citizens for a Healthy Bay, she served as the appointed assistant on clean water and sustainability for Dane County, WI, and directed the water program for Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental nonprofit. Melissa successfully advanced clean water policy throughout Wisconsin and was instrumental in crafting the state’s new phosphorus rule and securing the signing of the Great Lakes Compact. After receiving her law degree from the University of Wisconsin, she co-founded a nonprofit law firm, Community Justice Inc., which offers legal services to low income people. Melissa’s work is devoted to securing environmental protections for vulnerable communities.

Contact: mmalott@healthybay.org

Kenny Coble, Environmental Justice Program Manager

Kenny is a community organizer passionate about connecting Tacoma’s vibrant and diverse communities with Citizens for a Healthy Bay’s environmental work. Growing up near Commencement Bay, he has always loved its beauty and the wildlife who call it home. He was drawn to environmental justice work because of a parallel passion advocating for racial equity and inclusion in the publishing industry. Along with working at CHB, Kenny is a bookseller at King’s Books in Tacoma, WA, and a novelist. As someone who loves nature and books, you’re just as likely to find Kenny reading a book as you are to find him spending time in Point Defiance—or reading a book in Point Defiance.

Contact: kcoble@healthybay.org

Karen Gogins, Policy and Technical Project Manager

Karen researches and analyzes environmental issues at the local and regional level, working closely with Citizens for a Healthy Bay’s Policy and Technical Advisory Committee. She graduated from Grinnell College with a degree in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. Her passion for water issues and environmental justice was sparked while conducting research in Tanzania regarding the impact of climate change on the Masaai tribe. Karen serves as the Vice President of the Tacoma Waterfront Association and on the steering committee for the Environmental Education Community of Interest. Outside the office, you’ll likely find Karen exploring in the mountains, lost in a book or coaching on the basketball court.

Contact: kgogins@healthybay.org

Sam Kulla, Bay Patrol Manager

Originally from Missoula, Montana, Sam is an adventurer who has worked across the map as a whitewater guide, wilderness medicine instructor, EMT, rope access technician, and more. He is eager to create more engaging and tangible experiences with our waters for the community, and loves helping others appreciate and understand the natural world. Sam has a BA in Geography and Spanish Literature from the University of Montana, and when he’s not traveling somewhere new, you can find him working on his next art project.

Contact: skulla@healthybay.org

Emily Pinckney, Community Justice Organizer

Emily works to empower communities by increasing environmental awareness and inspiring meaningful, effective action. Her enthusiasm for the environment stems from a lifelong love of the outdoors and passion for connecting people to nature. Emily is committed to community service and serves as a mentor for Elizabeth Wesley’s Alumni Program where she is able to help minorities in her community to reach academic excellence. In the Spring of 2016, as a volunteer, Emily created CHB’s Summer Educational Ambassadors Program to get young adults underrepresented in STEM fields interested and involved in the aquatic environment by encouraging them to become environmental leaders in their community. Emily attended Humboldt State University and Duke University and graduated with a degree in Marine Biology and Conservation and a degree in Wildlife Biology. Emily’s ability to communicate and engage with a diverse range of individuals brings a new strength and excitement to our organization.

Contact: epinckney@healthybay.org

Alex Teppert, Communications and Development Manager

Alex brings a love of writing, storytelling and design to the team. A Florida native, Alex graduated with a degree in English Literature and a certificate in Portuguese from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. While at UW-Madison, he played for the men’s tennis team and participated in the environmental student organization, Rethink Wisconsin, where he helped create and run the organization’s fundraising events and awareness campaigns. Prior to joining CHB, Alex worked at Clean Lakes Alliance, an environmental nonprofit dedicated to reducing phosphorus in Madison’s lakes. Alex is excited about building relationships with CHB supporters and promoting CHB’s story to the diverse audiences of the Puget Sound area.

Contact: ateppert@healthybay.org