Our Staff 2017-04-11T18:13:14+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

Jeanine Riss, Office & Restoration Manager

Jeanine, a former head chef and veterinary nurse, leads Citizens for a Healthy Bay’s work to engage volunteers to restore natural habitat around Commencement Bay. She has a degree in Environmental Studies and Restoration Ecology from the University of Washington – Tacoma and has served on the steering committee of the Green Tacoma Partnership for nearly a decade. While not working to restore critical habitat, Jeanine loves to rescue and foster cats, cooking, and making jewelry.

Contact: jriss@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

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 promote CHB’s story to the diverse audiences of the Puget Sound area.

Contact: ateppert@healthybay.org

Ryan Cruz, Conservation Engagement Coordinator

Ryan works to empower communities by increasing environmental awareness and inspiring meaningful, effective action. His enthusiasm for the environment stems from a lifelong love of the outdoors and appreciation for the positive effects of wild spaces. A recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound, Ryan studied biology and environmental policy, and spent summers as a wilderness guide. As a biologist and outdoor enthusiast, Ryan is passionate about bridging the gap between scientific information and the general public.

Contact: rcruz@healthybay.org