The local sustainability movement just got more sustainable. After six years of innovative programming, community leadership, and many hours of volunteering, we’ve hired Nicole Pion to serve as our first Director of Operations.

“We are so grateful to be able to take this critical step in our development thanks to the support of the Park Foundation’s Sustainable Ithaca fund,” said Board Chairperson Miranda Phillips. “With Nicole’s help, we’ll be able to expand our services and build more partnerships aimed at more sustainable lifestyles and business practices.”

Nicole has over five years of experience working in the non-profit sector and has worked in large, international organizations, as well as small, community-based projects. Most recently, Nicole served as the Outreach and Development Adviser at the Urbana Champaign Independent Media Center in Urbana, IL. This role sparked her commitment to working with community-based non-profits. Nicole said: “As a former AmeriCorps volunteer, I am impressed by the strong sense of civic engagement that exists in Ithaca and within Sustainable Tompkins. I am excited to draw from my diversity of experiences to support these initiatives.”

Pion received her B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and her M.A. in International Law and Human Rights from the U.N. University for Peace. In addition to her academic credentials, Nicole has worked within social justice movements, which are strongly tied to issues of sustainability.

Gay Nicholson, co-founder and President, was upbeat as she contemplated the addition of Nicole to the Sustainable Tompkins team. “Nicole is already a valued colleague. She brings a wonderful competence and sincerity to all of her work. It’s a joy to have her with us.”