Veronica has led the Center for Coalfield Justice for the past five years and it has brought her so much joy and purpose. She truly believes that bringing in new energy and fresh perspective is healthy for the growth of organizations, and because of the growth of our team, she is ready to move forward from her role as Executive Director.
Veronica is thrilled to share that Sarah Winner, our current Senior Attorney, will be CCJ’s next Executive Director and Sarah Martik, our current Campaign Director, will be CCJ’s Deputy Director. They will continue CCJ’s legacy of working with community members to protect the places where they live, work, and recreate. She started her journey as ED with “The Sarahs” and believes they are going to be an excellent leadership team to take CCJ into its next phase.
Sarah Winner has worked on behalf of CCJ and its members for over a decade, beginning with the litigation concerning subsidence damage to Ryerson Station Dam and the loss of Duke Lake. Sarah later served as lead attorney in CCJ’s successful permit appeals of Consol’s Bailey Lower East Expansion that threatened Kent Run and Polen Run in Ryerson Station State Park. Sarah believes that CCJ’s blended legal and organizing model works best when it centers the needs of impacted residents, and she is fiercely committed to the idea that CCJ’s work must be community led. She looks forward to earning community trust by providing residents with the tools and support needed to address acute impacts like property damage and water contamination or diminution.
Sarah Martik has been part of Team CCJ for the past 6 years, having come to this work as a lifelong resident of California, PA and recognizing the complexities of organizing and advocating in a region where active and legacy fossil fuel extraction are so prominent. In those 6 years, we’ve helped hundreds of local residents take action, hosted dozens of trainings, webinars, and events, and most importantly, we’ve continued to steadily build power in southwestern Pennsylvania. As Deputy Director, Sarah is committed to advancing the strategic vision of CCJ and will work with staff, members, and local residents to continue to build power with and for our communities.
“The Sarahs” are excited to connect with CCJ’s members, old and new, in the coming months (and maybe introduce them to their dogs, Bailey and Lucy). They are looking forward to working alongside residents to protect and improve the communities where we live, work, and recreate.
Veronica’s tenure as a CCJ employee will end on March 1st, but she will be a member forever (if you are not a member, join her now)! She is not moving from Greene County and she hopes to still cross paths at the many CCJ events, especially DRYerson, and can’t wait to support the organization with you. To no surprise, Veronica will still be organizing and investing in leadership development from the Gulf to Appalachia as Senior Advisor for Taproot Earth.