Rishi Ranabothu, Intern & Youth Leaders Initiative (YLI) Founder
Rishi is a Cary native, a freshman at Enloe High School and is working towards his Eagle Scout rank. He has been involved with NCIPL for more than a year now. His passion to ensure a green and bright future for everyone led him to found the Youth Leaders Initiative at NCIPL. He works with youth of all faiths to bring energy efficiency and sustainability to their congregations and ultimately protect all of God’s creation. Rishi spreads his love and knowledge of STEM, teaching under-privileged students robotics at the Boys and Girls Club. Camping with his Boy Scout Troop, volunteering for the Cary Teen Council and running Track and Cross Country in his school team are other activities he enjoys. He also likes visiting and exploring new places with his family. Pursuing higher education to be a medical doctor and save people’s lives is his goal. Contact Rishi: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabrina do Visigalli – Concord, NC
University City United Methodist Church
Sabrina has been living in North Carolina for two years, but she is Brazilian, born in São Paulo and raised in a not-so-small town called São José dos Campos. She is pursuing an M.A. in Sustainability at Wake Forest University and has always known that she wanted to study and advocate for the environment. She has a B.A. in Biological Sciences, from “Universidade do Vale do Paraíba” and an M.B.A. in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, from “Fundação Getúlio Vargas”. With a Catholic background, she converted to the Baptist church in 2002 and was baptized the day Brazil won the five-time World Cup championship! She is passionate about getting people of faith involved in Creation Care, and in making a positive intervention in our broken world. She was part of the group that found A Rocha Brasil, a non-profit Christian organization focused on conservation and environmental education for communities of faith, that is present in more than 20 countries around the world. Sabrina is married to a violinist and has two children, a tween girl, and a busy 5-year-old boy.
Carl W. Sigel – Raleigh, NC
Environmental Ministry Liaison of Episcopal Church of the Nativity Episcopal
Carl spent his professional life in the pharmaceutical industry. Now retired, he is deeply committed to nonprofit organizations that focus on the environment, community service, youth education and development, food security, and social justice. With a lifetime interest in sustaining the Creation, he currently serves as Chair, NC Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL) Steering Committee, represents NCIPL and the Raleigh Convocation of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina on the Diocesan Chartered Committee for Environmental Ministry, and serves on the Board of Directors for both the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, and Food Runners Collaborative.
Penny J. Hooper – Smyrna, NC
Unitarian Coastal Fellowship
Penny joined NCIPL in 2008 as a Steering Committee Member. A year later, she became the Secretary and in 2014 was elected to Vice-Chair. Her roles beyond NCIPL’s Executive Committee include chairing the Leadership Council, serving on the Worship Working Group, as well as serving as the coastal liaison between NCIPL and the Sierra Club, and being actively involved in her Unitarian Coastal Fellowship Green Sanctuary Committee. She retired from teaching Biology at Carteret Community College in 2010 and has been a full time volunteer environmental activist since that time.
Stephen Jurovics – Raleigh, NC
Yavneh: A Jewish Renewal Community
Stephen has been researching biblical environmental teachings for over 20 years and has spoken on this topic at numerous churches and synagogues in the southeast. He is the author of Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change. He has been working on energy and environmental issues for the past 25 years and his work has dealt mainly with improving the energy performance of buildings and assessing the impacts on electric utilities of stricter building and appliance standards. Stephen served six years on the North Carolina Energy Policy Council and chaired its Conservation Committee during that time. He holds a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Southern California and a B.S. and M.S. from Columbia University.
Dan Figgins – Holly Springs, NC
Pullen Memorial Baptist Church
Dan Figgins’ final assignment with the U.S. State Department was as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya. He teaches political science courses at NCSU including “Global Environmental Treaties and Policies.” In 1998, he helped start a weekly Sunday school class on Earth Care at Pullen Baptist Church in Raleigh. In recent years Linda Rodriquez, wife of NCIPL Leadership Council member Bob Rodriquez, has led the class expanding its format from studying books to inviting outstanding environmental experts and social action leaders. Dan has been a member of NCIPL and its predecessors since 1998 when volunteers organized to support NC Council of Churches’ staff work on environmental stewardship. Because Dan participated the planning of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit at UNEP headquarters in 1989, he has been aware of the reality of climate change and its human –caused weather disruptions for more than a quarter of a century.
Gary Smith – Raleigh, NC
Community United Church of Christ
Gary received a PhD in Chemistry from Lehigh University in 1978. He retired from a career in pharmaceutical research in 2013. A member of Community UCC in Raleigh since 1993, Gary co-founded Justice in a Changing Climate (JCC) which provides pre-weatherization to the community. In 2014 he became chair of NCIPL’s Energy Working Group. Gary has a passion to reduce fossil fuel use. He enjoys nature, science and the out of doors, the latter especially while on a bicycle.