Board of Directors

Rick Poore, Board Member: Rick is a small business owner in Lincoln. Starting his business DesignWear in 1994, Rick has seen first hand the role small business owners can have in shaping policies that affect his work and his employees.

Dr. Amanda McKinney, Board Member: Amanda is a doctor in rural Nebraska. She grew up in Odell and her grandfather was a member of Nebraska’s Congressional delegation in the 1960s. Dr. McKinney was one of three doctors on stage with President Obama during a critical moment in the fight for healthcare reform.

Tom Genung, Board Member: Tom is the chairman of the Bold Alliance Education Fund, and was the chairman of the Nebraska Easement Action Team (NEAT), the collective of landowners that was formed who refused to sell their land to TransCanada for the Keystone XL pipeline. Tom was a key landowner in the fight to stop Keystone XL, and also has a long history working with the developmental  disabilities community. He is a leader in civic groups such as Kiwanis and Nebraska Farmers Union, as well as a board member of Nebraskans for Peace. Tom is an innovative small business owner and the proprietor of Hastings Pallets, which finds new uses for shipping pallets.

Staff

Jane Kleeb, President: Jane is an experienced grassroots organizer, political strategist and nonprofit entrepreneur. In 2010, Jane Kleeb founded Bold Nebraska organizing a group of farmers and ranchers that call themselves "Pipeline Fighters.” Protecting the land and water touched a deep nerve with Nebraskans whose family roots are tied to the pioneers and homesteaders that built the state of rich prairie and was at-risk with the Keystone XL tarsands pipeline. In 2016, Jane expanded Bold into a national network called the Bold Alliance which has state offices in Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Louisiana. The Bold Alliance works nationally on ending eminent domain for private gain and ensuring landowners are at the table during the clean energy transition. Jane lives in rural Nebraska with her husband Scott and three daughters. More About Jane

Mark Hefflinger, Digital & Communications Director: Mark was born and raised in Omaha, and received a Bachelor’s degree in English and Communications from Boston College. He has worked as a journalist in California, covering the digital media industry, music and LGBT issues, and more recently has been an online organizer for progressive causes. Mark worked on the No on Proposition 8 campaign in California in 2008, and afterwards with organizations including the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center on voter outreach on marriage equality. In 2012, Mark served as the New Media Director on CREDO SuperPAC’s successful Congressional campaign that ousted a 30-year conservative, climate change-denying Congressman in Northern California.

Jason Valandra, Bold Organizer: A proud Nebraskan and longtime supporter of Bold, Jason is thrilled to be part of the Bold team and has enjoyed working on projects such as the “Give Keystone XL the Boot” march and the ongoing Solar XL clean energy projects. Jason has over 20 years of professional event planning, sales and fundraising experience, and is passionate about volunteering regularly in his community to support local nonprofits and progressive causes in his hometown of Omaha, NE. A lifelong Democrat, he also serves as the Douglas County Democratic Central Committee Diversity Representative and the Nebraska Democratic Party Native Caucus Vice-Chair, working to bolster progressive politics, especially for Native communities. In his spare time, Jason can be found renovating his 1950s era North Omaha home, cooking with his wife, playing online video games, or discussing politics over coffee with friends. Jason is looking forward to the expansion of clean energy efforts, and will continue to advocate for growing the good life in Nebraska.

Bold Partners

Phyllis Hasbrouck, Wisconsin Safe Energy Alliance: Phyllis Hasbrouck is an experienced organizer who has been working against Enbridge's proposed Line 66 pipeline since 2013, first as a volunteer, and then as part-time paid staff for the Wisconsin Safe Energy Alliance. She is dedicated to stopping the mining and transport of tarsands, the dirtiest fuel on the planet, because it causes more asthma and cancer than any other fuel. She says, "Three members of my immediate family are cancer survivors, and I want to stop the pollution that is taking so many Americans' lives." Originally from Pennsylvania, Phyllis is the granddaughter of a dairy farmer, and loves to garden, sew, dance, and be in nature.

Keith Merkel, 80 Feet Is Enough! / Wisconsin Easement Action Team: Keith Merkel and his wife purchased their home near Marshfield, WI in 1996 and have experienced two previous Enbridge pipeline expansions on their property. Keith is greatly concerned about the negative effects of Enbridge’s plans to acquire easements for a new tarsands pipeline -- a further loss of property rights and reduced property values, as well as safety issues. Keith has been actively involved in Pipeline Fighting since late 2015 and is a founding member of both 80 Feet Is Enough!, and the Wisconsin Easement Action Team (WEAT), where he is involved with working to revise Wisconsin's current eminent domain statutes, and educating and organizing landowners. A native of Marshfield, Keith has been an at-home dad for the past eight years and is an avid outdoorsman with special interests in birds and native habitats preservation/restoration.