Meet Our Team

OUR FOUNDERS

Andrea Himoff, Executive Director – Andrea co-founded Action Utah in 2016 to answer the call of Utahns from both sides of the aisle who, like her, desired to become more civically engaged but  lacked the tools and information to do so. Prior to that, Andrea had been an award-winning independent film producer and screenwriter, shooting films in Los Angeles and Eastern Europe and coordinating multi-national crews. In 2002 she co-founded the animation production company Jellyman Productions. She was formerly the Creative Director at Weintraub Kuhn Productions and an Associate at Bright Sun Consulting in New York City. She received a B.A. in Classical Studies from Dartmouth College, graduating summa cum laude in 1998. Andrea also wrote the blog Everyday Earthiness to help teach everyday people small ways to make a big environmental impact. She lives in Park City with her family and is an ordinary working mom proving every day that even ordinary Utahns can impact policymaking.

Katie Lieberman, Chairman of the Board

Katie is a licensed clinical therapist and mom of three daughters. As a Utah native, Katie knows the social political landscape of our state and firmly believes in the ethical values that make our state the amazing place she chooses to call home. Katie graduated from the University of Colorado in 1999 and received a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Denver in 2002. Katie has received post-graduate training in family therapy and also specializes in treatment for complex trauma. She founded a private psychotherapy practice in Salt Lake City in 2006. Katie serves on the Board of Trustees at Rowland Hall, an independent school in Utah. She also serves on Board of Directors at My House, an addiction recovery home in Salt Lake City. 

OUR BOARD

Emily Ellsworth – Emily is a former congressional staffer and marketing professional. In addition to serving on the Action Utah board, she also serves as the state engagement coordinator for Republican Women for Progress. Emily is the author of Call the Halls: Contacting Your Representative the Smart Way and she’s been featured in the New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg, Wired, and many other national publications for her work on citizen advocacy.

 

Maria Estrada – Maria came to the US from her native Colombia in 1988. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2001 and received her PhD from the Education, Culture, and Society Department at the University of Utah in 2009. Maria is the Associate Director of Global Diversity Equity and Inclusion at the Nature Conservancy, where she is working to help TNC build strong relationships of trust and mutuality, internally and externally, to reach the diversity of partners we need to succeed in our mission. Maria is involved locally, advocating for youth education through her volunteer work as a member of the Equity Leadership Team at the Salt Lake City School District. She is a runner and member of the board of directors of Girls on the Run, Utah, and recently joined the board of trustees at the Tracy Aviary because she believes strongly in the idea of nature in cities as a shared space to build community. 

Reed Galen – Reed is a veteran public affairs and political professional with more than 20 years of experience. In 2011, Reed founded Jedburghs, LLC, to provide high-level counsel to Fortune 50, 100 and 1000 companies in strategic communications and legislation. He has managed high-profile ballot measures and candidate campaigns in CA, TX, CO and OR, among others. Reed served as Deputy Campaign Manager for John McCain’s presidential campaign and for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s successful 2006 re-election campaign. He worked on the 2000 and 2004 campaigns of President George W. Bush, spent a year at the White House and served the Bush Administration at both the US Dept of the Treasury and the Dept of Homeland Security. He has published his work in The Orange County Register, RealClearPolitics, Politico, Breitbart, California, and The Blaze. He wrote a weekly column on the 2016 presidential race, The American Singularity, and is regularly featured on the NBC Nightly News, The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.

Alan Seawright – Alan is an Emmy Award-winning director of commercials and feature films based in Provo, Utah. He was raised around the globe and studied Russian Literature at Brigham Young University. In 2016 he founded an online political commentary show called Zion Politics, which he produces, directs and stars in to search for pragmatic, fact-based approaches to governance that are informed by his Mormon faith and a touch of much-needed humor.

 

© Aaron Lindberg Photography www.aaronlindberg.com

Jeff Stowell – Jeff is the co-founder and Managing Director of Royal Street Ventures, a series of venture funds investing in early-stage businesses in the Mountain West and Midwest. Prior, Mr. Stowell was the President of Royal Street Investment and Innovation Center and CEO and co-founder of Community Systems Group, Inc. – a full service public health consulting firm supporting organizations and non-profits whose mission is to create healthier, more socially just communities. In 2012 he sold CSG to the Forum for Youth Investment. In addition to his investing activities, Mr. Stowell is an expert on the use of technology in community work and organizations with an emphasis on web-based solutions. Mr. Stowell earned his B.A. in Political Science and Community Health at the University of Kansas where he later earned his J.D. from the University Kansas School of Law. He has taught The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations and has provided numerous presentations across the country to community-based organizations on the legal aspects of operating a non-profit organization.

OUR TEAM

Issue Captains

Public Health

Carrie Butler – Carrie is a student at the University of Utah, finishing a dual Masters program in public health and public policy. She is the epidemiology field coordinator for the Four Corners States Biomonitoring Consortium and is passionate about environmental health and health policy. She lives with her husband and daughters in West Jordan, Utah. Contact Carrie.

 

Public Education

Ashley Anderson – Ashley is an artist and educator based in Salt Lake City. Her work developing an arts non-profit and teaching across numerous districts converges with her advocacy for her two young children that attend their neighborhood Title 1 School. She believes that ordinary Utahns can and must act to equitably improve education for all children. Contact Ashley.

 

 

Immigrants / Refugees

Laura Bandara – Laura is an urban designer and planner, with a background in political science and landscape architecture. After observing politics all her life, and seeing political polarization and incivility reach new levels during the last election cycle, she felt compelled to engage in building bridges and finding common ground. Contact Laura.

 

Voter Rights/Redistricting

Miriah Elliot – Miriah is an attorney and mom of three.  She earned her J.D. with Highest Honors at the University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law and was a shareholder at Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless in Salt Lake City before going in-house at a small renewable energy company.  She lives in Ivins, Utah with her family. Contact Miriah.

 

Women and Families

Angie Cook – Angie is passionate about helping women and families in our state and has worked in several organizations to help elevate people out of poverty. She is a family development specialist and a trainer for the Bridges Out of Poverty program. She holds a bachelors degree in business and resides in Riverton with her husband and children.

 

 

Holly Richardson – Holly is a former state legislator, wife, mother, small business owner and Masters degree student. She is currently the Utah Women and Education Initiative Coordinator at Utah Valley University. She has served as a marketing and communications director for a state office, is a social media consultant, a popular speaker, writer and humanitarian. She is also excited to be working with women to help them find and use their voices. Holly and her husband, Greg, are the parents of a large family. Holly is also delighted to be a grandma to six and a half adorable grandkids. Between the politics and the large family, she has learned how to stay calm(ish) under intense pressure. Or maybe she’s just kidding herself. Either way, she’s a fan of pedicures and chocolate…..

Health Policy – Addiction

Erin Bigler, MSW– Erin is an Army Wife and mom of three. After being stationed around the world, in 2016 she jumped at the chance to move her family to Utah County where she grew up. She’s thrilled her kids will spend their summers hiking the Y just like she did! She wants to ensure Utah remains a safe place for her children and other families to grow and explore. Erin is passionate about protecting the state’s wild spaces, public education, and women’s health. She is a clinical social worker and specializes in adult mental health and substance abuse.

Communications & Support

Director of Social Media

Libby Mitchell – Libby has a background in broadcast news and currently works in the realm of public relations and social media. She is a mother of one daughter who she hopes to raise in a country where people do not have to fight for their rights because of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

 

 

Administration & Research

Kate Bechthold – Kate is a systems consultant, software trainer, systems administrator and legal secretary/assistant. After living in the Bay Area for 40+ years, Kate returned to her ‘roots’ in Salt Lake City to enjoy some time with her extended family. After the 2016 election she felt a need to volunteer doing something positive in the political arena, convinced that we all need to take part and participate in the decisions being made, not just on election day.

 

Photography

Gabe Moreno – Gabe is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah, double majoring in Communications and International Studies. He earned his A.S. in Communications from the Salt Lake Community College where he graduated with the highest honor of Civically Engaged Scholars. He resides in Sandy, Utah with his family and enjoys volunteering, advocating for multiple causes as well as exploring the great outdoors.

 

Volunteers

Action Utah is a volunteer-based organization putting ordinary citizens to work on state and national policy issues, often for the first time. Find out about current volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer page.