Meet Our Team2019-10-10T10:07:30-06:00

Our Founders

Andrea Himoff
Andrea HimoffExecutive 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. Andrea was awarded the 2018 Utah Nonprofits Association Emerging Nonprofit Leader of the Year award. 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
Katie LiebermanChairman 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.

Action Utah Board

Becky Edwards
Becky Edwards
Becky was a Republican member of the Utah House of Representatives representing District 20 from 2009 through 2018
Miriah Elliott
Miriah Elliott
Miriah is an attorney and mom of three. She serves as in-house counsel for a small renewable energy company headquartered in Washington County and serves on the Ivins City Council.
Emily Ellsworth Coleman
Emily Ellsworth Coleman
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 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 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.
Jeff Stowell
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.
Kerry Ellen Carlson
Kerry is a freelance graphic designer with over 20 years of experience in publishing and marketing and has volunteered or served in leadership positions for many community arts and disability organizations. In addition to serving on the AU Board, she is on the Board of Art Access and belongs to the PEAU (Pasifika Enriching Arts of Utah) artist collective.
Josh Kanter
Josh Kanter
Josh is the VP and a Director of the Kanter Family Foundation, President of Chicago Investments, Inc., VP of Windy City, Inc., and President and a Director of ArtEnterprises, Ltd. Josh is counsel to the Chicago law firm, Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Nagelberg, specializing in securities, corporate and real estate law. He has served on the boards of a number of public and private companies as well as on Governor Huntsman’s Utah Methamphetamine Joint Task Force Subcommittee on Public Awareness, the Salt Lake County Justice Court Nominating Commission, and the boards and committees of community, education and art organizations. Josh received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and graduated magna cum laude from Emory University in 1984. He received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1987. In 2011, Josh founded the Alliance for a Better Utah. In 2012, Josh was elected as a Representative of the Granite Community Council. Josh has received a Heart and Hands Award from the Utah Nonprofits Association, and in 2011, was named to the Community Foundation of Utah’s E-5-0, an annual selection of 50 “enlightened entrepreneurs.”
Katie Lieberman
Katie Lieberman
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 Team

Carrie Butler
Carrie ButlerPolicy Director
Carrie Butler is a graduate of the Public Health and Public Policy programs at the University of Utah. She has a background in data analysis and research, including contributing to a cancer study at Huntsman and coordinating the CDC funded biomonitoring program with the Utah Public Health Lab. Carrie is passionate about environmental health and public health policy and believes that Utah is a perfect place to employ policies that will expand health coverage and reduce cost. She lives in South Jordan with her husband and daughters.
Patti Cook
Patti CookAdvocacy Educator
Patti is a spouse to one, a nurturer to three and an idea-discussing collaborator to a variety of people. She loves fuzzy warm socks, Cherry Dr. Pepper and time spent in nature. She graduated with a BA in English/Sociology from Brigham Young University and has spent decades in the corporate event planning space working both in-house and as an independent contractor. She brings to Action Utah a passion for creating opportunities that allow people to engage with and understand the power of advocacy. Her policy interests are affordable housing, maternal mental health, women and families and education.
Melissa Nelson-Stippich
Melissa Nelson-StippichCommunications Director
Melissa has a background in web and graphic design as well as mission-focused strategic planning. She is committed to the nonpartisan mission of Action Utah and is passionate about getting out the vote. She has never met a glitter that she didn’t like. When not working for Action Utah she spends time with her family at her home in Sugarhouse making art and trying to learn to play the accordion.

Policy Coordinators

Ashley Anderson
Ashley AndersonPublic Education
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.
Marin Christensen
Marin ChristensenFamilies and Communities
Marin is a research associate at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. One focus of Marin’s work has been researching women’s experiences in and out of the workforce across the state, the common outcome of women sacrificing their education and career for their families and the need for affordable and accessible childcare and flexible work opportunities to strengthen families that need these options to be viable. Marin earned her M.S. in Human Development and Social Policy from the University of Utah and enjoys serving as a board member of her local community council. Additional research conducted includes child care and early childhood education policies, law enforcement outreach efforts towards refugees, family planning options outreach, and overdose prevention policy.
Angie Cook
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.
Katy Owens Hubler
Katy Owens HublerElection Policy
Katy is a consultant specializing in election administration policy and technology. She previously served as a senior policy specialist in elections at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and has also worked for the Denver Elections Division and The Carter Center’s Democracy Program. She believes that talking to and really listening to everyone, regardless of political affiliation or background, is the key to making good public policy. Katy lives with her husband and two children in Summit County, where they spend their days exploring the nearby trails and watching out for moose.
Holly Richardson
Holly Richardson
Holly is a former Republican 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…..

Support

Kate Bechthold
Kate BechtholdAdministration & Research
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 to do 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.
Libby Mitchell
Libby MitchellSocial Media Consulting
Libby has a background in broadcast news and currently works in the realm of public relations and social media. She is the 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.

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