About Next 100 Coalition

The Next 100 Coalition is dedicated to advancing a collaborative movement to tackle the greatest environmental challenges of today and tomorrow.

Our Values

We are courageous, creative, and compassionate in our work.

We believe in accountability to remedy environmental injustices and institute just systems.

We center equity, inclusion, and racial justice in all that we do.

Our Mission

To connect, amplify, and support the leadership of historically marginalized communities in the administration, and stewardship of waterways, lands, ocean, and coasts to advance community prosperity and resilience.

Our Vision

We envision healthy lands, ocean, and waters that are connected to and reflect the racial and cultural diversity of our country, and their administration and stewardship demonstrates and values the myriad ways people connect to and care for the environment.

    Our Staff

    Chela Garcia Irlando

    Executive Director

    Chela Garcia Irlando is the inaugural Executive Director of the Next 100 Coalition. She received her B.A. in Ethnic Studies and International Affairs, and Masters of Environmental Studies in Planning and Community Engagement from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

    She has worked on several state and local campaigns, including running the successful campaign to elect Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2018. Chela was formerly the Director of Conservation Programs at Hispanic Access Foundation, the Colorado Regional Coordinator at Latino Outdoors establishing
    the Colorado chapter, and a founding leader of Brown Girls Climb.

    In her most recent role, Chela was the inaugural Executive Director of the Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus, supporting fourteen Latino state legislators in their efforts to represent and engage Latino voices in state-level advocacy in Colorado. She currently resides in Denver with her family and enjoys spending time outdoors with family, friends, and community.

    Jackie Curry

    Program Manager


    Born and raised in Colorado, Jackie began her journey in natural resources following the completion of her B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Denver.

    Her career path has been rich and diverse, spanning different nonprofit organizations across the Front Range region. Jackie’s hands-on approach and extensive field experience have led her to spearhead numerous ecological restoration projects and collaborative initiatives alongside community members, federal agencies, and volunteers throughout Colorado. Her portfolio includes wildfire mitigation, post-wildfire restoration, high alpine trail construction, as well as youth leadership and stewardship programs, among other endeavors.

    Transitioning from ‘boots on the ground’ work, Jackie has now shifted her focus to policy and advocacy, bringing her unique perspective to the forefront to drive change. Notably, Jackie’s leadership extends beyond her professional role; she also serves on the Board of Directors of Mile High Youth Corps, contributing her leadership experience and prior service within AmeriCorps.

    Beyond her professional commitments, Jackie finds joy in hiking and camping, paddleboarding, gardening, and she continues to volunteer in ecological restoration projects.

    Jonathan Tyrrell

    Program Manager


    Jonathan Tyrrell is a program manager for the Next 100 Coalition. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Tewa Land, Jonathan’s professional journey began as a young student in the precious waters of the Middle Rio Grande.

    As a former environmental educator, planner, and facilitator, he brings a multidisciplinary approach to his professional pursuits, centered in building relationships across perspectives to deliver environmental justice. He’s especially proud of his contributions to conservation planning for endangered aquatic and riparian species and ecosystems in the Middle Rio Grande; gray wolf restoration in Colorado; and supporting young people to pursue their passions in the environmental field through education and mentorship.

    Like in his professional life, he maintains a holistic approach to his extracurriculars, whether that be frequenting DIY art and music venues in the southwest, getting outdoors to local green spaces and state or federal public lands or parks, or breaking bread and spending quality time, always in the cradle of community – his dearest family and friends.

    He currently resides in Denver, Colorado and has a Bachelor of Science in biology and psychology with a minor in chemistry from the University of New Mexico.

    Our Board

    Teresa M. Martinez



    Teresa holds a B.S. and M.S from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech. She’s worked for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, and since 2012 has been the Executive Director (and co-founder) of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. She serves on the Trail Leadership Council of the Partnership for the National Trails System and has served as the Chair of the Federal Advisory Committee to aid the USFS in the development of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. Teresa is actively involved in the creation of equitable spaces for all people in the outdoors and currently serves as the Chair of the Board for the Next 100 Coalition.

    Ángel Peña

    Vice Chair


    Ángel Peña is the Executive Director of Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project. He was born and raised in the Rio Bravo valley and is a first generation American and father of three. As a Cultural Resource Specialist for New Mexico Wild (2012), Wyss Fellow (2014), & as the Rio Bravo Director at the Conservation Lands Foundation (2016), Ángel has had the opportunity to support and lead amazing teams that ultimately secured protections totaling millions of acres across the American Southwest. Currently a Co-Chair of the Next 100 Coalition (2018), he actively works to identify new ways in which we can increase the diversity and inclusion of the histories, culture, knowledge and people represented in our public lands and spaces.

    Eboni Preston Goddard, PhD



    Eboni Preston Goddard is the Southeast Regional Director and National Park Service Diversity Lead for the National Parks Conservation Association. Led by a call to action, Eboni is a management professional with a background in non-profit administration, program operations, partnerships, and workforce development. She holds a BA from Duke University, an MSW from Columbia University, an MBA and MPA from Kennesaw State University, and a PhD in Public Policy from Southern University and A&M College. Outside of work, Eboni is an avid hiker and Crossfit enthusiast.

    Cassandra Carmichael



    Cassandra Carmichael is the Executive Director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment where she oversees the advocacy and programmatic work of an alliance of 7 major national faith organizations. She is a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program and a previous board member on the Chesapeake Bay Alliance, and has served on the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Advisory Council Task Force on Climate and Environment and the Advisory Council of the Green Bible. She received her graduate degree in environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

    Ava Holliday

    Board Member


    Ava believes a sustainable future is dependent on simultaneously working towards social and environmental justice. She has devoted the last decade to working and researching in this field. As a graduate student at the University of Washington in the department of Anthropology, she was able to deepen her understanding about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts and challenges in environmentalism, conservation, and outdoor recreation. She left graduate school to put theory into practice at the Avarna Group, an organization that supports outdoor and environmental organizations to integrate equity and justice into every aspect of the organization.

    Juan Pérez Saéz

    Board Member


    Juan has dedicated his personal and professional life to conservation, advocacy, environmental education, and stewardship. While building community and creating opportunities for many others to connect with the outdoors. Juan is currently the Executive Director of Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK). In this role, Juan reshapes the narrative of what an Executive Director is expected to be. With more than 20 years of experience in this field, Juan has played a leading role in successfully implementing multiyear strategies and mentoring thriving teams. He is constantly re-imagining leadership while trailblazing change in the environmental and outdoor recreation movement.

    Some of Juan’s skills include having vast cross-cultural experience, multi-million-dollar budget oversight, a Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Management, a Master of Science in Environment and Natural Resources from The Ohio State University, as well as a Fulbright Scholar recipient between 2012-2014.

    Juan volunteers his time by serving as the Chair of The Colorado Governor’s Commission for Community Service (SERVE CO), and a member of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council.

    Karyn Bigelow

    Board Member


    ​Karyn is a Co-Executive Director at Creation Justice Ministries. She has served in policy and analysis roles at Bread for the World, focusing on the intersections of climate change, food security and racial equity. She is a committee member of the American Baptist Churches’ Creation Justice Network and in leadership of the Pan African Young Adult Network. She earned her M.Div from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degree in social relations and policy from Michigan State University. She is currently pursuing a MSc in Global Food Security and Nutrition focusing on sustainability. Karyn is a trained beekeeper.

    Lesford Duncan

    Board Member


    Lesford Duncan, MPH, is the Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the outdoor industry dedicated to increasing equitable access to nature and the outdoors through community investment and groundbreaking research. Lesford is a collaborative leader in outdoor equity and youth development who has leveraged philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and programmatic best practices to promote the resilience and well-being of children, families, and communities.

    Lesford previously served as the Chief Executive Officer for Greening Youth Foundation, an international nonprofit working to cultivate the next generation of diverse environmental leaders through workforce development. Prior to that he served as the Senior Director of Programs and Associate Executive Director of Outdoor Outreach, a San Diego-based nonprofit introducing youth to the transformative power of the outdoors.

    With over a decade of experience in public management in both the government and nonprofit sectors, Lesford has worked collaboratively to lead and support coalitions and develop innovative programs addressing issues at the intersection of outdoor recreation, environmental justice, and health. He has led and collaborated on local, state, and federal public policy efforts to reduce barriers to outdoor access, advocated for equitable conservation and environmental justice, and promoted the health and well-being of communities.

    Lesford earned his Bachelor of Science (BA) in Biology from the University of Florida and his Master of Public Health (MPH) in Health Policy and Leadership from Loma Linda University. He currently serves as a board member of the Next 100 Coalition and National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and is a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity. Lesford is also an avid kayaker, ultramarathon runner, and mountaineer. Born to Jamaican parents who instilled in him the values of adventure, persistence, and curiosity, Lesford is proud to have placed a small Jamaican flag at Mt. Everest Base Camp. He has also summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, traversed the Grand Canyon, and kayaked through the swamps of the Everglades, all while encouraging youth of color to explore their world in new ways.

    Mariana Del Valle Prieto Cervantes

    Board Member


    Mariana focuses on strategic planning for GreenLatinos organizational initiatives of centering and supporting our membership, building on our own research and priorities, community building, and sustainable growth. Mariana works to positively impact change for a sustainable, clean and healthy madre tierra with our comunidades in mind.

    Mariana is a dedicated advocate for environmental liberation, devoting her life to championing the cause for the Latine community and beyond. A proud immigrant and mother of two, Mariana’s journey began in México and evolved on California’s central coast, where she earned her bachelor’s degree as a first-generation student in the environmental field.
    Previously, she started her career near the ocean at a local aquarium where she honed in her skills in public education, community engagement, advocacy campaigns and the creation and implementation of the first of its kind bilingual blended programs. Mariana brings award-winning experience in collaborating on community-led policy action campaigns at the local, state, and national levels, providing her with a nuanced understanding of environmental justice and the imperative for the community to lead these initiatives.Mariana loves to spends her time with her kids connecting to her roots-La Madre Tierra and immersing herself in music and dance.

    Our Roots

    The Next 100 Coalition is an intersectional partnership of Black, Brown, and Indigenous-led, -allied, and -serving nonprofits, businesses, and individuals harnessing our collective power to advance shared policy and community-centered advocacy priorities in environmental justice and the conservation movement.

    Established in 2016, Next 100 has grown into a nationwide coalition of advocates, nonprofits, and businesses at the helm of conservation, historic and cultural preservation, outdoor access, public health, and environmental justice. Our work is bringing the environmental movement into the 21st century through coordinated action and power-building within communities most impacted by environmental injustices.