Board of Directors
Jodi and Michelle are co-founders of The Resiliency Institute. They live in Naperville and have been transforming their suburban lawns into productive permaculture landscapes, incorporating sustainable practices into their daily lives, and contributing to the resilient development of their community. They started The Resiliency Institute as a way to expand their reach by educating others about the benefits and rewards of a permaculture lifestyle.
"If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can't help but learn."
~ Bernie Siegel
Jodi Trendler, President & Secretary
Jodi completed her Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) in 2012 through Midwest Permaculture. She is actively engaged as a community organizer and volunteers much of her time to educating others about environmental issues. She connects over 1800 people through managing the Naperville Area Sustainability Group, the Suburban Chicago Permaculture Guild, and the Foraging and Herbs MeetUp groups, serves on the City of Naperville Tree Preservation Committee, was the Founding Organizer of Naperville Green Drinks, served five years as Vice-President of the non-profit organization Naperville for Clean Energy and Conservation, worked for the City of Naperville Renewable Energy Program, and was a member of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce Green Leadership Council. Prior to completing her PDC, she wrote and project led a state funded $10,000 Zero Waste grant for which she developed and implemented several waste reduction programs including full lunchroom and school wide composting, as well as initiated the PTA Environmental Committee and student Eco Club for her children’s elementary school.
Michelle Hickey, Vice-President & Treasurer
Michelle was practicing permaculture before she knew the term and is thrilled to pursue it professionally after receiving her PDC from Midwest Permaculture in January 2013. Since 2000 she has been on the permaculture path, collecting knowledge, experience, and contacts to get her to this point. She brings 12 years of experience working in non-profit and private sectors spanning the fields of environmental sustainability, renewable energy, zero waste, and holistic health. She left her Program Director position with Illinois Solar Energy Association to start The Resiliency Institute. Prior to ISEA she served as Project Manager for Seven Generations Ahead designing, implementing, and managing Green Remodeling and Zero Waste programs for schools, communities and events, and built relationships with municipal leaders to foster environmentally sustainable projects, programs and policies. For six years she was the Assistant Program Manager for the award winning City of Naperville Renewable Energy Program while owning and operating Bliss Essentials, an Aromatherapy and Yoga business. She has been very active in her community, co-producing the City of Naperville Recycling Extravaganza for three years, as a member of the Green Leadership Advisory Council for the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, community member of the City of Naperville Enviro-Link Committee, member of Naperville for Clean Energy and Conservation, and Steering Committee Member for Nutrition in the Schools, a branch of the Green Earth Institute.
Amy Coffman Phillips is a mother, biomimic, architect, MBA, and facilitator who serves as one of nature's ambassadors to the human built environment. She bridges her love of nature and the creative process to create and facilitate engaging (nature-based) projects, from immersive education to built environment consulting. She is skilled at visual and verbal communication of complex ideas and has the unique ability to hold a strategic vision of a holistic system while managing the implementation process of multi-dimensional projects. To create future collaborators and change agents, Amy leads workshops, holds lectures, and offers biomimicry consulting services for clients looking to learn from nature to inspire sustainable, restorative human environments. Amy's particular expertise is increasing resilience in human systems and has co-created a "Naturally Resilient" workshop for business and non-profit leaders. Amy is also a co-founder of Biomimicry Chicago, a local resource for those looking to learn from nature to design sustainably and restoratively. Through this local node of the Global Biomimicry Network, she created The Prairie Project (an AskPlace initiative) advancing locally-attuned environmental performance standards for the built environment. Amy is a Certified Biomimicry Professional, Illinois licensed architect, MBA, and LEED AP BD+C. She will measure her success by raising great kids and inspiring others to (re)connect with the natural world by learning from Nature's genius.
Dan is a veteran social science teacher at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, IL. His passion for philosophy and critical thinking led him to advocate for the teaching of philosophy in high schools. He designed curriculum and has been teaching it since 2012 at his school (as well as hosting a weekly philosophy club). Dan speaks at conferences to spread philosophy into other high schools and to promote his online course Socrates in the Social Studies. He is a positive, passionate, energetic person who strives to develop great students who ask questions and know how to think critically. His position on the Board provides The Resiliency Institute with an education expert who understands curriculum development, learning standards, adult learning, accreditation and a connection to other educators and learning institutions.
Joe McElroy works at the crossroads of public policy and marketing communications, helping businesses, not-for-profit groups and public agencies "spread the word" about their products, accomplishments, and policy objectives. Trained as a city planner and as a journalist, he also served as a member of the Naperville City Council.