Meet The Staff - Michigan Interfaith Power & Light

Cathy Marshall - Bookkeeper

Cathy has worked with non-profit organizations for over 30 years, first as an organizational manager and most recently as a bookkeeper. Long-term stints have included 4 years as the Executive Director of the WARM Training Center (now EcoWorks) and almost 20 years as the Deputy Director of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation. Cathy's passion for protecting the environment and all of its amazing beauty is what draws her to Michigan IPL. Cathy is a member of Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor, where she is part of the Social Justice committee. Her husband Jack is a founding member of the group that led the effort to install solar panels on the Temple. 


Deirdre Morrison - Partnerships and Development Coordinator

Deirdre joined Michigan IPL’s Light the Way outreach team in 2021, and now assists the organization to engage collaborators and funding partners to help grow our impacts across Michigan communities. She studied ecology and sustainable agriculture at the Evergreen State College in WA, completed two terms of volunteer service with AmeriCorps, and has worn many hats in her years working with non-profits. Deirdre loves being resourceful, finding useful ways to reclaim, repair, and repurpose– from freshwater and soils to building materials, and is especially interested in cross-cultural learning in this regard. She divides her time between greenthumbing, building projects, research, and writing. When she’s not dreaming of hot springs and trail-life, she’s often making art or volunteering with projects that address homelessness and conservation.


Steve Mulder - Energy Efficiency Outreach Specialist

Steve Mulder grew up in the Christian Reformed Church and is a retired insurance executive. Building on a lifelong passion for Creation, he also serves as the Michigan Regional Organizer for the Climate Witness Project. In this role, he helps congregations connect and engage in Creation Care in 4 areas: Energy Stewardship, Education, Worship, and Advocacy. His love of creation comes from a lifetime of outdoor activity (camping, biking, kayaking, hiking, restoration, etc.). His love for his seven grandchildren and concern for all of the children of the world drive his determination to work toward Climate Crisis mitigation and Creation Care in whatever ways he can.


Emily Novick - Storyteller and Communications Coordinator

Emily is excited to be part of the Michigan IPL team because of her passion for environmental protection and people-led solutions. She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2017 with an English degree and in 2019 she hiked the 2,192-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. During that 7-month hike, Emily walked through record heat waves, old mining areas with tainted water, and a rapidly changing landscape due to poor environmental regulations. Now she wants to do everything she can to protect our planet and raise awareness for climate change. You can read Emily's stories on our Blog


Kate Poirier - Energy Efficiency Outreach Specialist

Kate is very happy to be sharing the importance of energy efficiency and creation care with churches throughout the state of MI. With a background in grassroots sustainable agriculture and organic family farming, and strong ties to churches and ministries in the state, working in the capacity of outreach is a wonderful blend of interests and passion for both the churches who desire to share God's love, and the earth that helps make church ministries possible. Kate currently works out of Arenac County where she is able to participate in food pantries, ministerial support projects and enjoys time spent with family, in particular her husband, Russ. 


Leah Wiste - Executive Director

Leah has been on staff at Michigan IPL since 2013 and has been the Executive Director since December 2018. She is deeply invested in advocating on behalf of our sacred, living Earth and all of its creatures, especially animals. She believes that the climate crisis is at its root a moral and a spiritual one, and that people of faith and conscience have a critical role to play in bringing us into right relation with the Earth and with each other. Leah has degrees in Women’s Studies and Cultural Anthropology. When she’s not fighting climate change, she’s weeding the garden, buying more books than she will ever read, and trying not to get electrocuted while renovating her house in Detroit's North End. 


Jennifer Young - Energy Programs Manager

Jennifer holds an MS in Resource Policy & Behavior from the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan and a BS in Biology from Eastern Michigan University.  Prior to working with Michigan IPL, Jennifer worked as a Program Manager for the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office where she convened government leaders in southeast Michigan communities in collaborative renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.  Jennifer is actively involved in the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit and the Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network, the Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission, and the  U.S. Green Building Council's Detroit Chapter.  Jennifer’s love of, and reverence for, nature stems from camping trips in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, where her Dad took her and her sister during many beloved summers in her childhood.

Contact Jennifer