Staff, Board and Consultants
Linda Stout, Executive Director, has been a grassroots organizer and activist for three decades. A thirteenth-generation Quaker born to a tenant-farming family, Linda founded a successful grassroots organization in 1984, in a conservative region of North Carolina. PPP worked successfully to forge extraordinary alliances across race and class lines and won major public policy changes. Linda’s awards include a Public Policy Fellowship from Harvard University, Honorary Doctorate for Allegheny College, and the Freedom Fighter Award of the Equal Rights Congress. She is the author of Bridging the Class Divide and Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizing, published by Beacon Press. Read more about Linda.
Anthony Rominske, Administrative and Finance Director. Anthony Rominske is a long way from his birthplace in the rural provinces of the United States. Growing up feeling isolated on his family’s 1890s homestead in northern Wisconsin, Anthony decided to travel outside of rural America into the world to expand his mind and life. He began traveling the world when he joined the Marine Corps out of high school. Read more about Anthony.
Board of Directors
President – Linda Stout, Asheville, NC – see above.
Treasurer/Secretary – Cheri Britton Honeycutt, Knoxville, TN, M.Ed, is a speaker, author, coach and trainer who has been helping individuals and organizations effectively BOOM Think for over two decades. BOOM (Break Out of Old Mindsets) Thinking emerged from the experiences, discoveries and epiphanies of Cheri’s professional journey and the not-inconsequential presence of her dog, Boomer.
In her speaking, writing and, coaching Cheri uses metaphors, anecdotes, and powerful exercises to challenge people to confront the limiting beliefs that trap them at places below their potential. She encourages people to step out of this often comfortable yet destructive place where they are simply surviving and create a new way of being that will have them thriving. The results are literally transformational.
As a single mom raising two kids with special needs, Cheri maintains a realistic view of working professionals who juggle careers with family and outside interests. Along the way on her own juggled journey to BOOM Thinking and take a look at her own Big Buts, she earned her Masters degree at UNC-Charlotte and founded Whetstone Consultations, a consulting business that works specifically with health-care agencies.
Director – Tom Louie, Brighton, MA, is a long-time organizer, public policy advocate and media skills trainer. He works primarily with grassroots activists and community-based organizations on immigrant rights, public education and language rights issues. Over the last 4 years, Tom was the Director of Development and Communications at Political Research Associates (PRA). Prior to PRA, he directed programs at Mass. English Plus Coalition and Mass. Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, organizing statewide advocacy and communications campaigns. Tom was instrumental in pushing for the passage of legislative provisions protecting the rights of language minority students in Massachusetts and the state’s first Emergency Room Interpreter Services Bill. More recently, he led the research effort on the needs and status of programs for English Language Learners in the Boston Public Schools for the Citizens Commission on Academic Success.
Director – Bethsaida Ruiz, Oakland, CA, CPC, has worked in the non‐profit sector for more than twenty years. She has worked with people in a variety of settings as a manager, consultant, group facilitator, trainer and coach to support their development as progressive leaders and social activists. Bethsaida helps her clients discover the path to their own life purpose and success. She fosters a path to liberation, personal and interpersonal healing, social action and inclusive community‐building. Bethsaida is committed as a coach/consultant to exploring each client’ passionate journey into the understanding of their consciousness and their soul’ evolution. Bethsaida received her professional coach certification from Leadership that Works. Master’s Degree in Social Work from San Francisco State University. Currently, she is a member of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Bayview/Potrero Hill Crisis Response Network, Board Member for Center for Transformative Change in Berkeley, CA and Dignity of Man Foundation, Mission Dignity, in San Francisco , CA and Co-founder of SAGE Outreach Project Inspired Action and Semillas De Paz.
Spirit in Action is truly blessed to be able to work with some remarkable consultants who provide skills and services that help us to carry out our mission.
Kathleen Sharkey – Kathy’s career in nonprofit management has included fund-raising, marketing and communications, business administration, new business development, site development and project management. As a consultant since 2006, her client list is diverse, reflecting a range of interests and expertise. Kathy advises foundations, progressive groups, universities and botanical gardens—from small budgets to large—on fund-raising, communications and recruitment. She has developed marketing materials and social media campaigns, managed fund-raising databases, conducted organizational assessments, and planned museum and garden tours. As the founder of The Sustainability Project at Peace Development Fund, she trained staff, board and volunteers in non-profit organizations how to ask people for money to support their group; how to prudently use financial resources; and how to develop board leadership and governance. Kathy is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she was a European Studies major.
Kierra Sims – Kierra Sims brings over a decade of experience as a youth organizer in the U.S. South and central Appalachia, focusing on the school to prison pipeline, introducing restorative practices to young people, and creating a just transition away from a coal dependent economy. She is a facilitator, movement builder, and educator that is dedicated to moving resources to radical, imaginative ideas. She thrives off of creating space for people to share, connect, and build together.
In 2017, Kierra travelled to Nepal, Jordan, and Chile, as Trustees Fellow with IHP Human Rights, where she learned from folks building and embodying solidarity economy principles as a form of resistance and an offering of love to the land and their ancestors. From 2014-2017, she served on the Education Team at Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, TN where she played an anchoring role in both the Appalachian Transition Fellowship and the Seeds of Fire program. She is a member of Alternate ROOTS and serves on the advisory board of Power U Center for Social Change. Kierra earned a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Wofford College while studying the role of the church in social movements.
Bethsaida Ruiz – Update Coming
Linda Stout’s workshop “Building Power To Win” offers such critical tools for this political moment. As a young organizer, so many of the early campaigns I was a part of struggled to build a long-lasting and powerful base of support—and nurture a strong community amongst those folks. Linda tells inspiring stories about her own experiences in effective base-building that make it clear that building our power to win is possible.—Jess Grady-Benson, PeoplesHub