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, M.Ed Knoxville, TN, has been helping progressive leaders and front-line workers in public health and the private sector for over 25 years. She is the Founder/CEO of Whetstone Consultations which provides training for professionals doing HIV counseling and testing. In addition, she is a professional facilitator, trainer, speaker, and coach where she helps individuals, leaders and teams stop just “showing up” and start performing so they can create real momentum and better results (cherihoneycutt.com)
She’s served on a variety of boards and is delighted to be a part of Spirit in Action’s important work. SIA’s mission aligns with her personal mission of boosting the health and well-being of those who are doing some of the most important work in the world . . . the grassroots, progressive leader.
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 is a facilitator, movement builder and educator who is dedicated to moving resources to radical, imaginative ideas. She brings more than a decade of experience as an organizer in the U.S. South and central Appalachia to Spirit in Action, from focusing on the school to prison pipeline to introducing restorative practices to young people and creating a just transition away from a coal dependent economy. She is the Development Director at the Center for Third World Organizing, a social justice organization committed to building a thriving racial justice movement led by communities of color.
Previously, Kierra was on the Education Team at Highlander Research and Education Center where she anchored 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, where she studied the role of the church in social movements and co-founded Glendale Community Action, the first neighborhood association in a rural former mill village, organizing and facilitating community meetings.
Bethsaida Ruiz – Is currently a volunteer trainer with the Spirit in Action Program. See her Board of Director’s bio above.
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