Staff Members

Melinda Hughes (She/Her), Executive Director

Melinda, TCAT's first Executive Director, has almost 30 years of working on various environmental issues for organizations including the National Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement (EASI) and Nature Abounds. She has worked on a multitude of issues regarding watersheds and ecosystem management, brownfields, disaster recovery, community planning, green buildings, air and water quality monitoring, not to mention the involvement of citizens in such issues whether through education or advocacy. She has presented at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and at the World Water Forum in Kyoto and has accepted multiple awards for her and teams' work on environmental issues over the years. She is an AmeriCorps VISTA alumnus and has been heavily involved with climate change awareness, adaptation, and mitigation since 2005, also a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.
Melinda holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree in Environmental Law and Policy from the Vermont Law School with focuses on energy law and climate change law.  In her free time Melinda enjoys traveling, nature photography, adventures with her dog Beau, and spending time with friends and family.

Marisa Caughlan (She/Her), Program, Equity, and Outreach Manager

Marisa Caughlan serves in the new TCAT role of Community Engagement and Equity Coordinator. She works with our volunteers, supporters, and community partners to expand opportunities to work on the climate crisis at the intersection of climate change and social justice.

Prior to joining TCAT, Marisa was the Racial Justice Program and Events Manager at the YWCA of Olympia. She's also served with the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Mason County's Habitat for Humanity, and Thurston County's Election office. On the national level, she was a member of the AmeriCorps NCCC division that works on the frontlines of hurricane clean-up and wildfire support. Marisa holds a BA in history from St. Martins University and lives in Thurston County with her husband and daughter. 

Alice Grendon (Name/They), Programs and Communications Manager

Alice is a graduate of Hampshire College where they double majored in Dance and Environmental Studies, and minored in Sustainable Agriculture.  Alice has a background in agriculture, working for many years on organic farms and permaculture homesteads. Alice is a co-founder of the Sugar Shack Alliance and has spent the last 10 years involved in the climate justice movement as a facilitator, direct action trainer, and organizer, they bring this rich organizing and facilitation background to their work at TCAT. At TCAT Alice manages our website, the E-newsletter, our social media channels, the online calendar, planning and publicity for events, operates our Monthly Action Hours and so much more. Alice facilitates the Food and Agriculture Action Group as well as our work with Youth. Alice is also a modern/contemporary dancer making experiential performance pieces and dance films about living in the Anthropocene under the name Growing Wildhearted.

Carrie Ziegler (She/Her), Lead Artist and Community Engagement Extraordinaire

Carrie brings with her a wealth of creativity, organizing and facilitation skills, with a background in collaborative art. She loves working with all ages, from elementary school through seniors. Since joining TCAT as staff, Carrie facilitated The Chrysalis Project: Transforming Together and the Climate Justice Mural Project, both influential Art in Action Projects. She facilitates TCAT’s Transportation Action Group and is kicking off a new Art in Action group, focused on creating change through collaborative art. Check out Carrie’s artist website, to learn more about the variety of projects Carrie works on.

Dio/Peter Lewis (He/Him), Action Hour Youth Intern

Dio is a junior in highschool and has been involved in climate-justice work for the past three years. He  co-founded the Thurston Youth Climate Coalition (TYCC) in 2022, a youth-led organization that strives to improve the climate conditions in Thurston County through community education and direct action.  At TCAT Peter is planning and facilitating our Action Hour program, which is an opportunity for community members to gather and take advocacy steps together!