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E-M:/ Release: Chris Kolb selected to lead Michigan Environmental Council

For Immediate Release

December 15, 2008



Chris Kolb: 734-277-1536

Lana Pollack: 734-223-4483

Hugh McDiarmid Jr.: 248-660-4300



Chris Kolb selected to lead Michigan Environmental Council

Ex-legislator from Ann Arbor has been a steadfast, lifelong defender of Michigan’s natural resources, public health



Lansing, MI -- Former State Representative Chris Kolb – an environmental champion in the legislature and a veteran of the environmental management field – has been selected to lead the Michigan Environmental Council (MEC), the organization’s Board of Directors announced today.


Kolb will succeed Lana Pollack, who is retiring as the Council’s president after 12 years. The transition is effective on Jan. 1, 2009.


Kolb, of Ann Arbor, was one of the legislator’s most consistent and vigorous defenders of clean water, clear air and public health during his six years as State Representative from the 53rd District. He was instrumental in important environmental legislation including open space ordinances, lead poisoning prevention for children, regulation of dangerous polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs), establishment of a fund to help clean up leaking underground storage tanks, and numerous land-use initiatives.


Kolb averaged a 96 percent score on his legislative votes on environmental issues during his time in the State House, according to Michigan League of Conservation Voters scorecards.


Kolb left the legislature in 2006 after term limits prevented him from running. Most recently Kolb served as Executive Director of Unity Michigan, coordinating a statewide campaign to create a more progressive Michigan by advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights along with social justice values and issues. Prior to that, he was vice president for public affairs with the Early Childhood Investment Corporation.


“We are thrilled to have Chris’s passion and experience at the helm as our state and nation enter a critical era of decision making on climate change policy, Clean Energy economic development and implementation of Great Lakes protections,” said Christopher Graham, president of the Michigan Environmental Council’s Board of Directors. “Lana Pollack has built MEC into a formidable voice in Lansing during her tenure, and Chris Kolb is the right person to take that stature to the next level.”


Kolb said he will seek to build on the tremendous progress made by Pollack during the past 12 years in raising MEC’s profile at the State Capitol.


“As a legislator, the Michigan Environmental Council was an invaluable ally in helping me further policies to make Michigan a cleaner, healthier, more economically vibrant place,” Kolb said. “I have tremendous shoes to fill considering the great progress Lana and her team have made, but I am gratified, excited and humbled to be selected to head such a vibrant organization.”


Under Pollack’s leadership, MEC has grown from a staff of five to 12 full-time workers who focus on Capitol politics and policy by coordinating powerful allies in the environmental movement, working with the governor’s office and the state legislators, developing and advocating smart polices with the state’s regulatory bureaucracy and holding polluters and politicians accountable for their actions.


Pollack said she has no immediate plans other than to take six months off to relax and consider her next challenge.


“It is gratifying to know that the organization that has been my consuming passion for 12 years is being left in the capable hands of a veteran staff, a committed board, and now a proven environmental leader in Chris Kolb,” Pollack said. “They truly have selected a leader who can hit the ground running.”




Who we are:

Michigan Environmental Council is a nonprofit coalition formed in 1980 to be a voice at the State Capital for Michigan’s environmental community. It currently represents 70 environmental, public health and faith-based groups statewide, offering research, communications and technical support on key state and federal issues.