Council welcomes several new staff

The end of spring and arrival of summer brought several new people to the Iowa Environmental Council. This month, we welcomed three new staff members to our team, Water Program Assistant Clare Kernek, Office Manager/Bookkeeper Janet Meade and Legal Intern Thomas Tolbert.


Clare Kernek

Clare may be a familiar face to some Council members. While in law school, Clare returned to Iowa, where she had attended the University of Iowa, to intern for a summer at the Iowa Environmental Council. She spent her last semester of law school working as an “extern” at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division in Denver, CO.

“I loved living in Colorado, but am elated to be back in my adopted home state of Iowa, advocating for stronger protections of the state’s water resources,” Clare said. “I was raised in a small town in west central Illinois, where much of my childhood was spent out of doors, and my appreciation of the Midwest’s beautiful natural resources continued to grow when I studied in Iowa.”

Clare earned her J.D. and Certificate in Environmental & Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, OR, and holds undergraduate degrees in English and Anthropology from the University of Iowa.


Janet Meade

Janet comes to the Council after serving in various roles in financial management, most recently as CFO and office manager at Meade Computing, her spouse’s computer sales and services company. As office manager/bookkeeper, Janet oversees the Council’s accounting, budget and finances, provides database and administrative support, manages vendor relations and provides customer service to our supporters, member organizations and staff.

“The environment has been a primary focus for me since high school when a teacher, Mrs. McCarthy, suggested we form an environmental club. In recent years, we installed geothermal and a steel roof at home, drive hybrids, and have taken other measures to do what we can for the environment. The Iowa Environmental Council seemed like a perfect fit to me; Mrs. McCarthy would be pleased.”

Janet holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in accounting from Northeast Missouri State University, now Truman State University, in Kirksville, Missouri, which is close to her hometown of Novinger.


Thomas Tolbert

Thomas is currently a second year law student at Drake University Law School, with a focus on environmental law, and has an interest in joining the United States Air Force JAG Corps after graduation. As a legal intern, Thomas is researching Iowa’s antidegradation implementation procedure and evaluating how an economic efficiency analysis could be conducted in Iowa.

“Our environment is important and fragile—we must respect that,” Thomas said. I joined the Council because their objectives support protecting Iowa’s natural resources and advocating for clean water across the state. Working for the Council provides me with the unique opportunity to help achieve something great for Iowa and the future of our environment.”

Prior to starting law school and joining the Council, Thomas worked as an office assistant at a law firm in Wichita, KS that focused on civil litigation and workers’ compensation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in French from Wichita State University.

Please join us in welcoming Thomas, Janet and Clare to the Council!


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