Robin Schneider started her activist career in high school as a 17-year-old canvasser for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) raising funds door-to-door to assist pro-ERA candidates. During college she led a campaign that stopped a plan to drill for oil on the UCLA campus, which would have displaced the university’s childcare center. She also led a delegation of 18 college students that traveled to Florida in early 1982 to work for passage of the ERA.Read more
Lauren Ice, environmental attorney, is a partner in the law firm Perales, Allmon and Ice, P.C. Her firm represents clients all over the state who are seeking to protect their environment from harmful pollution. She previously served as Staff Attorney with Save Our Springs Alliance. Prior to practicing law, she worked with Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide. Lauren got her start as a canvasser with Texas Campaign for the Environment after she earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Austin College in Sherman. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Oregon.
Jade Kurian, technology entrepreneur, covered storied around the world during her time as a television news reporter, including natural and environmental disasters, a Pope’s funeral and a number of presidential candidates and elections. Every story she produced intersected with communities, and often with communities where the environment was neglected. Now the mother of a ninth generation Texan, she’s grown more passionate about advocating for environmental issues and helping reduce pollution. Jade transitioned from being a journalist to co-founding latakoo – an Austin-based video workflow company that makes news teams and content creators more efficient. This gives latakoo users more time to focus on the storytelling, and better educate the communities they serve. Jade serves on the Board of Directors for the International Trade Association for Broadcast & Media Technology, holds a patent and has been honored with multiple awards celebrating her success as a female entrepreneur who has pioneered new technologies and significantly influenced the development of media industry technology. In addition, latakoo is a longtime sponsor of TCE Fund efforts, including the Trash Makeover Challenge.
Rodrigo Leal, Climate Change and Sustainability Consultant, works with governments, utilities, and corporations to address climate change, inclusive planning, and social equity. As a Managing Consultant within Guidehouse’s global Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure Practice, Rodrigo has consulted with city governments in the fastest-growing U.S. metros to embed equity and resilience principles in climate policies and programs.
A native of the Rio Grande Valley (Brownsville, TX), Rodrigo’s upbringing shaped his commitment to tackling environmental injustices through his professional and volunteer work. His main objective is to bring in people historically excluded from decision-making to shape the plans and policies that affect their communities. Rodrigo also serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the City of Austin’s Climate Equity Plan, where he collaborates with climate justice activists, community leaders, and sustainability professionals to center anti-racism in Austin’s response to the climate crisis. Rodrigo lives in Austin, TX, is a reluctant marathon runner, and is always happy to exchange notes on Austin’s next best taqueria.
Zac Trahan grew up in the idyllic hill country and studied biology at the University of Texas at Austin. His deep connection with and respect for the natural world has only strengthened since joining TCE Fund in the fall of 2002. Zac has worked in all three offices; he served as Houston Program Director from 2008-2011 and DFW Program Director from 2012-2015. He believes our common problems call for collaborative solutions and that improving our future means protecting our shared surroundings.
Armon Alex has worked for nearly a decade with local and international environmental non-profits to develop and implement communication and marketing strategies. He currently serves as the vice-chair of the Mayor’s Environmental Task Force in Corpus Christi, is one of the youngest on the Board of Directors for EarthEcho International, is a Science Communications TedTalk speaker and is the co-founder of the Gulf of Mexico Youth Climate Summit. His experience in science-based community outreach & organizing began with actively testing the water quality of his surrounding bays in collaboration with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi under his student-led research team that focused on education and advocacy throughout South Texas coastal communities. He continues to invest his time in efforts rooted in environmental justice as his community remains on the frontlines of the climate crisis and industrial build-out. In his free time he works to inspire young environmentalists by equipping them with tools to be effective science communicators.
Jenny Espino has over 15 years of organizing experience across Texas, but remains deeply rooted in the Coastal Bend. She has organized around a host of issues ranging from reproductive justice to labor solidarity. She has a first hand relationship with the consequences of environmental racism which puts her in a unique position to work toward environmental justice. In doing this work, it has always been a primary goal to connect all of our struggles as we fight against oppression and exploitation in all forms toward a more just world. When not organizing, Jenny teaches dance and is passionate about the local music and art scene.
Autumn Hensiek is a lifelong resident of Corpus Christi and has experienced the devastating effects of fossil fuel dependence along the Gulf Coast firsthand. Her organizing began in 2016 while canvassing with the Green Party to provide a more sustainable alternative to the two party system. Autumn was a founding member of the Corpus Christi Mutual Aid Network, coordinating a grocery distribution program that delivered food and household supplies to residents of the Coastal Bend throughout the pandemic. She has been a local community organizer in multiple grassroots organizations throughout the years, with an emphasis in the issues of food sovereignty and workers rights. Autumn has deep ties to environmental and social justice organizing, and a commitment to the Way of Love.
Cody Benavides started their career with TCE Fund as a field organizer in 2022. They have been an active participant of the D.I.Y. art and music scene, as well as organizing spaces within the Coastal Bend for almost a decade. Cody participated in and helped organize the 2019 Coastal Bend Social Forum, mutual aid efforts in response to hurricane Harvey and Covid-19, and actions centered around Black Lives Matter and reproductive justice. As a lifelong resident, Cody has witnessed the environmental injustices that disproportionately affect marginalized communities in the Coastal Bend and believes that no one should have to go without access to clean air and water regardless of their class or race. In their free time they enjoy going to D.I.Y shows, playing music, and rooting for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Chloe Torres is a proud, lifelong resident of Corpus Christi, Texas and truly believe in the city’s potential to set an example for other U.S. coastal cities on how to fight back against pollution-causing industries. They have been a local community organizer for the past five years in numerous grassroots organizations which have tackled a variety of issues such as immigration, racial inequality, labor, and of course environmental justice.
Max Morales, environmental professional, currently works for the state of Texas serving its citizens though public health. Max started his environmental career after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainability Studies & Natural Resource Management. Afterwards he worked at Travis County’s Transportation and Natural Resources Department as the Recycling Coordinator. He contributed to notable projects such as the Lake Travis Shoreline and Underwater Clean-up, Travis County Green Team, and re-shaping the Employee Recycling Education Program. Currently he is tackling childhood lead poisoning at the Department of State Health Services. Max’s passion for the environment is sparked by the environmental justice movements he follows and his personal experiences growing up in a low-income area in Houston, Texas.
Brandon Marks joined TCE Fund after working in labor, community, and electoral organizing in Chicago, most recently at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Brandon previously lived in Mexico City where he worked and volunteered for non-profits and bolstered his Spanish fluency. Brandon graduated from Yale University, where he studied the role of power, profits, and social movements in the US and Latin America. Brandon was born in Dallas and raised in South Florida, but his family has lived in Corpus Christi, TX for generations.
Trevor Carroll is a native Texan and community organizer committed to fighting for social, economic and environmental justice. Living most of his life in Houston, he sees how the fossil fuel industry dominates the local economy and culture. With family based in Nederland and Beaumont, he spent his early childhood in communities overburdened by petrochemical facilities. After studying political science at University of North Texas, he returned to Houston where he began to work on local political campaigns, volunteer with mutual aid groups and become involved in grassroots activism. Now the Fossil Fuel Exports Campaign Organizer for Brazoria County, Trevor joined TCE Fund in 2020 as a field organizer in our Houston office. Trevor believes that change is demanded from the bottom up by organizing collective power and that we must build community resistance to fight for environmental justice.
Cuauhtemoc Toren was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley city of Alamo, Texas. He earned a Master’s degree in Political Science at UTSA in 2021. During his time on campus, Cuauhtemoc registered voters and organized students for progressive issues from 2017 to 2019. He later participated in grassroots organizing attempts in San Antonio to close a coal plant, canvass for progressive city council candidates, and connect COVID-19 positive Texas voters to doctors in the 2020 election. At his core, Cuauhtemoc believes in politics as an arena for common struggles and universal rights, including our right to a clean environment. Cuauhtemoc enjoys collecting records, catching any show in town that a favorite artist is performing, pretending to still like gaming, and keeping up with our political realignment on Twitter.
Olivia Heller is a recent graduate from the University of Oregon where she received a degree in Environmental Studies. She joined TCE Fund in 2022 and is eager to begin a career doing what she loves–involving people in the fight toward sustainable environmental policy. She is passionate about creating a just and equitable future for all people, and about the potential impacts of environmental activism. Olivia enjoys yoga, getting creative in the kitchen, and exploring the outdoors.
Vic Cornell joined TCE in 2019 as our Director of Administration. Before that, he worked at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas for fifteen years, in a wide variety of roles. He attended UT-Austin for his undergrad in religious studies and went to seminary at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago for his Master of Arts in Religious Education & Theological Ethics. As a trained community organizer, Vic believes that no matter what the problem is, someone, somewhere, can fix it. An organizer’s job is to figure out who that person is, and what needs to be done to them to make them solve the problem.
Corey Troiani is a native Texan who started his activist career in late 2011 at the University of North Texas fighting hydraulic fracturing in Denton neighborhoods. After earning an undergrad degree in Anthropology, he co-founded a direct action campaign with activists and landowners to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in East Texas. He joined TCE in early 2013, and has worked non-stop as a community organizer, field manager, DFW Program Director and now Senior Campaign Strategy Director. Corey enjoys yoga, rock climbing, soap-making, and geeky stuff like graphic and print design.
Alan Krathaus, Designer, is a partner in CORE Design Studio. He has worked with a variety of non-profit, art and educational organizations, philanthropies, as well as architecture, urban planning, retail, artists and writers, renewable energy and design-based companies. He has extensive experience in a variety of media including brand programs, signage, environmental, exhibition, multi-media/app/web and print projects.
Jeffrey Jacoby began his career with TCE Fund in 2004 and directed our DFW office from 2005-2011 and our Central Texas office from 2012-2019. After obtaining a Master of Arts from the University of Maryland and living in Washington, D.C. for three years, Jeff found TCE Fund when he returned to his native Texas. Jeff believes that change begins at home, one person at a time. His commitment to grassroots democracy and environmental advocacy stems from a strong desire to transform the mindset of a culture bent on harming the very source of its sustenance.
In 2022 TCE Fund continued working with local, state and national allies to oppose new and expanding fossil fuel export terminals through public education, opposition to permits, and researching and organizing around financial vulnerabilities of these projects. We also continued causing delays at every stage of the process against the five proposed desalination facilities meant to provide water for new petrochemical plants in the Coastal Bend—together with allies, we have successfully withheld most of the permits they need to move forward on any of the proposed plants.
Protecting Texas’ Resources
In 2021, TCE Fund sharpened our focus on fighting new and expanding fossil fuel export facilities and petrochemical infrastructure along the Texas Gulf Coast. TCE Fund is part of a broad coalition of frontline neighbors and elected officials, marine life guardians, Indigenous groups, legal aid, recreational and commercial fisherfolk and other environmental advocates fighting these proposals. We worked with allies across the state and country to generate thousands of public comments to decision-makers on proposed fossil fuel permits and environmental impact statements. Read on for the full report!
Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund (formerly known as Public Research Works) is recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, tax ID # 74-2808805. All contributions to TCE Fund are 100% tax-deductible.
TCE Fund is a participating member of Earth Share of Texas, which represents leading environmental and conservation groups in payroll deduction plans across the state. Click here to learn more about Earth Share of Texas.
Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Code: 54165
Texas State Employees (SECC) Code: 035578
City of Austin Employees (COACCC) Code: 1862
City of Houston Employees (HCMC) Code: 1443
Houston Independent School District Employees (HISD) Code: 177
2022 Revenue total: $2,763,176
93% Grants and major gifts
7% Grassroots contributions and events
2022 Expense total: $1,573,839
89% Research, education & organizing
6% Managing TCE Fund
5% Fundraising to sustain TCE Fund
*Over $1,000,000 raised in 2022 toward projects in 2023
Want to see more details? Here are our 2021 IRS Form 990 tax documents.