Who we are

Meet the volunteer leaders who make Elders Climate Action possible

We are grandparents, we are baby boomers, we are from the Greatest Generation.  With age has come the wisdom, the perspective and the understanding that we are the guardians of future generations.  We have arrived at the undeniable realization that if we don’t do something now, our grandchildren and future generations will suffer from our inaction.  

Even if we recycle, compost, solar power our own homes and conserve water, it isn’t enough to stop the tidal wave of climate change.  Without strong policies to curb carbon emissions we won’t be able to make a big enough difference, fast enough.

That is why Elders Climate Action was formed.  To mobilize and unite our voices to bring this message to our leaders.  The time has come to stop playing political football with our grandchildren's future.  No matter on what side of the debate you sit, all our grandchildren will be affected and it is time to come together to solve this problem.  It won’t be easy, but it is critical and we can do it, together.



Paul.jpegPaul Severance 

Elders Climate Action Chair, Indianapolis, Indiana

Paul Severance enjoyed a 35 year career as a community organizer, doing urban neighborhood organizing in New York and Indiana, and then founding United Senior Action of Indiana, a statewide senior citizen public policy advocacy organization which he served as Executive Director for 27 years, retiring in 2004.

Paul is a Certified Sage-ing Leader, has served as Board Chair and currently Administrative Director for Sage-ing International.

His greatest passion is doing his very best to make a difference in the impact that climate change will have on his grandchildren, great grandchildren, and future generations.



Geri Freedman

Elders Climate Action Co-Chair, Cooper City, Florida

In my youth I was an activist, involved in the women’s movement, peace activities and the environment.   I worked for many years in social services, most recently with elders and then many years in local government administration.  

When I became a grandparent, and later retired, I knew I could do more to preserve our planet.  On finding Elders Climate Action, I looked at my young grandchildren and was immediately inspired to act.  As a contributor to the current state of the earth I must act now.  I know we can make a difference for our grandchildren through our passion, wisdom, skills and actions. My vision is for my grandchildren to live in the beautiful world we grew up in.



Shirley McGrath

Partnership Task Force Leader

I have been retired for six years and have been looking ever since for a way to be involved in meaningful volunteer work.  Elders Climate Action is fulfilling that goal.  I cannot imagine a more meaningful purpose than to alter the course of global climate change.  This is an incredible opportunity for older Americans to make this our life's work. 



grady2.jpgGrady McGonagill 

Steering Committee & Chapter Development, Brookline, Massachusetts

For 30 years Grady offered independent consulting and coaching services for leadership development, serving a wide range of corporate, government, and nonprofit organizations in North and South America, Europe and Asia.  In 2013 he began focusing exclusively on addressing climate change, offering coaching and consulting to The Better Future Project and joining the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Grandparents’ Climate Action Day attracted him to a leadership role in ECA nationally and in Massachusetts.

Grady holds a doctorate from Harvard University and a master's degree from Stanford University. He is author of “The Coach as Reflective Practitioner,” inExecutive Coaching, edited by Fitzgerald and Berger (2002), and the lead author of Leadership and Web 2.0: The Leadership Implications of the Evolving Web (2011).   


leslie_Wharton.pngLeslie Wharton

Building Our Base Committee, Bethesda, Maryland

Leslie got her Ph.D in American history in the late 1970s, went to law school, and has been practicing law for more than 30 years. She first became concerned about climate change in 2007.  At first she thought our political leaders would do the right thing.  But as the years passed and our government still failed to address the threat, she became convinced that we the people needed to take this issue in hand.  She participated in Grandparents Climate Action Day in Washington DC in September 2015 and has been an active ECA member ever since.


Margo_frank.jpgMargo Frank

Building Our Base Committee

Margo Frank is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who lives and works in a small rural community in Northern California. Through her work with older adults in medical and residential settings and her private psychotherapy practice, she has witnessed the many ways that we can grow old. Margo is passionately engaged in her own aging process, drawing from a deep well of creativity, authentic movement work and nature’s wisdom.  Margo leads elder council circles, Grandmother circles and Art of Aging workshops in Northern California through her Crossing into Elderhood programs. She is currently working to create a resiliency informed community where she lives. After attending a Work that Reconnects intensive through CEN, Margo heeded the call to do all she can to leave a just, sustainable and habitable world for her beloved grandchildren. 


unnamed-7.jpgJohn Sorensen

Conscious Elders Network’s (CEN) coordinating director and serves on ECA’s fund raising and steering committees.

As a youth he heard the aerospace call and followed it for 45 years of engineering design, corporate management, and entrepreneurial experiences. His early career was devoted to spacecraft and rocket engineering including trajectory design for astronaut Moon landing. In 1971 he transitioned to air transportation systems technology development and thereafter led over 100 design projects for US government agencies, manufacturers, and airline clients. John founded and led Seagull Technology - a transportation technology incubator company for 20 years.

Twelve years ago John heard another, deeper calling – time to re-invent and dedicate himself to humanitarian service. He uses earlier experiences to fulfill that calling as a strategist for transforming our culture to one that encompasses the wisdom and caring of the conscious elder. He is a passionate supporter of social and environmental justice causes including comprehensive efforts to combat the threats of climate disruption. In addition to CEN and ECA operational management, John supports external ventures directed at healthy food consumption, war victim recovery, and inner personal growth.