Our Team

Russell Chisholm, Managing Director

Russell (he/him) serves as Managing Director of the Protect Our Water, Heritage Rights coalition in the campaign to stop Mountain Valley Pipeline and dangerous fossil fuel expansion through Virginia and West Virginia.

Denali Nalamalapu, Communications Director

Denali (they/them) lives in Roanoke, VA. They are originally from Southern Maine and their family is from Southern India. They are passionate about climate action and uplifting the voices of communities most impacted by environmental racism and the climate crisis through her communications work. Denali leads POWHR’s media and communications work as Communications Director. You can find them reading a book, painting, or walking in the woods.

Photo credit: Sarah Hazelgrove

Crystal Mello, Community Organizer

Crystal (she/her) lives in Shawsville, Virginia. She has lived much of her life in Southwest Virginia and has long been active in mutual aid and prison abolition work. At POWHR, Crystal will help community members identify their climate justice needs and help mobilize and empower communities to collectively resolve those needs. She will conduct outreach, base building, training, education and leadership development targeted especially to low-income Appalachians. Crystal will reach out to community groups along the MVP route in Virginia to engage in conversations around the need to end fossil fuel use and to discuss and promote community mitigation and resilience efforts in the face of climate and ecological crisis.

Seferina Olivo, Mountain Valley Watch Coordinator

Seferina (she/her) is from Abingdon, VA and is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Resource Management at Virginia Tech. She is passionate about environmental protection, restoration and justice in the Appalachian region. Seferina is the coordinator for Mountain Valley Watch where she works with volunteers to monitor and visually assess MVP construction sites for potential violations and pollution incidents. You can also find her hiking, reading, and struggling to learn the banjo.

Dan Ideozu, Partnerships Manager

Dan (they/them) is the Partnerships Manager at POWHR. They live in Newport, Virginia and they are originally from Northeast Ohio bordering Central Appalachia. Throughout their life they have found joy and community by participating in mutual aid, food justice work, housing programs and climate activism. They also find joy in fiber arts, making music and getting their hands in the dirt. 

Lief Hurt, Advocacy Manager

Lief (they/them) is the Advocacy Manager at POWHR. They are from Floyd, VA and consider the NRV home. They find joy participating in mutual aid efforts, relocating venomous snakes to safer habitats, exploring local trails, and spending cozy moments at home. They are committed to promoting inclusivity and advocating for a sustainable and just future for all beings.