Who We Are

Our History & Mission

The Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative, a non-profit 501c3, was founded in 2016 by a small group of concerned citizens who recognized that climate change, rising sea levels, ocean acidification and intensified storms were already threatening Cape Cod’s homes, health, habitats, the economy, and entire ways of life. They saw that the Cape and the Islands were likely to experience the effects of climate change sooner and more severely than other parts of Massachusetts and the country.

To address this reality, they formed the Climate Collaborative with the Mission to:

Catalyze people and organizations to mitigate the ways in which we contribute to climate change as well as to adapt to and build resiliency to the impacts that are already emerging and are inevitable. The Climate Collaborative delivers on this mission through convening, collaborating, advocating, activating and communicating.

Our Selected Accomplishments

Since 2016, the Climate Collaborative has engaged with several thousand stakeholders including environmental leaders, elected officials, municipal planners, energy professionals, business executives, entrepreneurs, members of the faith communities, and youth activists in wide-ranging efforts to accelerate the creation and deployment of climate solutions. These efforts have included:

Formed the Cape Cod Climate Action Network—a chapter of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network—which has resulted in the creation of climate action networks (CANs) in (nearly) all towns on Cape Cod.

Produced 5 annual Net Zero Conferences attended by several hundred people each for in-depth learning, collaboration, and inspiration on climate change, solutions and opportunities for citizen and organizational action.

Produced and delivered the (still active) bi-weekly Climate Action Alerts E-Newsletter to over 2500 individuals sharing global-to-local climate issues, best practices, innovations, and opportunities for action.

Produced and delivered hundred of educational trainings both live and online on the climate crisis, innovative climate solutions, and opportunities for local citizen action.

Worked with citizen activists in the passing of Declarations of Climate Emergency.

Lobbied the Cape Cod Commission to create a regional Climate Action Plan which was completed.

Helped create the Faith Communities Environmental Network, a consortium of 45+ faith institutions to promote climate action, education, and environmental justice.

Co-sponsored Cape Cod’s first electric vehicle car show, attended by hundreds to learn about and test drive EV cars.

Engaged in many forms of advocacy (see more in section What We Do).

climate collaboration

“It’s Time for Climate Collaboration”  – June 12, 2022: An evening with Bill McKibben, Søren Hermansen and Melissa Hoffer.



Dorothy A. Savarese | President

The President of the Board of the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative (the Collaborative), Savarese is former CEO and Executive Chair of Cape Cod 5, recognized as a leading bank and top employer.  She recently stepped down from her position after leading the community bank for nearly 20 years, during which time it grew to  more than $5 billion in assets with 550 employees in 26 locations. Savarese formalized the integration of environmental stewardship into the “5 Ways” the Bank serves the community and expanded it to include mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. Savarese extends her commitment to combating climate change and building resiliency to her volunteer and community activities, in addition to her service to the Climate Collaborative. Just recently, Savarese was appointed by Governor-Elect Maura Healey to the Climate Readiness, Resiliency and Adaptation transition policy committee. Previously, she was appointed by the former governor of Massachusetts to the Clean Heat Commission. She traveled with a Massachusetts group to Denmark in June 2022 to learn more about the country’s clean energy transformation. 

Savarese has also been recognized for her efforts in the banking industry, being named to the list of 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker Magazine for 11 consecutive years, was the chair of both the American Bankers Association and the Massachusetts Bankers Association and has been named to committees advising the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and the FDIC. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Suffolk University and recently joined the Board of Trustees. In addition, she has served on a number of local boards serving the region and has received numerous awards and recognitions.


Janet Kraus | Vice President

Vice President

Maggie Phelan | Treasurer

Maggie Reddington Phelan has worked at Cape Cod 5, since 2015 in a variety of roles in Residential and Consumer Lending, Strategy and Operations, and Executive. Most recently, she has been working with the Digital and Commercial Lending teams implementing new technology.

Maggie is active in her community serving as the Treasurer of the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative and MA Housing and Climate Innovation Center, as well as the Vice President of Independence House. She also serves as the Secretary for the Parents’ Group at her children’s school and coaches her children’s athletic teams. She is an avid runner, skier, and traveler.

Maggie lives in Eastham with her husband, three children, and yellow lab, Archie.


Janet Williams | Clerk

Coordinator, Chatham Climate Action Network

With a background in environmental law, education, and consulting, Janet Williams brings a unique set of experiences and skills to the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative. She spent a dozen years as an environmental enforcement attorney with the EPA, five years providing legal counsel to commercial real estate developers and lenders, and several years building and teaching social science education programs at the secondary level. She discovered a passion for and commitment to fighting climate change while volunteering as a pro bono legal researcher with the Climate Justice Programme in London in 2005. She’s been in the fight ever since. And she’s not giving up.

Other: Chair, Chatham Conservation Commission; Coordinator, Chatham Climate Action Network; Secretary, Pleasant Bay Community Boating; Member: Conservation Law Foundation

Janet has a BA from Boston College, Teaching Certification from Northeastern University and JD from Villanova University School of Law and is a LEED Accredited Green Associate.



Dan Wolf | Government Affairs Committee Chair

Dan Wolf founded Cape Air in 1989 and served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer from its founding through 2021. Dan continues to serve the company as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and stays current with his Air Transport Pilot license. Dan was elected in November 2010, 2012, and 2014, respectively, to represent Cape Cod and the Islands in the Massachusetts State Senate, where he served from 2011 through 2016. Each term, Dan was appointed as the Senate Chair of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, focusing on legislation around labor, workplace safety, and workplace development. As a business and community leader, Dan continues to serve on many of the region’s most important non-profit and civic organizations, including on the Board of the Collaborative, as Chair of the Governance Affairs Committee.

Government Affairs Committee Chair/Director

Paul Niedzwiecki | Nominating Committee Chair

Paul Niedzwiecki assumed the role of chief executive officer of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce on July 1, 2021.

Niedzwiecki, of West Barnstable, is a public policy professional and attorney with more than two decades of experience in public administration and crafting environmental and economic policy on Cape Cod.

As former executive director of the Cape Cod Commission, Niedzwiecki worked to reorganize the region’s planning and regulatory agency to reduce red tape and assist communities to balance protection of the natural environment and fuel economic growth, while increasing transparency and community engagement.

Niedzwiecki has also held senior positions with Southfield Redevelopment Authority and Cape Cod Healthcare. In addition, he served as the assistant town manager in Barnstable, the Cape’s largest town, where he established the Cape’s first Growth Incentive Zone to bolster downtown Hyannis small business and was the first chairman of the Cape Cod Water Protection Collaborative.

Niedzwiecki holds a bachelor of science degree in public administration from Suffolk University and a juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School.

Nominating Committee Chair/Director

Rob Brennan

Counsel, Smolak & Vaughan

Rich Delaney

Executive Director, Center for Coastal Studies


Margaret Downey

Ms. Downey is the Administrator for the Cape Light Compact. Prior to serving as the full-time Cape Light Compact Administrator, Maggie served as both the Assistant County Administrator and Compact Administrator for 17 years. The Cape Light Compact service territory consists of Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, approximately 205,000 year-round residents. The Cape Light Compact is the first municipal aggregator in Massachusetts. Ms. Downey is responsible for management and direction of the Cape Light Compact’s electric power supply aggregation program and energy efficiency programs. She has previously represented the Cape Light Compact on its sister organization, the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative, which is has installed 49MW of distributed renewable energy projects. Ms. Downey has been working on energy related issues for over 20 years. Prior to joining Barnstable County in 1994, she served as the SEPA/Public Affairs Manager for the City of Issaquah, Washington. Maggie earned her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington at Seattle and holds a Graduate Certificate in Management from Harvard University Extension School.


Don Keeran

Don Keeran is assistant director of the Association to Preserve Cape Cod. He focuses extensively on environmental policy and advocacy for the organization, and acts as APCC’s liaison for most state and federal environmental legislative and policy issues. Don works on the state, regional and local levels on growth management initiatives, promoting the adoption of land use and planning policies that advance smart growth, natural resource protection and climate change. He is responsible for developing many of APCC’s positions on topical environmental issues, including proposals for regional development projects and other projects that could impact the Cape’s natural resources and quality of life. Don serves on a variety of boards and committees focused on issues such as climate change, land use planning, water quality and open space preservation. He has been a resident of Brewster since 1997.


Robin Lord | Director

Editor, Cape Cod Health News


Gail Melix | Director

Native Land Conservancy


Dana Rebeiro | Director

Massachusetts Community Liaison, Vineyard Wind


Ella Sampou | Director

Community Organizing Manager, Community Development Partnership


Kristy Senatori | Director

Executive Director, Cape Cod Commission


Lewis Stern | Director

Community Advocate


Beth Wade | Director

Director of Land Acquisition & Project Development, Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod


Katy Acheson

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

Matt Burke

Cape Cod 5

John Cox

Cape Cod Community College

Eugene Curry

Law Offices of Eugene Curry

Rosemary Dreger-Carey

Chair, Cape 360

Tom Cahir

Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority

Maria Marasco

Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative

Erin Perry

Cape Cod Commission

Morgan Peck

Mass Audubon

Mark Robinson

Compact of Cape Cod Conservation Trusts

Bob Ryley

Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod

Paul Speer

Marine Biological Laboratory

Stephanie Spadoni

Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority

Susan Starkey

Faith Communities Environmental Network

Lauren McKean

Cape Cod National Seashore

Michele White

Cape Cod Commission

Heather Goldstone

Woodwell Climate Research Center

Brian McGurk

Faith Communities Environmental Network

Teresa Martin

Lower Cape TV

Nate Mayo

Vineyard Wind 1

Jim Wolf

Cape Air

Help Us Win the Fight Against Climate Change

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