Our Team

George Catlin

President

George Catlin

President

George comes to the work of economic reform from a background in consciousness change. He currently works as a Marriage and Family Therapist serving at-risk individuals in a small, rural community. Before that he wrote and lectured widely on the interface between spiritual and psychological understandings of human experience. And prior to that he was a professor of psychology focusing his teaching and research on psychological health.Dr. Catlin's interest in economic change developed as a result of daily contact with those who fare poorly in the current system and a long-standing commitment to social justice. His thesis for his counselling degree addressed aspects of American culture that adversely affect psychological health. Foremost among these are our highly individualistic social structure and our deeply competitive economic system.

Within EDA his efforts are primarily directed into the Education Committee. He is acutely aware that most people, even many dedicated to social justice, have never heard of economic democracy and the possibility of a very different approach to all financial matters.

Jonathan Stoller

Treasurer

Jonathan Stoller

Treasurer

Jonathan believes that just about everyone, in their heart of hearts, wants to make a difference. Since he was very young he had an inner sense that giving back was something he wanted to do, but hasn’t always known how to make that inner desire take shape in the world. Jonathan has worked with many groups over the years but none have held the promise of EDA. EDA has the potential to have a significant impact in modeling how we can make things work for our present and future environments – those given to us by nature and the social/political ones we’ve created. This large vision, coupled with nuts-and-bolts applications, powered by a small group of committed individuals is proving to be a recipe for producing outsized results. EDA is embarking on this audacious, exciting journey by building a solid foundation on which to construct the mechanisms and relationships for making a real difference in the world.

Some say, how can a tiny group have this kind of impact? As the brilliant cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

The stairway we are building toward realizing this vision is a bold effort, and Jonathan is excited and grateful to be making a difference through this worthy endeavor.

Eva Simenson

Secretary

Eva Simenson

Secretary

Ever since she can remember, Eva has loved how a walk through Nature can calm and uplift. Encroachment on the natural world by humans has troubled her with the result that much of her adult life has been given to figuring out why people so often seem determined to harm Nature and one another. Shouldn't there be laws that help us care for our resources?Friends introduced her to Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), an advocacy group based in Washington D.C. Her acquaintance with FCNL taught her that lawmakers cannot know what is important to their constituents if the constituents do not talk to them. Through reading and study, she also came to see that encroachment on Nature and the harming of persons is very much related to an economic system which views Nature and persons as commodities. Now, she is excited to be part of this group, Economic Democracy Advocates, that works to help Nature and people regenerate.

Annida Brunato

At-Large Trustee

Annida Brunato

At-Large Trustee

Annida serves as an At-Large Trustee on the Board of Directors and on the Education and Website Committees for EDA. Although her expertise as a Consultant, Facilitator, and Adult Educator has been applied in a variety of industries, her passion and focus is in the public health arena. Research shows that individual and community health is directly linked to economic stability and access to resources. Annida believes that economic democracy is a key pathway for addressing the disparities and injustices that emerge from our current economic system and is necessary for broader change to occur.

Jacelyn Eckman

At-large Trustee

Jacelyn Eckman

At-large Trustee

Jacelyn served in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps on three continents, developing programs on international trade, intellectual property rights, local and global environmental issues, drug trafficking and other matters of bilateral concern in the countries to which she was posted. Since leaving the Foreign Service, she began taking part in political advocacy in Washington D.C. and in her own state. Seeing the power of direct participatory democracy on the Federal level, she began to notice a need for a similar approach closer to home. In 2016 she and four others founded Economic Democracy Advocates, with the intention of focusing on issues of economic justice in people's own communities.Jacelyn spearheads the development of an Advocacy Training Program that will empower concerned citizens to act on issues directly affecting them. Her team will offer advocacy training online and in locations across the country, using EDA's own research on bioregional sustainability as the basis for responding to local problems.

Jacelyn is also an author, a teacher of the Chinese martial arts, and an avid hiker in the beautiful North Carolina mountains she now calls home.

James Kolb

At-Large Trustee

James Kolb

At-Large Trustee

James spent most of his life living and being active on his family’s small farm in rural Pennsylvania. His parents ran this farm while working full-time, and James and his siblings assisted with chores, livestock, and running equipment as soon as they were able. He learned about conservation from his parents when they put the entire farm property into farmland preservation over 20 years ago. Today, James and his siblings co-own that same farm and continue to grow corn and soybean while holding full-time jobs elsewhere. James currently makes his living in the field of electronics and industrial controls.James has also been active with state good government advocacy and social action at the national level, which is where he first connected with the founders of EDA 2.5 years ago. Finding a group of people that want to state, define, and promote solutions to some of the more vexing problems facing us today was a powerful incentive to become a member of EDA, putting his time and energy on the Research Committee. James has continued to expand his knowledge about economics, geography, statistics, advocacy and human thought processes – topics that he never thought would interest him or would be involved with. He quickly realized that the people leading this effort have strong ethics and a real desire to truly help everyone. Wanting to do more, he was elected as an At-Large Trustee in 2018 and is now assisting in steering EDA forward.

James Quilligan

Managing Director

James Quilligan

Managing Director

James comes to EDA from a background in international development. Since 1975, he has been an economic analyst for government agencies in more than fifty countries and many international organizations. He served as policy advisor and writer for several international leaders, including Pierre Trudeau, François Mitterrand, Julius Nyerere, Olof Palme, Willy Brandt, Jimmy Carter, Edward Heath and HRH Prince El Hassan.

In 2000, James began writing about the political economy of bioregionalism and promoting ecological sustainability through participatory democratic management. He is now committed to helping EDA advocate for legislation to ensure that both present and future generations have enough resources to meet their needs. James is also a musician, composer and playwright and enjoys walking in the woods where he lives near Asheville, North Carolina.

Charles Hannah

Acting Director of Development

Charles Hannah

Acting Director of Development

Director of Development

After eight years as a marketing executive for a multi-national food company, including 4 years living and working in Tokyo in the 70s, Charles Hannah has produced 15 feature films and 20 documentaries for which he played a leading role in securing production budgets. In recent years, his focus has been on telling stories that celebrate the human spirit, our ingenuity and our natural environment and he has been rewarded with clear evidence that they have had a positive impact on viewers.

Charles has been a member of EDA since early 2017 and with his wife Carrie, attended the first conference in Asheville later that year. They were particularly inspired by the vision of James Quilligan and his presentation on how bio-regions can play a role in the establishment of a new and environmentally sustainable economic system where everyone’s needs are met. Since then he has worked with James and EDA members on drafting EDA’s Charter and in other foundational teams. As Director of Development, Charles is excited by the prospect of identifying potential partners, communicating EDA’s vision and securing the financial resources so that EDA can be a facilitator of necessary change.