Core members

Invest the most time in the network and receive the most benefits.

Ally members

Similar types of activities as core; however, their less frequent involvement results in fewer benefits.

GrassTops members

Primarily interested in collaborating with the network as an institutional partner.

Core Members

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Photo of Samantha Sainsbury
Samantha Sainsbury
Program Coordinator Institute of Cultural Affairs

Samantha is the Program Coordinator at ICA, where she facilitates the collaborative projects and events working group of CSLN.  She is an alumnus of the Public Allies Chicago AmeriCorps program and Northwestern University. She was drawn to the ICA as an intern after learning about the participatory ways of engaging grassroots organizations in the accelerate77 project, and continues to value the realization of holistic, collaborative sustainability through the CSLN. She appreciates continuously learning about the city, the way organizations work within it, and the potential to strengthen collaborations within and across communities.

Photo of Caitlin Sarro
Caitlin Sarro

Caitlin is the Program Manager with the Institute of Cultural Affairs. She has been working on the accelerate77 project since in 2012, and currently facilitates the CSLN Policy Working Group. In addition to valuing the project’s participatory process, she is most drawn to its inclusive definition of sustainability. Believing that community-led planning leads to more meaningful action, Caitlin is proud to work on a project that requires the collaboration of different approaches to make sustainable communities. Caitlin is a graduate of UIC’s CUPPA program and alumnus of the Public Allies Chicago AmeriCorps program.

Photo of Lesley Showers
Lesley Showers

Lesley is the Property Manager at the Institute of Cultural Affairs, where she oversees the transformation of the organization’s ICA GreenRise building into an energy efficient demonstration of a mixed-used landmark building. She is also a resident of the GreenRise community, where she is working towards a local solution to waste water management that will make the GreenRise even more sustainable. She became interested in sustainable design while studying architecture.

Photo of Mike Strode
Mike Strode
Founder and Exchange Coordinator The Kola Nut Collaborative

Mike is Founder and Exchange Coordinator of the Kola Nut Collaborative, a Chicago based timebanking initiative aimed to promote and sustain a robust timebanking infrastructure which supports non-monetary transactions among individuals and organizations. Mike’s previous work has included leadership positions with the Chicago chapter of Red, Bike & Green, Fultonia, and Art Is Bonfire. He draws on these experiences to interrogate the intersection of timebanking, social economy, and community resiliency with skill based asset mapping as an essential tool for understanding neighborhood infrastructure. Mike is a writer, tech enthusiast, urban cyclist and kitchen alchemist who resides in South Chicago.