The People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative – Ohio (POGCO) represents the original Ohio grassroots movement focusing 100% on oil and gas issues. Our multi-tiered approach involves people who are directly affected by the impacts of oil and gas development working in a nonpartisan effort for reform at local, state and federal levels. We utilize public education, legislative initiatives and community partnerships in our mission to provide surface owners, oil and gas employees and citizens living near operations fair and equal treatment under the law with regard to health, safety and property rights. To read more on the genesis of POGCO, see our History.
Kari Matsko initiated the oil and gas grassroots movement in Ohio, formerly known as Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project (NEOGAP). She has sixteen years of experience in technical consulting on national and international projects. Amendments to improve Ohio’s oil and gas law in 2010 and passage of numerous local resolutions revoking mandatory pooling and returning local control were some of her successes. Kari’s on the job field training in oil and gas and collaborations with industry and scientific communities led her to be appointed to Ohio’s regulatory rule-making work group. She was also chosen as the citizen and environmental review team member from Ohio for the national State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (STRONGER) 2011 Hydraulic Fracturing analysis. Kari serves on the Board of Directors of ShaleTest as well as various advisory council roles for several state and national oil and gas nonprofit projects. In 2013 she was chosen to represent the U.S. on two NGO shale delegations to Russia and Ukraine.
Kathryn Hanratty is a long time Water advocate from Chardon, Ohio. Through her work with Audubon, the Ohio Environmental Council and numerous other organizations, she has been a recipient of national and state environmental awards. As owner of Enviroscapes Landscape Design in Chardon, Ohio Kathy designs and installs environmentally friendly landscapes. She frequently contributes articles for various local publications, has taught classes and done presentations on the use of native plants in the landscape and many different environmental issues for numerous Ohio organizations. Kathy also serves on the Board of the Native Plant Society of Northeastern Ohio and is one of the organizers of Frack-Free Geauga.
Louie Chodkiewicz, Director of Land Use
Louie Chodkiewicz has decades of experience as a real estate broker. Between 2007 and present day, six oil & gas wells were drilled near his home without his consent. This was a result of HB 278 legislation allowing for urbanized drilling with leverage of forced pooling a.k.a. mandatory pooling. He and his family were a victim of mandatory pooling which allowed his neighbor and a private energy company to forcibly take his mineral rights without which there would not be enough land to install the oil and gas well.
Barbara Tavaglione, Legal Director
Barbara Tavaglione is an Ohio licensed attorney with a commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability issues. During her career she has worked as a judicial law clerk and in private practice, specializing in legal research and writing. In 2012, Barbara drafted an amicus brief to the Ohio Supreme Court on POGCO’s behalf in State of Ohio ex rel. Jack Morrison, Jr. et al. v. Beck Energy Corp. et al. In her role as Legal Director, she is the point person for the People’s Legal Team which consists of Ohio attorneys experienced in advocating for citizens dealing with oil and gas issues. Barbara is also accredited as a LEED Green Associate with the U.S. Green Building Council and is member of the Northeast Ohio Green Building Council.
Amy Neumann, Director of Public Relations
Amy Neumann is a passionate advocate of using social media and technology for Good. At her social enterprise Good Plus Tech, she creates marketing and branding strategies for nonprofits and businesses that connect goals to strong results, always with an eye to sustainability. For almost two decades, she has been in executive online media sales and consulting with companies like AT&T and Yahoo!. She writes and speaks about social good, and blogs about social good topics for numerous publications including The Huffington Post, Forbes, and her Charity Ideas Blog. Recent speaking events include Dell’s Social Innovation Conference, ASU’s Sustainability Conference, and Stop the Frack Attack in Washington, DC.