Meridith "Duck" Bardus, Treasurer
Duck Bardus is currently a Food Outreach Coordinator for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. She earned a BA in English from Ohio University in 2007 and spent the following ten years working at nonprofits serving people living in poverty in Ohio, Texas, and Spain.
For the past three years she has been providing operational support to statewide political campaigns to increase voter registration, address climate change, and implement criminal justice reforms with the Ohio Organizing Collaborative.
Duck served as head of safety at the Cannonball District Emergency Shelter on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in the winter of 2016. She was responsible for sanitation, fire code, and all physical aspects of the space that pertained to health and safety. In her free time she enjoys reading fiction, hiking with her dog, and vegetables.
Nina Giardinelli, Interim Secretary, Social Media Manager
Nina became interested in manual therapies at a very young age, having learned to help ease her mother’s asthma attacks by relaxing the respiratory muscles via massage.
Nina has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2014. Her position as an interim board member of Frontline Wellness United allows her to pursue her passion for compassionate touch while incorporating her interest in providing care for victims of human rights abuses.
She is working on a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies at the University of Utah and plans to pursue a master's degree in journalism.
Nicholas Taggart Long, Training Director & Firefighter/Paramedic
I work as a paramedic-firefighter in St. Louis, Missouri, where I live with my wife and two children. I’ve been interested in emergency services, as well as social and environmental justice, for as long as I can remember.
I love finding opportunities to share my knowledge and experiences while working for social and environmental justice. I appreciate helping and training individuals engaged in the essential work of protecting one another and our planet.
I’ve benefited from a vast array of training. I hope to facilitate learning in a way that is approachable, interesting and realistic. I’m excited about Frontline Wellness, and I hope to contribute to the important and significant work it has undertaken.
Lisha Sterling, Interim Board Member
Lisha is best known for her work as executive director of Geeks Without Bounds, “an accelerator for humanitarian projects.”
What that means in very practical terms is, for one, that Lisha and her team roam the earth building communications networks for communities that want to enter the online world. Sometimes that happens here in the U.S., where Geeks is based.
Lisha lead the team of technicians that established Internet services for civil-resistance workers in the Dakota Access Pipeline camps near Cannonball, North Dakota 2017-2017. That (very loosely knit) group also set up encryption and cyber-security protections for activists working in the camps.
That work (as much of Lisha’s word does) involved choosing, setting up, and managing the physical devices necessary for activists to connect online, do research, organize activities, plan and implement activities—and do so without intrusion or threat from third (let's say uninvited) parties. For those of us in the medical community serving the camps, it meant being able to access email, find the answers to medical questions, connect with Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation leaders, order supplies, and so on.
But Lisha’s work can get pretty exotic. A quick scan of Geek’s website, and the projects team members work on, yields some fascinating topics: building a wireless network in Ecuador that will cover a million acres of land in the Amazon in order to track pollution and illegal incursions into Indigenous lands; hosting hackathons (at multiple locations for four years) for NASA’s International SpaceApps Challenge (ISAC); facilitating and participating in hackathons in eastern India, Madrid, Amsterdam, Washington, D.C., podcasting, developing apps that will help grassroots disaster-response groups gather and track info in a crisis, cybersecurity consulting … and the list goes on.
“Languages are like piles on my desk. If I don’t get to them, they get buried under something else. But if I pick them up and start working with them, I can get some fluency back.”
She worked in Amsterdam in 2015 and discovered she could speak a reasonable amount of Dutch after about a week “because Dutch is derived from low German, the same as Yiddish is.” Yes, she speaks some Yiddish, too.
Lisha works as a Frontline member on cybersecurity for activists, Internet access in the field, translation, open source applications and coding, when needed.
Lisa Ling, Interim Board Member
Lisa joined the military in 1991, serving as an army medic and nurse before transferring to the Air National Guard (ANG). In the Guard, she became a communications technician, working on various types of electronic equipment including DCGS (Distributed Common Ground System; the U.S. Air Force defines DCGS as its "primary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance collection, processing, exploitation, analysis and dissemination" system).
Besides her overseas deployments and prior years in the U.S. drone program, Lisa served with the 234th intelligence Squadron and 48th Intelligence Squadron at Beale Air Force Base from Oct 2007-Sep 2009. The 48th Intelligence Squadron provides communications and logistics maintenance for the DCGS.
She served more than six years on active duty and more than 15 years as both active and inactive National Guard.
She decided to speak out against the misuse of drones after traveling to Afghanistan and seeing for herself how what she participated in was not a war on terror, but a war of terror. She has spoken out against armed drones killing with inaccurate data, and the program's immense unchecked power around the world, writing for (and sometimes being featured in) the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, on Cyberwar—Viceland, and ABC Australia.
Lisa is one of three protagonists from the U.S. drone program featured in the documentary film National Bird, directed by Sonia Kennebeck.
For Frontline, Lisa is an essential networker among whistleblowers and military veterans who serve now as social-justice activists. Being an extremely savvy technician, she also advises Frontline (and therefore activists as a whole) on issues regarding unwarranted surveillance, malicious use of technology to undermine resistance movements, and cybersecurity.
You can follow her on Twitter: @ARetVet
Joel Preston Smith, Director, Field Operations & Communications
Joel is a journalist, artist and FEMA-trained disaster responder. His FEMA certifications & coursework include: Incident Command System, Public Information Officer, Community Emergency Response Teams, Diversity Awareness, National Incident Management System; Logistics; Active Shooter Response.
His mental-health certifications include: ASIST Model of Suicide Prevention, and Youth Mental Health First Aid.
In the winter of 2016 he served as the Evacuation Manager & Emergency Shelter Manager for the Cannonball District of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Cannonball, North Dakota during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. His past humanitarian-relief work includes: service in Rwanda at the end of the civil war in 1996, Honduras after Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Iraq, Gaza and the West Bank in 2003.
His communications work includes: journalist, U.S. Army (1987-1991), spokesperson and media coordinator, Oregon Health & Sciences University; public affairs specialist for the Portland VA Medical Center; acting communications director, Lines for Life (National Suicide Prevention Line), and others.
His books include Night of a Thousand Stars & Other Portraits of Iraq; Nazraeli Press, 2006); Untidy: The Blogs on Rumsfeld (co-editor); Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith (co-editor); The Library at Night (photographer); It’s A Boy (photographer); The Green Zone (photographer).
His media credits include roughly 1600 published photos and essays in: Utne magazine, Oregonian, Salt Lake City Tribune, Seattle Times, Gobshite Quarterly, Charleston Daily Mail and others. His credited and non-credited broadcast media production work/videography includes: Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, ABC News, TODAY Show (NBC), KOIN-TV, KGW-TV, KATU-TV, KPTV (FOX 12), KING-TV.
His website is: https://joelprestonsmith.com/