Board Of Directors Candidate Statements, 2018

Ten NCRA members have submitted ballot statements to serve on the 2018 NCRA Board of Directors. There are five positions to fill. Voting opens December 7 and closes December 21 at 11:59 pm.  The election results will be presented to the Board of Directors on December 22 and to the membership soon afterward.

Custom voting links will be emailed to members on December 7. If you do not receive our email but believe you should (i.e. your membership is current as of December 6, 2017), please email the office and we will email the link again.

CANDIDATES 2018: Shova Ale Magar, Nik Balachandran, Alina Bekkerman, Susan Blachman, Tim Dewey-Mattia, Janette E. Drew, Alex Hoffman, David Krueger, John Moore and Laura Zamora

Shova Ale Magar
I spent the summer after high school teaching workshops at the district–level wastewater treatment plant in Kathmandu, Nepal. During a workshop one weekend, I was inspired by the enthusiasm and curiosity of the 50 community members who had given up their weekend to learn about the project. That weekend taught me that environmental stewardship begins at the individual level. Everyone has a role to play.

I feel this every day in my work as a municipal recycling coordinator at Waste Management Inc. The actions we take individually grow into collaborative communities, from policies to enforcement, to education and out to individuals doing their part.

My career has included managing Green Citizen’s electronics recycling center in Mountain View where I assisted about 50 people a day who came in to recycle light bulbs, MacBooks, and even the occasional talking teddy bear. As a volunteer co-organizer of Zero Waste Youth USA’s 2016 and 2017 Convergences, I negotiated and managed the venue for the day-long event with 170 attendees including students, speakers, and vendors in the field. Collaboration including individuals and communities moves us toward a zero-waste world.

I humbly offer my experience to serve on the NCRA board.

Nik Balachandran
I would like to submit my candidacy for a position on the NCRA board. An avid environmental advocate, I regularly participate in beach cleanups and successfully led a campaign to end prepared food displays at corporate cafeterias that are discarded at the end of the shift. For years I have been reducing, reusing more, thereby, decreasing the need to even recycle. Along the way, I have educated people on how and why this is important.

Recently, I decided to make Zero Waste part of my career. I have years of experience as a data scientist in tech startups analyzing vast amounts of sensor data for actionable insights. I saw a great potential to marry innovation, technology, and waste. So I founded Zabble to help businesses track and reduce waste, save money and protect the environment. Since then I have been able to really understand industry trends and legislation, meet and learn from numerous inspiring people. In August, I earned a certification from USGBC as a Zero Waste advisor.

I believe that I bring a fresh perspective to the industry and could really aid NCRA in continuing their Zero Waste initiatives. I am very committed to my work. Your vote would be greatly appreciated.

Alina Bekkerman
As a Zero Waste advocate, I believe the next two years are critical and require a significant paradigm shift from a consumer mindset to a low-energy lifestyle

I humbly submit my candidacy to join the NCRA 2018 board, in service to our broader community and NCRA members.

In 2014 I first had an epiphany about the importance of waste stream management and recycling education while abroad in Ecuador, where I started a small program call Proyecto Puerto López Limpio. Upon my return home, I was first introduced to Bay Area initiatives as a volunteer for RU in 2015. In 2016, I joined the Zero Waste Youth Convergence planning committee, helping with fundraising, communications, and logistics. I co-directed the 2017 ZWYC, and continue to serve on the planning team for the 2018 event in a supporting role.

I would like to join the NCRA board to help collaborate on event production and education initiatives for RU and throughout the year. I believe that together we are a stronger movement, and would like to help connect individuals, organizations, and communities, promoting programs that inspire and educate the Bay Area and beyond.

Susan Blachman
A long-time NCRA member and a great fan of RU, I attended the 2014 Zero Food Waste Forum and got hooked. Ruth Abbe, John Moore and I launched NCRA’s Zero Food Waste Committee and with help from Susan Miller-Davis wrote Commercial Food Waste Reduction in Alameda County, the first-ever study of wasted food prevention and recovery efforts and opportunities in Alameda County. I presented our findings at RU2017, BIOCYCLE REFOR17 and NCRA’s Introduction to Recycling.

I plan to support NCRA’s efforts to further prevent food and other organics from being landfilled. This would include organizing another Zero Waste Food Forum and sharing local jurisdictions’  SB1838 compliance strategies (SB1383 requires California to meet organic waste reduction goals, including edible food recovery).

I was a City of Berkeley’s Zero Waste Commissioner for 8 years, co-chaired the Golden Gate Pollution Prevention Committee, was on the Western Regional Pollution Prevention Network Steering Committee and helped found the Women’s Environmental Network. I’ve been a member of the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Salon Alliance, and the California Product Stewardship Council.

Tim Dewey-Mattia, Incumbent
I w
as elected to the NCRA Board 2 years ago, and I kindly ask the membership for a chance to serve another term.  I’m the Recycling & Public Education Manager for Napa Recycling & Waste Services – the local franchise hauler and operator of Napa’s Recycling & Composting Facility

I got my start in Zero Waste over 20 years ago – first with the Middlebury College recycling program, and then for non-profit recycling organizations in San Francisco.  I’ve been at Napa Recycling for 12 years and work on program development, implementation and outreach…plus I talk about chickens & earthquakes at Recycling Update.

As NCRA board member and co-chair of the Outreach & Activities Committee, I’ve helped coordinate events, organize facility tours, & fundraise for Recycling Update.  I believe NCRA can and should be a leader on the hot topics of the day, including increasing organics diversion through more infrastructure and program participation and finding solutions to the current recycling market woes.

NCRA and our members are Zero Waste pioneers, and I am honored to help carry that forward.  We are a collaborative, exciting, and down-to-earth bunch, and I’d be pleased to continue to serve on the Board.

Janette E. Drew
I welcome the opportunity to be of service to NCRA. I believe that recycling, stewardship, and excellent governance are perfect partners for our community.  I am passionate about our environment and the preservation of our beautiful area for future generations to enjoy.

I am grateful to live in an area that takes its waste management seriously and constantly seeks to implement best practices on an ongoing basis. NCRA’s efforts ensure that there is a voice and a platform for recycling concerns to be heard and in particular, actions be taken.

My contributions:

  • Trustee of a national nonprofit managing billions of member assets
  • Member, Socially Responsible Investing
  • Trustee of a local nonprofit providing care & support to at risk families
  • Member, Finance committee
  • Commercial Finance and banking background
  • Various leadership roles: President, Chairperson, Secretary, Executive
  • Participant, Clean the Bay
  • Master Recycler graduate, RecycleSmart’s inaugural program, 2016

I am a 19 year resident of Contra Costa County and have held various local and national community relations roles. I have successfully built and maintained good relationships between the organization and interested parties including governing bodies, community organizations, clients, and other stakeholders.

Alexandra Hoffmann-Bradley, Incumbent
My Zero Waste career began a decade ago as a Recycling Coordinator for Waste Management. I later worked in electronics recycling, now I’m focused on climate change and textiles. I’m proud to have written two SFE Zero Waste grants totaling $100,000. I’m currently developing textile recycling programs and outreach for local schools. My passion for recycling ignited when I won a school contest for the beverage recycling program in the 80’s and I want to ignite that same passion in everyone I meet!

I’ve loved serving on the board these past 2 ½ years. I worked on the ZW Advocacy Committee’s plastic bag ban campaign.  Next year I’m interested in getting a grassroots lobbying team together to send to the Capital.

I’m Co-Chair of the Activities Committee playing a large role in organizing mixers, mentorships, tours, and RU. I ensure everyone is fed and happy at our events. I’m pumped up about RU 2018 and Zero Waste Week, as it’s NCRA’s 40th anniversary we have some phenomenal ideas to celebrate Zero Waste. I hope that you will put your faith in me to continue to see those through as I still have much to contribute. Humbly asking for your vote.

David Krueger, Incumbent
I have served on the NCRA Board of Directors since May 2015.  I’ve been the Treasurer for the past year and participate in NCRA’s Zero Waste Advocacy Committee.  Recent accomplishments include working on NCRA’s campaign to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, organizing a tour of the West Contra Costa composting facility, and writing support letters for the Altamont composting facility and for increased processing payments to Buyback centers.  I have over 25 years of professional experience in the recycling industry, having worked for cities, haulers, consulting firms, and a college recycling program.  If re-elected I will work to increase networking and educational opportunities for NCRA members and to update our administrative systems and procedures.  I respectfully ask for your vote.

John Moore, Incumbent
I have served on the Board for the past 10 years and consider it an honor to do so. When I first joined the Board I realized that NCRA needed to develop younger leadership and membership and I am gratified to see that this is happening. With the urgency of climate change and its focus on greenhouse gas emissions, the NCRA Zero Waste mission is more relevant than ever. While the battle to stop counting ADC as diversion was won, methane-producing organic material keeps being landfilled despite the beneficial alternative of compost and the drive to recover surplus and edible food.

NCRA has a special place in the fabric of California advocacy of the 3 Rs. I would like to see NCRA continue to be in the forefront on climate change issues arising from disposal of post-consumer materials, recovery of edible surplus food to be delivered to the food insecure, and to stem the tide of plastic pollution. I request your vote so that I may continue to be part of the leadership towards these goals.

Laura Zamora
I want to be a candidate for the opening board member position.  I am a High School Environmental Science Teacher in Alameda.  I work tirelessly to engage my students in environmental science topics and citizen scientist projects.  On campus, I am working to make the campus more sustainable by building a sustainable garden and I am currently working with the Environmental Awareness Club to start adopting a Zero Waste campaign.

I am also a leader in the educator community- I am a lead teacher with the California International Studies Project.  I teach other educators about Environmental Justice and how they can implement action projects designed around Environmental Justice in their community.

It would be an honor and a privilege to be considered for this board member position.  I believe it is imperative to include the educator community because we have the ability to shape and influence our youth to live more sustainably.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

# # #


Be at the heart of a thought-leading recycling organization! NCRA has been a leader in zero waste thinking for almost 40 years and is still leading and inspiring innovation in our industry. You can help develop the cutting edge of recycling, while getting to know many of your regional recycling colleagues, by serving on the Board of Directors.

Five (5) Board positions will be open in January. It’s a two-year working post. Attendance at nearly all ten meetings a year is important, as is working between meetings on at least one committee. Meetings move around the greater Bay Area. Phone participation is possible at some locations, but not all, and may be especially difficult at tour sites. Directors discuss policy issues, hear debates, and influence regional and national recycling thinking. They track and comment on legislation; listen to leaders in the regional industry; work on behalf of colleagues who need a boost; tackle issues that can’t be ignored; tour facilities; and talk business with operators. Benefits include free entrance to the annual Recycling Update.

Notify NCRA staff by NOVEMBER 17, 2017 that you want to run.  To run, tell us you’re a candidate, and then submit a campaign statement of up to 200 words. Say who you are and why you’d like to serve. Please include your LinkedIn profile link. PLEASE read last years statements.

Help build your industry! Have fun with your colleagues! Get your statement in!


Six new directors were announced at the January 19 members’ meeting!

Congratulations for being reelected Douglas Brooms, Laura McKaughan and Jessica Robinson, and welcome Rebecca Jewell, Hilary Near and Steven Sherman.

They join Jessica Connolly, Alexandra Hoffman, David Krueger and John Moore, whose terms end in January 2018.


Please join us for our annual meeting where we will announce the results of the Board Election and brainstorm our focus for 2017.  Meeting will be held at the StopWaste office at 1537 Webster Street, Oakland 94612. Email us to RSVP, or with any questions you may have.

Tentative Agenda is as follows:

6:00pm Food and Group Sharing
6:30pm Call to Order & Welcome Members
6:40pm Annual State of NCRA Address (McKaughan)
7:00pm Group brainstorming and input on NCRA areas of priority for 2017

8:00pm Election Committee shares results of recent board election (Marra, Van Deventer)

8:15pm Meeting wrap-up and “green” drinks afterwards at a local watering hole

Board Of Directors Candidate Statements, 2017

Eight candidates have submitted ballot statements to serve on the 2017 NCRA Board of Directors. There are six positions to fill. Voting is open from January 9 – January 18. The election results will be announced January 19 at the Annual Members Meeting. Custom voting links will be emailed to members on or after January 5. If you do not receive our email but believe you should (i.e. your membership is current as of January 11, 2017), please email the office and we will email the link again.

CANDIDATES 2017: Arthur Boone, Douglas Brooms, Rebecca Jewell, Laura McKaughan, Hilary Near, Jessica Robinson, Steven Sherman and Mary Lou Van Deventer.

I became a professional recycler in 1983 and have served on the NCRA Board for most of those 34 years (no term limits here). I have served in all Board positions but am best known as founder and for 17 years director of NCRA’s well-known Recycling Update. I have taught NCRA’s Introduction to Recycling class twice a year for newcomers, and am now co-chair our Zero Waste Advocacy Committee. Your vote will assure my continued Board membership. Seventy-nine in March but going strong; a little crusty at times but usually for a good cause. Thank you.

I’ve served on the Board for three years, and would be honored to serve another term. I look forward to Board meeting deliberations, and helping with and participating in NCRA events. I’ve represented NCRA at each annual “Oakland Green Expo” and other similar events.

I’m a co-chair of the ZW Advocacy Committee. I’ll continue with the evaluation and selection of new CA legislature Bills, and drafting of support letters. I’ll promote greater Bills support collaboration among environmental organizations in areas of common interests. I’ll continue with timely updates to the ZWAC Webpage, and work towards increasing its appeal and usefulness.

I’ll continue promoting awareness about the annual America Recycles Day, and other means to encourage greater recycling participation. I’m still the volunteer recycling coordinator at my apartment building. I enjoy work doing sorting at public fairs and events.

I have sustaining commitments to climate protection and other environmental stewardship causes. However, Zero Waste and recycling advocacy are my stronger passions, making NCRA my favorite place. I would appreciate your vote.

I respectfully submit my name for your consideration for the NCRA board. My pragmatism and experience will help further NCRA’s work as I will focus on professional development and information sharing for NCRA members.

My work for the organization over the past decade has included a job-seekers series, jobs board and Recycling Update CoChair. I will continue to work on these projects and help the Board to continue its work on formalizing procedures and policies.

NCRA has made some significant strides in these past years. I look forward to helping it’s continued development.

I have been honored to serve on the NCRA board for the past 6 years and as President since 2012. This along with 12 years working in Zero Waste has provided me with the background to bring leadership and experience to the NCRA board. In my professional career outside of NCRA, I founded Envirolutions Consulting in 2014 to promote recycling, composting, Zero Waste and resource recovery for private industry, government and non-profits, and prior to this, I worked for nearly 8 years for the San Francisco Conservation Corps, first as Recycling Manager and then Associate Director of Green Programs.

NCRA has grown in membership and achieved much in the past few years and I believe we are now gaining momentum rather than reaching plateaus. My goal in continuing to serve would be to help build upon these successes and shepherd in new leadership. If re-elected, I would seek to accomplish this through continued initiatives and events that engage our membership, re-building our curriculum offerings and continuing to advocate for resource recovery, recycling, getting organics out of landfills and promoting resource recovery over burning or burying.

I humbly ask your vote to continue to serve on the NCRA Board of Directors.

I am submitting my candidacy to join the NCRA board in 2017. I have worked in the Zero Waste field for a decade, primarily in program management and outreach related to municipal residential and commercial Zero Waste programs. I consider it my turn to serve. I am grateful to many past and present NCRA board members for their training and comradery over the years. I particularly recognize the legacy of NCRA’s training and conference coordination; NCRA’s Intro to Recycling course was a highlight in my early career, and the Recycling Update, of course, continues to serve my professional development and our larger community.

I currently serve the City of Oakland as a recycling specialist. I am passionate about expanding participation in our current curbside collection programs, particularly organics and bulky item collection. As a board member, I am interested in supporting the new mentorship program. I also enjoy event coordination that could benefit the tours committee and RU event. I would join the NCRA board as an experienced, passionate, creative and open servant to our NCRA membership and our aspirational goals.

I am a passionate environmental advocate, who would like the opportunity to continue as a board member. I have served as Treasurer for 4 years and would like to carry on as I have discovered more ways I can better serve.

NCRA has been a huge support of my endeavors and educational outreach. NCRA was the first vehicle for me to introduce, “Miss Alameda Says Compost!” to the recycling/sustainability community back in 2010. My M.A.S.C. program recruited over 150 restaurants in Alameda to compost and recycle, helping the city address it’s Zero Waste and Climate Protection Plan. NCRA funded my short film, “Recycle Woman,” which educates and inspires people to take action in helping the planet by maximizing on recycling and composting. NCRA co-produced my Resilience Climate Change Expedition documentaries, which I hope NCRA will get more exposure as the series expands.

I’m also a Climate Leader under Al Gore, educating the public about global warming and how recycling and composting are part of the solution.

I hope I will be given the opportunity to share my energy, creativity and innovative ideas with the board for many more years to come.

    NCRA inspires me by advocating for waste reduction, source separation and leading-edge materials management policies. I am grateful that NCRA annually hosts the best one-day conference on recycling, which features our members’ activities. I joined NCRA in 1990. It remains the heart and soul of the recycling movement. I share NCRA’s passion for its mission. My own path on the journey toward Zero Waste includes:

    • Past or current board service: California Organics Recycling Council; San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners; Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union; Upstream; Berkeley Zero Waste Commission; Alameda County Recycling Board
    • Recycling and compost consulting for 20+ years, including 14 years as managing partner and president of Applied Compost Consulting, Inc.;
      Compost program development courses taught via CRRA, UC Extension and ABAG;
    • Bridger of wastewater and recycling industries (work with EBMUD anaerobic digestion).I will advocate for environmentally sustainable approaches to organics management; product quality, end uses, and behavior change all matter tremendously. I will help NCRA to participate effectively in coalitions to address the scourge of plastics, which ends up in our oceans, our soil, and in our bodies. I will work to ensure that NCRA’s financial footing remains steady.

I respectfully ask for your vote.

I want to rejoin NCRA’s Board of Directors because I’m afraid for recycling’s future and want to participate actively in defending it. NCRA thinks big, thinks forward, and sticks to its guns. That stick-to-it-iveness will be required in the next few years.

NCRA’s job is to grow and protect the recycling industries. Recently in an email thread, an advocate for systemic replacement called today’s recyclers “the previous industry.” Some powerful forces share that view. They walk next to waste-to-energy advocates. Even President Obama’s energy plan calls WTE “sustainable.” What will the new administration say?

Some vulnerabilities are visible. In the last 18 months 850 recyclers have gone out of business in California, and pressures will soon increase.

But recovery industries have achieved so much, and the promise of Zero Waste is huge!

In this new period of uncertainty, our large creation will endure only if we defend it. I have served in every office on NCRA’s board, including three terms as president. If I can rejoin the Board I will contribute practical experiences gained in fighting off threats while maintaining a holistic, developmental vision.

If you share the fear, the hope, or both, please vote for me. Thank you.