Recycling Update 2022 Speaker Bios

Below please find the 2022 speaker bios in alphabetical order by last name.

Jules Bailey is Executive Vice President for the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative (OBRC) and the incoming President and CEO beginning in 2023. As EVP, Jules is responsible for charting the future of Bottle Bill implementation and ensuring the deposit and redemption system remains convenient, relevant, and effective for Oregonians. He is also responsible for new initiatives, including the BottleDrop Refill program for refillable bottles, and projects and operations outside of Oregon, including in California, Washington, and Canada.

Dr. Joanne Brasch holds a PhD in Textile Economics and Environmental Analysis from the University of California, Davis and has held lecturer and research appointments at UC Davis, CSU Sacramento, and Donghua University in Shanghai, China. She currently works as Special Project Manager at the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) to lead projects that promote a circular economy using Product Stewardship and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), including the state’s first publicly funded recovery pilots for textiles, solar panels and marine flares.

Caroline Cotto, Renewal Mill and ,

Jeff Donlevy, Business Development Manager, Recycling Industries, Inc and member of the Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling.

Kevin Drew is the Senior Zero Waste Specialist for the City of San Francisco (City) with 35 years’ experience in the field, including helping to form the Department of the Environment and overseeing the city’s Fantastic 3 source separated collection program capturing organics, recyclables and trash citywide.

Kevin is currently directing SF BottleBank, a mobile redemption drop-off pilot, using smartphone, electronic funds transfer and AI beverage container processing technologies to increase consumer convenience. BottleBank is underpinned by the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative’s successful “Green Bag Bottle Drop” system, introducing “CRV bag drop” to the City and the state of California.

Kevin is helping to institutionalize carbon sequestration infrastructure through the use of City generated organics. Using “Fan 3” compost to treat soils in the surrounding “food-shed” for over 20 years, the City and Recology have helped to grow healthy, delicious agricultural products in a regenerative manner while absorbing atmospheric CO2, building soil carbon, increasing water holding capacity, and reducing use of petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides, thereby creating safe, community-friendly jobs and businesses.

Kevin, with Aimee Drew, a UCD Chemistry grad, have formed Carbon Positive Futures, a consulting and organizing enterprise using natural climate solutions and regeneration as their guiding principles in addressing the challenges facing humanity and the planet.

Lawrence Grown studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati, with a focus on organic architecture. He founded the custom fabrication company Metro Lighting in 1993, along with his wife Christa, Later he founded West Berkeley Design Loop in 2012, Commotion West Berkeley in 2019, and Berkeley-Built Magazine in 2020, all organizations that focus on design, sustainability and community.

Nick Harvey graduated from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara with a degree in chemistry and biochemistry, then headed to the Bay Area to work in sustainable lighting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a staff scientist. Concurrently, Nick worked at LLNL and pursued a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Davis before dropping out to work in Tech, Shortly thereafter, Nick struck out on his own to pursue entrepreneurial ventures: was founded serendipitously when Nick saw trees being thrown away while riding his bike. Nick leverages his background in chemistry and materials science in this current venture.

BayAreaRedwood was founded on the premise that we should not waste trees removed from urban environments; the status quo sees urban trees mulched and then typically burned producing copious amounts of CO2. In contrast, our processing method creates carbon sinks. Here at BayAreaRedwood, we specialize in upcycling urban redwood trees into usable timber commodities including live-edge slabs, siding, beams, and other custom milled products. In addition, we fabricate and assemble this wood into solid-wood furniture products.

Sally Houghton is the Executive Director of the Plastic Recycling Corporation of California, PRCC. She is no stranger to the plastic recycling industry and has worked for the California non-profit since 2007. In this role Sally coordinates a team that manages all aspects of the plastics recycling industry including a strong supply chain, knowledge of the PET industry, logistics, quality control and legislative understanding. It is this broad experience of the industry that provides her a firm grasp of all elements in the recycling chain. A big believer in the importance of a strong recycling industry, Sally supports the role of PRCC and its goal to sustain healthy markets for recycled PET.

Before joining PRCC she taught High School English and Drama in her native England for 10 years. She loves to cook, read and anything related to soccer.

Tommy Jackson is the Senior Area Supply Chain Manager with 12 years of experience at Waste Management. Based in Reno, NV, he is responsible for all procurement activities including equipment, supplies and services. He became a part of the Waste Management Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Group because he wants to be a part of the gage and the vision that WM has of being a diverse and equitable company; one that treats everyone with fairness; one that embraces inclusion at all levels of the company. His favorite TV show is the news and his favorite movies are all westerns.

Nicole Kurian, is passionate about advocacy, public policy, political analysis and policy research. As a Policy Analyst for the environmental advocacy nonprofit, Californians Against Waste, she advocates on behalf of and track priority bills for the organization. Nicole is a graduate of UC Davis, with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning.

Jessica Irving Marschall, CPA, is President and CEO of The Green Mission Inc. an appraisal firm helping to promote deconstruction and donation. Promoting the proper use of existing federal and state tax policy to encourage the donation of building materials, appliances, fixtures, furnishings and other material and property, incident to deconstruction, through tax deductions. Jessica is a CPA of over twenty years and an IRS Qualified Appraiser, ensuring proper valuation theory and strict adherence to the Internal Revenue Code are followed.

Gena McKinley is the Strategic Initiatives Division Manager for Austin Resource Recovery, the City department charged with the implementation of the City of Austin’s Zero Waste Plan. She has spent over 15 years working in the solid waste industry. Prior to joining the City of Austin, Gena worked in sustainable development at a regional council of government, with a focus on technical assistance for municipal waste management. Her leadership, commitment and advocacy for Zero Waste earned national recognition as she was chosen to be included in Waste360s 2016 List of 40 Under 40.

The Strategic Initiatives Division focuses on recycling economic development, Zero Waste policy and program development, business outreach and public education and marketing. By fostering innovative community-wide partnerships to advance Zero Waste, this work supports the necessary infrastructure for a resilient circular economy in Central Texas.

Gena holds a Masters of Public Health from the University of Texas School of Health and a Bachelor of Arts from Southwestern University in Biology and Sociology . During her academic career, she focused on behavioral science and enjoys applying behavior change theory to the various aspects of her efforts in local government. Gena is Congress for the New Urbanism accredited, a member of the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling Central Texas Steering Committee and several other professional organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Land Conservancy.

Gena lives in Austin with her son and they can often be found on a hiking trail or listening to live music. She also spends time serving as a Guardian ad litem for children in the foster care system through CASA of Travis County and helping Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM) raise system through CASA of Travis County and helping fundraise for Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).

Caren McNamara founded Conscious Container as a Benefit Corporation to bring a refillable/reusable glass bottles back into the US infrastructure and economy to reduce single-use packaging waste and climate impacts. This economically viable business delivers beverage and food producers powerful reductions to their CO2 footprint and cost of packaging while mitigating legislative and supply chain impacts. These systems exist around the world and we need to enable this infrastructure here in the United States… NOW!!

Calla Rose Ostrander is Natural and Working Lands Climate Change Coordinator at California Natural Resources Agency and Strategic Advisor,  Phoenix Rising Resources, LLC. A political economist, legislative strategist, organizer, and science communicator Calla Rose  serves as a Climate Change Innovations Advisor to individuals and organizations dedicated to stabilizing Earth’s climate. Current projects include the California Carbon Project in conjunction with the People Food & Land Foundation, lead support from the Jena King & Michael King Foundation and other funders John Wick, Cambria, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Mental Insight Foundation and Rarh Family Foundation.

Veronica Pardo serves as the Regulatory Affairs Director for the Resource Recovery Coalition of California. Thanks to the growing complexity of the waste and recycling industry since the passage of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, Veronica has the pleasure of working on a diversity of issues ranging from waste diversion policies, air and water emissions, organics management, and renewable energy production

Jessica Jane Robinson is CEO and Founder of Resilience Birthright, Inc., a partnering NGO of the United Nations. She has been on the NCRA Board since 2013, serving as the Treasurer for 3 years and as Co-Vice President for at least 4 years.

Jessica is also the creator the Earth Warrior Carbon Calculator, a community-based Zero Waste 101 tool that helps address climate change and guides people toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The calculator is a Zero Waste 101 tool that helps schools, organizations, businesses, and community leaders address climate change via nine (and counting) out of the seventeen goals. Users can track their daily actions based on sustainable lifestyle choices: walking, carpooling, composting after a meal, recycling everyday single-use items, reusing, refusing, as a few examples. The features also allow local to global community calls to action tracked in real-time.

Kelly Schoonmaker is a program manager at StopWaste/Alameda County Waste Management Authority where she works on compost and mulch, carbon farming, SB 1383 procurement requirements, and manages the agency’s rangeland property in the Altamont Hills.

The Waste Management Authority owns 1,600 acres of rangeland in the Altamont Hills in unincorporated Alameda County.  Kelly Schoonmaker will provide some background on the Property followed by an update on the carbon farming activities there and initial findings from the research being conducted on the property.  She will also address the role the carbon farming work might play in assisting local jurisdictions to meet their SB 1383 organics procurement requirements and climate action plan goals.

Tom Steele is passionate about finding the best next uses for the more unusual items which otherwise are likely to be discarded as waste by others.  As Executive Director of Bio-Link Depot (Oakland) he supports educators at all levels with free scientific equipment and lab supplies to broaden access to hands-on STEM education for all.  As Operations Director of Friends of SCRAP (Bayview, SF), he collaborates closely with staff and volunteers to develop a wider practice of Creative Reuse, as well as providing more sustainable hands-on Art engagements for underserved youth.

Justin Wilcock is the Director of General Operations at Marin Sanitary Service working with their collection operation.  Prior to Marin Sanitary he was the Community Relations Manager for Sonoma County Resource Recovery and before that spent 8 years in various roles at Waste Management of Alameda County.

Matt Zimbalist has been in the waste reduction and ecologically building world for the past decade. Through his work as a builder, designer, and engineer, he has built state of the art aquaponics systems, campus wide greywater installations, nutritive cycling systems, and implemented farm efficiency programs. He currently heads operations, marketing, product, and strategy for the waste reduction organization Re-Up Refills in Oakland.

Zro is a child of the Pacific. They are a land steward, builder and problem-solver living in the Greater San Diego area on ancestral Kumeyaay and Payómkawichum lands where they work on various projects to heal the soil, waterways and people. Zro serves as a Regional Coordinator for California Alliance for Community Composting (CACC)’s “Community Composting for Green Spaces” program funded by CalRecycle and California Climate Investments.

# # #