2022 Conference Speakers
Policy & Market Development Manager
Adrian works for King County in the Solid Waste Division on recycling and waste prevention issues. He holds a PhD in sustainable design methodologies from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, he has worked for several different companies such as LEGO, Novo Nordisk and Nokia designing and developing products. He has also helped companies such as Adidas, Michelin and Steelcase integrate sustainability and circular business models in their organization. Since 2020, Adrian has worked on reuse and recycling policies. He is currently the co-chair of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC).
President and CEO
Northstar Clean Technologies
Aidan has 30 years of global experience, including 19 years with BP plc, 5 years with Husky Energy and 2 years as Managing Director with Goldman Sachs. Former VP Downstream for MEG and Chief Commercial Officer at the Friesen Group of Companies. Holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree from Edinburgh University, MBA degree with Distinction from the Edinburgh Business School and is a Chartered Engineer (UK).
King County Solid Waste Division
Alex works for King County Solid Waste Division on market development for wood, mattresses, and textiles, manages the What Do I Do With…? website, and he works with the Northwest Product Stewardship Council to improve recycling systems with producer responsibility.
Recycling and Environmental Services Manager (Interim)
King County Solid Waste Division
Andy leads the King County Solid Waste Division’s team working on recycling programs and environmental stewardship and compliance activities. Notable programs include resource recovery, market development, transfer station recycling, waste prevention, green building, hazardous waste, product stewardship, outreach and education, permit compliance and reporting, junk vehicle, and special waste programs. Recognizing the central role people, opportunity and markets play in a responsible recycling system, SWD aims to help facilitate an interactive community of businesses, public agencies and other organizations, to co-deliver the growth, low carbon and equity opportunities of the circular economy. Before joining King County, Andy was a Senior Policy Advisor for the UK Government working on various roles including UK & EU climate targets, clean growth, international sustainable trade and UK natural resources policy.
Senior Community Program Manager
The Recycling Partnership
Asami brings more than a decade of experience managing, analyzing, and solving environmental and sustainability problems. She has a broad background in air quality, water, energy, waste, remediation, and green buildings and infrastructure. In all her work, Asami combines her technical expertise as a chemical engineer with her deep experience in community engagement. Asami is especially passionate about connecting individuals and organizations so they can share and collaborate. As a Senior Community Program Manager at The Recycling Partnership, she oversees grants to communities and provides technical assistance, with a keen eye toward bringing partners together to enhance local efforts.
Planning and Policy Advisor
Hazardous Waste Management Program
Ashley Evans is a policy advisor for the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County. Ashley works to protect human health and the environment by limiting the use of and exposure to hazardous chemicals in homes and businesses. She has worked in environmental law and policy for 15 years in both the public and private sectors. Ashley obtained a law degree from University of Washington and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Tennessee.
Toward Zero Waste
Originally, a Mid-west native, Brandi found her way out west being drawn by the natural beauty and majestic mountain landscape to pursue a degree in Environmental Conservation and Native Plant Ecology from Fairhaven College at Western Washington University. Brandi loves connecting with her community to help inspire a brighter future. She joined Sustainable Connections in Bellingham as the Toward Zero Waste Program Coordinator in 2019, where she helps promotes sustainable business practices, organics recycling, and a recent focus on decreasing regional single use plastics. Brandi draws on a broad knowledge base but credits much of what she has learned about waste management to her membership on the Solid Waste Advisory Committee of Whatcom County and her collaboration with other local nonprofits and waste-related businesses partners.
Deputy Director of Government Relations
Association of Washington Cities
Prior to joining AWC in 2011, Carl worked as policy staff for the House Democratic Caucus in Olympia where he focused on environmental, housing, and land use issues. He attended the University of Washington, where he was a Mary Gates undergraduate fellow with the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement. He graduated in 2003 with a degree in Political Science with a concentration on political economics. A native of the Port Angeles area, Carl worked as a legislative assistant for Representative Kevin Van De Wege before joining the caucus staff in 2008. Carl’s portfolio at AWC includes land use and environmental issues, affordable housing and homelessness as well as a number of general local government issues.
Cat is a biosolids project manager in the King County Wastewater Treatment Division. As part of the biosolids team, she helps King County residents recycle carbon and nutrients back into the soil through the use of their transformed poop (otherwise known as biosolids). She also serves on the Board of Northwest Biosolids, supporting the regional biosolids community through education, shared expertise, and research. Cat earned her MS in the human dimensions of natural resource management at the University of Washington. She is pleased she can put that degree to use harnessing an often-overlooked natural resource.
A leader in Vancouver’s collaborative economy, Chris Diplock is the Founder of The Thingery, the parent organization of neighbourhood Thingery branches. The Thingery focuses on the development of community equipment lending libraries of things (a Thingery). Chris has extensive experience in Vancouver Sharing Economy, having co-founded The Vancouver Tool Library and lead a city-wide research project called The Sharing Project.
Cascadia Consulting Group
Christy is an associate at Cascadia Consulting Group and a core member of both Reuse Seattle and King County’s NextCycle program. She currently works on multiple projects focused on reuse systems and circular economies, waste prevention and recycling, and regional green business program management. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University (BA/BS) and the University of Denver (MS). She is also a proud member of Cascadia’s Racial Equity Task Force and BIPOC Affinity Group. When she isn’t at work, she can be found hiking around the Pacific Northwest, FaceTiming with her family’s dog, and doing her best to inspire laughter.
Dave Bennink of the Building Deconstruction Institute has trained groups in 44 States/4 Provinces, helping start new sustainable businesses and diverting over 100,000,000 pounds from landfills. He focuses on growing the circular economy, zero waste/energy movements, embodied carbon, and sustainable building. Re-Use has completed over 1500 deconstruction projects and has worked on 5000+ projects. To keep in practice, Bennink also runs a reuse store and deconstruction contracting firm, markets reclaimed wood, and salvages and sells mature landscaping from jobsites. Voted National Deconstructor of the Year, he also recently won a Sustainable Leadership Award and National Reuse Educator of the Year.
Skagit Building Salvage
David has loved searching for old junk to reuse since he was a kid rummaging around the local dump in Duvall for treasure with his father. This continued as he moved around NW Washington haunting the local reuse stores for fun and material for various projects. Now as co-owner of Skagit Building Salvage, he gets to help save reusable treasures from going to the dump and into other junk hounds hands for their various projects.
Elizabeth Chin Start
Start Consulting Group
Elizabeth Chin Start (she/her) is the founder and principal consultant of Start Consulting Group LLC. Her career has focused on materials management for the last 20 years. This work has spanned local government, the private hauling industry, and as National Executive Director of a wonderful nonprofit, SCRAP Creative Reuse. Elizabeth founded Start Consulting Group to ensure that materials management systems center racial equity and sustainability. Through her work, she continues to spotlight the intersections of sustainability, racial equity and social justice.
Founder & President
Erik Makinson is the Founder and President of Resource Synergy, a Spokane-based sustainability consultancy. Since 2015, Resource Synergy has helped over 150 entities reduce cost and improve their environmental impact through waste reduction, recycling education and energy efficiency. Prior to founding Resource Synergy, Erik built a waste consulting business for Engie Impact, which delivered waste and recycling management services to nearly 75,000 sites across North America and he also led sustainability collaboration between Coca-Cola and Walmart around the world. Erik holds a BA in Business Administration/ Marketing from Seattle University, a Certificate of Sustainable Business from Presidio University, Resource Recovery Manager Certification from the California Resource Recovery Association and Certified Energy Manager designation from the American Association of Energy Engineers.
Erin Gagnon is the Washington General Manager for Ridwell, a doorstep service that helps members waste less. Prior to working for Ridwell, Erin worked as a Government Affairs & Community Relations Manager for Recology King County. She has spent over 5 years in sustainability after graduating from Saint Martin’s University with a bachelor’s in business. She is passionate about homemade treats, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Fabio Scaldaferri is the co-founder and CEO of Mattress Recycling[TM], which has processed more than one million mattresses and 50 million pounds of recyclable material since 2008. Fabio and his original co-founders were instrumental in the creation of the regional legislation surrounding the system for managing end-of-life mattresses in British Columbia. Ten years later, the company established a new multi-million-dollar facility in Hope, BC, and maintains its position as the largest recycling operation of its kind in Western Canada. At their 21,000-square-foot facility in Hope, Mattress RecyclingTM has pioneered a world-first automated system for the processing of recycled mattresses, furniture, and textiles. Fabio designed the customized system and built the facility specifically for the purpose of mattress recycling, with respect to safety and efficient operations, and maximizing the percentage of each unit that is repurposed. This means they are able to accept all mattresses, even wet, soiled, or contaminated loads. Since 2018, they also expanded to support and collect materials for major recycling/EPR programs such as Recycle BC, Call2Recycle, Product Care, MARR, and Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. They service cities and clients across Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island, Northern BC, the Interior, and Alberta, and put relationships with customers first. Mattress RecyclingTM is also a proudly certified living wage employer and a pioneer in the automated recovery of used mattresses.
Public Participation Grants Manager
Faith brings a twenty-year record of success building capacity in the nonprofit sector through strategic planning, grants management, community-centered decision-making, and more. A systems thinker who managed the details to get results, she claims a heart for justice and a head for strategy. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. Faith manages the Public Participation Grant Program at the Washington State Department of Ecology funding initiatives across Washington that increase community engagement in solid and toxic waste reduction and cleanup.
Director of Business Development
Northstar Clean Technologies
Gord Johnson – Northstar Clean Technologies Director Business Development Gord is the former President and is on the company’s Board of Directors, he is also on the Governance Committee. – Provides support for the commercial production of the Delta facility, Leadership for the business development team for new locations in Canada and the US, Find develop and recommend management personnel for potential sites, work with all agencies regarding government funding opportunities.
Empower Environmental CEO/President Co-founder Gord is one of the two founders of the company and is the former CEO and Current President of Empower Environmental Solutions a material recovery company that he helped to found and led since 2012. Empower has developed a proprietary process for the recovery of 100% of the material from asphalt shingles. Empower has completed the development, performed testing, built and operated a prototype system for a year. Empower has the majority of its 1st commercial plant constructed. Empower amalgamated with Northstar clean technology in late 2020
Lodgeview Entertainment Inc. CEO Lodgeview was a hotel Pay per view company initially based out of Western Canada. Gord guided the company through rapid expansion. The company had systems in 13 hotels when he joined the company, and he managed the growth of the company putting systems and contracts within three years. Gord helped to rebrand the company & negotiated agreements with all the major motion picture studios: Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. The client base was expanded throughout North America, the Middle East, and Asia. Gord oversaw the profitable purchase of the company by a larger competitor.
CEO Save Energy Walls (SEW) SEW was a prefab system for framing houses with a proprietary technology for insulating and locking the walls together. Gord took over when the company was not operating. He restarted the company and led a team that financed funded and built out the company’s technology. Sew built over 260 homes and townhouses and won multiple Georgie awards for its energy-efficient properties. The company’s technology was licensed to one of the largest homebuilders in the US and paid a royalty for over 15 years.
General Manager Partner Intrepid Security Ltd. Gord was the co-founder of Intrepid Security and it grew to become one of the largest security concert firms in Canada with offices in the US and Canada client a list that included. Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams, Tragically Hip, and many more. The company went from 8 to 300 employees and had four divisions: Private Investigations, large-scale events i.e. concerts, close protection for celebrities, and process serving of court documents. Gord oversaw the profitable sale of the company.
Waste Reduction and Recycling Coordinator
Washington State Department of Ecology
Working as Washington State’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Coordinator since 2018, Heather Church has worked on statewide projects from the Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban and Single-Use Serviceware Law to the Waste Not Washington School Awards. She provides technical assistance to partners, stakeholders, and local jurisdictions to address waste concerns through reduction, reuse, and recycling efforts. In her presentation, she will address the unique opportunity to reduce waste by working with schools in the Waste Not Washington School Awards program. For more information about this program, visit ecology.wa.gov/schoolawards
Zero Waste Washington
Heather Trim, Executive Director. Heather has more than 25 years of experience in environmental work ranging from zero waste to toxic chemicals and habitat issues. At Zero Waste Washington, her focus has been on reducing upstream sources of waste and addressing downstream impacts, getting toxic chemicals out of products, eliminating plastic pollution, and building on the organization’s signature producer responsibility policy initiatives. Previously, at Futurewise, she worked to prevent runoff from entering our waterways and improve shoreline management practices and policies. Heather was at People for Puget Sound for over ten years where she focused on protections for the marine environment. Earlier, she was staff scientist for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council and worked for the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board on water quality standards, regulatory permits, pollution assessments, greening the LA rivers and habitat renewal.
Food Waste Reduction Lead
Washington State Department of Ecology
Jade Monroe is the Food Waste Reduction Lead in the Solid Waste Management Program at the Washington State Department of Ecology. Jade’s work and facilitation support achieving measurable food waste reduction statewide through the Use Food Well Washington Plan, and regionally through the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment. Jade has a Bachelor’s of Science and Masters of Science in Natural Resource Management from North Dakota State University, where her research on biochar and resilient systems won local and international awards. When not focusing on food waste reduction, Jade enjoys composing music, flying kites, and starting a small farm with her partner in the Olympia, Washington area.
Environmental Supervisor / Engineer
Nucor Steel Seattle
Jeffrey have been a Nucor Steel Seattle teammate since 2014 in the role of Environmental Supervisor. Nucor Steel Seattle is the Washington State’s largest recycler and Nucor Corporation is the largest recycler in the US. I am proud to represent Nucor Steel and share our story.
Jocelyn Quarrell is the CEO of GO Box, a full-service reusable packaging platform built to support businesses and consumers who want to eliminate single-use products. Before GO Box, Jocelyn was focused on sustainable transportation systems. She worked at Zipcar and later at Alta Bicycle Share, where she helped launch and expand bike-share schemes in cities across the U.S., including CitiBike in New York City. Jocelyn is a committed cyclist and outspoken advocate of cycling for transportation and recreation. She also enjoys gardening in and around her North Portland home shared with her husband Danny, Bruno the dog, and Birdie the cat.
Recycling Education Project Manager
Joel is a Recycling Education Project Manager for Waste Management, as well as the President of the WSRA. He manages recycling education campaigns in the Pacific Northwest and Eastern WA focused on increasing recycling and waste reduction efforts through innovative programs and projects. He is passionate about conducting research and creating data driven campaigns, producing out of the box strategies to engage residents and optimizing program performance. Joel has worked in the recycling industry for over ten years. Joel is a graduate of the University of Washington with an Environmental Studies major. He combines his passion for education and sustainability by creating educational programing that will ultimately help to reduce our environmental impact. Joel enjoys the outdoors, biking, snowboarding and camping.
City of Tacoma
Josh works in recycling and waste reduction education for the City of Tacoma. At the City of Tacoma, he has worked on contamination reduction and helped with a transition to glass recycling drop-off locations. He also launched a waste sorting video game and works with the Recycling Ambassador Program. He has a master’s degree from Evergreen State College in Environmental Studies where he researched public participation in environmental land use decisions. When he isn’t working, he enjoys playing at the park with his kids, losing at fantasy football, and cooking.
Legislative and Policy Coordinator
WA State Department of Ecology
Julie Robertson is the Legislative and Policy Coordinator for the Solid Waste Management program at the Washington State Department of Ecology. Before joining Ecology, Julie enjoyed her public service work for both Governors Locke and Gregoire. She graduated from Western Washington University and The Evergreen State College. Julie lives in Olympia with her family and thoughtful dog, Maple.
Laura Tatiana Areiza Serna
City of Tacoma
Laura Tatiana Areiza Serna is from Colombia where she studied Hispanic Philology and Ethnolinguisitcs. She is a Spanish teacher as Second Language and reseracher in the native language of Amazon Colombian. She worked in different bachelor’s programs and now studies to improve her english skills and community development. She is a Latin woman who fought to imrpove the education of her community. About her – she loves to read and listens to classical music and instrumental Andean. She also frequently enjoys hiking and swimming, and in a variety of conditions: without rain, with the wind behind her, and with the weather against her!
Waste Reduction Program Manager
Zero Waste Washington
A relative newcomer to the PNW, Kami originally hails from Nashville, with extended layovers in New Orleans and Los Angeles. She’s interested in systems thinking, organizational capacity-building, and serving as conduit between great people and great ideas. Kami cut her teeth in community organizing while still in Nashville, working with environmental and social justice efforts. She earned a BA in Religious Studies from The University of the South (Sewanee), an MS from Tulane University focusing on sustainable community development and disaster resilience and completed an Urban Permaculture Design Certificate in Detroit in 2012. Kami’s favorite pastime: repurposing scavenged treasures
Recycling Development Center coordinator
WA Dept of Ecology
Kara joined the Washington State Department of Ecology in 2006 and has worked in both the solid waste and hazardous waste programs. Currently, she is in the solid waste management program and is the coordinator for Washington’s Recycling Development Center. Prior to joining Ecology, Kara worked as a consultant on Superfund projects for the EPA and US Navy. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Washington State University.
Kari Ann Elling
Pierce County Planning and Public Works
Kari Ann Elling is an Environmental Educator for Pierce County, Sustainable Resources Division. Her work as an Environmental Educator takes her into schools (or online) to teach alongside teachers and support their students. Additionally, she and the Pierce County environmental education team provide outreach and education to the greater Pierce County community on such topics as waste reduction, residential organics management, local climate change resiliency, and edible gardens. When not teaching, Kari Ann can be found traveling throughout WA with her family, discovering the many hidden gems found within the state and national parks. Her favorite activities include camping, kayaking/canoeing (and recently stand-up paddle boarding), hiking, skiing, reading, and vegging-out with the latest Netflix rom-com. Kari Ann is a WA certified K-8 teacher with a M.S.ED degree from Northern Illinois University. Her career spans classroom teaching, residential outdoor environmental education, education and outreach at Pacific Science Center, and work within the public schools while employed at Puget Sound ESD.
Waste Diversion Planner
Seattle Public Utilities
Since 2018, Katie Kennedy has served as Seattle Public Utilities’ Waste Diversion Lead focused on construction and demolition waste. Katie manages the City’s requirements around C&D waste including material disposal bans, mixed waste processing facility sampling, waste diversion reports for building permits, and salvage assessments. Prior to working for the city, she worked as a consultant for 16 years focused on developing solid waste management plans, managing large-scale waste characterization studies, and conducting recycling market research. Katie also works to raise awareness about solid waste and climate impacts and increasing deconstruction and salvage.
WA Program Coordinator
Kim Harless is a WA Program Coordinator for PaintCare, implementing the WA paint product stewardship program all around the west side of the Cascades. Kim formerly coordinated a county-led paint take-back program as part of her duties while working for nearly a decade as an Operations Specialist for Clark County, WA. While in that role, Kim has presented at several past WSRA events about paint stewardship and recycling cart-tagging outreach. Kim is also a former elected official in Clark County, and now is a councilmember for the City of Vancouver. Being on the front lines of paint stewardship from the local level to now state and national level has been and continues to be a rewarding experience for Kim.
Waste Reduction Education Coordinator
City of Spokane Solid Waste
Kris Major is the Waste Reduction Education Coordinator for the City of Spokane’s Solid Waste Department. She has worked over 25 years as an informal educator for both public and non-profit organizations in the northwest. She currently works with all ages and audiences teaching about waste reduction, recycling, re-use, and composting. She also coordinates the Spokane County Master Composter/Recycler program and its volunteers who conduct community outreach on waste-related topics throughout the county.
Waste Zero Manager
Logan manages the education and outreach programs in Recology service areas throughout the Puget Sound region. In his role, he works closely with customers, cities, and other partners to design effective outreach and waste reduction programs.
Logan previously worked as a Waste Zero Specialist at Recology Sonoma Marin, an affiliated company. Logan is a strong believer in civic duty and community outreach and served as the Mayor of the City of Sonoma from 2018 to 2021, where his focus was passing policies to reduce waste and help the environment like banning glyphosate and Styrofoam, guiding Sonoma through the pandemic and wildfires, and working to improve housing affordability.
Mattress Recycling Council
Mike has 29 years’ experience managing recycling programs for a variety of product categories including mattresses, household hazardous waste, mercury containing lights, paint and electronics. As the Managing Director for the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), he is responsible for legislatively mandated statewide mattress collection programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Since launching in 2015, MRC’s programs have recycled over 10 million mattresses. The program has demonstrated success through convenient consumer access, a comprehensive education and outreach strategy, high landfill diversion rates and a commitment to research to maintain the long-term sustainability of the program. MRC now focused on advancing product circularity and is facilitating information sharing between mattress manufacturers, component suppliers and recyclers. As an advocate for industry managed recycling programs, Mike engages stakeholders and coordinates the efforts of staff and contractors to create effective networks of collectors, transporters and recyclers.
Mike has been in the mattress recycling business since 2014, his organization is a non-profit in the state of Washington and hires about half his staff as former incarcerated inmates who we give a 2nd chance. They also recycle lots of metal including all appliances. I like to travel and have been to about 60 nations. I have had a two hour weekly live radio show for over 12 years that has been on many stations in the US and Canada including Sirius/XM. I have four grown sons that are all taller than me and I have my first grandchild due this Fall.
Nancy R. Lee
Social Marketing Services, Inc. & C+C
Nancy Lee has more than 25 years of professional experience in Social Marketing. She has consulted on more than 100 Social Marketing campaigns, primarily in Washington State, ones related to efforts to improve public health, reduce injuries, protect the environment and engage communities in Behavior Change for Social Good. She has provided Social Marketing workshops and trainings around the world and has written 13 books on Social Marketing, 10 with Philip Kotler. She formed Social Marketing Services, Inc., in 1993, is a strategic advisor at C+C, and is also, currently, an Associate Professor at the University of Washington where she teaches courses in Social Marketing.
Washington Program Coordinator
Nick DiBartolo is a Washington Program Coordinator for PaintCare, a non-profit organization that operates paint stewardship programs on behalf of paint manufacturers. Previously he worked in the large retail environment in several roles connecting customers to their end project goals while reducing overall project costs and material waste. Additionally, he spent several years working with a non-profit in hunger relief to connect agricultural products that did not meet market specs to individuals in need. This created a viable option for agricultural businesses and helped bring healthy fresh produce to individuals seeking assistance. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from Oregon State University.
Circular Economy Program Manager
Seattle Good Business Network
Nico Onoda-McGuire works at Seattle Good Business Network managing two programs: the Youth Workforce Development and the Sustainable Business & Circular Economy Programs. Her role runs the gamut from working on the ground providing small businesses with technical assistance, to driving interagency collaboration and systems-wide solutions for equitable workforce and sustainability initiatives.
Pierce County Planning and Public Works
Nicole Avendaño has been an Environmental Educator with Pierce County Planning & Public Works for the past year and a half. Prior to this role, Nicole worked with non-profits and local government to provide sustainability education to the greater community. With a consistent dedication to researching and implementing equitable practices throughout her Division, she hopes to help transform a system that will benefit and include all.
Policy Director - Water, Land Use, Natural Resources, & Environment
Washington State Association of Counties
Paul Jewell serves as policy director for Washington State Association of Counties, overseeing a broad range of issues, including natural resources, water, land use, and solid waste. He was a Kittitas County Commissioner for 10 years between 2008 and 2018. Mr. Jewell also supports the Washington State Association of County and County Solid Waste Managers (WACSWM). WACSWM members include the professionals who oversee and operate solid waste, recycling, and household hazardous waste planning and disposal programs and facilities in counties across Washington State. He also serves on several statewide boards and committees dealing with solid waste and other resource and environmental issues.
Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange
Born and raised in the Seattle area, Pete Moe spent several years working in journalism and marketing in New York and Boston before moving his family to Orcas Island, Washington in 2006. Once on Orcas, his interest in environmental issues led to a volunteer board position at The Exchange, a much-loved community non-profit reuse center. In 2013 he and his fellow board members led a successful campaign to take over management of the Orcas Island Transfer Station. That same year Moe was named director of Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange. Since taking over the transfer station, Moe has been committed to the development of a climate friendly, zero-waste business model focused on material separation and identifying the highest and best use for every part of the waste stream.
Recycle Reset Project Lead
City of Tacoma
Preston Peck is the Recycle Reset Project Lead at City of Tacoma’s Solid Waste Management Division and was responsible for conducting citywide community engagement to determine the future of the residential curbside recycling program in the wake of China’s National Sword Policy. Preston also leads the division’s policy efforts by identifying local, state, and federal policies’ impacts on municipal haulers and through representing the City of Tacoma on the Northwest Product Stewardship Council’s Steering Committee and in the U.S. Plastics Pact.
Kitsap County Solid Waste Division
Rick Gilbert has worked in the solid and hazardous waste industry for over 28 years, much of it toiling in hazardous waste operations obscurity. He’s been with Kitsap County since 2001 and has managed to sneak into the realm of policy during his tenure. He gives random testimony at legislative hearings and works with his better-prepared peers in committee and subcommittee meetings. In his free time, Rick is an aspiring Luddite who likes to cook and listen to records. He is a “Swag-for-Life” supporter of freeform radio station WFMU and has a ridiculous number of their t-shirts.
Sustainable Business Development Director
Washington State Department of Commerce
Rob received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Massachusetts in 1986 and a Master of Science degree in toxicology from the University of Washington in1993. Following his thesis work, Rob was employed by the State of New Hampshire with duties involving human health risk assessment, community education, grant writing and development of regulatory standards. After moving back to Washington State in 1996, Rob did similar work for the Washington State Department of Health eventually becoming Director of their Office of Environmental Health Assessments. In 2007, Rob became manager of the Environmental Assessment Program at the Washington State Department of Ecology providing critical environmental monitoring and assessment for agency decision making. From 2014 to 2019, Rob was a senior policy advisor to Governor Jay Inslee. Rob advised the Governor on issues including water resources, water quality, salmon recovery, Hanford Site cleanup and oil spill preparedness. Rob is currently the Sustainable Business Development Director at the Washington Department of Commerce where he is involved in stimulating markets for recycled materials and connecting businesses to reduce and utilize waste streams.
Resource Conservation Specialist
City of Tacoma
As the Resource Conservation Specialist for Tacomaʼs Solid Waste Management, Sam leads Tacomaʼs Commercial Recycling and Waste Prevention outreach programs. In 2018, she launched Tacomaʼs Multifamily Recycling Education Program – bringing continuous improvement, equity and community-based marketing principles to the forefront of her work. Recently, she spearheaded Tacomaʼs first transcreation efforts to improve language access among limited-English speaking residents. Sam, a Tacoma-native, earned her Bachelorsʼ in Political Science from Seattle University and enjoys working directly with her community. In her spare time, she assists volunteers coordinate litter cleanups and serves on the ReTacoma Reuse Store board.
Solid Waste Program Administrator
City of Redmond
Stacey Auer brings more than 30 years of experience in the field of environmental sustainability. She has a depth of experience in communications and outreach relating to habitat restoration, pollution prevention, water conservation, waste reduction, recycling, and composting. Stacey specializes in collaborations across sectors and specialties to unite sustainability efforts for maximum impact. In her role as a Solid Waste Program Administrator at the City of Redmond, she oversees the development and implementation of several programs to increase and improve waste reduction, recycling, and composting in both the residential and commercial sectors.
St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County
Terry McDonald is the Executive Director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. Their DR3 operation in California was “the first commercially viable mattress recycling business in the world.” With three California locations and one in Eugene, Oregon, they recycle hundreds of thousands of mattresses and box spring foundations each year, create entry-level jobs for ex-offenders and others who have barriers to employment, and help others create waste-based sustainable businesses through the Cascade Alliance. Terry also serves on CalRecycle’s Advisory Committee to the California Mattress EPR program operated by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC).
Sustainable Materials Management
US Environmental Protection Agency
Theresa Blaine serves on the Materials Management and Stewardship Team at EPA’s Region 10 which covers Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and 271 tribes. The EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management program aspires to work in an upstream capacity through source reduction, waste prevention, and reuse. Advancing SMM has the potential to conserve resources, reduce waste, benefit local economies, enhance resiliency to natural and man-made disasters, and minimize the climate and environmental impacts of the materials we use. She has spent the last 5+ years working to support Sustainable Materials Management in the Built Environment in 3 main focus areas: deconstruction of buildings and reuse of building materials, embodied carbon, and disaster debris management. She’s also interested in reducing the impacts to climate from materials through upstream solutions such as sustainable purchasing, reuse, and repair. Theresa holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Seattle University.
Tom Vaughn CEO DTG Recycle • Received his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Georgia • Master’s degree in Soil Science from Washington State University • Construction and Demolition Recycling Association Board Member • During his tenure as CEO he has guided the company to become the largest recycler of construction and demolition debris, industrial waste and commercial waste in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, during his time as CEO, the company has added innovative service lines such as: o Mattress recycling o Alternative fuels o Production of building materials from previously unrecyclable plastics o Carpet recycling o Styrofoam recycling o Street sweeping service and o Portable restrooms
Waste Reduction Programs Director
Zero Waste Washington
As Zero Waste Washington’s Programs Director, Xenia Dolovova leads projects that drive policy change for a healthy and waste-free world. She develops and oversees initiatives that creatively prevent and reduce waste, including environmental innovation challenges, furniture reclamation, organics management, phthalates research, and litter assessments. She currently spearheads a multi-pronged effort to cultivate Washington’s repair economy while researching to demonstrate its social, environmental, and economic impact. Xenia holds an MBA in Marketing from the Paris School of Business and a Project Management Professional Certificate, Stanford University’s Strategies for Sustainability program, and three behavioral change science programs certificates. With 13+ years in project management, marketing, and business development, she believes in system-based solutions and democratic leadership. Having lived and worked in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and now North America, she hopes to use her diverse experience to contribute to the world’s sustainable future. Xenia lives in Seattle and connects with Washington culture through her love for the outdoors, dogs, and coffee. When not building partnerships, teams, or knowledge, you can find her checking off National Parks from her bucket list. Together with her husband, she has visited 19 of them so far!