WSRA Leadership



Executive Officers


Joel Kohlstedt, President | Waste Management

Joel is a Recycling Education Project Manager for Waste Management. He manages recycling education campaigns throughout Washington State focused on increasing recycling and decreasing contamination 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 six years, supporting cities throughout the Puget Sound and Oregon in increasing recycling through business and multifamily outreach, community presentations and local recycling campaigns. Joel is a graduate of the University of Washington with a major in Environmental Studies. He combines his passion for education and sustainability by creating educational programming that will ultimately help to reduce our environmental impact. Joel enjoys the outdoors, biking, snowboarding and camping.


Heather Church, Vice President | WA State Dept. of Ecology 

Heather joined the Washington State Department of Ecology in 2018 as the Eastern Washington Recycling Specialist. She works with municipal partners throughout Central and Eastern Washington to address current issues, seek out opportunities, build relationships, and develop outreach and education materials to enhance Washington’s recycling programs. Heather has been involved with WSRA since she started in the solid waste management field and is excited to be a part of an organization that so actively works to advance waste reduction practices and policies around the state. She looks forward to working on the WRED Committee and Conference Committee where she can lend her strengths in networking and building relationships. When she’s not working on Recycling, she’s a lover of the sun, gardening, general outdoor activity, cooking, and an avid animal lover with a bad habit of bringing home the blind, three legged, and/or toothless critters.


Rick Vahl, Treasurer | LeMay, Inc / Waste Connections

Rick Vahl has worked alongside great teams at Waste Connections since 2012. His experience started in Alaska but then opportunities in California took him back to the “lower 48”. With a variety of Hauling and Transfer Station experience he was able to join the management team of LeMay, Pierce County Refuse in 2019. Working as a team to provide the safest and most customer focused services possible is what drives him to continuously improve. While balancing his career, he spends time with his lovely wife Melody and their 2 daughters Emerald (8) and Eden (5). Born and raised in Portland, OR makes the PNW feel like home where one of their family mottos comes to life – “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear”.


Scott Barker, Assistant Treasurer | 3R Technology


Kris Major, Secretary | City of Spokane, Solid Waste Department

Kris Major is the 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 Idaho and Washington states.  As an Education Coordinator for Spokane, she works with all ages and audiences teaching about waste reduction, recycling, re-use, and composting. She coordinates the Master Composter/Recycler program and its volunteers who conduct community outreach on waste reduction throughout the county. In 2016, The Washington State Recycling Association honored Kris by naming her its Individual Recycler of the Year. She has been a WSRA member since 2010 and has not missed a conference since starting her job with the city that year.


Shannon Jones, Assist. Secretary | Washington State Dept. of Ecology

Shannon Jones is the Western Washington Materials Management Coordinator with the Department of Ecology and joined the WSRA board this year. She began her career in Materials Management with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation solid waste planning, providing technical assistance to local governments, enforcing RCRA regulations, and collaborating with recycling industry stakeholders. In Washington, she served in Washington Conservation Corps, doing ecological restoration work in eastern Washington and salmon restoration work in the Skagit Valley. Shannon was born in Texas, raised in Tennessee, and has found her forever home in Washington where she loves hiking, camping, paddle boarding, and playing with her two dogs. In her free time she also plays violin, watches pretentious artsy movies, bakes tarts, and reads science fiction.

Board Members




Amanda Godwin | C+C

Amanda is a marketing and public relations professional at C+C, a Seattle-based social good communications firm. For the last 15 years, she has helped lead a number of education and outreach campaigns for city, county and state agencies, and waste management companies, aimed at changing recycling, composting and waste prevention behaviors for the better. One day you might find her helping produce an education video or social media campaign or overseeing an audience research project, and the next you may find her staffing a local repair event or food waste prevention workshop. She loves nothing more than finding creative communication solutions for the most challenging solid waste issues, and has shared her experiences as a speaker at three WSRA conferences. Although she grew up in the Tri-Cities, Amanda now lives in Seattle with her 11-year-old daughter, husband, 2 guinea pigs and her 103-year-old (in human years) dog Sage. Her favorite pastime is floating on any eastern Washington river or lake on any manner of blow-up device, travelling and eating really good Italian food, in Italy if at all possible.


Cyndi Holloway | Waste Connections

Cyndi has lived in Vancouver, WA for the past 28 years. She is married to Marty, a retired Commander for the Vancouver City Police Department. They have three children, Chad (27), Taylor (22) and Hayden (21). Cyndi holds a Bachelor of Science in Business degree from the University of Washington. Her background is in event planning and hospitality sales, before joining Waste Connections she was the Executive Director for the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver and prior to the Heathman, she sold Las Vegas experience for Caesars Entertainment for over 8 years. Cyndi’s passions include Community, Friends/Family and Travel, but she is also very committed to improving her golf game.


Carla Johnson | Municipal Contract Administrator Republic Services

Carla Johnson is the Municipal Contract Administrator with Republic Services where she has worked since 2014. In her role, she works closely with city and county staff on waste diversion programs and provides community recycling outreach to a variety of audiences.  With a background in marketing and communication, Carla has helped design outreach campaigns and recycling education.  She has completed the Master Recyclers and Composting program and Certificates for public speaking thru Toastmasters.  Her previous experience was with One Redmond (the Redmond Chamber of Commerce) and international relocation real estate services.  In her free time, Carla stays active teaching skiing, snowmobiling, and camping with her family and two dogs.


Karissa Jones | Waste Management

Karissa is a Senior Associate on Waste Management’s Education & Outreach team. She develops outreach programs to help businesses and residents throughout Washington state recycle right and reduce overall waste generation. Karissa is experienced in zero-waste event planning, public speaking, and mentoring interns pursuing a career in solid waste. At the 2019 WSRA conference, she led a workshop on the topic of implementing compost programs at multifamily properties. Karissa is passionate about source reduction of food waste through strategies such as meal planning and proper food storage. Prior to Waste Management, Karissa served as an AmeriCorps member for Clark County’s Master Composter Recycler program. Karissa uses knowledge of the social sciences from her Western Washington University degree to drive sustainable behavior change in the community.



Caitlin Newman | Kitsap County Solid Waste

Caitlin joined Kitsap County’s Solid Waste Division in 2015 and is the Program Supervisor for recycling, waste reduction, and litter cleanup programs. Her favorite projects involve community engagement, waste reduction, product stewardship, and innovation. She thinks Washington’s recycling industry is a fantastic place to work and is excited to serve the community on the WSRA Board. Outside of work, Caitlin enjoys spoiling her dog and discovering hidden trails and offbeat places throughout Washington.


Pete Moe | Orcas Recycling Services

Pete has been the director of a rural non-profit solid waste management company for five years, with five years before that as a board member. They  currently operate a transfer station and a 5,000 square foot reuse store. Pete has extensive experience working with County government, boards and committees. Pete also brings over a decade of experience in non-profit management.




Elizabeth Szorad | Recology, Waste Zero

Elizabeth has been a WSRA member since 2014. She has attended several WRED events and has had an active role within the conference planning committee for the last few years. She has been a speaker at the WSRA conference for the last three years. Elizabeth brings over 7 years of industry experience, where she specialized in public education/outreach, communication, project/program management, contact management, and community and government affairs.



Steve Wulf | Sunshine Disposal and Recycling

Steve has over twenty seven years of professional experience in the Solid Waste Industry. He has developed, designed, managed, operated and constructed municipal solid waste landfills, transfer stations, recycling systems and hauling companies throughout Montana, North Idaho and Eastern Washington. Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from Montana State University. Associates of Science degree from Montana School of Mineral Science and Technology. Steve has been working with Sunshine Disposal and Recycling, as a Region Manager since 2011.




Megan Smothers, Executive Director

Megan joined the staff of WSRA in March 2019 as the Program Director. Megan has worked in customer service and non-profits her entire career. She has experience in event planning and management. Megan has been a volunteer, team captain, and staff for nonprofit associations. She has helped recruit volunteers and has been accountable for significant income goals, volunteer committee development, mission delivery, and advocacy.

Megan is a born and raised Washingtonian. In her free time, Megan is an avid animal lover who enjoys supporting local rescues, listening to country music, going to baseball games, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.

Contact Megan Smothers

Upcoming Events

WSRA's 41st Annual Conference
May 24 -25, 2021    |     8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Click here to Register!
Exhibitor and Sponsor Opportunities



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