Meet your 2022 Summit & Symposium Speakers

Kendra Appelman-EastvedtKendra Appelman-Eastvedt
Recycling Grants Program Manager, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during the 11:00am
"Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder – Learn about FRWD grant opportunities, the FRWD application process, and the role of the new FRWD Ambassador" Breakout Session and during the 2:15pm "Developing End Market Strategies with NextCycle Colorado" Breakout Session

Kendra joined the Resource Recycling Economic Opportunity program (RREO) in 2016 and became the Recycling Grants Program Manager in 2021. Prior to joining CDPHE, Kendra worked for the State of Colorado Community College System. Kendra has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Colorado State University in Fort Collins where her areas of study were Public Administration and Policy and American Environmental Policy. Her graduate thesis focused on Social Sustainability. 

Before pursuing a career in public service, Kendra spent many years working in the financial services industry, where she managed international services, wire transfers, bank audits, customer service, disaster recovery, and communications. She also served as a project manager for technical and special projects.

Kendra enjoys hiking, biking, or doing most anything outdoors in beautiful Colorado! 

Connect with Kendra: LinkedIn

Emily BackusEmily Backus
Commitment to Zero Program Manager, Vail Resorts
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Navigating Colorado Plastic Bans within the Private Sector" Breakout Session

As Commitment to Zero Program Manager for Vail Resorts, Emily Backus drives ambitious sustainability goals across a network of 40 resorts in 3 countries. Emily coordinates with teams throughout the company working to achieve the company’s goals of zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill, and zero net impact on forests and habitat – all by 2030. She also leads communications on Vail Resorts sustainability programs, including the annual EpicPromise Progress Report.

Previously, Emily worked as a Sustainability Advisor with the City and County of Denver, where she helped businesses in a variety of sectors across Denver reduce their environmental impact, and led the city’s Cannabis Sustainability Work Group.

Emily graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. In her early career, she worked as an environmental coordinator for Aramark in Lake Tahoe, organizing environmental programs at nine hospitality operations located in public lands. Then, as a consultant, she provided a variety of services to clients (primarily the National Park Service) including financial analysis, environmental auditing, report development and quality assurance, and team management. 

Connect with Emily: LinkedIn

Kate BaileyKate Bailey
Policy Director, Eco-Cycle
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during 11:00am & 2:15pm "The New Colorado Producer Responsibility Law" Breakout Session

Kate Bailey is the Policy Director for Eco-Cycle, based in Boulder. Eco-Cycle is one of the largest recycling nonprofit organizations in the world and has over 45 years of hands-on experience in creating and implementing community recycling programs. Kate has over 15 years of experience working at the local and state level to adopt zero waste policies in Colorado. She is also a founding member of AMBR, the Alliance for Mission-Based Recyclers, which works at the national level to improve recycling and reduce plastic consumption and pollution.

Connect with Kate: LinkedIn

Jaime Blanchard-PolingJamie Blanchard-Poling
Owner, Compost Queen PBC
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 11:00am "Composting & Hauling Business Basics: How to Get Started at Your City, Business, or Institution" Breakout Session

Compost Queen was started in 2018 to tackle the food scrap problem in Northern Colorado. Inspired by her passion for sustainability, Jamie Blanchard-Poling developed a unique business model leveraging local farm partners to create a network of conditionally exempt small quantity facilities, known as MUCCS (microsite urban community composting sites). After three years of 100% annual growth, Compost Queen won an Emerging Composter Award from the USCC for the MUCCS model in 2022. The Compost Queen team now has five team members and is THE solution for food and farm waste in Northern Colorado.

Connect with Jaime: Instagram | Facebook

Shawn BruckmanShawn Bruckman 
Compost Consultant, The Ground Up // Compost Operator Training Facilitator, Compost Research and Education Foundation 
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Organic Operations – Local Greenwaste Recycling to Commercial Composting" Breakout Session

Shawn Bruckman is a Compost Consultant and Soil Health Specialist at The Ground Up and the Compost Operator Training Facilitator for the Compost Research and Education Foundation. With over a decade of experience building, marketing and managing commercial compost operations in the Rocky Mountains, she is passionate about utilizing composting as a waste diversion strategy that fuels the circular economy and drives natural climate solutions. She serves on Colorado’s Soil Health Advisory Committee, the Eagle County Conservation District board, New Roots CO board, and the Colorado Compost Council leadership team. 

Connect with Shawn: Instagram | LinkedIn

Kathleen CarrollKathleen Carroll
Boulder
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: 
August 23rd during the 11:00am "Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder – Learn about FRWD grant opportunities, the FRWD application process, and the role of the new FRWD Ambassador" Breakout Session and August 23rd during 2:15pm "Contamination - Is it solvable or not? Thinking outside of the pile" Breakout Session

Kathy is a marketing and communications professional on a mission to educate and motivate individuals, small businesses, and corporations to practice waste reduction and responsible waste management.

Connect with Kathleen: LinkedIn

Elizabeth Chapman, Ph. D.
Executive Director of Recycle Colorado
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during 9:00am Welcome & State of the Organization

Dr. Chapman has over 30 years of experience as an educator who focuses on helping people understand how human practices impact the environment. She has a talent for bringing diverse stakeholders together to discuss best practices and tangible solutions. She brings a passion for connecting people to their influence on a sustainable future, focusing on reuse, recycling, composting and overall waste diversion, whether that be in the rural or urban areas of Colorado. Elizabeth is excited to foster the economic and environmental benefits our state will enjoy as Recycle Colorado works with our municipal, business, nonprofit, and citizen partners to become a leader in the Circular Economy.

Connect with Liz: LinkedIn

Winn CowmanWinn W. Cowman
Waste Diversion Director, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and Owner, Cowgirl Compost CO
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: 
August 24th during 11:00am "Composting & Hauling Business Basics: How to Get Started at Your City, Business, or Institution" Breakout Session

Winn Cowman is the Waste Diversion Director for the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. In that role, which she began in April 2021, she launched the community's first ever recycling facility, the Yampa Valley Recycles Depot, and started their Advancing Zero Waste program. 

Prior to working for YVSC, Winn worked eight years as Senior Environmental Scientist at Souder, Miller & Associates (SMA) where she assisted rural Colorado local governments and solid waste campuses with management of their materials, with an emphasis on reduction, reuse, and recycling. While at SMA, Winn performed several regional waste diversion studies encompassing thirteen Colorado counties. She also helped clients determine beneficial uses for special wastes, such as biochar. Prior to working for SMA, Winn worked as a Compliance Manager for two landfills and spent ten years with Xcel Energy as an Environmental Manager. 

In 2019, after sitting on a task force looking to bring compost to the Yampa Valley for several months, Winn started a compost facility and hauling business, Cowgirl Compost CO, which she currently runs with the help of her family, her husband Scott, two teenagers, and their dog Savvy.

In her free time Winn enjoys all that Steamboat Springs has to offer, especially mountain biking. She currently serves on CDPHE’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board Assistance Committee (PPABAC). Winn holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and a Master of Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver.

Lisa Cutter
State Representative
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 22nd during 5:30pm Welcome Reception and August 24th during 2:20pm "Navigating Colorado Plastic Bans within the Private Sector" Breakout Session

Lisa Cutter was born and raised in Colorado. She and her husband of 36-years, Brett, have a daughter and twin sons. She is an award winning public relations practioner and started her own consulting firm in 1999. 

Lisa Cutter is a communications consultant and small business owner who was elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives in 2018. She sits on the Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee and the Energy and Environment Committee, and serves as the Majority Caucus Co-Chair and The Democratic Women’s Caucus Co-Chair.

Lisa became interested in achieving zero waste several years ago, and it was one of the first things she wanted to tackle as a legislator. Her legislative priorities include the environment, wildfire, mental health and education. She is committed to innovating long-term solutions so that today’s problems won’t grow to overwhelm our children and their children.

Steve Derus
Broomfield
He/Him/His

Speaking: August 23rd during the 11:00am "Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder – Learn about FRWD grant opportunities, the FRWD application process, and the role of the new FRWD Ambassador" Breakout Session

 Steve has over 30 years of experience as a General Manager and Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the environmental services industry with strong accounting, sales and market development skills. Expertise includes landfill and material recovery operations, sustainable business, environmental awareness, environmental services, and contract management.

He has been in his current role since 2015 with Republic Services. Prior to this Steve had previously worked with Momentum Recycling to develop a “bottle-to-bottle” glass cullet recycling processing facility and was a MRF manager for where he was responsible for operations of a large Denver based single stream MRF. Prior to this position he was Waste Management’s Director of Landfill Operations where he managed nine solid waste facilities including Sr. District Manager of the Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site (DADS Landfill) for over 12 years. 

Steve received his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Cal-Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1985 and is a registered Civil Engineer. He is a member of the Colorado Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America, Colorado Recycles and a Founding Board Member of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - Front Range Waste Diversion Enterprise Fund

Monique DiGiorgioMonique DiGiorgio
Managing Member, Table to Farm Compost 
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 22nd during 9:00am Welcome & State of the Organization & 
August 23rd during the 2:15pm "Developing End Market Strategies with NextCycle Colorado" Breakout Session 

Monique has been an environmental activist since the age of 16 and is excited to bring her love of nature and the environment to climate activism in La Plata County through Table to Farm Compost’s mission to recycle food waste into compost and save the planet. Monique began her career as a field ornithologist and then moved into the nonprofit world and found she had a proclivity for building small organizations from the ground up. Her career has involved myriad environmental initiatives from wildlife crossings to private lands conservation. Most recently, she also made significant contributions in the fields of healthcare and affordable housing through her work with the Local First Foundation. Monique holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Notre Dame and brings a science-based perspective to her work. She is currently taking Dr. Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web course and hopes to become proficient in identifying the microorganisms that make compost a living, breathing world of action under our feet with the goal of making compost that effectively builds soil health and sequesters carbon. 

Connect With Monique: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Resa DiminoResa Dimino
Managing Partners, Signalfire / Managing Principal, RRS
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during 9:30am "What is EPR for Packaging and Paper Products, and what does it mean to me?" Keynote

Resa Dimino is a managing principal with RRS, a sustainability and materials management consulting firm, and a partner at Signalfire Group, a subsidiary of RRS focused on supporting governments and businesses to navigate policy and regulation to move toward a circular economy. Resa has over 30 years of experience in waste reduction, recycling, product stewardship, and environmental economic development. She has held roles in the recycling industry, trade groups, and public sector including WeRecycle, NAPCOR, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. As of late, she has managed and directed multiple recycling supply chain assessments, infrastructure gap analyses, EPR modeling, and policy development projects. Resa recently led and participated in projects supporting the development of carpet EPR in New York, the study of PET thermoform recycling costs and material flows, and mapped the infrastructure and material flow of plastics in the US and Canada.

Connect with Resa: LinkedIn

Jace Driver
Waste Diversion Specialist, CDPHE
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during the 11:00am "Colorado Organics Management Plan - Sneak Peak & Next Steps" Breakout Session

Jace Driver is a Waste Diversion Specialist at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and has ten years of experience in solid waste management. He is responsible for the registration and oversight of municipal solid waste recycling facilities, as well as the data collection and reporting for all waste diversion in the state. Additionally, he is the compost lead for the state, and provides guidance for prospective composters

Frank FranciosiFrank Franciosi
Executive Director, US Composting Council
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during 11:00am "Colorado Organics Management Plan - Sneak Peak & Next Steps" Breakout Session & August 24th during 9:00am Keynote

Mr. Franciosi is the current Executive Director of both the US Composting Council and the Compost Research & Education Foundation. He has spent over 30 years working with residuals management and composting both in operations management as well as sales and marketing. In 1993, he started North Carolina’s first source separated organics composting facility. As past principal of Akkadia Consulting, Frank provided professional consulting services on projects of animal waste management, biosolids management, coal ash residuals, composting of industrial residuals, product development and marketing. He has facilitated the turnkey start-up of award winning composting facilities, taking them from concept to feasibility to operational, overseeing permitting, equipment selection, hiring and training of personnel, as well as the development and execution of the product marketing plan. Frank also managed the Novozymes’ Nature’s GREEN-RELEAF™ composting facility from 2003-2015. In 2014, Frank was the recipient of the Hi Kellogg Award for displaying outstanding service to the US composting industry over a period of many years. He has a BS in Plant and Soil Sciences from West Virginia University. 

Connect with Frank: LinkedIn

Jenifer Freeman
Director of Public Relations & Government Affairs, Swire Coca-Cola
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during 9:00am Welcome & State of the Organization

 

Jenifer Freeman is the Director of Public Relations, Government Affairs and Sustainability for Swire Coca-Cola, USA in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming. She is responsible for managing external relationships and issues with government officials, third party stakeholders, industry organizations and community partners. In addition, Jenifer develops programs to address critical issues, such as recycling, water, workforce development and women’s empowerment with partners, customers and government officials and agencies. Her role is essential in reputational advancement of the Swire Coca-Cola brand in the public arena. Jenifer holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of South Carolina and a master’s degree from the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies. Prior to Swire Coca-Cola, Jenifer served as the VP of State Government Affairs for UnitedHealth Group, Principal at Parquet Public Affairs and Deputy Executive Director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association. Throughout her career, she has supported various local and state political campaigns in a consulting and advisory capacity. She serves on the Advisory Board for A Precious Child, as Co -Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Recycle Colorado, Advisory Board of the USO in Colorado & Wyoming, and the Colorado Restaurant Association Foundation Board. She is proud mom and citizen of Erie, Colorado.

Juri Freeman
Managing Principal, RRS
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd at 11:00am “Colorado Organics Management Plan - Sneak Peak & Next Steps” Breakout Session and August 23rd at during 2:15pm “Developing End Market Strategies with NextCycle Colorado” Breakout Session

Juri Freeman is a Managing Principal at the firm Resource Recycling Systems (RRS). Juri provides senior level subject matter expertise for resource management, recycling, and circular economy consulting services across North America. Juri leads the development and execution of innovative material recovery projects including end market acceleration, zero waste programming, packaging design, recovery, and recycling, organics management, and food waste recovery.

Taylor Hanson 
Managing Member, Table to Farm Compost, LLC
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during 2:15pm "Contamination - Is it solvable or not? Thinking outside of the pile" Breakout Session

 

Taylor received his B.S. in Finance with a minor in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Colorado. He also studied courses in the Renewable and Sustainable Energy program. After college, Taylor went on to work in the mortgage banking sector in Florida. He returned to his hometown of Durango in 2014 to co-manage his childhood family business, a Honda automobile franchise. During this time, he attended a masters-like automotive program (NADA academy) in Washington, D.C., focused on financial and personnel management of the automotive dealership’s different departments. Taylor cares deeply about local sustainability, closed-loop ecosystems, and the natural environment. He likes to mountain bike, ski, hunt, play tennis, and practice aikido. He is also an EMT and Ski Patroller at Purgatory Mountain. “I like helping folks, playing in the dirt (compost reference!), photographing nature, and being a part of meaningful community work."

Jamie Harkins
Policy Advisor, Circular Economy
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Barriers & Success with Plastic Ban Implementation at the Local Government Level" Breakout Session

Jamie is a Policy Advisor for the City of Boulder and is currently serving as the Interim Manager of the Circular Economy team. Her prior work has focused on policy development, (including Boulder’s Disposable Bag Fee in 2012), program development, and strategic planning of Boulder’s zero waste and now broader circular economy efforts. She is passionate about reducing consumption and creating a more circular world, and has learned from working with consultants from Metabolic in Amsterdam and a zero waste tour of Sweden. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Economics & Policy from Duke University and also served as the Mayor of Lafayette, Colorado.

Connect with Jamie: Twitter

Adam H. Hill
Co-Owner, Direct Polymers
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 24th during 11:00am “The Circular Economy Center- What’s Next?” Breakout Session

Adam is a Colorado native who graduated from Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, CO. He attended Duke University in Durham, NC., where he received degrees in Economics and Political Science, as well as competed as a nationally-ranked 800 meter runner on the varsity track and field team. Adam has over sixteen years of experience owning and operating plastics recycling facilities. He currently serves as the co-owner and operator of Denver, CO-based Direct Polymers, which specializes in post-industrial and post-consumer grade plastics processing and compounding. Outside of work, his passions are simply to spend time with his wife, Raquel, their two daughters, Taylor and Aubrey, and their dog, Zoey. 

Connect with Adam: LinkedIn

Allie Hoffman, MPH
Director of Impact & Engagement, We Don’t Waste
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: A
ugust 23rd during the 11:00am "Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder – Learn about FRWD grant opportunities, the FRWD application process, and the role of the new FRWD Ambassador" Breakout Session

Allie has 15 years of experience in food and farming systems including farm-to-school and food banks programs, with an extensive background in program planning and management, evaluation, marketing, and communications. Her passion for food systems and equitable communities, alongside a Master of Public Health, provides a health equity lens to We Don’t Waste’s mission and programs. As Director of Impact & Engagement, Allie is responsible for program evaluation and community relations development, and oversees the organization’s advocacy efforts. She is a passionate advocate for sustainability, food waste reduction and equitable food systems.

Connect with Allie: LinkedIn

Jill Holbert
Associate Director, Solid Waste Mgmt, City of Albuquerque 
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 11:00am "Multi-family Recycling: The funding is coming, but there’s so much more to figure out" Breakout Session

Jill Holbert is the Associate Director of the City of Albuquerque’s Solid Waste Management Department. She brings over 30 years of experience in integrated waste management; including waste reduction, recycling, composting and disposal. Prior to joining the Department in 2008, Ms. Holbert gained experience in her work for the New Mexico Environment Department, and the City and County of Santa Fe. She received recognition as the 2015 Recycler of the Year from the New Mexico Recycling Coalition for her role in expanding Albuquerque’s residential curbside recycling program citywide.

Marcel R. Howard
Policy Analyst & Coordinator, Upstream 
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during 1:00pm “Why Reuse Wins, and it's Connections to Climate and Environmental Justice” Plenary Session

Marcel Howard is an experienced Analyst working with a deep commitment to pursing policies and research that prioritize environmental and social justice concepts, and create positive change across all industry sectors. Marcel is currently the Policy Analyst and Coordinator at Upstream where he leads their work on the intersection between source reduction / reuse systems and climate change and environmental justice. Marcel is originally from Newport News, Virginia and currently resides in the beautiful neighborhood of Harlem, NYC. 

Connect with Marcel: LinkedIn

Suzanne Jones
Eco-Cycle
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during the 11:00am "Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder – Learn about FRWD grant opportunities, the FRWD application process, and the role of the new FRWD Ambassador" Breakout Session

 

Suzanne “Zan” Jones is in her 9th year as the executive director of the Boulder County non-profit Eco-Cycle, one of the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit recyclers dedicated to innovating, implementing, and advocating for recycling, composting and other zero waste efforts. Suzanne also recently finished eight years of public service on the Boulder City Council (2011-2019), the last four as Boulder’s mayor. Previously, Suzanne worked 16 years for The Wilderness Society, where she served as the central Rockies regional director leading coalition efforts to protect our nation’s public lands. Before moving back to Colorado, Suzanne worked in Washington, D.C. for the National Wildlife Federation and as congressional staff for the Fisheries & Wildlife Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Suzanne has a M.S. in Resource Policy and Management from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and a B.S. in Natural Resources from Cornell University.

Connect with Suzanne: LinkedIn | Twitter

Megan JorgensenMegan Jorgensen
Sustainability Maven, Eco-Products, PBC
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: 
August 24th during 2:20pm "Navigating Colorado Plastic Bans within the Private Sector" Breakout Session

With over 13 years of working in the sustainability field, Megan Jorgensen has a unique set of experiences and skills around responsible sourcing, operational footprint and impacts, zero waste programs, and stakeholder engagement and education. She began her career building the sustainability program for Snooze an A.M. Eatery, spent the last 3 years working on Safety, Environmental Compliance & Sustainability for Denver Zoo, and is now happy to have recently joined the Eco-Products team. 

In her current role at Eco-Products as Sustainability Maven, Megan is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive ESG strategy. She also supports the Product & Zero Waste Specialist team in their efforts to scale waste diversion practices for customers by assisting in the development of their zero waste programs, and by working with composters, industry partners and thought leaders to build responsible waste infrastructure across the US. 

Megan earned a MSMO in Managing for Sustainability from the CU Denver Business School in 2016. She has been actively involved in the responsible business community through the years, from acting as the Sustainability Chair to local responsible food and business events, to serving on multiple advisory boards and mentoring other individuals and organizations in their sustainability journey.

Connect with Megan: LinkedIn

Melissa Kirr
Senior Program Director of Sustainability
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Barriers & Success with Plastic Ban Implementation at the Local Government Level" Breakout Session

Melissa Kirr is the Senior Programs Director of Sustainability at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, CO. She currently works at a local, regional and global level on a variety of sustainability initiatives. In her role at Walking Mountains, she is responsible for the oversight of sustainability-focused programs and projects that include Energy, Climate Action, Actively Green Sustainable Business Training and Certification, Waste Diversion and Zero Waste programs, and Mountain IDEAL Sustainable Destination. She has spent the past 18 years working in the non-profit sector, specifically the environmental and sustainability realms. She holds degrees in Forest Resource Management from Penn State University and the University of Montana. She is currently the chair of the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board and served on the PPAB Assistance Committee for five years and joined the Recycle Colorado board last November.

Connect with Melissa: LinkedIn

WolfGang KrayWolf Kray
Unit Leader, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during 11:00am & 2:15pm "The New Colorado Producer Responsibility Law" Breakout Session

Wolf is the Materials Management Unit Leader at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Wolf has worked in the materials management field for fourteen years and has lead projects such as the Colorado Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan, adopting the 20-year statewide waste diversion goals for Colorado, overseeing the Colorado paint stewardship program plan implementation and developing the waste electronic device landfill ban regulations. Prior to becoming a unit leader, he was responsible for analyzing statewide recycling data, conducting solid waste inspections at recycling facilities and providing technical assistance on waste diversion operations. Wolf has a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Hawai’i. Wolf has served a member the Sustainable Materials Management taskforce for the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials and on the Colorado Pollution Prevention Advisory Board Assistance Committee. 

Cindy Lair
Broomfield

She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 11:00am “The Circular Economy Center- What’s Next?” Breakout Session

Cindy Lair manages the Colorado State Conservation Board (CSCB) support team and other conservation programs for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. A Natural Resources Management graduate of Colorado State University, she directs the Department’s implementation of a state Soil Health Program and works closely with partnering agencies and conservation districts to ensure focus on incentivizing innovation and voluntary conservation. She prioritizes work on water quality and quantity, implementing Colorado’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Road Map, and serves on the Natural and Working Lands Task Force for the US Climate Alliance. Cindy is alumna of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Class of 2014. 

Connect with Cindy: LinkedIn

Jessica Lally
City & County of Denver
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during 2:15pm "Contamination - Is it solvable or not? Thinking outside of the pile" Breakout Session

 

Jessica specializes in program management for the Utilities Administration of Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, specifically working with Solid Waste and Wastewater Divisions. Most notably, she oversees the development and implementation of Denver’s Pay As You Throw program. Jessica is also a Recycle Colorado Board Member and liaison to the Colorado Composting Council.

John-Ryan LockmanJohn-Ryan Lockman
Vail/Beaver Creek Sustainability Manager at Vail Resorts
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Navigating Colorado Plastic Bans within the Private Sector" Breakout Session

With over 10 years of professional working experience in the Vail Valley, JohnRyan is a passionate Sustainability Manager who has worked in both the public and private sectors collaborating with others to drive climate action, GHG reduction, and waste reduction. Since 2019 at Vail Resorts John-Ryan has been a leader at Vail and Beaver Creek and across the enterprise to come up with creative solutions to meet the progressive goal of Zero Waste to Landfill by 2030. By working with compost facility operators, industry leaders and community partners he has been able to create waste diversion programs that focus on source reduction and intelligent material recovery processes. After successfully achieving the 50% Diversion by 2020 milestone, JohnRyan is now focused on creating a system-based approach to materials management at Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek that will leverage local and regional partnerships to achieve Zero Waste to Landfill by 2030. 

Connect with John-Ryan: LinkedIn

Julie MachJulie Mach
Owner, Elements Mountain Compost
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: 
August 24th during 11:00am "Composting & Hauling Business Basics: How to Get Started at Your City, Business, or Institution" Breakout Session

Julie Mach is the founder and owner of Elements Mountain Compost in Salida, CO. Since 2014, she has been helping businesses and residents reduce their carbon footprint through organic waste diversion and she has been creating high-quality soil products for local growers. Julie is a Certified Compost Operations Manager and maintains a day job as the Chief Conservation Officer for the Colorado Mountain Club. She holds a Bachelors of Science from Allegheny College and, when not composting, can be found in the backcountry on a bike or skis.

Connect with Julie: Website | Instagram | LinkedIn

Meghan MacKillop
Legislative and Policy Advocate, Colorado Municipal League
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during “The New Colorado Producer Responsibility Law: We did it! So now what? What is the role of Recycle Colorado in implementation?” Breakout Session

Meghan is a Legislative and Policy Advocate for the Colorado Municipal league. She joined the League in January of 2021, and covers transportation, economic development, sustainability, immigration, municipal courts, air quality, and public safety.

 

Dan MatschDan Matsch
Director, Eco-Cycle Compost & Carbon Farming Dept.
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during 11:00am "Colorado Organics Management Plan - Sneak Peak & Next Steps" Breakout Session and 
August 24th during 9:00am Keynote

Dan has worked in recycling, composting, and organic farming since 1982. His Zero Waste focus looks to marry these interests to maintain the highest value of our resources through creating local circular economies. Dan spearheads Eco-Cycle’s focus on utilizing organic waste and other resources in a local and global effort to restore healthy soil and sequester carbon. Dan serves as co-chair of the Colorado Composting Council and previously directed Eco-Cycle’s Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM).

Jay Middleton
VP of ReStore Operations Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during the 11:00am "Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder – Learn about FRWD grant opportunities, the FRWD application process, and the role of the new FRWD Ambassador" Breakout Session

With 25 years of retail experience and leadership under my belt, I am passionate about using retail as a vehicle to help consumers make better choices that support long term positive environmental changes. I had worked for REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) for 23 years before making the pivot to the non-profit sector in 2021.

Connect with Jay: LinkedIn

Jacob H. Miller, PhD
Research Engineer, National Renewable Energy Lab
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during 4:00pm “ Innovations in Bio-Resource Management” Session

 

Jacob is a research engineer in the Catalytic Carbon Transformation and Scaleup Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO. He spends much of his time discovering and optimizing chemical processes to transform biomass-derived chemicals into fuels and chemicals, especially sustainable aviation fuel, through experiments and computational modeling. Before coming to NREL, he obtained undergraduate and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering at Princeton University and the University of Minnesota. When not in lab, he enjoys running, reading, board games, skiing, and spending time with his cat.

Caroline MitchellCaroline Mitchell
Waste Reduction and Recycling Program Manager, City of Fort Collins
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 11:00am "
Multi-family Recycling: The funding is coming, but there’s so much more to figure out" Breakout Session

Caroline Mitchell grew up in Colorado and has worked in the waste reduction and recycling industry for over twenty years. She started off in the non-profit sector, working for Eco-Cycle and Recycle Ann Arbor before moving back home to work for the City of Fort Collins in 2011. She has had the great fortune of working in many roles over the years, including volunteer coordination, zero waste events operations, community organizing, operational support, education and outreach, hauler licensing, being the resident data geek, developing programs for the multi-family and commercial sectors, and policy development. Caroline loves the work she gets to do and the people she gets to do it with and will happily geek out on most any waste reduction and recycling topic with anyone interested.

Randy MoormanRandy Moorman
Director of Legislative and Community Campaigns, Eco-Cycle
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 22nd during the Policy Retreat

Randy directs and manages Eco-Cycle's outreach and advocacy team in community-based sustainability projects focused on solid waste (recycling, composting, waste reduction, reuse) in Boulder County, the Denver Metro area, and at the state level.He has successfully led coalitions and worked with government partners to pass local and state Zero Waste policies. Randy has served on the Recycle Colorado board and chaired the Policy Committee since 2016 and was elected to the Arvada City Council in 2021.

Rutger Myers
Denver
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during 4:00pm “ Innovations in Bio-Resource Management” Session

My name is Rutger Myers and I am the Soil Health Technician at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms. As a child, I always maintained a backyard pile in the suburbs of Tampa, FL, much to the chagrin of the Homeowners’ Association. In 2016, I co-founded a composting program at VISTA Gardens in Carrollwood, FL, which is now producing over 2 tons of compost per year with no machinery. In 2019, I left my career as an educator to become a farmer at Chatfield Farms. In 2020, I enrolled in Denver Urban Gardens’ Master Composter Program, creating “proof of concept” piles for site-wide agricultural composting at Chatfield. In 2021, I was put in charge of composting all agricultural organic waste from Chatfield’s 325-acre site. In 2022, my program was awarded grant funding through the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Front Range Waste Diversion Program (FRWD) to expand capacity and purchase compost-specific equipment. This year, I was also awarded a scholarship through Denver Botanic Gardens to study compost and soil biology at Dr. Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web School. 

I value my role as a farmer in the composting community. With funding from CHDPHE/FRWD and knowledge from the Soil Food Web School, I plan on displaying a variety of small-scale methods of composting for local farmers to study. I believe that teaching soil biology to farmers can have a massive positive impact on our planet and the quality of our vegetables. 

Connect with Rutgers: Instagram

Anna Perks
Owner and Founder, Perks Deconstruction
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: 
August 23rd during the 11:00am "Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder – Learn about FRWD grant opportunities, the FRWD application process, and the role of the new FRWD Ambassador" Breakout Session

Anna Perks owns and operates Perks Deconstruction. She is a Colorado Green Building Guild member, on the C&D council for Recycle Colorado, and a member of CASR (Climate Action Sustainability & Resiliency), a Denver based advisory group. She is considered an expert in building material diversion and has experience in waste management, business sustainability, environmental education, and business development. Her focus is on managing construction and demolition debris, building partnerships along the front range, and increasing education and awareness around building material reuse.

Connect with Anna: Instagram

Kevin Priola
State Senator
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 22ns during 5:30pm Welcome Reception

Kevin Priola has served as Colorado State Senator for 6 years, and a State Representative for 8. He is the father of 4, and is married to his high school sweetheart, Michelle Priola. He has been an Adams County resident for his entire life, and enjoys the Adams County Regional Park as well as bike rides along the South Platte River Trail. You can find Senator Priola picking up cans and plastic bottles anywhere he goes, so he can take them home to recycle them because he has quite an efficient home recycling system. According to Michelle, Kevin has been recycling since high school when they would both go from classroom to classroom rounding up the recycling bins. He continues to be passionate about finding solutions to Colorado's pressing problems in regard to conserving resources and recycling.

Holly PummelHolly Pummell
Senior Sustainability Specialist, City of Fort Collins
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Barriers & Success with Plastic Ban Implementation at the Local Government Level" Breakout Session

Holly is a Michigan native who graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Management accompanied by two minors in Leadership in Integrated Learning and Environmental Studies and Sustainability. While at Michigan State University, she was a Sustainability Assistant for the Residential and Hospitality Services. She implemented and created waste reduction and recycling programs, student engagement opportunities, and fostered university/community partnerships.

Before becoming a Senior Sustainability Specialist, Holly was a Program Assistant for the City. She worked on the Disposable Bag Ordinance, Community Recycling Ordinance, and the Barriers to Recycling project. As a Senior Sustainability Specialist, Holly lead the implementation of the Disposable Bag Ordinance. She cultivated relationships with community partners/grocers, distributed free reusable bags to community members, coordinated communication/engagement planning, and monitored the Ordinance's implementation.

Holly enjoys the outdoors, reading, and spending time with her dog Addie! 

Connect with Holly: LinkedIn

Marlon Reis
First Gentleman
Speaking: August 23rd at 10:30am

In his role as First Gentleman of Colorado, Marlon is a champion for the natural world, promoting awareness of the interconnections between people, animals, and the environment. He is passionate about animal protection and raising public awareness of the ways in which climate change and biodiversity loss are interrelated. As an advocate for sustainability, he promotes recycling and Zero Waste policies that acknowledge and work to reduce the negative impacts of human activities on the environment. In his spare time, Marlon enjoys watching nature documentaries, creative writing, visiting animal sanctuaries, and walking his sweet pup, Gia.

Jennifer RichardsonJennifer Richardson
Solid Waste and Sustainability Division Director, Mesa County, and Board Member, Recycle Colorado
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 11:00am "Composting & Hauling Business Basics: How to Get Started at Your City, Business, or Institution" Breakout Session

Jennifer Richardson is the Solid Waste & Sustainability Division Director for Mesa County in Grand Junction, CO. Mrs. Richardson prides herself on being a community resource and subject matter expert for solid waste handling and disposal, including the proper disposal of hazardous and special waste. 

Mrs. Richardson's education includes Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, and Philanthropic Leadership. Within her degree programs, she has studied areas of pollution control, grassland and shrubland ecosystems, fire ecology, soils, hydrology, and air quality. Mrs. Richardson is a Certified Wetland Scientist, Storm Water Management Supervisor, Integrated Solid Waste Manager, and Manager of Landfill Operations. This is Mrs. Richardson's first year serving on Recycle Colorado's Board of Directors.

Rachel Roussel-Diamond
Sustainability Unit Manager, CDPHE
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 11:00 am “The Circular Economy Center- What’s Next?” Breakout Session

Rachel Roussel-Diamond is the Sustainability Unit Manager at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and oversees a variety of cross-media, voluntary environmental programs including the Colorado Green Business Network and the department’s recycling grant and rebate programs. Roussel-Diamond began her career in ambient air quality monitoring with the University of Iowa and later moved to Colorado with her family in 2006. She was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper in 2015 to represent the department on the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board and is also a founding member of the Front Range Waste Diversion Enterprise Board of Directors.

Clinton T. SanderClinton T. Sander
Marketing Manager for A1 Organics
Speaking: August 23rd during 2:15pm "Contamination - Is it solvable or not? Thinking outside of the pile" Breakout Session

Clinton joined A1 Organics in July 2018. He worked in the retail natural foods industry creating marketing initiatives, brand campaigns, and innovative merchandising techniques. He is very passionate about regenerative practices, sustainability, family, and giving back to your community. Clinton has seen first-hand the importance and value of diverting organics out of landfills within a commercial retail food environment and the contamination challenges this environment creates. As the marketing manager for A1 Organics, Clinton actively works on marketing initiatives and communication strategies focused on the amazing environmental benefits of compost application and organics recycling. 

Connect with Clinton: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Rachel SetzeRachel Setzke
Senior Policy and Research Associate, Eco-Cycle
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during 11:00am & 2:15pm "The New Colorado Producer Responsibility Law" Breakout Session

Rachel Setzke (she/her) has been with Eco-Cycle since August of 2019. In her role as Senior Policy and Research Associate, she researches trends and best practices in recycling, compost and Zero Waste in order to support Eco-Cycle’s education and advocacy work. Her work has focused on providing policy and program solutions at community and state levels. She also studies the overlying diversion access, trends and scalable solutions across Boulder County and Colorado and is the co-author of the Colorado State of Recycling and Compost Report. 

Connect with Rachel: LinkedIn

Christi TurnerChristi Turner
Founder & CEO, Scraps
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during 2:15pm "Contamination - Is it solvable or not? Thinking outside of the pile" Breakout Session

Christi Turner is founder and CEO of Scraps, a local company dedicated to creating access to composting where it didn't previously exist, and making composting the norm - rather than the exception - across our community. She has worked in sustainability, sustainable community development, environmental communications & journalism for nearly 20 years. She spent her early career in Madagascar and other developing countries helping communities create appropriate solutions to the sustainability challenges they faced; ten years ago, she came to Colorado to pivot from sustainable development to pursue a masters in environmental journalism. She spent the next several years photographing, filming, & writing about the environmental, sustainability & climate issues facing our state and region. Leaning on both of these facets of her background, in 2017 she decided to try her hand as an entrepreneur and founded Scraps - a responsible business approach to solving a critical environmental, climate & social issue on a local level, and a different avenue to making a positive impact. Five years in, Scraps has collected more than 2 million pounds of compostable material, and grown to service more than 2,500 residents & businesses across the Denver Metro. Christi lives & grows food on a small farm in Arvada, along with a menagerie of rescued dogs, goats, alpacas, chickens & turkeys.

Connect with Christi: Instagram

Stefanie Valentic
Editorial Director of Waste360
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 1:00pm "Plastics Pollution Reduction” Plenary Session

Stefanie Valentic is the award-winning Editorial Director of Waste360. She is entrenched in the waste and recycling industry, covering topics such as waste diversion, anaerobic digestion, food waste, plastics and zero waste, just to name a few. In her spare time, Stefanie works directly with the city of Cleveland, Ohio as a Circular Cleveland Ambassador to encourage waste reduction and sustainable systems within the municipality. Valentic graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.

Connect with Stefanie: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Megan Vinet
Recycling Grants Team Work Lead, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE)
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during the 11:00am "Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder – Learn about FRWD grant opportunities, the FRWD application process, and the role of the new FRWD Ambassador" Breakout Session

Megan Vinet is the Recycling Grants Team (RGT) Work Lead, supporting the work of the Recycling Grants Team at CDPHE. Megan has been at CDPHE since 2018 and with the RGT since 2020. The RGT manages the Resource Recycling Economic Opportunity (RREO) and Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD) grant funds. The team supports all aspects of the application process for RREO & FRWD and supports the grantees on an individual basis, once awarded, for the duration of the contracts.  

Prior to joining the Recycling Grants Team Megan spent one year in the Hazardous Materials Waste Management Division at CDPHE as a Contract Administrator. 

Prior to pursuing a career in public service Megan worked in the private sector at one of the largest tour operators, supporting the operation of tours and tour guides, assisting with planning tours and negotiating and managing hundreds of hotel contracts for tour groups in North America. 

Megan's expertise in contract administration is helpful tool for managing grant contracts for RREO & FRWD.

Becca Walkinshaw
Municipal Administrator, Republic Services of Northern Colorado
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Navigating Colorado Plastic Bans within the Private Sector" Breakout Session

Becca has been in the private hauling industry for 15 years. She has been with Republic Services since January 2021. Her office is based out of Fort Collins and she supports municipalities in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming.

Her passion is working with people to find common ground and build community through public-private partnership. She loves working for Republic Services because she believes when business, community, and government work together to solve issues, this is sustainability in action!

Becca has worked in almost every facet of the hauling industry and finds anything that allows 1:1 connection with people to make our communities more sustainable, or 1:1 with excel spreadsheets, to be the most rewarding. 

Connect with Becca: Website | LinkedIn 

Meghan WiebeMeghan Wiebe
Consultant at RRS
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 23rd during 11:00am "Advancing Colorado’s Front Range up the Zero Waste Ladder" Breakout Session

Meghan is a consultant with RRS who provides research, data analysis, modeling, stakeholder facilitation, system assessments, and project management to non-profits, state agencies, and sustainable communities, in locally and nationally. Recently, Meghan has been supporting the efforts of the NextCycle program – an initiative first unveiled in Colorado and now active in Michigan and Washington – that provides technical assistance and partnership matchmaking to organizations driving forward circular economy solutions. 

Connect with Megan: LinkedIn

Rob Writz
Director of Industry Development & Strategic Partnerships 
He/Him/His
Speaking: August 23rd during 4:00pm “ Innovations in Bio-Resource Management” Session

Rob’s professional career has focused on the intersection of software and business model innovation with Circular Economy and Smart City challenges. He is Director of Industry Development and Strategic Partnerships at AMP Robotics. In this role he develops and maintains AMP’s position as the global leader in providing AI-powered automation to improve our recycling system economically and sustainably. This involves collaboration across resource recovery industries to increase material supply and availability of recycling, modernize recycling infrastructure, and develop market demand for secondary materials. 

Prior to AMP Robotics he was a Product Manager at Intrado (acquired by West), and his teams commercialized the core geographic technology for the world’s first cellular 9-1-1 call routing systems. He served in a Partnership Development role at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory collaborating with startups and small businesses developing energy, grid, and built environment technologies. At Innosphere Ventures he directed the incubation and early-stage financings for cleantech startups in the firm’s portfolio.

Connect with Rob: LinkedIn

Bob YostBob Yost
VP, CTO A1 Organics
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Organic Operations – Local Greenwaste Recycling to Commercial Composting" Breakout Session

Mr. Yost is Vice President and Chief Technical Officer for A1 Organics, having joined A1 in 1990. Established in 1974, A1 is the Rocky Mountain Region's largest commercial organic recycling company managing in excess of 425,000 tons of organics per year including food waste at its 2 Class 3 Composting facilities and 3 green waste recycling facilities in Colorado. Bob’s experience includes product and market development, site and operations development and management, new business development, technical evaluation, permitting and regulatory compliance and project and corporate management duties. Bob has served on numerous advisory and technical boards at both state and national levels and currently serves on the United States Composting Council Board of Directors, USCC Market Development and Membership Committees, and is Chair of the Seal of Testing Assurance Advisory Committee. When not knee deep in a compost pile, he enjoys time with Karen, his wife of 51 years and hunting, fishing, and hiking in the Rocky Mountains near their home near Brighton Colorado.

Connect with Bob: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

DeLanie Young
Mayor, Town of Telluride
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 2:20pm "Barriers & Success with Plastic Ban Implementation at the Local Government Level" Breakout Session

DeLanie is the Mayor of Telluride, CO, and served one term on the Telluride Town Council prior to that. She has been the Town Council member on several subcommittees and commissions, including the Ecology Commission, throughout her tenure. The Telluride Ecology Commission helped direct the process to establish an updated and overhauled Climate Action Plan which was adopted by Town Council in April under her leadership. DeLanie also serves as the Chair of the Telluride Housing Authority. That committee is proud to have developed a 30-unit Net Zero workforce housing project that includes a family childcare unit which is nearing completion. It is the first workforce housing project of its kind on the Western Slope. 

Mayor Young was the recipient of the 2020 Recycle Colorado award for Outstanding Elected Official for her efforts to improve recycling. Testifying at the Colorado General Assembly has become a common practice for this elected official, who loves the opportunity to participate in our democratic process, even when it means staying up until 2:00 am to fight the preemptive language that prohibits actions which would vastly improve our efforts to eliminate plastics.

Jane ZelikovaDr. Jane Zelikova
Executive Director, Soil Carbon Solutions Center, Colorado State University
She/Her/Hers
Speaking: August 24th during 9:00am Keynote

Dr. Jane Zelikova works at the intersection of climate science and policy. Her work focuses on advancing the science of carbon removal and she is the executive director of the Soil Carbon Solutions Center at Colorado State University, where she works with leading scientists to build the tools and approaches needed to accelerate the deployment of credible soil-based climate solutions, measure their impacts, and bring them to scale. Her recent TED talk on the topic of soils and climate change can be found here: https://www.ted.com/talks/jane_zelikova_why_healthy_soil_matters_now_more_than_ever

In addition to her scientific and policy expertise, Dr. Zelikova is the cofounder of 500 Women Scientists, a global grassroots nonprofit organization with the mission to serve society by making science open, inclusive and accessible and fighting racism, patriarchy and oppressive societal norms. She is also the founder of Hey Girl Productions, coproducing and starring in the film End of Snow, which has been featured in National Geographic and Outside magazine. 

Connect with Jane: Instagram