Meet the Candidates

19 May 2015

AOR will hold board elections at the annual member meeting at Sustainable Oregon 2015 during lunch on Thursday, June 4. Several positions are up for election: Education Chair, Legislative Chair, Markets Chair, and Treasurer.

Below are the candidates that have stepped forward to-date. However, there’s still time to enter the race! If you’d like to run for one of these positions, please contact Amy Roth, AOR’s Resource Director via email or phone at 503-233-3056. You can learn more about board duties and eligibility requirements on our elections page. Candidates can throw their hats into the ring up until the annual meeting where we’ll take nominations from the floor.

Are you an AOR member that can't attend the conference? You can still vote! Check out the elections page for more info on how to submit a proxy ballot.

Education Chair

Pam PeckPam Peck
Resource Conservation and Recycling Manager, Metro

I am interested in serving on the AOR board of directors as Education Chair. I would bring many years of experience in communications, marketing, and nonprofit board service. I have found AOR’s events and resources, such as the conference, forums, and online Recycling 101 course, to be valuable learning opportunities that exposed me to new issues and a range of perspectives on those issues. I’m excited to take the great ideas I've heard from AOR members and begin working with AOR board members and the Education Committee to support member and public education.

I have more than 25 years of professional experience in the areas of natural resource conservation planning and communications. I am a manager in Metro’s Resource Conservation and Recycling group where I oversee regional waste reduction programs. This includes Metro’s school education and Recycle At Work programs that educate students and businesses about waste prevention and recycling. I also oversee the Recycling Information Center that provides recycling information to the general public, as well as customer service support for the Oregon E-Cycles program and Metro’s solid waste facility customers. Other relevant experience at Metro, where I have worked since 1994, includes committee management, stakeholder and public engagement, program development, strategic planning, communications, event planning, and marketing. 

My experience in the nonprofit sector includes service on the board of directors for EarthShare Oregon (formerly the Environmental Federation of Oregon) and Transportation Options Group of Oregon (ToGo), and experience as a staff member at Vermonters Organized for Clean-Up and OSPIRG.

Legislative Chair

Justin GastJustin Gast
​Recycling Specialist, Washington County Solid Waste & Recycling Progam

​My name is Justin Gast, a recycling specialist with the Washington County Solid Waste & Recycling Program, and I am running for AOR’s vacant Legislative Chair position.

I have been a part of the solid waste & recycling industry for over 11 years, initially getting my feet wet under the tutelage of Jerry Powell at Resource Recycling. Among other duties, I covered legislation for Resource Recycling, even maintaining the industry’s most comprehensive legislation database. 

Upon my departure from Resource Recycling, I joined Washington County, where for the last five years I have provided materials management technical assistance to the county’s diverse commercial sector. In addition to providing technical assistance, I serve, or have served, on numerous local, state, and national workgroups and committees, including: the Portland Metro region’s grocer, workplace recycling, organics, and schools committees; DEQ’s Waste Plastics Assessment workgroup and Recycling Opportunities subgroup (relevant to SB 263); AOR’s education and legislative committees; and, last but not least, the U.S. Composting Council’s Compostable Plastics Task Force – Standards and Practices and Legislation and Enforcement (LEWG) workgroups, as well as its Legislative and Environmental Affairs Committee. As head of LEWG, I worked with numerous industry stakeholders to create draft legislation addressing the greenwashing of compostable products.  

As AOR’s Legislative Chair, I will follow in the footsteps of the knowledgeable ones before me, keeping membership updated on the legislative issues relevant to our state and this industry.   

When I’m not working, you’ll find me undertaking any of the following with my lovely wife Terra: Hiking Forest Park, gardening, home remodeling, estate saling, attending a Blazers, Cubs, or Ducks sporting event, and biking, though my wife thinks I’m crazy for biking as far as I do for work. 

Markets Chair

Derek RantaDerek Ranta
​District Manager, Waste Connections

I have worked in the solid waste and recycling industry for over 12 years. During that time I have lead operations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. I currently run hauling, collection, and MRF operations in Clark County for Waste Connections. Our sites service 120,000 homes within Clark County as well as processing recyclables from communities throughout Oregon including the Portland Area, Eugene, Bend, Coos County, Columbia County, and the Columbia River Gorge. We currently market over 6,000 tons per month of recycled material from our Clark County MRF.

My interest in joining the board stems from becoming a more active participant in AOR events in recent years. I appreciate the value that the organization provides in bringing together recycling professionals under the common goal of recycling advocacy throughout the state of Oregon. I feel that my real time knowledge of industry dynamics through the operation of one of the larger material recovery facilities in the Northwest will assist the Board and members of AOR in staying current with recycling markets.

Vinod Singh​Vinod Singh
Operations Manager, Far West Recycling

I have been in the recycling industry and working at Far West Recycling (FWR) for 20+ years, and have been involved with AOR for a good part of that time. I am a believer in the collaborative and informative nature of AOR, and have been looking for a way to better help assist the organization. I have been on the membership committee, participated in forums/conferences, and worked with many AOR members on various committees and projects outside of AOR. Currently, part of my time at FWR is spent with others examining markets, trying to find the best homes and values for recovered materials. So when the Markets Chair opened up it felt like a good fit. I look forward to the opportunity.


Fred StemmlerFred Stemmler
​General Manager, Recology Western Oregon

​At Recology Western Oregon, I have the great privilege to serve a variety of great communities throughout NW Oregon in their recycling, compost, and/or garbage collection and processing needs. My day job is the General Manager of RWO - an employee-owned company comprised of 93 working with Polk, Clatsop, Tillamook, and Yamhill counties and many of the cities within their borders. Over the last year, I have had the pleasure to serve as the Conference Chair of the Association of Oregon Recyclers. While this role has been fulfilling and a worthwhile endeavor, I believe my skills and background can be better utilized and aligned in the Treasurer's role. AOR is in a sensitive fiscal position at present and I’m naturally drawn to this position and its duties. Furthermore, the current board members have discussed this move and provided me with their endorsement and I hope our members will do the same. As for qualifications, I’m a licensed current CPA and my past and present board experience includes servings as Treasurer for two nonprofits and a current seat with the Oregon Refuse and Recycling Association. It would be my pleasure to again work with the AOR board and serve its members. Thanks for your consideration.