Sustainable Oregon 2020

Session Speakers and Moderators

David Allaway

David Allaway | Oregon DEQ

David Allaway has worked at the intersection of waste, materials, and environment for over 30 years. He is currently a senior policy analyst at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). In the 1990s David worked extensively on recycling, then shifted focus to waste prevention and broader sustainable materials management. He refocused on recycling in 2019 and 2020 as co-chair of Oregon’s Recycling Steering Committee. David recently served as an advisor to Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown and the New York Times bestseller "Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming." David has a B.A. in physics from Carleton College, Minnesota.

Joshua Alpert

Joshua Alpert | C40 Cities

Joshua Alpert began work with C40, a network of the world's megacities committed to addressing climate change, in August 2016. As Director of Special Projects, he runs C40’s think tank, creating and developing new programmes to be implemented in C40 cities. Programmes have included C40’s air quality programme, inclusive climate action programme, and currently C40’s strategy on reducing consumption. Joshua also serves as C40’s Head of Bloomberg Philanthropy’s American Cities Climate Challenge as well as Interim C40 North American Director.

Prior to starting with C40, Joshua was Chief of Staff to Mayor Charlie Hales. As Chief of Staff, Josh worked with and advised the Mayor on long-range strategy and policy, led City efforts on addressing homelessness, and was the lead for C40, where he helped launch a seven-city pilot to quantify and measure the green economy. Before joining Mayor Hales’ administration, Joshua worked for seven years as the Northwest Director of Conservation Strategies for The Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit focused on land conservation. While there, he oversaw 18 successful ballot measure campaigns in Western cities, counties, and states, raising $2.7 billion in public funding for parks, natural areas, and waterways.

Joshua holds a J.D. law degree from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, traveling the world, backpacking, cooking, and working on his side venture - a virtual platform to revolutionize the world of remote work.


Kevin Andrews | Merlin Plastics

Richard Arterbury

Richard Arterbury | Ocean Blue Project

Richard founded Ocean Blue with his son, Fleet, on World Ocean Day 2012. Richard is responsible for cultivating relationships, overseeing client portfolios, project management, program design, business partnerships, sponsors, program development, and staff development. He has worked as a social change agent, account manager, sales, and partnerships within diverse communities for over a decade. Richard’s primary focus is engaging communities of people – whether social profit or government; urban or rural; national or global – in development, consensus-building and behavior-changing initiatives to maintain healthy waterways by protecting clean water rights and healthy streams for stronger generations to come.

Alondra Flores Avina

Alondra Flores Aviña | Trash for Peace

Alondra Flores Aviña is Trash for Peace’s Environmental Promoter Program Manager. She was born in San Quintin, Baja California and came to the United States at the age of five and now resides in Southeast Portland. She earned her Associate of General Studies from Portland Community College in 2017 and recently completed her Bachelors in Community Development with a focus in Civic Leadership from Portland State University. Her passion grew in sustainability, environmental justice, and youth development through her work with Trash for Peace, the Beekeeping and Garden task force and Community Environmental Services at Portland State University. Alondra believes in the importance of active listening and engagement to support communities on their strengths and needs, as they are experts in their communities.

Denise Barnes

Denise Barnes | Rogue Disposal & Recycling

Denise has worked for Rogue Disposal for 35 years and was instrumental in the development of the Jackson County Recycling Partnership, which is a consortium of local governments and waste haulers formed to address and comply with County-wide solid waste and recycling issues and mandates. Denise grew up in a small rural town on the Big Island of Hawaii where conservation, waste prevention, and reuse were a way of life.

Laurel Bates

Laurel Bates | Clackamas County Refuse and Recycling Association and Clackamas County Sustainability and Solid Waste

Laurel provides waste reduction, education, and technical assistance to K-12 schools throughout Clackamas County. Laurel draws on her understanding of the inner-working of schools through her professional experiences as a middle school teacher to provide schools with suggestions and solutions that work within the unique school environment. In her spare time, she moonlights as a first-grade home school teacher due to the Covid-19 shutdown.

Charlotte Becker

Charlotte Becker

Charlotte began recycling in the 1950s, when she dragged her wagon filled with glass bottles and egg cartons to the corner store. No Bottle Bill. Redemption was a penny. In the 1970s, she created an office paper recycling program and a used office supply exchange at the local title company where she worked. But it wasn't until 1987 that she had her first real job at Metro as Recycling Information Center Coordinator after completing her BA in Communications. There she became involved with AOR and the conference planning committee. In 1990, she was invited to bid on a contract to become AOR's first Resource Coordinator, a position she held until 2005. During that time, AOR hosted a successful NRC Conference, worked in conjunction with what is now ORRA on the first curbside recycling study, which helped launch source-separated curbside recycling in Oregon, lobbied to expand plastics and electronics recycling, defended office paper recycling programs from severe restrictions, and grew its membership and its resources. Charlotte left AOR in 2005 to pursue a Master's degree in social work. After graduating in 2007, she went to work for the Portland VA Medical Center at its Community Living Center and skilled nursing facility in Vancouver. She retired from the VA in 2015, but continues to volunteer in her community.


Brett Biggers | Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

Elaine Blatt

Elaine Blatt | Oregon DEQ

Elaine Blatt is a Senior Policy and Program Analyst at Oregon DEQ. Her primary focus is on sustainable consumption and production of materials, and she led development of DEQ’s strategy for preventing the wasting of food. She is currently leading market research designed to inform development of values-based messaging to encourage Oregonians to reduce wasted food, representing Oregon in a West Coast initiative to promote food waste reduction among grocers, and developing outreach on food waste prevention to food service businesses. Prior to joining DEQ, Elaine worked on a variety of projects related to sustainable production and consumption, energy efficiency, and supply chain management. She has a MA in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a BA in Political Science from Carleton College.


Meghan Borato | City of Gresham/Oregon Green Schools

Abby Boudouris

Abby Boudouris | Oregon DEQ

Abby Boudouris is a Senior Legislative Analyst at Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Over the past 28 years at DEQ, Abby has worked throughout the Land Quality Program areas including Materials Management, Environmental Cleanup, and Hazardous Waste. Abby serves on the Board of Directors of the Product Stewardship Institute. Abby earned her undergraduate degree in natural resources from the University of Michigan and her Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina.


Elaine Cole | Portland Community College


Harmonee Dashiell | City of Portland

Brianne De Man

Brianne De Man | Binners' Project

Brianne is passionate about social justice and creating healthier environments for our communities to live in. Binners’ Project lives into these passions with its combined efforts in advocating for the legitimization of work for binners in Vancouver, as well as the ecological benefits binning has for the community.

In her work with Binners' Project, Brianne facilitates campaigns for expanding the EPR system in British Columbia, de-stigmatizing the work of binners, and amplifying their voices through consultations with all levels of government.

​Brianne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & English and a Master of Public Health in Social Policy.

Julie Derrick

Julie Derrick | JD's Shoe Repair

Julie Derrick founded her shop, JD’s Shoe Repair, in 2009 and has been in shoe repair for 15 years. Mentored by some of the best cobblers in the area and driven to further her skills in repairing shoes and leather goods while furthering her education in business management, she manages the shop and works on repairs.

Shoe repair fits with Julie's core held ethic of maintaining and reusing rather than contributing to the ever-larger heap of garbage in the world. JD's Shoe Repair focuses on the need to stay comfortable on our feet. The shop provides repairs and maintenance to working people and travelers of all kinds, from musicians and dancers to laborers and nurses. Shoe repair is for everyone, and the staff works to create a welcoming and supportive environment in the shop for anyone who needs their shoes to keep going a few more miles.

Marie Diodati

Marie Diodati | Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Darwin Eustaquio

Darwin Eustaquio | Metro

Darwin is driven to serve others through his belief in the power of education and social justice. At the age of five, Darwin and his family emigrated from Nicaragua, fleeing the Contra War and leaving behind relatives, professions, and belongings. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, he was greatly influenced by his parents’ determination to start a new life and build new relationships by going back to college to learn a new language and regain academic credentials. From high school to graduate school, Darwin engaged youth and adults through tutoring, mentorship, and classroom teaching in various roles.

After earning a degree in psychology, Darwin served as a senior community program specialist for the County of San Mateo for nearly a decade, leading library-based youth development, literacy, and community programs in a largely disenfranchised community in the heart of Silicon Valley. Darwin furthered his commitment to equitable education by serving on the boards of two Bay Area nonprofit organizations that strive to close the educational opportunity gap and increase civic participation for Latinos and other people of color.

Since joining Metro in 2015 as a lead educator and project manager, Darwin is actively engaged in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. In Oregon, Darwin has also served on the boards of the Oregon Green Schools Association and The Sauvie Island Center. He is committed to serving our region equitably and striving to amplify the voice of community, knowing that people are experts in their own lived experiences.

Mariana Valenzuela Figueroa

Mariana Valenzuela Figueroa | Centro Cultural de Washington County

Mariana E. Valenzuela Figueroa was born in La Serena, Chile, and has lived in the State of Oregon since 2001. She received her M.B.A. from Pacific University, as well as a B.A. in Latin American Studies, M.A in Literature from New Mexico State University. Her professional career includes 27 years of teaching experience at institutions of higher education, including Idaho State University, Portland Community College, and Pacific University.

Currently, she holds the position of Director of Community Partnerships and Advocacy at Centro Cultural where she has worked on civic engagement projects and community outreach since August 2018. Ms. Valenzuela is a member of the Latino Policy Council and City Councilor for the City of Forest Grove.

Veronica Fincher

Veronica Fincher | Seattle Public Utilities

Veronica Fincher is a Senior Waste Prevention Program Manager for Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), where she has worked for the past 18 years. She began working in 2004 to increase equitable community engagement as part of SPU's Environmental Justice Network in Action Team, and later as a founding member of SPU's Environmental Justice and Service Equity Division and a member of the Hazardous Waste Management Program's Racial Equity Team.

In addition to working directly with communities, she has provided consultation to colleagues and organizational leadership to further increase racial equity within SPU and the Hazardous Waste Program. Veronica has brought her passion and experience in equitable community engagement to her current role focused on waste prevention, where she manages the Waste-Free Communities Matching Grant program that funds community-initiated and led waste prevention projects. She also manages SPU's Love Food, Stop Waste program focused on residential food waste prevention.


Lexi French | Waste Connections

Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia | Centro Cultural

Hello, my name is Sergio Garcia and I am an environmental promoters coordinator of Washington County's Cultural Center in Cornelius as well as a recycling expert, applying the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, and recycle). Rules that are very important in helping to better manage the waste within the home and community, with the goal of establishing a better culture in helping our climate. I want to say I am a person who is interested in continual improvement and growth.

Lastly, I enjoy being in contact with nature, going fishing, listening to music, reading, swimming in rivers, spending time with family, and solving sudoku puzzles.


Sarah Grimm | Lane County

Jill Hrycyk

Jill Hrycyk | Metro

Jill Hrycyk (her-ris-zik) has been working in behavior change transformation for 13+ years in various industries including energy efficiency, travel and tourism, healthcare and now in solid waste and recycling. As a project planner and manager, she believes the key to successful implementation is through thoughtful research and diverse stakeholder collaboration with empathy and humility.

Scott Keller

Scott Keller | City of Beaverton

Scott is a Senior Program Manager at the City of Beaverton, overseeing the city's work in solid waste and recycling, sustainability and climate, community gardens, and a variety of internal services (mailroom, print shop). He has been in this evolving role in Beaverton since May 2000. From 2018-2020, he was a member of the DEQ Recycling Steering Committee, representing the League of Oregon Cities.

Laura Kutner

Laura Kutner | Trash for Peace

Laura Kutner (she, her, hers) was born and raised in Portland, OR. She is a Peace Corps alumna and has her BA in Anthropology and Spanish from UCSB and her Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University. Her Peace Corps experience was her inspiration for starting Trash for Peace and is honored to work with such incredible and inspiring community members. She also teaches a GED class for Spanish-speaking adults at MHCC, and in her free time loves to go on walks and runs with her family and watch the Great British Bake Off.

Tom Lang

Tom Lang | Oregon DEQ

Tom has been with Oregon DEQ since the spring of 2019. As a Materials Management Regional Specialist, he works with local governments along the north coast and within the Metro region to meet the requirements of the Opportunity to Recycle Act, implement waste prevention programs, and provide planning resources to community leaders and local organizations. Tom also administers grants within the Northwest Region, and supports research on behalf of DEQ’s 2050 Vision of Materials Management. Prior to joining DEQ, Tom worked and researched for the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service throughout the Rocky Mountains and Alaska. Tom holds an M.S. in Conservation Social Science from the University of Montana and a B.A. in Communication & Media Studies from the University of Rhode Island.

Laura Leebrick

Laura Leebrick | Rogue Disposal & Recycling (AOR Treasurer)

Laura Leebrick is the Community and Governmental Affairs Manager at Rogue Disposal & Recycling in Medford, Oregon. Laura served as a member of the DEQ Recycling Steering Committee, and also currently serves as Treasurer on the AOR Board, and has been a proud member of AOR for two decades. She has been working in the solid waste industry for 22 years in roles ranging from recycling education and outreach, to route and transfer station operations, to advocacy and public relations. 

Katheryn Marshall

Katheryn Marshall | Trash for Peace

Katheryn Marshall originally got involved with Trash for Peace by volunteering during our weekly after school programming with youth. She then joined the team as an Environmental Promoter in 2019, as is now serving as Trash for Peace's Sustainability Education Coordinator! Katheryn believes being able to reuse and repurpose things to help clean up our environment for future generations is important. She has been working with youth for years, and has a passion for all things crafty! She especially enjoys making quilts. Katheryn brings her expertise with kids and crafts to our team by designing and prepping activities for all our sites.

David McCall

David McCall | Tillamook County

David spent half his life living in Central Eastern Europe, and brought decades of experience in unique recycling opportunities to Tillamook County when he relocated back to the States in 2012. Since then he's helped guide the county through a series of changes in the waste management and recycling system, including increasing convenience for recycling for both businesses and residents. While communities throughout the state (and country) have endured significant changes in their recycling systems since the Green Fence, continuing improvements in Tillamook County have resulted in a net increase in recycling during that same time, and residents have felt little of the international crisis.

In his spare time, David is also the Mayor of Bay City, the second-largest city in the county.

Joy McInnis

Joy McInnis | Klamath Works

Joy is the Executive Director at Klamath Works in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The organization beginning in 2014, met with government agencies, charities and religious ministries to find ways to address social problems in the Klamath Basin. They reached a powerful conclusion: The best welfare program for the needy is more jobs.

As a result, Sky Lakes Medical Center, government agencies, faith-based organizations, law enforcement and business partners have rallied around a common goal. Their mission is to help those in need return to self-sufficiency by preparing them for work.

Julie Miller

Julie Miller | Oregon DEQ

Julie is a communications specialist at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and supports the materials management program. She’s worked on several outreach campaigns at DEQ, including Make Every Thread Count, Wasted Food Wasted Money and Recycle Right! Prior to joining DEQ, Julie worked in several communication roles for nonprofits, including disaster response communications for the American Red Cross and as the communications director at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon. She has an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University.

Deveron Musgrave

Deveron Musgrave | City of Eugene

Currently a Waste Prevention Analyst for the City of Eugene, Deveron previously worked in the nonprofit sector in sustainability and reuse. She is the City’s Repair and Reuse program lead, and has a role in the Sustainable Events program, the Love Food Not Waste program, Partners in Education program, and the Internal Zero Waste program.

Deveron was the co-chair and City of Eugene liaison for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Sustainability Committee, and worked to develop the City’s Water Station Project, which provides water bottle refilling stations for events. She regularly presents on sustainable event topics at conferences and events and has performed on-site sustainability certification auditing for the Council for Responsible Sport.

Deveron has previously served as a Whilamut Citizen Planning Committee member and vice-chair and as a past board member of the Eugene Springfield ToolBox Project.

Ricardo Palazuelos

Ricardo Palazuelos | Washington County

After spending many years in the automotive industry, Ricardo pursued advanced degrees in the field of education as he made a career change into primary and secondary public education with an emphasis in technology. As a parent, he saw the need for others to be accounted when making system changes to sustainable services that directly affect them. Ricardo has been involved with community groups for many years and understands the importance of involving their members, especially from marginalized populations, in the decision-making process.

Suzanne Piluso

Suzanne Piluso | Metro

Suzanne Piluso manages Metro’s Investment and Innovation grant program, which seeks to reduce environmental impacts and increase equity through improvements to greater Portland’s systems of waste prevention, reuse, recycling, composting and waste-to-energy. After a stint as an environmental lawyer in San Francisco, Ms. Piluso returned to her home city Portland, drawn back by her love of public service. She has found her niche in local government, and has enjoyed managing complex projects at the City of Portland and currently at Metro.

Early in her career, Suzanne managed grants for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and feels incredibly lucky to be working in grant-making again because the dynamic nature of it requires continuous learning and adaptation, and a high level of collaboration with diverse stakeholders. When not in front of her computer screen, Suzanne can be found exploring new hiking trails with her husband and rescued greyhound, Gladys.

Rhys Roth

Rhys Roth | Center for Sustainable Infrastructure

Rhys Roth is Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure (CSI), which is helping to bring innovation, new tools, and sustainability excellence to infrastructure planning and investment in the Pacific Northwest. Rhys authored CSI’s influential inaugural report, "Infrastructure Crisis, Sustainable Solutions" and the first three "Five Big Goals for 2040" CSI reports: "Rewiring the Northwest’s Energy Infrastructure," "A Northwest Vision for 2040 Water Infrastructure," and "From Waste Management to Clean Materials." Prior to founding CSI, Rhys co-founded and helped lead for over 15 years the nonprofit group Climate Solutions.

Michelle Sanow

Michelle Sanow | Clark County Public Health - Green Schools

Michelle Sanow is an environmental outreach specialist in the Green Schools program for Clark County Public Health. Clark County supports eight school districts, and many private schools, adding up to over 150 schools. She helps find resources for schools in waste reduction, composting, food donation, milk dispensers, and overall sustainability assistance.

Jon Schmidt

Jon Schmidt | SOLVE

Jon Schmidt grew up in the land of 10,000 lakes (Minnesota) where he developed his love of clean water staying cool wading in the Cottonwood River on hot and humid mid-western summer days. He has a degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Minnesota, Mankato and years of experience working with partners and the public to take care of their special spaces including parks, trails, beaches, and other natural areas.

He has over a decade of experience working as a natural and cultural history interpreter for Washington State Parks at Cape Disappointment State Park. He coordinated Washington state's annual beach cleanups for the small non-profit Washington CoastSavers for five years before joining the non-profit SOLVE in Portland, Oregon two years ago. He is now responsible for coordinating SOLVE's Spring and Fall beach cleanups, encompassing the entire Oregon Coast, as well as the Oregon Adopt-A-Beach program recently launched in late 2019.

When he's not coordinating beach cleanups you might find him exploring a "new to him" park with his wife Jenny, kids, Norah and Arlo, and his dogs Pepper and Rudy.

Elisa Seltzer

Elisa Seltzer | Resource Recycling Systems

Elisa Seltzer joined Resource Recycling Systems in 2019 as a senior consultant after a long and successful career as a public works director for Emmet County, MI. She is a visionary and strategic leader experienced in project management and recycling, composting, and solid waste policy and program development. Her 30 years of experience in the public sector includes funding, implementing, and overseeing comprehensive and cost-effective resource recovery programs including recycling collection, food scrap collection, and compost operations; MRF operations; and materials marketing. Elisa utilizes her skills in collaborative team management, skillful contract negotiation, RFP development, procurement, community outreach, and market development to further recovery initiatives for public and private sector organizations.

Sanne Stienstra

Sanne Stienstra | Oregon DEQ

Sanne Stienstra is a natural resource specialist with Oregon DEQ’s Materials Management Program where she has worked on a range of topics including recycling, food waste prevention, and social equity. She enjoys working in sustainable materials management because of the potential to transform how society thinks about our use of natural resources and what it means to “live well.” Prior to joining DEQ in 2018, Sanne was the green business coordinator for Washington County Solid Waste & Recycling. Sanne holds a master of public administration from the University of Washington and when she’s not at work, she volunteers as the board chair of Next Up, a nonprofit organization that amplifies the voice and leadership of diverse young people to achieve a more just and equitable Oregon.

Jay Simmons

Jay Simmons | NORPAC

Jay has worked for NORPAC for over 44 years. He started in the research & development division in Weyerhaeuser working on recycling and paper-making technologies supporting new product development for the fine paper and newsprint business sectors.

During the late 80s he was a key technical resource on the design and startup team for the new NORPAC deink facility, which started up in 1991.

Additional lead for projects for the deink facility included the development of NORPAC raw material quality measurement practices and reporting criteria.

From 1991 to 2016, responsibilities included managing raw material purchases, quality, strategies, process improvement projects, cost reduction, and quality improvement.

Current responsibilities include manager packaging product development, interface to sales strategies for new grades, manager chain of custody, environmental department support, technical process design support for planned new recycling facility, and process improvements & projects.

He is a member of the following efforts to improve quality and consumption of paper grades: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Recycling Steering Committee, Washington State Department of Ecology Recycling Steering Committee, and Washington State Recycling Development Center Advisory Board.

Vinod Singh

Vinod Singh | Far West Fibers (AOR Markets Chair)

Vinod is the Outreach Manager at Far West Recycling. Vinod has been working with the Far West Recycling team for 25+ years. Over the years, he has worked at and managed multiple Far West Recycling locations, learning company operations from the ground up as well as observing the industry and company from various perspectives. He serves on the Association of Oregon Recyclers Board as the Markets Chair. Far West Recycling operates three facilities in Oregon: two processing facilities that handle a variety of mixed and source segregated materials and a facility focusing on metals and electronics recycling.  

David Skakel

David Skakel | Tri-County Hazardous Waste & Recycling Program

David Skakel is program coordinator for the Tri-County Hazardous Waste & Recycling Program, where he has been collecting hazardous waste and providing materials management outreach to households, businesses, and farmers of Wasco, Sherman, and Hood River counties in Oregon since 2008.

He previously directed a sustainable living nonprofit in the Columbia Gorge that incubated a local food network, farmers markets, a building materials reuse store, deconstruction services, and a local currency program called River Hours (where they printed their own money. Yippee!). He credits his interest in this career track to taking the Master Recycler Composter training in Snohomish County Washington years ago.

Serilda Sommers-McGee

Serilda Summers-McGee | Workplace Change, LLC

Serilda Summers-McGee is the Founder and Principal of Workplace Change, LLC, a human resources consultancy created to guide, advise, and encourage the business world through internal as well as external growth and transition, while incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into HR systems. Serilda has been an HR/DEI innovator for over 15 years, honing her ability to identify challenges and opportunities while teaching the masses how to be better leaders. She has inspired thousands to create, embrace, and mobilize lasting organizational change.

Most recently, Serilda was Chief Human Resources Officer for the City of Portland, Oregon, one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. While serving in this role, she led a bureau of 84 professionals who supported a workforce of more than 10,000. She has held leadership roles for the Portland Development Commission, the Oregon Department of Education, Kaiser Permanente, Partners in Diversity, and Reed College.

In 2019, Serilda positioned the City of Portland’s Bureau of Human Resources to win the Western Region International Public Management Association For Human Resources "Agency Award For Excellence." In 2018, she received Portland Business Journal’s "Women of Influence Award," and in 2019, she received Portland Business Journal’s "HR Excellence Award."

Serilda believes in the power of an equitable and inclusive work environment. She knows that to be a healthy company, there must be a healthy culture. Serilda has made it her life’s work to help organizations and leaders create and sustain optimal work cultures. For her, the importance of HR became apparent while working the counter at Taco Bell in her first high school job, which lasted eight years.

While not in the office, Serilda focuses on her family, her friends, and making the occasional gourmet meal. When clients engage with Serilda, they get experience, expertise, and everything else it takes to create positive workplace change.

Taylor Cass Talbott

Taylor Cass Talbott | Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing

Taylor works for WIEGO: Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing, where she coordinates their global Reducing Waste in Coastal Cities project. The project supports the organizing of waste picker associations in ways that maximize marine waste reduction. She has worked at the confluence of waste reduction, labor, and social inclusion for more than a decade, as both a project manager and an artist.

Taylor spent four years developing a zero waste program for the Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative, in SE Bhutan. She also worked for the SWaCH waste picker cooperative in Pune, India, developing their “Red Dot Campaign” to improve sanitary waste management. Taylor began working with waste pickers in 2008 as part of Live Debris, a series of international workshops and art exhibits that she designed to draw attention to social inclusion in the waste sector.

She has a background in environmental studies and a Master’s in Peace and Conflict Resolution. Taylor is currently based in Oregon, USA, where she also works part time for the organization Trash for Peace, supporting the formation of a new waste picker association there called Ground Score. In her free time, she herself picks waste for art and crafts projects.

Isaiah Talton

Isaiah Talton | Trash for Peace

Hi my name is Isaiah Talton and I am an Environmental promoter coordinator working through an non-profit organization called Trash for Peace. I work on multi-family housing sites to promote environmental sustainability in creative ways. One of the many ways we bring about awareness is providing after school youth programming at the sites, where we do activities with the kids making cool art out of recyclable materials. I also worked with Metro as a community voice writer to help get feedback from residents at the different home forward sites on changes they would like to see, and how we could implement those changes into the promoters program.

Aimee Thompson

Aimee Thompson | Thompson Sanitary Service

I am a communications person who fell into the waste industry through family, as well as a personal interest in recycling and sustainability. I've been involved in publicly educating our coastal community for 14 years, largely about recycling but evolving into sustainability. Living and working in a small rural community, I have worked hard to create and maintain relationships that have become instrumental in communicating my message.

My path has taught me most by learning from my mistakes, but also by listening to local citizens and being creative in reaching people with a small education budget. Because of this, I've really learned to value organic communication - authentic conversations that are taken to the next level. In my experience, educating our youth is by far the most cost and time-effective way to elevate and/or change people's behaviors. I try my best to live what I preach and am always looking to do better and be honest about the process so I can bring people from ALL walks of life along in my learning.


Laura van der Veer | Metro

Anthony Veliz

Anthony Veliz | IZO Public Relations & Marketing

Anthony Veliz is the founder and owner of IZO Public Relations & Marketing, a multicultural agency specializing in the Latino community. IZO recently launched STORI jobs, a Digital Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment Platform targeting diverse college/university students and Millennials.

Anthony has consulted with many public and private sector organizations on issues of equity, diversity, inclusion, and recruitment. His expertise on the growing Latino community of Oregon is unmatched.

The son of farmworkers, Anthony has always had a passion for the community of Woodburn, where he lives and works. Anthony has earned the trust of the community as the first Latino ever elected to the Woodburn School District School Board and only the second Latino elected to serve on the city council for the City of Woodburn. He recently helped secure $1,000,000 through the Oregon Lottery for a new community center.

His work experience as the former U.S. Community Relations Manager for the Beaverton-based giant NIKE to Director of Parent & Community Relations for the Woodburn School District gives him a unique perspective on the Latino community at both the national and local levels.

Anthony has a passion for public service. He has been involved with the community at the local, state, and national level for over 30 plus years. Anthony currently serves on the following boards:

  • State Board of Education – 5th Congressional District
  • Oregon Youth Authority State Advisory Committee
  • Woodburn Downtown Association – President

Anthony earned a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, RI and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Portland State University in Portland, OR.

Barbra Weber

Barbra Weber | Ground Score Association

Barbra (Barbie) Weber is an effective communicator with a gentle demeanor. Her motto in life is to do as little harm as possible to all life around her, to make every effort to assist in the betterment no matter what race, religion, gender identity, social status, mental health, criminal history, age, etc. And to fight with all her might to tear down stereotypes and to end hate that divides communities to their core.

She is a committed advocate on issues regarding hygiene access for all. She is highly involved in many organizations and advocacy groups including Street Roots, Sisters of the Road, Right 2 Survive, Western Regional Advocacy Project, Gather Make Shelter, Trash for Peace, and more. She is a well respected and trusted member of the houseless community.

Dan Weston

Dan Weston | Washington Department of Ecology

Dan Weston has served as the Recycling and Materials Management Policy Coordinator in the Washington Department of Ecology’s Solid Waste Management Program since February. He coordinates the development, implementation, and evaluation of statewide strategies focused on recycling, reuse, and waste reduction. He joined Ecology in 2012 as a data analyst and brings a data-driven approach to materials management issues. He has a Master’s in Public Policy from Oregon State University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa.