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2024 Western Regional Symposium Speaker Bios

Joe Ayala, ECONWARD TECH, LLC

Joe Ayala has nearly 30 years of experience commercializing new technologies. He leads the ECONWARD TECH, LLC business in North America and believes anaerobic digestion is one of the pivotal solutions for organic waste recycling. Joe holds master’s degrees in chemical engineering, business administration and international business. Joe loves Brazilian jiu jitsu and hiking long hours with his wife and two kids; recently they completed a 75-mile hike to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, finishing the journey in just 5 days.

Dan Bacehowski, HDR

Dan Bacehowski brings 24 years of technical and management experience to the integrated solid waste industry, including master planning with a focus on solid waste diversion program planning and development, operations assistance, regulatory reporting, facility permitting and compliance guidance. Dan provides HDR’s clients with a visionary approach for materials management solutions. When it comes to programs or technologies that divert materials from the landfill, Dan understands where to start the conversation. Dan is an active member of the Board of Directors for both the Colorado Rocky Mountain and Iowa Chapters of the SWANA. Dan recently managed the Needs Assessment in Colorado associated with the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program.

Nik Balachandran, Zabble, Inc.
Nik Balachandran is an electrical engineer-turned-entrepreneur who found his passion to keep trash out of the environment after encountering it during open water swimming and hiking expeditions all around the world. He founded Zabble in 2016 to help universities and jurisdictions reach zero waste by championing a novel waste measurement process and software platform using AI to streamline operations and engage stakeholders. Nik is a TRUE Zero Waste Advisor, a former board member of the Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA) and actively participates in local beach cleanups and zero waste advocacy.

Kim Braun, Go2Zero Strategies

Kim Braun has more than 30 years’ experience in Waste Management and Environmental Sustainability. Until retirement in December 2021, Kim was employed with the City of Culver City for five (5) years as the Environmental Programs and Operations Manager. Kim was responsible for managing the trash, recycling and organic waste collection operations for both o residential and commercial businesses.

For twenty (20) years, Kim was employed with the City of Santa Monica as the Resource Recovery and Recycling Manager. Kim was responsible for the trash, recycling and organics collections programs for both residents and businesses. Kim’s experience also includes managing transfer station facility operations and materials recovery facility operations in Culver City and Santa Monica.

Kim is currently working as Project Director with Go2Zero Strategies. She assists clients with implementing requirements of SB 1383 and other sustainable programs. Kim received her Masters from American University’s School of Public Affairs in Washington D.C. and her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University.

Jaime Britt, CPS, MS

Position with Athens Services

Jaime is the Sr. Director of Occupational Health & Safety for Athens Services. He joined Athens Services in November 2018 and has been in his current role for 5 years.

Experience

Jaime has 33 years’ experience in the safety related industry, working for Ralph Lauren, Chiquita Brands, Aramark, and Athens Services. He has multiline experience in manufacturing environments, food safety, fleet safety, PSM programs, OSHA compliance, DOT related programs, Behavioral safety, EHS Auditing, Accident investigations, & Casualty insurance.

Jaime is a Certified Safety Professional of the BCSP & a Professional member of ASSP.

Education

Bachelor of Science – Occupational Health & Safety - Summa Cum Laude - Columbia Southern University.

Masters of Science -  Occupational Health & Safety - Magna Cum Laude - Columbia Southern University.

Ashley Brunier

Ashley is a Director at EcoNomics, Inc. and specializes in compliance with state-mandated solid waste and recycling programs. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, after which she began her career with one of America’s largest waste haulers. She has an in-depth knowledge of hauler operations and uses this to assist municipalities with SB 1383 hauler contract transitions and development of City-wide education and outreach programs. Ashley currently assists the City of Anaheim with its SB 1383 implementation efforts and is on-site at their Public Works Office three days per week. 

Shane Buckingham, EPR Program Planning Lead, Circular Action Alliance
Shane is the EPR Program Planning Lead for Circular Action Alliance, a U.S., nonprofit Producer Responsibility Organization established to support the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility laws for paper and packaging. From 2021 to 2023, Shane served as a lead advisor on the project team that created Circular Materials, a national, not-for-profit organization responsible for blue box recycling systems in Canada. As the founder of Apex Policy, Shane has worked with brand owners, retailers, plastics makers, recycling organizations and trade associations on circular economy policy and extended producer responsibility. Previously, he held roles in government and as the Senior Director of Sustainability at the Canadian Beverage Association and Director of Communications at the Ontario Waste Management Association. Since April 2018, Shane has served as a Director on the Board of the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation, which is a leading deposit-return program in North America with a return rate of 84%

John Carlton, HDR
John is HDR’s Solid Waste Program Lead based in San Diego, CA. John manages HDR’s California solid waste program and provides a variety of clients with consulting services based on his 30+ years’ experience as a consultant and as an executive with public-sector authorities. He has managed or directed services ranging from strategic planning to facility design. In addition to consulting, John has over 12 years of experience in positions as Executive Director and Division Director for two separate public solid waste agencies. John is a Registered Professional Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University.

Phil Carrillo, SCS Engineers

Phil Carrillo is the National Director for SCS’s Remote Monitoring and Control (RMC) group. Phil is a Systems Integrator with 22 years of experience in the operations & maintenance (O&M) of Landfill Gas (LFG) extraction and treatment systems. In the past 14 years with SCS, he has managed the design and installation of over 153 SCS RMC systems. In addition to serving clients with design, installation, and support of customized SCS RMC solutions, Phil is a FAA Part 107 drone pilot and leads the development of SCS’s pioneering suite of state-of-the-art hardware and custom software applications benefiting clients in their efforts to optimize data management efficiencies.

Brad Cea, Waste Management

Brad spent the last seven years serving as Director of Sales and Public Sector Services for WM’s Northern California/Nevada market Area.  In these roles, Brad had direct leadership for the open market and franchise governmental sales teams.  He played an integral role in deploying WM’s Smart Truck technology in the Northern California area.  Prior to joining the team in Northern California/Nevada, Brad led the Inside Sales Channel for WM.  In his new role he serves as an SB 1383 subject matter expert for the Northern and Southern California teams, assisting with annual route review implementation, SB 1383 negotiations, and SB 1383 compliance training. 

Matthew Cleary, City of San Diego

Matthew Cleary's career journey in the City of San Diego started as a student intern, leading to his current role as the Assistant Director of the Environmental Services Department. He holds a BS in Recreation Administration-Systems Management, from San Diego State University, a Certified Public Managers Accreditation, and certifications in Sustainable Fleets and Lean Six Sigma. With over a decade in solid waste and a role on the SWANA Board, his expertise is clear. Matthew's diverse background, industry involvement, and dedication to efficiency make him a key player in addressing environmental challenges and promoting sustainability.

Matthew Cotton, Integrated Waste Management Consulting, LLC

Matthew Cotton has worked in the composting industry for over 30 years. He has served as a consultant, educator, researcher, and advocate for new and expanded organics recycling and composting programs in California and beyond. Mr. Cotton has completed hundreds of significant organics projects, including permitting and assisting in the development of some of the major composting facilities in California. He has become a trusted resource for some of the largest composters in California, as well as executing projects for CalRecycle, including four statewide studies of organics processing infrastructure for CalRecycle, including the recent SB 1383 Infrastructure and Marketing Analysis Report.

Dylan Deriot, Waga Engery, Inc.

Dylan Deriot is a Project Development Manager for Waga Energy, Inc. and supports the development of landfill gas to renewable natural gas facilities in the Western U.S. He has 6 years of experience in the renewable energy field, with a focus on energy efficiency, organics recycling, biogas utilization, and anaerobic digestion. He has held technical and management positions in the solid waste and wastewater industries and has expertise in project execution and development, as well as management of projects, proposals, grants, and contracts.

Maria Diego, City of San Diego

Maria Diego has been with the City of San Diego for over 8 years in the Environmental Services Department. Her career began in customer service, helping the public by answering questions and resolving many environmental issues. Maria is a part of the Collection Services Division that handled a large part of the SB1383 Rollout in her area last year. The Collection Services Division also handles container sales. It provides weekly residential collection of refuse and organics, biweekly collection of recyclables and the maintenance of Street litter containers in business districts.”

Daniel J. Domonoske, Executive Vice President of Potential Industries, Inc.
Daniel J. Domonoske has more than 30 years recycling experience.  At Potential Industries, Dan has been in the business of “closing the loop” by sorting-processing at their regional Material Recovery Facility (MRF), municipal operating and marketing contracts, trans-loading, exporting, glass beneficiating, and traditional recycling.  Dan has a BS in Economics, a Masters in International Business Management and a PhD in Environmental Policy.  Dan is recognized in the  industry as having technical expertise in MRF processing and marketing of post-consumer MRF sorted materials.

Lauren Eichelberger, Divert
Lauren Eichelberger is the Director of Business Development at Divert, an impact technology company on a mission to Protect the Value of Food™. Lauren joined Divert in 2021 and leads the retail BD team to support Divert's nationwide growth. 

Before Divert, Lauren began her career as a Chemist at Sweetwater Energy where she explored how to turn agricultural waste streams into valuable building blocks that replaced fossil-derived products. Lauren grew into a BD role at Sweetwater where she built strong relationships with enterprise customers and helped to make complex solutions simple and impactful while leaving the world a better place. Lauren's BD efforts helped secure the funding that allowed Sweetwater to commercialize its technology worldwide. Lauren also founded two of her own companies that focused on social and humanitarian impact. In her free time, you can find Lauren enjoying the sunshine, teaching yoga, and spending time with her family.

Kelli Farmer, SCS Engineers
Kelli Farmer is a consultant with SCS Engineers’ Sustainable Materials Management group where she works with both the private and public sectors on projects related to waste diversion. She has been in the solid waste industry for just over two and a half years, and like many others, doesn’t foresee ever leaving this industry. Kelli also serves as SWANA’s Sustainable Materials Management Technical Division YP Chair as well as on her company’s own Young Professional Planning Committee.

Kaitlyn Fujimori, J.R. Miller & Associates
Kaitlyn Fujimori has a master’s in chemical engineering from UC Riverside. She has had 2 years in the waste industry working for a private collection company and has currently worked for JRMA for the last year as a project engineering assistant with an emphasis on organics.

Albert Garcia, City of Anaheim

Albert brings a diverse set of skills to his position as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician for the City of Anaheim. With a background in Anthropology (MA, CSUF), he’s worked with archaeologists, geologists, demographers, educators, and other private and government agencies. His work with the City is just as diverse – from updating and maintaining public utilities/works project maps, producing aerial imagery and maps for City planners, and creating maps and apps for various city departments. A lifelong California resident, he lives in Fullerton and spends much of his free time exploring the Joshua Tree/high desert area.

Judi Gregory, Go2Zero
Judi Gregory, owner of Go2Zero Strategies and founder of SMART Compliance and GreenEducation.US, has worked in the recycling & solid waste management field for over 35 years. Over her extensive career, Judi has helped to implement recycling programs at some of the largest movie studios in Los Angeles, helped create one statewide and two national industry professional training programs, and has worked with dozens of cities and haulers to implement recycling and organics programs. More recently, Judi founded Grow2Zero FARMS, a non-profit urban farm in Long Beach which provides farming education and currently rescues and redistributes over 100,000 pounds of landfill bound food per year to the local community. Judi is an Army Veteran and mother of three.

Jazmine Hadden, Management Analyst, City of Monrovia – Public Works Department

Jazmine Hadden's professional journey took an unexpected turn six years ago, leading her into the realm of waste management. Despite the initial surprise, she swiftly discovered her true passion for recycling and sustainability, transforming what began as happenstance into a fulfilling career path. Now serving as a dedicated Management Analyst for the City of Monrovia, Jazmine spearheads the implementation of SB 1383 initiatives citywide, alongside managing the city's diverse recycling grants and programs.

Sara Henkemeyer, Civil and Environmental Consultants, Inc.

Sara Henkemeyer is a consultant with Civil and Environmental Consultants, Inc. Waste Management group. She has been in the industry for almost a year now and hopes to continue to learn and grown within the industry. Sara holds a bachelor’s in environmental engineering from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo and she is finishing her master’s thesis in civil and environmental engineering from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. Her thesis was researching the removal of soluble phosphorus from tertiary wastewater using phosphorus deprived filamentous microalgae. When she is not at work, she enjoys the San Diego sunshine by riding her horse, Ginger.

Stephen Herring, Republic Services
Stephen Herring is the Area Municipal Manager for Republic Services covering the Los Angeles and Orange County markets. He has over ten years’ experience working various roles over the years with the company such as Sustainability Advisor, Account Manager and Municipal Manager. As a native of St. Louis, MO, Stephen has a love for local sports like Blues Hockey and Cardinals baseball and as he has traveled for new roles a focus is always on the cuisine. Stephen has a passion for sustainability and continuously works to make Republic Services the preferred partner for municipalities across his market and state.

Rob Hilton, HF&H Consultants, LLC

Since 2002, Mr. Hilton has provided recycling and solid waste consulting services to over 160 public agencies on over 600 projects covering a wide range of strategic, operational, programmatic, contractual, and financial issues. Rob leads HF&H’s California franchising team in support of more than a dozen communities each year who are either competitively procuring or negotiating solid waste collection, processing, and/or disposal contracts. Mr. Hilton has worked with dozens of agencies statewide to analyze the impact on local government franchises from recent court decisions in Jacks v. Santa Barbara and Zolly v. Oakland. HF&H is now leading efforts statewide, including performing studies cooperatively with many different specialized law firms, hosting workshops and webinars with key stakeholders, and developing solutions that are responsive to these court interpretations. One of those solutions is a refuse vehicle impact fee analysis that Rob developed nearly 15 years ago in response to the Howard Jarvis v. Fresno decision in order to replace in-lieu franchise fees charged by municipal collectors.

Maddie Julian, Mainspring Energy

Maddie is an Originator with Mainspring Energy specializing in renewable fuel business development within landfill and wastewater applications. Mainspring delivers cost effective, turnkey power generation solutions with their patented Linear Generator (LGen) technology, which converts fuel to electricity with high efficiency and low emissions. Prior to her role at Mainspring, Maddie served as an energy project analyst and consultant with Optony Inc., where she helped municipalities navigate their carbon reduction and resilience objectives. Her responsibilities included evaluating the financial viability of distributed energy resource (DER) and utility scale projects. Recently appointed co-Vice Chair of SWANA's Landfill Gas and Biogas Technical Division, as well as the YP Liaison for the CA Gold Rush Chapter, Maddie is dedicated to fostering meaningful dialogue and addressing challenges in the solid waste industry. She holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies from UC Berkeley and a Master's in Environmental Science and Management from UC Santa Barbara's Bren School.

Jake Kaihewalu, HF&H Consultants, LLC

Jake Kaihewalu is a Senior Associate at HF&H Consultants, LLC with an eye for detail and a passion for data-driven solutions. His entry to the industry began by setting up analytics systems for a community composting program at UC Santa Barbara. Since then, he has combined his background in data science with hands-on experience as a recycling coordinator to help his clients at HF&H unlock the full potential of recordkeeping for legislative compliance and program management. When he is not at his desk, you can usually find him near the ocean, at a concert, or wakeboarding on the Colorado River.

Kevin Kelly, Divert

As Vice President of Collection Solutions for Divert, Kevin oversees the safe and responsible collection of commercial food waste from customers seeking a responsible approach to dealing with their organic material.  Kevin has over a decade of experience in the solid waste and recycling industry spanning government affairs and operations roles.  As General Manager for Recology King County, WA Kevin was responsible for the collection of over 125,000 residential customers and 12,000 commercial customers across 10 municipal contracts. 

Peter King, City of Anaheim

Peter is the Assistant GIS Manager for the City of Anaheim. He has a degree in Geography from California State University, Fullerton and has been involved with mapping and geospatial technologies in both the public and private sectors for nearly 20 years. At the City of Anaheim, Peter is responsible for overseeing and assisting in the development of field data collection projects utilizing GIS technologies as well as helping to maintain the City’s robust GIS server environment.

Doug Kobold, Executive Director for the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC)
Doug has been “talking trash” for over 30 years.  He is currently the Executive Director for the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC), a position he has held since August 2018.  Previously he spent over 18 years with Sacramento County as a Program Manager, over 2 years in consulting, and over 5 years with Yolo County as an Operations Manager. He has a degree in Civil Engineering from California State University, Chico and currently serves as the Vice President of CRRA, the Environmental Organization Appointee and Vice Chair of the SB 54 Advisory Board, and Past Chair on the SWANA Legislative Task Force (LTF).

Kirk Kunihiro, CoFounder ReCREATE, a Long Beach-based waste and recycling consulting firm that provides planning and boots-on-the-ground implementation services to government and hauler clients throughout the US. Kirk oversees ReCREATE’s waste characterization and SB 1383 route reviews team. In addition to Kirk’s professional activities, he is a lead organizer and board member with Long Beach Community Compost, a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to providing, and increasing access to, community scale and local food scrap recycling at no cost to residents of the greater Long Beach area.

Lindsey Lagos, HF&H Consultants, LLC

Lindsey Lagos serves as a Project Manager at HF&H Consultants, LLC. She worked as an auditor in public accounting for 11 years, where her primary focus were financial statement audits. Her work included assisting clients with the adoption of new regulations. She has loved the transition from auditing financial statements to compliance auditing and continuing to assist clients with implementing new regulations. In addition to performing compliance audits, which range from reviewing billing, to customer service logs, to vehicle requirements, she also assists jurisdictions with managing their franchise agreement and reviewing and setting rates.

Derek Lam, City of San Diego
Derek Lam joined the City of San Diego as a Recycling Specialist in 2020 but has worked in the waste reduction and recycling industry for over 10 years in both the public and private sectors. In his current role, Derek leads major education and outreach initiatives to help bring the City of San Diego into compliance with local and state recycling regulations. Most notably, Derek helped execute the City of San Diego’s Organic Waste Recycling Program rollout and lead a robust education campaign to support that effort. Derek has a BS in Environmental Health from the University of Maryland, College Park, and in his spare time, also enjoys volunteering with edible food recovery organizations to provide much needed surplus edible food to residents in need.

Cesar Leon, Tetra Tech
Mr. Leon is a Solid Waste Planner with 23 years of experience in environmental and solid waste management projects. He has managed long-term strategic planning studies for public solid waste management agencies in California, Hawaii, and Arizona.
Mr. Leon works closely with solid waste management system owners, operators, regulators and stakeholder groups during the development of collection, circular economy, and organic waste management strategies. He provides regulatory/planning services such as design, siting, permitting, operations, and environmental compliance for solid waste facilities. He also manages large multi-discipline on-call solid waste and resource management services contracts which include a wide range of services in support of traditional solid waste facility development as well as infrastructure support facilities. Mr. Leon has assisted solid waste system owners in residential food waste reduction, recycling, and back-yard composting implementation programs, and has directed multi-disciplined teams in outreach and data collection utilizing geographic information systems (GIS)-based applications.

Natalie Lessa, Co-Founder ReCREATE
Natalie Lessa is a behavior change specialist with a background in public relations and environmental health. She is the Co-Founder of ReCREATE Waste Collaborative where her team of 20 recycling specialists work directly with local jurisdictions and haulers to conduct business site visits for SB 1383 compliance, edible food recovery inspections, route reviews and plastic waste policy implementation. Natalie has 12 years of experience in the solid waste and recycling industry and has worked with over 40 local jurisdictions in different parts of the country on zero waste planning, community-based social marketing strategizing and stakeholder engagement. She is a proud Chico State alumna and lives in Long Beach where she strives daily to keep our beaches clean.

Cindy Liles, HDR
Cindy Liles has ten years of experience working with the waste industry. She started off her career implementing organics separation and compost workshops at her university, and has since worked on over 175 waste projects. This includes work on the design, permitting, development, and/or environmental compliance of over a dozen organic waste processing facilities and several feasibility studies for both the public and private sectors.  She has also helped secure over $20 million for solid waste, organics, and renewable energy infrastructure and research. She holds a B.S. Environmental Sciences from the University of California, Riverside and a M.S. Environmental Engineering from California State University, Fullerton.

Phil Mainolfi, HF&H Consultants, LLC
Philip Mainolfi is a Senior Project Manager at HF&H Consultants, who provides environmentally, economically and socially responsible planning, financial, and management consulting to achieve clients’ visions of a sustainable future. In his current role, Mr. Mainolfi has been responsible for: financial modeling; policy studies; strategic planning; financial feasibility studies; franchise bid processes and contract negotiations; franchise management; cost of service studies; rate studies; and litigation support consulting.

Lance MacNiven, WSP

Lance MacNiven is WSP’s National Lead for Zero Emission Vehicle and Fleet Planning. Lance has managed, supported, and advised ZE transition planning and design projects for more than 20 transit, Port, public, and private fleet projects across the country. Lance specializes in planning, management, modeling, alternatives analysis, phasing strategies, and technical writing for ZE transition projects.

Lance has been recognized as a Mass Transit Magazine’s “40 Under 40” and Business Insider’s “35 Under 35 Rising Stars of the EV Industry”. Lance is a United States Navy veteran and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Loyola Marymount University and Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA. 

Kaelen McCrane, Mainspring Energy
Kaelen McCrane is a Senior Originator with Mainspring Energy, a fuel flexible, low emission power generation technology provider. Prior to Mainspring, Kaelen was an Area Sales Manager with Quinn CAT Power Systems for 6.5 years. At Quinn, Kaelen was also responsible for Business Development in California for Nikola’s line of battery electric and Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, delivering some of the very first Zero Emission Class 8 trucks in the state.

Michelle Metzler, The Recycling Partnership

Michelle has 15 years of experience supporting communities, municipalities, and businesses in improving recycling practices. She has partnered with cities along the West Coast and across the country to conduct research and implement data driven best practices to increase recycling. As a Director of Community Programs at The Recycling Partnership, she oversees recycling optimization and multifamily technical assistance programs that support community recycling programs. She well versed in community recycling and behavior change. She is an engaging presenter that has contributed to numerous recycling conferences.

Jim Miller, CEO and Founder of JRMA

Jim Miller, CEO and Founder of JRMA, is a highly respected professional with a long-standing reputation as a trusted advisor and industry leader in the design and implementation of process-driven facilities. Jim has built a wealth of expertise across on organic waste processing facilities which has allowed him to make significant contributions to a wide range of facilities, resulting in the alignment of economy and sustainability with operational functionality and efficiency. He has been recognized for his contributions to the field, receiving accolades such as the SWANA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023 and the Civil Engineering Career Achievement Award from the University of Kentucky in 2011. His commitment to excellence and innovation in facility design has earned him a reputation as a thought leader and influencer in the industry.

Susan Moulton, Waste Management

Susan Moulton is a successful sustainability solutions executive for WM, North America's leading provider of comprehensive sustainability services. In her current role, Susan is the Senior Director of Public Sector Solutions and is responsible for revenues exceeding $4 billion. She has helped thousands of companies and local governments drive sustainability and diversion initiatives while developing creative ways to cut costs and create community partnerships surrounding waste and diversion issues. Susan has taken a leadership role in the company's Recycle Right program and in the Women's Empowerment Program.

Cara Morgan, CalRecycle

Cara Morgan is the Deputy Director leading the Materials Management and Local Assistance division at CalRecycle. As it relates to this gathering, Cara and her Local Assistance team are responsible for providing technical assistance for the over 540 jurisdictions and 200 state agencies in California. Cara serves on the team that developed the SB 1383 regulations and is now leading teams implementing, providing tools, and training for jurisdictions and stakeholders. Cara has many years of experience successfully implementing and building the Circular Economy in California.

Cory Oskardmay, Go2Zero

Cory Oskardmay is a waste reduction and sustainability consultant based out of Los Angeles, California with a focus on recycling and organics program implementation. Since joining Go2Zero in June 2017, Cory has overseen the implementation of recycling and organics programs for thousands of businesses and multi-family complexes throughout Los Angeles.

Kevin Oxford, Orange County Waste and Recycling
As Senior Project Manager for Orange County Waste and Recycling's South Region, Kevin is the lead on the region's capital and non-capital projects. As a twenty six year veteran of County service a strong construction management background keeps an ambitious development slate progressing. OC Waste & Recycling (OCWR) is responsible for managing Orange County, California’s solid waste disposal system including South Region Landfills that consist of the active Prima Deshecha Landfill (Prima) and five closed solid waste disposal sites.

Nate Pelczar, CPSC
Nate joined CPSC in 2018 and currently serves as Director of Administration. He oversees projects related to the reduction of household hazardous waste, the promotion of producer responsibility, product end-of-life management, and initiatives related to CPSC’s administration and strategy development.

Nate received a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University with an emphasis in public policy analysis. He worked for over 15 years as a professional services management consultant, project manager, and compliance subject matter expert, serving both public sector clients and private sector clients, including Fortune 50 financial institutions, technology companies, and various international conglomerates.

Jim Philipps, J.R. Miller & Associates

Jim Philipps has been in the waste and recycling industry for over 30 years.  Jim’s experience spans hauling, technology, services and most recently renewable energy development.  Most recently, Jim has been the CCO for Fleetgenius the VP of Business Development for True North Renewable Energy and is currently working with Northern Biogas in Business Development securing new Landfill Gas Projects.

Elizabeth Purington, City of Pasadena Public Works Department
Elizabeth Purington is a Program Coordinator in the City of Pasadena Public Works Department, where she supports and promotes residential recycling programs and assists with many aspects of SB 1383 implementation. Previously she was a consultant in sustainable materials management, where she ate/slept/breathed SB 1383, assisted haulers and jurisdictions, and conducted waste characterizations throughout California. She didn’t envision a career in waste but finds it to be fulfilling and fascinating work that (usually) makes the funky smells worth it.

Will Rice, Enthalpy Analytical
Will Rice has as an environmental professional for 15 years in California. Will began working for the Shennan Lab for Agroecology while studying Earth Science at University of California Santa Cruz. He was able to study agricultural practices and nutrient loading into nearby ecosystems, including field measurement and sample collection and analysis. After graduation, he began work as an analyst, where he was able to work operating mobile PCB lab in rural Alaska. He was eventually promoted into project management, and later moved into a sales role. He has since spent years getting to know the top environmental consulting, regulatory and private/public operations in California and Hawaii.

With a sincere desire to continue to learn and improve upon best practices as an environmental professional he now works closely with clients and regulators to bring clarity to our collective experience of policy, science and business.

Susan Robinson, Susan K Robinson Consulting, Inc.

With 40 years of experience in the environmental industry, Susan Robinson’s background includes environmental policy, sustainability reporting and goal setting, and a range of waste & recycling topics. Her experience includes working for local government, for a non-profit environmental organization, as a consultant, and in the private sector. After retiring from WM in 2022 after 22 years, Susan is currently supporting a diverse array of recycling and sustainability efforts through her work with trade organizations and private sector clients.

Susan attended Stanford University and holds a B.S. in Applied Earth Sciences from the University of Washington. Her Masters work in Environmental Studies was at The Evergreen State College. She holds a Sustainability Leadership Certificate from Stanford University.

Victoria Rocha, Deputy Public Works Director, City of Monrovia

Victoria Rocha is the Deputy Public Works Director for the City of Monrovia and an all-around government nerd. She has worked at the federal, state, county, and city levels of government. Her issue areas have spanned solid waste and recycling, homelessness policies and programs, broadband, redistricting, special projects, and serving as a Public Information Officer.

James Roska, Acting Environmental Engineer,LA Sanitation and Environment

James is the Acting Environmental Engineer in the LASAN’s Solid Resources Support Services Division. He manages refuse, organics, and special waste collection, operations planning, and contracting for material collected from 750,000 single-family households. James oversaw the implementation of OrganicsLA, the curbside Organic Waste Recycling program for LASAN serviced households and is also an implementation lead for the City's SB1383 team."

Ali Saleh, Orange County Waste and Recycling
Ali Saleh is the Civil Engineer for Orange County Waste and Recycling’s South Region serving as the site engineer for the active Prima Deshecha Landfill and four additional closed landfills in southern Orange County. He has over 8 years of experience in land development, construction design, and solid waste engineering and has been working for OCWR since 2021. In his current role, Ali provides critical engineering support for daily landfill operations at the Prima Deshecha Landfill as well as ongoing/future improvement projects throughout all South Region sites.

Olivia Sanchez, MBA, Program Manager – Environment/Solid Waste, Western Riverside Council of Governments

Embarking on my journey in solid waste and recycling back in 1999, I've navigated through various roles in both public and private sectors. My expertise encompasses the intricacies of grant management, program implementation, and a diverse range of areas including hazardous waste, program planning, recycling analysis, school gardening education, composting, marketing, and outreach.

As I progressed in my career, I honed and fortified these skills, expanding my scope into franchise contract compliance, green building education, construction/demolition programs, solid waste operations/hauling, landfill diversion programs, food rescue initiatives, and legislative compliance

Kendra Schussel Recycling Outreach Specialist ll, ReCREATE Waste Collaborative

Tired of the incessant amount of food waste she witnessed daily as a chef, Kendra went back to school for sustainability and resource management and has been working on all elements of Senate Bill 1383 Edible Food Recovery for the past 2 years. As a consultant for ReCREATE Waste Collaborative, she has been working directly with EFGs and FROs during that time, providing outreach and education and technical assistance with SB 1383 implementation. Having a background in the food industry gives her a strong passion for addressing food waste, providing education and outreach to businesses and the community, and being able to assist in setting up donation and composting programs to get food out of the landfills.

Patrick Sullivan, Senior Vice President, SCS Engineers

Patrick Sullivan is a Senior Vice President at SCS Engineers (SCS); he is a Board Certified Environmental Scientist, Certified Permitting Professional, and an Accredited Lead Verifier for Greenhouse Gas (GHG). Mr. Sullivan has over 34 years of experience and expertise in air quality, GHG, air toxics, and landfill gas (LFG) issues for landfills and other solid waste facilities.  He is the Managing Director of SCS’s consulting and engineering operations within the Southwestern United States.  Mr. Sullivan is the National Expert for SCS’s companywide Clean Air Act program; he also oversees SCS’s company-wide GHG and Risk Assessment programs and is one of the national experts on emissions and toxic chemical exposure issues for landfills and solid waste facilities.  Mr. Sullivan is a company Executive and Member of the Company’s Management Advisory Committee.  He has been the Principal-in-Charge for numerous projects related to air quality permitting and compliance, GHG inventorying and verification, odor investigation and mitigation, air toxics risk assessment, and LFG studies at solid waste as well as related engineering services.  Mr. Sullivan has published and/or presented over 120 technical papers in industry journals, publications, conferences, seminar, and workshops.

Ayumi Takayasu, City of Anaheim

Ayumi is the Public Works Operations Manager for the City of Anaheim and oversees the Operations and Maintenance Division. Ayumi has over 25 years of experience in local government and manages the maintenance of the City’s infrastructure, the Anaheim Resort, facilities, fleet, and sanitation programs - including solid waste. Ayumi received her Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Cal State University Long Beach. She is also on the Board of Directors of SWANA’s Southern California Chapter.  In her free time, Ayumi enjoys hiking, reading self-help books, and spending time with her Airedale Terrier, Noah. 

Andrew Trotter, Vice President, Field Operations, WCA

Andrew Trotter, Vice president of Field Operations he has worked at WCA for 42 years during that time helped develop many of the operations programs at the company including training, testing, and recycling programs. He has served on boards of California Urban Forests Council, Street Tree Seminar, Western Chapter ISA and currently on the California Re-Leaf and Urban Wood Network boards. Volunteer work includes grass roots development of the BMP’s Tree Care for Birds and Wildlife program of the WCISA and fundraising for the Britton Fund providing funding for tree research and education. He is a Certified Arborist, Utility specialist and Certified Urban and Community Forester with the Society of American Foresters.

 

Jordan Wells, National Stewardship Action Council
Jordan joined the National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC) at its formation in 2015 and is the organization’s Director of Advocacy and Communications. Prior to working for NSAC, Jordan worked at the California Product Stewardship Council for nearly five years. Jordan is NSAC’s registered lobbyist in California and has navigated numerous bills from inception to passage including the first-in-the-nation Truth in Recycling Labeling law. At NSAC, she advocates for source reduction and pollution prevention policies and develops strong coalitions to affect policy change, working pragmatically with diverse stakeholders to find solutions. Jordan serves on the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association Board of Directors and California’s Statewide Mattress Recycling Organization Advisory Committee.

 

Greg Wolffe, SCAQMD CPP, Principal Scientist III, Yorke Engineering

Greg Wolffe, a Principal Scientist at Yorke, has over 35 years of experience in air quality consulting and research.  Mr. Wolffe has supported government and commercial organizations in assessing air quality impacts for a broad range of projects, from small single device permit modifications to large multi-year new facility construction projects.  These projects involve facility-wide source modifications, evaluating short-term construction toxic air contaminant (TAC) emissions for health risks, proposed project mitigation in support of environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and permitting and/or feasibility planning of capital projects.  Mr. Wolffe has strong technical skills in air dispersion modeling, health risk assessments (HRAs), ambient air quality impact assessment, odor impact assessment and monitoring, and emissions quantification.  Mr. Wolffe has specific recent experience working with Southern California water and sanitation districts, including Orange County Sanitation District (OC San), Mesa Water District, Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD), Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), South Coast Water District (SCWD), where he has assisted these facilities with solving emissions and odor control problems.  He has performed hundreds of air quality emissions evaluations in California for local air quality management districts, including the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD), and San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD).  Mr. Wolffe assists clients with regulatory analysis, air district negotiations, and air district-related regulatory initiatives, including but not limited to rule development, permitting, internal and external compliance audits and corrective actions, and with settling enforcement actions.  Mr. Wolffe is a Certified Permitting Professional (CPP) with the SCAQMD, a certified ISO 14001 lead auditor, and a recognized individual in the air quality field in Southern California.

Holly Yanai, Divert

Holly Yanai is the Senior Manager of Public Affairs for Divert, an impact technology company on a mission to Protect the Value of Food™. A leader in community engagement and legislative analysis, she has over 10 years of expertise in government relations, public engagement, climate tech industries, and energy industries. Prior to working with Divert, Holly was a Senior Manager for Gladstein, Neandross and Associates, managing their partnership with the California Energy Commission to scale clean technologies aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change.
Holly holds a B.S. in International Relations and a B.S. in Political Science from The Ohio State University.

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