Team

We are a dedicated community of leaders, working together to ensure a sustainable future for all.

TEAM
Judi Shils

Judi Shils | Executive Director + Founder

Judi has spent the last 28 years of her life spearheading grassroots community projects. The dearth of answers around Marin County’s high cancer rates led Judi to found the nonprofit Search for the Cause, now Turning Green, a global student-led movement advocating for healthy food, safer products, and ethical businesses. She is also the force behind The Conscious Kitchen, a paradigm shifting model for school food service, transitioning school meals from pre-packaged, processed, heat-and-serve to chef-prepared, scratch cooked local, organic food, cooked in on-site zero waste kitchens. Believing that access to healthy food is a right, not a privilege, she began this work on a campus where 95% of children live below the poverty line, qualifying for free-and-reduced government-subsidized school meals. Moving to the Bay Area in 1989 and becoming a mother to daughter Erin changed the course of Judi’s life. Prior to this, she was an Emmy Award-winning television producer for 25 years with ABC Sports, FOX and Oxygen, founded The Diary Project forum for youth at the onset of the internet, and ran a successful student art exhibition, Celebrate Arts. Judi has been a consultant with the California Coastal Commission around public education for the past two decades.

Erin Schrode | Co-Founder

Erin Schrode is an activist and social entrepreneur. This leading voice on sustainability, social justice and millennials recently ran an unprecedented campaign for US Congress in California. Since co-founding Turning Green in 2005, she’s developed eco-education and action platforms for millions of students and beyond. Erin speaks and consults internationally, contributes to ABC, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Refinery29, and is featured in The New York Times, Today Show, Vanity Fair, CNN, FOX, Seventeen, Forbes, more. After Hurricane Maria, Erin led #ChefsForPuertoRico as COO to serve 3.7+ million meals, for which founder Chef José Andrés was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, then investing in local, sustainable agriculture and food systems islandwide. This bold innovator and community organizer champions civic leadership, conscious living, and environmental stewardship on a lifelong journey to inspire and mobilize people to discover and activate passion for social impact and policy change.

Debbie Friedman
Debbie Friedman

Sue Waiss | Program Administrator

Sue has worked with Turning Green for 14 years and has helped bring all of our key programs to life. She is passionate about sustainability, education, and bringing our programs to students across the country and around the world. Prior to TG, Sue worked as a Project Manager and Studio Manager in the graphic design industry and co-founded two video production companies.

Aniket Aich | Program Manager

aniket@consciouskitchen.org

Aniket is a sustainability enthusiast with a background in food and education. Aniket started out working as a field researcher working with farmers on different agriculture projects. He has worked as a high school teacher teaching Math and Science in an underserved community in New Delhi. After briefly working as a program manager for Pratham, one of the largest NGOs in India, Aniket decided to get his master's in development economics along with a graduate certificate in food systems. Aniket co-facilitated the Plant Futures Challenge Lab on Food Systems at the Haas School of Business, exploring the intersection of education and food systems. As a consultant, Aniket has worked with organic farms to develop sustainability metrics and programming strategies. In his free time, he loves to cook elaborate dinners. 

Judi Shils
Debbie Friedman

Caralee Ellis | Program Coordinator

Caralee graduated from UC Berkeley where she received a B.S. in Society and Environment and a minor in Food Systems. Throughout her academic career she held leadership positions across several student organizations advocating for environmental and social justice. She started her journey with Turning Green as a lead intern on the Conscious Kitchen team in 2021 and was quickly promoted to a fellowship position where she supported key initiatives like Project Cereal and conducted a comprehensive cost analysis on organic school meals for her senior capstone project. As our Program Coordinator since 2022, she wears many hats to ensure the program’s success, such as managing the Ambassador Program, facilitating organic procurement, overseeing social media and communications, and guiding our CK interns. Caralee is organized, adaptable, and driven by a deep passion for protecting the health of the planet and all those who inhabit it.

Will Funk | Fellow

Will is a Turning Green fellow and works primarily on the Conscious Campus side of Turning Green with a focus on program leadership, fundraising and conducting grant research for the organization. He graduated from Colorado College in 2022 where he studied History, Environmental Issues, and Spanish. He became a lead intern with Turning Green during his first summer out of college, where he helped write and edit Project Green Challenge’s overviews and challenges. Will entered Turning Green’s Fellowship program in September of 2022 and continued to help run Project Green Challenge as well as the PGC Campus Representatives program. He currently volunteers with the Environmental Peacebuilding Association in his free time.  

Judi Shils
STUDENT LEADERSHIP

Spring 2024 INTERNS & FELLOWS

Jeremiah McElwee

Jadyn Ngui

BA, University of California Davis

Jadyn is studying Design at UC Davis. Through work experiences and college courses, Jadyn has developed a passion for environmental justice, food accessibility, wellness, and nutrition. She is excited to work as an intern on Turning Green’s Conscious Kitchen team and use visually appealing designs to educate others on building a more sustainable and healthy future for people and the planet.

Kiren Bengard

Senior, UC Berkeley

Kiran is majoring in Conservation and Resource Studies and minoring in Public Policy and Food Systems at UC Berkeley. She is passionate about the intersection of organic agriculture, environmental justice, policy, and culture. Specifically, she is passionate about how policy can be used to make food systems more sustainable and alleviate social inequities caused by environmental issues. After graduation, Kiran hopes to attend law school and become an environmental lawyer. In her free time, Kiran loves to bake, crochet, hike, and explore local coffee shops.

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Racheal Timothy

Freshman, John's Hopkins University

Racheal is majoring in Neuroscience with a concentration in behavioral biology and minoring in environmental science. Born and raised in Nigeria, Racheal's education at a Jesuit college instilled in her a strong value for volunteering and community engagement. During her time there, she spearheaded initiatives such as organizing the first Earth Day celebration in her school and extending her projects through 'Recycle Log,' showcasing her dedicated advocacy for sustainability. Beyond her academic endeavors, Racheal finds joy in designing and channels her creative energy as a media manager for 'The Hop’ student organization for programming organization. In this role, she actively contributes to the planning and promotion of various campus events, highlighting her passion for both creativity and community involvement.

Ritu Gupta

Graduate Student, New York University

Ritu is pursuing a Master's degree in Project Management at NYU, blending a background in Electronics and Computer Engineering. She’s had the privilege of volunteering with the Akanksha Foundation in Mumbai, where she dedicated her efforts to fostering quality education for underprivileged children. Alongside this, her passion for environmental sustainability has led her to initiate small-scale programs during the pandemic to promote eco-consciousness. In my leisure time, she indulges in activities like reading, cycling, and experimenting with new culinary creations. 

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Christiana Jemiri

Senior, American University

Christiana is a senior, majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Sustainability. She's passionate about making sustainable living affordable, accessible, and equitable for all. She believes in the importance of educating and informing others about creating sustainable and conscious choices. Her past work has been heavily based on community outreach, planning, and ensuring that communities are listened to and represented when creating resilient communities.  What drew her to Turning Green is their investment in educating the youth about the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle. 

Kenny Mai

Freshman, Wesleyan University

Kenny is planning on studying Educational Studies and Computer Science at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Working in his community music center’s advancement department, Kenny has developed a passion for fundraising and the field of non-profit advancement work. He is eager to engage with the intersection of sustainability and education with Turning Green’s Project Green Challenge. Kenny serves on his school’s Green Fund Committee and his passion lies in supporting environmentally friendly and sustainable projects benefiting both the Wesleyan and Middletown communities. In his free time, Kenny enjoys long walks, listening to music, reading, playing volleyball, and watching sports.

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Annalise Gallagher

Senior, Macalester College

Annalise is a senior Environmental Studies major at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. Growing up in Chicago, she became interested in exploring issues related to environmental justice within the urban areas. Annalise seeks to understand the causes of food scarcity, air and water quality inequity, and ineffective public transportation systems to develop holistic solutions toward more equitably sustainable cities. In her free time, she volunteers with her school’s non-profit farm share, which brings fresh and local produce to students at more affordable prices than grocery shops. 

Patrick Dela Cruz

Senior, San Jose State University

Patrick is majoring in Public Health with a minor in Nutrition and Food Science. With experience in healthcare, he values communication and is passionate about promoting healthy living and environmental sustainability. Outside of academics, Patrick enjoys hanging out with friends, trying new foods, and playing video games. He is excited to contribute to the internship and learn more about making a positive impact on both health and the environment.

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Tate Peterson

Senior, Davidson College

Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Tate studies Biology and Genomics at Davidson College in North Carolina. He is a junior with an interest in the natural sciences and education, and hopes to do fieldwork research in the future. After a semester abroad in Panama learning about ecology and environmental sustainability, Tate returned to campus looking for new ways to get involved in environmental initiatives. These special interests are what led him to Turning Green, where he will be working as an intern for the Spring 2024 semester.

Melanie York

BA, University of Virginia 

Melanie is a recent graduate from University of Virginia with degrees in Environmental Science and History, and works as a part of the PGC Outreach team at Turning Green. She conducted historical preservation and geology research at university. Her passion for understanding the histories of everyday people combined with her interest in sustainability is what brought her to pursue environmental justice work after graduation. In her free time, she likes to hike, read, and play tabletop games.

Jeremiah McElwee

Fall 2023 INTERNS & FELLOWS

Emily Yellen

BA, Towson University

Emily is a recent graduate of Towson University where she studied Political Science and Sociology as a member of the Honors College. Her hands-on experiential service learning and thought-provoking research developed her literacy in international relations, civic cooperation, social institutions and behaviors, and equitable education. Her minor in Sociology inspires her to mobilize social change using strategic tools among like-minded, localized populations. She is thrilled to apply this perspective in her work with Turning Green while engaging with climate-passionate students within their own communities by providing knowledge of sustainability and collective action. Being from Long Island, New York, Emily loves spending time at the beach during any season. In her free time she enjoys crocheting gifts for her friends, and is proud to be creative-minded, eclectic, and kind.

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Christian Bernstein

Senior, Loyola Marymount University

Christian is studying political science at Loyola Marymount University in Southern California. Through non-profit and volunteer work Christian has developed a strong passion for social and climate justice issues, with a focus on wildlife protection and future aspirations in the field of environmental law. As a passionate vegan and animal lover, Christian has brought his personal dedication towards wildlife issues to his work as a summer intern on Turning Green's Project Green Challenge writing team and will continue working with the PGC team this fall.

Olivia Zhang (she/her)

Freshman, University of Florida

Olivia grew up in South Florida where she found her passion for climate justice and civic engagement. She hopes to apply her studies in geography, data science, and environmental justice & policy to support community-centered initiatives through research and storytelling. As an artist, Olivia embraces creativity in everything she does, from designing posters to making maps and visualizations from data. She is excited to learn and grow as an intern with Turning Green!

Jeremiah McElwee

Summer 2023 INTERNS & FELLOWS

Emily Yellen

BA, Towson University

Emily is a recent graduate of Towson University where she studied Political Science and Sociology as a member of the Honors College. Her hands-on experiential service learning and thought-provoking research developed her literacy in international relations, civic cooperation, social institutions and behaviors, and equitable education. Her minor in Sociology inspires her to mobilize social change using strategic tools among like-minded, localized populations. She is thrilled to apply this perspective in her work with Turning Green while engaging with climate-passionate students within their own communities by providing knowledge of sustainability and collective action. Being from Long Island, New York, Emily loves spending time at the beach during any season. In her free time she enjoys crocheting gifts for her friends, and is proud to be creative-minded, eclectic, and kind.

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Aditi Sharma (she/her)

Rising Junior, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Aditi is studying Political Science with minors in Legal Studies and Journalism. I am a passionate and dedicated activist for social justice and equity. She found her passion in community organizing by recognizing that even the smallest of actions can have boundless impacts. Throughout her work, she has gained a deep understanding that injustices are intersectional. After working for State Representative Carol Ammons’ and researching environmental legislation, she realized that environmental justice is a pathway of activism that she is eager to explore and contribute to. Environmental justice goes hand in hand with racial justice, social, and economic justice. She is passionate about our planet and its people, and looks forward to sharing her perspectives and learning from others through Turning Green. She is excited to create a positive impact and take the necessary steps in building a more sustainable and equitable Earth.

Alex Szmyd (she/her)

Rising Junior, University of Chicago

Alex is double majoring in Environmental and Urban Studies and Public Policy. She grew up in Chicago and is dedicated to learning about Environmental Justice and implementing it in her community. Her previous internship at Common Unity Property gave her the opportunity to help the doubled-up and homeless population in Chicago. In the future, she hopes to further advocate for communities in climate-sensitive areas through policy and activism. In her spare time, she loves to crochet, cook, and learn about homesteading in urban environments.

 

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Alexa Fraiman (she/her)

Rising Sophomore, Bryn Mawr College

Alexa intends to major in Environmental Studies and Sociology, combining her interests of how people and societal expectations interact amidst environmental concerns. Over the years, Alexa’s desire to learn more about the environment and sustainability grew as she began discovering toxins in everyday products. She wants to help make products, food, and regulations that are better for our health and the planet. As someone who enjoys cooking, she is more than excited to join the Conscious Kitchen team to spread their message and nutritious food. She also is excited to help further foster communities, so we all can be resilient together. In her personal life and in school, Alexa wants to continue learning more about what needs to be done to tackle pressing environmental concerns. In her free time, she enjoys ceramics, petting her cats, and listening to podcasts.

Ashley Xu

Rising Sophomore, University of Texas at Austin

Ashley is studying a dual degree program in Architecture and Architectural Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. She is very passionate about the intersection between sustainability and architecture in affordable housing. At school, she was a member of the Climate Leaders Advisory Board, and volunteered at the UT Outpost, a free food pantry and a career closet for all students, for a semester. In addition, she completed the Project Green Challenge 2022 and became a finalist to participate in the four-day educational conference in San Francisco, in addition to meeting amazing, diverse individuals and mentors to create her Climate Action Plan.

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Christian Bernstein

Rising Senior, Loyola Marymount University

Christian is studying political science at Loyola Marymount University in Southern California. Through non-profit and volunteer work Christian has developed a strong passion for social and climate justice issues, with a focus on wildlife protection and future aspirations in the field of environmental law. As a passionate vegan and animal lover, Christian has brought his personal dedication towards wildlife issues to his work as a summer intern on Turning Green's Project Green Challenge writing team.

Ciara Tang

Rising Sophomore, University of California, Berkeley

Ciara is majoring in Society and Environment and minoring in Public Policy. She is extremely passionate about environmental justice, environmental conservation and protection, clean energy, and sustainable urban development. In the future she hopes to attend law school and become an environmental lawyer. In her free time Ciara loves to read, go on runs, listen to music, hang out with friends, and get iced matcha lattes. 

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Daniel Kogan

Rising Senior, Haverford College

Daniel is working towards a degree in Environmental Studies with a focus in Food Sustainability and a minor in Creative Writing. He is passionate about alternative food sources and finding new ways to better utilize Earth’s natural resources while preserving its wide variety of flora and fauna. He is an avid lover of wildlife, particularly birds, and runs the Ornithological Society at Haverford. Daniel hopes to find a career path that combines his love of food and writing.

Jeremiah McElwee

Julia Lugos (she/they)

Rising Senior, Seattle University

Julia is majoring in Design and double minoring in Environmental Studies and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. She is very passionate about using art and visual communication to explain, educate, and empower others in understanding social issues. Julia is particularly passionate about understanding the ways that environmental issues intersect with race, class, and gender. In their free time, Julia loves jewelry making, hiking, and all things arts and crafts.

Lamoussa Tapsoba (she/they)

Georgetown University

Lamoussa is studying Justice and Peace Studies and French. Throughout her time at Georgetown, Lamoussa has taken classes on the climate crisis and has found a passion for sustainability and environmental justice. She has been able to tie in environmental justice and activism to her degree and hopes to continue this work outside of the classroom. She is excited to join the Turning Green Conscious Campus team and learn more about global environmental activism and outreach. Prior to Turning Green, Lamoussa worked as a Sustainability intern for their university, researching and analyzing data to help write Georgetown's sustainability plan. In their free time, you can find them hanging out with friends, watching their favorite TV shows, or attempting to crochet.

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Meredith Boldman (she/her)

Rising Senior, George Washington University

Meredith is studying Anthropology and Communication. She was born and raised in Florida, where she spent most of her time at the beach and around nature. This upbringing has formed her interest in preserving the environment and mitigating climate change's effects. Her major in Anthropology focuses on human experiences and culture, and she hopes to engage with how people view, experience, and communicate with each other about social issues such as climate change and how they work to inspire individual and large-scale change. Sophie looks forward to applying this interest to Turning Green's work and working with others toward collective action.

Ngoc Truong (she/they)

Rising Junior, University of California, Berkeley

Ngoc is majoring in Environmental Science with a social science concentration and minoring in South and Southeast Asian studies at UC Berkeley. She grew up in Riverside but was born in Binh Thuan, Vietnam where she initially found her love for the environment and conservation. Hiking, crocheting, and pottery are some of the many hobbies she has taken up.

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Raven Garrard, MPSA

Texas A&M University

Raven is a second-year graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Public Service and Administration. Raven grew up in rural Tennessee, where they developed a passion for the outdoors. In their spare time, they enjoy volunteering for the community and hiking. Raven hopes to have a career in policy formation and create legislation that will benefit underserved communities.

Sadie Arneson

Rising Sophomore, University of California Irvine

Sadie is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science and Policy. Born and raised in San Francisco — now living in Marin County — she grew up surrounded by nature, and she cultivated a deep love for animals and the environment. This profound appreciation has served as the driving force behind her desire to protect and restore the environment for present and future generations. During her time at UCI, she is eager to learn more about sustainable urban development and climate resilience, as well as innovative solutions to create greener and more resilient cities for future generations. In her free time, Sadie enjoys lounging in her hammock at the park, discovering new music on Spotify, exploring nearby trails in Laguna and Newport Beach. 

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Sophie Reif (she/her)

Rising Senior, Smith College

Sophie is studying Sociology and Landscape Studies. Although she was raised in New York City, Sophie cultivated her love for the environment through her experience working on a farm throughout her childhood. She is passionate about environmental sociology with a particular interest in food sustainability and food justice. Sophie has worked on several projects with the goal of spreading awareness about issues of food justice and environmental racism within her community. In her free time, Sophie enjoys hiking, cooking, kayaking, and crocheting. 

Winter 2023 INTERNS & FELLOWS

Gabriela Nahm

Junior, Davidson College

Gabriela is a junior at Davidson College studying environmental studies and communications. She has been with Turning Green since the summer of 2021, when she joined as a summer communications intern. She continued into the fall as a Teaching Assistant for the Project Green Course, and then as the Turning Green Fellow the following spring. During her semester abroad in Buenos Aires, she discovered her passion for food justice. Upon returning home Gabriela joined the Conscious Kitchen team in December as a Conscious Kitchen Fellow to learn more about designing sustainable and equitable food systems. 

Jeremiah McElwee
Jeremiah McElwee

Emily Yellen

BA, Towson University

Emily is a recent graduate from Towson University where she studied Political Science and Sociology as a member of the Honors College. Her hands-on experiential service learning and thought-provoking research developed her literacy in international relations, civic cooperation, social institutions and behaviors, and equitable education. Her minor in Sociology inspires her to mobilize social change using strategic tools among like-minded, localized populations. She is thrilled to apply this perspective in her work with Turning Green while engaging with climate-passionate students within their own communities by providing knowledge of sustainability and collective action. Being from Long Island, New York, Emily loves spending time at the beach during any season. In her free time she enjoys crocheting gifts for her friends, and is proud to be creative-minded, eclectic, and kind.

Gabriella Calimlim

Sophomore, New York University

 

 

Erin Schrode
Jeremiah McElwee

Marisol Guzman

Senior, University of California, Berkeley

Marisol is a senior at the University of California Berkeley studying Nutritional Science with a concentration in Dietetics and a minor in Food Systems. Marisol’s experiences growing up in an environment where nutrition wasn't a first priority have shaped her passion for advocating for nutritional awareness and the implementation of hands-on nutrition education and engagement in the lives of young children. Marisol has previously worked with the BUSD Cooking and Gardening Program in administering nutrition and gardening education at Ruth Acty Elementary and hopes to continue looking at the intersection of nutrition and environmental sustainability with Turning Green through the Conscious Kitchen Program. After graduating, Marisol hopes to pursue an MPH with a nutrition education and/or community health focus. 

FALL 2022 INTERNS & FELLOWS

Jeremiah McElwee

Alicia Swinton

MPH, University of Alabama

Alicia is a graduate from Fayetteville State University where she received a B.S. in Chemistry graduating magna cum laude. Currently enrolled at the University of Alabama at Birmingham pursuing an MPH degree with a concentration of maternal and child health policy. As a current member of the Maternal & Child Health Student Association, Alicia has the passion to resolve complex public health problems relating to child obesity, social and environmental injustices, health inequalities, and pollution to name a few. Alicia desires to be an obstetrician gynecologist where she will utilize her platform to be an advocate to fight for change in a healthcare setting.

SUMMER 2022 INTERNS

Jeremiah McElwee

Aimee Tsang

Sophomore, Cornell University

Aimee is a rising sophomore at Cornell University studying Chemistry & Chemical Biology with a minor in Environment & Sustainability. She is from the California Bay Area and grew up with a love for nature that has since developed into a desire to protect the Earth’s resources. At school she is a member of Sustainable Education, a project team oriented around sustainable architecture, and in the future hopes to research biodegradable polymers. Outside of academics, Aimee enjoys reading in her hammock, exploring nearby hiking trails, slacklining, and going to the farmer’s market. 

AJ Yuan

BS, UC Davis

AJ is a recent graduate from UC Davis, where he studied Environmental Science. Both of his parents were environmental scientists in Delaware, which inspired him to also pursue a career in the field. AJ is passionate about uplifting communities inequitably impacted by climate change, and hopes to become an environmental lawyer. He is currently also canvassing for Environment California in Oakland, and in his free time AJ loves to do fencing, take pictures of sunsets, and make Spotify playlists.

Erin Schrode
Jeremiah McElwee

Avery Fratto

Sophomore, University of Southern California

Avery is a rising sophomore at the University of Southern California. She's currently getting a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Studies as well as a minor in Economics. She is the Event Coordinator for the Science Policy group on her campus, a student organization that seeks to promote and advocate for the important intersections of research and public policy. She's a vegan, an animal-lover, and is passionate about creating meaningful environmental change through both policy as well as consumer behavior. In her free time she can be found out with friends, reading a good book, or working as a tour guide at USC.

Damya Srivastava

Junior, Forest Research Institute (India)

Damya is studying Forestry at FRI, pursuing a major in Plantation Economics with a research thesis on the same. Born and raised in India, she has a long cultivated interest in environmental issues with a focus on sustainable technologies which are concepts of increasing importance in the world. She took up Biology in high school, Botany in graduation and Forestry in post-graduation – to move into the field of preservation, from a scientist’s perspective. The diverse and collaborative projects in Turning Green are what most attracted her; and she hopes to learn new skills and make life-long friends here.

 

Erin Schrode
Erin Schrode

Davis Block

Senior, Colby College

Davis is a rising senior at Colby College studying Environmental Studies Computation. He was raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and spent many summers at Acadia National Park in Maine. As a sailing instructor there, he developed an affinity for the locally conserved lands and wished for the next generation to be able to embrace them as well. He is intrigued by environmental policy and would love to see sustainable design emphasized. Davis looks forward to potentially working in the data analysis sector to help further his fight for the environment.

Elizabeth Lockerby

Senior, Dominican University of California

Elizabeth is pursuing a double major in microbiology and psychology with a chemistry minor at Dominican University of California. She has always been interested in integrating green practices into her everyday life and into her community. Elizabeth uses experimental research, another of her passions, to build solid foundations for stories that promote green lifestyles. She completed two theses in the course of her studies: the first involved determining whether compost was a viable means of carbon sequestration in her county, and the second looked at how access to greenspace can impact student stress and academic performance. Elizabeth hopes to continue inspiring her local and global community to make changes that better themselves and the environment.

Jeremiah McElwee
Erin Schrode

Ella Widmann

Sophomore, Grinnell College

Ella is a rising 2nd year at Grinnell College majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Environmental Studies. Learning about environmental justice as a form of social justice has fundamentally changed the way she views the world, and she is so excited to apply those learnings to the work of Turning Green. She is originally from Colorado and is a big advocate for collaborative thinking. In her free time, Ella can be found laying in the sun, eating bagels, and reading creative nonfiction.

Fiona Kubalak

Sophomore, Scripps College

Fiona is a rising sophomore at Scripps College. She has not yet declared a major because she loves so many different things but will most likely dual major in Media Studies and Art with a minor in Environmental Studies. Fiona grew up in Seattle Washington and was surrounded by sustainability projects and climate action initiatives from a young age. Throughout high school she developed a passion for climate activism and making her life as sustainable as possible. She hopes to make the Scripps campus a more sustainable place over the next three years, continue to support local climate justice policies, and incorporate climate activism into her art. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at a local farm with her friends, playing board games, drawing, and reading graphic novels.

Jeremiah McElwee
Erin Schrode

Jen Kunz

Sophomore, American University

Jen is a rising sophomore at American University, pursuing an interdisciplinary public affairs degree with a minor in environmental science. Going on road trips and visiting national parks (Glacier is her favorite!) as she grew up gave her a love for the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it. She is deeply passionate about the importance of advocacy and policy to protect and restore the environment for future generations. In her free time, Jen can be found baking cookies, reading comic books, playing board games, and drinking coffee.

Jen Mynard

Senior, The College of Wooster

Jen is a rising senior at the College of Wooster with a double major in Art History and Environmental Studies. Within her Environmental Studies Major, Jen focuses on food and waste systems. As a Hoboken, NJ native, Jen has grown up in a concrete jungle and wants to learn how to create meaningful solutions within her urban community at home and rural community at college. Going into her senior year, she is excited to focus on her Independent Study capstone project centered around the barriers and solutions to making sustainable architecture accessible and affordable. She is active on campus as a member of several clubs including the Environmental Justice Coalition, the Greenhouse Club, the Shades of Gold Acapella Group, and the Women's Rugby team. When not in classes or working at the library, you can find Jen reading fiction, painting bad self-portraits, or making a mess in the kitchen. 

Jeremiah McElwee
Erin Schrode

Jerry Dai

Sophomore, University of California, Davis 

Peijie Dai (“Jerry”) is a rising sophomore at UC Davis majoring in Environmental Science & Management. He enjoys working on the Sustainable Development Goals because he is motivated to promote and protect those things he values most in this world, including the environment, animal life, and human rights.  He tries to keep this work in perspective by focusing on one step at a time, contributing bit by bit towards a better world for all people. Growing up in a different country, Jerry gained a global mindset after coming to the U.S. to study.

Margarita Niemann

Senior, California State University of Sacramento

Margarita is currently a 4th year student at the California State University of Sacramento studying Political Science and Chicanx/Latinx studies. Growing up in the quickly urbanizing city of Elk Grove, Margarita became greatly interested in learning about the damaging effects of urbanization on both the community and the environment, particularly focusing on its disproportionate impacts on minority neighborhoods. As a half-Mexican, half-Irish and Scottish woman, she also advocates for education and immigration reform to work towards obtaining social justice for the Chicanx/Latinx community through education and immigration reform. In her free time, Margarita enjoys attempting new vegan recipes, running/ hiking in nature, and playing with her three dogs. 

Erin Schrode
Erin Schrode

Olivia Kilborn

Junior, Middlebury College

Olivia is a rising Junior at Middlebury College studying International & Global Studies with a focus in environmental change and Arabic. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, she is fascinated by the relationship between climate health, public health, and urban environments. As an intern at the Knoll—Middlebury’s student-run sustainable garden—she is passionate about facilitating conversations on food justice and BIPOC accessibility to the outdoors. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking in the Cascades, language learning, reading, and gardening.

Olivia Murphy

Junior, University of Michigan

Olivia is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Environmental studies and Spanish. She is passionate about the intersection of climate justice and law and policy as she hopes to one day practice Environmental law. In the meantime, she is focused on learning the intricacies of sustainability as it relates to urban planning and food justice through the Graham sustainability scholars program at her university. She also co-leads her University’s chapter of Students Helping Honduras, an organization committed to education-based, community-driven global development. In her free time Olivia enjoys running, reading and spending time with her friends.

Jeremiah McElwee
Erin Schrode

Reily Fairchild

Sophomore, University of California, Los Angeles

Reily is a rising sophomore at UCLA, pursuing a major in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Environmental Systems and Society. Born and raised in San Francisco, she was exposed to the power of urban expansion in cooperation with technological advancement. Additionally, she spent her childhood exploring the wonders of the California flora and fauna surrounding the San Francisco peninsula, and fell in love with the idea of orienting her future towards protecting the Earth. With interests in renewable energy and food systems, Reily is excited to be apart of the Turning Green team to experience the positive impact that community-based, sustainably focused organizations can achieve. Prior to Turning Green, she has worked as an educator and as a member of UCLA’s Sustainability Action Research, analyzing energy inefficient practices within the student dormitories. She leads her life with an open outlook of all possibilities, and loves to rock climb, play guitar, cook vegan meals, and paint.

Tenaya Fottrell

Sophomore, Smith College

Tenaya (she/they pronouns) is a rising sophomore pursuing bachelor's degrees in Medieval Studies and English Literature at Smith College. Born and raised in Oakland, California, she found a passion for environmental activism at a young age and served as a student eco educator throughout high school. They are thrilled to return to the environmental justice sphere and share their passion for the natural world with others through Turning Green. In her spare time, she loves to explore the outdoors through hiking, camping, and backpacking as well as play tabletop games, sing, and train martial arts. 

Erin Schrode
Erin Schrode

Tiffany Chan

Junior, University of California, Los Angeles 

Tiffany will be a junior at the University of California, Los Angeles in the fall of 2022. She is currently working towards her degree in Geography/Environmental Studies, while minoring in Conservation Biology and Geographic Information Systems & Technology. The topics of GIS, food sustainability, and environmental protection are particularly fascinating to her, and she hopes to pursue a career in the intersection of these fields. Born and raised in California, Tiffany enjoys spending time in nature and particularly values the aesthetic nature of flowers. Outside of academics, she can be found baking, creating playlists, painting, and exploring new places.

FALL/WINTER 2021 FELLOWS & INTERNS

Jeremiah McElwee

Caralee Ellis | Conscious Kitchen Fellow

Senior, University of California Berkeley

Caralee is a senior at the University of California Berkeley where she is studying Society and Environment with a minor in Food Systems. Since the beginning of her academic career she has had a strong passion for sustainability that drove her to lead various student organizations advocating for environmental and social justice. She believes in leading by example and tries to live as sustainably as possible while inspiring others to do the same. Caralee is currently an intern with Conscious Kitchen and hopes to continue working in the field of sustainability in any way she can make meaningful change upon her graduation. Outside of academics, she loves vegan cooking, picnics, hiking, and rock climbing.

Lucy Yoshioka | Conscious Kitchen Fellow

University of California Los Angeles

Lucy is a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is currently studying geography and environmental studies, with minors in GIS and urban and regional studies. As a southern California native who has lived in city environments her whole life, she is interested in finding ways to incorporate green infrastructure and sustainable urban planning into our built environments, while addressing social justice issues. She is deeply passionate about using her privilege and skill sets gained through my education to help others in ways both large and small. She also loves to stay active and spend time exercising or exploring outdoors. She is a four year member of the UCLA DragonBoat team and loves to paddle in Long Beach on the weekends for training with her teammates. Paddling through the gorgeous marine environments in California has strengthened her commitment to creating a clean future for others, and her team has shared that same vision by hosting beach clean-ups in the past. In her free time Lucy can be found at the gym, reading, writing poetry, drawing in her bullet journal, or visiting a local farmer's market.

Erin Schrode
Jeremiah McElwee

Kenna Clawson | Conscious Kitchen Intern

University of California Berkeley

Kenna is in her final year at UC Berkeley studying Nutritional Science. After learning about the substantial amount of food waste in America and taking a class about the food practices across many different cultures, she was inspired to get involved in changing the food system in America. This is what led her to the Conscious Kitchen and she has thoroughly enjoyed working on this team - being inspired daily, seeing real change happen, and everything revolves around a more equitable, sustainable, and FLOSN food future. Kenna has been moved by Turning Green peers, leaders, and supporters alike, all with the vision of a bright future and taking action to get there.

Andrew Fu | Conscious Kitchen Intern

Stony Brook University, Freshman

Andrew is a first-year student at Stony Brook University studying Health Sciences with a minor in Asian Studies. His journey began in the bustling streets of New York City. Working at GrowNYC Farmstands, he saw firsthand the devastation food apartheid wreaks on communities of color and how social determinants of health intersect with environmental justice, food justice, and sustainability. He learned about the relationship between healthy food, healthy humans, and a healthy planet, and wants to create change through food. He is working with the Conscious Kitchen team to transform the current paradigm of food as a commodity into one that celebrates food as an ambassador for culture, community, and the environment. In his free time, he enjoys powerlifting and playing guitar.

Erin Schrode
Jeremiah McElwee

Olivia Graham | Conscious Kitchen Intern

University of Michigan, Junior

Olivia is a junior at the University of Michigan studying Community and Global Public Health, with a minor in Food in the Environment. After she graduates, she wants to pursue her masters in Nutritional Sciences with the goal of working for food and nutritional justice within marginalized communities. She is passionate about advocating for a sustainable, balanced and exciting diet for all people. In her free time, Olivia enjoys listening to podcasts, cooking new meals, and playing board games with her friends.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Heidi Locke Simon

Heidi Locke Simon | Chair

Former Partner, Bain & Company

Heidi recently retired as a Partner of Bain & Company, a global strategy consulting firm where she worked for 20 years. She was a leader of the firm’s performance improvement capability area and managed Bain’s marketing and client development efforts on the West Coast. Prior to joining Bain in 1993, Heidi worked in investment banking for Goldman, Sachs & Company and spent time in brand management with Colgate-Palmolive Company. Heidi earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Politics and Economics with highest honors from Middlebury College, including course work at the University of Paris. Heidi began volunteering for Turning Green with its first Search for the Cause campaign a decade ago. She has served in numerous roles, including Board Chair for several years.

Al Baylacq | Board Member

Partner, Good Earth Natural Foods

Al has co-led the growth of Good Earth Natural Foods since 1999. Since the early 1970’s, Good Earth’s mission has been to bring organic food into grocery stores in a consistent way, while supporting innovative and ethical organic growers and ranchers. Al’s dream was to be part of a marketplace that reflected the community it served. At the time he joined Good Earth, it was his intention that Good Earth would play a role as a “community hub,” while influencing and educating people and businesses far beyond its local community. Al is proud to have initiated an organic school lunch program through Good Earth in 2003. Good Earth’s school lunch program began with 4 schools, and currently is in 17 Marin County schools. Al and Good Earth’s support has been instrumental in the founding and growth of The Conscious Kitchen program.

David Bennett
James Schurz

Chuck Dietrich | Board Member

Corporate Vice President, OPG Mobile Data Applications and Growth

Chuck works for Rajesh Jha and leads the Mobile Data Labs team in San Francisco. The team builds and grows innovative, mobile-centric applications that help people to use their ambient data combined with artificial intelligence (AI) and delightful experiences to automate their valuable administrative tasks. Chuck also works on OPG and corporate strategy around the areas AI, engagement and growth. Chuck enjoys the challenges of matching user needs with product strategy and goto market models.

Chuck has over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience and was most recently the cofounder and CEO of Mobile Data Labs, acquired by Microsoft December, 2015. Mobile Data Labs is the creator of MileIQ, the top grossing finance app across both Google and Apple’s apps stores. Chuck's entrepreneurial past also includes building a retail products company, followed by joining Salesforce.com in its inception and staying for 9 years. In the role of General Manager and Vice President, Chuck built and ran many of Saleforce.com’s channel and partner programs, including system Integrators, marketing partners, product partnerships, and Latin American distribution. Chuck also built and led the company’s mobile strategy and business unit. After Salesforce.com, Chuck was the CEO of SlideRocket, which grew quickly and was acquired by VMware in 2011.

Chuck earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Utah.

Chuck has been guest lecturer at Harvard, MIT and Northwestern and presents at many technology conferences. He has served on boards of numerous early to mid-stage companies and is involved with the Pledge 1% nonprofit initiative.

Chuck grew up in New Mexico and lives in Northern California with his wife and two children. Chuck is an avid adventurer and lover of the outdoors. In his younger days he spent a lot of time ski mountaineering in the Andes, Alps and Himalaya. When not working, he and his family can be found traveling, skiing, climbing, biking and kite surfing.

Adam Kesselman | Board Member

Sustainable Food Systems Entrepreneur

Adam Kesselman is dedicated to cultivating a food system that grows in harmony with nature and the people who steward it and consume its bounty. As a chef and co-owner of Acre Gourmet, Adam collaborated with growers and producers to create a better food culture. Through his consultancy, The Lunch Trust, Adam brought his experience and passion for sustainable food systems to clients in the education and consumer packaged goods industries, developing innovative programs and products. Most recently, Adam was the Executive Director of the Center for Ecoliteracy, a non-profit dedicated to education for sustainable living and school food reform, and the recent co-sponsor of California’s School Meals for All bill that led to California becoming the first state to fund Universal Free School Meals.

James Schurz
Justina Lai

Sean Martin | Board Member

President | CEO, Martin Consulting Group

Sean works to create organizations that thrive. He partners with leaders to develop clear strategies, build strong teams and create companies that execute with success and pride, believing that the heart of effective leadership lies in authenticity, empathy and clarity - they are at the source of successful strategies as well as thriving cultures. Sean also believe that the greatest insights, critical to any organization’s success, reside with its employees, and an advisor's job (his job) is to help leaders relate to their people such that the power and insight of the organization can flourish.
 
The Martin Group is the current manifestation of Sean's 20+ years of experience. With his colleagues, Sean is passionate about helping courageous leaders see, ignite and implement major changes in their organizations – ones that enable a positive impact on the world. His approach leverages a rich combination of expertise in strategy development, organizational design and leadership development helping leaders create thriving organizations with clear and meaningful strategies brought to life by employees inspired to do their best.
Justina Lai

Claire Veuthey | Board Member

Principal  | Rizoma Ventures

Claire has worked in ESG/impact investing for 15 years, serving in product management, research, investment, and sales/business development roles in London, Toronto, Singapore, Amsterdam, and San Francisco. As Principal at Rizoma Ventures, Claire partners with investors seeking to integrate or assess environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact in their investment processes, from due diligence to exit. Claire is particularly focused on venture and private equity investors. She also advises companies to understand and manage the impacts of their operations, and is co-authoring The Grassroots DEI Organizer Playbook, a tactical guide for early-stage, venture-backed companies on diversity & inclusion. In addition, Claire works as a Venture Partner for NextGen Venture Partners and the crowdinvesting platform Republic, and serves as a strategic advisor for several fintech startups.

She was previously Director of ESG & Impact Product at OpenInvest, one of the first venture-backed public benefit corporations. Before that, she led ESG on the Wells Fargo Social Impact Investing team, and worked in both research and sales at MSCI ESG Research and Sustainalytics. She also served as an advisor to the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board in 2017, its inaugural year. Claire holds an MBA from Berkeley-Haas, and MA From King’s College London, and a Licence from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She speaks French and Spanish fluently; her Mandarin is a work in progress.

ADVISORY BOARD

Stephen Simon

Founder, Simon Equity Partners

Steve is the founder of Simon Equity Partners, LLC and has been a managing member since January 2007.  From February 1997 to December 2006, he served as president and chief executive officer of Melvin Simon & Associates, Inc., a privately-held real estate and investment company.  Steve serves on the board of directors of the Pacers Basketball Corporation.  He is a director for the Herbert Simon Family Foundation and serves on the boards of the following non-profit organizations; Central Indiana Land Trust, Conscious Alliance and HeadCount. 

 Steve holds a degree in General Studies with a concentration in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University.

Stacy Malkan
Erin Schrode

Erin Schrode 

Co-founder, Turning Green

Erin is an activist, social entrepreneur and writer. This leading voice on sustainability, social impact and millennials and vocal advocate for environmental action, public health and equal justice recently ran an unprecedented campaign for US Congress in California – to redefine civic engagement and reinvigorate a culture of public service. 

Erin speaks and consults internationally and is a community organizer championing civic leadership and environmental stewardship worldwide. After Hurricane Maria, Erin led #ChefsForPuertoRico to serve 3.7+ million meals, while investing in local, sustainable agriculture and food systems islandwide and she coordinated the Conscious Kitchen feeding program to serve hot, organic, nutritious meals to students, elders and vulnerable populations near her home in Northern California amid Covid. This bold innovator is on a lifelong journey to inspire and mobilize people to discover and activate passion for social impact and policy change.

Hannah McGovern Gross

Strategic Consultant 

Hannah is a native New Yorker, an actor, singer and environmentalist. She founded the NYC chapter of Turning Green while at The Brearley School, won a grant while she was a student at Wellesley College to host a Project Green Dorm event there, and since then, has helped whenever she could, most recently with Project Green Challenge in 2020 and now also for 2021.

Erin Schrode

Debbie Raphael 

Strategic Advisor

Debbie, a scientist by training, has dedicated nearly 20 years of her career in public service to creating innovative environmental policies that have positioned the City/County of San Francisco as a world leader in environmental protection and action against climate change. Before serving as Director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment, she was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown and confirmed by the California Senate to serve as the Director of the state’s Department of Toxics Substances Control where her reforms of the Department were recognized by the State Legislature, and she launched the internationally renowned Safer Consumer Products Program – a first of its kind in the US.

Since coming to SF Department of Environment her contributions to environmental policy and protection have been acknowledged internationally as evidenced by the selection of Debbie by Apolitical (an international news organization) as one of the world’s top 100 most impactful leaders on climate change. For the past 30 years of public service, Debbie has focused her energy forging successful partnerships and collaboration between government agencies, community organizations, and the business sector. Debbie’s accomplishments underscore the importance of such inclusive and cross-sector relationships for tackling the significant environmental challenges facing urban centers like San Francisco.

A few examples of the cutting edge and globally recognized programs that have flourished during the past 8 years of her leadership of the Department of the Environment include:

1. Reducing San Francisco’s emissions of greenhouse gasses over 40% below 1990 levels – 6 years ahead of schedule.

2. Developing an equity-centered Climate Action Plan in partnership with businesses, community organizations, and city agencies. This plan sets out a bold path for the next 20 years of climate action.

3. Creating building codes that eliminate natural gas, require solar and green roofs, install charging for electric vehicles, and protect the health of low income residents.

4. Creating a world class system of composting and recycling and then passing laws that eliminate materials with no end-of-life purpose. San Francisco’s zero waste programs and services are the envy of cities across the country.

5. Providing benefits to small and large businesses alike through energy efficiency, safer janitorial and building maintenance products, waste reduction, and more.

6. Protecting the health of vulnerable populations through programs such as Green Business Certification, Healthy Nail Salons, and Environmental Justice.

7. Educating thousands of school-aged children to form environmental habits and inspiring the future leaders that our planet depends on for its very survival.

Kevin Grossman

Sales Strategy Manager, Clif Bar & Company

Kevin is currently the Sales Strategy Manager on Innovation at Clif Bar & Company, a multi-bottom line organic food company based in Emeryville, California. With over seven years of Food industry experience, Kevin has held various roles ranging from managing Natural and Grocery retail accounts to developing Clif's go-to-market strategies for new products in Grocery, Foodservice, Convenience, and Mass sales channels.

Kevin has always been interested in food and sustainability. While earning his Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Kevin spent his Saturday mornings roaming the Madison farmers market, learning and engaging with the local farmers to understand the plethora of fresh ingredients to cook with. As a California native, he was surprised to see the only vegetables available in February were those pickled from the summer before!  While working at Clif, Kevin learned firsthand how a company can have multiple bottom lines and be both profitable and socially responsible. He helped  teams navigate complex distribution channels such as K-12 food programs and developed new communication tools to empower Clif's sales team to better educate and engage their external partners on the company’s various social and environmental initiatives. With his Food industry experience and business-for-good mindset, Kevin is eager to help rethink and redesign our existing food system to create equitable access to nutritious, organic foods in all communities.