We are a dedicated community of leaders, working together to ensure a sustainable future for all.
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.
Sue Waiss | Program Administrator
Sue has worked with Turning Green for 11 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.
Margaret Cooper丨Spring Fellow
University of California, Davis Alum
Margaret grew up on the coast of Florida and as a child she remembers encountering Florida Manatee and sea turtle conservation efforts but learning very little about human-caused environmental degradation. It wasn’t until she moved to California in her late teens that environmental science and climate change were given meaning when she and a few classmates created a research project centered around invasive plant species living on the Santa Cruz Channel Island. Immediately, she felt driven to further her understanding, propelling her to study Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Davis. As a student, Margaret was involved with the Student Farm in the ecological garden where she discovered her love for small scale sustainable agriculture and the importance of biodiversity within food systems. After graduation, Margaret taught in the Sierra Nevada foothills as an environmental educator for 6th grade science camp, serving students from the Central Valley. She enjoyed encouraging students to find their unique connection to nature and excitement for the environment- through hikes, song, creative writing, and ecosystem exploration. Margaret is driven by youth empowerment, food justice, and open space accessibility as she addresses climate change in her community. She is excited to join the Turning Green community to help build confident future leaders and advocates for environmental sustainability.
Joanna Johnson丨Program Manager
Joanna is a biology nerd fascinated with the living world, and an educator with a passion for experiential learning. With roots in the midwest, she graduated from University of Illinois, Chicago, with a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Science, and from University of Miami, Ohio, with a M.A. in Biology. While Jo's foundation is in natural science, her passion lies with education. Sparked by her first study abroad trip while an undergrad, she has continued to travel, learn, and work with students around the world- whether with international research organizations on community based conservation and education, leading high school students through sustainability immersion programs, creating hands on science experiences for elementary students in school gardens, or supporting teams of undergraduate students at a research center in the Peruvian Amazon. Jo is committed to equity in education and advancing environmental literacy, and truly values student driven, collaborative learning.
Hannah McGovern Gross丨Program Coordinator
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.
Meredith Soden丨Marketing Consultant
Meredith helps the Turning Green team with a variety of marketing, communications and outreach programs. Prior to formally joining the team, she volunteered with TG for many years and has served as a mentor, advisor, partner and advocate. Before her time with TG Meredith led marketing and brand efforts for two natural personal care brands, and did communications and PR for higher education institutions and small businesses. She is a champion for a conscious and healthy lifestyle and is driven to help organizations and individuals be a force for good. When Meredith is not working, you can find her spending time with her family, cooking, gardening and generally enjoying all of what Northern California has to offer.
Brooke Crouch丨Summer Intern Coordinator
Senior, University of Virginia
Brooke is a rising fourth year at the University of Virginia studying Global Environments + Sustainability and Environmental Science. Her passion for the environment began at a young age, spending every summer camping, hiking, and backpacking in National Parks across the country with her family. After she graduates, she wants to work in the environmental nonprofit sector, with a special focus on sustainable, equitable food systems. She is passionate about living a low waste, plant based lifestyle, and loves talking to her friends and family about ways to lower their footprint and live a lower impact lifestyle. In her free time, Brooke enjoys camping and backpacking, vegan baking, reading, and yoga.
Emily McCabe | Campus Rep Coordinator
Sophomore, University of California, Berkeley
Emily is a second year student at the University of California, Berkeley, studying Environmental Economics and Policy. She grew up in rural northern California, where she fostered a love for the environment through playing outdoors and enjoying the area's many public parks. After graduating, Emily hopes to study environmental law and work for the Environmental Protection Agency. On the Berkeley campus, Emily works with the Housing and Dining Sustainability Association to advocate for food policy across campus as well as educate students about their waste habits. In her free time, Emily enjoys meeting new people, walking her dog, practicing yoga, and reading magazines.
SUMMER INTERNS 2021
Addie Foote | Summer Intern
Addie Foote is a rising high school senior with a passion for the environment. To dive deeper into this interest, she competed and won second place in PGC 2020 with her team. She also enjoys working on engineering challenges and hopes to continue her education in this area in college. Constantly learning, Addie spends her free time reading as well as connecting with nature and friends.
Aly Rasmussen | Summer Intern
Senior, University of Oregon
Aly is a senior at the University of Oregon, studying Psychology and Sociology focusing on environmental issues. She grew up in Oakland California, where she saw the impacts of environmental racism and injustice within her own city. After graduating this June, she wants to work for an environmental nonprofit that focuses on environmental justice and giving a voice to indigenous and underserved communities that are underrepresented in protections and policy. In her free time, Aly enjoys hiking, traveling, spending time with pets, and wants to begin raising butterflies.
Belle Fisher | Summer Intern
Senior, University of California, Berkeley
Belle is a rising senior at the University of California, Berkeley studying Conservation and Resource Studies in the College of Natural Resources. She grew up in the East Bay Area spending her childhood hiking and camping, which inspired her love of all things outdoors. After graduating, Belle hopes to continue into the field of environmental education, teaching kids about the interconnectedness between humans and our environment, encouraging kindness to our planet. Belle spends her weekdays tutoring elementary school kids, and her weekends at the farmers market, picnicking, reading or watering her plants.
Brandon Vorrath | Summer Intern
Senior, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Brandon Vorrath is a fourth-year political science major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, concentrating in pre-law. Brandon currently serves as an intern on the Turning Green team. He is from the San Francisco Bay Area and is passionate about entertainment, politics, news, and social trends - with an emphasis on the intersection between politics and the arts.
Cameron McKenzie | Summer Intern
Senior, Bowdoin College
Cameron is a rising senior at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine studying Environmental Studies and Earth & Oceanographic Science. Growing up in western New York, she spent the majority of her childhood hiking in the Adirondacks, landscaping with her dad, and visiting her Uncle’s farm. Living in Maine for the past 3 years has only deepened her passion for sustainable agriculture. She worked on a local, organic farm last summer that worked to decrease food insecurity across MidCoast Maine and hopes to use her knowledge about sustainable agriculture practices while at Turning Green. After graduating, Cameron would like to pursue work within the environmental, non-profit agricultural sector. In her free time, she enjoys going on runs, hiking, reading, baking, and exploring local farmers markets.
Cassidy Nelson | Summer Intern
Cassidy is entering her fourth year at Whitman College, where she is pursuing a degree in Sociology and minoring in Economics. She became interested in sustainability from a young age, while gardening, cooking, and traveling with her parents and siblings. Growing up in Central Oregon, being surrounded by nature was a daily joy. Each day she does what she can to live a responsible and sustainable lifestyle, participate in climate activism, and support policy that furthers climate justice. This coming year she hopes to develop her senior thesis on generational differences related to climate action. She has previous experience with non-profits fundraising for the local Humane Society. Upon graduation, she hopes to continue non-profit work in the sustainability, environmental and social justice fields to make an on-the-ground difference in my community. In her free time, she can be found reading, running, listening to Fleetwood Mac, taking care of her various house plants, and cooking with her family or housemates.
Connor Webb | Summer Intern
Junior, San Jose State University
Connor is currently a junior at San Jose State University. He is majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in environmental restoration. Initially, he didn’t plan to major in environmental studies and put it as my backup major without any real reason. He ended up not getting into my first major of choice and so he went into Environmental Studies. He didn't really know what to expect but it's now become a passion of mine and I've come to enjoy writing because of it. Being in this major definitely changed his perspective on the world and how we inhabit it and now he wants to do his part in protecting it. Some of his hobbies include backpacking and hiking.
Daniel Schneider | Summer Intern
Junior, University of Michigan
Daniel is a Junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Environment and minoring in Computer Science. He is an active member in environmental organizations on campus and has a strong interest in exploring the relationship between technology and sustainability. After graduating, Daniel hopes to use data analysis techniques to solve the world's agricultural and ecological challenges. In his free time, Daniel enjoys running, cooking, and a good road trip.
Devon Chapman | Summer Intern
Junior, University of Washington
Devon is a third-year student at the University of Washington in Seattle studying political science and environmental studies. She was born and raised in the PNW with an adventurous family of surfers and explorers in Southern California as well. Her passion and love for the outdoors started at a very young age, from riding her first wave to hiking her first mountain. As she grew up, she became aware that the environment that she loved to explore was degrading, with fish she used to snorkel with not being there anymore and parks beginning to look different. This sparked her desire to fight for the planet which brings her here, to an internship with Turning Green. After graduation, she hopes to go on to further fight the environmental and social discrimination in this country and encourage sustainability in all sectors.
Ella Fesler | Summer Intern
Junior, University of Virginia
Ella is a rising 3rd year at the University of Virginia. She is majoring in Global Environments + Sustainability with a minor in public policy. Sustainability sparked Ella's interest in high school, thanks to one of her teachers and her participation in the Project Green Challenge 2017. In particular, Ella is interested in the development of sustainable food systems. In her free time, Ella can be found journaling or cooking a good meal.
Francesca Mustain | Summer Intern
Junior, Brown University
Francesca is a junior studying environmental science at Brown University. She was born and raised in Colombia, where she fell in love with the surrounding nature and became very interested in the environment. After learning more about climate change and its impact, she became passionate about environmental justice and equality. Francesca is now taking classes on climate policy and sustainable development in order to better advocate for the future of our planet and its people. Francesca has been involved with environmental groups on campus whose mission is to inform and encourage sustainable policies and habits on campus. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and listening to true crime podcasts.
Gabriela Nahm | Summer Intern
Sophomore, Davidson College
Gabriela is a rising sophomore at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. She is an intended Environmental studies major on the social sciences track with a potential minor in sociology. She has always had a strong love for the environment through years of hiking on the nearby Appalachian trail and other outdoor adventures, but she found her passion for Environmental Justice after watching There’s Something in the Water in her first environmental studies college course. She is the student ambassador for Davidson’s Sustainability Collective and is passionate about making sustainability an accessible choice for all students on campus. In her free time, she loves long walks, plant-based baking, and having dance parties in her dorm room.
Giulia Oltranti | Summer Intern
Senior, University of California, Berkeley
Giulia Oltranti is an incoming Senior at the University of California, Berkeley. She is majoring in Society in Environment and minoring in Food Systems. Growing up in an Italian household she was always surrounded by delicious fresh food made from scratch. This inspired her to take on baking as a hobby and she now shares her passion for baking through teaching the Life Skills: Intro to Baking DeCal at Berkeley. Throughout her time as an undergraduate taking courses on the environment, public health, nutrition and agriculture, she has become especially interested in transforming our food system to one that is more sustainable and resilient in the long-run. She hopes to spread awareness about the benefits of plant-based diets for the environment and one’s health and encourage healthy eating habits through fun and easy recipes. In her free time, Giulia can be seen baking up a storm in her kitchen.
Grace Leary | Summer Intern
Junior, University of California, Los Angeles
Grace is going into her third year at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is studying History and Political Science. She is passionate about youth activism and has been involved in sustainability efforts and activism on her campus. This past year, she has been working on a campaign to end oil drilling in California and recently started a campus coalition for human and environmental intersectional advocacy. In the future, she hopes to work in research and policy for environmental justice and focus on human issues of climate change. For fun, Grace loves to cook plant-based food, hike, and swim, and she is learning how to surf.
Hannah Lempert | Summer Intern
Sophomore, University of Pittsburgh
Han is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh studying Sustainability, Urban Studies, Architecture, and American Sign Language. When not in school Han enjoys traveling, volunteering, and working at Thriftsburgh, an on campus thrift store. Han has always had a passion for environmental justice and the environment in general which is heavily related to their upbringing with Judaism. Han is a vegetarian and enjoys hammocking. Han has played violin for 12 years and has an artistic view on life due to their interest in art their entire life. Han is interested in sustainable urban design and is incredibly excited to be a summer intern!
Jenny Nguyen | Summer Intern
Junior, University of California, San Diego
Jenny is a third year student at the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Environmental Systems (Earth Sciences) and minoring in Psychology. She is passionate about understanding the impacts of climate change and what solutions can be implemented to address it as well as promoting sustainability within communities and the environment. Her sustainability journey began with her love for nature's beauty, and since then, she has been dedicated to learning about how she can practice sustainable living and help others learn more as well. On her campus, she is an active member of a few sustainability and climate change related organizations, working to raise awareness about these topics and uplift student and community voices. In her free time, Jenny enjoys dancing, exploring new places, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Kaija Schlangen | Summer Intern
Senior, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Kaija is a senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth and studies Psychology and Latin American Studies. She grew up in Two Harbors, MN with Lake Superior in her backyard. This proximity to nature ingrained deep respect for environmental conservation in her. She is passionate about committing to equity and justice in all work, but particularly sustainability. In her free time, Kaija enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with her friends and family.
Karina Zimmerman | Summer Intern
Sophomore, Wellesley College
Karina is a sophomore at Wellesley College double majoring in Latin American Studies and Environmental Studies with a focus on ecology. Her love for the natural world grew throughout her childhood in the Pacific Northwest, where she enjoys hiking and skiing in the mountains and boogie boarding at the beach. Karina’s favorite area of sustainability is sustainable fashion, and she loves teaching others about the positive impacts of thrift shopping and upcycling clothing on the environment. In her free time, she loves to read, bake, and knit!
Kat Nguyen | Summer Intern
Freshman, University of California, Berkeley
Kat Nguyen is an incoming Freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, where she plans to major in Data Science and Environmental Economics & Policy. She became involved with Turning Green as a Project Green Challenge 2020 Finalist, where she completed her own climate action plan focused around cafeteria sustainability, hydroponics, composting, gardening, and a circular economy. During college, she hopes to explore the relationship between data science and sustainability to identify data-driven approaches to solving global ecological challenges. In her free time, she enjoys going on long hikes, picnics, and doodling in her bullet journal.
Kyra Clark | Summer Intern
Senior, University of Minnesota, Duluth
Kyra is an incoming senior at Wesleyan University studying Anthropology and Writing. Her interest in sustainability was sparked at a young age, but fortified when she studied cultural and biodiversity along the Mekong river at age 18. She has worked with the Middletown, CT chapter of Sunrise Movement, as a podcast editor for Women in Waders, and is interested in studying environmentalism and sustainability through an ethnographic and/or film-based lens. In her free time, Kyra can be found crocheting, cooking vegetarian meals, making sauerkraut, and watching movies with friends.
Lena Karam | Summer Intern
Senior, University of Oregon
As a rising senior at the University of Oregon Lena has always known that her passions around the environment would be the biggest influence in her life. From Portland, OR Lena spent all her time nurturing her passion, whether it be hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, exploring in her backyard, or taking trips exploring the pacific northwest Lena always had to be outside in some capacity and this led to her constantly growing love and wonder of nature and the environment. As an Environmental Studies major Lena uses her passion in hopes to begin her lifelong career of fighting against the injustices of environmental racism. Lena dreams of a world filled with unified communities who work together to not only protect the environment but who love and feel compassion for it as well."
Loren Jacobs | Summer Intern
Senior, University of Michigan
Loren is a rising senior at the University of Michigan School of Information concentrating in User Experience Design and minoring in Gender and Health. This is Loren’s first year working with Turning Green and she is beyond excited to spread her passion for environmental justice and gain experience in the non profit sector as she aspires to work in this space after graduation. She loves teaching art and writing to children, singing in her a cappella group, and going on outdoor adventures no matter the weather. She is working to combine her background in design and data manipulation with her passion for women’s and environmental health to fight for better support and resources to underserved communities. All she needs to be happy is the California sun and her puppies.
Max Hancock | Summer Intern
Sophomore, Frostburg State University
Max Hancock is a sophomore at Frostburg State University in rural Western Maryland. He is a senator on Student Government and holds the position of Vice President of Finance of the Frostburg chapter of Pi Lambda Phi. Max is a Quantitative Economics major with minors in both Geography and Sustainability Studies. His career path will take him into Appalachian resource economics, a field plagued by the exploitation of both workers and the environment. The flow of money has a massive impact on the way humans interact with natural resources: an unavoidable truth of life on the edge of Fracking territory. When not participating in activism, Max likes to raise aquatic plants and fish and play Dungeons and Dragons.
Meredith Epstein | Summer Intern
Meredith will be graduating from Stony Brook University in May 2021 where she studied Environmental Studies and Psychology. She has always been passionate about the environment and influencing the people around her to practice sustainability in their everyday lives. She is thrilled to be an intern at Turning Green, and is very excited to see how this experience will shape her future in environmental work! She loves to travel, and her dream is to live in as many countries as possible during her lifetime, all while advocating and educating others about how to live an environmentally-conscious lifestyle. Some of her favorite things to do are travel, cook plant-based meals, go on nature hikes, continue to learn about the environment, and read Harry Potter, Nicholas Sparks, and John Green books!
Rachel Kessler | Summer Intern
Senior, University of Virginia
Rachel is a rising fourth year at the University of Virginia studying Environmental Thought and Practice and Music. She first grew up surrounded by nature in Florida and later in Virginia where she discovered her passion for exploring and conserving the natural world. She volunteers with lake and trail clean-ups in her hometown and hopes to work for an environmental non-profit that focuses on sustainability, conservation, and social justice through environmental action and education. In her free time, Rachel enjoys playing the piano, painting, playing tennis, hiking, and exploring different National Parks.
Tamia Lewis | Summer Intern
Sophomore, Barnard College
Tamia is a rising sophomore at Barnard College in New York City, originally hailing from a rural town in Southern Chile. She is a lover of nature and good organic food, and is majoring in Environment and Sustainability. Tamia grew up in the countryside and spent most of her time camping and tending to her garden + animals. Together with her mother and sister, she owns and operates an organic, locally sourced, vegetarian coffee shop in her hometown.In the future, she hopes to use her degree to further environmental education, sustainable living practices, and sustainable agriculture + organic food production. In her free time, Tamia loves hiking, drinking coffee, baking, and knitting.
SPRING INTERNS 2021
Maya Nesbitt - Schnadt丨Spring Intern
Maya is a recent graduate from Reed College with a BA in English and a minor in Spanish. Growing up in rural England with a vegetable garden, and then moving to the beautiful Bay Area, shaped her appreciation for plant-based eating and interest in sustainability. Maya has worked as a camp counselor for the Audubon Society to help kids get interested in local wildlife and the environment, and has raised money for charity by creating art from recycled sea glass and other materials. She has also interned as a plant-based chef at the Ravens Restaurant in Mendocino. Maya became involved with Turning Green during Summer 2020 and hopes to continue working with the organization as they aim to mobilize and inspire.
Josie Sparks | Spring Intern
Senior, Bloomington High School South
Josie is a senior at Bloomington High School South who plans to study Environmental Science and Nonprofit Management in college. She grew up in southern Indiana going to sailing camp and Environmental Explorers camp which fostered her love for the environment. She became involved with Turning Green through Project Green Challenge in 2019, where she became a finalist and was awarded co-third place. As a result of Project Green Challenge, Josie founded a nonprofit, Yellowwood Youth, which works to provide guidance, opportunities, and inspiration to youth in Indiana regarding their role in solving environmental issues and the climate crisis. She is involved with Students Advocating for a Greener Environment (SAGE) at school and is part of the Youth Climate Accord in Indiana. She has played viola for 8 years, enjoys writing of all kinds, and enjoys teaching those younger than herself.
Ilana Zeitzer | Spring Fellow
Masters Student, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Ilana is a masters student at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, studying ecology. She was the second place winner for the Project Green Challenge in 2017. Her passion for sustainability and conservation is taking her to a future in ecology conservation research with specific interests in plants, fungi and soils. She graduated from Dickinson College in 2019 with honors in Biology and a minor in art.
Liz Tervet | Spring Intern
Liz Tervet is a high school senior attending the Marin School of Environmental Leadership (MarinSEL). MarinSEL is a specialized academy within Terra Linda High School that emphasizes leadership with project-based learning. Within MarinSEL, she has been able to work with the iMatter program, a national youth organization motivated to address the global climate crisis. She is a varsity swimmer and president of Interact club at her school. Interact is a Rotary-sponsored service club that gives young people an opportunity to participate in fun and meaningful service projects while developing leadership skills. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in Marin’s nature painting or hiking.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
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.
Justina Lai | Treasurer, Finance Chair
Director of Impact Investing, Wetherby Asset Management
Justina is a private equity investor that believes in harnessing the power of capital – and applying the discipline and rigor of conventional investing – to create meaningful social and environmental impact. Justina joined Wetherby Asset management in 2015 where she leads the firm’s impact investment strategy. Prior to Wetherby, she was a Director and Senior Investment Analyst focused on private markets strategies at Sonen Capital, an impact investment management firm. Previously, Justina helped manage the Rockefeller Foundation’s Program Related Investments portfolio comprised of domestic and international impact investments in private equity and private debt. She was also a core member of the Impact Investing team where she advanced and shaped the initiative strategy focused on building the field of impact investing. In addition, she has held positions with Legacy Venture in Palo Alto, CA and Rwanda Ventures, a business incubator launching and operating sustainable agricultural companies in Kigali, Rwanda.
Prior to her career in impact investing, she was an Associate in the New York and Paris offices of Vestar Capital Partners, where she diligenced and executed growth equity and leveraged buyout transactions across the US and Europe. Justina began her career in the sponsor coverage group within Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division in New York. Justina received a BS in Finance and International Business, summa cum laude, from New York University and an MBA with certificates in Public and Global Management from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Justina is proficient in Cantonese Chinese and Spanish and has lived and worked in Hong Kong, France, the UK and Rwanda.
Sean Martin | Board Member
President | CEO, Martin Consulting Group
Neka Pasquale | Board Member
Founder, Urban Remedy
Neka is a licensed Acupuncturist, Author and the Founder of Urban Remedy. She created Urban Remedy as a natural evolution of her passion for health and healing and living a lifestyle with “food is healing” as her mantra. Growing up in the farm-to-table culture of Northern California, Neka was inspired by people who care about what they eat and who strive to eat for health as well as pleasure. In her private practice of over a decade, Neka combined acupuncture and Chinese medicine with cutting-edge nutrition and lifestyle modifications to heal, balance and create optimal health. Neka started leading wellness retreats with her patients and over and over again they described experiencing life-changing results after just a few days. Inspired by these transformations, Neka knew she had found her calling and in 2009, Urban Remedy was born.
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.
Director, San Francisco Department of the Environment
In May of 2014, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Debbie as the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, a city agency that creates visionary policies and programs to ensure a sustainable future for San Francisco. Debbie returned to San Francisco after three years leading the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she worked to balance stakeholder interests in protecting the public and environment from toxic harm.
In 20 years of public service at city, county, and state levels, Debbie has crafted and implemented groundbreaking policies around toxics reduction, green building, business engagement, integrated pest management, and environmentally preferable purchasing. She graduated with honors in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, was a Smithsonian and National Science Foundation fellow, and has a Master’s degree in Physiological Plant Ecology from UCLA.
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.
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.
Sophomore, Connecticut College
Sophie is a sophomore at Connecticut College studying biology. She first got involved with Turning Green in 2018 when she was a PGC Finalist, and ever since, she's been committed to taking action on her high school and college campuses, where she is a part of numerous sustainability and STEM organizations. While working with TG, she's seen the power of student led movements and continues to be inspired every day by such devoted and passionate peers. Her hope after college is to study marine conservation and explore the unknown parts of the oceans while finding ways to protect our beautiful marine ecosystems.