2018 Speaker Lineup

Meet the speakers who will be participating in Sustainability in Packaging US 2018!

We have brought together leading names in the industry to present at Sustainability In Packaging US 2018!  Read more below about who you'll be hearing from and meeting in Chicago this coming March.

  • Steve Alexander

    Executive Director Association of Plastics Recyclers

    Steve Alexander serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), a Washington, DC based international trade association representing the plastics recycling industry.  Membership includes independent recycling companies of all sizes, processing numerous resins, as well as consumer product companies, equipment manufacturers, testing laboratories, organizations, and others committed to the success of plastics recycling. As the Voice of Plastics Recycling®, APR works to enhance quality and increase supply through technical resources, testing programs, design solutions, corporate training, regulatory leadership and education programs. 

    In addition, Alexander is the President and founder of The CMR Group, a Government Relations and Public Affairs Consulting firm in Washington, DC. CMR serves as the management arm of the Association of Plastic Recyclers.

    Prior to forming CMR, Mr. Alexander spent more than 20 year representing corporate and association clients on Capitol Hill and in State Houses across the country, including 10 years with Eastman Kodak Company, where he specialized in environment, technology and appropriations issues. 

    He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, and holds an MBA from the Sellenger School of Business at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Tom Blanck

    President Packaging Solutions Group

    Tom Blanck has been the leader for a unique team of Certified Packaging Professionals who have delivered packaging engineering services and supply chain consulting solutions for 17 years.  Blanck founded the Packaging Optimization practice at Chainalytics, managing the same group of consultants through successful mergers with The Packaging Department, Packaging Solutions Group and Adalis Corporation.

    Working directly with leading global organizations, he has directed resources and projects which have enabled client organizations to increase supply chain sustainability while saving millions of dollars in material, operational and logistics costs.

    Tom holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota and is a Lifetime Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) as well as a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP).  In 2013, Supply & Demand Chain Executive designated Tom as a Supply Chain Pro to Know. Tom has been a certified Dale Carnegie Training instructor for over 20 years and is an accomplished presenter, having delivered numerous presentations and workshops for such organizations as CSCMP, APICS, PackExpo, IoPP, ISTA and the Contract Packaging Association

  • Eline Boon

    Research Analyst for the New Plastics Economy Ellen MacArthur Foundation

    Eline Boon is a Research Analyst for the New Plastics Economy initiative, an ambitious 3-year initiative that brings together major players from across the plastic packaging value chain, to mobilise the transition to a plastics system that works.

    Her main focus is engaging with policymakers and international institutions to accelerate the transition towards a circular future for plastics, a New Plastics Economy.

    Prior to joining the Foundation she worked as a Policy Assistant for the European Commission, focusing on international ocean governance. She also worked as a Company Lawyer and Corporate Social Responsibility Officer in Brussels.

  • Jim Chrzan

    Vice President of Content and Brand Strategy PMMI Media Group

    Jim Chrzan is Vice President of Content and Brand Strategy for PMMI Media Group. PMMI is the association of packaging and processing, and produces PACK EXPO events.  Jim also publishes OEM, the official magazine of the association.  He has worked in packaging for 35 years traveling the U.S. and Europe covering topics such as serialization, the FDA, cold chain logistics, the industrial internet, workforce, automation, processing, and packaging.   He also taught a traveling workshop on package design.

  • Bridget Croke

    VP External Affairs Closed Loop Partners

    Bridget Croke leads external affairs including investor partnerships, industry partnerships, communications and special projects at the Closed Loop Partners.  Bridget has been been working on sustainability, circular economy and turning waste into value for 20 years through organizations including Fair Food Project of Philadelphia, Recyclebank and Purpose before Closed Loop Partners

  • Steve Davies

    Director – Performance Packaging NatureWorks LLC

    Steve Davies leads marketing & public affairs globally for NatureWorks LLC, a company formed with the mission of bringing to market a broad family of naturally advanced, renewably sourced materials. He is responsible for the company’s cradle-to-cradle strategy, including feedstocks sourcing and strategy and product recovery strategies, and for managing the company’s industry and stakeholder relations, external communications and media relations.

    When not wearing a NatureWorks hat, Davies has twice served (2011, 2014) as Industry Chair of the SPI’s Bioplastics Council, a group formed in 2009 with the mission of promoting the development of bioplastics as an integral part of the plastics industry. .

    Separately Steve has also served as co-chair of the Washington based (BIO) Biotechnology Industry Organization’s biobased products working group 2011-2013. In BIO and SPI roles, Davies was involved in formulating industry input to the US Department of Agriculture’s 2014 Farm Bill and BioPreferred program, and regularly works with industry in advocating for federal policies that promote the long term growth of the biobased products industry. He speaks regularly on behalf of SPI, and has represented the European Bioplastics Industry Association, of which NatureWorks is a longstanding board member, in North America.


  • Sam Deconinck

    Deputy Lab Manager OWS

    Sam Deconinck obtained a Masters degree in Bioscience Engineering with a specialization in Environmental Technology in 2005 at the State University of Ghent in Belgium.

    Initially hired as Lab Project Manager at OWS, he was responsible for planning, follow-up and reporting of biodegradability and compostability testing. In 2009, Sam became head of the Marketing and Sales team of OWS’ contract research laboratory, providing customers with tailored advice on biodegradability and compostability testing and certification. He represents OWS at several bodies: the Advisory Committee of the Seedling Mark at European Bioplastics; BPI’s newly established Standards and Procedures Committee; ISO TC61 (Plastics) SC5 WG22 on Biodegradability, ISO TC38 (Textiles); WG30 on Tests on Biodegradability; and the Board of Directors of Belgian BioPackaging. In 2017, Sam became Deputy Lab Manager and several other projects involving recycling, integrated waste management and waste composition.

  • Carlos A. Diaz

    Assistant Professor, Packaging Science Rochester Institute of Technology

    Carlos A. Diaz is an assistant professor in the Department of Packaging Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He works with RIT’s Center for Sustainable Packaging to develop new generation materials and packaging solutions that reduce food and energy waste. He chairs the Sustainable Packaging working group for the International Association of Packaging Research Institutes (IAPRI). He is working with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYP2I) to develop bioplastics packaging to handle food waste that is suitable for aerobic and anaerobic degradation. He joined RIT in July, 2012 and previously was a research associate in the School of Packaging Science at Michigan State University. 

  • Betsy Dorn

    Director RSE USA

    Betsy is Director of RSE USA.  Betsy has over thirty years of experience managing, designing, and implementing recycling and sustainability projects. For 26 years, she has been a consultant assisting public and private sector clients by developing plans, evaluating operations, launching new programs, and providing strategy guidance.  In recent years, Betsy’s work has been in the sustainability and product stewardship arena with a focus on the end-of-life management of packaging and printed paper. 

    Prior to becoming a consultant, Betsy managed Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), N.C.’s Recycling Division. 

    Betsy holds an undergraduate degree in Biology and a Master of Science in Public Health in Environmental Sciences and Engineering – both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

    She is currently enjoying the good life in South Florida

  • James D Downham

    President & CEO PAC Packaging Consortium

    As the CEO & President of the nonprofit, PAC Packaging Consortium, Jim Downham has been dedicated to advancing the packaging community agenda. He is a passionate circular economy and sustainability leader.  

    Under Jim’s leadership PAC has created several packaging programs including the PAC GLOBAL LEADERSHIP AWARDS; PAC NEXT and PAC FOOD Sustainability Programs; PACed Certificate Program; and the IFS PAC secure GFSI benchmarked food packaging safety standard; and intelliPACK, A Smart Packaging Innovation Catalyst.

     Jim is a former package manufacturing CEO & President and current industry nonprofit CEO. He is Chairman of LeaderLinx, executive recruiter connecting leading companies with industry leaders.

    In 2014 Jim was inducted into the Packaging Hall of Fame. 

  • Lynn Dyer

    President Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI)

    Lynn M. Dyer is the president of the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), the trade association for the North American foodservice packaging industry. Members include packaging converters and their raw material and machinery suppliers, as well as foodservice operators, distributors and group purchasing organizations. She has been involved in the foodservice packaging industry for nearly 20 years, with the majority of her time spent at FPI. Prior to FPI, Lynn worked with the European Food Service & Packaging Association (now Pack2Go Europe) in Brussels, Belgium. Lynn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Richmond.

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  • Susan Fife-Ferris

    Director of Solid Waste Planning & Program Management Seattle Public Utilities

    Susan is the Director of Solid Waste Planning & Program Management for Seattle Public Utilities, where she provides leadership and directs all aspects of the City of Seattle’s solid waste planning and program development and delivery, including the management of $100+ million in annual service contracts. Susan has close to 30 years’ experience in all aspects of the solid waste management industry, with a focus on strategic and long-range planning, policy development, and program design that is customer-centered. Susan previously oversaw all aspects of environmental programs and communications for the City of Bellevue’s Utilities Department, and was a part-owner of Sound Resource Management Group. Before venturing into the environmental arena, Susan was a lawyer with a large law firm in Seattle, specializing in municipal finance and general municipal law, where she was involved in the drafting of Washington’s “Waste Not Washington Act.” Susan received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a law degree from the University of Southern California. 

  • Susan Graff

    Principal and Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability RRS

    Susan Graff is Principal and Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability at RRS.  She is responsible for corporate materials recovery and sustainability programs, and leads community projects to recycle high performance, light weight packaging in both plastic and paper formats. Susan serves on the Technical Advisory Committee of the REMADE Institute, working to manufacture a sustainable future.  Prior to RRS, Susan was Principal of ERS Global, a sustainability consultancy serving the Fortune 500 with corporate sustainability strategies and reporting. She is a former senior official at US EPA, where she was responsible for waste management, environmental risk assessment and public/private partnership programs.  Susan holds a Master of Science in Technology and Science Policy from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Western Illinois University.

  • Kylee Guenther

    CEO Spectalite Americas

    Kylee Guenther is the CEO of Spectalite Americas, an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed green little hippie since birth. She’s passionate about finding environmentally friendlier solutions to everyday issues involving sustainability.

    Spectalite, a women owned Advanced Engineering and Materials manufacturer, has found a way to incorporate bamboo fibers into plastics or starch based resins, to create sustainable, eco-friendly, light weight, strong and durable, cost effective composite plastic material that can be used in packaging and other applications, to reduce or eliminate the use of plastics.

    Kylee was a University Fellow at Eastern Michigan University, where she studied Management. She lives in Michigan with her amazing husband and enjoys learning foreign languages, traveling and margaritas. 

  • Keefe Harrison

    Executive Director The Recycling Partnership

    Keefe Harrison is the Executive Director of The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit with a twelve-year track record of increasing recycling rates.  Formerly, Keefe served as a senior consultant for Resource Recycling Systems, the director of communications for the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, the project director for the Southeast Recycling Development Council, and as a local government assistance team member for the North Carolina State Recycling Office. She has worked in the waste reduction and recycling field since 1998 and is an active national speaker and published author on recycling issues. She lives with her husband and two children in Walpole, NH.

  • Fred Hart

    Creative Director & Partner Interact Boulder

    Fred Hart is a Partner and Creative Director at Interact Boulder, a spirited and obsessive branding and packaging design firm that works closely with food and beverage brands. Located in Boulder CO, at the epicenter of the natural foods movement, Fred helps usher in the good food revolution and changing of the guards in CPG.

    Fred’s CPG experience includes work in multiple bleeding and leading-edge food and beverage categories, as well as in automotive and household cleaning industries. Notable brands he’s worked with include Dogfish Head Brewery, Mondelez-owned Enjoy Life Foods, Monster Energy, and S.C Johnson brands Scrubbing Bubbles & Pledge.

    When Fred’s not walking through grocery stores like they’re art museums, he’s actively disproving that white men can’t jump and exploring cities on foot.

  • Matanya Horowitz

    AMP Robotics Founder and CEO

    Matanya Horowitz is the founder of AMP Robotics, a startup with the goal of changing the fundamental economics of recycling using robotics and artificial intelligence. AMP has developed a set of robotic tools that allow recycling facilities to automate data collection and material sorting. Prior to AMP, Horowitz studied robotics for his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology, where his research included topics in machine learning and robotic path planning.

  • Patrick Keenan

    Packaging Engineer Annie's

    Patrick Keenan has a Bachelor Degree in Materials Engineering & Master of Business and 10 years working in packaging including packaging manufacturing and consumer goods packaging. Being with Annie’s/General Mills for 4 years.

  • Dr. Claire Koelsch Sand

    Owner Packaging Technology & Research, LLC

    Claire Sand is an industry and academic leader who focuses on decreasing food waste with packaging, food engineering, and food science. Dr Sand is an Adjunct professor at Michigan State University and CalPoly, Packaging columnist for Food Technology, and on the Editorial Boards of Packaging Science and Technology and the Journal of Food Science. Sand’s industry experience ranges from basic research, research and development, market research, and marketing. Sand integrates material science, active and intelligent packaging, ingredient technology, and food processing strategies to launch new product/packaging and extend product shelf life. Dr. Sand holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota and MS and BS from Michigan State University and is an IFT Fellow. Sand is currently:  

    • Adjunct professor at Michigan State University
    • Adjunct professor at CalPoly
    • Packaging columnist, IFT’s Food Technology magazine
    • Editorial Board, Packaging Science and Technology
    • Board member, Higher Education Review Board (HERB), IFT
    • Reviewer, Journal of Food Science
    • Chair, Global Food Packaging Curricula Development, IUFoST
    • Pac FoodWaste Co-Chair
    • Executive committee, IFT Food Packaging Division
    • Committee member, Phi Tau Sigma Strategic Relations and Chapter Affairs
    • Stillwater Human Rights Commissioner
    • Stillwater School District Workforce Committee member
  • Prateek Lal

    Founder and CEO Adept Packaging

    Prateek Lal, founder and CEO of Adept Packaging, is an entrepreneur with a track record of inventing and commercializing innovative solutions for emerging market opportunities at an enterprise scale. 

    Under his leadership, Adept Packaging has led the emergence of an industry that provides packaging development as a service, and is the recognized benchmark for excellence in the US and Europe. Adept has made more than a 100 client companies more successful through packaging innovation and productivity, strategic consulting and focuses on trends including sustainability and connected packaging.

    Adept Packaging clients include globally respected brand owners, packaging suppliers and retailers in the Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage and CPG industries.

    Prateek is an expert on packaging  development and strategy, and frequently contributes to industry publications like Packaging Digest, Packaging World, speaks at many conferences and been awarded multiple US and international patents.

    Prior to Adept Packaging, he held roles at Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Apex CoVantage. He holds an BS in Packaging Science from Michigan State University. Originally from Calcutta, Prateek is passionate about design and lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two boys.

  • Mark Lewis

    President and CTO of Sustainable Fiber Technologies and CTO of Columbia Pulp Columbia Pulp and Sustainable Fiber Technologies

    Over 30 years in the pulp and paper industry primarily in research with companies such as Weyerhaeuser, GK Carbonate, English China Clays, was extremely active in the alkaline conversersions of many mills throughout North America.  Later, was the Director of the Paper Science Center at the University of Washington, teaching Fiber Physics, Papermaking Operations, Wet End Chemistry.  Currently the President and CTO  of Sustainable Fiber Technologies, and also CTO of Columbia Pulp

  • Alexis Limberakis

    Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability The Clorox Company

    Alexis Limberakis is the Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability at The Clorox Company.  She leads a cross-functional Eco Team responsible for setting and driving the environmental sustainability strategy at the company.  Alexis and the Eco Team work with the company’s business partners to integrate sustainability improvements into product development and packaging, reduce the company’s operational and workplace footprints, and make sustainability improvements to the company’s upstream supply chain.   She also leads the Clorox Safe Water Project, which provides access to safe drinking water in rural Peru. Prior to joining the Eco Team, Alexis spent more than 15 years in various marketing roles at Clorox, with an emphasis in consumer insights and new product development. Alexis has a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

  • Brent Lindberg

    Founder and Principal Fuseneo

    Brent Lindberg is 5’7”, enjoys long walks on the beach, summer sunsets and angry music.  Due to his misophonia, he can’t stand the sound of chewing. As a structural packaging designer, with 20 years experience, he can indeed fight his way out of a paper bag. While not confirmed, some even credit Brent with the original design of the banana peel (it was a long time ago...don’t hold it against him).

    While Brent didn’t invent the internet, he’s built a team called Fuseneo that is redefining retail packaging experiences, and defining what e-commerce packaging should and could be. With MacGyver-like resourcefulness and a scrappiness that puts Scooby-Doo’s nephew to shame, they create packaging that balances all the demands of consumers, brands, sustainability, and supply chains.

  • Ciaran Little

    Director of Operations – Americas Smithers Pira

    Ciaran is responsible for Smithers information business in North America. This includes 20 events across North America, and Latin America across 3 brands and 10 vertical markets including packaging, biomaterials, polymers and rubber, print and packing. Ciaran is also responsible for Smithers Reports and Consulting business providing authoritative and independent market data, forecasts and strategic insight across these. Ciaran works with his Akron based team to ensure we provide the highest quality content, networking and information services to our client base of multi national companies across the value chain.

  • Liz Logue

    Sr. Director of Corporate Business Development EFI

    As the Sr. Director of Corporate Business Development for one of the most active companies in print technology acquisitions, Liz Logue is responsible for planning, market evaluation and execution behind EFI’s strategic M&A activity. In that role, she has helped EFI identify the next key segment applications that enable EFI customers to capitalize on the accelerating analog to digital transformation in print. Her work in corporate development has included directing or assisting in EFI’s strategic moves into the ceramics,  textiles and corrugated while assisting in strategic product development, working with engineering, ink and software teams to implement the correct solution for the target market.

    Prior to joining EFI in 2008, Logue worked for 10 years in various roles at IT Strategies, a specialized strategic consultancy company focused on the digital print industry.  In her roles she advised hardware, ink and software vendors on corporate, product and M&A strategy. She also managed research initiatives, maintained industry relationships and kept abreast of the latest technology developments.

    Logue, who lives in the Boston area, has a BA in marketing and finance from Simmons College.  She has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia and is a frequent speaker at industry events. 

  • Norma McDonald

    North American Sales Manager OWS, Inc.

    Norma McDonald's experience in the sustainability and packaging arena spans bridges her current position as North American Sales Manager for OWS, Inc. with her previous roles at Procter & Gamble, which included management of packaging purchases and biopolymer commercialization. At OWS, she assists clients with strategic packaging development and testing approaches to incorporate sustainable materials and achieve certification. OWS is a longtime member of ASTM, ISO, CEN and other standards-setting organizations relating to sustainable packaging. Norma is a graduate of University of Wisconsin and served 10 years as a US Marine Corps officer.


  • Rachel Morier

    Director of Sustainability PAC Packaging Consortium

    Rachel is the Director of Sustainability at PAC Packaging Consortium and oversees PAC’s sustainability programs including PAC NEXT and PAC FOOD. She works closely with member-led projects to facilitate the convergence of ideas and to identify collaborative solutions that work towards a circular economy. With over 10 years combined experience in sustainability, consulting and project management for packaging, she often presents as a guest speaker and lecturer on packaging optimization and sustainablity. Rachel joined PAC upon completing a Master in Environmental Studies at York University, and a Graduate Diploma in Business & the Environment from the Schulich School of Business.

  • Tuomas Mustonen

    Founder, Managing Director Paptic Ltd., Finland

    Mr. Tuomas Mustonen (MBA, M.Sc. Applied physcis) is Co-Founder and CEO of Paptic Ltd, a renewable materials start-up focusing on replacement of plastics in carrier bag and packaging applications.

    Prior to Paptic, Mr Mustonen has worked as Vice President, Sales at VTT  Technical Research Centre of Finland, and has an industry background from the packaging industry in several roles ranging from business development to technical marketing.

    He is specialized in commercialization of new biobased material technologies with special focus on packaging applications. Mr. Mustonen has a MBA degree from the Aalto University and Master of Science degree in Applied Physics from the University of Jyväskylä.


  • Brent Ostrowski

    Manager, Sourcing and Category Management Best Buy

    Prior to re-joining Best Buy in 2017 as a Category Manager in Procurement (Packaging, Uniforms and Supplies), Brent has over 20 years of retail experience in print, packaging, branding, sourcing and supplier management with private brand and branded programs at Target, Best Buy, Flagstone Foods and Good Natured Products.

    Brent has been involved and worked on high profile programs at Target such as Michael Graves, Philippe Starck and Robert Abbey.  He helped lay the foundation of the Target Packaging Department and many of the processes and supplier relationships that exist to this present day. At Best Buy, he was instrumental in creating processes and forming relationships with strategic partners that resulted in astronomical growth of their private brand portfolio, which includes Insignia, Dynex and Rocketfish.

    While at Best Buy, he effectively launched and implemented sustainable packaging initiatives that removed 100’s of tons of material and plastics from packaging (resulting in millions in cost reductions), implemented recyclable identification programs for packaged materials and introduced innovative bio-based packaging solutions.

    He is a board member of Recycle Across America, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to standardizing recycling labels in an effort to decrease contamination and promote recycling and he is also a soldier in the Minnesota National Guard.

    He is enthusiastic of opportunities to create sustainable impacts to our world by lessening the material impacts of consumerism.

  • Steve Parker

    Vice President, Research and Development WestRock

    Steve Parker leads research and development for WestRock’s paperboard business. Steve has more than 30 years of experience in the paperboard industry, serving in leadership roles in manufacturing, product development and R&D.  His team is focused on developing new paperboards that meet the continually evolving needs of the packaging market.  Sustainability is a big focus of packaging innovation at WestRock, and Steve has led the development of many environmentally friendly products including the EnShield® line of grease-resistant, recyclable paperboards.


  • Jason Pelz

    Vice President of Environment, North, Central and South America at Tetra Pak and Vice President of Recycling Projects for Carton Council Tetra Pak | Carton Council

    Jason Pelz is Vice President of Environment for Tetra Pak North, Central and South America. Pelz and his team work with various stakeholders throughout the Americas to lower the impact cartons have on environment. With a focus on growing recycling and collection of post consumer cartons and promoting the use of sustainably sourced and renewable materials in cartons, Pelz is responsible for executing Tetra Pak’s environment strategy throughout North, Central and South America.

    Pelz also serves as Vice President of Recycling Projects for Carton Council of North America where he works with food and beverage brand owners, local municipalities and communities, and other third parties such as recyclers and paper mills to increase the availability of carton recycling in the U.S. and Canada.

    Pelz joined Tetra Pak in 2012 from Waste Management Recycle America, where he served as Director for Global Export Sales. In this role, Pelz directed the global export strategy for Waste Management’s secondary fiber and waste plastics.

    Prior to Waste Management, Pelz was Senior Account Manager for The Peltz Group, a privately owned paper recycling company, which was acquired by Waste Management. He is an expert in the recycling and paper mill industry, including export markets.Pelz attended the University of California at Los Angeles and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. He currently resides in Milwaukee, Wis., with his wife and four children. When not working to promote the environmental benefits of cartons, Pelz likes to ski, golf and travel. 

  • Charlotte Pitt

    Manager City and County of Denver's Solid Waste Management Division

    Charlotte Pitt is a manager for the City and County of Denver's Solid Waste Management Division.  She has worked for Solid Waste Management for 17 years, where her primary focus has been managing the waste diversion programs for the City.  Charlotte is passionate about advancing recycling and composting in Denver.  She also currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Recycling Coalition.


  • Brenda Pulley

    Senior Vice President, Recycling Keep America Beautiful

    Brenda joined Keep America Beautiful (KAB) to enhance the organization’s efforts to improve recycling – specifically how to engage and motivate individuals to recycle the right materials.   In her role to grow the reach and impact of KAB’s recycling initiatives, she is responsible for strategic planning, research, and program design and implementation building from KAB’s behavior change system. 

    Prior to joining KAB, Brenda served as the Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Novelis - a global aluminum rolling and recycling company.  Brenda has worked on various environmental issues both in the public and private sectors, starting her career working for the U.S. House of Representatives, Energy and Environment Small Business Committee. 

    Brenda also serves on the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Electronics Recycling International – whose mission it is to promote environmentally responsible reuse and recycling practices throughout the electronics sector; the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative, and the Social Marketing Quarterly Editorial Board. 

  • Jan Rayman

    Founder and CEO ReWall

    Jan Rayman is the founder and CEO of ReWall, an award winning manufacturer of eco-friendly, high-performance building materials. In the early 2000’s, Jan identified the serious need for non-toxic, durable building materials while managing hurricane remediation projects along the US coast line. A visionary and entrepreneur, Jan connected the value of the waste stream with the needs of the building industry and brought to market a new generation of closed-loop products. Jan led his team in the development of the ReWall technology and has been instrumental in the successful commercialization of their product portfolio. His current role includes direct oversight of the strategic business relationships, operations and technology functions, as well as sales and marketing management. Jan is now working with leaders across the globe to build circular economy solutions to serve as blueprints for the future.

  • Matt Reid

    Founding Director Maximal Concepts

    Matt is seasoned F&B veteran and creative disruptor. A driving force and founder at Maximal Concepts, Matt has been at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of the HK restaurant scene with the clear influence of Mott 32 as the new luxury standard in Chinese restaurant dining. Prior to Maximal Concepts, Matt was notably part of team who created from scratch, and later sold, the number one selling premium vodka in China.

    Matt currently sits on the Advisory Board of Dean & Deluca and is the Managing Director of its new
    fast food and technology divisions. Driving change with renowned architect Ole Scheeren, he has
    developed a revolutionary approach to fast food, which will be scaled globally over the coming years.
    Matt sits on the Board of Cannabinoid Water, a revolutionary health water. Joining forces with a
    powerhouse team built in New York, Cannabinoid Water is growing rapidly and is driving innovation
    into the rapidly expanding category of supplemented premium water.

    Matt is passionate social entrepreneur sitting on two charities Board of Directors and currently
    launching a third. At Plastic Oceans Foundation (HK) he is part of the team that produced the
    much acclaimed ‘A Plastic Ocean’, with Oscar winning producer Adam Leipzig.

    Over the coming months, Matt is launching a new social enterprise, Plastic Conscious, working with famous artist Shephard Fairey, and others, to drive awareness and change in the food packaging industry.

    Alumni of Bristol University, Undergraduate (MSc Political Science) and Kingston University
    (Masters Marketing). Matt also holds a Diploma in Spoken Mandarin from the Beijing Language
    and Culture University.

  • Mark Reiter

    Vice President, Government Relations ISRI

    Mark Reiter is ISRI’s Vice President, Government Relations. He came to ISRI after serving as a senior majority staff member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He has been with ISRI for 26 years – though his plan was to leave after two years! Prior to the Senate committee, Mark spent 10 years at the US EPA in the Offices of Water and of Congressional Affairs. He also served as the top staffer for a New York City member of the U.S. House of Representatives and as a staff member of the Congress' National Commission on Water Quality. Too many years ago, he was staff in the Office of Mayor of the City of New York.  He is a native of New York City and, along with his brother, ran a family manufacturing company on Long Island.

  • Susan Robinson

    Sr. Federal Public Affairs Director Waste Management

    Susan is director of federal public affairs, and is responsible for shaping public policy at the company – focused on WM’s new technology investments and recycling operations.  She has worked in the environmental industry for almost 30 years – as a municipal regulator, a recycler and an industry manager working with customers to develop and implement forward-thinking sustainability programs.  Susan served on the Washington State Governor’s Beyond Waste Working Group and is past president of the Washington State Recycling Association.  She attended Stanford University and the University of Washington and holds a degree in Applied Earth Sciences.  Her Masters work is in Environmental Studies at the Evergreen State College.

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  • Brad Rodgers

    Global R&D Director – Foods Packaging Discovery PepsiCo

    Having earned his degree in Polymer Chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla, Brad Rodgers is a veteran of the plastics and packaging industry, who has dedicated 30 years to its innovation and improvement.

    Brad spent the first half of his career working for major polyolefin manufacturers in Texas and Delaware, where he developed polymers for use in numerous packaging applications. He is currently the Research & Development Director of Foods Packaging Discovery and Sustainability for PepsiCo where his responsibilities include the development for the next generation of packaging materials with a better overall impact on the environment.

    Brad currently holds 14 patents for various packaging applications and has written and co-authored several papers and published articles about food packaging, and is currently working to develop advanced barrier technologies for bio-based packaging.

  • Jennifer Ronk

    Sustainability and Advocacy Manager, North America Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics

    Jennifer Ronk is the Sustainability and Advocacy Manager, North America, for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. In this role collaborates with the entire value chain to promote and improve the sustainability value of plastic packaging, including serving on the American Chemistry Council’s Flexible Film Recycling Group and the PLASTICS Recycling committee,  Previously, Jennifer was a Senior Research Scientist for HARC, a sustainability research hub, where she led the Environmental Science and Energy Efficiency Program. Prior to joining HARC, she served as the Deputy Director for the Renewable Energy and International Law (REIL) Network, an international think tank for clean energy and climate change law and policy. Jennifer holds a Masters of Environmental Management from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Professional Geologist (PG) licensed in the State of Texas and Certified Environmental Manager (CEM).

  • Laura Roth

    Sustainability Manager, Americas Barry Callebaut

    As the Sustainability Manager in the Americas for Barry Callebaut, Laura Roth is on a mission to make sustainable chocolate the norm.  Working at the world’s leading supplier of chocolate and cocoa, she is responsible for driving the sustainable supply for non-cocoa ingredients including sugar, dairy and packaging.  She has been in the role since January 2017 and with Barry Callebaut since 2008.  Prior to this role, she was on the commercial and pricing teams.  She received her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio State University.  

  • Laura Rowell

    Global Sustainability Manager, Consumer Packaging Sonoco Products Company

    Laura Rowell is the Global Sustainability Manager, for Sonoco Products Company.  She is recognized for her expertise on global environmental performance requirements and activities associated with packaging standards, regulations, government policy and scorecards.  Laura serves as a Sonoco representative to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and is a past member of the Board of Directors for AMERIPEN, the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment, both of which she helped establish. She was an active member of the Consumer Goods Forum’s Global Packaging Project designed to set global standards and metrics for sustainable packaging and served as a Project Lead for the ISO work to create Packaging and the Environment standards.

    A native of Tampa, Florida, she is a graduate of the University of Florida.


  • Andrea Ruiz-Hays

    Director of Strategic Alliances Recycle Across America ®

    Prior to joining Recycle Across America ®, Andrea brings over 25 yeas of leadership experience within Sustainability Integration, Operations/Hospitality, Strategic Programmatic Integration, and Corporate Citizenship programs. Andrea has extensive experience in leading multi-million dollar recycling programs within the Fortune 100 company segment. Andrea is a certified US Zero Waste Business Council Associate, with experience in preparing and certifying operations and facilities to become certified as Zero Waste facilities. She is an active community member within Central Florida and has served as a board member on the Orange Soil & Water Conservation District (Supervisor), MBA Orlando, Out & Equal of Greater Orlando. Most recently she worked with her neighbors and City of Orlando to create the city’s largest community garden, which is located in the Historic District of Downtown Orlando.

  • Nicole Rycroft

    Founder and Executive Director Canopy

    Nicole Rycroft leads the strategic direction of award winning not-for-profit Canopy (canopyplanet.org). Fuelled by a deep commitment to social justice and a passion for wild places, Nicole strives for the creation of a compassionate society where our natural world is respected and valued beyond its resource values. A firm believer that we could be doing things in a better way, Nicole is committed to ensuring that the power and influence of the global business market leverages tangible eco-solutions, a green economy and on the ground conservation gains for the world's forests, species and climate. Nicole and her team have pioneered new terrain in conservation campaigns by harnessing the economic and political influence of more than 750 of the forest industry’s largest customers to catalyze innovative solutions proportional to the ecological realities of our time.

  • Dr. Steven Sargeant

    General Manager of Technology Flex Films

    Dr. Steven Sargeant has been working in the field of plastics and films for more than 25 years. He is the author or coauthor of numerous important breakthrough patented technologies in the converting area, covering unique materials, process and applications. He is currently employed as the General Manager of Technology for Flex Films. Flex is a large multinational packaging company based in India. Flex maintains facilities in six geographies with primary emphasis on flexible packaging substrate manufacturing and development.

  • Megan Schuchardt

    Senior Engineer, Sustainability Whirlpool Corporation

    Megan Schuchardt is a Senior Engineer at Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, MI. As part of the Global Sustainability team she leads sustainability initiatives for appliance materials and packaging at Whirlpool, including linking these initiatives to Circular Economy strategy. She works with global stakeholders in the design and packaging processes to identify opportunities and scope and select materials with improved environmental performance while balancing other business priorities. Megan joined Whirlpool through the Whirlpool Engineering Rotational Leadership Development (WERLD) program and completed her Master’s in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University while working in product development. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Michigan State University.

  • Christopher Shepard

    Sustainability Lead ORBIS Corporation

    Christopher Shepard is the Sustainability lead for ORBIS Corporation, North America’s leader in reusable packaging. He leads the way in creating environmental analysis for reusable packaging, using life-cycle data. Using these life-cycle assessments to compare reusable and single-use packaging, Christopher helps customers reduce their overall environmental impact, in terms of solid waste, energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. He has been in the packaging industry for more than 10 years and understands the market drivers in the retail and consumer goods supply chain. He manages ORBIS’ Carbon Disclosure Project submissions and is engaged with ORBIS’ parent company, Menasha Corporation, on its Corporate Responsibility Team.

  • Erin Simon

    Director for Sustainability Research & Development World Wildlife Fund

    Erin Simon, Director for Sustainability Research & Development at World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US), spends her days using scientific research to solve real-world problems. Erin leads a team that assesses and distils the latest knowledge on packaging, material science, and efficiency technologies, and then works with companies to make changes throughout their supply chains. Her goal: finding and implementing Earth-friendly technologies that substitute or improve upon existing practices.

    Prior to WWF, Erin spent a decade as a packaging engineer at Hewlett Packard, in a series of technical positions.  Erin was responsible for the design and implementation of laser jet printer and media packaging. Her expertise is in systems thinking, material science, design innovation, procurement, manufacturing, logistical and point of purchase aspects of packaging.  Erin transitioned to WWF to drive positive change across industries and help WWF lead that momentum in the packaging sector.

    She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI.  Erin frequently speaks at events globally about the opportunities available to industry through sustainability. 

  • Meagan Smith

    Global Director Packaging Sustainability

    Meagan oversees delivery of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose goal to strive to design 100% of packaging to be recyclable or compostable, increase recycled PET use, reduce packaging’s carbon impact and increase packaging recycling rates.

    Meagan’s expertise flows from her unique background in sustainability, business and marketing.  Meagan developed and launched PepsiCo’s largest-ever consumer and customer facing national recycling program in the U.S.  Prior to that Meagan served in a number of marketing roles at the company, leading successful marketing and advertising campaigns for both Tropicana and Quaker Oats.  

    Prior to her time at PepsiCo, Meagan worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a project manager. Meagan graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Environmental Science and received her M.B.A. from the University of Michigan.    

  • Steven Stoffer

    Group Vice President of Development Smurfit Kappa Group

    Steven was appointed Group Vice President of Development for Smurfit Kappa in 2005. He has expanded and lead Smurfit Kappa’s global corporate sustainability program since its start in 2008 and has reinforced the company’s commitment to the environment, their employees and the communities in which it operates.

    Currently more than 90 percent of Smurfit Kappa’s packaging is certified by FSC or PEFC standards. Thus, it is the only company of its size that can effectively deliver all of its packaging solutions as Chain of Custody certified, which guarantees customers that the raw material of their packaging solution originates from a sustainable source. Since Smurfit Kappa started its corporate sustainability program, it has reached multiple long-term targets, lowering its environmental footprint by significantly reducing the company’s fossil CO2 emissions, improving its water discharge quality and reducing levels of waste.

    Steven joined the company in 1990. Being a Dutch citizen, he received his J.D. from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and holds an MBA from the University of Chicago.

    Smurfit Kappa is a FTSE 100 company. It employs 45,000 people across 35 countries in The Americas and Europe and it is one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world

  • Tom Szaky

    CEO TerraCycle, USA

    Tom Szaky is the founder and CEO of TerraCycle, a global leader in the collection and repurposing of otherwise non-recyclable pre and post-consumer waste. TerraCycle operates in 21 countries, working with the world’s largest brands and companies to create national platforms to recycle products and packaging that currently go to landfill or incineration.


    Through TerraCycle, Tom is pioneering a new waste management process, involving manufacturers, retailers, governments and consumers, to create circular solutions for materials such as cigarette butts, laboratory waste, coffee capsules and even food packaging that otherwise have no other path to be recycled.


    Tom is the author of three books, “Revolution in a Bottle” (2009, Portfolio) and “Outsmart Waste” (2014, Berrett-Koehler) and “Make Garbage Great” (2015, HarperCollins). Tom created, produced and starred in TerraCycle’s reality show, “Human Resources” which aired on Pivot from 2014-2016. Tom and TerraCycle have received over 200 social, environmental and business awards and recognition from a range of organizations including the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, and the Environmental Protection Agency.


  • Mariagiovanna Vetere

    Global Public Affairs Manager NatureWorks, LLC

    As NatureWorks Global Public Affairs Manager, Mariagiovanna represents the company on public and legislative affairs.  Her responsibilities include product cradle-to-cradle options, feedstock sustainability aspects, and interfacing with relevant industry associations and external stakeholders. She manages an extensive network and relationships with the Plastics industry associations, Brand Owners associations and NGOs; she has practical experience in how EU directives set at the Brussels level translate into actions at the EU country level.    

    Mariagiovanna brings a strong background well suited to this space, having spent the last 10 years at Corepla, the Italian consortium for Plastics Packaging Collection, Recycling and Recovery. She has previous experience with consulting company KPMG where her focus was Business Process Reengineering.

    Mariagiovanna holds a master degree in Economics.

  • Annie White

    Office of Waste Diversion Manager D.C. Department of Public Works

    Annie White, Office of Waste Diversion Manager at D.C. Department of Public Works

  • Jeff Wooster

    Global Sustainability Director Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics

    Jeff Wooster is the global sustainability director for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. In this role, he collaborates with the entire value chain to promote and improve the sustainability value of plastic packaging. He is the past president of AMERIPEN, and is on the Board of Directors for GreenBlue.  He serves on the steering team for the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance signature initiative on marine debris and as Co-Chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Roadmap to Curb Ocean Waste (ROW) initiative. Additionally, Wooster serves as chair for American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division Packaging Team and is a member of the Flexible Packaging Association’s Sustainability Task Force.

    Wooster joined Dow in 1988, where he spent five years in polyolefins product research. In this role he developed new polyethylene resins and worked to understand fundamental materials science and polymer processing. In 1993 he transferred to the Plastics Technical Service & Development team, where he has held technical responsibility for many of the Company’s key polyethylene customers. He has developed and implemented new technology for various application areas such as stretch film, heavy duty shipping sacks and fresh-cut produce packaging. In 2007 he moved to Marketing & Sales where he assumed responsibility for sustainability for Dow’s North American plastics business and was named to his present position in 2011.

    Wooster holds 45 U.S. and foreign patents and has published more than 100 technical papers and presentations. He is a frequently invited guest speaker on the subjects of sustainability and sustainable packaging. Wooster has also been recognized for his many efforts to advance sustainability practices including the American Chemistry Council Responsible Care 2015 Employee of the Year and an inaugural Trashie Award from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. He lives in Houston, Texas with his husband Randy and their dog Hercules, but enjoys traveling beyond Texas boundaries to enjoy his favorite hobbies, including snow skiing and contributing to the economic development of the world’s top tourist destinations.

    Wooster received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Iowa State University of Science and Technology.

  • Chee Yap

    Executive Director R&D- Product Care Sealed Air

    Chee Yap is an Executive Director R&D for Sealed Air’s Product Care division. He leads a diverse team of talented engineers and scientists working on developing packaging materials to be more sustainable for the global protective packaging market. In his role, he also partners with the Corporate Sustainability team to ensure all new product development efforts are aligned well with Sealed Air’s 2020 Sustainability Goals.

    Chee is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and has 18 years of industry experience in automotive interiors and protective packaging.  He has spent a considerable portion of his professional career holding various positions in R&D, process engineering, technical management, and operations management.

    Chee received his M.Sc. and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He also received certificates in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and Managing Business for Success from Villanova University and Drexel University, respectively. 

  • Rebecca Zimmer

    Global Director of Environment Starbucks Coffee Company

    Rebecca Zimmer is global director of environment at Starbucks Coffee Company. Since 2008, Rebecca has spearheaded Starbucks retail sustainability efforts in energy and water conservation, renewable energy and waste diversion strategies.  Rebecca served on the World Resources Institute Green Power Market Development Group and was awarded GE’s LEED/Green Innovator award in 2010.  She actively serves as Starbucks representative for National Restaurant Association Sustainability Committee, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, The Climate Group RE100 coalition, CERES Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, and Retail Industry Leaders Association Sustainability Committee.