We’re excited to welcome our judging panel for our inaugural Circular Innovation Challenge 2021!
This panel of industry experts, practitioners, and other individuals passionate about waste prevention and circular economy innovation will review applications in two rounds: the first round will determine which ideas advance to the final round (of up to eight finalists), from which a Grand Prize and other winners will be selected and announced at the LIVE event on 6/23!
Meet our Judges!
Heather joined Zero Waste Washington in 2016. Prior to Zero Waste Washington, Heather has been active in zero waste issues, including helping lead the Seattle bag campaign and helping get the ban on styrofoam serviceware products passed. Previously, Heather was Director of Science and Policy at Futurewise, focusing on habitat, shoreline, stormwater and other issues related to landuse. Before that, she worked on similar issues and including toxic pollution and plastics. Heather earned a BS in geology from Yale University and a PhD from UCLA in geochemistry.
Xenia plans and facilitates Zero Waste Washington waste reduction efforts, including community-based projects and statewide policy projects. Before moving to Seattle and joining ZWW, she lived in Abu Dhabi where she managed projects in a start-up environment. Originally from Moldova, she has 9+ years of experience in business and marketing, holding an MBA degree from Paris Business School and a PMP Certificate. Right before moving to the US she made a decision to pivot her career into Sustainability and Waste Management. She leads Zero Waste Washington’s Fix-It Fair program, Organics management research, Zero Waste Hackathon, Litter Assessment project, and organizational communication efforts.
Dr. Natasha Rivers works for the Social Impact team at BECU as a Program Manager in Sustainability and Data Measurement. In this role, Natasha is developing a social impact framework by measuring BECU’s commitment to the community through philanthropy, financial health programs, member and employee engagement and sustainability. Natasha also serves on several community boards. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, traveling and spending time with family and friends. LinkedIn
Miguel is an international bilingual senior manager, with experience in implementation and maintenance of Quality Management Systems and process improvement, project management, customer and vendor relations, in nationwide companies, different environments and industries. He loves new challenges and is eager to learn about new processes.
Miguel can analyze any process and apply his skills and knowledge to transform it into a standardized, efficient, and lean process. Miguel has lived in Spain, Mexico, and Colorado, just to name a few places. He is fluent in both English and Spanish. He writes Impact’s Out of Office blog, which is a collection of his weekly musings, travels, and experiences in Washington State.
Moji Igun is the founder of Blue Daisi Consulting which offers zero waste + sustainability consulting services to small and mid-sized businesses. She supports her clients in reducing waste by helping them find creative ways to keep trash out of the landfill. Moji is certified as a TRUE Zero Waste Advisor and enjoys drawing connections between zero waste and the broader spectrum of sustainability. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Zero Waste Washington.
Andrew Mangan is founder and executive director of the United States Business Council for
Sustainable Development, a non-profit association of businesses launched in 1992 to create and
deliver value-driven sustainable development solutions in the United States. US BCSD activities are
designed to generate economic returns while addressing environmental and societal challenges. US
BCSD platforms and projects are action-based and results-oriented, bringing together the collective
insights of the council’s members to define challenges, develop and test solutions, evaluate results
and establish solutions that create meaningful change. This work includes leveraging academic,
government and non-profit resources and expertise to support market development and to
proactively address hurdles in a streamlined, efficient and collaborative manner. Current platforms
focus on decarbonization, water/ecosystem synergies, and material reuse in support of a circular
Mangan received a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
and attended the Columbia School of International Affairs as an International Fellow. Prior work
included serving as deputy land commissioner for natural resources with the Texas General Land
Office, as a congressional correspondent for the Associated Press, and as a commercial salmon
fisherman in Southeast Alaska.
Bob Zak (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bob-zak/) Technology, People & Sustainability Fan. COO @ PowerLight, a Kent-based smart-energy startup; CEO @ Pathway21, a reusable materials platform developer; SVP @ Ecova (now Engie), a global sustainability services firm managing energy, water, and waste optimization for large enterprises; President of VC-backed smart grid start-up Powerit Solutions with offices in Seattle and Malmo, Sweden.
Gage is the Principal & Creative Director of Modern Species, a strategic branding and sustainable design agency working with purpose driven and sustainable product companies to scale their brand and grow their impact.
Design has the power to bring about massive change. That power comes with a responsibility.
Whether designing an object, a business, a community, or anything in between, Gage believes that both the process and the solution must aim to bring about a better world – for all. His work, thought leadership, and commitment to this ethos have garnered countless awards, features, interviews, and speaking engagements. Gage’s passion lies at the intersection of design, business, sustainability, and food.
A few current projects:
Modern Species: helping mission-driven sustainable product brands launch, evolve, and grow through strategic branding, packaging, and web design.
Evolve CPG: the community and podcast for purpose-driven brand leaders who not only believe in a better world, but actively pursue it.
Founder & Host of Evolve CPG, an online community and podcast for purpose-driven leaders of sustainable consumer packaged goods brands actively pursuing better products, better brands, and better leadership.
Co-Author of Path to Impact, AIGA’s impact design methodology.
Co-Founder of Common Cause Collective, bringing the creative impact community together.
Emily Coleman is the Sustainable Purchasing Specialist for King County, Washington. In this role, she works for both King County’s Procurement and Payables Section, within the Sustainable Purchasing Program, and in its Solid Waste Division. This cross-agency partnership allows her to bridge the gap between market development for recycled materials and products and government procurement. Currently, her work focuses on driving demand for organics and plastics with recycled content. Emily has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy from the University of Washington.
Andy Smith is the Circular Economy Program Manager for King County Solid Waste Division in Seattle, Washington. King County’s LinkUp program works to expand markets for selected recyclable and reusable materials by facilitating an interactive community of businesses, public agencies and other organizations. Recognizing the central role markets play in a responsible recycling system, the program is pivoting to focus on plastic, paper and organics and is working to evidence the clean growth and just transition opportunities of the circular economy. Before joining King County, Andy was a Senior Policy Advisor for the UK Government working on climate targets, clean growth, sustainable trade and natural resources policy.
Lauren is an Assistant Director with the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship where she manages the annual Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge and leads the center’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. Lauren has a background in Wildlife Conservation and received her Masters of Education in Science Ed from UW and IslandWood. The first half of her career was in informal education at Zoos and nature centers and environmental policy and grant-making work at environmental non-profits in Washington, DC. Lauren has worked in higher education for almost 10 years with a short time at a local trash company in between!
Dirk has served as a member of SWAC since May 2018. He brings over twenty years of experience in the reuse and recycling industries and is currently president of SODO-based Second Use Building Materials, a reuse business which salvages building materials from remodels and demolitions and sells them at two stores.
Joel has worked in the waste management industry for five years, in Boston and Seattle, and has experience with the business and operations of commercial waste collection. He currently works for Republic Services as an Account Manager, where he assists businesses and institutions with their recycling programs.