The Board of Directors for the Recycling Association of Minnesota is filled with some of the finest members of Minnesota’s environmental community. Meet them below!
Michael Reed: Ramsey County Environmental Services – Chair
Michael Reed has over 20 years of combined public and private sector experience in environmental management, regulatory affairs, landfill operations, recycling, composting, permit review, project management, public involvement, policy development, legislative advocacy and sustainable building practices. He currently works for Ramsey County in their solid & hazardous waste compliance program performing pre-demolition and solid & hazardous waste compliance audits. He is currently a member of both RAM and SWANA, serves on the RAM Board as Vice Chair and serves on the MN SWANA Board.
Mark Rust: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency – Vice Chair
Mark graduated from the U of MN College of Natural Resources with a degree in Environmental Studies and has worked for the OEA and MPCA since 1995. Mark provides support to local units of government, residents, businesses, schools and other institutions on solid waste management, recycling, policy and environmental education. Mark currently supervises the Agency’s Integrated Solid Waste Unit, which is focused on advancing sustainable waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting projects in the Greater Minnesota regions of St. Cloud, Rochester, and Duluth.
James Wollschlager: Randy’s Environmental Services – Treasurer
Jim Wollschlager is the Director of company operations for Randy’s Environmental Services. In this capacity, Jim is responsible for, municipal contracts, banking and finance, marketing, and program development. Jim has been with Randy’s for 15 years.
Lori Blais: Western Lake Superior Sanitary District – Secretary
Lori Blais has been employed by the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) in Duluth, MN since 1994. She has worked in the Household Hazardous Waste department and operated the Clean Shop program for Very Small Quantity Generators of hazardous waste, providing services in the 7-county northeast region of MN. Lori is currently a member of the Environmental Programs Team, which is responsible for environmental education, community relations and related activities covering waste reduction, resource recovery, recycling, composting, hazardous waste, pollution prevention, wastewater treatment and biosolids land application within the WLSSD service area.
Rob Friend: Specialized Environmental Technologies, Inc. – Member at large
I have been working in the compost/ waste industry since 1995 and have had the good fortune to work for a company that has shown long-term leadership in industry development, specifically in source separated organics management. This has given me experience working with the private and public sectors. In addition I am actively involved in the development of new compost markets through my work on the Market Development Committee of the US Composting Council. I also currently serve as the chair of the Membership Committee for the MN Nursery and Landscape Association and am a member of the MN Council.
Bill Keegan: Dem-Con Companies
Bill Keegan is currently the President of Dem-Con Companies and is a registered professional engineer who received his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota. His professional experience includes entrepreneurial business development, landfill design and construction, solid waste recycling and processing, and environmental engineering with over 17 years in the environmental, solid waste and recycling industries. He is active in several recycling and solid waste organizations including being the Chair of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Waste and Recycling Association (formally the NSWMA) and a former board member of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA). Additionally, Bill teaches the SWANA Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO) course nationally and has over twelve years of experience as an instructor for the Minnesota Landfill Operator Certification program.
Jean Lundquist: Blue Earth County
I am the Recycling Coordinator for Blue Earth County. I have been in this position for over 20 years. When I started, all commodities need to be source separated, and fewer items were recyclable. There have been a lot of changes in 20 years! I’m looking forward to being part of the ever-changing recycling scene.
Mary Chamberlain: Louis Berger U.S.
Mary Chamberlain is an Environmental Consultant with Louis Berger U.S. (formerly SAIC and R. W. Beck). Mary focuses her assistance in the areas of solid waste and recycling program efficiency, feasibility, procurement, and program planning. She has evaluated municipally-run solid waste, recycling, and household hazardous waste (HHW) collection programs and has assisted local, state, and private entities in conducting waste and recycling composition studies. Mary has been on the Board of Directors for the Recycling Association of Minnesota since 2002 and held the position of Chair from November 2007 to November 2009. Prior to consulting, Mary was the Recycling Coordinator for the City of Fargo, North Dakota for five years and was Secretary of the North Dakota Solid Waste & Recycling Association.
Zach Fjestad: Otter Tail County
Zach is the Assistant Solid Waste Director for Otter Tail, Wadena, and Todd counties and is the Assistant Director for the Prairie Lakes Municipal Solid Waste Authority all located in west-central Minnesota. Prior to that, Zach was the Public Information and Education Officer for Otter Tail County where he promoted and educated the public on solid waste, recycling, and household hazardous waste topics. Zach has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, and environmental science. Zach is also a member of SWAA (Solid Waste Administrators Association), SWANA (Solid Waste Association of North America), and MRRA (Minnesota Resource Recovery Association), and serves as a board member on the Perham Boys & Girls Club Re-Use-It Store board.
Sandy Gunderson: Becker County Environmental Services
Sandy has been employed by Becker County Environmental Services since 1990. For the last 14 years she has been the Recycling Coordinator, Waste Educator & Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Regional Coordinator for Becker County. Sandy is presently involved at the State board level with: The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM); MN Household Hazardous Waste Regional Coordinators Assoc & the HHW RPM Education Committee; Minnesota Association for Environmental Education (MAEE- past board member). Locally, she is also a founding member and present board member of the non-profit environmental educational organization, Natural Innovations, as well as a board member of the Detroit Lakes Boys and Girls Club of America and the Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store.
Mike Larson: JR’s Advanced Recyclers
Mike has worked in the recycling industry, specifically for J.R.’S Advanced Recyclers, since he was in high school. He has always enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing that his work has a direct positive impact on the environment. Mike is currently the Sales Manager for J.R.’S, which allows him to work directly with other environmentally conscious professionals across a wide range of professions. Having served on the board of directors for the Recycling Association of Minnesota for almost 5 years, he has been able to develop many new contacts within the recycling industry. RAM has also presented Mike with several opportunities to work with and support RAM’s unique recycling programs and other events – all of which build upon the satisfaction of making a difference.
Cheryl Gullickson: PHASE
Cheryl works for PHASE, Inc as the Director of Operations. PHASE, Inc. is a non-profit organization which provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities. PHASE provides recycling services to Pine County which is located in east central Minnesota. Cheryl has worked in the non-profit sector, doing recycling for over 15 years. She is excited to be part of the RAM board, to learn more about recycling and make contacts in the Minnesota Recycling industry. When not at work, Cheryl enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, volunteering in the community and camping.
Matt Herman: Great River Energy
As Plant Manager of Great River Energy’s Elk River Resource Processing Plant Matt is responsible for the day to day operation of a facility that processes over 300,000 tons of garbage into refuse derived fuel and recyclable metal. Matt graduated from Bemidji State with a Bachelor’s of Science in environmental science, a double major in political science, a minor in sociology and a minor in applied public policy. Matt spent 4 years working on solid and hazardous waste policy issues for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency before being hired by Great River Energy in 2006.
Doug Lien: Tri-County Solid Waste
Since 1991, Doug has worked as a Planner for the Tri-County Solid Waste Management Commission in St. Cloud serving Benton, Stearns and western Sherburne counties in solid waste planning. During that time, he has seen their recycling rate grow from less than 5% to nearly 50%. RAM provides a great opportunity to share their experiences as well as learn from others around the State.
Amy Ulbricht: Anoka County Integrated Waste Management
Amy has worked for Anoka County Integrated Waste Management for fourteen years. She assists non-residential entities in starting and improving recycling programs. Prior to that, Amy worked for a grocery store chain managing company-wide environmental programs. She has enjoyed the time she has spent on the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) Board of Directors. Her membership in RAM connects her to the great people in the waste and recycling industries in Minnesota. Because of that connection, she learns something new at every RAM board meeting, forum, and conference.
Michael Whitt: Whitt Environmental Services, Inc
Michael Whitt owns and operates Whitt Environmental Services, an environmental consulting company that services public and private entities throughout the region. He was formerly the Environmental Compliance Manager at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), a federally-recognized Native American Tribe located in Scott County, Minnesota, less than 25 miles from Minneapolis-St. Paul. While working for SMSC over 16 years he launched the Organics Recycling Facility (OrganicsRecyclingFacility.com), an approximately 50-acre, 100,000 ton per year SSOM composting facility. He also managed hazardous and regulated materials recovery, storage, and disposal. Mr. Whitt is a Scott County Watershed Management Organization Commissioner, former U.S. Composting Council Board member, and a former Wetland Professionals Association Board Member. He holds a B.S. from The University of Maryland and an M.S. from Michigan State University.
Jodi Taitt: EcoConsilium, Inc.
With nearly 30 years of industry experience in solid waste management and recycling, Jodi Taitt is the founder and principal consultant of EcoConsilium (formerly JL Taitt & Associates). With a master’s degree in economics from the University of Minnesota, Jodi understands the importance of financially and environmentally sustainable solutions that support the bottom line. She has had countless success using waste reduction, reuse, recycling and organic waste management as tools to help business and government increase efficiencies and decrease costs. Some of the areas Jodi currently specializes in include commercial recycling collection systems, organic waste management logistics, request for proposals and contracts and corporate cost reduction models that reduce waste, recycling and organic waste management expenses. Prior to consulting, she was the State of Minnesota Recycling Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Resource Recovery Office between 1989 and 1996. Jodi currently serves as a founding board member and secretary of the Meadow Lake Watershed Association, which she helped establish in 2005.
Shannon Thompson: Clay County Solid Waste
Shannon is an environmental technician and outreach educator for Clay County working primarily with recycling programs and public outreach. She is glad to be a part of RAM! She believes the education and networking opportunities provided by RAM are extremely valuable