Our Board Members
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 Health Division – Chair
Michael Reed has over 28 years of combined public and private sector experience in environmental management, recycling, composting, landfill operations, permit review, project management, public involvement, policy development, deconstruction and building material salvage and legislative advocacy. He currently supervises the Ramsey County Solid & Hazardous Waste Compliance Program. He has served as RAM Chair for the past 4 years and served as Vice Chair for the preceding 3 years.
Zach Fjestad: Otter Tail County – Vice Chair
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.
Martin Bergstedt: Amazon Environmental, Inc. – Treasurer
Martin Bergstedt obtained a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and joined Economics Laboratory (now Ecolab) at their pilot plant in Eagan performing organic synthesis process development studies and plant start-ups. From there he held positions of progressively increasing scope and responsibility at ETD Technology and DuPont Electronics, and then spent ten years in General Manager positions with Aptus Environmental in Lakeville, and USFilter (Veolia) at their Recovery Services facility in Roseville. He then went to U.S. Water Services as Director of Engineering and Project Management, overseeing the design, specification and installation of water treatment systems for 60 new ethanol plants. Since 2012 he has been with Amazon Environmental in Fridley, the nation’s largest consumer latex paint recycler and is currently President and responsible for four locations across the mid-west and west.
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.
Jodi Taitt: EcoConsilium, Inc. – Member at Large
Jodi Taitt is a mission-driven economist. With over 30 years of industry experience and a passion for diverting waste from landfills and incinerators, she has no greater joy than to help organizations save money, achieve their sustainability goals and reduce their environmental footprint. As founder and principal consultant of EcoConsilium, she partners with business and government to lean their operations, decrease fixed costs, increase profits and comply with ever-increasing regulations using cutting edge waste prevention, reuse, recycling and organic waste recovery strategies. Prior to consulting, she was the State of Minnesota Recycling Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Resource Recovery Office. Jodi currently serves as a founding board member and secretary of the Meadow Lake Watershed Association.
Anne Morse: Winona County
Anne is the recycling coordinator and solid waste officer for Winona County, where she has led the county’s programs since 1991. She also serves as the county’s sustainability coordinator, and is a long-standing advocate for product stewardship, renewable energy and Zero Waste. Anne holds a Bachelors degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She enjoys being at the forefront of change, and has served on the Board of the Minnesota Product Stewardship Council and as Board Chair of the GrassRoots Recycling Network. In 2019 and 2020 Anne will be leading a regional planning process aimed at developing an organics composting facility to serve southeast Minnesota.
Paul Gardner: Clean Water Council
Paul Gardner is the Administrator of the Clean Water Council at the State of Minnesota. From 1997 to 2006 he served as the Executive Director of RAM before serving two terms with Brita Sailer in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Paul worked with a major consumer brand to advocate for extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging in several states, leading industry to invest more than $100 million into recycling infrastructure. In recent years, he set up curbside textile collection in the Chicago and Twin Cities markets before coming to the State in early 2019. Paul is a volunteer Master Water Steward and Water Conservation Adviser through the nonprofit organization Freshwater and his local watershed district.
Beau Sullivan: Rehrig Pacific Company
Beau graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a major in Community Health, specializing in Administration. While attending the University of Illinois, Beau was a walk-on to the football team after being a manager for the first semester of school. After graduating, Beau joined Enterprise Rent-A-Car in downtown Chicago then transferred to the O’Hare location, as part of the best performer program. After achieving success in sales and customer service at Enterprise, Beau joined Rehrig Pacific in January of 2015 as a Sales Associate. Beau was promoted in September of 2015 after learning the industry and gaining the business of El Paso, Texas. In his new role as Sales Representative for the northern Mid-West, he is supplying waste and recycling solutions for municipalities and waste haulers.
Bill Keegan: Dem-Con Companies
Bill Keegan is 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 23 years in the environmental, solid waste and recycling industries. He is active in several recycling and solid waste organizations including a current position as the chair of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), board member of the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM), Minnesota Waste Wise Board Member; SWANA MOLO Instructor, and an instructor for the Minnesota Landfill Operator Training program.
Erin Hertog: Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation
Erin is a Sustainability Specialist at Minnesota Waste Wise. She works with Minnesota businesses to improve their recycling programs by providing technical assistance, resources, training, and access to grant funding. Prior to Waste Wise, Erin worked as the Sustainability Coordinator for the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis. She has a BA in Political Science and Economics from Hamline University.
Kayla Walsh: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Kayla Walsh has a background in communications and environmental studies, graduating Macalester College in 2016. She has worked as a recycling and compost specialist for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for two years and currently helps lead the Recycling Education Committee and chairs the Minnesota Compost Council’s market development subcommittee. Her work is a the intersect of sustainable behavior change, education, policy, and market development.
Matt Herman: Randy’s Environmental Services
Matt has been in the solid waste industry for over 15 years as a policy maker, regulator, compliance professional, waste processing facility manager and now works as the Business/Public Relations Manager for Randy’s Environmental Services in Delano, Minnesota.
Pam Hove: City of Hopkins
Pam has been employed by the City of Hopkins since 2007. For the last five years, she has been the Solid Waste Coordinator. She is responsible for managing all residential waste, recycling, organics, yard waste and brush programs for nearly 3,000 accounts. She is at her best when she can educate residents in managing their discards properly in a way that works for them. Pam is a graduate of the Hennepin County Master Recycler/Composter Program. Pam received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Luther College in Decorah, IA. She is active in Twin Cities Big Brothers Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity.
Robert Craggs: Burns & McDonnell
Robert leads the Solid Waste and Resource Recovery consulting group and is a National Market Sector Leader for Burns & McDonnell’s Environmental Services Global Practice. He has worked in the environmental consulting field for more than 28 years providing planning, financial, and technical consulting assistance to public and private clients throughout North America in the areas of solid waste, recycling, water resources, and renewable energy.
Robert has a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and a Juris Doctorate of Law. He is presently SWANA’s International Board Director for the Planning and Management Technical Division. He resides in Lakeland, Minnesota where he previously served as both mayor and a City Council member.
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.
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
Steve Schiefelbein: Republic Services
Steve Schiefelbein is Republic Services’ Recycling Sales Representative for their Upper Midwest Region. He is responsible for acquiring and then the marketing of 3rd Party recycling volume. He has held this position with Republic Services’ for the past 5 years and has been in the Recycling Industry for 8 years. He has successfully spearheaded numerous recycling initiatives which have diverted a significant amount of volume from either being landfilled or illegally burned; one of the most notable projects being the recycling of Boat Wrap. Over 200,000 lbs. of boat wrap was recycled in 2018 alone. He also spends a great deal of time working with and educating the Public and Private Sector on “Best Recycling Practices.” Steve received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN. He is active in youth coaching and was a Board Member of the Valley Athletic Association.
Suzanne Savanick Hansen: Macalester College
Dr. Suzanne Savanick Hansen is the first Sustainability Manager at Macalester College. She currently implements the college’s first comprehensive sustainability plan and is developing ways to use buildings and grounds as teaching tools. She previously developed the Sustainable Campus Initiative at the University of Minnesota, worked for the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance and served as an elected supervisor of the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District.