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.
Rob Friend: MN Waste Wise Foundation – Treasurer
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.
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, 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. Jodi specializes in commercial recycling collection systems, organic waste management logistics, request for proposals and contracts and corporate cost reduction models. 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.
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 22 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.
Martin Bergstedt: Amazon Environmental, Inc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.