2023 Staff & Board Members
Teresa is Founder and CEO of Race to Zero Waste and is the strategic vision of the organization. She has worked with the organization’s staff, board, volunteers, and contractors to develop new concepts and make zero waste more accessible in public spaces. At the height of the pandemic, she worked on discovering new zero waste project opportunities and sponsorship funds. Her past project experience with RFPs and grants have led municipalities, non-profits, and institutions to significantly minimize waste streams, greatly increase composting of organic waste, save money through avoided landfill tip fees, and create green-collar jobs. In addition, she has over 15 years of experience developing zero waste systems by implementing reuse, waste avoidance, composting and recycling techniques for municipalities, special events, commercial businesses, and schools. Teresa holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco and is TRUE Zero Waste certified.
Jeff is a board member and Director of Operations since January 2019. Jeff has over 12 years’ experience managing zero waste projects. He has provided operational expertise at door-to-door outreach projects, public space recycling, special events, and waste characterization studies. Jeff oversees all aspects of field operations and crew support for R20W. He manages field staff, project safety procedures, and training programs. He aids in partner support, is the liaison between project collaborators, and is effective in making zero waste systems more efficient.
Hayden is a sustainability expert who has experience working in the US, China, Costa Rica, and Spain. She is the Strategic Director of Communications for Race to Zero Waste, streamlining goals and messaging for outreach, reports, fundraising, and special events. She has been involved in the zero waste movement since 2013, spearheading campaigns to advance zero waste and circular economy principles internationally. Hayden has experience in program development, environmental education and campaigning, project management, and conservation. She has an MA in International Sustainable Development from American University and an MA in Natural Resources Management from La Universidad para la Paz. She is EcoDistricts AP certified and a PADI Divemaster.
Daniella is Race to Zero Waste’s Outreach Coordinator. She is an experienced zero waste and environmental policy consultant. Daniella began her work in zero waste at the San Francisco Department of the Environment (SFE) as an Outreach Associate. She provided technical assistance and education to local residents and businesses throughout San Francisco. Following that role, Daniella began working as the City Government Zero Waste Assistant Coordinator, implementing and evaluating waste reduction programs for San Francisco’s municipalities. At Race to Zero Waste, she assists with grants, Zero Waste Month, and the Wild and Scenic Film Festival. Ms. Menendez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Allison has been keeping Race to Zero Waste’s financial records up to date since April 2020. Her primary area of expertise is with non-profit clients throughout the state of California, while also working with various businesses and personal clients. She brings 14 years of bookkeeping experience to Race To Zero Waste, with 7 of those years as a ProAdvisor.
Allison has always loved numbers. She finds financial troubleshooting, data entry, and monthly account reconciling quite enjoyable, and even relaxes at night working Sudoku puzzles.
Marria is Vice President of the Board. She served as Director of Communications for Race to Zero Waste from January 2019 – August 2021. In her communications role, she networked with local organizations to recruit event assistants, volunteers, and sponsors. She has organized fundraising projects to raise awareness about zero waste. She managed Race to Zero Waste projects such as Love Dolores, The Wild & Scenic Film Festival, and the Zero Waste Station Pop-Up Project. Previously, Marria served for three years as Outreach Coordinator for Purusha Seva Project, working with underserved populations in San Francisco. As ever, she continues to educate local businesses on compostable products and alternatives to plastics. Marria holds a B.A. in English Literature. She studied advanced Spanish literature at Vancouver Language Center in Guadalajara, Mexico; she is fluent in Spanish.
Angela is an artist, environmental activist, and zero waste advocate. She is a Race to Zero Waste Board Member. She worked for California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) for 8 years. Recently, Angela transitioned to the City of Alameda’s Zero Waste program. Angela has a Master’s Degree in Urban Sustainability and a certificate in Recycling and Resource Management. She also has a background in theatre and music. She combined her passions to educate children through the character Queen Green, a depiction of Mother Nature. Her children’s book and album, Save Queen Green! Mother Nature’s Eco-Rhymes, uses music to teach kids about what they can do to protect the planet. Angela is committed to public service and is passionate about educating and inspiring others to take personal and collective action to combat climate change.
Melissa is a passionate environmentalist with a keen eye for business. She is a Race to Zero Waste Board Member. She recently graduated from Cornell University’s Executive MBA Program and has been in the environmental field for over 13 years. Melissa’s wide range of experience begins with owning Nothing Wasted Consulting for 11 years. She has also had various environmental roles at City of San Jose, City of Sunnyvale, Recology, and SCS Engineers. She has served on the CRRA board for Special Events and Venues, Mupkins Inc., advising the company on sustainable packaging and processes. She serves as Chief of Business Development and Sustainability for Kai(n), her sister and brother-in-law’s pasta company. Melissa is committed to the environment and actively integrates collaboration into her business model.