Alicia Culver, Executive Director
B.S. Environmental Studies, Cornell University
Alicia’s experience working on sustainability issues spans more than two decades. She has provided technical support to procurement agents and environmental program staff in many states and municipalities. She has helped develop model green purchasing policies and specifications for a wide-range of environmentally preferable goods and services such as low-mercury/energy-efficient fluorescent lamps, asthma-safe cleaning products, and compostable food service ware.
Alicia formerly worked as the Deputy Director of the New Jersey Office of Sustainability and founded the Green Purchasing Institute. She currently chairs San Francisco’s Sweatfree Procurement Advisory Group and has served as an advisor to many other organizations, including the National Healthy Schools Network, Green Guide for Health Care, GoodGuide, the Product Policy Institute, Environmental Working Group, and the European Environmental Bureau.
Among the publications Alicia has co-authored includes Cleaning for Health: Products and Practices for a Safer Indoor Environment, RPN’s Responsible Purchasing Guides to Fluorescent Lighting and LEDs, and Buying Smart: Experiences of Municipal Green Purchasing Pioneers. The Green Purchasing Institute’s Buying Smart report details how states and municipalities across the U.S. have found that their environmentally preferable purchasing initiatives often yield economic as well as environmental rewards.
Sarah Church, Research Analyst
M.P.A. Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, New York University
B.A International Development Studies, University of California Los Angeles
Sarah has over 10 years of experience in sustainable food policy, city procurement, and labor rights. As a current Advisory Board member and past Board President of Sweatfree Communities, she has advised cities and national advocate networks on the cutting edge of socially sustainable procurement. Sarah joined RPN to write model fair trade food procurement policies, building on her long history of fair trade advocacy and international agriculture and trade policy. Unable to resist the pull of government purchasing work, she has stayed on with RPN, and consults on sustainable food and food service ware procurement for cities, counties, states, and universities. Her passion for policymaking began while conducting research and contributing to agriculture and nutrition projects in Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico in 2002. She has also conducted research at NYC’s Center for an Urban Future and the Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, and organized for responsible procurement and labor rights while at Progressive Jewish Alliance. In her rare free time, Sarah loves to cook, tackle complicated sewing projects, and sing old jazz tunes.
Susan Kinsella, Senior Research Analyst
M.A. Speech Communication/Diffusion of Innovations, San Francisco State University
B.S. Psychology/Sociology, Purdue University
Many purchasers already know Susan through her work as Director of Conservatree, especially its comprehensive website about environmentally preferable paper products. Her collaboration with RPN brings to its membership her nearly three decades of specialized expertise in sustainability issues associated with paper manufacturing, recycling systems, non-paper recycled products, source reduction, and EPP policy and program implementation. She has worked with purchasers and policy-makers to identify best practices for their agencies, researched cutting-edge product development, and helped lay much of the early groundwork for state and national EPP programs. She also founded the Environmental Paper Network. At RPN, Susan focuses on projects designed to further state and local governments’ access to cost-effective environmental products of all kinds, emphasizing recycled content and the potential to reduce solid waste. Recent projects have focused on janitorial tissue products, rechargeable batteries, and compostable food service ware. With her son now in college, Susan hopes to get back to writing short stories.
Kelly Panciera, Communications Manager
M.P.P. Environmental Policy/Nonprofit Management, Johns Hopkins University
B.A. Sociology, University of Connecticut
Kelly has over 10 years experience in the sustainable purchasing and product stewardship fields. She is currently a Principal at Green Spectrum, a sustainable materials management consulting firm specializing in communications, research, and analysis in the areas of waste prevention, green purchasing, recycling, and product stewardship. As part of her consulting work, she serves as the Association of Oregon Recyclers' Communications Director. Kelly started her career in green procurement right here at RPN from 2002-2006, helping to build the network’s member base and to develop tools to promote the purchase of environmentally preferable products. She also worked at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality implementing Oregon E-Cycles, one of the first electronics extended producer responsibility programs in the U.S. In her new role at RPN, Kelly provides research and communications support. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys knitting, sharpening her web and design skills, and obsessing about the music and history of the Beatles.
Amy Roth, Operations Manager
M.S. Urban Affairs, Boston University
B.A. Environmental Analysis and Policy, Boston University
Amy has over 10 years experience in the recycling and waste reduction industry. She is a Principal at Green Spectrum, a sustainable materials management consulting firm specializing in communications, research, and analysis in the areas of waste prevention, green purchasing, recycling, and product stewardship. As part of her consulting work, she serves as the Association of Oregon Recyclers' Resource Director. Previously, Amy worked for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality as the Technical Specialist for the Oregon E-Cycles program, one of the nation’s first electronics product stewardship programs. Amy started her career at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection analyzing the state’s recycling and waste reduction activities. In her spare time, Amy leads her HOA’s sustainability committee and enjoys spending time in the great outdoors. When it’s not raining, you’ll find her hiking, biking, camping, and taking advantage of all Oregon has to offer.
Taylor Smiley, Research and Membership Associate
B.A. Political Science, University of Oregon
Taylor has been engaged in sustainability issues for six years and brings her research and grassroots organizing skills to support RPN’s research team and membership services. Taylor comes to RPN with research experience in the social and environmental impact of mineral resource extraction and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs in the Brazilian Amazon. Taylor co-founded the East Bay Chapter of 350bayarea.org and has supported the Oakland City Council through an Environmental Policy internship. When she’s not deeply entrenched in Excel, Taylor is certainly out hiking or working on climate change issues with her 350bayarea.org Chapter.