Presenter & Committee Info
Alex Reyna is the Waste Prevention Program Coordinator for the City of Eugene, OR. Originally from Guanajuato, Guanajuato México, he made Eugene his home in 1994. With a diverse career spanning the food industry, hospitality, production, forestry, and construction, Alex embarked on a marketing and communications journey in 2003 at Churchill Media Communications. During his eight-year tenure, he gained expertise in radio station operations and honed his skills in programming, production, promotions, and sales.
In 2011, Alex founded La E-Kiss Multimedia, an online radio station that bridged communication within the Spanish-speaking community. He collaborated on projects with organizations like Association of Oregon Recyclers, Lane County, and the City of Eugene, contributing to tailored marketing campaigns, news, and public service announcements.
Alex’s dedication was recognized in January 2022 when he received the City of Eugene Community Service Award from Mayor Lucy Vinis during the State of the City Address. In June 2022, Alex joined the City of Eugene’s Waste Prevention Program as a Program Coordinator. He is committed to promoting waste prevention and sustainability initiatives, finding fulfillment in his role.
Her commitment to sustainability, environmental justice, and youth development deepened through her involvement with Trash for Peace, the Beekeeping and Garden task force, and Community Environmental Services at Portland State University. Alondra is passionate about active listening and engagement, recognizing the significance of supporting communities based on their strengths and needs, acknowledging that community members are the true experts in their areas.
I have been the Executive Director of the South King Tool Library in Federal Way since 2019, and proud of our growth, expansion, and adaptability. We bring a great service, and message to the region and fulfill a need within our community. We opened our second branch in Auburn in October 2023, with an innovative approach to lending in the Outlet Mall for the region. We hold repair cafes, recycling events, classes, workshops, swaps, and other partnership events to increase our reach with the goals of waste reduction at the center.
Growing up in Hampton Roads, Virginia, my family and I were always involved in volunteering – from church luncheons, to Thanksgiving servings, to Special Olympics events, and environmental cleanups. When my own family set down their roots in Federal Way, I decided to find a community project I could really support. I could not have found a better fit than the passionate group of volunteers that formed and run the South King Tool Library. I never thought that my passion could turn into a journey to a career.
I studied International Business, Chinese Archaeology, Japanese Architecture and Gardens at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia before moving to Seattle in 2008. I spent 11 years in the field of Warehousing, Distribution and Supply Chain Logistics.
A leader in Vancouver’s collaborative economy, Chris Diplock is the Founder of The Thingery, the parent organization of neighbourhood Thingery branches. The Thingery focuses on the development of community equipment lending libraries of things (a Thingery). Chris has extensive experience in the Vancouver Sharing Economy, having co-founded The Vancouver Tool Library and lead a city-wide research project called The Sharing Project.
Cristina Ganapini is the coordinator of the Right to Repair Europe coalition, which represents over 100 organisations from 21 European countries. The coalition represents environmental NGOs and repair actors such as community repair groups, social economy actors, spare parts distributors, self-repairers, repair and refurbishing businesses, and any citizen who would like to advocate for their right to repair. This is a rapidly growing movement, and its objective to make repair affordable, accessible and mainstream is aligned with the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action plan. You can browse member organisations by country here.
Dagmar Timmer is the Managing Director ‐ Strategic Initiatives of OneEarth Living, a Vancouver, Canada-based nonprofit ‘think and do tank’ advancing sustainable everyday living around the world. OneEarth Living collaborates with partners to transform how people live their lives – what they need, what they consume and produce, and what they aspire to – enabling everyone to live good quality lives within their fair share of our planet’s resources. Through deep partnerships, Dagmar advances this work in Canada, including at the neighbourhood scale (explore our action packs). She leads research into the diverse Motivations for sustainable actions by individuals and households (learn more – including what motivates people to repair goods). Dagmar has been actively involved in sustainability policy, teaching and action for nearly three decades. She and her sister Vanessa co-hosted Metro Vancouver’s award-winning television show on environmental issues in the region for ten years. Previously, she lived and worked in Switzerland and Kenya, where her international experience included coordinating a global network on rainforest conservation.
Dante is chief executive officer of Community Gearbox, an app empowering people and organizations to gather, share, and care for material goods amongst people they know and trust. He brings over a decade of organizing and storytelling in climate and social movements. In his spare time he maintains his connection to grassroots organizing as a facilitator & trainer with the Center for Story-based Strategy.
Don Fick is the volunteer executive director of Repair Café North Carolina. RCNC organizes workshops across the state from the mountains of Asheville to the Research Triangle Park and points in-between. Don’s interest in repair dates from his teen years repairing clunker cars and partially funding his college career by working in the regional Sears parts department. Don’s day job is consultant to the science publishing industry where he assists clients with almost everything required to publish the world’s best scientific research. Don and his wife, Laura, live in the small town of Oxford with their dog and eight chickens.
Elizabeth Chin Start (she/her) is the founder of Start Consulting Group LLC. Her career has spanned work in the circular economy for the last 21 years, with a focus on materials management, especially reuse. This work has spanned local government, private industry, nonprofit, and consulting. Elizabeth founded Start Consulting Group to ensure inclusion, equity, and justice are ingrained in the circular economy. She builds relationships through trust, communication, and empowerment to develop and create strong organizational cultures. Elizabeth is also a reuse artist and magpie who uses any shiny discarded object she can find.
Jenna is the co-founder and Executive Director of Seattle ReCreative, and brings over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She has been part of organizations working on a variety of issues from adult literacy to youth in the juvenile justice system. She most recently worked as the Executive Director of Crayons2Calculators in Durham, NC. While in Durham, she served on the board of The Scrap Exchange and fell in love with creative reuse.
When she’s not exploring Seattle with her partner, Joshua, and two children, Jenna is actively involved in the Seattle community. She loves a good book, ditzy floral fabric and learning new embroidery stitches.
Josh Epstein was born in upstate New York, grew up in Boulder, CO, went to college outside of LA, and has called Seattle home since 2008. He first became an official member of the Repair Economy by joining the NE Seattle Tool Library 7 years ago while converting his garage into a living space. He is now the director of the nonprofit Seattle REconomy which is contributing to an economy of reuse through tool sharing, reuse material sales, and DIY classes. He loves eating food, playing music, talking with people, and using tools. Josh also raises vegetables, chickens, a dog named Ellie, and a boy named Cedar. He loves sharing and wants to collaborate with you!
Justin Avellar helps small businesses and nonprofits with a wide range of transactional legal issues such as contracts, employment law, and corporate formation and governance. After working for an international law firm in New York City, Justin decided he wanted the opportunity to make a positive, local impact so he opened up his own law firm, Avellar PLLC, in Seattle.
Justin is committed to giving back. He is an active volunteer and board chair at Seattle REconomy (the parent org of the NE Seattle Tool Library) and is a board member at Meaningful Movies Project. In his free time, Justin enjoys gardening, discussing sustainability, cooking, and outdoor activities with his spouse and dogs. He earned his BA from Tulane University and JD from the University of Chicago Law School. He has lived all over the US and is thrilled to call the PNW his home.
Kami is the behind-the-scenes schemer of Repair x Reuse WA and leads Repair Economy efforts: connecting, convening, and elevating the work of fixers, tool librarians, remakers, and small repair/reuse businesses. Originally from Nashville, Kami spent several years in New Orleans and Los Angeles before arriving in Washington in early 2020. Interested in systems thinking, organizational capacity-building, and serving as connective tissue between great people and great ideas, Kami got started in community organizing while still in Nashville, working with multiple environmental organizations and grassroots social justice efforts. Kami earned a BA in Religious Studies from The University of the South (Sewanee); an MS from Tulane University – focusing on sustainable organizational development and community disaster resilience; and completed an Urban Permaculture Design Certificate in Detroit in 2012. Favorite pastimes: scavenging, repurposing, and creative…, shall we say, engineering.
Kyle regularly speaks on design for repair, service documentation, and the environmental impact of manufacturing. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Harvard Business Review, Wired, Popular Mechanics, and the Wall Street Journal.
Laura Kutner Tokarski is the founder and Executive Director of Trash for Peace. She is a mother, an advocate for environmental justice, a Peace Corps alumna and native of Portland, Oregon. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Portland State University. She is fluent in Spanish and has over ten years of experience in sustainable community development. Since its incorporation as a 501c3 in 2012, Trash for Peace has gone on to serve over 450 youth and families, provide over 75 low-barrier jobs, and divert hundreds of pounds of trash from the landfill every year, and was recognized with an Excellence in Community Driven Programming Award from Home Forward in 2018 and 2022 and an Association of Oregon Recyclers Award in 2022. Laura was also recognized by the Association of Oregon Recyclers with a Recycler of the Year (2019) and Sustainable Oregon Award (2022). Laura also teaches the GED in Spanish as an instructor at Mt. Hood Community College and received a distinguished teaching award in 2016. In her free time she loves to read, go on adventures with her family and friends, and explore the outdoors.
Lauren is the Founder, Education and Outreach Coordinator, and Community Organizer for Repair PDX. She also works as the Lead Guide for students at Wayfinding Academy, a non-profit college in St. Johns. Additionally, Lauren works in Portland as a mediator in various capacities, as a volunteer facilitator with the Multnomah County Juvenile Restorative Justice Dialogue Program, and hands out free coffee and pastries with Breakfast on the Bridges when possible.
Mandi serves as the Outreach Coordinator at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center where she coordinates their JeffCo Repair program. Her focus is on community education and response activities that reduce waste and create a change in attitude towards this waste. Her favorite part of her job is seeing the way a person’s eyes light up when they do something that has made an impact and realize they too can make a difference! She holds a BS in Biology with an emphasis in Animal Science and a minor in Environmental Sustainability from Northern Arizona University.
Megan Kaplon is a Coordinator for the City of Austin’s Circular Economy Program, where she champions sustainability by promoting reuse, repair, and other environmentally conscious behavioral changes. Megan’s key responsibilities include overseeing the annual university move-out program, MoveOutATX, spearheading the City’s Fix-It Clinics and other repair initiatives, and maintaining the Austin Reuse Directory. She is a proud alum of the Texas State University Sustainability Studies master’s program.
Michael Schwalbe is professor emeritus of sociology at North Carolina State University. He volunteers as a repair coach at Repair Café events
in the Triangle area of North Carolina. He is currently working on a photo-documentary project about grassroots repair.
Michelle is a researcher and program manager with 8 years’ experience working on projects involving repair, community climate initiatives, and community|university relationships. With the Share Reuse Repair Initiative, she works to bring together government, businesses, and community organisations to find scalable and equitable paths towards circular ways of living. Michelle’s PhD dissertation research explored the efforts, stories, and aspirations of those participating in community-based repair initiatives in Metro Vancouver as they seek to establish a “culture of repair”. She enjoys speaking about repair futures, the circular economy, information policy and ethics, bike trip dreams, and her vegetable garden. She is a founding Board member and Systems Coordinator of Language Partners BC Co-op. Michelle moved to xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ territory from the UK in 2015.
An international keynote speaker and certified TRUE Zero Waste Advisor, Moji Igun founded Blue Daisi Consulting to make it easier for small businesses to practice the world they want to see on a small scale. She combines her professional experiences in engineering, education, and business operations with the deep knowledge she’s gained from her personal sustainability journey to help her clients push past the frustration and overwhelm of getting started. Realizing that many of those frustrations are caused by systemic issues, Moji ensures her clients understand the bigger picture of sustainability. While your potential for impact might seem small at first, you are setting the stage for a significant shift in our culture.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Zero Waste Washington, King County Solid Waste Division’s Re+ Community Panel, and the NextCycle Washington Governance Board.
Blue Daisi Consulting offers accessible support to businesses that want to grow their sustainability practices. We inspire integral change in your company + community by pursuing zero waste.
Nathan leads U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign, working to pass legislation that will prevent companies from blocking consumers’ ability to fix their own electronics. Nathan lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.
Peter Mui is the founder of Fixit Clinic which conveys critical thinking and troubleshooting skills through both in-person community repair events around the U.S. and now, globally via Zoom and the Global Fixers Server. Over 600 Fixit Clinic events have been hosted through libraries, colleges and universities, and science and research institutions. “Education, entertainment, empowerment, elucidation, and, ultimately, enlightenment through all-ages do-it-together hands-on fix-n-learn community-sponsored and community-led discovery, disassembly, troubleshooting and repair.”
Rosemary is the Executive Director of the Share Reuse Repair Initiative in Vancouver, B.C. For over 20 years, Rosemary has advanced practical, sustainable solutions that emphasize collaboration between government, business and community. Since 2013, she has been catalyzing the transition to a circular economy with a focus on upstream innovations that design out waste and foster lasting prosperity. Rosemary is a Senior Associate with One Earth, teaches the Circular Economy at BCIT’s School of Business and provides consulting services on waste prevention and circularity. She coauthored the 2015 Local Governments and the Sharing Economy Roadmap and wrote “Beyond Waste: Sustainable Consumption for Community Resilience” for the Post-Carbon Institute. Rosemary’s Masters degree at York University explored the integration of economic development and sustainability planning.
Born in Missouri and raised in Nebraska, Sarah Jo studied agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska and silversmithing at Oregon College of Arts and Craft. She then worked in the restaurant business for 23 years, with 12 of those spent in Portland Oregon running her own Creole restaurant, Acadia Bistro. She moved to the Methow Valley in 2010, where she built a silversmithing studio at TwispWorks and became the mom of twin girls. Before joining the Methow Recycles family in 2021, she worked at the Confluence Gallery for six years. She has a passion for building community and strategic thinking. She is often telling her staff, “Everything is solvable, it just takes the right time, the right idea, and the right people in the room.” Fun Fact: She has been to 83 Phish shows and counting.
Sharayah Kinney has been the Operations Director at Tacoma Tool Library for the past 2 years. But she has been a part of the organization since its beginnings in March 2015 and was TTL’s first board chair from 2016-2020. She has a background in business marketing and a passion for reuse and recycling.
Suzie Fromer is the coordinator for Repair Cafe Hudson Valley, a consortium of over 50 Repair Cafes that was founded by John Wackman in 2013. The daughter of antique dealers who specialized in the restoration of vintage furniture and woodworking tools, Suzie grew up shopping at flea markets and antique shows for vintage jewelry as well as assisting in her father’s workshop. A lifelong gem and mineral collector, she learned metalsmithing and jewelry making first as a camper at Buck’s Rock Creative Work Camp and later as a teaching assistant at Dartmouth College’s Clafin Jewelry Studio. She has spent the last 18 years in Westchester, NY, where she has run a food allergy support group, been an advocate for OIT food allergy treatments, chaired the board of her local farmers market and run a jewelry making and repair business. She started volunteering as a jewelry repair coach for the Hastings Repair Cafe in 2019 and fell in love with the repair cafe concept. Suzie lives in Irvington, NY with her husband and two teenage boys and can be found fixing jewelry at a Repair Cafe throughout the Hudson Valley almost every weekend.
As the former lead of the innovative Columbia Springs‘ Repair Clark County program, Terra brings a wealth of expertise in event coordination and volunteer management. Raised on 70 acres of forest in southern Oregon, Terra has always had a strong earth ethic. Terra earned a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Science, with an emphasis in public education and has been running environmentally focused events for more than a decade.
Since forever I’ve worked with my hands and felt an urgency about taking care of what we’re fortunate enough to have. My biographical scaffolding begins in South Texas. Then the East Coast for liberal arts, finance, social ethics and theology, and ultimately the Bay Area. Over those years — a corporate run, community service, momhood, and all along the way: fixing stuff and making things that are meaningful to me. I started The Culture of Repair Project when I couldn’t stand walking by one more thing left on the curb that just needed a screw or a dab of glue. Theoretically, I balance advocating for repair with an art practice (www.vitawells.net), but balance is elusive. Finally, I know the Camino de Compostela quite well and am ever looking for flechas — following the field of stars.
Xenia is the Director of The Furniture Repair Bank as well as Waste Reduction Program Director for Zero Waste Washington where she facilitates waste reduction efforts, including community-based projects, research, and statewide policy projects. Before moving to Seattle and joining ZWW in early 2019, she lived in Abu Dhabi where she managed projects in a start-up environment. Originally from Moldova, she has 11+ years of experience, business, marketing, and sustainability, holding an MBA degree from Paris Business School and a PMP Certificate. She leads Zero Waste Washington’s Furniture Repair Program and PreCycle Innovation Challenge, among many other organizational efforts and supports the Fix-It Fair program and Repair Economy movement.