Co-Founder, Grades of Green
Suzanne Kretschmer is a Co-Founder of Grades of Green and served as the Co-Executive Director through June 2016. During her time at Grades of Green, Suzanne co-led the overall strategic direction of the organization along with Resource Development, Finances, Human Resources, and Operations.
Through her work in sustainability, Suzanne has been the recipient of multiple awards and acknowledgements. Suzanne received a Certificate of Congressional Commendation which was given to her by the Congress of the United States for her exceptional efforts to promote environmental conservation. She and her partners were also the recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Award which recognizes individuals and groups outside of the EPA who are working to protect public health and the environment. Suzanne was the winner of the South Bay Environmental Hero Award; recognized for improving the environment through individual action. She also received the Environmental SBBEC Steward of the Year; recognized for working hard to clean and protect our local environment. Suzanne was the recipient of the California State PTA Honorary Service Award in recognition to outstanding service to children and youth. Suzanne and her partners were the recipients of Assemblymember Betsy Butler’s Hero Award. Suzanne and Grades of Green were featured on KTLA’s “Protect What You Love” special spotlighting their Trash Free Lunch program. Locally, she was honored by the County of Los Angeles receiving their Green Leadership Award. Suzanne and her son were the grand prize winners of the FamilyFun volunteers contest in recognition of hard work, creativity, and dedication to the environment and donated the $5,000 prize money to the Manhattan Beach Unified School District to improve sustainability efforts. She was featured in Redbook Magazines Green Edition on simple, do-now switches that positively impact the planet.
Suzanne served on the Manhattan Beach Environmental Task force on the solid waste and recycling sub-committee. This committee was responsible for making recommendations to the city council on the new waste hauler contract including a “pay as you throw” trash reduction strategy, as well as implementing a zero waste plan for the city.
Suzanne was instrumental in organizing students to ask the City of Manhattan Beach to ban plastic bags, a ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court.
Suzanne was a special speaker for Southern California’s 2008 Waste Management’s Forum “Adventures in Sustainability.” “Young People Making a Difference” as well as a speaker at the First Annual Green School conference in MN.
Prior to this, Suzanne served twenty years as a Vice President at First Capital’s premiere private bank providing mortgages to high net worth clientele. Suzanne graduated in 1985 from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Communications.