Leadership

Grades of Green Team

Kim Siehl

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Executive
Director

Jayne Bennett

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Operations & Administration Associate

Brianna Redmond

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Communications & Programs Associate

Anjuli Koentopp

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Senior Program & Partnership Manager

Robyn Murphy

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Senior Program Manager

Glenn Arnade

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Program & Technology Manager

Jack Magner

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UPLIFT Program Associate

Volunteers & Interns

Izzy Coiro

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Program Volunteer Intern

Grace Harris

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Program Volunteer Intern

Emily Vargas

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College Corps Fellow

Board of Directors

Megan Mauck

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Board Chair

Gege Schoenfelder

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Vice Chair

Kapil Singh

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Treasurer

Jen Berlinger

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Board Member

Lisa Coppedge

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Co-Founder, Grades of Green

Chrissie Clay

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Board Member

Steven Davis, M.D.

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Medical Director,
Breathe Clear Institute

Dawnyell Goolsby, Ed.D.

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Executive Director,
IUSD

Shaya Kirkpatrick

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Co-Founder,
Grades of Green

Priscilla Muñoz

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Executive Director,
JP Morgan

Camela Ott, M.D.

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Board Member

Rachel Tornek

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Board Member
grades of green founders and leadership

From left to right: Shaya Kirkpatrick, Lisa Coppedge, Suzanne Kretschmer, and Kim Lewand Martin.

Grades of Green's Founders

Grades of Green was founded a decade ago by four eco-conscious moms with children attending Grand View Elementary in Manhattan Beach, California: Lisa Coppedge, Shaya Kirkpatrick, Suzanne Kretschmer, and Kim Lewand Martin. Find the rest of the story by exploring Grades of Green’s history.

Advisory Council

James Saracini,
Advisory Council Head Chair

Katie Teshima,
Advisory Council Co-Chair

Gaura Brienda-Ramnath

Nicole Cantangay

Lisa Cosmas Hanson

Emily Gee

Ryan Gomez

Kimberly Lewand Martin

Richard Montgomery

James Press

Doug Rowe

Rupam Soni

Alissa Stevens

Selin Stone

John Umekubo

Pamela Weinstein

Melissa Bailey

Nick Consumpas

Mikalina Franco

Chris Gebhardt

Christya Giles Washington

Melissa Gunning

Suzanne Kretschmer

Gerard Legaspi

Jamie Marzouk

Inga Middleton

Beatrice Ongawan

Melanie Robinson

Kim Siehl
Executive Director

As Executive Director, Kim is leading Grades of Green with passion, experience, creativity and joy! Her unique skill set in developing, growing and managing startups, small companies and teams coupled with a love of relationship building, spreadsheets and the environment provide the backbone and breadth to lead Grades of Green into its next decade. Kim is a longtime resident of the South Bay with strong ties to the community. Her children attended Grand View Elementary, where Grades of Green started. As a local business owner, she opened the doors to the first bookstore-coffeeshop in Manhattan Beach. Kim has a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Economics from UCLA and is proud to have many USC Grads as close friends (except during football season).

Jayne Bennett
Operations & Associate

Jayne is a North Carolina native who moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Elon University in 2020. She was part of an on-campus sustainable living community for her sophomore year of college, which led her to further explore sustainability and the environment in an environmental sociology class that she took as a junior. Although she earned a degree in Psychology, she decided one day that she wanted to pursue a career in the nonprofit world, and she has run with that idea ever since. She has a passion for working with organizations that aim to do good in the world, and is excited to be able to help advance Grades of Green’s mission. In her free time, you can find her caring for her small army of houseplants, listening to Taylor Swift, or buying things she doesn’t need at Target.

Brianna Redmond
Communications & Social Media

Growing up in the South Bay, Brianna’s love for the environment flourished during family trips to national parks. Majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies and minoring in Urban Planning, she delved into various aspects of sustainability and environmental justice. In college, Brianna interned at the Roundhouse Aquarium where she educated visitors about marine life and the importance of protecting our oceans. Most recently, she interned at Clean Power Alliance (CPA), a renewable energy provider. While working with the marketing team at CPA, she discovered a newfound passion for communicating and promoting sustainable practices. She aspires to leverage her skills and knowledge to drive positive change and inspire action. In her spare time, Brianna can be found going to Disneyland, reading books, or playing with her cat, Kona.

Anjuli Koentopp
Senior Program & Partnership Manager

Growing up in the Sunny South Bay, Anjuli has a passion for keeping the earth a clean and happy place but didn’t realize it until she made a move to Chicago for college. During her decade living in Chicago, she started a career in various sales jobs for about five years and never felt really fulfilled. One day, she realized what was missing, she wanted to dedicate her career to the environment. She took a chance on an unpaid internship at an energy efficiency non-profit. This led to her role as the Business Relations Manager at I-GO Car Sharing. She eventually moved on to being the Special Events and Development Manager at the parent organization of I-GO; the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, whose mission is to create affordable and sustainable solutions for urban areas. In 2014, Anjuli returned to the South Bay focused on finding a career that provided environmental education for kids. Her search ended when she found her dream job at Grades of Green. Anjuli is thrilled to be a Program Manager for the Trash Free Lunch Challenge and loves helping out with other Grades of Green programs. She also loves her other job of being a mom as she and her husband welcome their first baby in 2016. In her spare time, she works on her side business, K scraps, which upcycles wood scraps from her husband’s custom guitar company into jewelry.

Robyn Murphy
Senior Program Manager

Robyn was born and raised in the South Bay area of Southern California. Growing up near the ocean, she was aware at an early age of the importance of caring for and protecting our natural resources. Robyn graduated UCLA in 1997 with degrees in Psychology and Anthropology. She went on to work in sales in the Action Sports Industry. While taking time off from her career to raise her children, Robyn had time to refocus her interest on environmental issues and dedicated herself to learning more about how she could help to make a difference. She became passionate about composting and ridding her home of toxins and chemicals. While her son was attending Grandview Elementary School in Manhattan Beach, Robyn was given the opportunity to volunteer with the Grades of Green program as a 3R docent and head of the composting program. Robyn is now excited to be part of the Grades of Green programs team where she can work to inspire environmental stewardship in local youth.

Glenn Arnade
Program & Technology Manager

Glenn was born in Singapore and moved to the San Gabriel Valley at the age of five. He discovered his passion for helping the environment when he saw the negative impacts of climate change while dawn patrolling in El Segundo. Glenn earned a Global Environmental Science B.S. degree at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa while simultaneously developing research on the socioeconomic impacts associated with climate induced migration with the Hawai’i Natural Energy Institute. In addition to the environment, Glenn also loves helping kids discover their passions so they can flourish as well rounded individuals. In his free time, you can find Glenn reading, writing music, or hanging off the edge of a cliff (AKA rock climbing)!

Jack Magner
UPLIFT Program Associate

Jack was born in Texas and raised in Northern Virginia. Spending time in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Chesapeake Bay while growing up close to Washington, DC instilled Jack with an appreciation of diverse ecosystems and a passion for environmental policy. Jack graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Davidson College, where he researched Appalachian wildfires and led campus-wide voter registration and voter turnout efforts. As the son of two teachers and a former classroom assistant and literacy tutor, Jack is passionate about working with youth and excited to join Grades of Green as a Sustainability Service Corps Fellow, helping young people foster environmental stewardship in their communities. Outside of work, Jack enjoys running, playing soccer, visiting museums, and exploring his new LA community.

Izzy Coiro

Izzy is currently a graduate student at UCSB, obtaining a master's in Environmental Science and Management. She is getting a specialization in Business and Sustainability, and a focus in Innovation. Her dream is to share the importance of protecting the environment with all people, and lead others to love it as much as she does. Outside of school and work, you can find her reading, traveling, and spending quality time outside with family and friends.

Grace Harris
Program Volunteer Intern

Grace grew up in Tampa, Florida and is a current third-year at UCLA majoring in International Development Studies. As a Floridian, she has seen the effects of climate change firsthand through extreme weather patterns, harm to wildlife, and the threat of rising sea levels. Because of this, Grace has been involved with environmental activism since high school as a member of her school’s environment club and co-founder of the Tampa chapter of Sunrise Movement. She cares deeply about the environment, particularly the global, intersectional aspects of climate change that affect both people and the planet. In her free time, Grace loves to read, crochet, and explore local coffeeshops.

Emily Vargas
College Corps Fellow

Emily was born and raised in San Diego California. As a first-generation student attending UCLA, she is majoring in Biology with a minor in Global Health. Emily has always had a deep appreciation for nature, even being a strong green thumb in her tiny dorm room. She first developed an interest in environmentalism as she saw the negative impacts climate change has on health within her community. In the future career she hopes to help address health disparities emphasized by growing climate concerns. In her free time Emily enjoys gardening, sewing, and checking out new art exhibits!

Megan Mauck
Board Chair

As Senior Vice President of Media Operations for TechOps, Megan leads an expansive team across LA, Denver, and Englewood Cliffs responsible for ingesting, preparing and fulfilling all NBCU domestic and international content for linear broadcast, all secondary distribution, major live and tent pole events, Peacock, and most recently SkyShowtime Fulfillment. Her team is committed to delivering highly reliable and automated technical solutions across all content supply chain functions to increase business productivity and enhance content quality.

Megan began her career as a Mechanical Engineering Co-Op at Toyota as a Quality Engineer and then joined the GE Operational Management Leadership Program in 2006. She has spent the past 17 years within NBCU’s technical operations organization, working her way from a Quality Lead to her current position as Senior Vice President.

Megan holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and is based in Los Angeles, California. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, cooking, and spending time with her family and dog, Aston.

Gege Schoenfelder
Vice Chair

Gege began her career as a financial services regulator on Wall Street, with the mission to protect investors and promote market integrity. As the Risk & Compliance Director at S&P Global, Gege leads and oversees the compliance program for the Market Intelligence business, and provides strategic guidance to the C-suite executives. She has a decade of global regulatory, compliance, and audit experience in both public and private sectors.

As a first generation immigrant, Gege understands the importance of giving back to her community. She is deeply committed to her non-profit work with Apex for Youth to help underserved Asian and immigrant youth, where she discovered that by equipping young minds with the knowledge, skills, and sense of responsibility, these new generations of change-makers can drive positive environmental outcomes and inspire others to join the cause. As such, Gege is proud to support the mission of Grades of Green as she strongly believes that empowering students to become environmental leaders is one of the most powerful ways to create a lasting impact and ensure a sustainable future.

Gege holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and is currently obtaining her MBA with a focus in sustainable business & innovation from New York University. In her spare time, Gege enjoys travelling and loves almost all outdoor activities. She has visited 30 countries and hopes to add more to the list.

Kapil Singh
Treasurer

Kapil is originally from Calcutta, India, but spent most of his life in the Chicago area. He moved to the South Bay in 2005 after spending the previous year traveling with his wife, Sandesha, in Europe, Asia and South America. In addition to providing unforgettable experiences, their travels have provided a stronger appreciation for the environment and the importance of conservation. Some jarring experiences included helplessly watching seals with debilitating injuries from fishing nets in the Galapagos Islands and walking through thousands of pieces of plastic washed up on previously pristine beaches in Indonesia.

As a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Ares Management, Kapil’s work involves managing high yield debt strategies. He holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign College of Business in Finance and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management in Strategy and Finance. Additionally, Mr. Singh is a CFA® charterholder.

Kapil is honored to serve on the Grades of Green board and believes strongly in the organization’s core mission of creating an eco-friendly mindset and lifestyle from an early age. Kapil, Sandesha, and their daughters, Reyna and Zara, love being active in the South Bay community through its schools, sports and various volunteer organizations. The family also enjoys international travel, camping, tennis, volleyball and ocean sports.

Jen Berlinger

Jen Berlinger is a native So Cal girl who grew up in Orange County. After graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a BA in Psychology, she took an adventurous position working in sales and marketing for Dewalt power tools, a Black and Decker company, in San Francisco. After becoming engaged, she decided to switch gears and ventured into the field of education and fell in love. After receiving her Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Psychology and Education at Pepperdine she was hired by Grandview Elementary as an educator. It was there, in 2001, that Jen met Kim Siehl who was a parent to one of her first grade students. She saw the amazing work that the founders of Grades of Green were doing to foster knowledge in all of the Grand View students on a daily basis. Continuing on in different roles within Manhattan Beach Unified School District for 25 years, Jen has witnessed the incredible passion, growth and momentum that is Grades of Green. Since then it has spread throughout the district, state, country and now spanning world wide, making the next generation even more eager to nurture and protect Earth. It is her deep honor and privilege to serve on the board at Grades of Green. Now that her two boys are nearing adulthood and her and her husband, Jason, are finding more free time on their hands she is eager to stay involved. She is an avid reader, downhill snow-skiier and swimmer (she has done the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier swim 17 times) and is involved with the Visionaries women’s group that supports OCMA (the Orange County Musuem of Arts). She enjoys gardening, using the power tool skills around the house, and traveling to new places - especially when art is involved!

Lisa Coppedge
Co-Founder, Grades of Green

Lisa Coppedge is one of the Co-Founders of Grades of Green. Lisa first became inspired to protect the environment after watching the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”. After seeing the film, Lisa became one of the founders of Planet Pals, an organization which promoted student environmental responsibility at her son’s school, Grandview Elementary in Manhattan Beach. Lisa was instrumental in helping Grandview Elementary reduce lunchtime waste from 40 bags to 2 bags of trash per day, which has resulted in saving the school over $400 per month, and in implementing a variety of environmental programs at the school such as composting, in-class recycling, earth day challenges, and more.

Lisa also helped local schools in El Segundo and Hermosa Beach to implement environmental programs which resulted in the education of over 4,000 students. Lisa and her partners were featured on the PBS show, “Curiosity Quest”, a weekly children’s educational show to highlight all of the different activities schools can implement to protect the environment. Planet Pals grew and in 2009 the nonprofit organization Grades of Green was founded. As of June 2013, Lisa has overseen Grades of Green program implementation in over 50 schools throughout Southern California. Prior to her involvement with Grades of Green and Planet Pals, Lisa spent over 12 years in the areas of system integration and business development in the technology industry.

Lisa graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1992 with a B.S. in Computer Science. She started her career in 1992 at Andersen Consulting (Accenture) within its technology practice supporting clients such as Aerospace Corp. and Capital Group with their software implementation needs. In 1998 Lisa joined Deloitte Consulting as their Sun Microsystems relationship manager and later joined Actuate Corporation in 2002 as Business Development Manager.

Chrissie Clay

Chrissie Clay is an attorney, a mother of three and an ardent supporter of Grades of Green.

She has been a Grades of Green docent for her children’s classes for several years, currently serves as the Grades of Green co-chair for the middle school and has helped the organization secure a number of grants to support its programs and operations. She especially loves the Youth Corps Eco Leadership Program and seeing young people effect real, positive environmental change in their schools and communities. She is proud to have two children currently serving on the Youth Corps.

In addition to her work with Grades of Green, she also heads up the garden program at her children’s elementary school and recently helped implement a food recovery program at the school, whereby uneaten cafeteria food is donated to those in need.

Chrissie holds an undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University, a law degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. She works for RGP on a long-term assignment to Spectrum Brands as Immigration Counsel.

Steven Davis, M.D.
Medical Director, Breathe Clear Institute

Dr. Steven Davis is a Southern California native who attended college at the University of Pennsylvania, before moving on to his post-baccalaureate premedical training at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Dr. Davis then performed extensive research in Pediatric Neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, in preparation for his doctoral studies at the University of California, San Diego. After graduating from UCSD, he returned to his native Los Angeles to complete his internship in General Surgery and his residency in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Southern California. He is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, the American Association of Otolaryngic Allergy, the American Rhinologic Society, the California Medical Association and the Los Angeles County Medical Association. He is the Medical Director of the Breathe Clear Institute.

Steven’s kids go to a school where learning to recycle and care for the environment are built into the curriculum. Strangely enough it never occurred to him that this was not routinely taught to kids at all schools. It wasn’t until Steven attended Verte a few years ago that he learned about Grades of Green and the crucial role they play in empowering and educating kids with respect to preserving the environment. Steven is thrilled to be on the Board Advisors and is excited about getting even more schools to adopt the Grades of Green programs that really can brighten our planet’s fixture.

Dawnyell Goolsby, Ed.D.
Executive Director, IUSD

Dawnyell Goolsby has over two decades of experience in public school education. She has served in various positions within the school system, such as classroom teacher, program coordinator, and site administrator. Dr. Goolsby has the honor and privilege of working in Inglewood, the community where she was raised and went to school.

Dawnyell’s first encounter with Grades of Green was as a participant in the School Trash Free Lunch Challenge. This encounter led her to work with Founder Lisa Coppedge on other environmental programs at her school. Eventually, she had the opportunity to present at a conference with the Grades of Green team to demonstrate how educators could incorporate environmentally friendly strategies into their schools. To this day, Dawnyell continues to use these strategies to encourage students to take responsibility for their environment through action.

In addition, Dawnyell has over a decade of experience with community-based and professional organizations. She has served in leadership roles in one of the prominent female organizations in the country, Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc., working on local, state, and national initiatives. She is also a member in the largest school administrators organization in the state, the Association of California School Administrators. Dawnyell represents local administrators on a State Legislative Policy Committee and provides advocacy for students on local and state-level issues. Dr. Goolsby is delighted to bring her experience in education, programming, planning, student advocacy, and community organizing to the Grades of Green team.

Shaya Kirkpatrick
Co-Founder, Grades of Green

Shaya Kirkpatrick is a Co-Founder of the non-profit Grades of Green, an environmental education organization whose mission is to inspire and empower kids and the broader school community to care for the environment.

Previously, Shaya was a founding member of Planet Pals, an environmental program working with schools in Southern California to help children take a hands-on approach to help the environment. In that role, Shaya helped lead Grand View Elementary School start an e-waste recycling program and plant their first native garden. Shaya received the Environmental Hero Award by Assemblywoman Betsy Butler in 2011. Shaya received the 2008 Environmental SBBEC Steward of the Year Award; recognizing her leadership in protecting our local environment. In that same year, Shaya received the Congressional Commendation Award which was given to her by the United States Congress for her exceptional efforts in promoting environmental conservation. In 2009, Shaya was the recipient of the Environmental Award from the Environmental Protection Agency which recognizes individuals and groups outside of the EPA who are working to protect public health and the environment. Shaya also received the County of Los Angeles Green Leadership Award for recognition in commemoration of environmental public service. In 2007 Shaya served as an advisor to PeaceJam, an international organization helping youth and Nobel Peace Laureates working together to tackle the most pressing issues facing our global health. And in 2006, Shaya served as the Chair for Growing Great, a non-profit whose mission is to adopt healthy eating habits through innovative classroom lessons, school gardens and community events.

Shaya graduated from the University of Southern California in 1986 with a Bachelor in Communications and minor in Public Relations and went on to the University of California Los Angeles School of Interior and Environmental Design. She started her Interior Design career at the offices of Intradesign, Inc. in 1988 and worked on major hotel projects around the world including the 5 star Hankyu International Hotel in Osaka, Japan, Shutters Hotel in Santa Monica, and The Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills. Shaya co-founded her own design firm, KAI Design, in 1991 and accomplished a variety of project including the Squaw Creek Resort in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Offices throughout Southern California, and multiple residential commissions.

Shaya is passionate about ensuring that kids are inspired and empowered to care for the environment because if we start with the younger generation there will become a time when everyone is informed. Shaya is fulfilled by contributing and helping make a difference.

Priscilla Muñoz
Executive Director - Real Estate Americas

Priscilla is an Executive Director and the Regional Controller JP Morgan’s West Coast Real Estate Investments. She holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Long Beach State University, from which she graduated in 2006. She began her professional career in 2006 at Deloitte and Touche, LLP before joining JP Morgan in 2013.

Priscilla’s love of being outdoors lead her to go hiking and camping whenever her passion for international travel isn’t being indulged. Her interest in improving access to education for disadvantaged students began when she was a mentor for high school-aged youth as part of The Fellowship Initiative. Her travels around the world, her deep appreciation of nature, and her experiences as a mentor made Grades of Green the ideal organization for Priscilla to be a part of.

Priscilla and her husband Will live in Venice and enjoy playing basketball, watching soccer, cooking, and are always in the midst of a game of Rummy 500.

Camela Ott, M.D.

Camela Ott was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois until the age of 13 when her family moved to northern California. She enjoyed a very happy childhood with her parents and three siblings. Dr. Ott obtained her BS degree from California State University – Chico, and then returned to the Midwest for medical school at Chicago Medical School. She spent the next thirteen years specializing in Internal Medicine striving to protect the health of her patients and prevention of illness at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center, and then Motion Picture and Television Medical Group in Santa Monica. During that time, she married her medical school sweetheart, Mark Bell and they made their home in Manhattan Beach. In 2002, they started a family with the birth of their first son, Luke. Camela enjoyed the challenge of striking just the right balance of practicing medicine full time and being a mother. However, soon after the birth of their second son Dominic, she decided to cut back from practicing medicine full time and focus on being a stay at home mom.

Through her sons’ school, Camela became involved in Grades of Green, for which she docents. With fun classroom activities, she helps kids learn to be conscious of conservation, the 3Rs, and helping preserve and protect our most precious resource – our ocean. Dr. Ott now balances teaching with Grades of Green, providing volunteer medical services through South Bay Family Medical Center, a genuine love for cooking and creating healthy wholesome foods, family travel, homework duty with the boys, and chauffeuring to a myriad of activities every day. Her family enjoys a beach lifestyle – all the boys love surfing and being in the ocean and the family strives to live an eco-minded lifestyle. Becoming more active with Grades of Green is a privilege, and a meaningful way to continue to help people be healthful, and sustain our environment. Creating good habits in today’s youth is the right decision for our planet, and Camela is proud of committing to that endeavor.

Camela likes that we are protecting our environment by instilling our youth with good, lifelong, eco-friendly habits.

Rachel Tornek
Independent Consultant, Climate Change & Sustainability

Rachel has been working in the environmental policy arena for two decades. A deep love of the ocean and its creatures set her on a course to pursue a career in conservation. Her path included working on environmental issues at Toyota Motor Sales, the Climate Change and Wildlife campaign at the National Wildlife Federation and Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute. She holds a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution from UC San Diego and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara.

Since graduate school, Rachel has focused her career on climate policy. She began by helping companies and institutions across the country to inventory, verify and register their greenhouse gas “footprints”. Most recently, she was Vice President of Policy & Programs at the Climate Action Reserve, where she acted as a technical consultant on domestic and international carbon market initiatives and led the development and implementation of market-based programs for North America’s largest carbon offset registry.

Rachel moved to Manhattan Beach with her family in 2012, and was introduced to Grades of Green when her daughter started at Grand View Elementary. She became a docent for her daughter’s kindergarten class, and is thrilled to be able to help support the mission and vision of this unique organization as a member of the Board.

She feels lucky that she has been able to make a career out of one of her life’s greatest passions – the environment – and believes there is no better way to ensure the health and longevity of our planet than by helping the next generation understand both the consequences and the power of their actions.

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