Keynote Showcase, 2022

Alejandra Warren, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Plastic Free Future
Integrating Equity And Inclusion In Waste Reduction Strategies And Reuse Systems

Terry McDonald, Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, OR
How The Circular Economy Unlocks Barriers To Employment

Peter Mui, Founder, Fix-it Clinic
Think Globally, Fix Locally: Joining the World-Wide Repair Movement

Donald Thomson, Founder and CEO, CRDC Global
Retransforming Plastic Waste

Alejandra Warren, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Plastic Free Future
Integrating Equity And Inclusion In Waste Reduction Strategies And Reuse Systems

Alejandra Warren is a sustainability consultant and intersectional environmentalist working on diverse resource conservation, climate resiliency and intersectional justice projects across the Bay Area. She co-founded Plastic Free Future in 2020. From soil to humans, Alejandra strongly believes in the interconnectedness of all organisms and that working to heal our relationship with the environment will lead to happier, healthier and more resilient communities.

Plastic Free Future is a California-based non-profit organization dedicated to the reduction and elimination of plastic pollution through promoting reusable alternatives and focusing on outreach to systemically excluded communities. By focusing on environmental justice, social equity and inclusion within the global movement to eliminate plastic pollution, Plastic Free Future aims to amplify, support, and represent voices that have been historically excluded from sustainability conversations. 

Terry McDonald, St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, OR
How the Circular Economy Unlocks Barriers To Employment

Terry McDonald has served as Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Inc. (SVdP) for 37 years. He is a hands-on, visionary leader with undergraduate degrees in political science and history and a Master of Education degree from the University of Oregon.

Terry’s road to entrepreneurial leadership began with a modest tool employed by many nonprofits — the retail thrift store — and has grown to encompass a small empire of reuse, recycling and upcycling businesses. He also opened the first mattress-recycling facility in the nation, and through the SVdP subsidiary DR3 Recycling, today the nonprofit remains the largest mattress recycler in the United States with four facilities in California and Oregon.

Terry has led SVdP to become the largest social-services agency in its region. Some 60 percent of its annual $55 million budget comes from earned income. For nonprofits like SVdP, the value of generating revenue means the ability to pivot quickly to emerging community needs. SVdP’s social enterprises also employ more than 600 people and diverted more than 44.1 million pounds of material from the waste stream last year alone.

Terry is a founding partner of the Cascade Alliance which helps nonprofit organizations from around the country take control of their financial future by transforming them into self-sufficient, job-creating community enterprises. With St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County’s proven process, demonstrated expertise, and more than 50 years of experience, they help Cascade Alliance members launch or improve a waste-based business and turn discarded mattresses, books, clothing, and other items into a stable revenue stream and source of secure, quality jobs. The result: financial stability for the organization, a cleaner, more sustainable environment for all, and the opportunity for a healthier, more secure life for the most vulnerable in the community.

Peter Mui, Founder, Fix-it Clinic
Think Globally, Fix Locally: Joining the World-Wide Repair Movement

Peter Mui is the founder of Fixit Clinic which conveys critical thinking and troubleshooting skills through both in-person and virtual events. Over 750 in-person Fixit Clinic events have been hosted across the US at elementary, secondary and high schools, colleges and universities, libraries and virtually through teleconferencing software. “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.”

Peter is a leading practitioner in lean innovation; applying agile methods from software development to hardware and durable goods. He’s the founder of the MIT Entrepreneurs Club, co-founder of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition and mentors academic startups at MIT, UC Berkeley, and UCSF.

Peter was the keynote speaker for the IEEE Consumer Technology Society (CTSoc) at the Consumer Electronics Show, has presented for the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Armed Services Makerspaces. In February 2022 he was interviewed on the Ralph Nader Radio Show and in September 2022 he presented at the WIRED magazine REWIRED Green Climate Action Conference. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the E-town eChievement Award and the California Resource Recovery Association Pavitra Crimmel Reuse Award.

Donald Thomson, Founder and CEO, CRDC Global
Retransforming Plastic Waste

Don Thomson is the Founder and CEO of The Center for Regenerative Design and Collaboration. The company takes an active role in balancing, environmental, community, and industry needs through proprietary product design. Over the last decade, CRDC has developed a series of design protocols and consumer products exclusively dedicated to being Zero Waste and regenerative in purpose and nature. CRDC works globally but has its roots in Costa Rica and uses its operation as an exemplary platform to research and tackle important global issues like single-use packaging and its effects on waterways, agricultural waste, and social housing.

The company’s unique circular business model REAP, Recover – Enrich – Appreciate – Preserve, is a biomimicry model that looks to create interrelationships between diverse industries where the waste stream of one becomes the value stream for the next, where the sum of the output is greater than the sum of all the inputs and finally where consumption becomes regenerative. CRDC was a Peoples Choice nominee at the 2016 World Economic Forum’s Circularity Awards. Mr. Thomson is a frequent speaker in plastic industry events and collaborate with various industrial leaders, brands, and public entities from around the world to develop commercially viable “end of life” solutions to resolve our waste plastic contamination dilemma and their relative CO2e emissions.