PGC 2015 Speakers



Author, Poison Spring

Evaggelos Vallianatos earned a BA in zoology from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in history from the University of Wisconsin. He also did postdoctoral studies in the history of science at Harvard. He worked for 2 years on Capitol Hill and 25 years for the U.S. EPA.

He is the author of 6 books and hundreds of articles. His book on the workings and failure of EPA, “Poison Spring,” was published in April 2014 by Bloomsbury Press.


Co-Founder, Amy’s Kitchen

Rachel is co-founder and co-CEO of Amy’s Kitchen, the international food brand she started with her husband, Andy Berliner, over 27 years ago. Rachel’s creative vision and drive to innovate have always guided the work at Amy’s and fueled the company’s consistent double-digit growth.

Her passion for organic and natural foods began at an early age. Rachel’s parents were early-adopters to the urban homestead and organic food movements and, as early as the 1950’s, they were tilling up their suburban yard to grow their own pesticide-free carrots and lettuces. Rachel inherited her parents’ passion for organic food.

Rachel and Andy travel internationally every year and have freiends all over the world. From the beginning, their global travels have imbued Amy’s Kitchen foods with international flavors. Wherever she goes, Rachel is inquisitively looking for the best food, whether it’s from top restaurant chefs or humble home chefs. She follows her taste buds into their kitchens, in search of delicious recipes.

Over 27 years since Amy’s Kitchen began, you will still find Rachel in meetings pitching challenges to Amy’s in-house cooks, in the test kitchen sampling new recipes, or at her desk reading letters from Amy’s fans. And, true to her roots, when she is not traveling and making new friends in the world’s kitchens, you’ll find her outside in her organic garden, harvesting organic Brussels sprouts or tending the local haven for bees and butterflies, her pesticide-free flower garden.


Author, Going Green with a Bronner Mom

Lisa is the author of the blog, “Going Green with a Bronner Mom” and granddaughter of Dr. Emanuel Bronner, founder of Dr. Bronner’s, maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America. A mother of three young children, Lisa has helped many make the transition to a healthier home and lifestyle. She educates consumers, the most powerful force for change in the market today, to be equipped with the knowledge to vote wisely with their dollars. In 2012, Lisa was a spokesperson for Proposition 37 to label Genetically Engineered Foods in California. Lisa’s writing has appeared on the Rodale Publishing blog and Prevention Magazine online, and she just finished up a speaking tour in Australia, focusing on the importance of Organic Integrity and Fair Trade business practices. Currently, Lisa is a spokesperson for Dr. Bronner’s and loves to share about their product excellence, progressive business practices, and revolutionary activism. Prior to her work with Dr. Bronner’s, Lisa was a high school English and journalism teacher for the gifted in Raleigh, NC. She enjoys cooking, crocheting, and quilting and volunteers with organizations that support moms in San Diego.


Executive Director & Co-Founder, 5 Gyres

Anna has over 15 years of experience in environmental non-profit work, education, writing, and campaign development. She has worked in marine conservation, coastal watershed management, sustainability education, and high school ecology instruction. Anna received her undergraduate in History from Stanford University, and her Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute for International Studies. 

In 2008, Anna completed a month long, 4,000-mile research expedition studying plastic debris in the North Pacific Gyre. The journey inspired the launch of 5 Gyres. Anna was elected a fellow of the Wings World Quest in 2011, and received a Golden Goody Award in 2013.


President Student Advisory Board , Turning Green

Megan is working towards a degree in Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability with a specialization in Policy Analysis. Megan joined Turning Green’s Student Advisory Board after completing the 3rd annual Project Green Challenge in 2013, where she won runner-up. She has interned for Turning Green for the past two summers and has held a variety of responsibilities with the organization. She is most passionate about the industrial hemp movement, and hopes to use her degree to help re-legalize industrial hemp in America. Megan founded and is now president of the first official Turning Green Chapter at The Ohio State University.


Director of Research, Aubrey Organics

Krupa Koestline is Director of Research and Development at Aubrey Organics, one of the premier manufacturers of natural beauty products. A native of Gujarat, India, Krupa is a committed designer and user of eco-friendly, natural cosmetics, with a strong expertise in innovative organic formulations for hair and skin care. Prior to joining Aubrey, she was Technical Director at Key West Aloe LLC., and worked in product development for such renowned companies as Estee Lauder, Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena. Working for mainstream beauty product manufacturers was an eye-opener for this life-long vegetarian, who witnessed workers having to wear masks while making products formulated with potentially toxic ingredients. She views her work at Aubrey Organics as a hands-on opportunity to make a difference and spread the word about a health-conscious, natural lifestyle. Krupa holds a Master of Science degree in Biology, with Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology, as well as a Business Certificate in Marketing from Cornell University. She is active in such organizations as the Organic Trade Association, Natural Products Association, Green Chemistry Council and the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.


Co-founder & Co-director, US Right to Know

For over a decade, Stacy has led campaigns to shift the market to safer products, healthy food and clean production. She is a co-founder and co-director of US Right to Know, a nonprofit organization that investigates and reports on what the food industry doesn’t want us to know about our food. Stacy is author of the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” (New Society 2007) and she co-founded the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2002. For eight years, Stacy was the communications director for Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition working to transform the health care industry so it is no longer a source of harm. Prior to her work as an environmental health activist, Stacy was a reporter and newspaper publisher. Follow her on Twitter @StacyMalkan and @SafeCosmetics. 


Legal Fellow , Center for Food Safety

Zack Marker is a Legal Fellow in the Center for Food Safety’s San Francisco office, where he works on law and policy related to protecting the environment from the harmful practices of industrial agriculture. At CFS, he works on cases involving topics such as factory farming and animal drugs, genetically engineered crops and pesticides, and emerging issues like antimicrobial nanotechnology. Zack works to ensure that governmental oversight and regulation of these practices serve to protect the environment, human health, and biodiversity. Zack’s goal is to make sustainable and healthy food affordable and accessible, for everyone.

Zack received his law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law, where he focused on agriculture, food law, and policy while earning the school’s environmental law certificate. As a student, Zack twice competed in the Pace Environmental Law Moot Court competition, served as an executive editor for Davis’ environmental law journal, was a teaching assistant for an undergraduate environmental law course, and held externships at Food & Water Watch, CFS, and the California District Attorneys Association’s Environmental Circuit Prosecutor Project enforcing environmental laws in rural counties of California. Zack grew up eating food grown in his family’s backyard garden in Corvallis, Oregon and continues that tradition at his nine-person home in Berkeley, California where he spends most nights cooking up vegan meals for his roommates and friends.


Director, San Francisco, Department of the Environment

In May of 2014, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Debbie Raphael as the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, a city agency that creates visionary policies and programs to ensure a sustainable future for San Francisco. Raphael returns to San Francisco after three years leading the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she worked to bal-ance stakeholder interests in protecting the public and environment from toxic harm.

Raphael believes that cities like San Francisco are incubators for bold action that results in meaningful change. Her approach to environmental decision-making focuses on using the best available science and robust stakeholder interaction to ensure that all voices are honored. This perspective has allowed her to succeed in addressing some of the most challenging environ-mental problems, including the rollout of California’s landmark Green Chemistry Initiative.

In 20 years of public service at city, county, and state levels, Raphael has crafted and imple-mented groundbreaking policies around toxics reduction, green building, business engagement, integrated pest management, and environmentally preferable purchasing. She graduated with honors in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, was a Smithsonian and National Science Foundation fellow, and has a Master’s degree in Physiological Plant Ecology from UCLA.


Founder & CEO, Nutiva

John Roulac is the founder and CEO of Nutiva, the world’s leading organic superfoods brand of hemp, coconut, chia, and red palm superfoods. John founded Nutiva in 1999 with a mission to nourish people and planet. Through his leadership, Nutiva has become the fastest-growing superfoods company on the planet, and has for five years in a row been named one of Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing companies in America. This growth keeps bringing John closer to his dream of a world that places people above profits—one where people everywhere have access to clean air, pure water, and wholesome, organic foods.

John was blessed to spend his childhood summers on islands of the Pacific Northwest, where he played among the forests and tide pools. When nuclear waste was dumped nine miles from his California home, John’s ecological awareness was awakened and he began his central life journey: to study natural systems and discover practical solutions to pressing environmental challenges.
As a longtime advocate for healthy people and ecosystems, John has founded five nonprofit ecological groups, including Forests Forever, which placed the California Forest Protection Act, Prop 130, on the state ballot in 1990; GMO Inside, a group dedicated to educating people on the dangers of GMO foods; and the Nutiva Nourish Foundation, which donates 1 percent of Nutiva’s annual sales to sustainable agriculture and environmental programs.

John has gained respect for his expertise on whole foods, organic farming, natural healing, hemp agriculture, forestry, permaculture, recycling and composting, and the conservation of water and energy. He helped jumpstart the modern home-composting movement in the early 1990s, successfully sued the US DEA to keep hemp foods legal in 2001, and has written four books on environmental topics that have combined sales of more than one million copies. He has been interviewed on numerous radio and television programs and is widely quoted in the print media—from Wired magazine to the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.

In his leisure time, John enjoys travel, hiking, playing basketball, and soaking in natural hot springs. To learn more about John Roulac and Nutiva, visit

“The current industrial food model is broken. People are waking up to the fact that food choices matter, and no healthcare plan is going to solve the issue of eating industrial goop sold as food.”


Co-Founder, Turning Green

Erin Schrode is a green girl and ecopreneur. As the “face of the new green generation,” the co-founder of Turning Green promotes global sustainability, youth leadership, environmental education, and conscious lifestyle choices. Since 2005, she has developed eco education and social action platforms to inspire, educate, and mobilize millions of students and the global public with her youth-focused non-profit and beyond. Erin is the eco correspondent for Fusion (ABC and Univision’s new joint venture), speaks internationally, and consults with corporations, organizations, and governments on millennials, sustainability, and social good – including Apple, the US State Department, Whole Foods Market, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé, Unilever, Chipotle, the United Nations, EPA, and more – to drive positive impact, conscious consumption, and purpose in business. This “sustainability prodigy” has been featured in and tapped as an expert for the NY Times, Vanity Fair, ABC, CNN, SF Chronicle, NY Post, Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue, NBC, BBC, FOX, Nat Geo, E! and various multimedia outlets. An award-winning “juggernaut in the non-profit and green world,” Erin is the spokesperson for top eco brands, hosts events, writes for The Huffington Post and others, and as The White House said, “is a dynamic, passionate and ambitious young woman committed to creating big change everywhere she goes.” While working in disaster response in Haiti, she founded The Schoolbag, a youth education project to provide materials for students in need, as well as initiate active citizenry and environmental stewardship. She resides in New York City, recently graduating from NYU as a DEANS scholar, after terms abroad in the Middle East, West Africa, South America, and Europe. Having visited over seventy countries, Erin has developed a keen global perspective and hopes to inspire her peers to take action and make the world a more sustainable, just place for future generations.


Director of Science Programs, The Organic Center

Dr. Jessica Shade is the Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center where she directs projects associated with communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture. During her tenure at The Organic Center Dr. Shade has collaborated on a number of diverse research programs ranging from applied solutions to on-farm challenges to methods for improving environmental impacts of agriculture.

Some of her most recent collaborations where she organized and executed extension and outreach activities include projects aimed at decreasing arsenic uptake in organic rice systems (collaboration with USDA-ARS), developing organic solutions for citrus greening disease (collaboration with University of Florida, Gainsville), assessing organic alternatives to antibiotics for the treatment of Fire Blight in apples and pears (collaboration with University of Washington).
Dr. Shade has extensive experience communicating scientific research to the public, farmers, policy makers and other researchers. She has presented and led workshops at the Organic World Congress, MOSES organic farming conference, EcoFarm conference, Natural Products Expo East and West, Food and Drug Administration, Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. She has developed communications using a variety of digital and print media including webinars, social media, press releases, and publications aimed towards a variety of audiences.

Dr. Shade has been honored for her environmental accomplishments by the Audubon Women in Conservation through their Women Greening Food Special Recognition, the Ecological Society of America Student Section and Union of Concerned Scientists through their Ecoservice Award, and is a Switzer Environmental Fellow.


Executive Director & Founder , Turning Green

Judi Shils is a passionate grassroots activist and community leader. She has spent the last 14 years of her life spearheading innovative, impactful projects with diverse stakeholders on local, national, and global levels. The dearth of answers around Marin County’s high cancer rates led Shils to found the non-profit Search for the Cause, giving birth to Turning Green, a powerful student-led movement around education and advocacy that inspires and mobilizes students to transition from conventional to conscious. She is the force behind The Conscious Kitchen (TCK), a program in public elementary schools to serve fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO (FLOSN), scratch-cooked breakfast and lunch to students. TCK launched in 2013 on a campus where 95% of children are on free-and-reduced meals. Since expanding in scale and reach this past year, TCK formed the first organic, non-GMO school district in the country. Moving to the Bay Area in 1989 and becoming a mother to daughter Erin changed the course of Judi’s life. Prior to this, she was an Emmy Award-winning television producer for 25 years with ABC Sports, FOX and Oxygen, founded The Diary Project forum for youth at the onset of the internet. Judi also consults for the California Coastal Commission around public education and is a fierce advocate for positive change in the face of injustice across the globe.


Research Coordinator, Baylor College of Medicine Environmental Health Service

Ashley Ugarte is the Research Coordinator for the Environmental Health Service (EHS) at Baylor College of Medicine and a recent graduate of Rice University. There she led various initiatives to address environmental health and sustainability issues on-campus and in the community. She also served a two-year term as the Student Advisory Board President, Intern and Fellow for Turning Green. Ashley co-founded and served as president of the Rice Environmental Society, an umbrella organization that fosters collaboration among Rice’s many environmentally-focused clubs, groups and individuals. She also served as the founding president of Rice’s Environmental Health Collaborative, a group that raises awareness among pre-health students and professionals about the relationship between human and environmental health. Ashley is passionate about educating the medical community, who play a unique role as educators to their patients and colleagues, about the importance of climate change, environmental health and it’s implications on human health. Ashley plans to pursue a career in medicine where she hopes to combine her passions for health and environmental activism.


2014 Champion, Project Green Challenge

Ana María Zabala is a student at the Rochester School, where she is a high school senior in Bogotá, Colombia. She’s passionate about defending the people’s right to a healthy and thriving planet, especially through sustainable agriculture. She thinks part of what keeps this world afloat is its cultural, biological and food diversity, and she knows it will only be preserved through social justice and equity. She hopes to get a scholarship opportunity to major in Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic in Maine, and work towards the empowerment of farmers in Colombia by expanding and promoting sustainable agriculture and defending seed freedom and sovereignty. She believes we should all practice forgiveness and kindness in order to change the world.