Leadership Council

The e-Stewards Leadership Council, which was established in 2010, has a total of 15 council seats. The council is comprised of 5 e-Stewards Recycler representatives, 5 e-Stewards Enterprise (customer) representatives, and 5 ‘Other’ representatives. The latter group includes government representatives, non-profit organizations, associations and other strategic partners.

Candidates for the Leadership Council can be self-nominated or nominated by the Leadership Council’s Membership Committee.  Members are then systematically chosen considering geography, company size, and the type of companies and organizations represented. See below for current membership of the e-Stewards Leadership Council.

Any entity wishing to serve on the Leadership Council can indicate this in an email to info@e-stewards.org, and this information will be communicated to the Leadership Council’s Membership Committee for consideration.

The e-Stewards Leadership Council represents all e-Stewards stakeholders and provides recommendations to the e-Stewards program administrator in the areas of:

  • Technical issues (such as the e-Stewards Standard, via Technical Committee)
  • Business issues
  • Policy issues
  • Marketing and promotions (via the Promotions Committee)
  • Membership of the Leadership Council (via Membership Committee)

The Council includes three subsidiary bodies: the Technical Committee, Promotional Committee, and Membership Committee. The Technical and Promotional committees are open to any and all certified e-Stewards recyclers. If interested in joining either of these committees, please contact: info@e-stewards.org. The Promotions Committee is open only to members of the Leadership Council.

The Leadership Council meets at least once per calendar year (and typically twice per year) in a face-to-face meeting, and by conference call three times a year and at other times as deemed necessary, at the expense of the members. The Leadership Council is an advisory body to the e-Stewards program administrator, but does not have governance or fiduciary responsibilities for the program.

2014 e-Stewards® Leadership Council

e-Stewards Recycler Representatives:

The Surplus Exchange

Bob Akers – Deputy Director, Surplus Exchange

Bob has been a community activist in the Kansas City area of 20 years. He has taken on a number of causes; environmental, education, arts, urban sprawl and youth sports. After a 20 year corporate career, Bob left behind the suit and tie to join The Surplus Exchange. His first assignment at TSE was to launch their eWaste Program. The program doubled intake in under 5 years. More importantly, the program based its operations on responsible and sustainable e-recycling even before much of the industry began to shift to that direction. Bob is now the Deputy Director of The Surplus Exchange and represents electronics recyclers on the Leadership Council.

 “Community and children are very important to me. I want to leave future generations with a safe healthy planet”

Aaron Blum
Co-Founder, Electric Recyclers International, Inc.

Aaron Blum is the Co-Founder of Electronic Recyclers International, Inc., which was founded in 2005. Aaron has helped direct ERI from one facility in 2005 to seven facilities nationwide doing over 100 million lbs of e-Waste recycling per year. He has over 10 years experience in e-Waste recycling industry.

Aaron has spoke on a variety of panels over the years with relation to e-Waste recycling and the downstream processing of electronics. He graduated from the University of San Diego, with a Bachelors degree in Business and an emphasis on finance in 2002. He represents electronics recyclers on the Leadership Council.

“I am humbled to the have the opportunity to sit on the Leadership Council and represent other e-Stewards recyclers.”

The Surplus Exchange

Cindy Coutts, President, Sims Recycling Solutions Canada

Cindy Coutts oversees the growth and success of the Sims Recycling Solutions leading electronics recycling business in Canada. The business operates three sites that are equipped with the most advanced end-of-life electronics processing technology and service in Canada and the United States. Cindy also participates in Sims’ North American strategy development as part of the NA Executive team.

Prior to joining Sims, Cindy worked for Noranda Recycling and spent most of her career involved in the electronics recycling business. She has participated in the Leadership for Environment and Development program, which looks at sustainable development issues on a global scale. She also participates in recycling policy and regulatory development, both at the international level with the UN and OECD and at the national and local levels.

She graduated from the University of Guelph with a BSc and received her MBA from York University in Toronto.

 “Sims Recycling Solutions is pleased to have been offered a seat on the e-Stewards Leadership Council. The e-Stewards standard is an integral part of achieving sustainable electronics recycling and I believe our global leadership and dedication to environmentally-sound electronics recycling will contribute to the advancement of the e-Stewards standard effectiveness.”

Corey Harnish – Vice President of Operations, LifeSpan

Corey Harnish is the Vice President of Operations at LifeSpan and is responsible for managing the company’s global ITAD Operation, Compliance, and Logistics. In this role Corey focuses heavily on supporting internal and external customer needs and driving operational production, quality, and compliance. Corey has comprehensive knowledge of e-Stewards, R2/RIOS, ISO 14001, and a passion for developing high performing, lean organizations, leaders, and teams. Prior to joining LifeSpan, Corey gained 15 years of operational experience in executive leadership positions with companies including United Parcel Service, Target Corporation, and DocuVault, LLC. In addition to his career accomplishments, Corey holds a BS in Industrial Engineering and a MS in Industrial Management from Northern Illinois University.

Todd Zegers
Senior VP of Business Development, Cloud Blue

Todd Zegers leads all of CloudBlue‘s direct and channel sales, partnerships and marketing efforts. Todd has been in the IT industry for over 15 years, with 10 years of experience specifically focused on asset recovery and disposal. Prior to joining CloudBlue, Todd served as President of Green Asset Disposal, where he led the development of its infrastructure and business model to grow the company until its acquisition by CloudBlue. Previously, Todd brought his expertise in the IT distribution and Value-Added Reseller space to Insight Enterprises where, as a business development executive, he was a top revenue producer for five years. His collective experience in these facets of the IT industry give him a well-rounded perspective of the asset refresh and decommission needs of enterprise companies. Todd was a Marketing and Communications major at Arizona State University.

e-Stewards Enterprise Representatives:

Johnson Choo – Manager, Standards and Environment, LG Electronics USA, Inc.

Johnson Choo works at LG Electronics as a manager with the Standards and Environmental Affairs team. He oversees the electronics take-back program in the US, including ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements; managing LG’s product stewardship program to implement e-Steward and R2 corporate policy; serving as the primary interface with e-waste recyclers, including conducting on-site audits; and, managing consumer awareness and corporate reporting efforts. Johnson has worked for LG Electronics for 10 years, originally in Korea and now in the US. He has achieved Six Sigma Black Belt status, and has experience working in various departments ranging from product R&D and development to product planning and technical support. Johnson’s diverse experiences along multiple phases of the value chain have contributed to his in-depth knowledge and a keen understanding of the importance of reducing waste at the various stages of a product’s life cycle.

“Manufacturers should take responsibility for the environment, we must reduce e-Waste. Our focus should be on not only properly recycling after a product is used but also on designing with reducing waste in mind.”

Reed Kaiser – Senior IT Manager – Asset Management, Apollo Group

 Reed Kaiser leads the asset management team at the Apollo Group (parent company of University of Phoenix, Institute of Professional Development, among other private education providers), which is now among the top 100 greenest of the largest United States companies, according to Newsweek magazine. Newsweek compiled Green Rankings of the 500 largest U.S. companies this year and placed Apollo at number 83, a full 100 places ahead of where it ranked two years ago. Reed is a Certified IT Asset Manager, Certified Software Asset Manager, and a Certified Hardware Asset Manager Professional (all from the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers). 

The e-Stewards Initiative provides businesses and consumers with a first-of-its-kind certification process to identify the truly responsible electronics recyclers.”

Stephanie Rico – Vice President Environmental Affairs, Wells Fargo

Stephanie focuses on external engagement for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs – responsibilities include communications, reporting, marketing and stakeholder engagement — and she oversees Wells Fargo’s greenhouse gas emissions accounting.

She’s been helping drive positive change, including supporting issues such as resource management, healthcare, education and the environment, for over 15 years. Prior to joining Wells Fargo she managed charitable giving initiatives for Mitsubishi Motors N.A., media relations for Harris Bank in Chicago, and day-to-day operations for particular California-based political campaigns.

Stephanie has a BA in Social Science, Interdisciplinary Studies from San Francisco State University and an MBA from DePaul University. She represents enterprises on the Leadership Council.

“The e-Stewards Enterprise program is simply about good risk management on three important fronts: environment, information security and reputation. It also simplifies our communications and reporting efforts by leaving no ambiguity about our intent, which is to ensure that none of our e-waste ends up in places where it does not belong, especially in the hands of children.”

Other Organization Representatives:

Sandy Freeman

Sandy Freeman – Senior Product Manager, Iron Mountain

Sandy Freeman is a senior product manager for Iron Mountain Information Management Iron Mountain. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy for Iron Mountain’s Data Backup & Recovery business line. Her general focus is creating new offerings that will allow customers to effectively manage and protect their information throughout its lifecycle, whether active or decommissioned. Information security is fundamental to Sandy’s work. Sandy has over 20 years of experience in corporate strategy, accounting, operations management and product management. Over the past 14 years she has dedicated herself to supporting the integrity and sustainability of corporate enterprises. She is known among her peers as a subject matter expert in the field of IT asset disposition and brings a wide breadth of knowledge surrounding data security during end of life management, to the leadership team. Sandy was a Management Information Systems major at Rutgers University.

“Ensuring that end of life electronics are handled in accordance with the highest compliance and regulatory standard, while reducing your organization’s carbon footprint and boosting green credibility should be a common practice for any enterprise. I am honored to be both a member of the e-Stewards Leadership Council and a part of the very important work being done to help preserve the environment for future generations.”

Sego Jackson – Principal Planner, Snohomish County, WA

Sego is a Principal Planner with Snohomish County in Washington State. Sego has an extensive background in product stewardship and electronic product management. He represented local governments as one of 15 government negotiators in the National Electronic Product Stewardship Initiative and has been instrumental in developing local, state and national policies, pilots and programs related to electronics. He helped develop the local Take it Back Network for local governments and worked with national retailers on major electronics take-back pilot programs. Sego was instrumental in the drafting and passage of Washington State’s landmark producer responsibility bill for electronics (2006). He is a founding steering committee member of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council, chairs its Policy Subcommittee, and is a founding counselor of the U.S. Green Electronics Council. Sego is also a voting participant in the IEEE process to establish environmental standards for televisions and imaging devices and represents the government sector on the Leadership Council.

“For years local governments have been frustrated in their struggle to ensure responsible recycling of collected electronics. The e-Stewards programs provide local governments with a much-needed tool. I am grateful to be contributing to the continued development and success of the e-Stewards programs.”

Lisa Sepanski – Program Manager, King County, WA

Lisa has been with the King County, WA Solid Waste Division since 1989 and has worked on electronics recycling and product stewardship issues since 1996. In 2000, she started the Take it Back Network, a network of businesses and non-profit organizations that collect unwanted electronic products from the public for reuse or recycling. Lisa was involved in the development the WA electronic product recycling legislation that passed in 2006. The law, which requires electronics manufacturers to fund and implement a take-back program has resulted in the successful E-Cycle Washington program. Lisa is the co-chair of the Northwest Product Stewardship Council and a member of various subcommittees including: Electronics, Policy, Mercury-containing products, Pharmaceuticals, and Packaging. Prior to her employment with King County, Lisa worked for the City of Seattle on the creation of the multi-agency Local Hazardous Waste Management Program. Lisa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health and a Masters in Public Administration and represents government agencies on the Leadership Council.

“King County is taking a leadership position by requiring that all of our agencies use e-Stewards recyclers to manage our unwanted electronic equipment. We hope that other cities and counties will around the country to do the same. “

Martin Tull – Executive Director, Green Sports Alliance

Martin Tull is the Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance. He oversees all environmental impact reduction strategies, strategic alliances and membership programs. Martin led the formation and growth of the Alliance from the founding six pro sports teams to nearly 150 teams and venues today. In addition to leadership roles at the Northwest Earth Institute and as a Director of Sustainable Technology, he previously served in senior leadership positions in the outdoor recreation industry and has been an elite rock climber and instructor for over 20 years.

Martin serves as a volunteer on the Oregon Global Warming Commission Communication Committee and on the National Advisory Board of Climate Solutions. He was recently recognized as a 2011 Pivotal Leader, received the Portland Business Journal 40 under 40 award, and was awarded the 2012 Better Bricks Emerging Leader award.