WHO WE ARE
Laura Tokarski, Founder and Director
Laura Kutner Tokarski was born and raised in Portland, OR. After receiving her BA in Anthropology and Spanish from University of California Santa Barbara, she joined the Peace Corps as a youth development volunteer in Guatemala. Her three years spent there were the inspiration for starting Trash for Peace, which was officially incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 2012. Wanting to further her career focused on public service and sustainability, she went back to school to pursue her Masters in Public Administration with a specialization in sustainable development at Portland State University. In addition to being the Director of Trash for Peace, she currently works as a Spanish GED Instructor for Mt Hood Community College. In her free time she loves to read and go for long runs and hikes outdoors.
Laura Gumpert, Sustainability Programs Manager
Laura Gumpert is Trash For Peace’s Sustainability Programs Manager. After serving with Trash For Peace as an AmeriCorps member in 2018-19, Laura is thrilled to stay on with the organization! Laura was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a BA in Spanish Literature and Environmental Studies from Kenyon College. While there, Laura developed a passion for environmental issues and focused her studies on sustainable agriculture and food justice. She also spent a year abroad in Chile, where she worked with children at an environmental justice nonprofit. Before moving to Portland, Laura was a conservation crew leader and an outdoor educator. In her spare time, Laura enjoys hiking, exploring farmers markets, and playing her guitar.
Alondra Flores Avina, Environmental Education Coordinator
Alondra Flores Avina is Trash for Peace’s Environmental Education Coordinator. She was born in San Quintin, Baja California and came to the US at the age of five and since has resided in Portland. She earned her Associates of general studies degree from Portland Community College in 2017. Currently she attends Portland State University and is working towards a BA in Community Development with a minor in Civic Leadership. Her first year at Portland State she joined the bee task force where she is enjoying learning about the importance of bees. In her free time, she enjoys reading books, painting, going on walks, and watching films. Her interests include sharing her knowledge about bees and plants.
Taylor Cass Talbott, Ground Score Development Coordinator
Originally from Portland, Taylor began working on international waste issues by organizing a series of collaborative art and waste-related projects called Live Debris. She went on to help develop Bhutan’s first zero waste program as a coordinator for the Samdrup Jongkhar Initiative. Taylor also worked for India’s SWaCH waste picker cooperative, developing their Red Dot Campaign. Prior to all of this, she worked for Portland’s Outside In homeless youth organization. Taylor is now based in Portland where she works part time as the Ground Score Development Coordinator for Trash for Peace, and part time as the Reducing Waste in Coastal Cities project officer for WIEGO.
Michael Fawcett, Ground Score Coordinator
Michael Edmund Fawcett was born in Detroit, MI and grew up in nearby Ann Arbor- the youngest of three sons of Lee and Rita Fawcett, both educators. In 1981, his family moved to Lake Oswego, OR. In 1988, he graduated from Lakeridge High School and went on to Linfield College, majoring in Business with a minor in Political Science.
With the help of all the people in his life, Michael was recently afforded the opportunity to re-set the trajectory of his life.
Michael joined Ground Score's association soon after it was founded- seeing in it exciting possibilities to help many people. It also spoke to his deep sense of justice.
In his spare time, Michael enjoys volunteering in his neighborhood and loves reading and writing.
Barbra Weber, Ground Score Coordinator
Barbra (Barbie) Weber is an effective communicator with a gentle demeanor, dedicated to breaking the stereotypes and misinformation about homelessness. She is a committed advocate on issues regarding hygiene access for all. She is highly involved in many organizations and advocacy groups including Street Roots, Sisters of the Road, Right 2 Survive, Western Regional Advocacy Project, Gather Make Shelter, Trash for Peace, and more. She is a well respected and trusted member of the houseless community.
Courtney Conachan, RIHO Activity Coordinator
Courtney was born and raised here in Portland, OR. She is finishing up her bachelor of science degree in Social Sciences and Liberal Studies at PSU and is hoping to enter PSU College of Education’s School Counseling graduate program in the fall. She enjoys spending time with her 10 year old son, especially at the beach. She loves to be creative and work with kids--Trash for Peace and RIHO is an excellent match! She is very much looking forward to all of the fun projects ahead.
Alan Harvey Silver, Bookkeeper
Alan Harvey Silver moved to inner Northeast Portland in 1992, from New Jersey, and fell in love with it. He's spent his days since researching the history of the neighborhoods in inner North/Northeast, and looking for opportunities to bring it to light. Now he splits his time between inner Northeast and Sellwood. Twice a month, he hosts Preference, a program on KBOO Community Radio focusing on queer and trans news and culture. Alan does bookkeeping and tax preparation for a number of organizations.
We are actively recruiting new Board members with skills in finance, law, fund development, and communications. We seek to build a team of diverse individuals who share our passion for a more peaceful planet and are willing to devote their time and talent to further this mission. Please contact us if you're interested!
Lindsay Cortina, Founding Board Member
Based out of Santa Barbara, California, Lindsay Cortina is spreading the Trash for Peace message on the West Coast and beyond. Her passion for delivering healthy messages to communities and individuals serves as motivation for helping populations understand just how easy it is to live healthier, cleaner, more peaceful lives. A graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, Lindsay studied Biopsychology, Anthropology, and Exercise and Health Science. She works for a large non-profit medical foundation on California's Central Coast, Sansum Clinic, where she directs the implementation of the organization's strategic initiatives. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time (preferably outdoors) with her husband, and doing just about anything active!
Andrew Judkins, Founding Board Member
Andrew grew up in the northern suburb of Portland. His weekly window viewings of the curbside trash collection team filled his young mind with endless possibilities! Their weekly smile and wave to this blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty inspired him to make his first goal. At the tender age of 9, Andrew! set his sights on one day becoming a garbage man! 13 short years later, he began living out his dream with a career in hazardous waste disposal. Like anyone else, he's stumbled along his journey. Straying from his true passion, he pursued service in the United States Peace Corps four times, and a graduate level education only once. However, with degrees in environmental science and safety, natural sciences, and natural resources and peace, this big-brained builder is fully equipped and dedicated to being a champion of innovation by inspiring and educating about all the treats and tools found in the wonderful world of waste!
Lucas Dodge, Board Member
Lucas Dodge joined Trash for Peace as an AmeriCorps member in 2017, serving as the Community Development Coordinator. He is now a board member where he is motivated by interests in hands-on learning, youth empowerment, and environmental education. These interests were developed as he was studying climate change and food systems at Cornell University, and from a previous elementary school-based AmeriCorps term placement. He also likes books, coffee, board games, and walking a lot.
Elaine Gabat, Board Member
Elaine joined Trash for Peace as an intern in 2018 and is now serving as a board member. Elaine was born and raised in Los Angeles County. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles. She is currently receiving her Master of Science in Global Health at National University of Natural Medicine. Elaine is very passionate about environmental global health. She is especially interested in issues surrounding global waste, particularly plastic pollution. In her spare time, she likes to cook, visit art museums, build her nail art skills, explore the Portland food scene, go hiking, and FaceTime with her dog.
Ashley Lopez, Board Member
Ashley grew up in Southern California where she attended Cal State University of Fullerton to obtain a Bachelors Degree in Sociology with a Minors Degree in Environmental Biology. Throughout her years in college she realized she was passionate about preserving the natural world, connecting communities to nature, and constantly finding new ways to live more sustainably. After completing her undergrad, Ashley served as an AmeriCorps member for two years, one of which was acting as the Community Development Coordinator for Trash for Peace. She enjoyed her time leading hands-on sustainability activities with youth in their communities, connecting families to nature, and helping participants rethink their waste. After completing her term of service with Trash for Peace, she landed a job as a Reuse Specialist with the nonprofit SCRAP PDX, where she continues diverting waste out of landfills and inspiring creative reuse. In her free time, Ashley enjoys altering clothing, playing her ukulele, and cooking. She is currently serving as the Trash for Peace Board Treasurer.
Bree McLean, Board Member
Bree McLean is a Pacific Northwest native who is happy to call Portland home after spending 5 years living in Washington DC where she earned a Masters in Sustainable Development and a job in the federal government. Bree's current position at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development involves financing community growth and development, building affordable housing, sheltering the homeless, and increasing capacity in state and local governments. Bree values connecting with a community of people that are like-minded in the areas of sustainability and mindfulness, which is a perfect fit with Trash for Peace. She joined the Trash for Peace board in 2016 and is currently serving as the board President.
Alicia Simon, Board Member
Alicia Simon is from Cuba and moved to the United States four years ago. She has a degree in Mathematics, Accounting, and Finance and worked as a teacher for 40 years. She also has experience as a Sub-director of basic secondary education and teaching at a university as an assistant professor. Her passion is working with numbers, she likes team work, and hopes to contribute her experience to Trash for Peace in whatever way she can.
Katie Sukalich, Board Member
Katie is a Wisconsin native who moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2013. She received her BA in English and Spanish from Marquette University and her MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. Currently, she works as a copywriter at a marketing agency in Portland, where she uses her writing skills to help others tell their stories. She’s a believer in words and in the power of storytelling to make the world a better place, and she’s thrilled to be able to help tell the story of Trash for Peace. When she’s not sitting in front of her laptop putting words together, she’s often out running or wandering the aisles at Powell’s Books. She is currently serving as the Trash for Peace Board Secretary.
Join our board