Board of Directors

Hamzah Abu-Ragheb
Hamzah Abu-Ragheb is the Manager of Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing at Avendra, a leading procurement services provider for hospitality companies. He is responsible for the implementation of Avendra’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy that focuses on responsible and sustainable sourcing. At Avendra, Hamzah’s role includes facilitating conversations between customers, suppliers and the company’s internal sourcing team to help drive sustainability within Avendra’s supply chain. Hamzah also assists customers with their responsible sourcing goals and helps drive responsible sourcing initiatives at Aramark, Avendra’s parent company. Prior to his role at Avendra, Hamzah held various sustainability related positions, from waste management and composting to research on sustainable agriculture. He earned a BS in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Maryland and an MS in Sustainability Management from the Kogod School of Business at American University, in Washington, DC.

Betsy Hayes
State of Minnesota
Betsy Hayes is the Chief Procurement Officer of the State of Minnesota. Betsy has 20 years of public procurement experience with the state's Department of Administration, Office of State Procurement. In her role, Betsy is responsible for directing the state's central procurement office that acquires goods and services in excess of $3 billion annually. This includes state executive branch purchasing, as well as cooperative purchasing managed on behalf of Minnesota's local units of government and customers from government organizations across the country. Betsy is a graduate of Cornell College in Iowa and received her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. Betsy is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and is a recipient of its Public Attorney Award of Excellence for In-House Agency Counsel.

Clare Hobby
TCO Development
Clare leads global purchaser engagement for TCO Development, the organization behind TCO Certified, the global independent sustainability certification for IT products. TCO Certified is used by procuring organizations and the IT industry worldwide as a tool for driving environmental and supply chain responsibility into the IT ecosystem. Compliance at the product, supply chain and brand levels is independently verified. Clare oversees purchaser engagement programs globally and is active in a number of sustainability initiatives in the IT space - including SPLC’s Technical Advisory Group for IT Hardware, the Clean Electronics Production Network, UN Environment’s One Planet network the Canadian Public Procurement Council, and the Transform Together Initiative for SDG12. She is the lead author of TCO Development’s 2017 report, Impacts and Insights and holds Masters degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Melbourne, Australia as well as Executive Education in Sustainability Leadership at Harvard.

Tim Hopper
Tim is leading work on a global responsible sourcing program for Microsoft’s 25,000+ indirect spend suppliers. Tim is a seasoned Microsoft sustainability leader with deep procurement experience. He has a proven track record of impact achieved by applying business acumen, innovation, and collaboration. Tim is passionate on creating business value while achieving positive corporate governance, social, and environmental impact. He continues to lend his expertise to numerous industry groups focused on advancing sustainability. Prior to Microsoft Tim had a distinguished banking career in the public sector as a regulator and in the private sector as the CEO of a financial institution. Tim’s specialties include sustainable procurement; sustainable supply chains; sustainability and corporate responsibility; sustainability reporting; ESG risk management; strategy. He holds a MS in finance from the University of Wyoming; and a MS certificate in Ethics from the University of Washington.

Joan Kerr
Immediate Past Chair
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
Joan Namahana Kerr is PG&E’s Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability. During her time at PG&E, Joan has successfully headed the initiative to include LGBT firms in the company’s supplier diversity program, the first utility in the country do so. PG&E’s Supplier Diversity Program has garnered some of the top recognitions in the country, including those given by the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Black Enterprise Magazine and Vetreprenuer Magazine.

Joan has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the utility industry. At AT&T (formerly Pacific Bell and SBC), she served as Executive Director of Supplier Diversity Programs where she led the creation of a best-in-class program. Joan has received multiple prestigious awards and recognition for her work in Supplier Diversity, including the first ever NMSDC 2014 Trailblazer Award. In 2013, Joan was inducted into the WBE Hall of Fame for her tireless work advocating on behalf of women business owners. Currently, in addition to the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, she is on the board of directors of the National Utilities Diversity Council, the Western Region Minority Supplier Development Council, the Cal Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, The Institute for Supply Management’s Supplier Diversity Group and serves as the Treasurer of WEConnect International.

Judy Levin
Center for Environmental Health
Judy Levin is the Pollution Prevention Director at the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). CEH’s mission is to protect the public from exposure to toxic chemicals and to support business practices that are safe for public health and the environment. For the past 11 years, Judy has led CEH’s Purchaser Engagement Program for the Built Environment. She assists large purchasers from government, higher education, healthcare and private corporations on how to identify and procure environmentally preferable products used within the built environment. Judy consolidates the significant purchasing power of large purchasers to create a strong market signal to the industry about purchasers’ strong desires for safer products. Judy has also authored a series of resources to help purchasers identify and select healthier furniture products.

Prior to CEH, Judy had a 20+ year career as a social worker in the nonprofit sector and she co-founded a social service agency and an all-girls middle school, both of which still exist today.

Billy Linstead Goldsmith
Fair Trade USA
Billy came to Fair Trade Campaigns from an eight year career in the grassroots environmental movement. He recruited, trained and developed hundreds of grassroots leaders and facilitated campaigns on national, statewide, and local campaigns. He has mobilized fence-line communities, organized public hearings and other local actions to hold polluters accountable. Upon traveling with his wife, Rachel to Venezuela, Billy was inspired to focus his career on international justice and embraced the opportunity to contribute to the Fair Trade movement as the first full-time National Coordinator for Fair Trade Campaigns. In just over 8 years since taking on the role, Billy has grown the program from less than 20 community-based efforts to nearly 300 local campaigns, including the launch of Fair Trade Colleges & Universities in 2010, which has grown to over 100 campuses across the country raising awareness among the campus community and securing commitments to sourcing Fair Trade products.

Stephanie Lopez
University of California, Office of the President
Stephanie Lopez is the Special Programs Manager for Procurement Services at the University of
California, Office of the President. Stephanie oversees UC’s systemwide Commercial Card and
Sustainable Procurement programs, with a focus on engaging stakeholders across the University system
to ensure that resources, tools and policy align to best serve UC’s core missions of teaching, research
and public service.
With over 7 years of procurement and project management experience, Stephanie is committed to
driving value and efficiency for an organization as diverse and complex as the University of California.
Stephanie is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and is a Certified Professional in Supply
Management® (CPSM®).

Sarah O'Brien
Director of Programs, SPLC
As Director of Programs, Sarah is responsible for ensuring that SPLC's many programs empower procurement and supply chain professionals around the globe to successfully implement high-impact sustainable purchasing practices. Sarah is an expert on sustainable purchasing and specifically on the procurement of more sustainable electronics. Prior to joining SPLC she was Director of the multi-stakeholder Clean Electronics Production Network (CEPN) working on the elimination of worker exposure to toxic chemicals in the electronics supply chain. For more than a decade previously, Sarah led global purchaser engagement with the EPEAT sustainable procurement tool for the Green Electronics Council. Earlier, Sarah developed and managed the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program of the nonprofit Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (now renamed Practice Greenhealth) and served as a Senior Outreach Associate for INFORM’s PBT-free purchasing program, working with states across the country on reducing their procurement of products containing mercury and other persistent toxics. Sarah has a BA from Yale University and a Masters degree in anthropology from Temple University.

Anastasia O’Rourke
Yale Carbon Containment Lab
Anastasia O’Rourke is the Managing Director of the Yale Carbon Containment Lab, researching and testing new methods for reducing and storing atmospheric carbon. Previously she was a Senior Technical Consultant with Industrial Economics Inc focusing on building strategic sustainability programs that leverage sustainability standards, ratings, products, and services, and advising a wide range of public and private sector clients on sustainable purchasing programs. Dr. O’Rourke serves as the Chair of SPLC’s Strategic Advisory Committee, and was a founding member of the SPLC Board of Directors. Dr. O’Rourke holds a B.A. (Hons, 1st Class) from Sydney University, a M.Sc. In Industrial Environmental Management from Lund University Sweden, and a Ph.D. in environmental management and finance from Yale University. She lives on the Connecticut shoreline with her husband and two sons.

Judy Panayos
Judy Panayos is the Sr. Director of Sustainability in Supply Management at Sodexo with responsibilities for sustainability and corporate responsibility in supply. Judy works to incorporate internal and client goals for sustainability and corporate responsibility into sourcing strategies including local sourcing, sustainable products, responsible supply chain practices and sustainability innovation. Previously, Judy worked in medical device manufacturing at Becton Dickinson (BD). Over the 10+ years at BD, Judy had oversight of various supplier programs including Sustainable Procurement, Supplier Diversity, Supplier Risk, Supplier Quality Management, and Supplier Recognition. She also held positions in Strategic Sourcing, Planning, Distribution, Transportation and Customer Service. Previous to BD, Judy has over fifteen years of experience in key roles in Performing Arts Logistics Management, including urban renewal projects including government, industry and non-profit partnerships. Judy has a Corporate Responsibility certificate and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University and a B.F.A. from New York University.

Jason Pearson
Board Chair
Jason is an experienced non-profit executive, strategist, and social entrepreneur who has led the creation of several successful initiatives focused on harnessing the innovative capacity of the private sector for public good. As SPLC's first President & CEO, Jason managed its launch and early development from 2012 through 2017. He continues to provide leadership to the Council in his current role as Board Chair.

Previously, as the first President & CEO of GreenBlue (2003-2010), he grew multi-stakeholder sustainability initiatives in a number of sectors, including the Sustainable Packaging Coalition for packaging and CleanGredients for chemical products. Since 2010, Jason’s consultancy, TRUTHstudio, has provided strategy, visualization, and facilitation support to organizations working in the public interest, including the the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the World Wildlife Fund, and the World Resources Institute, and numerous private foundations. Each engagement has focused on developing effective, long-term sustainability strategies that connect a specific action plan with larger objectives.

Angela Shell
State of California
Angela Shell is the Chief Procurement Officer for the State of California. Angela has more than 23 years
of experience in state service, most recently as the division chief and chief procurement officer for
Caltrans’ Division of Procurement and Contracts. In her role at Caltrans, Angela administered the
Caltrans Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Small Business (SB) and Disabled Veteran Business
Enterprise (DVBE) programs, and she served as the SB and DVBE advocate, Caltrans DBE liaison officer
and external contract compliance officer including Title VI and Title VII requirements. She has extensive
experience working with the small business community as well as the  construction industry and other
external stakeholders related to California contracting and procurement processes.

Past Board Members

Lynne Olson
Lynne is a Ph.D. Corporate Scientist, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and has been part of the Ecolab team for over 30 years. Her experience includes product development, as well as, project and program management. She joined the first team trained as Ecolab Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Black Belts, and was the project leader on several significant process improvement projects. After the LSS work, Lynne joined the team that defined and deployed the current Ecolab Corporate Sustainability group. It defines the global corporate Sustainability strategy, and develops resources and supports Ecolab business units tools and training around the Ecolab corporate sustainability initiatives. Her role on the team is focused on Product Responsibility initiatives.

Sam Hummel
President & CEO (ex officio; non-voting)
As President & CEO, Sam leds SPLC’s strategy, program delivery, partnerships, and fundraising. Sam has led SPLC’s engagement with Fortune 500 corporations, government agencies, universities, and NGOs since recruiting the Council's founding members in 2013. As a trusted advisor, Sam provided members with executive support for implementing strategic sustainable purchasing programs that drive innovative business practices throughout supply chains. In his prior role as Director of Outreach & Operations, Sam created SPLC's membership program and created the in-person and virtual collaboration spaces that enable SPLC’s vibrant community of sustainable procurement leaders to network, share best practices, and execute projects together.

Prior to his work with SPLC, Sam was instrumental in growing the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), whose Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System provides guidance and recognition to institutions of higher education for sustainability leadership. Sam created and oversaw the green purchasing program for Duke University & Health System while working as the university's Environmental Sustainability Coordinator. He got his start in responsible supply chain work in 1999 while helping Duke University develop programs to eliminate sweatshops from its licensed apparel supply chains. As an entrepreneur, Sam has experience marketing renewable energy and organic food.

Chris OBrien
Chris is the Director of Higher Education Programs at Altenex, working with colleges and universities across North America to help the higher education sector catalyze the transformation of America's electricity supply to clean and renewable sources. He is also a founding board director of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, and serves on the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) STARS Steering Committee. Previously, he worked at the American University, where he was Director of Sustainability from 2009 to 2015. He was responsible for all sustainability functions, including the university's commitment to achieving climate-neutrality by the year 2020. Chris continues to teach about energy, climate, carbon markets and sustainable purchasing in the Sustainability Management program at AU's Kogod School of Business.

Yalmaz Saddiqi
MGM Resorts International
A global expert in sustainable purchasing, Yalmaz Saddiqi was the Founding Chair of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council. Yalmaz is Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at MGM Resorts International. He is responsible for leading a range of environmental sustainability initiatives for the company, including green conventions, food waste reduction, waste management, sustainable purchasing and communications. He will also develop an advanced sustainability strategy framework for MGM Resorts, including metrics and targets, project accountability and roles, and reporting strategy.

Prior to joining MGM Resorts, Yalmaz was Senior Director, Sustainability at Office Depot, where he set strategic direction and helped integrate a series of social and environmental sustainability programs into the global organization. During his ten years with Office Depot he helped the company grow sales of environmentally preferable products from $1.2 Billion to $3.2 Billion, reduced carbon emissions by over 40%, and reach a ranking of #1 greenest large retailer America in Newsweek magazine's green rankings for three consecutive years.

Benjamin Jarrett
Kimberly Clark
Ben Jarrett is the North American Sustainability Leader at Kimberly-Clark Professional, where he leads business development and innovation centered on Sustainability. Specifically, he focuses on dynamic supply chain improvement, post-consumer waste strategy and green energy projects. Prior to his current role, he developed the Sustainability Strategy for Kimberly-Clark Professional’s North American Industrial Business.

Ben holds a BA in Classical and Medieval Studies from Bates College and received his MBA from Goizueta Business School. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Katie and their spoiled West Highland Terrier, Kanye Westie.

Johanna Kertesz
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Johanna Kertesz is an Environmental Specialist at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, where she has worked since 2008 on sustainable purchasing and integrated solid waste management policy, planning, and technical assistance. She currently coordinates the State of Minnesota’s Sustainable Purchasing Program, assisting the state with making purchases that demonstrate the highest level of environmental, social, and economic responsibility.

Johanna holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and San Francisco State University, and never imagined that her marine ecology training would lead her to a rewarding career in sustainable government purchasing in a landlocked state.

SPLC provides me with the community and resources I need to make the State of Minnesota’s sustainable purchasing program grow and thrive. Being on the Board of an organization whose mission I believe so strongly in is incredibly rewarding.

Cynthia Cummis
World Resources Institute
Cynthia Cummis is the Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation in WRI's Business Center. Ms. Cummis is a well-known expert in GHG accounting and brings more than 18 years of experience working on the issue of global climate change. Prior to WRI, Cynthia was the Director of Carbon Management at Clear Carbon Consulting where she managed carbon quantification and management projects for multiple Fortune 500 clients as well as large public institutions. Ms. Cummis was the Founding Director of U.S. EPA’s Climate Leaders Program, a voluntary program that partnered with businesses to develop corporate-wide greenhouse gas inventories and reduction goals. For more than 5 years, she led the design and implementation of the program and oversaw the growth of the program to more than 90 corporate Partners.

Cynthia holds a MPA in environmental policy from Columbia University in New York City and a B.S. from Cornell University in Ithaca N.Y.

Mark Rossolo
UL Environment
Mark Rossolo is the director of public affairs for UL Environment where he leads the organization’s strategic outreach and advocacy efforts. Representing UL on the national, state, and local levels, Mark campaigns on behalf of the organization to drive public awareness about issues related to indoor air quality, green products and sustainability. Mark is a sought after resource on green building and sustainable procurement and has given speeches and training sessions all over North America on indoor IAQ, energy efficiency and sustainability.

Mark has a long and varied background in the sustainability, green building and public policy realms. He helped develop the first green building rating system in the U.S. to be certified as an official American National Standard, serves on the Green Products Roundtable and is a member of board for the Interior Design Collaborative-OR. Mark has also worked with policymakers across the U.S. and has helped pass legislation aimed at increasing green building practices at the federal, state and local levels.

Jonathan Rifkin
Green Electronics
Jonathan Rifkin is the Director for Strategic Partnerships for the Green Electronics Council. In his role he is focused on identifying and collaborating with organizations that share GEC’s dedication to sustainable electronics and making them available to large-scale purchasers. Jonathan brings to GEC a unique perspective, which is informed by years as a procurement subject matter expert, and frequent and meaningful engagement with environmental experts, the manufacturing sector, and the standard setting world.

Prior to joining GEC, Jonathan spent 10 years in the public sector working for the District of Columbia’s Office of Contracting and Procurement. During this time he developed and managed the District of Columbia’s Sustainable Purchasing Program, which won two national awards and is recognized a leader in the realm of sustainable purchasing. Jonathan currently serves as an Honorary Member of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), is a member of the Board of Directors for the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, and maintains a Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) Certification from the UPPCC. Jonathan believes in, and works to create, a world in which all electronics are environmentally preferable and developed and used in a socially responsible manner.

Dan Pleshko
Lockheed Martin
Dan has over 32 years experience transforming and improving operational performance in supply chain, quality, operations and program roles across a variety of global industries.

Bjorn Claeson
Electronics Watch
Based in Sweden, Björn has more than 15 years experience addressing public procurement and labour rights in global supply chains. He cofounded the US national advocacy network SweatFree Communities, which has been instrumental in dozens of state and local campaign successes aimed at using taxpayer money to protect workers' rights in global supply chains. He helped set up a US national network of public sector buyers, the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium, to encourage public sector buyers to address labour rights in global supply chains collaboratively. Björn also served as Senior Policy Analyst with the Washington DC based International Labor Rights Forum, authoring several reports on labour rights and safety in Bangladeshi apparel factories. He is trained in cultural anthropology with a Ph. D. from the Johns Hopkins University.

Lynda Rankin
Province of Nova Scotia
Lynda has worked in the field of environmental protection and sustainability in a variety of positions with both public and private sector organizations. Her work has spanned issues ranging from food production, biological pest control, pesticide use and management, to pollution prevention and envrionmental management for SMEs, municipalities and institutions.

More recently she has focused on the development of green/sustainable procurement policy and related initiatives within the Public Sector.

In 2004/05 she led the development of Nova Scotia Environment and Labour's Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy and worked with Nova Scotia Environment to support its implementation. She also played a key role in the development of a Sustainable Procurement Policy for the Nova Scotia Government. In 2009, she left the Department of Environment to move to the Department of Economic and Rural Development to lead the implementation of the Government-wide Sustainable Procurement Policy.