As an inquisitive only child growing up on a farm in central Iowa, I found early comfort in nature, projects, and all things outside. This interest led me to study all sciences in college and ultimately, move into the educational field. With that opportunity, others presented themselves. I began managing projects out of the Port of Seattle for the Aleutian Islands. As a result, as a family, we were fortunate enough to spend summers in Alaska and share experiences seen or known by few. This was transforming. I was approached with an opportunity to be part of building and executing a sustainable agri-business, the largest aquaponic facility in the world. A coupled system that utilized the nutrient rich water from the raising of the first land-based Atlantic Salmon in the US to grow organically certified leafy greens at a commercial scale. As I learned of packaging options and witnessed dependency on plastics, I learned of technology that I’m proud to be associated with today. I now contribute packaging alternatives/products that globally, will find receptive audiences. We now offer molded fiber with is PFAS free and Cradle-to-Cradle and a biopolymer that is certified at a gold standard level. With experience in raw acquisition, compounding, manufacturing, and global supply chain to sell at both retail and wholesale, I believe being part of an advisory group to assist SPC initiatives continues my lifelong journey of learning and making this world better.
Why do you want to serve on the Executive Committee?
I believe that it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the earth. I have made it my life long personal goal to continually learn and find ways to improve our environment. As General Manager for Superior Fresh, I have firsthand knowledge with aquaponics and regenerative farming, creating a diversified ecosystem. My involvement today in fully compostable products and packaging with NatureStar Global has provided me with a vision of what the future could look like if organizations were more environmentally conscious to access and address the environmental impacts of every purchase. As a science teacher for 22 years, it is intriguing for me to be in a field that focuses on finding ways to reduce plastic, EPS, deforestation, chemical processing and focus on cradle-to-cradle alternatives. Serving on the Executive Committee would provide opportunities to hear the collective learnings from across the industry and hopefully I will be able to impart some of my knowledge to help others in the sustainable quest.
What do you think you would contribute as an Executive Committee representative?
I feel it is important for organizations to become involved in things that matter. Sustainability in the packaging industry is not only my bread and butter but something that I am invested in and am passionate about. Imparting some of my experiences and entrepreneurial efforts (wins and losses) could possibly help others reach conclusions more quickly. I am a firm believer that you need to continue to seek and learn in this industry as it is ever changing, and innovation is everywhere. I am a no-nonsense kind of guy, cards on the table and straight talker but I am also a good listener. I enjoy hearing new ideas and I welcome collaboration with a team that has the same focus for success in creating a more positive and sustainable environment for all.