aboutstickman.gifStaff & Board

Sarah Jo cropped.jpgSarah Jo Lightner, Executive Director - Born in Missouri and raised in Nebraska, I studied agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska and silversmithing at Oregon College of Arts and Craft. I then worked in the restaurant business for 23 years, with 12 of those spent in Portland Oregon running my own Creole restaurant, Acadia Bistro. I moved to the Valley in 2010 and built a silversmithing studio at TwispWorks and became the mom of twin girls. Before joining the Methow Recycles family in 2021, I worked at the Confluence Gallery for six years, and was the Executive Director there for three years. Fun Fact: I've been to 83 Phish shows and counting. I can be reached at sarahjo@methowrecycles.org.

IMG_2819 3 (1).jpgKristen Pearcy (KP), Campus Programs Manager – I was raised and schooled on the east coast.  A stint abroad in Germany with my family during middle school inspired a life long love for travel and I think at that age it was influential to see how other parts of the world consume and deal with waste.  Shortly after graduating college in 1994, a love for wild and wooly places inspired relocation to the PNW. I called Seattle home for 20+ years, working in international logistics and supply chain systems for most of my career, taking a little detour to horticulture school and a small garden design/maintenance business for a few years.  Inspired in 2017 to make  life changes to realign personal values and work, to find work/life balance and community, I relocated to the Methow Valley in 2018 after a long road trip searching for the ’next place’. During the road trip, it was difficult at times to find good recycling and waste reduction options and it was wonderful to visit the Methow Recyles facility for the first time. To find not just a recycling facility but programs focused on reducing waste overall, repurposing and repairing materials, and promoting thoughtful consumption was so inspiring.  Methow Recycles and our community proves that small towns can have successful recycling programs.   I’m really excited about how Methow Recycles has an eye to the challenges ahead of us, such as the boom in plastics production and waste, and sees overall waste reduction and sustainable consumer practices as the overall goal. You can email me at kp@methowrecycles.org.

akvicalaweb.jpgAspen Kvicala, Education and Outreach Coordinator - Early adventures in my Northern California home filled me with a deep love for the outdoors. I was inspired at an early age to learn that we have choices in the way we live our lives which can positively impact our planet and was determined to help others to want to make those choices. From putting simple cardboard boxes in my classrooms and organizing trash pick-ups, to participating in green campus initiatives at UC Santa Cruz, then returning as a naturalist to the outdoor school that gave me that initial spark, I have continued to follow my love for environmental education. As a resident of the Methow Valley I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to continue this amazing work and be a part of the vision to make the valley a fully sustainable, thriving community. You can email me at aspen@methowrecycles.org

141621978_10159196993169579_720766010307654984_n (1).jpgJessica Kelley, Digital Marketing Coordinator I began volunteering at Methow Recycles when I first moved to the valley in 2019, and quickly realized this was an awesome local organization, with a crew of dedicated volunteers and staff doing important work. After volunteering for a few months, I was thrilled to be offered a paid position, and love my job working the front gate as well as helping with social media, website revisions, and other digital marketing. When I’m not at Methow Recycles, you’ll find me exploring the mountains and rivers of the North Cascades. I also own my own endurance coaching business, and am an avid photographer, reader, and writer. I’m happily married, and a proud mom to a Liberty Bell Junior High student. My favorite time of day is right after my first sip of coffee. You can reach me at jessica@methowrecycles.org.

image_50402049 (1).jpgSheah Ellis, Recycling Program Coordinator - I am originally from Charleston, South Carolina and have a bachelors degree in biology. I worked on a fire ecology crew studying the effects of fire on natural ecosystems for the National Park Service for seven years. I was also a wildland firefighter and fought fires all over the country. After moving to the valley in 2014 and leaving the fire world in 2015, I worked for Bluebird Grain Farms. Local organic food has always been a passion of mine and I loved working in that industry with such a forward-thinking Methow Valley business. After a few years at home raising my two kids I am so excited to get on board with Methow Recycles. As a parent, I am deeply concerned about the waste in our environment, and I am so grateful to get this opportunity to be involved in changing the way we handle and manage waste with this fun and innovative community- supported organization. When I’m not at work you can find me in my garden or in my kitchen, camping with my husband and kids, skate skiing, mountain biking, hiking, trail running, fishing, or any other activity you can enjoy in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest! I can be reached at sheah@methowrecycles.org.

PWI_headshots-GwenVernon (1).jpgGwen Vernon, Board member - With our world of Amazon packaging, take-out food containers, and more incentives to consume than conserve, it’s really hard to reduce waste. I think many Methow residents and businesses want to create less garbage and just need prompting and easier paths to make it happen. I grew up composting and recycling, and then professionally helped businesses start recycling and waste prevention programs. Over the course of 20 years’ visiting the Methow, I watched Methow Recycles evolve from a recycling center to a community leader in waste reduction education. I joined the board because I like the direction the organization is headed, and because I now have a home here and hope to use my background and passion to help advocate for a waste-free Methow Valley. 

Jamie P_web.jpgJamie Petitto, Board Member - Like all children growing up, my parents determinedly taught me how to brush my teeth -- and, more importantly to me, they also told me why: to keep my teeth (and, in effect, my life) as healthy as possible. Those same efforts were applied in the household for recycling, and thus I've done it all my life. I just can't not do it, because I know why it's so important.
I joined the Methow Recycles Board because one of the organization's core missions is teaching the Methow Valley how to brush its proverbial teeth when it comes to waste reduction; our board and staff will always be working to keep you, the community, and our planet healthy.

ShirleeEvans_web.jpgShirlee Evans, Vice President -  Having grown up in the Methow Valley, it is wonderful to return to this community 40 years later and find such a commitment to recycling shared by local businesses and individuals. I am excited to help move this commitment to the next level by learning to reduce and reuse. The population of the valley reflects that of the Earth, more and more humans seeking to coexist and to thrive in a sustainable way that preserves our precious natural world.  Shared resources such as the Tool Library and Take It or Leave It and undoubtedly the non-profit organization Methow Recycles itself, are our future. As a board member, I look forward to hearing suggestions from community members. Together we can make a difference.

rsz_carol_runyon.jpgCarol Runyon, Secretary - After living in Montana for many years, working both as an elementary school teacher and an active community volunteer, my husband and I relocated to the Methow Valley in 2014.  Throughout my career, whether working in an indoor classroom setting or outdoors, helping students develop schoolyard habitats, I shared my love of the natural world, always emphasizing the importance of preserving it for the generations to come. Later on, as a volunteer at Olympic National Park, I shared this same passion with visitors, encouraging them to leave their campsites just a little better that they found them. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board, the Methow Recycles staff, and the community as a whole to inspire and facilitate resource conservation here in the beautiful Methow Valley.

rsz_billduguay.jpgBill Duguay, Board Member - I taught third grade in Chelan for many years but now run my own wildland firefighting business full-time, Methow River Wildfire. I live on Gold Creek with my wife Jennifer (Mendro), daughter Johnnie and son Willy. I love to hike, spend time with my family, hunt with my dogs and float the river. I try to instill the importance of recycling into everyone I know and am willing to go the extra mile to make sure things get reused or recycled. Sometimes my family teases me because I've been known to dig through garbage to make sure things are recycled properly. I am serious about my stewardship of the earth.

RyanPhoto_web.jpgRyan Fortier, Treasurer - I grew up in the “generation-Y” era and in a large city. Recycling, though new, was an accepted part of life. Then I moved to multiple rural communities and found recycling to either be severely diminished or non-existent.  It wasn’t until joining the Methow community that I realized it was not a lack of desire to recycle in rural communities that influenced availability, but a challenge of logistics. That challenge to make Methow Recycles continue to work in this community is what interested me to want to support the staff and volunteers of this great organization.

Michelle-Dewey.jpgMichelle Dewey, Board Member - I started volunteering at Methow Recycles to do something direct and positive and measurable to improve our local environment - reducing, reusing, and/or recycling our (otherwise) wasted resources. What keeps me involved in the organization is the positive energy and attitude of everyone involved in it - our executive director, our customers, our employees, our volunteers, and my fellow board members.

Nick b&w_web.jpgNick Brandenburg, Board Member - Having grown up in the Valley, and returning here with my wife and kids in 2016, I'm overjoyed by the work Methow Recycles does. Recycling and waste prevention have become strong values for me, and I'm honored to be able to serve alongside Methow Recycles in any way I can. As the Manager of North Valley Lumber in Winthrop, I'm also excited to participate in, and help grow, programs that Methow Recycles has developed for businesses that aid in reducing waste, and helping to recycle more.

missy.jpgweb.jpgMissy LeDuc, President - My husband Rick and I live in Mazama and own and run The Mazama Store. Growing up in the deli business side by side with my Dad, and now working at the Mazama Store with my own family, I have developed a deep appreciation for food. But excess packaging and chronic food waste found in the industry has left me looking for solutions. It excites me to be working with Methow Recycles who cares about the health of our community and are stewards and innovators of waste reduction. Together we can be an example of a successful community where we can work together to develop new habits and systems for food waste, reusable materials, along with careful recycling for a more zero waste lifestyle.

Casey Bouchard.jpgCasey Bouchard, Board Member - My first job was working the scales at my parents aluminum recycling yard.  Ever since I've had a passion for reuse, recycling and environmental stewardship. Since 2009 I've been following that passion in the Methow. My first business, Recycling Roundup, offered collection services to local businesses. In 2013 Recycling Roundup joined forces with Methow Valley Sanitation to create WasteWise. As my businesses have evolved, Methow Recycles has been a steady and supportive partner. It's my pleasure to serve on the board of this incredible organization as we continue our work to inspire resource conservation though waste prevention, materials reuse and recycling in our community.