Acterra Staff

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Lauren Weston – Executive Director (effective June 17, 2019) Lauren has over a decade of leadership experience in several well-regarded nonprofits including the Breakthrough Collaborative and the Hiller Aviation Museum. Most recently, she was Director of Philanthropy for the West Coast Region at World Bicycle Relief. Originally from Northern California, Lauren is an alumna of New York University, where she received her master’s degree, and holds a bachelor’s from the University of California–Davis.

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Matthew O’Grady — Interim Executive Director  Matt is a proven leader in the nonprofit, public benefit sector with more than 35 years of experience in management, governance, mergers and acquisitions, talent development, executive search, program design, fundraising, and strategy.

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Juli Calderone – Office Manager Juli has over a decade of experience in executive administration and operations management. She started her first business when she was 13, and since then has enjoyed working in a variety of industries, including janitorial and landscape management, retail, editing, and publishing. In 2015 she co-founded a small business with her husband. She loves organizing, creating lean systems and streamlined processes, and working with people. Non-professionally, she loves reading, reptiles, and backpacking all over the world with her husband Jack.

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Nicole Chitty – Development Director Nicole has been a Development Director since 2006 focusing most of her career in the areas of major gifts, corporate and business partnerships, planned giving, and strategic planning. She is enthusiastic about walking alongside donors, learning their stories, and connecting them with a vision about which they are passionate. She loves helping organizations with strategy and prospect development, and enjoys creating structure around processes that lead to best practices. She has raised money for small non-profits, large non-profits, small independent schools, and large universities. She holds a BA in Communications from Auburn University and has earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive certification.

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Wendy Chou – Communications and Outreach Manager  Wendy has extensive experience in communications and outreach for academic institutions, nonprofits, and the private sector with a particular eye to bridging the gap between technical experts and grassroots activism. She also currently serves as newsletter editor at Citizens' Climate Lobby-San Mateo County. Wendy's background in ecosystem science and climate change includes a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from U.C. Berkeley and a BA from Harvard.

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Judi Eichler — Creative Director  Judi is a graphic designer, jewelry, and textile artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. For over 30 years, she has designed for some of the leaders in high tech such as Hewlett-Packard Company and Intuit; as well as several non profits such as the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, Los Altos History Museum, and Acterra. Her hand crafted jewelry and textiles are sold in several stores and galleries throughout California.

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Ariane Erickson — Karl Knapp GoEV Program Manager  Ariane has worked in several different capacities during her tenure at Acterra. She currently manages Acterra’s new Karl Knapp Go EV Program, which seeks to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in the Bay Area. Prior to this, she oversaw Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards from 2006 – 2015 and worked on various projects for Acterra’s Development and Energy programs. Prior to joining Acterra, Ariane was a program manager at the UCLA Alumni Association in Los Angeles.


Danielle Flanagan — Business Partnerships for Sustainability Associate  Danielle graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Environmental Studies. Passionate about the environment, she has interned for The Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington Sea Grant, and Alliance for Climate Education.

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Debbie Mytels — Special Projects Consultant  A former Associate Director at Acterra, Debbie remains engaged in supporting Acterra’s energy and climate programs through community outreach, grant-writing and writing blog pieces. Debbie previously initiated the Acterra’s Green@Home program, founded Acterra's former "Be the Change" leadership training program, and started Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards, now in its 27th year. In her 30-year career with environmental groups, Debbie has filled leadership roles with various organizations, including Foundation for Global Community, Canopy, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, the Sierra Club, and six years as Executive Director of the Peninsula Conservation Center, one of the precursors of today’s Acterra.  Semi-retired, Debbie also volunteers as an Outdoor Activities Docent with the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District and chairs Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action.  Debbie earned a B.A. in Social Psychology at UC Berkeley and studied journalism at Stanford.

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Julie Noblitt — Energy and Climate Program Director  Julie joined Acterra in 2017 with long career in strategic management of nonprofits facing rapid technological change and transforming market environments. A serial social entrepreneur, she is passionate about inspiring action to protect the environment. She founded a Silicon Valley startup devoted to creating alternatives to single-use, petroleum-based plastics, and is founding board member for, a university-based environmental education startup that creates next-generation science curriculum. For three years she was Community Manager at Benetech Labs, convening national working groups to create systemic solutions for digital image accessibility for the visually impaired. She holds an MBA in systems thinking and sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, including a Cleantech Certificate in Sustainable Energy Management. She earned her BA in Asian Studies from Cornell University.

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Hillary M. Rupert — Acting Director of Business Partnerships for Sustainability  Hillary is a seasoned Social and Environmental Sustainability and Management Consultant. She has a track record of building excellent relationships and liaising with a variety of high-profile organizations including Apple, Cisco, Intel, and the City of Palo Alto. Hillary’s entrepreneurial drive and business acumen is balanced by a commitment to ethics and responsibility. Throughout her career, Hillary has built and led projects on the cutting edge of sustainability such as responsible sourcing, electric vehicle deployment, alternative health care, and organizational change. Hillary holds an MBA in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University and a BS in Social Science with Honors from Portland State University. She has been published in Conscious Company Magazine and has lectured on sustainability related issues on both local and international stages.

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Violet Saena — Resilient Communities Program Manager  Violet has served as an international climate change expert for over 10 years, being sought after to work with various groups in a wide range of Less Developed Countries (LDCs) to protect their communities from the impacts of climate change. For four years she worked as the Principal Climate Change Officer for the government of Samoa, supporting climate change policy improvements in her home country, and she has served as the liaison between Pacific islands and Caribbean nations to ensure regional coordination and support for small island states in international climate policies. Before joining Acterra, Violet served for several years with Sustainable Silicon Valley, leading research on sustainability issues and serving as the Project Manager for the East Palo Alto Net Positive Project, for which she wrote grants, project proposals and coordinated community outreach.   


Patti Sexton — Home Energy Advisor  Patti is Acterra’s residential energy efficiency expert. She provides support to participants in Acterra’s energy-saving programs, engages with local residents at community outreach events, makes presentations at workplaces, and trains volunteers about energy efficiency. Prior to joining Acterra in 2013, Patti worked at Ecology Action of Santa Cruz and the County of San Mateo. She also spent 15 years in computer and tablet technology product development. Patti is a BPI-trained Building Analyst (U.S. Building Performance Institute) and has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Florida. When not working on GHG reduction and energy efficiency projects, Patti is a Master Composter teaching backyard composting and vermicomposting at schools and community centers.

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Bethany Taylor — Development Manager  Bethany is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in Environmental Studies. Before joining Acterra, Bethany worked in the energy sector, helping to carry out energy efficiency incentive programs in the Pacific Northwest and California. She has also interned with the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, Green Seattle Partnership, and Mass Audubon, where her focus was outreach and environmental education.