Judi Shils | Executive Director + Founder
Judi has spent the last 24 years of her life spearheading grassroots community projects. The dearth of answers around Marin County’s high cancer rates led Judi to found the nonprofit Search for the Cause, now Turning Green, a global student-led movement advocating for healthy food, safer products, and ethical businesses. She is also the force behind The Conscious Kitchen, a paradigm shifting model for school food service, transitioning school meals from pre-packaged, processed, heat-and-serve to chef-prepared, scratch cooked local, organic food, cooked in on-site zero waste kitchens. Believing that access to healthy food is a right, not a privilege, she began this work on a campus where 95% of children live below the poverty line, qualifying for free-and-reduced government-subsidized school meals. Moving to the Bay Area in 1989 and becoming a mother to daughter Erin changed the course of Judi’s life. Prior to this, she was an Emmy Award-winning television producer for 25 years with ABC Sports, FOX and Oxygen, founded The Diary Project forum for youth at the onset of the internet, and ran a successful student art exhibition, Celebrate Arts. Judi has been a consultant with the California Coastal Commission around public education for the past two decades.
Sue Waiss | Program Administrator
Sue has worked with Turning Green for 8 years and has helped bring all of our key programs to life. She is passionate about sustainability, education, and bringing our programs to students across the country and around the world. Prior to TG, Sue worked as a Project Manager and Studio Manager in the graphic design industry and co-founded two video production companies.
Megan Fuerst | Executive Assistant
Megan is working towards a degree in Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability with a specialization in Policy Analysis. Megan joined TG’s student advisory board after completing the 3rd annual Project Green Challenge, where she won runner-up. She is most passionate about the industrial hemp movement, and hopes to use her degree to help re-legalize industrial hemp in America. Megan founded and is now president of the first official turning green chapter club, Project Green OSU.
Hannah Watts | PGC Mentor Coordinator
Junior, University of Florida
Hannah Watts is a junior studying accounting at the University of Florida, with hopes to work for a business that has a passion for sustainability in the future. Hannah was a Project Green Challenge 2016 Finalist and a Turning Green Summer Intern in 2017. Some of her favorite things include dogs, yoga, and fair trade coffee. “When I started Project Green Challenge, I had no idea how much my life could change in one month. I found new passions I didn’t know I had, and it impacted every aspect of my life. It was the best decision I have ever made!”
Jamie Wertz | PGC Mentor
Sophomore, University of Virginia
Jamie Wertz is a second-year at the University of Virginia, studying global sustainability and planning to pursue a career in environmental policy or law. Jamie participated in PGC 2016 and it completely turned her life around. She was a Turning Green Summer Intern in 2017 and the PGC 2017 Prize Curator. If not trying to protect the planet, she can be found at a farmer's market or rock climbing. "I gained so much knowledge and insight in such a short period of time, providing me with the proper insight to see how I want to change the world through my career."
Jenny Fang | PGC Mentor
Junior, Claremont McKenna College
Jenny Fang is a junior at Claremont McKenna College in Southern California, studying Economics and Engineering. She was a Project Green Challenge Finalist in 2014 and has been working with Turning Green in various capacities since. She loves grocery shopping, cooking and eating, basically anything that has to do with food, and she also loves spending time with her friends and family. "PGC made me more conscious about how our daily lives affect the people and environment around me, making me more thoughtful about the choices that I make and the actions that I take. This has made me happier and healthier in mind and body, and I've seen my relationships with people grow stronger as a result."
Madeleine Welsch | PGC Mentor
Illustrator and Motion Graphics Artist
Madeleine Welsch is an illustrator and motion graphics artist currently based in the Bay Area. Her rural upbringing in Massachusetts fostered an insatiable call to answer the question, “What impact do I have here?” Madeleine won Project Green Challenge in 2013 and credits Turning Green for inspiring her mission to explore environmental issues through illustration and narrative motion. Madeleine has worked for Brooklyn-based artist Lesley Dill and in the graphic design department at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Center at Eagle Hill in Hardwick, Massachusetts; a fellow at the Sitka Fellows Program in Sitka, Alaska; and is a current resident at the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California, where she is working on an animation that examines the process of butchery in an imagined food system. "When I decided to participate in Project Green Challenge as a freshman at Skidmore College, I had no idea how my passion for the environment would relate to my future as an artist. PGC really connected the dots for me: suddenly, I was surrounded by an amazing community of like-minded peers and mentors who were using their skills in science, organizing, education, media, etc. to show up for the same issues I cared about. I feel extremely grateful for all that I've learning alongside the Turning Green family and look forward to taking part in this transformative experience for years to come!”
Tracey Wingate | PGC Mentor
Senior, Skidmore College
Tracey Wingate is a senior at Skidmore College, majoring in Environmental Studies. She became involved with Turning Green two years ago as a PGC 2015 Finalist. She is especially interested in sustainable agriculture and its potential to mitigate climate change. She believes strongly that everyone deserves access to healthy, sustainably grown food that does not harm the environment or anyone involved in its production and processing. “PGC helped me discover my passion for mobilizing to save the planet and gave me concrete ideas about how I can make a difference on Skidmore’s campus.”