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.
Hannah Watts | Chief of Staff
Hannah is a fourth year student at the University of Florida, studying Accounting and Agriculture and Natural Resource Ethics and Policy. She became involved with Turning Green in 2016 after becoming a Project Green Challenge Finalist and interned with Turning Green in Summer 2017. She credits her passion for sustainability to Project Green Challenge, and loves working with Turning Green because she strongly believes in their mission to advocate for environmentally and socially responsible choices through students. Outside of Turning Green, Hannah serves as the Fair Trade University Coordinator through Fair Trade Campaigns to bring awareness for fair trade products on her campus. She enjoys yoga, nature walks with her dogs, and visiting California.
Hannah Watts | PGC Mentor Coordinator
Senior, University of Florida
Hannah Watts is a senior 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!”
Jinno Vicencio | PGC Director of Happiness
Junior, Orange Coast College
Jinno Vicencio is a sophomore at Orange Coast College, pursuing a degree in Agriculture. Alongside his teammate, Lauren Kim, he was awarded Project Green Challenge 2017 Champion. Jinno is passionate about the environment and making strides to reduce our waste, support local businesses, and shifting consumer habits to a more conscious one. Jinno wants to show people that sustainability is for everyone, whether they are a person of color, low-income, or LGBT+. The fight to preserve our environment has a place for anyone and everyone!
Hannah Cohen | PGC Mentor
Sophomore, Michigan State University
Hannah is a sophomore at Michigan State University. She is majoring in Professional Writing with a focus in Environmental Sustainability, and Writing for Communities and Cultures. In high school, Hannah become informed about sustainability after taking a course focused on food systems and organic agriculture. She has since taken part in Sustainable campus clubs and organizations to help engage and inform other students. She was inspired by the work that Turning Green has has done and is excited to take part in helping to mobilize and educate student in the future. In her free time, Hannah is passionate about art, music, and traveling.
Erin Cady | PGC Mentor
Senior, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Erin Cady is a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studying Natural Resources and Environmental Science. Erin joined the Turning Green community after participating in and being chosen as a Finalist for Project Green Challenge 2016. Through PGC and Turning Green, Erin has developed an immense passion for environmental education and teaching her peers about how environmental issues affect minority groups and underprivileged communities. Erin hopes to bring her love of writing and public speaking to a career in environmental education and activism.