Rebecca is collaborative and strategic leader with over 25 years in leadership and 20 years of retail operations experience. She worked at Whole Foods Market for 14 years, has prior experience in the financial services and high tech industries and an MBA in eCommerce and IT Management from NC State University.
She connects with the community through volunteer work ranging from serving on nonprofit boards, to running fundraising events. With a very logical nature, she values art and creativity as a way to keep her mind open to new ideas. As an avid hiker, she recognizes the need for stewardship of the environment and continually evaluates her daily choices to reduce her ecological footprint.
Rebecca moved to Austin from Durham, NC, the home of The Scrap Exchange, a reuse center that has been active since 1991
Carole grew up in Houston, daughter of an Engineer and Homemaker. Her dad was the type to fix something rather than buy new. All his hobbies revolved around making stuff. She followed suit, learning to quilt, sew, and wield a mean glue gun.
After graduating from UT in Electrical Engineering, Carole hired on at Motorola, Inc and worked there for over 17 years. Eventually she moved to the next phase of her life, that of being a stay at home mom. As a mom with small kids, their crafts involved using bubble wrap, egg cartons, blister packaging, along with crayons, glue and paint.
When her daughter hit 2nd grade, she took over leadership of her Girl Scout troop and she’s been active in Scouting ever since. They’ve tried to keep a light foot print in the troop, using durable cups, bowls and utensils during meetings as well as recyclable and reuse items for projects and crafts. She also started and “Go Green Team” at Lee Elementary.
Katy’s admiration for creative genius, impactful problem-solving, and the concept of significantly reduced waste drew her to ACR. She grew up in Austin and graduated from the University of Texas. Katy is now a CPA at Atchley & Associates, LLP, where she focuses on non-profit tax and consulting work. Katy enjoys being able to combine her professional skill with her passion for financial literacy and helping the non-profit community.
Leslie has worked in the education field for a decade and believes the power of creativity and hands-on experience transforms both teaching and learning. A Texas native, she spent several years in the California Bay Area as an educator, advocate, and researcher. There, she relished the resources and inspiration offered by a variety of creative reuse organizations and left determined to help build such a resource within the Austin community.
She earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California at Berkeley and is a proud UT Austin alumna. She currently works as a project manager at UT’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Leslie comes from a long line of creative reusers and carries on the tradition by accumulating sacks of bottle caps and piles of fabric scraps that will one day become something lovely.
As an elementary educator of 19 years, Cindy frequently used recycled materials to supply class activities and dreamed of having an educator’s material exchange. After a visit to Scrap Exchange in Durham, N.C., Cindy came home to Austin excited at the reuse center possibilities, researched and found like minds at Austin Creative Reuse.
As a member of the board, she is incredibly excited at the unlimited possibilities for educational and community programming that Austin Creative Reuse will be able to offer with their soon-to-open center. “I would always sell my environmental message by telling my students they were the ‘Keepers of the Earth’. Children are innate stewards who love feeling empowered by knowing they can take sustainable actions. Austin Creative Reuse will not only have numerous opportunities to teach creative sustainability but to also live that message.”
Inspired by Gertrude Chandler Warner’s The Boxcar Children at an early age, Karen began diverting interesting and useful items from the landfill, thrifting, gardening, and refashioning at an early age. She has translated that interest into a career as a professional engineer with a focus on waste management, spill prevention, risk assessment, and reduction of stormwater pollutant discharges from industrial facilities.
Karen began creative pursuits through scrapbooking her two children’s exploits. Through scrapbooking, she learned different techniques related to color theory, the use of different media, photography, and layout. Since then, she has truly enjoyed creatively repurposing items into art pieces, yard art, and a funky henhouse. She continues repurposing by developing creative Girl Scout projects for her troops and SWAPs kits for other troop leaders. Karen views her regular stints sorting materials in the Center’s by-the-bucket section as her weekly The Artist’s Way artist’s date field trip as a means to further engender creativity.
Cory’s background is in nonprofit management, arts, and education. She graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in the Studio for Interrelated Media, where she worked with reused textiles and film. She went on to found Boston Skillshare and Skillshare Austin, creating community education events for all ages, and later received her Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the Center for Community Based Non-Profits.
For the past 9 years Cory has been working to develop a local thrift store from a small, primarily volunteer run-effort to a growing cooperative social enterprise, generating funds for grassroots nonprofits while diverting waste. She’s been inspired by connecting with the broader reuse community during that time. She recently left her position there in order to pursue an MBA in Sustainability at Bard College, with the ultimate goal of advocating for reuse as a crucial sustainability strategy in business, nonprofit, and government sectors.
Originally from Somerville, Massachusetts, Cory has lived in East Austin for 10 years with her two sons. Creative projects and adventures in natural places are her family priorities, and she blogs about connecting kids with nature and play.
Amelia grew up in France and moved to Palo Alto, California in 2002, as she was working as an IT project manager for Hewlett Packard. Work then took her to Austin in 2009.
Since she’s been in the United States, Amelia has been volunteering regularly for various nonprofits, with responsibilities ranging from volunteer lead to serving as the treasurer on two Board of Directors. She has always tried to reduce her carbon footprint by taking small steps like composting, growing her own food and upcycling materials, which is what drew her to the mission of Austin Creative Reuse. She started volunteering for ACR in the summer 2015, as they were about to open Austin’s first reuse center and needed help sorting thru donations and organizing the store. Amelia joined the ACR Board of Directors as the chair for the Systems and Procedures committee.
Amelia graduated from the nonprofit leadership and management program at the Center for Nonprofit Studies at Austin Community College in 2016.
Nancy spent the first part of her life in the DC area, but had finally had enough of the politics, cold, and traffic, so she moved to Austin. For most of the 20 years or so that she has lived here, she has been doing molecular biology research at UT Austin. She recently started working at Austin Community College’s new campus in the old abandoned Highland Mall (her office is in the old shoe dept of JC Penney’s) and is helping to build Austin’s first leaseable wet lab space.
Nancy comes from a family of creatives. All professional scientists, but with hobbies such as cooking, glass fusing and lampwork, costume design, and jewelry making. As an underpaid scientist, she took naturally to finding ways of keeping busy and to making things, without spending money. Once you have that mindset and that skill set, it’s hard to do things any other way. The fact that re-using materials is also good practice for the planet makes her heart kind of soar. On any given day, you could find her amongst the makings of puppets, jewelry, a metalsmithing project or even a delicious dinner. In addition to spending her days buying $50K laboratory instruments to outfit the space, she scours freecycle and craigslist for valuable opportunistic treasures for the lab. Maybe, someday, there will be a bio-hacker space carved out at Highland.
Sharon has over 20 years experience working in Austin education and conservation nonprofits and is a proud AmeriCorps alum. Her greatest motivation for living sustainably is wanting to instill environmental stewardship in her daughter and our next generations.
“I wanted to become part of Austin Creative Reuse because it is the perfect blending of my passions: art, education and conservation. I knew it was the right place for me the minute I walked in the door.”
Sharon earned a degree in technical writing from Illinois State University and was a high school English teacher before translating her skills into grant writing. Grant writing led to fundraising; including events and donor engagement. Sharon is the Development Coordinator for Southwest Key Programs, the 2nd largest nonprofit in Austin.
While her favorite activity is crafting or hiking with her daughter, Sharon volunteers as the Kiddie Crew Leader for the Austin Parks Foundation, a delivery driver for Meals on Wheels and reading mentor with East Austin College Prep.