History of ACR

Category Archives:History of ACR

August Volunteer Spotlight: Vernon Berger

Longtime Austin Creative Reuse Volunteer Vernon Berger is an artist who specializes in Found Object Art. Found Object Artists use or modify objects that are not traditional art materials to create their pieces.

Vernon sees the potential in things and he knew someone could reuse them but it was the nexus of the center, bringing together the artists/crafters and the objects of their creations, that he inspired him to volunteer at Austin Creative Reuse.

“I got involved from the beginning by just looking for reuse materials. That is how I found ACR. I learned about their needs and I ran across people wanting to rid of things and ACR could use these things. It always amazes me what people have to get rid of. I love the hunt and if someone can reuse it, that is a great feeling.”

A conservationist at heart, Mr. Berger is a member of the Master Naturalist for Outreach in Conservation who was raised with the fixit/salvage/reuse mindset. His love of art, advertising and promotion nurtured him to be creative with his surroundings while at the same time; “We need to conserve our environment and make it more beautiful.”

The Austin Creative Reuse Center provides Vernon a source of inspiration for his art and fuels his creativity. The center is a great resource for affordable, related materials for his projects and he likes the creative environment where he is exposed to different materials.

He also volunteers at Austin Creative Reuse because he enjoys helping and inspiring visitors to the center in their creative pursuits. “I like to nurture the inspiration” he says. “It is interesting to get into the different minds of arts and crafts. The mind is a wonderful place to explore. Love it!”

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Austin Creative Reuse’s First Executive Director

Isadora’s relationship with reuse began in the thrift stores and junk shops of Los Angeles during her teens and continued through her mid-20’s where she worked in and managed vintage stores in Berkeley and San Francisco.  An avid treasure hunter, she helped make ends meet in college by buying and reselling clothing and housewares. Around this time, she discovered the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland, California where she acquired supplies for pixelvision, a DIY project that transforms an average television into a psychedelic light show using toilet paper tubes. She fell in love with the way that the Depot merged conservation, creativity and community and had a dream to bring the idea to Austin.

 
In addition to her role at ACR, Isadora is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Austin-based hospitality company Bunkhouse. For over a decade,  Isadora has helped build the renowned company from one hotel and a coffee shop to a portfolio of over 10 properties nationally and internationally. In her role at Bunkhouse, Isadora spends much of her time building community relationships and helping to develop the culture of each of the properties through charitable events, music and arts programming, and other creative projects. 

Welcome to Our New Center Operations Manager

We are so excited to welcome Amelia, long time ACR volunteer, into her new position as Center Operations Manager and Events Coordinator.  

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. After volunteering at the center on a weekly basis for 18 months, Amelia joined the Board of Directors as the chair for the Systems and Procedures committee in January 2017. Amelia is looking forward to help the center grow and spread the word about creative reuse thru community events in her new role.

ACR welcomes our new board member, Jenn Evans

ACR is excited to announce the appointment of our new board member, Jennifer Evans. Jennifer spent much of her childhood travelling up and down the east coast from Canada to Florida in the back of her parents’ baby blue 1970s Econoline camper van.  While it might have been frowned upon by today’s standards (there were no seats in the back of that van, let alone seat belts!), her fond memories of days on the beach, hikes in the woods and nights spent around the campfire started her down a path toward environmental stewardship that she now hopes to instill in her own children and share with her community.

A graduate of Duke University’s Environmental Science & Policy Program and the University of Chicago Law School, Jennifer is currently taking a break from her environmental law practice to raise her three young children.  She organizes Nature Playdate, a nature group for Austin families with small children, and is active in several other local environmental and community groups.  Energized by the creativity of the ACR community, she is delighted for this opportunity to join the Board of Directors and to lead the Sustainability Committee.

Board Planning Session March 2017 Highlights

The board met for an extended planning session to close out FY 2016 and open up FY 2017. Many exciting new changes are planned for the new year, including: an executive director to focus our energies, possible additional center open hours, more community events, activities and workshops. We approved a budget, strategized for fundraising and expanding business ties, and interviewed exceptional candidates for executive director. Stay tuned for more reuse and community interaction.

Board Meeting February 13, 2017 Highlights

The Austin Creative Reuse board met for their regular meeting on February 13. The members discussed several upcoming events, including the Thinkery 21 Event and the ACR Art of Reuse workshops, which have been extremely popular and fill quickly. In addition, they began gearing up for the upcoming Amplify Austin, which will occur on March 2. More details to follow.

The board elected new president, Carole LeClair, who begins her term effective April 1. She will be replacing outgoing president and founding member, Rebecca Stuch, who will be starting a new phase as a Peace Corps volunteer directing community development projects in Peru. We will miss Rebecca and look forward to Carole’s leadership.

Meet Our Newest Board Members

Amelia Despre

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 Lyon

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 Yarbrough

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.

Everyday Superhumans: From Trash into Treasure: The Austin Creative Reuse Way



Austin Creative Reuse Founder, Board President, Rebecca Stuch was featured on the Everyday Superhuman podcast. Give it a listen and find out more about this amazing woman and our mission of bringing conservation and reuse to our community.

Searching for our first Executive Director

We are excited to announce the search for Austin Creative Reuse’s first Executive Director.  The community response to the Creative Reuse Center has been amazing and the organization is in a financial position to take it’s next step forward.  This role will be instrumentally in sustaining the growth and direction of the organization.

Read more about the role below and submit your resume and tailored cover letter online to info@austincreativereuse.org.

Position Details

Title:  Executive Director

  • Work week: Full Time, weekdays and some weekends
  • Wage range:  $50,000 – $60,000 (Commensurate with experience)
  • Reports to: Board of Directors
  • Oversees an annual budget of approximately $100,000
  • Provide overall leadership to 6 part time staff as well as numerous volunteers, strategic partners, and other community supporters.

What We Offer

  • Challenging opportunity to lead a small non-profit that is set up for exponential growth and impact on the community. 
  • Fun, creative and collaborative environment with a diverse staff, volunteer and customer population.
  • Flexible work options, generous vacation, and family-friendly workplace policies. 

What You’ll Bring

We look for amazing people with diverse backgrounds and a genuine passion for conservation, reuse, and creativity.  We expect the Executive Director to be:

  • Passionate about the Austin Creative Reuse Mission: A demonstrated passion for environmental issues, along with education, art, and the nexus between reuse, creativity and community. Maintains a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the fields of arts and environmental education, arts programming and behavioral economics.
  • A Great Communicator:  Outstanding oral and written communication skills, as well as media savvy.  Proven ability to inspire and engage with a broad range of stakeholders and influencers, including staff, volunteers, board members, community leaders, donors, partners, clients, media, and the community.
  • Collaborative: Exceptional ability to inspire and build a collaborative, innovative organizational culture where teamwork is the norm and areas of expertise are respected and leveraged. Ensure a positive work environment that attracts and retains a diverse staff of top quality people.
  • An Advocate: Ability to inspire and educate the community about creative reuse of materials that traditionally have been discarded as waste, about stewardship practices that preserve and protect the environment and about the economic and social benefits of reuse that are obtained by the community.

Qualifications

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s Degree and field experience preferred.
  • Non-Profit  Experience: Five+ years of non-profit. Experience working with or on a Board of Directors; understanding of Governance.
  • Leadership & Management: Five+ years of senior leadership experience, with proven skills in organizational development and leadership, financial and operational management, strategic thinking, setting and achieving goals, mentoring and developing staff.    
  • Fundraising:. Strong ability to communicate the Austin Creative Reuse vision and obtain buy-in with donors, foundations, businesses, and other funding agencies.  
  • Financial Management: Demonstrated experience with budget creation and management, as well as with controlling and protecting all assets of the organization.
  • Retail Knowledge: Some Retail Experience desired.

What You’ll Do

The Austin Creative Reuse Executive Director is friendly, personable, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Austin Creative Reuse and our mission.

In Strategic Planning and Center Operations, the Executive Director will:

  1. Assure that the organization has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.
  2. Oversee the daily operations of the Creative Reuse Center
  3. Promote active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas of the organization’s work.
  4. Work with Board Secretary and/or other volunteers to maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
  5. Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in the field.

In communications and programming, the Executive Director will:

  1. See that the board is kept fully informed on the condition of the organization and all important factors influencing it.
  2. Promote the activities of the organization, its programs and goals.
  3. Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups and organizations.
  4. Represent the programs and point of view of the organization to agencies, organizations, and the general public.
  5. Work with various committees and staff to implement programs and services that align with the mission and organizational objectives.

In relations with staff, the Executive Director will:

  1. Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, both paid staff and volunteers.
  2. Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that regular performance evaluations are held, and that sound human resource practices are in place.
  3. See that an effective management team, with appropriate provision for succession, is in place.
  4. Encourage staff and volunteer development and education, and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization.
  5. Maintain a climate which attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people.

In budget and finance, the Executive Director will:

  1. Be responsible for developing and maintaining sound financial practices.
  2. Work with the staff, Finance Committee, and the board in preparing a budget; see that the organization operates within budget guidelines.
  3. Ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work.
  4. Jointly, with the president and secretary of the board of directors, conduct official correspondence of the organization, and jointly, with designated officers, execute legal documents.

The above is intended to describe the general content of the requirements for the performance of this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements.

Who We Are

Austin Creative Reuse is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to foster conservation and reuse through creativity, education, and community building.

  • We collect, distribute, and sell reusable materials donated from industry and individuals.
  • We educate the community about how to reduce, reuse, and create in responsible and fun ways. We make instructional kits, have a library of design and art ideas, and share these online and in-store.
  • We unite the community by hosting a range of events, activities, and classes that bring people together to build awareness around conscious consumption, sustainability, and art
  • We promote awareness of like-minded organizations to reduce overlap and increase awareness of city resources.

To be considered as an applicant:

Please submit your resume and tailored cover letter online to info@austincreativereuse.org

We review applications on a rolling basis. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

At Austin Creative Reuse, we believe that diversity makes us stronger and challenges us to think differently every day. Austin Creative Reuse  provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status or disability.

 

Board of Directors’ Meeting – November 2016

November 14, 2016 at 6 pm
Directors Present: Cindy, Leslie, Rebecca, Katie, Carole, Karen

Changes at ACR.

Extended hours are now offered on Fridays and Saturdays. The directors approved a change to policy regarding budgets amendments. Budget amendment votes will be triggered when a line item or category exceeds the greater of 10% or $750 more than had been budgeted.

Upcoming Activities and Events.

ACR will be hosting its first workshop partly funded with the City of Austin grant on 11/17. The second workshop will follow on 12/15. ACR will be offering free gift wrap at the Cherrywood Art Festival. We would like to attract a volunteer to take on proactively determining and planning for our presence at events such as the Blue Genie and Violet Crowns festivals. Carole will be participating in the Final Pitch at Austin Resource Recovery’s [Re]Verse Pitch Competition in December.