Urban Green Lab’s team is a community of people who want to prioritize sustainable living education and care deeply about protecting resources by making better choices in our daily lives.
Director of Operations
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In addition to our staff and board of directors, our team includes the interns, volunteers, and frontline champions who go the extra mile every day to be the solution.
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Board of Directors
Elise Karpinski is a transportation broker at TrueNorth Companies. In her role she creates, negotiates, and implements risk management solutions for transportation partners. Prior to joining TrueNorth she was a compliance officer at UBS. Throughout law school, Elise worked for the Piedmont Land Conservancy, helping to secure conservation easements for future generations.
Elise joined UGL as a Nashville Young Leaders Council Fellow, driven by a desire to engage in Nashville’s nonprofit and sustainability communities.
Public benefit, sustainability and love of the land are Elise’s passions. As a seventh generation Appalachian mountaineer, and hailing from a family of educators, UGL’s mission is engraved in her core. With her husband and 2-year old, Jack, she hopes to live it.
Stephanie Gates is Manager of Sales Instructional Design and Strategy for Nissan North America, Inc. In her role she manages dealership sales training programs that focus on the Nissan customer experience. She is also the Director of Community Service Events for Nissan’s Green Team, a volunteer team focused on sustainability and representing Nissan as an environmentally conscious leader in Middle Tennessee. As a part of Nissan’s Green Team, she works with community partners to create service opportunities for team members so that they can make a difference in their own backyard. Stephanie has been with Nissan since 2013 and has worked in various roles throughout the dealer training group.
Prior to joining Nissan, she worked in Adult Education and Healthcare Training. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Western Kentucky University and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Education from University of Louisville. Stephanie is enthusiastic about living sustainably and learning new ways to do so. It is her passion to help educate individuals to make responsible, Earth-friendly choices in their daily lives. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys hiking, traveling, and watching Kentucky basketball.
Parry Healy is a Marketing Operations Manager for Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP), also known as LP Building Products. In her role she leads Marketing Operations for LP’s Siding business, focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the team’s marketing efforts through process, systems, technology and data to drive measurable demand and loyalty.
LP is one of the world’s largest producers of engineered wood products, including Siding, OSB and other specialty building products. Headquartered in Nashville, LP employs nearly 5,000 people in its U.S., Canada and South American sales, marketing and manufacturing operations. It operates 23 manufacturing operations (14 in the U.S., six in Canada, three in South America), producing high-performance building products designed for use in residential, industrial and light commercial construction.
A native of New York, Parry moved to Nashville to join LP in 2015 and has worked as a marketing manager in both the New Construction and Shed segments before being selected to lead the newly formed Marketing Operations team.
Parry holds an M.S. in Sustainability and an M.B.A. from Lipscomb University, as well as a B.A. in Art & Art History from Dickinson College.
Bradley Pinson is a Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor for Fifth Third Private Bank. He serves businesses and owners with lending, capital markets, cash management, investments, and succession/estate planning.
Mr. Pinson has 17 years of experience in consumer/retail leadership, mortgage, small business/government lending, treasury management, private banking and commercial middle market. Previously he was at Fifth Third Bank. He began in retail management before becoming a business banking Relationship Manager, followed by treasury management officer then mid-market Relationship Manager, working with companies from $20 million to $2 billion.
Mr. Pinson received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee. He is past president of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, at-large board member of Nashville Cares as well as Sports 4 All Foundation, and treasurer of Red House Imaginarium.
Renee Barker is the Food System Sustainability Manager for Postmates, Inc. Through her work on the Civic Labs social impact team, she positively connects with neighborhoods through community engagement and innovative technology solutions to combat complex, pervasive issues. Her focus is on food security-related projects across the United States in addition to partnerships with nonprofits and local governments to leverage the Postmates product for good. Her background in environmental science and sustainability lend a uniquely versatile view into integrating sustainability with tech. She enjoys developing partnerships and is committed to building equity between environmental, societal, and economic factors.
Renee has previously worked in hospitality, local government, geographic information systems, and public land management. She graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of Minnesota, and has made Nashville her home since 2015. Currently she serves on the board of Tennessee Women In Green, the Nashville nonprofit that empowers, inspires, and connects women committed to environmental sustainability.
Ed Callaway is a partner in the Nashville office of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP where his legal practice focuses on the intersection of environmental law and strategic business objectives. Known for balancing the demands of environmental regulatory compliance with practical and pragmatic advice, Ed is recognized for his environmental law experience in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers.
Ed is a member and past chair of the Environmental Law Sections of the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations. Ed earned his J.D., cum laude, in 1993 from Vermont Law School and currently serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Vermont Law School Alumni Association. Ed received his B.A., cum laude, in 1990 from Dartmouth College.
Peter is an officer and senior executive for one of the country's largest renewable independent power producers, Silicon Ranch Corporation. Peter brings over 20-years of experience in the energy industry. His background includes design-build and asset management experience in conventional and renewable power projects, EHV transmission/substation projects along with power trading and procurement. As a professional engineer and general contractor, Peter brings technical and operational depth to the board.
DHL Supply Chain is the Americas’ leader in contract logistics and part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. Emily Davis is the Supply Chain division’s North American lead for the GoGreen program, the Group’s award winning environmental protection program. She is responsible for optimizing fleet and subcontractors, improving the energy efficiency of facilities, carbon accounting, introducing innovative technologies into operations, mobilizing associates, liaising with U.S. agencies and partners, and developing green logistics solutions for customers.
Formerly, she worked for International Paper Company’s Office of Sustainability and their Sustainable Forestry & Forest Policy team where she performed paper and packaging life cycle assessments, delivered on corporate product stewardship goals, managed forest conservation easement strategy, and supported habitat mapping and documentation for forestland certification. Prior to her work at International Paper, Emily was a medical technologist at hospitals in Denver, Chicago and Nashville, Tenn.
She holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and undergraduate degrees in biological sciences and art history from the University of Notre Dame.
Ashford is currently the Executive Officer for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, which will involve designing and implementing initiatives and policies that address the academic and social and emotional needs of the district's diverse populations.
In this role he focuses on strengthening the district’s partnerships with organizations and individuals who serve MNPS students and oversee the strategy, design, and implementation of the school choice process through a lens of equity and inclusion.
He is the former Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, for the city Of Nashville and Davidson County. In this role he worked to implement the Mayor’s diversity and inclusion goals across Metro Government and lead the city’s efforts to attract, develop, promote, and retain a diverse government workforce at all levels.
Since 2005, Ashford has worked as a senior political staffer and consultant on numerous candidate, labor and issue based campaigns in Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Florida and Massachusetts. During this period, he worked closely with State Legislative Democrat Caucus leadership on high profile Congressional and State House and Senate elections. His main focus has been political strategy, African American political outreach, candidate development, organizational and community development.
Ashford has a Bachelor of Science Degree, with a concentration in Political Science, from Tennessee State University
Ashford is a good standing member of Prince Hall Masonic Lodge #104 in Nashville, where he served as the past Chair to the organizations young men’s mentorship program and the District Director of P.R. He is an active member of the Shriners Organization, Prince Hall Affiliated.
Ashford is the Co-Chairman of the Nashville My Brother’s Keeper Network. The My Brother's Keeper Network is a coalition of public and private entities that work together to improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color through internal agency policy review, education and employment opportunities.
He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, Eta Beta Sigma Chapter.
Ashford also serves on the board of the Tennessee Diversity Consortium and the Health Trust of Tennessee.
Jennifer Novo is an advocate for diversity, equity, higher education, and social change. For two decades, Jennifer has worked closely with diverse college students, her experiences in academic enrichment, retention, student success, and student life give her the unique ability to connect with students, spearheading multiple initiatives to enhance learning, leadership, and campus diversity. She uses her platform, time, and energy towards helping college students learn interdependence, service, engagement, and leadership.She says “diversity is the catalyst of innovation and prosperity.” She dreams of a world that is well educated, diverse, hopeful, prosperous, equitable, joyful, innovative, and more closely connected. She believes the youth has the spirit to create this world!
Jennifer has been involved with the nonprofits such as Equal Chance for Education, TLACC, and Sister Cities. She has volunteered with TN Promise, Oasis Center, & Conexión Americas. She has served on the Board of Conexion Next and is currently an Ambassador. She currently serves on the Board of Urban Green Lab, which teaches communities how to live sustainably as well as on The Education Trust, Higher Ed. Policy Council working on policy that advocates for equity in education for underserved students.
In 2018, Jen became a Climate Reality Project Leader, she is passionate about education, environmentalism, and sustainability work. She has been recognized for her work in higher education, she received Middle TN State University’s Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs “Academic Advancement Award,” for supporting LGBTQ+ students. She has also been awarded the “Change Maker of the Year Award” and “Women Who Rock Nashville” awards. In 2020 she presented a Tedx Talk titled “How Can I Find Success in My FUTURO?” She has been nominated as a finalist for the 2020 Nashville Emerging Leader Award in Education by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Her work in FUTURO has been featured in The Tennessean, WPLN Nashville Public Radio (NPR Affiliate Station), and “El Jefe” Radio. In 2021, FUTURO won the “Inspiring Innovation Award” from the Nashville Public Education Fund and will be featured in the Public Schools Hall of Fame. She holds a Master's of Science Degree in Higher Education Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Travel & Tourism Mgt both from FIU in Miami. She is a first-gen American who is proud of her Latina roots. She interned at Walt Disney World and shares that this opportunity changed her life. She is currently the Executive Director of FUTURO. She lives in Mt. Juliet, a suburb outside of Nashville with her husband and son.
Sabrina is the Process Improvement/Fuel Manager for the Kroger Nashville Division. She has been with the company for 19 years. She started as an accounting clerk in the Kroger Accounting Center and moved into management. Sabrina was responsible for a variety of accounting departments (accounts receivable and payables, asset management) during her time with the accounting center.
Sabrina transitioned over to the store side of the business by entering the management training program and serving as a co-manager before moving to the retail operations team in the divisional office. Sabrina is responsible for leading the division implementation and continued utilization of process improvement solutions to increase efficiencies, decrease cost, and improve the customer shopping experience. Additionally, she manages fuel center operations and compliance at 86 fuel across Middle and East Tennessee, Southern Kentucky, and North Alabama.
Sabrina is a graduate of Austin Peay State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Austin Peay State University in Industrial Organizational Psychology.
Sabrina was the 2020 Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery Rising Star Award Winner and 2019 Progressive Grocery GenNext Winner.
Matt Taylor is an avid outdoorsman and serves as a Senior Policy Analyst with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices, where he works on a diverse range of environmental policy, strategic planning, and sustainability initiatives for the state of Tennessee. In addition to his role with TDEC, Matt serves as a member of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, which is a national nonprofit which represents pollution prevention organizations across North America. Matt is also extremely passionate about combating food waste and has been a leading voice in TDEC efforts relating to food waste reduction, recovery, and diversion.
As a fanatical whitewater kayaker, Matt has traveled to Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uganda, Nepal, New Zealand, and over 20 states in pursuit of outdoor adventures. Beyond a passion for kayaking, Matt has been fortunate to intimately explore and learn about U.S. ecosystems through working as a Hydrologic Technician for the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service performing geomorphological fieldwork for four seasons and the lead River Ranger on the Payette River in the Boise National Forest for a season. Matt also worked as a Field Technician for the University of Saskatchewan, focusing on a groundwater hydrology research project on New Zealand’s South Island.
Matt is passionate about giving back to the outdoors and regularly volunteers around town. His education includes a BS in Resource and Environmental Studies from Texas State University, an MA from the University of Arkansas focusing on climate change, a BS in Urban Studies from Tennessee State University, and an MBA from Tennessee State University. Outside of his college work, Matt has also attended the University of Illinois, Chicago, Summer Institute on Sustainability & Energy, and University of California – Berkley’s BEAHRS Environmental Leadership Program, through which he earned a graduate certificate in Environmental Sustainability.
Alexa Voytek is an Energy Programs Administrator for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s (TDEC) Office of Energy Programs, which provides education, outreach, technical assistance, and/or funding and financing opportunities related to energy efficiency; energy management; renewable energy; energy security planning, preparedness, and response; and energy in transportation (alternative fuels and sustainable transportation options).
Alexa serves as the Principal Investigator for the U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program in Tennessee, oversees TDEC’s sustainable transportation and alternative fuels programming, and assists with the administration of the State of Tennessee’s initial allocation under the Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust. Alexa also serves as the Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Middle-West Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition, through which she acts as a technical resource for fleets and individuals evaluating alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. Alexa serves on the leadership team for the National Association of State Energy Officials' Transportation Committee and is an Advisory Group member for the National Association of State Energy Officials' Energy Technology Innovation Project.
She serves as the Governor’s designee to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Regional Energy Resource Council, which provides guidance on how TVA manages its energy resources against competing objectives and values. Prior to joining TDEC, Alexa interned with the United Nations Division for Sustainable Development and the U.S. Consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia. Alexa holds an M.A. from Columbia University in Russian, Eastern European, Balkan, and Eurasian Studies and graduated summa cum laude from Duke University, with a B.A. in History and Russian Language / Area Studies.
Anna Weinroth Ward is Chief Counsel Sustainability and ESG for McKesson, a diversified Fortune 10 large-cap company providing pharmaceutical distribution, healthcare information technology, medical supplies, and care management. The company delivers a third of all pharmaceuticals used in North America and employs over 78,000 employees.
Anna is the lead legal advisor for the Board of Directors, Executive Team, General Counsel Organization, and Global Impact Organization on ESG-related matters. She helps guide stakeholders through legal considerations, the development of strategies, priorities, metrics, goals, policies, and procedures on ESG-related matters that are tailored to McKesson's businesses, as well as risk assessments on ESG topics. She assists with ESG updates for the board, investors, and other key stakeholders and advises on implementing responses to legal developments.
Previously, Anna served as the Senior Director, Sustainability, Global Citizenship and Sustainability at Abbott, where she oversaw strategy, goals, and reporting supporting the Global 2030 Sustainability Plan for the Fortune 86 large-cap medical technology company, whose main priority is designing access and affordability into life-changing technologies and products. Before that, Anna served as Director of Sustainability for HCA Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems where Anna led the company-wide, nationally recognized environmental sustainability program aligning 280,000 employees, 184 hospitals, and 2,000 sites of care across 21 states and the UK. In addition, Anna held various roles for the Ethics and Compliance department at HCA Healthcare. She also practiced law in Washington, D.C.
Anna is an alumna of the Harvard Executive Education in Sustainability Leadership program. She earned her J.D. from George Mason University School of Law and her B.A. from American University. Anna is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and is Certified in Healthcare Compliance.
Anna and her husband are actively involved in sustainable forestry and biodiversity initiatives.
Julia Weber is a first year at Vanderbilt Business, focusing in healthcare and sustainability. She joins Urban Green Lab as a Board Fellow, serving on the board of directors from January 2022 through the calendar year. She was born and raised in the Boston area and moved out of New England for the first time on her move to Nashville in the summer of 2021. She received her bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth College with a major in Anthropology of Global Health, a concentration of Neuroscience classes, a minor in Film & Media Studies and a global health certificate from the John Sloan Dickey Center of International Understanding.
She worked in PR & Communications, specializing in B2B healthcare technology companies, for five and half years after college before returning for her MBA at Vanderbilt. She made a name for herself as a media relations guru, while creating strategic plans and implementing integrated marketing deliverables in a fast-paced environment. Her passion lies at the intersection of healthcare, technology and social impact. She is currently serving on the board of the Dartmouth College Fund and Tenacre Country Day School’s Corporation after her role volunteering to help support fundraising efforts for the Dartmouth College Fund for six years.
Volunteering is a crucial part of Julia’s life and central to her values. Highlighting her main work, she has volunteered with a township in South Africa since high school, living over there for a term in college, and creating a fellowship in college for others to have a similar experience and provide continued support for the people in South Africa. Additionally, while living in Boston she was a part of a club – started by friends of hers from college – with the mission of helping the environment. They are working to reduce food waste by collecting primary research from restaurants in the area and helping them to convert to large-scale composting. With the pandemic’s restrictions, they pivoted to working with the local government and got a commercial composting pilot program approved and funded for the city of Cambridge, MA which is set to start this year!