Joe La Mariana
Joe La Mariana joined the RethinkWaste staff in August 2016 after serving in local government for ten years as San Mateo County’s Solid Waste and Environmental Services Manager. During this time, Joe was a section manager in the County Manager’s Office of Sustainability and the Department of Public Works. Before working at the County, Joe worked for over 13 years in the local solid waste industry’s private sector, including assignments as the Recycling Director for Republic Services (formerly known as BFI/Allied Waste) at the San Carlos Shoreway Environmental Center, and in regional management positions with Recology (SF) and Waste Management Inc. (East Bay). Joe’s responsibilities have always emphasized top-tier customer service in residential and commercial garbage and recycling services, while working closely with local elected officials and business leaders. Prior to the solid waste industry, Joe worked for 13 years in corporate communications and marketing.
Joe serves as current Board Director and past President of the Solid Waste Association of Northern America’s (SWANA) Northern California Gold Rush Chapter, and is extremely active in the California Resource & Recovery Association (CRRA), the Northern California Recycling Association (NCRA), California’s Against Waste (CAW), the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) and the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), as well as numerous business organizations. Joe serves on SWANA’s California Legislative Task Force and is a passionate advocate for strong environmental legislation in our state.
With a robust commitment to community, Joe has extensively volunteered with the Rotary Club of Burlingame, the Burlingame and Brisbane Chambers of Commerce, the City of Burlingame’s Park and Rec Commission, several mid-peninsula youth sports leagues and Our Lady of Angels parish.
Joe earned a technical certificate in Solid Waste Management from UC Berkeley; an MBA from Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont; and a BA in Public Relations from California State University, Chico. Joe completed the San Mateo/Burlingame/Foster City/Hillsborough Leadership program in 2004.
Senior Operations and Engineering Manager
Hilary Gans joined the RethinkWaste staff in 2007 and brings over 20 years of industry experience to his role as the Senior Operations and Engineering Manager at RethinkWaste. His main responsibilities include ongoing oversight of the Shoreway Environmental Center and its operator, currently operated by South Bay Recycling, and all construction projects at the facility. Before starting at RethinkWaste, Hilary worked as a manager for Allied Waste’s Newby Island recycling and composting facility in San Jose. While there he pioneered the construction on the composting operations and conversion of the MRF to single stream. Hilary graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Connecticut College and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Senior Finance Manager
John Mangini joined the RethinkWaste team in May 2018. As the Senior Finance Manager, he is responsible for the fiscal management of the Agency, including budget development, financial projections, expense management, and capital funding. Most recently, John was the Controller for Republic Services of San Mateo County, where he was responsible for hauling divisions in Daly City and Half Moon Bay and post collection at Ox Mountain Landfill. Prior to Republic Services, John worked for DHL Global Forwarding holding various finance and accounting positions over his almost 20 years with the company. John graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California State University, East Bay.
Senior Outreach, Education and Compliance Manager
Julia Au joined the RethinkWaste team in November 2017. As the Senior Outreach, Education and Compliance Manager, she is responsible for a variety of engaging waste reduction and outreach programs for residents and businesses, Agency media and communications, policy and legislation with the Agency’s legislative and regulatory lobbyist, and compliance with state and local laws and regulations. Previously, Julia spent over five years at San Mateo County where she coordinated outreach for the Household Hazardous Waste Program, implemented and enforced the County’s Safe Medicine Disposal and Reusable Bag Ordinances, and was the County’s Coastal Cleanup Day Coordinator. Julia has extensive prior experience in environmental policy and outreach programs while at California Product Stewardship Council, San Francisco Department of the Environment, and Californians Against Waste. Julia graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning with a Water Quality emphasis from the University of California, Davis.
Environmental Education Manager
Emi joined the RethinkWaste team in October 2018. As the Environmental Education Manager, Emi oversees the Shoreway Environmental Center tours, as well as the In-School Recycling and Compost Program to improve waste reduction, recycling and organic performance at schools. This program incorporates student education, including classroom presentations, paired with on-site assistance and technical support in updating campus facilities and waste infrastructure. Before RethinkWaste, Emi coordinated the Green Business Program for four years at the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability. Emi graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Analysis, with an emphasis in Public Policy and Environmental Justice with minors in Asian American and Community Studies from Pitzer College.
Recycling and Compliance Program Manager
Tj joined the RethinkWaste team in April 2021. As the Recycling and Compliance Program Manager, Tj manages RethinkWaste’s SB 1383 Compliance Plan, including coordinating mandatory regulatory enforcement, program component contracting, and other ongoing SB 1383 and recycling programs compliance needs as required by law. Tj has over five years of experience in environmental programming for San Mateo County. Before RethinkWaste, Tj spent over three years developing marketing campaigns and overseeing environmental literacy programs for Peninsula Clean Energy. He also assisted with the launch of the countywide sea level rise initiative, SeaChange SMC, while at the County of San Mateo Office of Sustainability. Tj received a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs, with a major in Environmental Management from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Senior Management Analyst
Grant joined the RethinkWaste team in March 2019. As Senior Management Analyst, Grant is responsible for planning, contracting, procurement, grant application, technical and other program support. Previously, Grant worked at the City of San Mateo Public Works Department and New York City Department of Health supporting environmental compliance programs, and at RTI International as a sustainability consultant. At the latter, he focused on utilizing their MSW-DST EPA-supported planning tool to optimize cost, energy and emissions parameters for municipalities’ solid waste management systems, in addition to writing an IWA book on decentralized wastewater management and EPA/other reports. Grant graduated with a Master’s and Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Environmental Science and Public Health from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Clerk of the Board/Executive Assistant
Cyndi Urman joined the RethinkWaste team in June 2010. Her primary role is to oversee and help manage the day-to-day logistics for the office, serve as Board Secretary, and provide administrative support to the staff members and Agency. Additionally, she provides customer service to the general public and those within the RethinkWaste service area. Cyndi comes to RethinkWaste with an extensive background in customer service, community relations, and marketing having worked for a Chamber of Commerce, a medical center, and in the high tech industry.
Outreach and Communications Coordinator
Joanna Rosales has been with RethinkWaste since November 2017, starting out as a Public Spaces Fellow, and moving into her current role as Outreach and Communications Coordinator in July 2019. Her main responsibilities include assisting in waste reduction and recycling outreach to residents and businesses, and coordinating social media and community events. Joanna formerly worked at the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission as a Fisheries Technician, going out to the ports in San Francisco and Half Moon Bay. Prior to that, she worked as an administrative assistant for JinkoSolar, where she managed day-to-day logistics and provided support to staff members. Joanna graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a minor in Environmental Science and Policy from California State University, Long Beach.
Environmental Education Associate
Laura Wessberg is the Environmental Education Associate at RethinkWaste since May 2021. She is responsible for coordinating and implementing tours of the Shoreway Environmental Center and improving recycling and organics performance at schools. Laura first joined the RethinkWaste team in October 2019 as an Environmental Education Fellow. She formerly worked as a Minnesota GreenCorps member with the Hubbard County Solid Waste Department where she developed outreach materials, implemented organics programs, and coordinated event recycling. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability with an emphasis in Environmental Science and Policy from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
Environmental Education Fellow
Janelle Osteen joined the RethinkWaste team in October 2019. As an Environmental Education Fellow, Janelle works with schools in the RethinkWaste service area to improve waste reduction by providing in-class presentations and on-site recycling and compost assistance. Before joining RethinkWaste, Janelle was a laboratory assistant at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where her work supported research regarding deep-soil changes in the carbon cycle in response to a warming climate. Janelle graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Environmental Biology with a concentration in Insect Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Environmental Education Fellow
Nadia Thompson joined the RethinkWaste team in October 2019 as an Environmental Education Fellow. Her passion lies in educating the public about environmental issues in order to motivate them to make a difference. Nadia previously worked as an Environmental Education intern at Population Education in Washington, D.C., where she encouraged teachers to incorporate the topic of unprecedented population growth within their curricula. She also worked as a Trillium Research Fellow, where she helped draft a strategic plan to increase diversity within the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Nadia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Policy and a minor in Education from Duke University.