CRI - Staff & Consultants
Founded in 1991, CRI has become recognized as the expert source for information on container recycling and container deposit systems, and plays a vital role in educating policymakers, government officials, and the general public regarding the social and environmental impacts of the production and disposal of one-way beverage containers. CRI also works to debunk myths about container recycling promoted by the beverage, retail, and container manufacturing industries.
Susan V. Collins, President
Ms. Collins became the President of the Container Recycling Institute in 2009. She leads the Institute’s research projects and works with environmental organizations, businesses, and state and federal governments throughout the United States and around the world to educate the public on the benefits of packaging recycling. Prior to 2009, Ms. Collins was a consultant for 20 years and assisted over 80 public agencies with their solid waste and recycling programs. Ms. Collins served on four CalRecycle advisory groups, including the subject of waste accounting. Ms. Collins served on the Board of the California Resource Recovery Association for nine years, and has been on the board of the National Recycling Coalition since 2010. She holds degrees in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University and Business Administration (MBA) from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
Ms. Collins has testified before the legislatures of California, Nevada, Vermont, Minnesota, Maryland, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. She has been quoted in news stories on National Public Radio, PRI’s The World, BBC radio, KNX radio, KCET’s SoCal Connected (TV), Maryland Public Radio, KQED radio, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Boston Globe, Resource Recycling, Waste 360, Plastics News, and Beverage World, among others.
Karen Hilsberg, Project Manager
Karen is new to the nonprofit sector and brings her organizational and communications skills to CRI. Karen has a BA in psychology from Swarthmore College and an MA and PhD in clinical and community psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology.
Jason Medbury, Webmaster
Jason has spent the last five years as Technical Director for the educational company Freshi Media, which brings digital media literacy to children around the world. A graduate of UCLA and partner in the Media Barons Creative Services, Jason has worked on projects and programs with Monster Digital, Grand-Am and ALMS Series Racing, Movies with a Message and the International Family Film Festival. Jason is excited to work with CRI and extend his knowledge and skills to the organization and its message.
Cathy Vacchelli, Accountant
Cathy provides accounting and bookkeeping services to CRI. She is the principal of CKV Accounting Services, LLC.
Jenny Gitlitz, Consultant
Jenny has spent more than 30 years in recycling, green building, energy and resources and chemicals safety. She consults with CRI regarding research, data analysis, web content, press releases, op-eds, articles, white papers, interviews, legislative testimony and seminar presentations. She received a BS in conservation and resource studies from the University of California at Berkeley, as well as two master’s degrees, one in energy and resources from UC Berkeley and one in geography from Clark University.
Ian Derr, Student Intern
Ian is an accounting student at UCLA with a special interest in recycling and sustainability.
Mindy Berman, PR and Media Consultant
Mindy is the owner of Mindy F. Berman Communications and provides CRI with copywriting, proofing/editing, media relations and other public relations and marketing services. Mindy received her BA in journalism from California State University, Northridge, and her MBA from Pepperdine University.