Our Team

AllManagementIndustry AdvisorsBoard Members

Caren McNamara

Founder/CEO

Caren founded Conscious Container, a California Benefit Corporation, in 2017 to bring a refillable glass bottle marketplace back into the US economy and infrastructure.

After over 20 years as a successful project and change management consultant Caren was inspired by the circular economy solutions refillables presented. As a boot-strapping start-up she set proof-of-concept collection pilots which proved the demand and desire for this refillable glass bottle marketplace. Caren worked strategically with key stakeholders, policymakers, beverage and glass manufactures and now investors to scale this “benefit for all” sustainable refillable business model.

On the side Caren loves swimming, running, skate skiing, and connecting with family, friends and anyone who wants to dialog about refillables!

Email:caren[at]consciouscontainer[dot]com

Bruce Stephens

President

Bruce has 40 years business experience in sales, supply chain manufacturing, warehousing, and factory production operations. He majored in Business Administration at California State University, Chico. In 1979 became west coast representative for the Tony Lama Boot Co. with a retail customer base of over 400 outlets. Separately, he helped form Western Boot Service, a custom boot rebuilding facility in Auburn, CA .

He moved to Cornwall, England in 1986 while working for Kean Productions, a Taiwanese neoprene rubber and clothing manufacturing company. He set up European warehouse distribution and facilitated custom OEM products.  In 1994 he founded City Software Consultants, an SAP recruitment company and ultimately sold the business to Value Stream Engineering a SAP implementation partner. In 2009 Bruce was CEO and founder of Wine Bottle Renew, a glass container washing operation in Stockton, CA.

Since 2011 he has setup Aquaponic Greens, an aquaponic herb production facility in Sonoma, CA  He is an avid winemaker and lives in Sonoma, CA.

Email:bruce[at]consciouscontainer[dot]com

Darilyn Kotzenberg

CMO

Darilyn is Creative Director at DK Design Studio, with 30+ years experience in the high-tech industry and 15 years focused on sustainability businesses and organizations. She was the Creative Director at Mindscape, Riverdeep, and Mattel Software with a 40-60% sales increase after acquiring product lines.

As an entrepreneur, she has started four corporations and has managed high-caliber accounts including the Alameda County Sustainability program, CodeScience, Switchboard Software, and the Altwork Station. After turning focus of DK Design Studio in 2007 to sustainable brands she added these clients; Earl’s Organic Produce (the largest organic produce distributor in San Francisco), Tahoe Food Hub, Jeff King & Company, Conscious Container, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Elders Action Network, Elders Climate Action, Todd Jersey Architecture, GMIC, GreenLynx, and Growing Power out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition, she’s become a sustainability consultant for companies trying to reduce their carbon footprint and work more in tune with nature.

Living in a small house in north Lake Tahoe, she practices organic permaculture gardening, composting, bike transportation, and is a non-consumer advocate. Living a sustainable lifestyle for several years now she is mostly vegan and plastic free. She has ridden her bike around the world, learned how to fly planes, and took up cooking a few years ago [especially PIES]. Adopting older dogs and sharing the end of their lives in Lake Tahoe is a privilege that has taught her patience & gratitude.

Email:darilyn[at]consciouscontainer[dot]com

Bud James

COO

Robert “Bud” James, PhD, M.Div., BSCIT, is a seasoned C-Level executive with more than 35 years of proven expertise in information technology, ecommerce, and systems management. He has significant product development experience including hardware, storage, software, and distributed networks. Bud has held a broad range of hands-on, technical, and managerial positions in Fortune 500 companies including Oracle, BEA, and Unisys. He also is a US Air Force Special Operations Combat Controller Veteran.

As CTO of A-OK he helped design, create, and patent the world’s first fully secure debit card transaction engine over the Internet for Star Systems and Citibank. As the original CTO of MySpace.com he helped design and implement the world’s first Social Media platform, onboarding 6 million users in 9 months.

Bud’s strong start-up and operational execution experiences bring great value as we create, launch, and manage this refillable business.

Email:bud[at]consciouscontainer[dot]com

Kelly Northridge

CFO / CSO

Kelly Northridge has worked with, started, and grown many entrepreneurial ventures over the past 20 years across industries including corporate services, fashion, biotech, health tech, and social enterprise.

She has a background in finance including venture capital and mergers and acquisitions; economic impact; international strategy; change management and organizational development. She holds a BS in International Business and Economics, cum laude, from the University of Nevada, Reno, an MBA focused in International Sustainable Development from Cornell University, a Master’s in Public Health focused in International Health Management from UCLA, and is completing her doctorate at the University of Oxford focused in Strategy & Innovation.

Email:kelly[at]consciouscontainer[dot]com

Heidi Sanborn

Industry Advisor

Heidi has been a trailblazer in the solid waste industry in California for over 25 years, working with companies, governments and the public to reduce waste, improve product design and recyclability, and implement cost-effective projects and policies which protect human and environmental health.

Heidi earned a B.A. in Political Science – Public Service from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Since 2007, Heidi has led CPSC to become a nationally recognized leader and driver for innovative product stewardship programs across the country.

Cheri Chastain

Industry Advisor

Sustainability is a not just an interest, but a lifestyle and a profession for Cheri. She has worked in the sustainability field for fifteen years and recently joined Chico State as the Campus Sustainability Manager. While in grad-school, Cheri ran a non-profit educating elementary school students on recycling and composting, then worked for twelve years as the Sustainability Manager for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. She worked on energy efficiency and generation, water conservation, zero waste, and alternative transportation projects as well as policy and governmental affairs and building a community of engagement via education. Cheri held lead roles in projects that have been certified Platinum in both LEED and TRUE Zero Waste, served as co-Chair of the Brewers Association Sustainability Subcommittee for five years, and was a founding board member of TRUE Zero Waste. She currently serves as Chair of the City of Chico’s Sustainability Task Force and is a founding board member of the Glass Recycling Foundation.

Bill Angeloni

Board Member

Bill graduated the United States Naval Academy in 1987 where he studied aerospace engineering.  He served in the Navy in a support role during the first Gulf War and received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School. Always enamored with aviation he became a private pilot and started his career at United Airlines.

Exposed early to management consulting, he first joined a boutique firm focused on the aerospace industry, was later recruited to a global firm, and then a start-up recruiting him to open their European operations, and run their Aerospace business.

Bill co-founded his own management consulting firm Tenzing, which is in its 17th year serving clients around the world. He took a seven-year “sabbatical” from Tenzing where he turned around a $100m technology JV between Boeing, Lockheed, and others, and started other businesses in renewable energy, finance, and the wine industry where he was CFO of Wine Bottle Renew. One of those businesses raised $100m in 2018 to continue it’s rapid growth.

Bill and his wife Pat moved their family to Sonoma in 2003 and he is back at Tenzing full-time.

Peter Kruger

Industry Advisor

Master Brewer at Bear Republic, Peter fell in love with craft beer in the late 1980s while attending Lewis & Clark College in Portland. Upon graduation he promptly followed his calling and brewed for Full Sail from 1993 to 1995. With many beer related stops along the way (Salt Lake City, Healdsburg, Guerneville, and Calistoga) he eventually landed as Master Brewer for Bear Republic’s production brewery in Cloverdale, California.

Eric Potashner

Board Member

Eric Potashner, RECOLOGY
Vice President & Senior Director of Strategic Affairs

Eric Potashner joined Recology’ Corporate team in 2012. Eric heads the Strategic Affairs Department which is responsible for the government relations, environmental permitting, communications and sustainability functions. Outside of his duties at Recology Eric serves on the Board of Directors for Young Community Developers and California Product Stewardship Council.

Prior to joining Recology, Eric was a political consultant at Platinum Advisors (2008-2012) and worked as a Chief of Staff for State Senator Carole Migden in Sacramento (1999-2008).

Ryan Modlin

Industry Advisor

Ryan has over 20 years of experience in various government affairs roles. He led the legislative and political efforts throughout the North American region for an industrial trade association and a Fortune 500 company.

He has a strong business acumen and awareness to the political sensitivities companies face in the legislative arena. Ryan has a reputation of operating in a bipartisan manner to achieve policy solutions He has a record of successful legislative results in the following areas: climate change, energy & environment, packaging, recycling, sustainability, taxes, and trade.

Ryan earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Michigan State University.