Our Staff



Rhodes Yepsen 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Rhodes joined BPI in 2015, where he leads the organization’s efforts to promote the value of compostable products. Rhodes is passionate about systems-based solutions, where there is synergy in solving for food waste and packaging simultaneously -- addressing climate change, ecosystem impacts, and regenerative agriculture.  Previously he was on the Board of USCC, worked for biopolymer producer Novamont, and was a staff editor and writer at BioCycle magazine.  Rhodes lives in western NJ, where it is still the “Garden State,” and spends time backpacking and canoeing in the Adirondacks. His favorite author is Wendell Berry.


Wendell Simonson

MARKETING DIRECTOR

Wendell is responsible for all aspects of the Marketing function at BPI, which means working on things like content development, communications strategy, brand management, and member engagement to name a few. Prior to joining BPI, Wendell ran Ellipsis Strategy, a Marketing Consulting business where BPI was an early client. Before starting Ellipsis, Wendell spent 10 years building the Marketing function at Eco-Products in Boulder, CO.  Wendell lives in the Colorado foothills, and loves mountain recreation of all kinds. His favorite author is Walt Whitman. 

Jana Pearce
FINANCE & ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE

Jana joined BPI in 2021 as part of BPI’s finance and administrative team. She was born and raised in Atlanta, “a city in a forest.” Her outdoor upbringing and B.S.F.R. in Fisheries and Wildlife lead to a desire to dedicate her career to uniting natural and human systems. Her previous work has been in the realm of education, outreach, and nonprofit management. She has enjoyed field work in coastal intertidal salt marshes, outreach for community-based water quality programs, and management of a local nature center and its community programs. The development of a children’s program on consumer science ignited a passion for waste management, which led her to BPI. In her time off she enjoys hiking with her tiny dog, birding, antiquing, and live music. Her favorite author is Patrick Rothfuss. 


Margaret Eldridge

cERTIFICATION MANAGER 

Margaret manages the people and processes involved in the certification process.  She joined BPI in 2020 as a project manager, bringing over two decades of recycling and waste reduction experience, most recently as the Executive Director of the Virginia Recycling Association.  When not working to save the planet, she enjoys being in the woods or on the water, music of all genres, growing food and native plants, and cooking and eating. Rumi is her favorite author. 


Carolyn Loper

CERTIFICATION PROJECT MANAGER 

Carolyn joined the certification team with BPI in 2017 and is now one of the Project Managers. She has made a lifetime commitment to people and the environment through her careers work, mostly working with the conservation corp in Northern California, leading recycling programs, running Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF's) and managing both the collections and operations of some municipal compost programs. Carolyn loves spending time with her friends and family, riding her motorcycle, camping, swimming, and dancing to great local music in her hometown of Eureka Springs Arkansas among the wildflowers in the Ozarks. Her favorite author is anyone who writes from their heart.


Heather Fowler

CERTIFICATION PROJECT MANAGER

Heather is a member of the BPI certification team, assisting companies throughout the certification and sublicense processes.  Prior to joining BPI at the beginning of 2020, she waded her way through higher education as an academic librarian and spent two years coaching the local YMCA swim team.  Heather lives in Southwest Georgia, enduring humid summers below the Gnat Line in exchange for close proximity to The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches. She enjoys fishing, kayaking, playing tennis, working out with her family, and backyard bird-watching with her cats.  Her favorite author (if she can only pick one) is Naomi Novik.


Jane Palmer Harris

CERTIFICATION PROJECT MANAGER & NEW PROGRAMS LEAD  

Jane joined BPI as a Project Manager at the start of 2020, excited to be a part of growing the infrastructure for compostable products.  She comes from a background in marketing and project management in food recovery, food waste diversion, and zero waste, and is actively involved with the USCC Young Professionals.  She also received her Masters in Social Entrepreneurship at USC to work to help companies to use business as a force for good. When she's not at her desk you can find her at her local farmers market, cooking up something new in the kitchen, volunteering in the community,  on her yoga mat, or soaking up the San Diego sun. Her favorite author is Michael Pollan.




Claire Dakhlia

CERTIFICATION PROJECT MANAGER                                     

Claire joined the Certification Team in 2020, excited to work towards a zero-waste future. She has a BA in Chemistry with a Sustainability Minor and a passion for making science accessible. Claire is currently based in Atlanta, GA, but plans to move around California, Tennessee, Maine, Massachusetts and Texas in 2021. In her free time, Claire loves to cook, bake, garden and make her own clothes. Her favorite author is Samin Nosrat.



Kikku Zeiner-Fukushima

SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER

Kikku joined BPI as a Special Projects Manager at the beginning of 2021, bringing over ten years of progressive experience in a multidisciplinary field of Sustainability Management, Biodegradable Materials, and office operations in government institutions. Kikku is passionate about sustainable development initiatives and science that supports a shift to the circular economy and the design of environmentally-friendly materials. Kikku has a Ph.D. in Materials Nanotechnology, an MBA in Sustainability Management, and a B.S. in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering. She lives in NYC and loves spending time with her family, being outdoors, and learning foreign languages. One of her favorite authors is Sheldon Kopp.




BPI is a science-driven organization that supports a shift to the circular economy by promoting the production, use, and appropriate end of lives for materials and products that are designed to fully biodegrade in specific biologically active environments.

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