Blue Star Recyclers

A 501c3 Nonprofit

Our Team

James and NIck's lives have been changed since finding a fulfulling job at Blue Star Recyclers.

Christopher Garcia, Recycling Tech (In memoriam)

Christopher was the inspiration for what became Blue Star Recyclers. In the Spring of 2008 Bill Morris met Christopher, and Bill was amazed at his skills and expertise in breaking down electronic components. Christopher always made himself available to help his co-workers when they got stuck with a disassembly process, and for the first year he was the pace-setter for the team.

The original team still talks about Chris and we all miss him very much. From time to time when I look at all the wonderful things that have happened at Blue Star since our inception, I have to smile and believe Christopher is still helping his old team mates!

Chris Alberti

Chris Alberti, Recycling Tech

Chris lives in Parker, and he likes playing PC games, and going on family vacations to Las Vegas, Taos and Albuquerque, NM. He has developed websites and he loves Mexican food.

Alec Anderson

Alec Anderson, Lead Driver

Alec Anderson joined Blue Star Recyclers in August of 2017 as our Lead Driver. He's is a 14 year veteran of the US Army, completing two tours of duty in Iraq as an equipment mechanic. In addition, Alec has four years of experience working in corrections which will help keep us all in line! As a father of five he's always looking for new challenges, and in his own words, he has "a wicked good sense of humor." Look for him offering great pickup service to all our business customers in Colorado Springs!

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson, Production Lead

Zach first applied for our disassembly team a year ago when he came to recycle his own electronics. Now we have the materials and Zach is wasting no time breaking them down. He enjoys working with all electronics, as well as reading and playing video games. He was also with the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. According to Zach, this is the first meaningful job he's had — and we're thrilled to have him on our team!

James Anton

James Anton, Senior Recycling Tech

James started on the CI team before being officially hired by Blue Star. James is always in a great mood; his infectious giggle is a constant on our work floor. James holds the record for most computers disassembled in any one shift and is as fast as lightning when taking apart a computer tower. James likes practical jokes and teaching others American Sign Language.

Ben Arnett

Ben Arnett, Warehouse Assistant

Ben came to us as a volunteer earlier this year, and did such a terrific job we asked him to stick around! Fortunately for us, he agreed. Ben is now Warehouse Assistant in our Denver Recycling Operations.

Ben enjoys watching movies, playing video games, playing Magic the Gathering, and listening to all types of rock music and some electronic music. He also loves to cook and eat food. Ben recently graduated from high school and completed a work-study program here at Blue Star Recyclers. He is currently working to go to college and hopes to get a Bachelors degree in journalism and film-making and one day become a director and screenwriter.

Jane Blume

Jane Blume, Administrative Assistant and Receptionist

Jane comes to us with 22 years experience in the non-profit sector. Her greatest satisfaction comes from doing whatever she can to help/serve others. Jane enjoys watching sports; football, soccer, and auto racing are her favorites. Her biggest joy in life (both literally and figuratively) is her six year old Saint Bernard. Jane is also a proud fur-mom of four cats.

Zach Bowen

Zach Bowen, Plant Operations Manager

Zach was born in St. Louis, Missouri but spent the majority of his upbringing in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He enjoys the sciences and nature. Zach says it is a great honor to work at Blue Star Recyclers, helping to preserve the environment, and assist people with disabilities.

Nathan Broin

Nathan Broin, Recycling Tech

Nathan "The Giant" has been at the recycling center for three years; longer then most of his coworkers. He likes helping the Blue Star workers load and unload pallets from the trucks. Nathan's favorite foods are pizza and coffee.

Alejandro Cabral

Alejandro Cabral, Logistics Assistant

Alejandro was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He enjoys listening to rock and rap music and loves a good burrito. His main passion is animals and he tries to make it to the Denver Zoo every weekend to see the animals.

Richie Cole

Richie Cole, Recycling Tech

Richie, aka "the Crusher", is responsible for our fluorescent bulb recycling program. As a part of his job, Richie recycles fluorescent and U-Tube bulbs by operating a machine that crushes the bulbs and safely captures the mercury. Richie started out as a high school transitions student and was the first individual on the CI team to be promoted as a Blue Star employee. At lunch, he acts as pit boss, facilitating the board games played by the recycling team.

Dominic Dunbar

Dominic Dunbar, Retired

Dominic "The Dominator" is the self proclaimed host of the "Blue Star morning show" and is quick to offer tours or the Blue Star facility. Dominic loves music and knows virtually every song that comes on the radio. His favorite job is shredding hard drives.

Vinny Eide

Vinny Eide, Warehouse Tech

Vinny has lived in Colorado since he was five and has been mountain and road biking for about as long. He is a published music artist, with over fifty tracks on soundcloud. Vinny absolutely loves the people and consistency of work at Blue Star Recyclers, and we are extremely happy to have him!

Rusty Freymuth

Rusty Freymuth, Refurbishment Tech

Rusty takes apart desktop towers, and he especially enjoys taking apart anything he hasn't done before. He's always looking to challenge himself with something new.


Dave Fry

Dave Fry, Plant Operations Manager

Like so many Blue Star employees, Dave started out as a CI employee. When he first started at Blue Star as the CI Enclave Supervisor, he was a polite and reserved young man. In quick order, he has now become a complete goofball, always willing to make a fool out of himself to keep the mood light.

Dave was hired by Blue Star Recyclers as the Enclave Coordinator to help us grow and develop additional vocational programs. In addition to this duty, he also acts as EHS Coordinator, ensuring the team maintains a safe workplace. Under his leadership, the Blue Star separation team has more than doubled its level of productivity. Dave is a calm and attentive supervisor, who uses positive reinforcement and humor to keep the team on point. Dave is originally from Minnesota, but spent much of his childhood in Senegal.

Noah Galaska

Noah Galaska, Recycling Operations Assistant

Noah started with Blue Star in the summer of 2016. Carol Collins, a DVR counselor and longtime friend of Blue Star, assisted Noah in his job placement at Blue Star. In Noah’s words “I think Blue Star Recyclers is the best fitting job for me that I will ever find because I find all things electronic fun and intriguing.” When he’s not managing the front counter or assisting with logistics in the warehouse, Noah enjoys cooking and playing video games. He also likes a good puzzle and dismantling and rebuilding computers. Noah is a hard worker, he’s always looking for something that needs to be done with a great attention to detail. Come by Blue Star on Saturday mornings and Noah will recycle your e-waste!

Loretto Hawkins

Loretto Hawkins, Warehouse & Logistics Assistant

Loretto came to Blue Star as a full-time volunteer in January, providing much needed help doing janitorial work and special project material sorting. We wanted to hire him immediately but had to wait a few months before we had an available position on the team. A real job means everything to our team members, and when we gave him the good news about his job you would have thought Loretto won the lottery he was so excited.

Born in Hammond, Indiana, Loretto moved to Denver in 1996. He likes playing pool, watching wrestling, and eating crab! We suspect he will have crab for dinner on his first payday.

Shane Hayden

Shane Hayden, Recycling Tech

Shane came to Blue Star Recyclers in 2015 from Overland High School VERN program. Shane is a go-getter! He’ll get on any assigned task, literally running to whatever it is he’s assigned to. He processes laptops, data stores, and disassembles hard drives. He really loves celebrating team goals at the end of the workday.

Danny Hennessy

Danny Hennessy, Recycling Tech

Danny enjoys breaking down laptops and joking with his coworkers. He has a great attitude and is ready to help out wherever he can. He is a huge fan of CC hockey, a CO Rockies fan, and all around sports nut. When he's not at Blue Star Danny can be found at virtually every CC hockey game or Rockies game, or playing video games with friends.

Ben Johnston

Ben Johnston, Recycling Tech

Ben has been into computers for a long time, and really enjoys working with electronics, computers, and anything technical / mechanical. Ben has attended classes at Boulder CTEC and at Front Range Community College to learn about Information Technology. In addition to all that, Ben has a great passion for electronics and aviation. He really likes to watch airplanes at any nearby airport, and also really enjoys meeting new people and making new friends with similar interests to him.

Adam Landgraf

Adam Landgraf, Warehouse Lead

Adam has so many hidden talents we seem to discover a new one every week! Turns out that along with being an outstanding worker, Adam is an artist, singer, dancer, and even knows a few martial arts moves Chuck Norris would be jealous of! His primary responsibility at Blue Star Recyclers is sorting and staging electronics materials to make them ready for end of life processing. He also assists the logistics team in bringing in materials and keeps the warehouse organized and clean.

Bill Morris

Bill Morris, Co-Founder & CEO

Bill co-founded Blue Star Recyclers in 2009 after discovering people with Autism and other disabilities possess innate talent for tasks involved in the recycling and refurbishing of electronics. He is a tireless advocate for the workforce of people with disAbilities, enjoys traveling, and has a personal goal of playing a round of golf without cursing or throwing his driver.

Bill was named 2011 Colorado Recycler of the Year, Colorado Springs Small Business Person of the Year, ARC Employer of the Year, and was a finalist for the 2012 Colorado CEO of the Year and White House Champion of Change program. Blue Star Recyclers has received the 2014 Samaritan Award from the Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance, was named Colorado’s 2016 Social Venture of the Year, and Colorado Springs 2017 Social Impact Business of the Year.

Contact Bill directly at 719.494.4436 bill@bluestarrecyclers.com.

Tom Lombardy

Tom Lombardy, Recycling Tech

Tom is a longtime friend and volunteer at Blue Star Recyclers and his specialty is disassembling laptops. He is a hard worker and loves being of help. Tom is also a renaissance man — he plays the electric bass guitar and paints with acrylics and water color pencil. He enjoys playing poker and tennis, riding his bike, and watching sci-fi movies.

Craig McNeal

Craig McNeal, Program Manager

Craig started his career with ten years with the Army, spending six years as a small group leader and two as his company’s human resources manager. After the Army, Craig returned to Colorado where he joined EcoCycle as a warehouse technician. Blue Star works in partnership with EcoCycle in Boulder so we were able to see Craig’s work ethic and rapport with the Blue Star team. When our Boulder supervisor position opened, we knew Craig would be a great fit. He joined our team in July and he has already hit the ground running!

Janet Morris

Janet Morris, Finance Director

With over 25 years in the finance and accounting industry, Janet joined Blue Star Recyclers in 2011 when we became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In addition to working directly with our Board of Directors Finance Committee and CPA, Janet manages all of our accounting functions, financial reporting, HR and payroll, and annual coordination of our financial audit and 990 preparation. She also is responsible for implementing and maintaining our web-based database program that manages material flow, inventory control, and customer accounts. Janet says that, “By far the best part of my job is the daily interaction with all of the wonderful people that work at Blue Star. The hugs and the conversations can quickly turn a stressful day into a great one. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with the best people in the world.”

Sam Morris

Sam Morris, Chief Operating Officer

Five years ago Sam worked a few events at Blue Star but he decided joining the Marine Reserves looked easier. After his tour of duty and four years at Liberty Wire & Cable Sam returned to Blue Star to fill the much needed position Recycling Operations Director for Denver and Colorado Springs. His skill in management and systems operations helped us improve efficiency at both locations. After opening our third location in Boulder, Sam was promoted to Chief Operating Officer to bring managerial oversight across all our operations. Sam credits the team and says, “The work ethic and productivity of our team of people with autism and other disabilities is amazing.”

Nick Moscoso

Nick Moscoso, Lead Driver

Nick joined the Community Intersections electronics recycling team in May, 2010. He quickly applied his experience and skills and became a top member of that team, and one year later in May, 2011 he was promoted to employment with Blue Star Recyclers. Nick is a certified forklift driver and his primary responsibility is helping collect, transport, weigh, sort, and stage recyclable electronics materials for processing. He is a great team member and an invaluable member of our organization.

Along with being a highly decorated Special Olympian, Nick is the 2011 Achiever of the Year from the Arc of the Pikes Peak Region. Nick's favorite saying is, "It's All Good".

Kian Phair

Kian Phair, Recycling Tech

In 2015 Kian moved from a transitions program at Overland High School to working with the Blue Star Recyclers team. Kian brings a lot of fun to the team. He’s quick to joke and loves teasing his supervisors. He is also a dedicated task-master and works on recycling light bulbs, shredding hard drives, processing laptops, and assisting with the refurbishment program. Kian is a great asset for Blue Star.

Michael Richards

Michael Richards, Recycling Tech

Michael is a graduate of University of Colorado Denver with a BS in Computer Science. He likes to write programs in Java, CMtt, Python, and Android Studio. He also likes to weight-lift and perform heavy lifting at work. He enjoys working at Blue Star where everyone is kind and courteous, and he is willing to learn some new work skills that will help him grow his working experience.

Ian Sabar

Ian Sabar, Recycling Tech

Ian has taken the skills he's learned at Blue Star Recyclers to volunteer with Santa's Little Hackers, a non-profit group that adapts toys for children with disabilities. He likes to dance, do crossfit training, and plays video games. His favorite thing to cook is buffalo wings.

Scott Sampson

Scott Sampson, Warehouse Tech

Scott was born and raised in Los Angeles and moved to Colorado with his family in 2012. Scott has been making abstract digital art since he was a kid. His love of art spurred him to earn a bachelors degree in art history from Humboldt State University. He is super proud of the work he does for Blue Star and we are extremely honored to have him be a part of our team!

Steven Sanchez

Steven Sanchez, Lead Driver

Steven is a Denver native of 40 years. He is a proud father of four wonderful kids. Steven has a certification as a Locksmith and has extensive customer service skills. He also has experience working with people who have a wide range of disabilities and is a mentor to all around him with hopes of bringing positivity to all he touches. If you are one of our Denver area business clients, you will likely see Steve picking up e-waste at your loading dock or facility.

Leigh Schilling

Leigh Schilling, Recycling Tech

After volunteering at Blue Star Recyclers since 2012 at our front recycling counter, Leigh officially became a Blue Star employee and joined our disassembly team in May 2014. After almost five years with only one female member on that team, we are thrilled to have Leigh aboard! With an ever friendly nature, she is always ready to engage people and make them feel welcomed. Leigh likes hanging out with friends, playing video games and listening to music. She's an animal lover who would one day love to be a barrel racer!

Patrick Sharp

Patrick Sharp, Warehouse Tech

Patrick is one of the most humble-minded of our crew at Blue Star. His consistent workout schedule means he excels at moving customers’ heavy CRT TVs. When not at Blue Star, Patrick enjoys playing Pokemon Go, and attending art and Spanish lessons. Muy Bueno! Patrick was born in Boulder and lives in Longmont. We are super happy to have him on our team!

Frankie Shaw

Frankie Shaw, Recycling Tech

Frankie started on our disassembly team before being promoted to Counter Sales Manager. For many, Frankie's smile represents their official welcome to Blue Star. Frankie's job entails greeting our walk-in customers, handling recycling transactions, and informing the public of our mission. During the Summer, Frankie also works for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Be sure to say hello to her when you go to a ballgame!

Robbie Shepherd

Robbie Shepherd, Facilities Tech

Robbie joined our team in November 2014 under the supervision of Nick Moscoso. Robbie and Nick are responsible for picking up electronics from our business, government, and non-profit customers. Before joining Blue Star Recyclers, Robbie worked in the restaurant business and loves working with people. He always has a smile on his face or is laughing! He is also outstanding at bowling and air hockey.

Tom Triolo-Moloney

Tom Triolo-Moloney, Customer Service

Tom oversees our front counter in Denver working with residents and businesses that bring us their e-waste to recycle. He will also assist the production team in various ways.

From the time Tom was five years old, he was taking apart radios and generally making a mess of electronics. Getting paid to do that exact thing now is mind-boggling to him. Tom has a BA in Theatre, Film, and Television Production and he administers social media for several organizations. He enjoys working at Blue Star Recyclers specifically because he has always wanted to put his talents towards a greater social cause.

Mark Tankersly

Mark Tankersly, Recycling Tech

Mark "Tank" has been working with Blue Star for the past year and a half. Mark likes finding projects with big bolts on them. His favorite "color" is camouflage. Mark enjoys action movies and playing the board game "Sorry" during lunch.

Thomas Whitley

Chris Whitley, Senior Recycling Tech

Chris started at Blue Star as a high school transitions student, before being formally hired as a Blue Star Recyclers employee upon graduation. Chris is an amazing worker and is consistently one of our most productive employees. Although quiet in most respects, he is not shy about asking for his paycheck first thing in the morning on payday! When not working, Chris likes to relax and listen to Peruvian flute music.

Jackie Winger

Jackie Winger, Business Development Director

Jackie is hitting the ground running in the Blue Star Recyclers’ Denver office. She brings 5 years of experience in electronics recycling sales and marketing where she worked with governments, aerospace, medical and other leading Colorado companies. She is passionate about the environment and humanitarian interests and is excited to help Denver area organizations discover the benefits of working with Blue Star Recyclers.

Jackie built her career in project management, network design, operations management and technical sales in the telecommunications industry. She was also instrumental in launching two wireless start-up companies. A life-long animal lover, be sure to tell Jackie about your pets.

Zhenyu Yu

Zhenyu Yu, Recycling Tech

Zhenyu was born in Hong Kong, China, and moved to the USA in 2010. He likes any kind of sport and is VERY competitive! He also likes American music. He is always upbeat, in a good mood, and wants to be the TOP recycler at Blue Star. Zhenyu comes to us from our partner vocational training program at Cherry Creek Schools Transitions Program, where Zhenyu developed his skills and was referred to Blue Star for employment.

Chris Zettel

Chris Zettel, Recycling Technician

Chris is a hard worker who comes to us from Orangevale, California with a bunch of warehouse experience. He’s a real gearhead, having taken several automotive classes focusing on transmissions and maintenance at Saddleback College. When not kicking butt and taking names while sorting electronics like a professional at Blue Star – Boulder, you can find Chris gaming or working out at home, or enjoying the outdoors with his Dad by fishing at Lake Granby or stalking white-tail deer in Kansas. We are extremely happy to have Chris on board!

Podcast Tells the Blue Star Recyclers Story

The Need Project Podcast interviewed Bill Morris and allowed him to tell the story of developing of Blue Star Recyclers and the significance of creating meaningful work for disabled people. Click here to listen to this entertaining 25-minute podcast and to hear the full story of our organization and its mission.

 

Our Board

Tony Fagnant, Chair

Anthony (Tony) Fagnant, Secretary

Tony and his wife Mary own and operate Qualtek Mfg. located in Colorado Springs, CO. Qualtek does "Great Thing to its Customer's Metal" – this includes Heat Treating, Metal Finishing and Metal Stamping. While everything is custom, the forte of the business is long running products where production efficiencies can be continuously improved. Tony holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering along with an MBA. Tony's 30 years in business has been in various manufacturing operations in the Computer, Packaging, Plastics, and Metal Fabrication Industries. He has held the roles of Mechanical Engineer, QC Manager, Sales Director, Marketing Director, and Operations Manager; virtually all facets of a Manufacturing Business.

Merrill Glustrom

Merrill Glustrom, Ph.D., Director

While living in Prescott, AZ, Merrill taught English and developed programs at Yavapai College to address the needs of at-risk students, including a computer lab for developmentally disabled young adults. After moving to Boulder he was Assistant Dean at the University of Colorado and taught writing and rhetoric. While he retired from teaching last year, he continues to write online textbooks and pursue social impact investing.

Today he is an active volunteer and community-builder and serves on the Board of the Boulder Rotary Club and Co-Chairs the Preserve Planet Earth Committee. Through Rotary, he is developing a scholarship program for low-income community college students. He was instrumental in forging relationships with the Environmental Committee of the Boulder Rotary Club and Eco-Cycle that allowed Blue Star Recyclers to establish an electronics-recycling center at Eco-Cycle. He develops relationships with people in other communities to help expand the Blue Star Recyclers mission to other communities across the country.

John Griffith

John Griffith, Vice Chair

As president of Alpine Waste & Recycling, John Griffith has built a company with consistently growing revenues and increasingly influential presence in the Denver area's waste and recycling industries. John founded Alpine in 1999 in his Washington Park bungalow as a one truck operation. Today Alpine employs over 200 employees with annual revenues in excess of $33 million.

John was a finalist for ColoradoBiz Magazine's CEO of the Year award in 2007 and 2008, and a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2010 and 2012. Alpine received ColoradoBiz Magazine's "Top Company" Award in 2008, was named one of Colorado's Top Companies to Watch by ColoradoBiz for 2010, and was named as one of the Denver Business Journal's Fastest Growing Private Colorado Companies for 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Originally from Uvalde Texas, John attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he received his degree in business. He has twin sons, one of whom was diagnosed with autism at age 2. John also serves on the board for Firefly Autism.

Linda Irwin, Chair

Linda Irwin, Chair

Linda Irwin is the founding partner of Seecomm Group and consultant partner in 5280 Creative Group. Linda provides strategic planning, marketing strategy, business development and communication services for clients. Irwin owned an educational supply business for 10 years and held the role of VP of Sales at a division of Scholastic. Her consulting clients include Rockwell/Boeing, Harcourt Publishing, and many nonprofits and associations. Irwin is affiliate faculty at Regis University and was awarded Excellence in Teaching Award. She's authored many business management and marketing courses for the undergraduate and MBA Marketing programs. Ms. Irwin served on the Board of Red Rocks Country Club and provides presentations to national and international business organizations and trade groups.

John Mahoney

John Mahoney, Treasurer

Before founding CFO Leadership Services, LLC, John served as Vice President of Finance for Clover/First Data Product where he oversaw finance for the newly acquired Clover tablet product initiative. Prior to that he served as CFO for TASQ Technology, a logistics and distribution division of First Data. He was also a financial leader at divisions of McGraw-Hill Companies. John is a CPA and holds a BS in Public Accountancy from Long Island University.

John “discovered” Blue Star Recyclers at the CO Impact Days event where Blue Star was named Social Venture of the Year. He also serves on the Finance Committee for Shining Mountain Waldorf School and served on the Board of Trustees of Quality Care for Children.

Jesse Ogas

Jesse Ogas, Director

As Executive Director at Firefly Autism, Jesse advocates for people with autism and their families. Firefly Autism provides four education programs to serve children with autism from the age of 18 months to 21 years. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director/CEO Jesse served as VP of Social Responsibility and Development at Firefly and helped build a strong support network for the organization. He also served as Director of Community Relations for Denver Public Schools.

Jesse understands the importance of job-creation for people on the autism spectrum and wants to help Blue Star Recyclers grow those options. He served on the Colorado Aids Project and Clinica Tepeyac boards and has a passion for helping children and people on the autism spectrum.

Laurie Sperry

Laurie Sperry, Ph.D., Director

Dr. Laurie Sperry is an Assistant Clinical Faculty at Yale University and Associate Professor at Regis University. In addition to a PhD, and a degree in Forensic Psychology and Criminology, she is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Doctoral Level. Her private practice, Autism Services And Programs is located in Arvada CO where she works with individuals and groups to help them navigate social environments.

Dr. Sperry provided consulting services in Australia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Africa, Saipan, Singapore and has developed a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Bangalore, India. In 2006 she was added to the Fulbright Scholarship’s Senior Specialist Roster for Autism. Her research focuses on people with ASD who come in contact with the criminal justice system to ensure their humane treatment within the system. She has served as a Special Interest Group Chairwoman at the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) providing mentoring and leadership in the field of criminality and ASD. Sperry completed ADOS evaluations in prisons, has testified as an expert witness in sentencing hearings and has written amicus curiae briefs that have been considered before the state supreme court. She’s trained forensic psychiatric staff in England. Dr. Sperry has published numerous articles, presented at the International Conference for Offenders with Disabilities, and was an expert panelist at the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law conference.


Brenda Stuart Ryan, Director

Brenda Stuart Ryan, Director

Brenda Stuart Ryan built her career over 30 years in radio and television news. The past 17 years have been spend at KOA Newsradio in Denver where she is the morning News Directors. During her time at KOA she has done everything from anchor the newscasts to reporting stories and producing. She became involved with Blue Star Recyclers by airing 2 feature stories about the organization. When not working, Brenda is the mother of three children, including a 24-year-old with autism, Jack who is an employee of Blue Star Recyclers. Brenda’s media experience and her perspective as a parent of an employee makes her a special asset to the Blue Star Board.

Bill Morris, CEO

Bill Morris, CEO, Director