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Blue Star Recyclers: Recycling to create local jobs for people with disabilities

Our Story

Our mission is recycling electronics and other materials to create local jobs for people with autism and other disAbilities. Turn your e‑waste into real, local jobs. Your recycling fees help us achieve over 90% self-sustainability and pay our workers real wages.

Abilities

Our workforce delivers:

  • Aptitude and attitude for careful, detailed, repetitive work
  • Lowest turnover, absenteeism, and lost-time accident rates in the industry
  • Over 98% work-task team engagement while on the clock
  • And proves that lack of employment is related to lack of opportunity

Leadership Team

Jane Blume

Jane Blume
Office Manager

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
Materials Remarketing 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.

Raul Guzman

Raul Guzman
Plant Operations Manager,
Chicagoland

Raul joined the Blue Star Recyclers team in late November as the Plant Operations Manager for our new recycling operation in Buffalo Grove, IL. Raul brings 9 years of operational experience in the warehousing and logistics industry and is passionate about Blue Star’s Mission of Providing Opportunity for Meaningful Employment. In his previous roles as General Manager with previous other companies he cultivated a strong discipline of 5S and Lean Manufacturing. He was successful in developing operations improvements in safety, quality, productivity, and employee retention. Raul strongly believes that “success comes as a result of passionate individuals, a well-developed team, and a devoted leadership.” Focused on the strengths of his employees, he aims to provide the best coaching and mentoring tools to assist in their development and career growth to Define Success Every Shift and Every Day!

Clyde Killingbeck

Clyde Killingbeck
Director of Operations

Clyde is a Colorado Renaissance man who holds a BA in ceramics and began his manufacturing career in a clay pottery company. He then transitioned to the electronics recycling industry where he managed recycling operations, material, production processes, and assisted in developing safety and health procedures for a national company. In the past eleven years he became National Operations Manager over six US locations and then VP of Operations.

His expertise in managing multiple facilities helps Blue Star as we expand our recycling footprint in Colorado and other regions. Clyde is excited to contribute to the Blue Star mission of creating jobs for people with autism and other disAbilities.

Craig McNeal

Craig McNeal
Plant Operations Manager, Boulder

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!

Tom Moloney

Tom Moloney
Resale and Digital Marketing Manager

Tom wears many hats in our Denver facility. He assists walk-in customers, runs social media, and refurbishes computers for low-imcome families and other non-profits.

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.

Bill Morris

Bill Morris
Founder

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.

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 Executive 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 fourth location in Roaring Fork Valley, Sam was promoted to CEO 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.”

Raul Guzman

Deb Nelson
Business Development Manager,
Southern Colorado

Deb is the first contact for all of our Colorado business customers. Living in Colorado Springs since 1977, Debbi is an “almost” native and with her background in hotel sales and the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado, her focus is on providing great customer service for our Blue Star corporate customers. She’s proud to be BSR’s most senior member of the leadership team—just remember “age ain’t nothing but a number”!

Jackie Winger

Jackie Winger
Client Support Manager

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.

Denver

Michael Aguilar

Michael Aguilar
Recycling Tech

Michael was born and raised in Denver and joined Blue Star in 2019. He likes working in the warehouse because it making him strong! He enjoys basketball, and his favorite teams are the Bulls and Nuggets. Michael has an enthusiastic ‘can do’ attitude.

Alejandro Cabral

Alejandro Cabral
Warehouse Lead

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.

James Campbell

James Campbell
Recycling Tech

James is very organized and punctual. He was born Shawnee, Kansas and has lived in Colorado since 2014. James enjoys video games and Dungeons and Dragon, both of which he is very passionate about. James looks towards a career in Library Science.

Killian Connally

Killian Connally
Recycling Tech

Recently arrived from Durango, Killian has quickly and seamlessly become a valuable team member. He has lively conversations about movies and video games with his fellow teammates. He is known by some as “The Man with Dreds” but his smile conveys his fun personality.

Matthew Conrad

Matthew Conrad
Recycling Tech

Matthew recently moved to Denver from Boston. He has been working for Blue Star since 2018 and spends his day assisting customers and disassembling computers. When he is not at work he enjoys reading and solving puzzles. Matthew formerly worked as a Web Master for the Asperger Autism Network.

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.

Darius Hudson

Darius Hudson
Warehouse Assistant

Darius is a Denver native who always has a smile on his face. He is an avid gamer and likes to create YouTube presentations. Darius joined Blue Star after a 3-month internship through Goodwill. He is currently the tallest Recycling Tech at Blue Star!

David Kasmiro

David Kasmiro
Recycling Tech

David came to Blue Star Recyclers in 2019 from the Cherry Creek School District’s Transition Program. David was born in Lebanon but moved to the U.S. at a very young age. He likes Disney movies and basketball. His smile shows why we are happy to have him part of our team.

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.

Praphote Prakkratok

Praphote Prakkratok
Warehouse Technician

Praphote is a Bangkok native and spent his youth in Thailand before arriving in Denver in the summer of 1989. His pastime consists of spending time with his family and also touring malls and restaurants with his friends. Praphote has entered our Denver team eager to learn and bond with his co-workers, both of which he has successfully done. His main drive in life is to develop a strong work ethic to maintain a job. With the ultimate goal of becoming home owner.

Ian Sabar

Ian Sabar
Production Team Lead

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.

Zach Vanden Heuvel

Zach Vanden Heuvel
Recycling Tech

Zach moved to Denver 3 months ago from California to be with his family. He LOVES animals and worked at a dog kennel for six years before joining our team at Blue Star Recyclers. Zach spends his free time listening to 90’s rock bands such as Stone Temple Pilots and Alice In Chains. He is also an avid film buff watching mostly action and thriller movies. Welcome aboard Zach!

Raymond Wall

Raymond Wall
Recycling Tech

Raymond comes to Blue Star Recyclers with experience at another electronics recycling facility and a passion for taking things apart — something he has been doing since he was 5 years old. Raymond’s sense of humor and strong work ethic adds a lot to the Blue Star team.

Chicagoland

Sam Fox

Sam Fox
Recycling Tech

Sam has had a very impressive start. On his first day he disassembled 14 Desktops, and 2 Laptops. He enjoys shredding hard drives and has started a small collection of small “nick-knacks”. Sam shows a great positive attitude and willingness not only to learn, but also to teach his impressive knowledge about CPUs.

He enjoys designing "futuristic" cars, redesigning Nerf toys and playing video games.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Danny Hennessy

Danny Hennessy
Recycling Tech

Enjoys breaking down laptops and joking with his coworkers. He has a great attitude and is ready to help out wherever he can. Danny is a huge fan of CC hockey, 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.

Andy Jones

Andy Jones
Recycling Tech

Andy Jones is the first hire of 2019 for Colorado Springs. He’s a native to Colorado Springs. In his spare time, Andy enjoys practicing computer aided drafting (for which he has a bachelor’s degree), writing progressive music compositions, and even does some computer programming. He would one day like to get into video game design. We’re privileged to have such a talented man on our team!

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.

Tom Lombardy

Tom Lombardy
Retired

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.

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!

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!

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.

Chris 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.

Boulder

Terra Garcia

Terra Garcia
Recycling Tech

Terra went to school at Frederick High School and lives in Boulder County. She loves all things animals, art and tech. She plans to sell her art on Etsy and intends to go to college for Computer Graphics Design and Marine Biology. She enjoys playing video games, drawing, and swimming with her mermaid tail.

Charles Jeske

Charles Jeske
Recycling Tech

Charles lives in Broomfield and is a proud Lakota Sioux. He recently traveled to South Dakota to meet his tribe. Charles graduated from Greeley West High School and enjoys playing drums and bass guitar during his free time.

Christian Macias

Christian Macias
Recycling Tech

Christian is a Colorado native. His new work at Blue Star will help support his family and build funds for college. Christian is a very kind soul and always quick to help without hesitation. He enjoys video games, good food, and watching YouTube.

Robert Newton

Robert Newton
Recycling Tech

Robert was born in Jacksonville, Florida and served in the Army for three years working as a helicopter repair tech before moving to Colorado. His skills and hobbies include carbon art, welding, blacksmithing, and gaming on all levels. As an avid player of Dungeons and Dragons, Robert is always looking for new challenges and friends to play with.

Scott Sampson

Scott Sampson
Front Counter Lead

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!

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!

Daniel Thomas

Daniel Thomas
Recycling Tech

Daniel graduated from Front Range Community College with the dream to go into animation and ultimately working for Disney. His hobbies include basketball, running, snowboarding, and drawing. Daniel’s character is built on honest hard working with an endless passion of learning. He hopes to develop new workplace skills by working at Blue Star Recyclers and get closer to his ultimate goal of working for Disney.

Our Board

David Bechtold, Ph.D.

David Bechtold, Ph.D.
 

Dr. David Bechtold is an Associate Professor of Management at MSU Denver. He teaches courses on strategic management, global enterprise management and sustainability at the undergraduate and graduate level. He recently presented a Ted Talk on the power of purpose within an organization that was based upon his work with Bill Morris and Bleu Star.

Rachel Fagnant-Fassler

Rachel Fagnant-Fassler
 

Rachel is President and Co-Owner of CFW Careers, a boutique executive search and talent advisory firm based in New York City. At CFW, she manages a team of talent consultants, co-leads strategy and operations of the firm, and plays an active role with clients in a consulting and account management capacity. As a part of her work at CFW, Rachel also co-founded a women’s leadership initiative called Changing the Conversation, with the mission of advancing women towards leadership and helping to achieve the ultimate goal of gender equality in the highest ranks of the corporate world.

Earlier in her career, Rachel worked as a personal and career counselor in the nonprofit sector. She has a B.A. from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and an M.A. in Counseling from New York University.

Merrill Glustrom, Ph.D.

Merrill Glustrom, Ph.D.
 

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
 

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.

Karen Kunstbeck

Karen Kunstbeck
 

Karen Kunstbeck received her Bachelor of Science from Concordia University Wisconsin in Business & Accounting. She currently is the Accounting Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc. (MEAU) based in Vernon Hills, IL. Here she over sees the day-to-day accounting activities and supports global branch offices and operations.

At MEAU, Karen has been a member of the philanthropy committee, VISION, for over 15 years, serving in various roles including Chairperson, Vice-Chair and currently Treasurer. She serves as project lead of Vision’s annual Disability Mentoring Day during National Disability Employment Awareness month. Karen is also actively engaged in the company’s local recycling drives, environmental conservation efforts at an outdoor educational center that supports youths with disabilities, and participates in practice interviews with students with Autism and development disabilities as they prepare for the workforce.

Garrett Mayberry

Garrett Mayberry
 

Garrett Mayberry joined the Boettcher Foundation in 2017 as Special Assistant to the CEO. He supports the foundation’s leadership, communications and grantmaking programs as special projects coordinator.

Prior to joining the Boettcher Foundation, Garrett worked as a fellow at El Pomar Foundation, where he hosted international visitors, launched an environmental stewardship program, and supported grants and communications. He also served as an intern with the grants and scholarship programs at the Boettcher Foundation.

Garrett attended the University of Colorado Boulder as a Boettcher Scholar, where he studied International Affairs and was a Presidents Leadership Class member and class advisor. He was an advisory board member of Beanstalk Foundation and member of Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.

Adam Melnick

Adam Melnick
 

Adam is a Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he teaches a variety of entrepreneurship related courses and works with MSU Denver's Center for Entrepreneurship. His research interests include access to capital for underserved businesses as well as social impact businesses. Prior to joining MSU Denver, Adam worked as Senior Entrepreneurship Officer and In-house Counsel at Colorado Lending Source, where Adam worked with over 125 small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs as the facilitator for their Ice House Entrepreneur Development program. This program helped his organization remain an integral part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Front Range. Adam also co-founded Conscious Capitalism Colorado. CCC inspires, educates, and assists individuals and businesses to implement the pillars of Conscious Capitalism and thrive financially while elevating the quality of life for all stakeholders.

Todd Steffen

Todd Steffen
 

Todd is Vice President in Colliers Industrial Real Estate & Supply Chain Practice. Over his 25+ years in the industry, Todd has led global transportation, inventory management, network optimization, and automation & technology teams.

While at Walgreens, Todd worked on development of distribution facilities to employ people with significant cognitive disabilities. From this experience, Todd developed a personal passion for creating large scale employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the distribution industry. In 2017, Todd and his wife, Melody, founded Higher Purpose Gifts, a national gourmet gift set company that employs people with cognitive disabilities.