Meet our Team
Annie Leonard, Co-Director
Annie has dedicated nearly two decades to investigating and organizing on environmental health and justice issues. Prior to creating and releasing The Story of Stuff in December 2007, she worked with the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives), Health Care Without Harm, Essential Action and Greenpeace International. She currently serves on the boards of GAIA and Public Citizen, and has previously served on the boards of the Public Citizen, Grassroots Recycling Network, Environmental Health Fund, Global Greengrants India and Greenpeace India. Annie’s first book—The Story of Stuff—was published by Free Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in March 2010. Please contact Renée Shade (below) for booking or appointment information.
Read more about Annie’s story here.
Michael O’Heaney, Co-Director
Michael brings over fifteen years experience as an advocate, fundraiser and consultant to his role as Co-Director. As the Project’s lead program developer and fundraiser, Michael focuses on providing the over 300,000 members of the Story of Stuff community with the tailored content and tools they need to engage in collective learning and social change efforts. Prior to joining The Story of Stuff Project, Michael developed fundraising and communications strategies for environmental, civil rights, reproductive justice and media reform organizations as the principal of Channing Way Consulting. He also served as the Development Director of two San Francisco Bay Area-based advocacy organizations—Global Exchange and Pacific Environment. He can be reached at michael (at) storyofstuff (dot) org.
Allison Cook, Director of Community Engagement
Allison designs the media, outreach and engagement strategies for all our movies, most recently captaining the development of our Changemaker Personality Quiz for The Story of Change. The Project’s longest serving staff person, Allison managed the production of several successful offline learning tools, including a curriculum for high school students and a study guide for faith communities. Prior to joining the Story of Stuff Project team, Allison worked with the Sustainability Funders Workgroup and the Funders Network on Transforming the Global Economy. In her “secret life” Allison volunteers as a medic with the Berkeley Free Clinic. She can be reached at allison (at) storyofstuff (dot) org
Renée Shade, Director of Operations
Renée joined our staff in 2010 following a successful two years at RE-AMP, a network of non-profits and foundations working on climate change and energy policy in the upper Midwest. Prior to RE-AMP, Renée worked in the mortgage industry in New York City. Though lucrative, Renée decided to move west to pursue her long-held desire to work in the sustainability movement. She brings her tremendous organization and office management skills to the project’s Berkeley office. She can be reached at renee (at) storyofstuff (dot) org
Naomi Sultana Young, CFRE, Development Associate
A Certified Fund Raising Executive and longtime AFP member, Naomi has raised funds from a variety of sources for Bay Area non-profits including the San Francisco Conservation Corps, the Mind Body Awareness Project and Solar Richmond. At the Story of Stuff Project, Naomi designs and implements fund raising strategies to nurture relationships with prospective and current donors and funders while furthering our mission. A lifelong environmentalist, Appalachian Trail through-hiker and former actor, Naomi can be reached at naomi (at) storyofstuff (dot) org
Nicole Cairns, Director of Online Organizing
After working in the music industry and in ad agencies, Nicole found her true passion in online organizing for environmental organizations. She’s worked on campaigns for several nonprofits and served as the Deputy Online Director for Power Shift 2011, a project of the Energy Action Coalition. Prior to joining the Story of Stuff Project, Nicole was the Online Communications Director for Reform Immigration FOR America where she grew the online community from 700,000 members to more than 1 million members in just 18 months.
Bill Walker, Communications Director
In Bill’s first career he was a roving correspondent for newspapers including The Denver Post and The Sacramento Bee. He joined the environmental movement as a press officer for Greenpeace in San Francisco, later heading the organization’s national news bureau in Washington, DC. He served as communications director for the California League of Conservation Voters before opening the California office of Environmental Working Group, where he became vice president for the West Coast. Since 2009 he has been a strategist for a number of organizations including Earthworks and the Breast Cancer Fund. At the Story of Stuff Project, Bill handles media relations, including interview requests, and produces our monthly podcast series, The Good Stuff. He can be reached at bill (at) storyofstuff (dot) org.
In addition to this core team, the Project is supported by our creative partners at Free Range Studios and technology consultants at Groundwire. Jodi Solomon Speakers manages Annie Leonard’s public appearances. Our podcast, The Good Stuff, is produced in the studios of YouthRadio in Oakland, CA. Our faith-based study program was developed with GreenFaith and our educational curriculum for high school students was created by Facing the Future. The Story of Stuff Project is fiscally-sponsored by San Francisco’s Tides Center.
Our Project is supported and guided by Advisory and Community Boards composed of respected experts on various aspects of the materials economy.