Our Volunteers

Here are our volunteers:

Katharine Valentino
Katharine Valentino

Most of us long for meaning and purpose in our lives. Katharine Valentino always felt honorable. However, opportunities to do something honorable were rare during her too-long working life — sales clerk, mail sorter, maid, waitress, assistant trainer for the blind, administrative assistant, modern jazz dancer, house painter, newspaper reporter and editor, technical writer, poetry and memoir editor, website creator, programmer and software systems engineer. Now in retirement, Katharine welcomes the opportunity to work on resolving what she calls “the second greatest problem humankind is facing today.” (Climate change is the first, but plastic pollution compounds it).

Scott Rosin

Scott Rosin, formerly chair of the Newport, Oregon, Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, is now acting chair for Plastic Roads.

Scott is an inveterate surfer and writer with a career history in forest labor. He says, “I worked for 47 years as a fire-fighter, smokejumper, tree planter, pre-commercial thinner, timber-faller, logger and all-round construction guy. I was a small-business owner for 31 one of those years. If it involved blood, sweat and lower back pain, I’ve done it, or I’ve shown others how to do it.”

Scott’s poetry has been published in numerous woodland, firefighting, surfing, and literary magazines. He was featured as the world’s foremost surfing poet in The Glide: Renaissance of Long-Board Surfing, a history and commentary about contemporary long-board surfing by Chris Bystrom. His most recent work is Tell ‘Em We’re Surfing, a varied poetical collection referencing classic updates of Faustus and The Ancient Mariner and employing the beat and rhythm of the ocean.

Alaina Labak

Alaina has been working to reduce and redirect waste since the days in high school when she could be found gathering aluminum cans from the garbage bins in the school cafeteria.  More recently she has worked to inform and inspire others as a long-time lead for the Green Team at New Seasons Market, a certified Master Recycler with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, a member of Zero Waste PDX, and a board member for Recycling Advocates.

Tara Knierim

Tara is the secretary for Recycling Advocates, the parent organization for Plastic Up-Cycling and Plastic Roads. Tara is, as she puts it, “passionate about environmental issues and frustrated by the current state of waste and recycling in this country.”

Donna DiGiacinto

“As a young person,” Donna says, “I did not pay attention to world events, but when I became a pet owner, after I retired from the Air Force, all that changed. Now, I am acutely aware of the tragic decline of wildlife habitat, just during my life time. With recent fires and weather disasters around the world our precious natural resources have diminished even faster. This has lit a fire within my soul to do everything possible to “clean up our planet” before it decides to do it for us, by clearing out humankind along with all the other trash. If this makes me a tree hugger; then chain me to the tree, baby!