Board

Henry Gundling

Chair
Retired Investment Advisor
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Henry Gundling

Chair
Retired Investment Advisor

A lifelong resident of Napa, Henry served as an investment advisor with UBS Financial Services from 1980 until retiring in 2015. Henry is an active member of the community, serving on several local nonprofit boards; he is currently a board member and vice president of the Gasser Foundation as well as chairman of Sustainable Napa County.


 

  1. What does “sustainability” mean to you?
    Our environmental, economic and social needs are fulfilled and in harmony with one another.
  2. What’s one thing you’ve done to decrease your own carbon footprint at home or at work?
    Solar panels and plug-in Prius.
  3. In your opinion, what is the most valuable role in the community that SNC plays or can play?
    Leadership.
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    Gardening, landscaping and spending time on the Mendocino Coast.

Michael Johnson

Secretary
Renewable Energy Development and Financing
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Michael Johnson

Secretary
Renewable Energy Development and Financing

Michael Johnson combines over 25 years of construction and investment experience. Michael has worked to originate, develop, finance and asset manage over $1 billion in projects. For the last 10 years he has focused primarily on solar investments completing over 35 transactions. He has organized and led three start-up companies in the solar finance space. Michael began his career and worked 10 years as vice president of the LA Johnson Construction Company where he developed and constructed projects for Fortune 500 companies and the United States Military. He then worked 10 years with the National Development Council providing investment banking services to nonprofit clients around the country. Michael has taught finance classes and lectured on renewable energy for clients including Brown University, New York University and Stanford University. He is on the Board of Bay Area Development, an SBA lender. Michael received the Bart Lawson Award from New York University for Environmental Achievement in 2008. Michael lives in Mill Valley, CA and coaches high school lacrosse.


  1. What does “sustainability” mean to you?
    Sustainability is a lifestyle. It is a series of decisions or choices that represent your belief system and how you live in relationship to your community and its natural resources.
  2. What’s one thing you’ve done to decrease your own carbon footprint at home or at work?
    I work in solar, so most of my time is spent decreasing the carbon footprint of energy. Because of this, I do not get obsessive when it comes to my own carbon footprint; however, I recently started composting and work hard to reduce consumption.
  3. In your opinion, what is the most valuable role in the community that SNC plays or can play?
    I feel one of the areas where we can have the largest local impact is in energy. Two programs where SNC has really done an excellent job is with energy efficiency and energy procurement. With the energy audit program, SNC has helped reduce the amount of energy consumed by local businesses, and SNC's role in bringing a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) option through Marin Clean Energy allows Napa County residents to purchase between 50% and 100% renewable energy to power their homes and businesses.
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    In my free time I enjoy sports and recreation. I'm a high school lacrosse coach, cyclist, runner and outdoor enthusiast.

Christy Pestoni Abreu

Education Director, UVDS Clover Flat Resource Recovery Park
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Christy Pestoni Abreu

Education Director, UVDS Clover Flat Resource Recovery Park

The family business founded by Christy’s father Bob Pestoni has evolved over the past 60 years to include collection, disposal, and processing of waste, recycling, composting, and renewable energy production from landfill methane gas.

Christy was born and raised in St. Helena; her family heritage began in the Napa Valley in 1886 when great-grandfather Albino Pestoni arrived from Switzerland and started a winery. Christy has made a life career focusing on sustainability, resource recovery, and environmentally smart business practices.

Christy has a strong commitment to the community and is an emeritus board chair of the St. Helena and Calistoga Boys & Girls Club. In addition to serving on the board of Sustainable Napa County, she is an executive board member of the California Refuse and Recycling Council.


 

  1. What does “sustainability” mean to you?
    When I discuss sustainability in my business, I generally think about minimal to no environmental impacts. Sustainability is choosing the environmentally best approach in business and living life so that the process can continue and move forward for many cycles.
  2. What’s one thing you’ve done to decrease your own carbon footprint at home or at work?
    Every day I work with customers and our community to teach and communicate the benefits of greater sustainability through the understanding and participation of recycling, composting, renewable energy production locally at our landfill, and also creating waste and recycling audits for customers so they can see their GHG benefit reductions by their efforts of diverting waste away from the landfill and redirecting it to recycling and composting. With the help of SNC, last year we replaced the lights at one of our facilities to CFL, which resulted in improved lighting, and we received an energy reduction and a rebate. I also replaced all the lights to CFLs at my home.
  3. In your opinion, what is the most valuable role in the community that SNC plays or can play?
    Partnerships and bridging gaps, and being a guide to energy efficiency, energy independence, greater sustainability and economic vitality. These partnerships with the business community, nonprofits, and municipalities have served as a bridge to creating change. SNC has successfully moved the needle with the Napa County Energy Watch program, MCE, and Napa Green, to name a few; its ability to target, plan, and implement programs that change our culture are happening in real time! I am so proud to be part of this mission.
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    I enjoy hiking, traveling and keeping track of my three kids.

Susan Boswell

Proprietor, Chateau Boswell Winery
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Susan Boswell

Proprietor, Chateau Boswell Winery

As proprietor of Chateau Boswell Winery, Susan participated in the Napa Green pilot winery program, achieving the first Napa Green Winery Certification in 2007. In 2010, Chateau Boswell Winery was the first to be recertified exhibiting a reduction in energy and water use as well as an increase in recycling. Napa Green Land certification was completed in 2010.

Currently, Susan is chair of the Napa County Watershed Information and Conservation Council and a member of the Napa Valley Vintners, Sustainable Napa County, and the Napa Valley Vintner Health Center. Outside of the Napa Valley, Susan is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Friends of Florence in Italy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the cultural and historical integrity of the arts.

Susan strives to manage her winery, caves, and vineyards with responsibility toward her community’s ongoing dependence upon a strong environmental structure. Her desire is to create wines that leave no impact other than that of the memory of a fine wine.


 

  1. What does “sustainability” mean to you?
    Sustainability is a concept, a goal of extending the longevity of a healthy environment and therefore a thriving community. Stewardship is the action that takes you there. I like to place the onus on the individual because each action taken by each person within a community can influence the outcome.
  2. What’s one thing you’ve done to decrease your own carbon footprint at home or at work?
    Many people don’t think about power use when they are using landscape irrigation or taking a shower, but we do use power for pumps if we have a well or, if on city water, to both pump and treat. Water use equals energy use. I have flow meters for measuring water in the winery and at home, the vineyard, and the property landscape. With three meters, I can monitor specific locations and type of use to refine measures to reduce.
  3. In your opinion, what is the most valuable role in the community that SNC plays or can play?
    I envision SNC as the facilitating and educating force uniting communities and businesses in the common goal of reducing our carbon footprint, conserving our resources, and maintaining a public awareness of the importance of changing our habits and taking advantage of new technology to curb our energy use.
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    My daughter and granddaughter are an absolute delight. I enjoy everything we do together, from traveling afar to exploring nature and gardening in our own backyard.

Shawn Gutterson

VP, Business Development, BLT Enterprises
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Shawn Gutterson

VP, Business Development, BLT Enterprises

Shawn is responsible for BLT Enterprises' business development, including financial analyses, contract development, and operational structuring of the company's waste transfer operations. Additionally, Shawn is responsible for developing BLT Enterprises' rail-transfer system.

Prior to joining BLT Enterprises, Shawn was a vice president for Rabanco Regional Disposal Company (Rabanco), where he was responsible for business development in California, as well as the overall operations at Rabanco's Napa Transfer and Recycling Station. He also oversaw the rail and intermodal operations associated with their California customers, as well as land use and environmental permitting for the Napa Facility.

Prior to Rabanco, Shawn worked as a senior marketing manager for the Southern Pacific Railroad, where he coordinated all major solid and hazardous waste train movements.

Shawn, his wife, and their two children live in Napa, where they are very active and involved in the community.


  

  1. What does “sustainability” mean to you?
    It means sustaining a clean and livable earth to pass along to our grandchildren and their children.
  2. What’s one thing you’ve done to decrease your own carbon footprint at home or at work?
    Purchasing and installing reclaimed products for parts of our home, and working in the environmental industry for over 20 years now with different organizations and companies to educate ourselves and others on recycling, and the importance of global sustainability.
  3. In your opinion, what is the most valuable role in the community that SNC plays or can play?
    Working with local businesses, City/County staff, and local farmers to create and sustain farming methods and water reduction in Napa County.
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    Outdoor sports (hunting, water and snow skiing, surfing and fishing) and traveling with my family.

Gopal Shanker

President, Récolte Energy
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Gopal Shanker

President, Récolte Energy

Gopal has been developing renewable energy projects for wineries, school districts, nonprofits, and local governments since 2002. In the process, he has helped bring down technical, financial, and regulatory obstacles that have constrained the growth of renewable energy projects. Gopal’s successful efforts have resulted in renewable energy credits belonging to customers rather than utilities and in customers with multiple meters being allowed to offset the combined loads of their meters with one renewable energy system.

A resident of Napa Valley since 1994, Gopal is a member of the Rotary Club of Calistoga. He served on the board of the New Technology Foundation from 2003 to 2008 and is completing a three-year stint on the board of the River Charter School in Napa.


 

  1. What does “sustainability” mean to you?
    It is an intermediate step on the path to eco-restoration (which is an intermediate step on the path to us becoming more human!).
  2. What’s one thing you’ve done to decrease your own carbon footprint at home or at work?
    Reduced junk mail by requesting my name be removed from various catalogs’ mailing lists through “Catalog Choice.”
  3. In your opinion, what is the most valuable role in the community that SNC plays or can play?
    Creating an integrated vision for the county, getting it to be universally accepted, and implementing the vision.
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    What free time? I listen to audio books while I’m driving.

Dave Whitmer

Retired Agricultural Commissioner
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Dave Whitmer

Retired Agricultural Commissioner

A Napa native, Dave retired in 2013 after 33 years with the County of Napa, the last 20 as the zgricultural ommissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures. In retirement, he is spending quality time with his wife of 37 years and doing some traveling, both domestic and international. Dave is passionate about working to make a difference in our community and is volunteering as a guiding coalition member of the Napa Circles Initiative, a local anti-poverty campaign.


 

  1. What does “sustainability” mean to you?
    Sustainability is activities or actions that are intended to be economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally sound.
  2. What’s one thing you’ve done to decrease your own carbon footprint at home or at work?
    My wife and I have installed solar panels on our home, we recycle and compost as a matter of routine moved from hybrid to electric for our recent automobile purchase.
  3. In your opinion, what is the most valuable role in the community that SNC plays or can play?
    SNC is a focal point for discussion and promotion of sustainable ideas and policies.
  4. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
    My hobbies include flyfishing, hiking, golf, and I am an avid Giant’s baseball and Warriors basketball fan.

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