Our Staff

Rhodes Yepsen 


Rhodes joined BPI in 2015, where he leads the organization’s efforts to promote the value of compostable products. Rhodes is passionate about systems-based solutions, where there is synergy in solving for food waste and packaging simultaneously -- addressing climate change, ecosystem impacts, and regenerative agriculture.  Previously he was on the Board of USCC, worked for biopolymer producer Novamont, and was a staff editor and writer at BioCycle magazine.  Rhodes lives in western NJ, where it is still the “Garden State,” and spends time backpacking and canoeing in the Adirondacks. His favorite author is Wendell Berry.

Wendell Simonson


Wendell is responsible for all aspects of the Marketing function at BPI, which means working on things like content development, communications strategy, brand management, and member engagement to name a few.  If your company certifies products with BPI, Wendell is the one who helps you with your artwork and compostability messaging. Prior to joining BPI, Wendell ran Ellipsis Strategy, a Marketing Consulting business where BPI was an early client. Before starting Ellipsis, Wendell spent 10 years building the Marketing function at Eco-Products in Boulder, CO.  Wendell splits his time between the mountains of Colorado and the coast of Maine, and loves all things mountain bikes, road bikes, snowboards, and sailboats. His favorite author is Walt Whitman. 

Kim McLaughlin

Kim joined BPI in 2017 as a certification administrator and is currently working with BPI’s finances and a variety of administrative support activities. She has a B.A. in Education with a Chemistry concentration and has a background as a teacher and a nonprofit administrator. Outside of her work at BPI she is a Buddhist practitioner and has been involved with international charitable work for many years. She lives in rural New Hampshire in an old bed and breakfast inn, circa 1834.

Margaret Eldridge


Margaret guides companies through the BPI certification process and works to ensure products meet the criteria for certification.  She joined BPI in 2020, bringing over two decades of recycling and waste reduction experience, most recently as the Executive Director of the Virginia Recycling Association.  When not working to save the planet, she enjoys being in the woods or on the water, music of all genres, growing food and native plants, and cooking and eating. Rumi is her favorite author. 

Carolyn Loper


Carolyn joined the certification team with BPI in 2017 and is now one of four of the Project Managers. She has made a lifetime commitment to people and the environment through her careers work, mostly working with the conservation corp in Northern California, leading recycling programs, running Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF's) and managing both the collections and operations of some municipal compost programs. Carolyn loves spending time with her friends and family, riding her motorcycle, camping, swimming, and dancing to great local music in her hometown of Eureka Springs Arkansas among the wildflowers in the Ozarks. Her favorite author is anyone who writes from their heart.

Heather Fowler


Heather is a member of the BPI certification team, assisting companies throughout the certification and sublicense processes.  Prior to joining BPI at the beginning of 2020, she waded her way through higher education as an academic librarian and spent two years coaching the local YMCA swim team.  Heather lives in Southwest Georgia, enduring humid summers below the Gnat Line in exchange for close proximity to The World’s Most Beautiful Beaches. She enjoys fishing, kayaking, playing tennis, working out with her family, and backyard bird-watching with her cats.  Her favorite author (if she can only pick one) is Naomi Novik.

Jane Palmer Harris


Jane joined BPI as a Project Manager at the start of 2020, excited to be a part of growing the infrastructure for compostable products.  She comes from a background in marketing and project management in food recovery, food waste diversion, and zero waste, and is actively involved with the USCC Young Professionals.  She also received her Masters in Social Entrepreneurship at USC to work to help companies to use business as a force for good. When she's not at her desk you can find her at her local farmers market, cooking up something new in the kitchen, volunteering in the community,  on her yoga mat, or soaking up the San Diego sun. Her favorite author is Michael Pollan.

BPI is a science-driven organization that supports a shift to the circular economy by promoting the production, use, and appropriate end of lives for materials and products that are designed to fully biodegrade in specific biologically active environments.

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