Dear Ecology Center Community,
We are grieving the loss of our long-term Board Member and Treasurer Chuck Teller who passed suddenly Sunday morning. Chuck was an ardent leader and advocate for the Ecology Center, guiding us through numerous challenges with great humor, dignity, and openness. His financial and business savvy, his “start up” and “can do” approach, and his personal and human touch have served the Ecology Center and our community immeasurably.
Chuck came to the Ecology Center through his innovative work in waste reduction. He was looking for a place to house a new non-profit, start-up, waste reduction program that he created called Catalog Choice. The Ecology Center agreed to be the fiscal sponsor of this project and over the next five years, we worked closely with Chuck and his team to incubate and launch Catalog Choice as a national force, reducing not only catalogs but other kinds of “junk” direct mail. Since its inception, Catalog Choice has saved nearly 1,000,000 full grown trees and over 400,000,000 pounds of greenhouse gasses.
Chuck joined our board in 2008. He served on our Recycling and Zero Waste Committee and was a lead negotiator securing our current 10-year $35M contract with the City of Berkeley. Chuck helped us modernize our communications infrastructure, moving to a digital platform, redesigning our website, and creating a strong social media presence. He led us to be a “tech forward” organization, embracing new ways to integrate our locally-focused programs with a statewide and national online presence. He served as our Treasurer and worked with our Executive Committee, to ensure that the finances of the organization were sound.
Chuck was a passionate environmentalist, team player, and a pleasure to work with. He gave generously of his time, contacts, and financial resources, to make the Ecology Center the thriving organization it is today. He brought his innovative thinking and resourcefulness to the table at every Board meeting. He was a systems thinker and big picture person who could also drill down into critical details as the Ecology Center Board strategized and guided the organization. Chuck helped make the work fun and meaningful.
We honor and thank him for all the work he has given to this community. He will be sorely missed and always appreciated.
In loving remembrance of our colleague and friend Chuck Teller,
Martin Bourque, Executive Director
Raquel Pinderhughes, President, Board of Directors