Executive Team

Daniella Russo
Founding Partner
CEO

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Destin Layne 
Founding Partner
CMO/COO

Daniella Dimitrova Russo's blended executive experience in high-tech, from startups to Fortune 500 businesses, and NGOs has helped elevate plastic pollution to the forefront of global, social, environmental, and political discourse. 

 

She is launching the Think Beyond Plastic™ Accelerator to address plastic pollution as an innovation challenge that leverages the growing consumer and business demand for safe alternatives to conventional plastics. Ms. Russo is pioneering a global strategy focused on viable solutions that enable sustainability, corporate responsibility and financial growth through market and policy instruments. She is the co-founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition.

Destin Layne is an innovation strategist and one of the US foremost executives successfully bridging the fields of sustainability, technology and industry. With over fifteen years of experience leading philanthropic, political, and education initiatives, Ms. Layne has helped hundreds of companies, funders and organizations to amplify and expand their mission-driven impact.

 

In addition to tenures with the Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, Virgin Records and GRACE Foundation, Ms. Layne established early leadership in the food and tech space by hosting high-visibility initiatives and creating the first food hackathons, innovation dinners and executive trainings focused on disruptive change.

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Michael Washburn, Ph.D
Founding Partner
Chief Sustainability Officer

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Gregory Baxter, Ph.D
Founding Partner
Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Michael Washburn is focused on helping companies and NGOs meet their sustainability goals. Washburn works at the intersection of science, policy, politics, and program development. He is former VP of Sustainability at Nestle Waters North America. He has held leadership positions at The Wilderness Society and Forest Stewardship Council. Prior to FSC, Dr. Washburn was on the faculty at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

 

He has advised government, sued government, fought development, advocated for land conservation and preservation, and worked with some of the world’s largest companies on a range of natural resource and sustainability issues.

 

His role in the accelerator is to assist companies in clarifying their sustainability value proposition and helping them connect with major customers.

Dr. Baxter works at the intersection of innovation and biotechnology, and brings a wealth of expertise in biochemistry, nanotechnology and entrepreneurship. He is a published author and holds over 20 patents on various aspects of molecular biology and biochemistry. He serves on the Board of Stellar BioTechnologies, the world leader in immune-stimulating proteins and is a Board Advisor to CertiChem, Inc. the experts in detecting endocrine activity in consumer products.

Dr. Baxter is a long-time mentor and member of the Founders Board of Advisors at StartX Stanford Student Startup Accelerator and was a Fellow with the Innovation Accelerator, a public-private partnership with NSF to facilitate the commercialization efforts of small businesses.

Dr. Baxter was a Program Director with the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. He was the founder and CSO of Hurel Corporation, a biotechnology company. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Cornell University and was a Senior Scientist at the Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility.

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Pam Marcus, P.T.
Sr. Director, Consumer Products

Pam is a serial entrepreneur. She is the founder of Lifefactory, a market leader providing reusable glass bottles with protective silicone sleeves for the entire family. She is the founder and CEO of her next company, The Cookie Department.

 

Since 2012, she has been the Entrepreneur Mentor for Think Beyond Plastic contest for entrepreneurs with businesses addressing the problem of plastic pollution.

 

Pam Marcus has a passion for keeping toxic chemicals out of people’s bodies. She is an advocate for health and environmental issues, and an outspoken critic of the health issues with plastic. She began her career as a pediatric physical therapist working with handicapped children and babies. As a feeding therapist in the neonatal nursery she became concerned when she learned about the dangers of plastic and saw excessive plastic waste in the hospital. Her area of expertise is health and entrepreneurship. Pam is passionate about mentoring the new generation of eco-entrepreneurs.