Task Force Membership

The Circular Economy and Zero Waste Task Force is comprised of Mason staff and students who work closely with faculty as well as their colleagues.

Task Force Leadership

The Task Force is co-chaired by Pascal Petter, executive director of auxiliary services, Operations and Business Services, and Amber Saxton, program manager, Office of Sustainability.

Pascal Petter, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services, Operations and Business Services

Pascal Petter

Pascal Petter is the executive director of auxiliary services for Operations and Business Services at George Mason University. He is the co-chair of the Circular Economy and Zero Waste Task Force.

Petter brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience to his role. Prior to joining Mason, he managed auxiliary operations at various higher education institutions over the past 10 years.

In his current role, Petter manages a $40 million dining program. He oversees 30 dining locations spread across campuses, manages capital renovations, and leads all strategic initiatives for the departments. He manages all outsourced dining contracts for Mason’s Fairfax, Mason Square, and SciTech campuses in support of the dining program, including lease agreements with independent retail operators. In support of the Mason community, he supervises the Technology Services and Mason Card Office for the division.

Petter connects his expertise in auxiliary management with sustainability by prioritizing and integrating sustainability throughout his work. In previous roles, he promoted and supported institutional sustainability efforts. Some of his prior focus areas include: reducing food waste, improving composting practices, increasing the use of reusable drinkware, local food and beverage procurement, and food insecurity initiatives. He is thrilled to continue this work with the Circular Economy and Zero Waste Task Force.

In support of Mason’s zero-waste and circular economy efforts, Pascal was instrumental in replacing all single-use plastic water bottles with aluminum alternatives and ensuring the replacement of all single-use plastic food service items with compostable alternatives. He is also advancing actions to transition all single-use plastic soda bottles to aluminum cans, among many other efforts.

Petter holds two international Bachelor’s degrees in hotel and hospitality management, as well as a Master of Public Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Amber Saxton, Program Manager, Office of Sustainability

Amber Saxton, Sustainability Program Manager, Office of Sustainability
Amber Saxton

Amber Saxton is a program manager in the Office of Sustainability at George Mason University, the co-chair of the Mason Sustainability Council’s award-winning Circular Economy and Zero Waste Task Force, and a member of the Carbon Neutrality Task Force.

She brings more than nine years of experience to her role where she oversees university-wide sustainability assessment and reporting while supporting key strategic planning efforts, contracts, operational initiatives, and consultancy engagements. Saxton’s work advances carbon neutrality, zero waste, alternative transportation, renewable energy, and other university-wide sustainability initiatives.  

In the past year, Saxton received the Virginia Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award as a Task Force co-chair; represented Mason as one of only 18 individuals selected to participate in the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) 2021 Executive Energy Leadership Academy; and completed the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership Certificate program from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She authored a Plastics Reduction Partner certificate program for universities that launched in April 2022 in her role as a board member of the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Campus Race to Zero Waste (CR2ZW) program. 

Prior to joining Mason, Saxton worked as an international research associate with the Alliance to Save Energy in Washington, D.C., working on gender and climate, energy efficiency, eco-city, and alternative transportation sub-contracting projects for the World Bank, US Department of Energy (DOE), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), among others.

Saxton holds a Master of Arts in foreign policy analysis and conflict negotiation from Seton Hall University and a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio University. Her graduate internship at the Clinton Foundation and for-credit-consulting for the award-winning Global Leadership Center included work for the U.S. Senate, United Nations, foreign embassies, and Procter & Gamble. 

Task Force Membership

Amber and Pascal are supported by many of their Mason colleagues, students, and the Mason Sustainability Council’s (MSC) Communications Action Team (CAT).

Kevin Brim, Supervisor of Recycling and Waste Management, Facilities Management

Kevin Brim

Kevin Brim is the supervisor of the Waste and Recycling Department in the Facilities Management Department at George Mason University. He manages comprehensive waste and recycling operations across Mason’s three campuses and at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation.

Brim brings more than 10 years of facilities management experience to his current role. He joined Mason in 2006 as a housekeeping inspector before transferring to his current department in 2011 as a waste and recycling worker. Due to his exceptional leadership skills and expertise, Brim was soon promoted to the interim supervisor role, before becoming the department supervisor in 2017.

Brim is a proactive and forward-thinking supervisor, having led the implementation of several new initiatives. He instituted a campus-wide policy to eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags in two of Mason’s three recycling streams across all campuses, saving the university thousands of dollars per year and preventing hundreds of thousands of pounds of single-use plastics from being used. He led the implementation of collection stations for Low-density Polyethylene (LDPE) plastics, like shrink-wrap for bulk items shipped to the university. This implementation collects approximately 550 pounds of plastics per month that are recycled. He also works closely with the Office of Sustainability’s Bigbelly solar-powered and smart waste compactor pilot project that is located at the Northern Neck Starbucks.

Brim’s leadership in higher education waste and recycling is well-recognized. In 2021, he was elected as a Board Member of the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC). He continues to expand his expertise with professional certifications to improve the university’s waste and recycling performance. Brim earned a Facility Management Professional Certification (FMP) through Mason’s Continuing and Professional Education Program and completed the Waste Management Facility Operation Certification (Class I). He continues to explore opportunities to engage with his Facilities co-workers, students, faculty, staff, and alumni to help Mason become a zero-waste university.

Connor Cuevo, Undergraduate Student

Connor Cuevo

Connor Cuevo is an undergraduate student at George Mason University studying conflict analysis and resolution with a minor in religious studies. He is currently a member of the Circular Economy and Zero Waste Task Force.

Cuevo began his studies at Mason in the fall of 2018 when he also joined the Environment and Sustainability Learning Community (LC). During several semesters in the LC, he engaged with the environmental challenges present at the Fairfax Campus, always with the aim of developing unique and collaborative solutions. He also participated in numerous waste audits for the annual ‘Green Game’ and conducted research on the reusability of stainless steel straws.

Cuevo’s zero waste passion led to the development of a Patriot Green Fund (PGF) application, for which he was the Principal Investigator, to add solar-powered, smart waste compactors on the Fairfax Campus. He began work on the application in January 2020, received PGF approval in February 2021, and by August 2021 the units were installed!

His PGF application received significant praise and recognition, garnering him an invitation to present at the Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR) Winter 2021 Celebration of Student Scholarship and Impact where he was recognized as a Top Presenter. He continues to assess the performance of the Bigbelly units and the delivery of his PGF grant.

In November 2021, Cuevo attended the United Nation’s 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) as a member of George Mason University’s Delegation. He is actively developing a comprehensive plan to add additional Bigbelly units to Mason’s campuses to accelerate zero waste action in conjunction with a multi-level composting platform for campus dining vendors.

Steven Pulis, Facilities Services Manager, Facilities Management

Steven Pulis

Steven Pulis is the facilities services and logistics manager in the Facilities Management Department at George Mason University. He supervises the Customer Service Center and Work Control, the Preventative Maintenance Program, the Central Receiving Warehouse and all associated logistics, Contract Administration, Surplus Property Management, General Services, Housekeeping, and the Waste and Recycling Program.

Pulis brings more than 18 years of experience to his role, with 15 years of experience working at Mason. He joined Mason in 2004 as a buyer specialist in the Facilities Management Department before being promoted to a senior buyer in 2007. In this role, Pulis reviewed and executed all purchases made within the department. He also began to work with the Office of Sustainability on projects like multi-stream recycling stations, solar golf carts, and the solar classroom and charging station. In 2010, Pulis moved to the Central Purchasing Department where he procured Professional and Non-Professional Construction Contracts while maintaining responsibilities for multiple service contracts administered by Facilities.

In 2014, Pulis began working for Thompson Facilities and later for Howard University where he continued his engagement with sustainability, securing energy grants for lighting projects and supporting the addition of new water bottle refill stations. He also solicited and procured an Energy Savings Performance Contract to provide significant energy savings throughout multiple projects across different campuses.

In 2017, Pulis returned to Mason as the facilities services manager. In collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and the Waste and Recycling Department, he has helped review policies and procedures to accelerate zero-waste actions and initiatives for maximum impact. Due to his procurement expertise, the Bigbelly solar-powered waste compactor bins were contracted and then installed at the Northern Neck Starbucks location. He also solicited and procured a contractor to provide composting services to divert food waste from the waste stream. Pulis is working with Housing and Residence Life to launch a glass recycling program and is actively working to improve the recycling programs at the Mason Square and SciTech campuses.

Pulis holds a Facilities Management Professional Certificate from Mason in addition to a Certificate in Sustainability in Existing Buildings.

Colleen Regan, Zero Waste Specialist, Office of Sustainability

Colleen Regan

Colleen Regan is a zero waste specialist in the Office of Sustainability at George Mason University and a member of the Circular Economy and Zero Waste Task Force.

Regan brings a wide array of zero-waste experiences to Mason, including a prior internship with the Office of Sustainability, extensive work with the Food Recovery Network, and deep engagement with annual zero-waste initiatives like Patriot Packout.

In her current role, Regan works in close partnership with the Mason Facilities Recycling team to support campus recycling initiatives, the expansion of composting operations, and the implementation of reusables across the university’s campuses. She is currently advancing strategic pilot projects, like composting at the Northern Neck Starbucks location and the ongoing Fill It Forward initiative.

Regan actively integrates student, staff, and faculty projects into her work to advance the Mason as a Living Lab initiative. She also brings increased attention to zero-waste and circular economy efforts by supporting signature events like the annual ‘Green Game’ and Earth Month activities.

Regan’s support of the Circular Economy and Zero Waste Task Force was instrumental in the group’s recognition by Governor Glenn Youngkin with the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award in 2022.

Regan is a Mason alumna and holds a Bachelor’s in environmental and sustainability studies.

The members of the Circular Economy and Zero Waste Task Force can be contacted at masonsc@gmu.edu.