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About Us


The Office of Policy & Sustainable Practices enhances TDEC’s capacity to conduct short and long term environmental policy research and analysis, promote a culture of environmental sustainability, provide technical guidance to business, industry, and other public entities to promote environmental stewardship, implement departmental strategic planning initiatives, and perform Title VI and Environmental Justice functions in an effort to better conserve Tennessee’s natural resources and to fulfill the Department’s mission and vision.

The Office of Policy & Sustainable Practices partners and collaborates within TDEC, and with state government departments, and external stakeholders to:

  • Engage ideas with federal, state and local government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the academic and business community on matters relevant to environmental policy.
  • Support community environmental, economic, public health and social goals through pollution prevention, resource conservation, renewable energy incentives, waste reduction and recycling programs, and sustainable building design.
  • Facilitate and promote environmental leadership through recognition programs and partnerships.
  • Implement departmental strategic initiatives and identify innovative, cost effective opportunities for state government to enhance the quality of life for Tennessee citizens and natural environments.
  • Ensure TDEC, its contractors, and service beneficiaries are aware of the provisions of and responsibilities associated with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Catalyst Newsletter

Stay up to date on what is going on within our Office, TDEC, and throughout Tennessee, and learn how to be more sustainable!

Meet the Team

Kendra Abkowitz

Kendra leads the Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices as Director

Lexi Brown

Lexi's areas of expertise include administrative support, radon, and event planning. 

Ashley Cabrera

Ashley's area of focus include publications, editing, social marketing, communications with the Tennessee General Assembly, and management of the Get Food Smart TN program.

Vaughn Cassidy

Vaughn's areas of focus include the Tennessee Materials Marketplace, and the Tennessee Green Star Partnership.

Alle Crampton

Alle's areas of focus include sustainability in K-12 schools, TDEC's Education Working Group for Environmental Education, radon and writing for trade publications.

Kelsey Davis

Kelsey's areas of expertise include recycling, waste reduction, and reaching zero waste, and food waste reduction and composting.

Kathy Glapa

Kathy's areas of focus include the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards, the Unwanted Household Pharmaceuticals Program , and Clean Tennessee Energy Grants.

Caleb Hawkins

Caleb's areas of focus include the Sustainable Resilience for Communities Program, the TN Plant Optimization Program, and the TN Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Chris Pianta

Chris' areas of expertise include energy efficiency, Empower TN, and water reuse.

Brook Powell

Brook's areas of focus include the TN CUPP program, TN Higher Education Institutions Sustainability Network, Campus Food Pantry Program, and the Campus Sustainability Improvement Program.

Caleb Powell

Caleb's areas of focus include the Tennessee Green Star Partnership, Clean Tennessee Energy Grants, and the Tennessee Sustainable Spirits program. 

Matt Taylor

Matt's areas of focus include working with TDEC Divsions and external stakeholders on environmental policy issues, NEPA reviews, and the Get Food Smart TN program.

Jennifer Tribble

Jenn’s areas of focus include the Sustainable Resilience in Communities program and environmental policy coordination with TDEC divisions and external customers.

Mark Valencia

Mark's areas of focus include the Tennessee Radon Program, Tire Environmental Act Program, and development of the Tennessee Sustainable Spirits program.

Heather Weldon

Heather's areas of expertise include budget management, Green Energy Production Facilities and Pollution Control Equipment certifications, and administrative support.

This Page Last Updated: December 4, 2019 at 11:46 AM