I want to offer a very strong recommendation for Shea Cunnintgham. I have known and worked with Shea as part of the Culver City Unified School District’s Environmental Sustainability Committee for over three years. She was leading this committee long before I arrived, and has done an exceptional job as the first managing director of the District's sustainability program. She led the development of their award winning Green5 sustainability program and helped secure funding from CalRecycle twice. Most recently, she led an application for the District to the Green Ribbon program, which was awarded the top honors at both the state and federal levels in March and July 2017.
I’ve worked in the areas of the environment and sustainability both locally and abroad in a number of capacities, and have worked with hundreds of people from all sectors - academia, government, business, and NGOs. I would rank Shea as one of the top individuals I have ever worked with in this discipline. I think any team would be incredibly fortunate to have her. She is exceedingly well-rounded, with skills and experience in community organizing, research, planning, policy, implementation, and management as it relates to the environment and sustainability. Shea doesn’t only possess the necessary skills, but has a passion and drive for sustainability that I don’t think can be learned. Her commitment and passion are truly unprecedented, and this combined with her education and knowledge of sustainability issues makes her an incredible asset. On top of all that, she is simply a pleasure to work with.
Casandra Rauser, Ph.D. Director, Sustainable LA Grand Challenge UCLA Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research
As the Sustainability Program Director for Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) and Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee of which I’m a member, Shea has been instrumental in the impressive efforts that have recently been acknowledged with a “Green Achiever” Green Ribbon Award, the highest honors from the Department of Education in partnership with the EPA. All that this entails has been accomplished in large part thanks to Shea’s research, planning and management and made possible due to her expertise in energy efficiency and renewables, water, waste and recycling systems and issues. I can attest that she has top-notch communication skills. She is adept at running meetings with all stakeholders from students to staff to elected officials; she is also extremely capable of drafting policy, action plans, life cycle analysis and more. In addition to her work at CCUSD, she has an impressive professional background with both great breadth and depth.
As the Principal of Balanced Approach, she is leading the reputable Culver City Sustainable Business Certification Program which is receiving accolades and becoming quite popular in the business community. More recently she conducted a comprehensive waste assessment of Sony Pictures Entertainment and created a Forty-Point Actionable Plan that was quite well-received and is guiding Sony as we reduce our waste and divert it from the landfill.
I recommended Shea without reservation to Sony Pictures Entertainment and believe she would be a tremendous asset to any organization.
Heidi Kindberg Goss Manager, Environmental Sustainability Sony Pictures Entertainment
It's been a pleasure to know Ms. Cunningham for many years and in multiple roles: starting from her work in Culver City schools, to developing innovative and award-winning programs as a professional sustainability consultant for the District and other schools around the region, and from her community organizing for environmental policies, to leading our sustainable business program for the City of Culver City. Throughout, Shea has shown herself to be a true sustainability leader in Culver City. Her vision, energy, and organizational skills have transformed our entire School District, which now has a 750 Kwh solar PV system which accounts for 25% of the District’s energy usage and has a landfill diversion rate of approximately 80%. Thanks to Shea’s leadership, CCUSD is one of five districts in the country to receive a distinguished Green Ribbon award this year.
Shea is also creating the Culver City Sustainable Business Certification Program which, in its first year, is already helping our community achieve our forthcoming climate action goals by measurably reducing energy and water consumption and pollution, and inspiring businesses across the city to become environmental stewards. This exemplary program is the first in the state to include the provision of a Living Wage and health benefits as criteria for 2nd tier certification. Furthermore, participating businesses must demonstrate innovative practices in environmental conservation, community engagement and social responsibility.
Her sustainability program and policy development experience, combined with her background in sustainability-focused research and planning, positions her exceedingly well to succeed on any sustainability-centered project she leads. I greatly appreciate, respect and admire Shea Cunningham and her work.