Roger Wittenberg’s background as a scientist, entrepreneur, and inventor has led him to found several companies that focus on recycling materials into reusable products. His most successful venture, the Trex Company, has turned billions of pounds of recycled and reclaimed plastic, including 1.3 billion grocery retail bags and waste wood each year, into alternative wood products. After retiring from Trex, Wittenberg founded International Supply Consortium LLC, which takes on projects that use innovative building technologies and real estate projects that utilize these same sustainable materials.
Wittenberg’s passions for recycling, green technology, and innovation are now being applied to projects in his own backyard, North Lake Tahoe. As a Foundation board member of Sierra Nevada College, Wittenberg helped move the campus’s Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences to a Platinum LEED status through the use of Trex products and other innovative green strategies. And, his passion for sustainability now drives the mission of a local Crystal Bay project: Boulder Bay Resort, through which he aims to create a new model for the resort/community experience that embraces innovative green technologies and provides a sense of place for visitors and locals. Roger lives with his wife Beatrice in Incline Village, with his extended family nearby.
- BS, University of California, Davis (Major: Economics; Minor: Communication)
- MBA, Arizona State
Kendra Wong began her professional career with PricewaterCoopers, LLP in their audit practice. Her experience at PwC exposed her to numerous industries, including venture capital and life science. Since leaving PwC, Kendra has worked in the ski resort, medical device, and power industries. Kendra maintains an active CPA license in California.
Although her educational foundation is in economics, Kendra’s professional concentration since 2001 has been in accounting and finance. She has extensive experience in general ledger accounting, SEC reporting, and SOX audits.
Kendra joined the Sierra Nevada College faculty as an adjunct in fall 2007, but has since expanded her role. She teaches accounting, finance, and general management courses and serves as a student academic advisor. Kendra was promoted to Business Department Chair in Fall 2013. Kendra has mentored business plan teams in the Jâlé and Warren Trepp Business Plan Competition at SNC and the statewide Governor’s Cup for the past three years. In 2013, Kendra was recognized as the Faculty Advisor of the Year by Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Outside of the classroom, Kendra enjoys the outdoors just as much as her students do. Kendra is an avid skier during the winter and enjoys running, hiking, and biking during the summer. Kendra and her husband, Ethan, own the Wild Alaskan Restaurant and Bar in Incline Village.
- MFA, City University of New York
Sunil Yapa’s first novel Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, set during the Seattle World Trade Organization protests of November 1999, is this year’s Common Read and a 2016 Time Magazine Best Books of the Year, an Amazon 2016 Best Books of the year, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, and an Indies Next Pick.
“Yapa’s melding of fact and fiction, human frailty and geopolitics, is a genuine tour-de-force.”
– The Seattle Times
The winner of the 2010 Asian American short story award, Yapa’s work has appeared in Guernica, American Short Fiction, The Margins, Hyphen Magazine, The Tottenville Review, Pindeldyboz: Stories that Defy Classification, and others. The biracial son of a father from Sri Lanka and a mother from Montana, Yapa has lived in The Netherlands, Thailand, Greece, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile, China, and India, as well as London, Montreal, and New York City.
- MFA, University of Arizona
Arianne Zwartjes is the author of the lyric nonfiction project Detailing Trauma: A Poetic Anatomy (University of Iowa Press); a selection from Detailing Trauma won the 2011 Gulf Coast Prize for Nonfiction and was named a Best American Essays Notable Essay. Her writing can be found in Tarpaulin Sky, Kenyon Review, Ninth Letter, Fourth Genre, Essay Daily, and elsewhere; her previous works include Disem(body), The Surfacing of Excess, and (Stitched) A Surface Opens: Essays. She is currently at work on a manuscript exploring themes of cultural relocation, violence, and migration, and looking at the treatment of refugees in Europe and the US drone program. Zwartjes has taught writing at the University of Arizona, the United World College, Pima Community College, Santa Fe Community College, the UA Poetry Center, Urban Word, and elsewhere. Visit her and her writing at ariannezwartjes.com or on Medium @ariannezwartjes.