RA founder retires after prolific nonprofit career

by Betty Patton

In 1987, Jeanne Roy led the beginning of Recycling Advocates with a small group of like-minded friends. Thirty-one years later she and her husband retired from their many nonprofit organizations. During this 3-decade span, the two of them created 11 other organizations and initiatives focused on teaching, leading and celebrating sustainability in Oregon.

Jeanne started Recycling Advocates to inform and educate our fellow Portlanders. This was at a time before we had curbside recycling. Five years later, we had a more structured recycling and waste collection system, thanks to her dedication.

She held monthly Recycling Advocates meetings with invited speakers covering a variety of current topics. She recruited a lot of volunteers, myself included, to work on projects of our choosing or to contribute to ongoing projects. She recruited board members and held the monthly board of directors’ meetings in her home. The creation, printing and mailing of a monthly newsletter was all Jeanne’s idea. These monthly printings covered the latest hot topics, reviewed the previous meeting’s presentations, and invited folks to the next meeting.

In 1992 Jeanne co-created the Master Recycler Program in the Portland Metro region. After initial establishment, she transferred the program to the City of Portland. This successful program continues to provide training to 90 people per year.

The Home Eco Parties were another creation of Jeanne’s. She trained meeting facilitators to lead small groups of friends and family in discussions on waste prevention and eco-friendly pursuits. She also organized a team to restore the Outdoor School experience for all of Portland’s sixth graders. She worked with a team of volunteers to create the annual Earth Day in Music and Song celebration in 2007, and that event continues on.

Jeanne and her husband Dick were network founders of the Oregon Natural Step with Jeanne as Chair for the first 5 years. The two of them were founders and co-directors of the Northwest Earth Institute as well as the Center for Earth Leadership.

Their latest launch is the Eco-School Network, working with parents to lead Oregon schools toward sustainability.

Dick Roy has a list of creations as well. Earth Day Oregon 1990, Oregon Lawyers for a Sustainable Future and Chess for Success were all initiated by Dick.

Thank you, Jeanne and Dick, for giving us all of these opportunities and for strengthening our community!