Founder & Executive Director
Gina LaMotte is a social entrepreneur who is most passionate about unlocking the power and potential of youth as leaders, innovators and visionaries. She is a creative-thinker, a community connector and a tenacious dreamer who thrives when left with a design challenge, a pile of colorful markers and a blank white board.
Gina founded EcoRise Youth Innovations in 2008, with the intent of providing a transformative educational program integrating sustainability, leadership and innovation into the traditional K-12 classroom. Fueled by stubborn idealism, Gina bootstrapped the organization, winning many public awards, attracting hundreds of community partners, and securing millions of earned income and charitable contributions. Within seven years, EcoRise has grown to deliver world-class curricula, training and support to over 700 schools and 1,000 teachers in 26 countries.
Leading up to EcoRise, Gina spent ten years working with innovative educational programs serving youth in Brazil, India, Nepal and Guatemala, as well as Harlem, New York, and Taos, New Mexico. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Education from Global College with an emphasis on experiential education and identity politics.
In 2004, Gina moved to Austin, Texas and pioneered a robust summer and after-school program at a Title One middle school. She also built and led a youth cultural exchange program to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and served as a facilitator and counselor at the Global Youth Peace Summit.
While in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, Gina studied sustainable development and social entrepreneurship and earned a certificate in Non-Profit Studies at the LBJ School for Public Affairs. Gina is a former co-chair of Austin ISD's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee and has presented extensively at local, regional and national conferences around the topics of green schools, design thinking and sustainability education.
Jonathan Stott has worked in education reform as a middle and high school administrator and as an educational consultant. In 2009, as a Dean of Students at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, one of the nation's top Expeditionary Learning Schools, Jonathan worked with faculty and staff to create a school climate improvement plan.
In 2010, after successfully managing his former school's five year charter renewal process with the state DOE, he started work as an independent project management consultant. In this role, Jonathan worked with a range of educators and private and public sector leaders in support of innovative school design projects. In 2011, he helped successfully launch two schools: Margarita Muniz Academy, Boston’s first public dual language high school and Baystate Academy, a health sciences charter school in Springfield, MA.
In 2012, he joined Idea Public Schools, as a founding member of their Campus Leadership Team in Austin. At Idea, Jonathan helped ensure a successful launch for one of the first in-district charters in Austin, resulting in strong academic and operational performance as well as high rates of parent satisfaction.
In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys cooking, gardening, and exploring Austin's wonderful network of trails and creeks. He is extremely excited to join EcoRise this year and help bring a rich environmental sustainability curriculum to schools locally and nationally.
Richard W. Kincaid, M.S., M.Ed.
Chief Finance and Innovation Officer
Richard has extensive experience in campus and district leadership positions in three different public school districts in Texas, and brings with him a wealth of training and experience in the areas of instructional coaching, curriculum design and assessment, change leadership, and community engagement.
Most recently, Richard led one of the largest Career and Technical Education programs in Texas and helped design processes and structures to strengthen a district-wide comprehensive high school academy program. This model effectively combined the content of core courses with the context of real-world experiences found in CTE programs of study.
Richard enjoys all aspects of technology, redesigning systems, working with data, working collaboratively with business and education partners, cooking, and most importantly, spending time with his amazing wife and two adorable children.
He holds a B.B.A. in Human Resource Management, a M.S. in Organizational Development, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, and is in the final stages of a Ed.D. in Educational Administration.
Jenji Henson, M.Ed.
Chief of Curriculum Development
Jenji has spent 20+ years creating educational resources for the classroom. She began her career at Holt, Rinehart & Winston (HRW), an educational publisher now known as HMH. There she helped create one of the first environmental science textbooks designed specifically for high school students, as well as countless middle school science products and a high school health series. Over the years, Jenji has helped develop a number of influential and award-winning materials on a variety of topics, including environmental science field guides and virtual laboratories, professional development materials, and online learning curriculums on topics ranging from K–12 Science and Literature to college-level Criminal Justice Ethics.
Jenji also co-founded and served as president of the HRW Green Teams, a group designed to help the 350+-employee organization foster environmentally sustainable business practices as well as inspire employees to make positive changes on the job and at home. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Philosophy from Southern Methodist University and a Master’s of Education in Educational Technology degree and E-Learning Certification from the University of Texas.
Abby Randall, M.S.
Director of Programming
Abby Randall has over 10 years of experience working in education and environmental sustainability in Massachusetts, Arkansas, and Texas. After gaining hands-on experience at Heifer International and the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, she moved to Texas to lead various education positions at the Boys and Girls Club and Austin Independent School District. Abby has taught and designed curriculum for a variety of science courses, including 6-8 Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Systems. Most recently, Abby served as the Science Learning Specialist at the University of Texas High School where she managed all science curriculum and assessment projects, designing innovative, standards-aligned science and environmental science online courses.
In 2014, Abby was honored by Keep Austin Beautiful as a Finalist for their Environmental Education Award. In 2015, she was named EcoRise Youth Innovations’ “Teacher of the Year” for her demonstrated commitment and leadership in environmental education. She currently serves on the Austin ISD’s Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee.
Abby holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Trinity College and a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tuft’s University.
Christina Ceballos, M.S.
Development & Operations Manager
Christina has more than 15 years of education, nonprofit, and sustainability experience. In 2001, she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in French and Global Studies, concentrating in globalization and human rights. In 2002, she served in an AmeriCorps education program in St. Paul, Minnesota and in 2003, she was an organic farming apprentice in River Falls, Wisconsin. This lead her to apply to and join the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa as an agriculture extension agent in 2005 where she farmed and worked on various community development projects.
In 2007 she moved to Austin, Texas and spent more than two years revitalizing and expanding a after-school program in a large, high-needs Austin high school. During the same period, she became one of the founding board members of EcoRise Youth Innovations, focused on fundraising and board development.
For nearly five years, Christina worked at Environmental Defense Fund in the Oceans program on research, program management, and stakeholder engagement. During her tenure, she served on and co-led the staff Diversity Committee. She also co-led the development of the organization’s first five-year Diversity Strategic Plan.
In 2013, she earned a M.S. in Organizational Leadership & Ethics at St. Edward’s University, and a certification in the Global Reporting Initiatives’ sustainability reporting framework. She most recently taught Global Business Responsibility and Ethics at St. Edward’s University.
Kizzy Hannibal has spent the last 15 years working in K-12 education, with a focus on teaching, program development, curriculum writing and youth group facilitation. She pioneered United We Grow, an international program focusing on community unification and beautification in Nigeria, Brazil, Jamaica, Hawaii and Austin. She has been a part of EcoRise since it's inception and plays a strong role in developing curriculum and delivering the program.
Marketing and Design Specialist
Passionate about finding ways to intertwine the practical with the creative, Laura is now EcoRise's Marketing and Design Specialist. Before falling in love with EcoRise, Laura worked in theatre production, costume technology, and digital design while earning a Bachelor's of Business Administration degree from St. Edward's University. She co-founded a student TV station at St. Edward's, fostering a supportive community where students from a variety of backgrounds and with a range of interests could work together and express themselves in a tangible medium. Laura is enthusiastic about elevating EcoRise's refreshed brand and growing her personal talents and soul with her amazing teammates.