Founder, President & Chief Innovation Officer
Gina LaMotte is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about unlocking the power and potential of youth as bold leaders, innovators and visionaries. Gina founded EcoRise in 2008, bootstrapping the organization with no funding, yet dozens of community volunteers. Over the last 10 years, EcoRise has grown enormously in its impact, bringing the topics of sustainability, social entrepreneurship, biomimicry, design thinking, and green building into hundreds of classrooms around the world.
Leading up to EcoRise, Gina spent 10 years working with innovative educational programs serving youth in Brazil, India, Nepal and Guatemala, as well as in Harlem, New York, and Taos, New Mexico. 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 currently serves on the SXSWedu Advisory Board and is a former co-chair of Austin ISD's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee. Gina 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, Jon worked with faculty and staff to create a school climate improvement plan.
In 2010, after successfully managing the five-year charter renewal process of Codman Academy with the state Department of Education, Jon became an independent project management consultant. In this role, Jon 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 moved to Austin, Texas, and joined Idea Public Schools as a founding member of their Campus Leadership Team. At Idea, Jon 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. Jon is currently based in New York City, where he is a council member of NationSwell and is completing his Executive Masters in Nonprofit Leadership at the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Abby Randall, M.S.
Director of Programs
With more than 13 years of experience in the field of sustainability education, Abby Randall is passionate about inspiring teachers and students to ignite a new generation of green leaders. Born in London, England and raised in Hingham, Massachusetts, Abby has spent the last decade in Austin, Texas, teaching and designing curriculum for a wide variety of K-12 science courses and alternative education programs. Abby holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Trinity College and an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tufts University.
In her current position as Director of Programs for EcoRise, Abby oversees the implementation of a wide variety of leading-edge educational resources across the United States, including sustainability and design curriculum, teacher professional development, and a K-12 grant program that brings students' green innovations to life. Abby's enthusiasm for authentic, STEM-based sustainability education is evident in her engaging teacher trainings and year-round support for educators around the country.
Kizzy Hannibal Xolani
Program Manager: Washington, D.C.
As a founding member of EcoRise, Kizzy has played various roles for the organization since its inception. She has over 15 years of youth development experience as an impassioned sustainability educator and youth facilitator. Fueled by her natural orientation towards supporting youth to discover their unique potential in shaping our future, she employs an inquiry-based approach that effectively engages participation, draws out collective knowledge, inspires creative problem-solving, and creates spaces for authentic and meaningful connections across differences.
Her diverse experience in education spans across classrooms and communities in Nigeria, Brazil, Jamaica, Hawaii and Austin and includes; classroom teaching, group facilitation, program development, curriculum development, youth facilitator training as well as leadership and professional development.
Kizzy has been an avid member of the non-profit world since she finished college. She is also a founding member of Amala Foundation and their first Youth Program Director. In this position, she created and directed Amala’s ground-breaking program, the Global Youth Peace Summit, which unites immigrant, refugee, international and local teenagers for a week dedicated to personal growth, cultural exchange, leadership development and community building. She held this position for 5 years before she helped launch EcoRise.
Kizzy is a heart-centered, highly adaptable, dynamic individual that is committed to helping foster cohesion, collaboration and meaningful connection for organizational and community growth.
Kristi Hibler-Luton, MA, NBCT
Kristi has over 12 years of experience in public education. She has served as a science teacher, department chair, and instructional coach. Kristi is certified in science with supplemental certifications in ESL and GT and is a National Board Certified Teacher in science. Kristi has written science curriculum, integrated technology, and outdoor learning into curriculum, and led professional development for Austin ISD. She has also served as a science mentor teacher in AISD through the Texas Regional Collaborative. Kristi has supported new teachers in her work as a Content Seminar Leader for Texas Teaching Fellows, an instructional coach for the New Teacher Project and University Facilitator and Field Supervisor for the University of Texas UTeach program. Kristi now serves as the Program Director for EcoRise.
In her spare time, Kristi serves as the Director of National Board Certification for Teach for American in San Antonio, Texas. She also volunteers for the Travis County Master Gardeners and enjoys gardening with her kids in her NWF Certified Backyard Habitat.
Program Manager: Louisiana & New York
Brittany Jayroe has worked in education for over 6 years. She stumbled into the field by happy accident and found a home in helping young people establish their own footing in the world. She's honed her knowledge and teaching skills through leading instructional teams in project-based learning, leading school departments in sustainability and social justice-minded curriculum development and implementation, coaching Master's candidates on capstone portfolios, consulting on homeschooling education, and facilitating 21st Century Skills seminars to young people preparing to enter the workforce.
Brittany is a graduate of Texas State University with a BA in Mass Communication and a graduate of Relay Graduate school of Education with an MA in Teaching. She has taught middle and high school humanities in large charter networks, tiny start-ups, and schools dedicated entirely to sustainability. Most recently, she served as one of 7 founding members of Rooted School in New Orleans. Brittany's efforts helped earn Rooted School the 2018 LAPCS Innovative Education Award and become New Orleans' highest performing new start-up school in the city's history.
Joining EcoRise, Brittany is excited to bring her passion for sustainability and social justice education to a new generation of green leaders.
Program Manager: Texas
With more than 10 years of experience in education, Jessica is fervent about sharing her joy and knowledge with teachers and students. As an Instructional Coach, she worked to help teachers with curriculum, classroom management, and instructional practices. In her most recent role as Director of Independent Living, Jessica was able to help youth continue their education beyond the classroom setting.
In her current position as Texas Program Manager for EcoRise, Jessica helps with the implementation of Problem Based Learning in Central Texas, as well as sustainability and design curriculum, teacher professional development, and a K-12 grant program that brings students' green innovations to life. Jessica's passion for learning is evident in her student-centered approach.
Gamal Sherif, M.Ed., LEED Green Associate
Program Manager: Green Building
For more than 25 years, Gamal has served as a science teacher, curriculum director, and principal in schools across the US. Gamal believes that all students should be able to attend beautiful schools that are green, healthy, and sustainable. Gamal holds an M.Ed. in secondary education from Temple University and an M.S.Ed in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Gamal earned the LEED Green Associate credential in 2015, and in 2017, became an ambassador with @TeachSDGs, a global network of educators working to advance the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Gamal enjoys a good game of disc golf, biking, and gardening with his family in their NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat.
Jenji Henson, M.Ed., LEED Green Associate
Director of Special Projects
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. Jenji leads curriculum efforts and helps write and manage grant proposals for EcoRise.
Marketing & Design Specialist
Passionate about finding ways to intertwine the practical with the creative, Laura is EcoRise's Marketing and Design Specialist. Laura has always been a jack of many trades. Before finding EcoRise, she worked in theatre production, costume technology, and digital design while earning a Bachelor's of Business Administration degree with a minor in Communications and Advertising from St. Edward's University. During undergrad, Laura 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 tell their stories, fictional and non-fictional, through a tangible medium. Laura is now telling EcoRise's story through the lenses of educators and students across the U.S. Laura is enthusiastic about elevating EcoRise's brand through design and storytelling and growing her collection of personal talents and soul with her amazing teammates.
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Amaryllis is a passionate environmentalist who enjoys serving the community, which has significantly shaped her development. She is a vocal champion for environmental conservation and strongly believes that through innovation we are capable of providing society with transformative results. As a native, she has watched the city change dramatically throughout her life and has remained committed to contributing to the unique values that have made Austin such a special place to live.
Amaryllis received a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas State University in 2012. She began her career at Birds, a locally owned and operated barbershop, then transitioned quickly into a fast-paced position at Whole Foods Market. The experience provided her the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge regarding efficient and effective operations- something she has grown quite passionate about.
Naturally resilient and enthusiastic, Amaryllis welcomes change and proactively seeks new challenges. She is thrilled to be a part of the EcoRise family.
To see current job opportunities available at EcoRise, click here.