LARA 2018 – 2019 Executive Board     

Karen Herrera
Karen Herrera is Duarte’s long-time Deputy City Manager and has over 32 years of local government service and community volunteerism in support of the City of Duarte. She has served in her current position for over a decade, and just recently her passion for the Duarte  community was honored by Assembly member Blanca Rubio when she received the 2018 Woman of the Year Award for Outstanding Community Service. Karen is a proud graduate of the California State University system receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Fullerton and her Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Cal State Long Beach. This is her fourth year serving as the LARA Chair.






Lorry Hempe
Lorry Hempe is the Public Works Special Projects Manager in the City of Lynwood. Lorry manages special project and oversees various environmental programs. She also manages the department’s operational and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budgets and oversees the transportation fund. She has a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Political Science from UCLA and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Cal State Long Beach. This is her fourth year serving as the LARA Vice-Chair.





Lauren Ramezani
Lauren Ramezani is a Senior Administrative Analyst in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes where she has worked for the last 21 years. She currently manages solid waste administration, grants, and street sweeping contracts. Lauren develops and coordinates public outreach for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and she is also the Administrator for the Infrastructure Management Committee. Lauren has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. This is her fifth year serving as the LARA Treasurer.





James Burnley
James Burnley is the Solid Waste Manager in the City of Beverly Hills where he manages the Solid Waste, Wastewater, Street Sweeping and Stormwater programs. He has been serving in his current position for the last 8 years, but has been in the solid waste industry for over 24 years. James has completed coursework from Valley College and West LA College. This is his second year serving as the LARA Secretary.






George Payba
Executive Director
George Payba is the newly appointed Executive Director of LARA. Previously, he served as the City of Los Angeles LARA representative for the last eight years. He is an Environmental Supervisor II and has been the Manager for the Zero Waste Compliance and Sustainability Section since 2014 where he oversees several programs such as LARA; State compliance for AB 939, AB 341, and AB 1826; the LA Green Business Programs: Green Business, Green Arts, and Green Lodging; Recycling Market Development Zone; and LA Brownsfield Program. His successes include implementation of the City-wide LA Green Business Certification Programs, the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program/Ordinance, Single Use Bag Ban, and the Department of Water and Power Waste Tire Program. George has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Long Beach State University.



Julie Jacobe
Julie Jacobe joined the Solid Resources Citywide Recycling Division in LA Sanitation as a Management Analyst in 2014, where she has been working alongside long-time LARA Administrator, Nady Maechling, until Nady’s recent retirement. Julie is now the new LARA Administrator and the AB 939 Compliance Administrator. Julie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Ecology from UC Irvine and has completed the Certificate in Sustainability from UCLA Extension in June 2018.







Karen Coca
Executive Director, 
2004 – 2018
Karen Coca retired as the Division Manager for the Solid Waste Resources Citywide Recycling Division (SRCRD), LA Sanitation in the City of Los Angeles after 25 years of service. She created the Los Angeles Regional Agency along with 14 Charter Members, the first in the Southern California region and has served as the Executive Director since 2004, when LARA was formally recognized by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (now CalRecycle). She also served as the SRCRD Division Manager since 2008 and has successfully implemented many critical programs for the City of LA, including the new franchise hauler system, recycLA. Blue bins are now available to all commercial customers and the franchise contracts will reduce waste to landfills by 1 million tons each year. Karen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from Cal State Northridge. 



Nady Maechling
Administrator, 2004 – 2018
Nady Maechling retired as an Environmental Engineering Associate II for LA Sanitation after 29 years of service. She worked alongside Karen Coca as the Administrator since the beginning when they built LARA in 2002. She also served as the AB 939 Compliance Administrator and was responsible for many successful projects for the City of LA including the Zero Waste report which calculated the City of LA’s current diversion rate at 76.4%. Nady has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from Long Beach State University.





LARA 2018 – 2019 Board Members

Karen Lee, Management Analyst, City of Artesia

Beverly Hills
James Burnley, Solid Waste Manager, City of Beverly Hills

Scarlett Santos Leon, Management Analyst, City of Bradbury

Carol Rowland, Recycling Coordinator, City of Downey

Karen Herrera, Deputy City Manager, City of Duarte

Hermosa Beach
Kristy Morris, Environmental Analyst, City of Hermosa Beach

Hidden Hills
Kerry Kallman, City Manager, City of Hidden Hills

Los Angeles
Marivic Sabillo, Senior Management Analyst, City of Los Angeles

Lorry Hempe, PW Special Projects Manager, City of Lynwood

Manhattan Beach
Anna Luke-Jones, Senior Management Analyst, City of Manhattan Beach

Palos Verdes Estates
Ken Rukavina, Public Works Director, City Engineer, City of Palos Verdes Estates

Jizelle Campos, Senior Management Analyst, City of Pomona

Rancho Palos Verdes
Lauren Ramezani, Senior Management Analyst, City of Rancho Palos Verdes

Redondo Beach
Jesse Reyes, Senior Management Analyst, City of Redondo Beach

Sierra Madre
James Carlson, Management Analyst, City of Sierra Madre

South Gate
David Torres, Field Operations Manager, City of South Gate

Alison Sherman, Waste Management Coordinator, City of Torrance