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Meet The Office of Sustainability Staff 

Larry Rich, Sustainability Coordinator

Larry.Rich@longbeach.gov | Phone: 562.570.5839

Larry Rich has worked for the City of Long Beach since 1991, when he started as an intern in the Economic Development Bureau. He is now the Sustainability Coordinator in the Office of Sustainability.

Prior to coming to the Office of Sustainability, Larry worked in the Department of Development Services as a Planner in the Long Range Planning Division. In Long Range Planning, Larry participated in the development of the Long Beach 2030 plan, the creation of Green Building Standards for both municipal and private development projects, and the adoption of the City’s Construction and Demolition Debris Recycling Program. Larry also had the responsibility of monitoring and analyzing population and demographic trends within the City of Long Beach using U.S. Census Bureau data and other State and regional sources. Larry also has a strong background in using GIS (Geographic Information Systems), a powerful tool for demographic and spatial analysis.

Larry has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography with an emphasis in Urban and Regional Studies from California State University, Long Beach. Larry is also a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional with the U.S. Green Building Council.

Courtney Chatterson, Communications Specialist

Courtney.Chatterson@longbeach.gov | Phone: 562.570.6396

Courtney joined the City in December, 2016. Before coming to the City, Courtney worked as the Digital Marketing Associate for a startup sustainable investment business promoting the work of small and medium sized environmental entrepreneurs.

Courtney has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies, with a Communications emphasis, and a minor in Nonprofit Management. She spent some time living in Haiti and Mexico before getting her Master's in International Development from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. She is passionate about sustainable development and contributing to a healthy, prosperous, and environmentally friendly community in Long Beach.

Kristyn Payne

Kristyn.Payne@longbeach.gov | Phone: 562-570-5831

Kristyn joined the City in October, 2017. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016. There, she interned with UCSB Sustainability for over three years and was awarded an Outstanding Service Distinction by the Environmental Studies Department. During her time as a student, she also worked as a volunteer and later a staff member for the nonprofit California Student Sustainability Coalition, where she founded and managed a statewide writing program for college students.

After graduating, Kristyn participated in an AmeriCorps Service Year as a CivicSpark Climate Action Fellow with the County of San Luis Obispo Energy Watch Partnership. While there, she earned her credential as a LEED Green Associate from the US Green Building Council. Kristyn has a passion for sustainability, a strong commitment to promoting livable and resilient communities, and is happy to be working for a city as vibrant and engaging as Long Beach.

Kelsey Forster

Kelsey.Forster@longbeach.gov | Phone: 562.570.5927

Kelsey joined the Office of Sustainability in July 2016 as the manager of the Civic Center Edible Garden.  She will be teaching the Edible Garden's monthly classes, as well as training the Sustainability interns on gardening techniques, and guiding them into teaching classes as well.

Kelsey is also a gardener in the Farm + Food Lab, a demonstration garden in Orange County Great Park, and loves sharing urban agriculture techniques and ideas between her work at the two gardens.

Prior to working with the Office of Sustainability, Kelsey earned her B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from California State University, Long Beach.  During her time as a student, she interned with Long Beach Organic, a network of several different community gardens throughout the city, which was her introduction into a passion for urban agriculture and community gardening.

Kelsey's Projects/Emphasis:

Civic Center Edible Garden Manager, Pilot Compost Pickup Program, Tree Planting Program

Blanca Diaz

Blanca Diaz joined Sustainable Long Beach in October 2017. Prior to joining our team, Blanca Volunteered in a native plant nursery where she grew a deep respect for the plants. Blanca has worked as a farmer and garden educator with kids ranging from pre-k to 8th grade. She is passionate about native plant restoration, science, ecology and ethnobotany. When not tending the land, Blanca serves the community as an herbalist and teacher.

Blanca will be assisting development of the Native Plant Nursery at Willow Springs Park, along with maintenance of the new 12 acre restoration project at the park. She hopes to soon host classes focusing on the care of California native plants and more.

Blanca's Projects/Emphasis:

Willow Springs Native Plant Nursery, Pilot Compost Pickup Program, Tree Planting Program