about material research l3c
Material Research, L3C is a Partnership of researchers established in the State of Maine in 2019. A L3C is a “low profit” form of LLC, meaning our work and profits are dedicated to charitable and educational purposes. In addition to providing affordable contract research, we will launch projects not yet covered by other organizations.
Most often, we partner with nonprofit organizations to research, analyze, and present information that is strategic, accurate, and often-difficult-to-obtain, yet essential to advancing their public missions. We work with public agencies, citizen campaigns, businesses, coalitions, foundations, and investors. Audiences include elected officials, policy and decision makers, citizen leaders, courts of law, boards of trustees, industry leaders, trade groups, media, and the public.
Our team is top-notch, bringing expertise and wisdom from a wide range of professional disciplines and applications including information technology, chemistry, biology, botany, private investigation, conservation, real estate acquisition, chemical engineering, teaching, public policy, citizen organizing, fundraising, strategic planning, and global campaigning.
Material Research is dedicated to the principles of transparency and public access to research and information supported and underwritten by philanthropic dollars.
Material Research is chartered as a low-profit or L3C corporation by the State of Maine. Its charitable and educational mission allows it to receive program-related investments (PRIs) from foundations.
Material Research is a member of...
Meet The Team: STAFF
Connie was the lead researcher on the recent Healthy Building Network investigation of global chlorine and PVC production. She's been a change-making researcher with Coop America, SeaWeb, the Internal Trade Information Service, and Greenpeace. Her research has sparked federal investigations for which corporations have been convicted and fined millions of dollars for environmental crimes. She also deciphered the coding on cans of tuna, which led to "dolphin safe" labels. Connie is the owner of Mohawk Valley Investigations LLC.
Jill Weber has been working to understand and protect Maine's natural resources since 1985. Trained as a botanist, she has broadened her skill set and developed a holistic, ecological approach to natural resource management and planning. An instructor at the College of the Atlantic, she has adopted and implemented the college's human ecological approach, which incorporates humans' place in environmental policy-making, into her projects. She also edits papers for several peer-reviewed natural history journals; this work provides a way to keep current with research topics and findings. Jill views as points of pride: developing a rare species and invasive species management plants for Acadia National park, co-authoring the books The Plants of Acadia National Park and Sedges of Maine, and assisting with site assessment and layout of carriage roads and hiking trails on the Schoodic Peninsula land recently donated to Acadia National Park. A favorite volunteer accomplishment is shepherding from writing to enactment of a local ordinance to protect her town's dark skies. In addition to conserving that resource, she helped the community to parlay the regulation into an economic engine by creating a Dark Skies festival that attracts stargazers from many states.
Verónica has almost three decades of experience in technical research, project management, and strategic and creative campaign planning and executing in international and intercultural environments. For many years, she worked at Greenpeace, including ten years heading up the Toxics campaign at Greenpeace Argentina. She helped lead the coalition that stopped the expansion of incineration technologies to treat waste and promoted the adoption of national zero waste policies. Veronica has been instrumental in achieving bans for high-risk, toxic chemicals, and her investigations helped identify industry discharges of contaminated effluents into local rivers. More recently, she’s led the Latinamerican chapter of Health Care Without Harm. She takes great pride in having contributed to a phase out of mercury use in health care in several Latin American countries, and working as part of a team that created a regional network of hospitals and health professionals committed to environmental protection goals. Verónica has a Biology Sciences degree and graduate studies in environmental toxicology and epidemiology. Her work includes independent researcher and environmental auditor.
Jim blazes new pathways of research into industrial practices and their worldwide impacts. He has investigated commodities ranging from toxic waste chemicals to tropical timber to ozone-depleting chemicals. From 2005 to 2019, he worked with the Healthy Building Network (HBN). There, he helped to reveal the contents of building and construction materials, from the roof to the foundation. Jim's investigations have helped to catalyze major global victories by non-profit organizations including the Sustainable Economy and Energy Network and Greenpeace. These achievements include the Basel convention ban on toxic waste trade, the World Bank's ban on overseas fossil fuel extraction finance, and, more recently with HBN, the removal of toxic chemicals from building materials.
Meet The Team: ADVISORS
Researcher, former interim Vice President
Amy Callner is a strategic researcher with over twenty years of experience guiding and developing campaigns with wide-reaching and in-depth fact-based material. Her expertise includes deep dives into corporations and individuals across a range of industries. In addition to being an expert practitioner, Amy teaches research technique to various audiences including the AFL-CIO and its affiliated unions, non-profit organizations, and volunteer groups. Her professional accomplishments include providing the research and strategic support on a campaign that successfully flipped five school board seats in a single local election, creating infrastructure and training modules for research committees in labor organizing and contract campaigns, and identifying avenues of intervention in a number of successful corporate campaigns.
Monica is founder and executive director of Until Justice Data Partners. Monica obtained her doctorate in biology in 2008 from the University of Louisville and her Master’s in Public Health from Benedictine University in 2018. Her biological training is in endocrine disruption and environmental signaling. During graduate school, she was introduced to the field of environmental justice. For over a decade, she has worked with grass roots environmental justice groups across the nation. For three years, she worked at the Greater Louisville Project, a data think tank that reported metrics for the community to push for social change. She is blending her knowledge and passion for research and data to help uplift community researchers, increase just partnerships with academia, and the community, and to help community partners challenge existing narratives about them by helping them collect and create messaging around the data.
Senior Advisor, Data Systems
Larry is a seasoned nonprofit executive with more than twenty years of success at the intersection of organizational development, campaign and technology strategy, policy leadership, product management, and communications. He is a technical strategist with a talent for developing globally-reaching, social-cause and data-driven solutions that span environmental and justice campaigns, international development and fair trade, and internal operations to enable top performance. Larry is frequently tapped as an adviser and speaker by iconic consumer brands and nonprofit organizations on data and transparency, sustainability, and healthy material systems. Past clients include including Google and the United States Green Building Council.
Sanjana has received her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University ‘19. She recently also acquired a graduate certificate in Business Intelligence & Data Analytics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) ‘21. Currently working with Transformation in the financial sector to drive sustainability, reliability, and equity. As an environmental and social justice advocate, she focuses on enabling communities through data. “Data empowerment is a pathway to ensuring justice!"
Kareena is a rising junior at UC Berkeley studying Economics and Data Science. She is interested in seeking out ways to achieve environmental justice through improving data transparency, as well as finding real-world solutions through analysis and modeling. She has worked on environmental justice research concerning peaker power plants and is an active member in UC Berkeley’s economic journal, inspiring her passion for the intersection between environmental research, data, and journalism.
Bart is open source investigator and trainer, with a special interest in the intersection of environmental and human rights. He has almost two decades of experience in technical and environmental research, and some of his work includes the Arctic and the oil industry, supply chain research, and maritime monitoring and analysis. He enjoys organizing and delivering webinars to train different audiences on the savvy tools and techniques that can be applied to open source research projects and investigations around the world. He is excited to work on projects that help uncover misinformation and build online resilience.
Co-Founder, Researcher, former Vice President
Caroline is an energetic and creative manager with four decades of experience initiating, planning, and completing land conservation transactions, workforce housing campaigns, and other projects. Much of her work has been the working as a land protection specialist and nonprofit executive working with land trusts, landowners, and public agencies. She served as vice president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Associate Director of the (now) Land Trust Alliance. As a volunteer, her service includes board president of Maine Conservation Voters, Mount Desert School Board member and chair, and commissioner of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission (back in the last century). Accomplishments that make her smile include having had a hand in 82 projects that conserve 64,000 Maine acres and 28 coastal islands; helping raise more than $30 million for conservation and housing campaigns; co-leading Mount Desert’s vote to become a Sanctuary Community (Maine’s first approved at town meeting); and enjoying a 15-year consulting practice serving more than 50 clients including the local food pantry, library, college, chamber of commerce, many land trusts, and the National Park Service. She is a skilled facilitator, moderator, strategic planner, and editor. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies.
Rick Hind has over 20 years experience in the strategic planning and management of environmental and public health campaigns. He served as the Legislative Director for Greenpeace from 1991 to December 2016. In this role he planned, coordinated corporate and governmental campaigns on the adoption of safer chemical policies. For example, he led a national coalition campaign to prevent catastrophic chemical accidents resulting in a Presidential executive order (2013) and new EPA regulations (2017). In addition, he won corporate campaigns that resulted in new policies to limit the use of toxic chemicals used by companies Mattel and Apple (1999-2007). Mr. Hind also led a coalition to pass emergency legislation in the District of Columbia to re-route ultra-hazardous railroad cargo and federal legislation to improve security and safety of freight rail (2005) and coordinated partnership with Habitat for Humanity green vinyl-free home build in New Orleans providing a model for future Habitat homes in New Orleans (2004). Mr. Hind recieved his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Farleigh Dickinson University.
Alex is an energy efficiency professional and lifelong environmentalist, holding a Chemical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to her technical background, Alex brings many years of sustainability experience to the team. She is passionate and data driven. Alex helped develop a model to predict and display building water data during her time as a Brooks Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Research Fellow at Georgia Tech, in order to encourage conservation and appropriate use of water. Since then Alex has worked with the Atlanta Mayor's Office of Resilience, where she analyzed building water and energy use data for the City of Atlanta, identifying trends and ways to improve. She has also collected and studied energy burden data as a volunteer with the Atlanta Youth Energy Initiative, working to advance energy justice in the city. While in Atlanta, Alex also worked with the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter on their Clean Energy for All campaign to further efficient and clean energy in the South.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s a “low profit” company or L3C?
A low-profit, limited liability company (L3C) is a for-profit organization that has a charitable and
educational mission. Unlike non-profit organizations, L3Cs pay corporate taxes. By law, any profits are
reinvested back in the L3C’s mission.
Direct donations are not tax-deductible, but a special provision has been made within the Internal
Revenue Code to allow L3Cs to receive Program Related Investments from foundations.
An L3C is a social enterprise. A Federal Reserve article explains that social enterprises like L3Cs,
“are increasingly seen as filling a void left unaddressed by the traditional public, private, and nonprofit sectors….(They) are seen as straddling the for-profit business sector, which is generally constrained by the duty to generate profits, and the nonprofit sector, which is generally constrained by tax laws and the duty to fulfill social objectives. (A)n L3C’s organizing document, called articles of organization, must set forth as its primary business objective ‘one or more charitable or educational purposes,’ as defined by the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, the term ‘low profit’ is embedded in the title of the business form to put investors and philanthropic funders on notice that the entity is motivated first and foremost by its expressed social mission, but not necessarily to the exclusion of making money.”
What does “open access” information mean?
SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) explains,
“Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results – to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives.”
Open Access is the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally
built to do – accelerate research. SPARC states,
“Funders invest in research to advance human knowledge and ultimately improve lives. Open Access increases the return on that investment by ensuring the results of the research they fund can be read and built on by anyone.”