SGA’s newest board member practically recruited himself, you might say. Treijon Johnson, a sustainability packaging engineer who relocated to the Chicago area from Connecticut in 2019, was earlier this year looking for local sustainability-oriented volunteer opportunities. He came across SGA and reached out to Executive Director Gary Cuneen.
Given Treijon’s background, expertise and eagerness to volunteer, SGA brought him onto the board. Before being hired in Chicago last year, Treijon, 26, worked to help one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies progress toward 100 percent recycled material in all of its skin cleansing brands. Now, he has ambitions of helping to transform the packaging of one of the world’s largest candy companies to sustainable materials by 2025.
Treijon believes he brings a valuable perspective to the SGA board. “Being a younger member of the board, I think I have the ability to tap into a different demographic in terms of different events and communities that can support the different initiatives SGA has,” he says.
His interest in sustainability goes back to his childhood, when he spent summers attending outdoor camp. “That gave me a real appreciation for being outdoors,” Treijon says. He also had a lot of pets, around eight, and that gave him a real curiosity and passion for the outdoors and environment. As I got older and began to understand what sustainability is and trying to conserve and live within your means, it just fit really well with my personality and how I like to live my life.”
Since joining the SGA board, Treijon pitched in to help get craft beer orders to ticketholders of the organization’s annual fundraiser, Oak Park Micro Brew Review.
Raised in Atlanta, Treijon graduated cum laude from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and sustainability. Away from work and volunteering, he enjoys painting, cooking and watching scary movies. He is also a competitive powerlifter with a regional championship in Olympic Powerlifting (Northeast 2019) and a state championship (CT 2019).