A retired union carpenter, and skilled jack of all trades, “John C.” is able to rebuild nearly anything. Originally from right here in Springfield, he has a background in construction, real estate, truck driving, has owned both an oil company and an auto body shop, and is particularly versed working with Porsches. In his spare time you may find John working on one of his many pet projects, such as restoring a beautiful 1960 thunderbird and a 1970 Pontiac Lemans.
Sonya Gonzalez, Cashier
Sonya has been a tremendous addition to our team beginning in July of 2016. She is a Springfield native, graduate of Commerce High School, army veteran, and currently working on her associate degree in medical office administrative assistance from Springfield Technical Community College. While serving in the US Army, Sonya served a year abroad in Germany, with her military occupational specialty in construction equipment mechanics.
John Hopkins II, Trucking
John II has partnered with his father, JHop, on EcoBuilding Bargains’ truck, to travel MA, CT, and then some to pick up quality donations of excess building materials. John is from the Springfield area and has a unique background in retail and in fencing. While not ‘En Garde’, he enjoys playing basketball and video games. A little known fact, John II was the first to patent the nickname “JHop”.
Jeff Macfarlane, Receiving Specialist
Jeff has been a critical part of day-to-day operations at EcoBuilding Bargains since he arrived back in 2001. He is responsible for inventorying donated materials, setting up items for sale on the floor and putting together the myriad pieces. If it’s for sale at the store, it most likely passed through Jeff’s hands. He also helped refurbish our current 8,500 sq. ft retail space. In college, Jeff drove cross-country and witnessed firsthand the effects of clear-cut timber removal. He went on to earn a B.S. in Forestry Conservation from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and subsequently worked with a non-profit forestry conservation organization and as a contractor. Both of those experiences contribute to the work he does now to divert valuable resources from the landfill. A huge outdoor enthusiast, Jeff built his own cabin in Goshen from materials purchased at EcoBuilding Bargains.
Al Mangual, Receiving &Trucking
Al has been with us since May 2013, and he’s been an enormous help both on the sales floor and back in receiving. Al is self-motivated, pays attention to detail and is always learning something new. He likes helping customers and working with the staff here at the store, he’s fully bilingual in Spanish & English. He’s a Navy veteran originally from New York and can be seen wearing a Yankees hat around the store (though he claims to be a Mets fan).
Audra Schwalm, Sales Associate
Audra started at EcoBuilding Bargains in the spring of 2012. She can often be found with her sleeves rolled up, working hard on a wide variety of projects. Audra has a strong background in photography and provides the vast majority of the product pictures seen online, on our facebook page, and in our weekly eBlast. She earned a degree in Graphic Arts along with Digital Photography at STCC and plans to someday transition into full-time media production for television and film.
Amy Weber, Recovery & Donations Specialist
Amy found a passion for environmental preservation while working as a PADI dive master and sailor in the Caribbean. After witnessing firsthand the effects that improper waste disposal can have on an ecosystem, Amy decided to pursue a green career. Shortly after returning to western MA in 2014, she joined CET as a Home Energy Auditor, helping homeowners identify the many ways to increase energy efficiency in their homes. She recently transitioned into Outside Sales here at EcoBuilding Bargains, and has since become a tremendous asset to contractors and organizations looking to donate large quantities of materials. By visiting deconstruction jobs in person, Amy is able to help contractors salvage more materials and greatly reduce the amount of waste created.
Allison Zeigler, Recovery & Donations Specialist
Allison joined the EcoBuilding Bargains team in November 2012. She is the voice of the store, the first person you hear when you give us a ring. Allison is responsible for maintaining communications with both customers and donors who call and e-mail us. She also schedules our trucking, takes photos, and updates our website with newly-arrived items. She is passionate about reuse and repurposing, and enjoys finding different ways to reuse materials we have in the store. Allison was born, raised, and philosophically inspired right here in Springfield, in part by local artist Alvin Paige through his art and thought provoking installations made from repurposed materials.