2011: Speaker bios

Here are the bios for speakers and organizing committee members for the 2011 Slow Living Summit (downtown Brattleboro VT, June 1-3 2011)

*indicates steering committee member

John Abrams, South Mountain Company

John Abrams is the co-founder and president of South Mountain Company, an employee-owned design, building, and renewable energy company committed to responsible business practice. Started by the seat of the pants in 1975, today South Mountain has annual revenues of $9 million and 17 owners among its 33 employees. In 2005 Business Ethics Magazine awarded South Mountain its National Award for Workplace Democracy.

SMC’s collaborative efforts spring from a business model based on shared ownership, limited growth, highest quality craftsmanship and service, community involvement, and long term thinking. SMC is determined to create buildings and settings that are enjoyed for generations – that stand as worthy expressions of a humane, well-crafted, environmentally sound architecture. SMC is weathering the current economic storm by constantly thinking and acting in new ways (even working off-island — in Woods Hole!).

Peter Albert, Brattleboro Retreat

Peter Albert, LICSW is the Senior Vice President for Government Relations & Managed Service Organization at the Brattleboro Retreat. Peter has been employed at the Retreat since 1978 and has in served various capacities includ- ing Clinical Director of Adolescent Services, Director of Access and Evaluation, Utilization Management and Administrator of Adult Services. In addition to pro- viding leadership in governmental affairs, Peter currently oversees PrimariLink, the Retreat’s managed service organization. He also continues to see outpatients at the Anna Marsh Clinic and to provide clinical supervision.

Alexander L. Aldrich, Vermont Arts Council

Alexander L. Aldrich brings 35 years’ experience in the arts to his position as executive director of the Vermont Arts Council, a position he has held since January, 1997.  A graduate of Harvard College (B.A. in English) and Yale School ofManagement (MBA), Aldrich currently serves as a trustee of the Vermont Council on Rural Development and the New England Foundation for the Arts.  He is a former member of the board of the New England Creative Economy Council, and the Associated Harvard Alumni. Most of his work as director of the Vermont Arts Council (the country’s only non-profit State Arts Agency) is in the area of advocacy: helping to explain the value of investing public dollars in the arts and sharing the many stories of the arts sector with anyone who might help the Council to fulfill its mission to advance and preserve the arts at the center of Vermont communities.  In this capacity he also is a registered lobbyist with the state of Vermont. Aldrich is married with four children: triplet 14-year-old boys and an 13-year-old girl.  His creative interests include singing, theater, stained glass and woodworking.

The Vermont Arts Council was founded in 1964 on a simple and powerful premise: that the arts enrich lives, expand minds, and form a vital thread in the fabric of Vermont community life. The Council fosters classical, traditional, and emerging forms of artistic expression. It finds enduring ways to make the arts a part of all Vermont communities, bringing inspiration to Vermont citizens and visitors in every corner of the state. It advocates for and supports the arts as a central part of education for all people.  The Council functions as a community partner and a catalyst for artists and organizations. It offers professional development opportunities and technical advice, collects and disseminates arts information, and acts as the state’s foremost arts advocate.

Kate Anderson, Arts Council Windham County

Kate Anderson and her husband’s international opera career provided for a 25 year journey living abroad, primarily in Europe.  Anderson has come to believe “…the arts create the context for a community’s wealth. Brattleboro is so rich in the arts, my focus is in linking the artist to useful networking, resources, partnerships. It is all about infrastructure: as we identify needs and resources, we should then provide the infrastructure needed for our community’s ecosystem. Kate believes that economic development planning has to take into account the arts and the creative economy.  She is an advocate of seeing artists function more as businesspeople, not being dependent on the whims of donors and foundations for their funding.  As part of the Town Arts Committee, Kate held a group discussion on the future of the arts in Brattleboro that focused on five areas of importance for a dynamic arts community — networking and community, arts and education, resources, public art, and sustenance and growth of the arts economy. Anderson has been on a number of arts related boards here in the area, BAI, NEYT, ACWC, NECCA, and currently serve as Chair of Brattleboro Town Arts Committee. Kate holds a BA in English Literature, magna cum laude,from Oakland University, Graduate studies in Theater and Opera at Indiana University, and a Certificate of Nonprofit Management from Marlboro College. Anderson’s  defining passion is “my marriage, my daughter, and art”.

Bill Baue, Technology Consultant

Bill Baue has advanced corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR) for more than a decade. He’s currently a Senior Research Fellow with AccountAbility, and consulting to GE on using social media for stakeholder engagement in its Citizenship report and  Website. He also teaches communications in the Marlboro MBA in Managing for Sustainability in Vermont. In the past, he co-authored The Accountability Web on corporate accountability and Web 2.0 for Harvard, wrote Walmart’s first Sustainability Report, and co-founded Sea Change Radio.

Lynn Benander, Co-op power

Lynn Benander has worked since 1996 to develop sustainable energy resources in the Northeast based on a community-ownership model.  She has worked with membership groups in New England and New York representing more than two million people, interested in building affordable sustainable energy resources. As Manager of Co-op Power, she has supported the development of five solar installation businesses, Energia – a multi-family/commercial building energy services company in Holyoke MA.  She has also supported the development of affordable, sustainable energy products and services for Co-op Power’s members and supporters.  In the future, this cooperative will go on to partner with communities around the Northeast to build solar, wind, alternative fuel and other community owned sustainable energy resources in the region. Co-op Power currently provides a wide range of energy products and services, including discounts on conservation and efficiency services, solar hot water and solar electric installations,  heating oil, and a wide range of other products and services.

Co-op Power is a regional network of local communities creating a multi-class, multi-racial movement for a sustainable and just energy future. They are a consumer-owned energy cooperative serving New England and New York. Co-op Power’s Local Organizing Councils include Co-op Power .

Cathy Berry, Slow Money

Cathy is a founding board Member of Slow Money.  She is a founding managing director of Baldwin Investment Management, LLC, and has been active in direct food related investments, including Farmers Diner and Vermont Smoke and Cure here in Vermont.  She is a family member and active participant of The Sandy River Charitable Foundation which focuses its grant making in rural areas, mostly supporting agriculture and local communities.  She was an early founding supporter of BALLE. She is also on the board of Two Rivers/Food Works in Montpelier, VT.   Her goal is to see people living as if survival matters!

Slow Money’s mission is to build local and national net works, and develop new financial products and services, dedicated to investing in small food enterprises and local food systems, connecting investors to their local economiesand building the nurture capital industry. Soil fertility, carrying capacity, sense of place, care of the commons, cultural, ecological and economic health and diversity, nonviolence — these are the fundamentals of nurture capital, a new financial sector supporting the emergence of a restorative economy. And these are the fundamentals of the Slow Money Principles. Slow Money’s goal is: a million Americans investing 1% of their assets in local food systems within a decade.

Betsy Black, Cooperative Fund of New England

Betsy Black has more than 20 years of experience working as a consultant, trainer and facilitator with individuals, nonprofit organizations and businesses. Committed to helping cooperatives, Community Development Financial Institutions and individuals to advance their organizational and personal missions, she serves as a loan and outreach officer with the Cooperative Fund of New England, promoting the fund’s work with cooperatives in Vermont. In addition, she maintains a private coaching practice, helping individuals, especially lawyers, find greater satisfaction and success in life and work. She teaches yoga, stress management and related topics. Active in her community, Betsy currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Concord Food Cooperative and as president of Concord Toastmasters. Betsy graduated from Middlebury College in 1981 with a B.A. in American Studies. Formerly a lawyer in private practice, Betsy graduated from the University of New Hampshire School of Law in 1985. She lives in Concord, New Hampshire.

The Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) was founded in 1975 by co-op activists and social investors to provide financial and technical assistance to food cooperatives. Since then, the organization has expanded its focus, offering development loans and technical assistance to a wide range of co-ops and nonprofit groups that share CFNE’s vision of equality, justice, and social responsibility. CFNE is a bridge between socially responsible investors and cooperatives, community oriented non-profits, and worker-owned businesses in New England (and parts of New York).

Kelly Boe, Middlebury College

Kelly Boe manages the biomass gasification facility and central heating plant at Middlebury College, which has cut the school’s use of fuel oil by a million gallons a year and has reduced carbon emissions by 40 percent. It saves over $1 million a year in fuel costs, and puts $800,000 of new money in the local economy through purchase of 20,000 tons of woodchips from within 75 miles of the Middlebury College campus. Kelly has a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Miami University (Ohio).  He has 30 years of technical and managerial experience in several manufacturing industries and spent many years in the paper industry, involved in fiber sustainability practices as well as the manufacture of elemental chlorine-free pulp and recycled-paper products.

Mollie Burke, Arts Educator, Vermont State Representative

Mollie represents Brattleboro in the Vermont Legislature.  She is also a visual artist and Vermont state-certified art teacher with more than twenty years experience in both public and private schools. She is listed on the Vermont Arts Council juried artist registry and has a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College. Mollie has engaged adult artists and young students in exhibitions to promote energy conservation and transportation alternatives. She is also the founder and director of ART IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, an organization that brings art classes to economically disadvantaged youth in Brattleboro community centers.

Christine Bushway, Organic Trade Association

A native New Englander, Christine Bushway graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelors of Science degree from the College of Life Science and Agriculture. Her career has been spent working in the food and agriculture industries. She has held leadership positions including agricultural trade association CEO, chief Washington lobbyist representing the egg industry before members of Congress, USDA, FDA, FTC and the CDC, and served as spokesperson on television, radio and in print on issues ranging from nutrition, and food contamination and production issues. One of her proudest accomplishments was founding the Egg Nutrition Center in Washington, DC. Now an internationally recognized resource, the center funds research and provides industry, consumers and health-related agencies with scientifically accurate information on egg nutrition.

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. OTA represents businesses across the organic supply chain and addresses all things organic, including food, fiber/textiles, personal care products, and new sectors as they develop. Over sixty percent of OTA trade members are small businesses.

Jess Callihan, New England Youth Theatre

Jessica Callahan, has a Fine Arts degree from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, and currently works as Public Relations Coordinator, raising friends and money, and marketing Brattleboro’s beloved New England Youth Theatre. “I define myself by where my passions lie – I am a single mother and a theatre artist, a dancer, a gardener, a giver, a singer, a lover-of-life, a wannabe-foodie, a mentor, a friend, and so much more…  I spend some of my time at New England Youth Theatre, in the Marketing and Development office.  I spend some of my time serving on the board of trustees for Vermont Theatre Company and Friends of Music at Guilford, and volunteering for projects with Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, Actors Theatre Playhouse, and Youth Services.  And I spend as much time as possible with my family and friends – playing, eating, and sharing what we are passionate about!”

New England Youth Theatre provides professional training and production experience in theatre arts to young people of all abilities by engaging their intellects, bodies, and imaginations in the creative endeavor.  It serves more than 300 children each year from age 3 to age 19 and provides on-the-job training for college interns during the summer.

Majora Carter, Majora Carter Group, LLC

Majora Carter simultaneously addresses public health, poverty alleviation, and climate-adaptation as one of the nation’s pioneers in successful urban green-collar job training & placement systems. She founded Sustainable South Bronx in 2001 to achieve environmental equality through economically sustainable projects informed by community needs, and led the organization until 2008. She currently runs her own consulting firm (Majora Carter Group, LLC), hosts the Peabody Award Winning special public radio series: “The Promised Land” (thepromisedland.org), and serves on the boards of The Wilderness Society, and the US Green Building Council. Her includes advising cities, foundations, universities, businesses, and communities around the world on unlocking their local economic potential. Her work has earned numerous honors including Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People In Business, a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship, Essence Magazine’s 25 Most Influential African-Americans, and NY Post Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement.

John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies

John has a BA from Dartmouth College and a MA from Princeton University. He worked as an international economist for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1978-1981) and the World Health Organization (1981-1982). He directed IPS’s Global Economy Project from 1983-1997. He is the co-author of 10 books and numerous articles on the global economy, including Development Redefined: How the Market Met Its Match (2008, Paradigm Publishers), written with Robin Broad.

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) strengthens social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars, and elected officials. We empower people to build healthy and democratic societies in communities, the U.S., and the world.

Stephen Cole, Coastal Maine Enterprises, Inc.

Stephen Cole is Director of Natural Resources & Sustainable Communities at Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a long-established Maine community development corporation. CEI’s staff of 80 is active in Maine’s natural resource sectors, business lending, small business counseling, workforce development, affordable housing and socially responsible venture capital. Cole oversees CEI’s small farms, fisheries and working waterfront efforts and does project-based work in renewable energy and community development. His work background includes history and preservation, land use planning, and community & economic development and his degrees are in American Civilization (Brown University) and regional planning (University of Massachusetts, Amherst). Stephen is author of the recent books, The Cranberry Hard Work and Holiday Sauce and The Rangeley and Its Region The Famous Boat and Lakes of Western Maine, both from Tilbury House Publishers. He co-authored the documentary study, “I Was Content and Not Content”: Linda Lord and the Closing of Penobscot Poultry published by Southern Illinois University Press. He lives in Damariscotta, Maine with his wife and daughters.

Coastal Maine Enterprises (CEI) is a private, nonprofit Community Development Corporation and Community Development Financial Institution that provides financing and support for job-creating small businesses, natural resources industries, community facilities, and affordable housing. By fulfilling its mission of Triple Bottom Line investing ~ incorporating economy, equity and the environment ~ CEI is increasing its impact in Maine and rural regions nationwide, and creating economic opportunities for people and places at the margins of society.

Marada and Leah Cook, Crown of Maine

Leah and Marada Cook run Crown O’ Maine Organic Cooperative, a distribution company dedicated to connecting quality Maine-grown produce with Maine consumers as intelligently and intentionally as possible. Leah grew up on a farm in Aroostook County, and served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Suriname before coming home to rejoin Crown O’ Maine. Whether driving trucks, slinging vegetables, or taking off for South America, she has an abiding in interest in the ways terrain shapes peoples.

Doug Cox, Brattleboro West Arts

Doug received his early training at the State Violin Making School in Mittenwald, Germany in the late 1960’s. He spent ten years as head of the repair department and chief restorer for the firm of J. Bradley Taylor, Inc. in Boston, servicing the finest instruments in the New England area. Since 1981 he has devoted himself to making fine new instruments. His home and studio are in the hills outside Brattleboro, Vermont, not far from Marlboro Music and the Yellow Barn Music Festival

Brattleboro West Arts is an association of artists and craftspeople working in the villages of West Brattleboro and Marlboro, Vermont, dedicated to supporting the artistic and economic growth of its members and community.  BWA consists of artists and artisans working in a variety of media including painting, pottery, sculpture, furniture, musical instruments, textiles, poetry, garden arts, culinary arts, video, and more, practicing at the highest professional level of creativity, innovation and technical standards. Through monthly potluck meetings, we share ideas, resources and support one another as artists.

David Coughlin, Windham Regional Career Center

David Coughlin is the Director of Windham Regional Career Center in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Prior to coming to WRCC in 2003, David has worked for over 17 years with career and technical schools throughout the state, facilitating close interaction between community organizations, local businesses and students. He has also worked extensively in the private sector, learning the importance of local marketing in a variety of settings. He is an active member of Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary and currently serves as a commissioner for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges representing career and technical institutions.

Matt Dunne, Google

Matt served four terms in the Vermont House of Representatives, two terms in the Vermont State Senate, was the Democratic candidate in the 2006 Vermont Lt. Governor’s race. Dunne was Director of Marketing for Logic Associates, a Vermont software company that during his tenure grew to over $18 million in sales. He also co-founded Cabin Fever Productions, which managed the Briggs Opera House and facilitated concerts in downtown White River Junction, Vermont. He has worked within the high-tech sector, working as Director of Marketing for Logic Associates, a Vermont software company. Following the 2006 election, Dunne was hired by Google to run community affairs for the company from White River Junction, Vermont. Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program.

Frederick “Fritz” Engstrom, Brattleboro Retreat

Fritz is the Medical Director of the Brattleboro Retreat. He received his medical degree from the University of Rochester, and is board certified in general psychiatry. His areas of expertise include the evaluation and treatment of people who require medication for prob- lems including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyper- activity disorder (ADHD). In addition to his role as Medical Director at the Brattleboro Retreat, Fritz teaches extensively at symposia across the country. He is also the author of the book Movie Clips for Creative Mental Health Education.

*Betsy Gentile, Windham Regional Career Center

Betsy Gentile is currently the Workforce Development Manager and Adult Education Coordinator at the Windham Regional Career Center in Brattleboro Vermont. She is a member of the Vermont Economic Progress Council repre- senting Windham County, the Brattleboro Traffic Safety Committee and Recreation and Parks Board, the Youth Services Board of Directors, and Chair of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windham County Advisory Board. She is the past Director of the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce and past Coordinator of the Marlboro Graduate Center’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program.

Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension

Vern Grubinger is the vegetable and berry specialist for University of Vermont Extension, and coordinator of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program of USDA, or NE-SARE. He works out of the University of Vermont Extension office in Brattleboro and is Adjunct Extension Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Science. Vern leads the eXtention Farm Energy Community of Practice, is on the Board of Trustees of the Windham County Farm Bureau, and serves as a technical advisor to the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association.
Vern earned his BS in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts, and his MS and PhD from Cornell University in Agronomy and Vegetable Crops, respectively. Vern authors a monthly column in both ‘Farming, the Journal of Northeast Agriculture’ and ‘Growing’ magazine, and he has  produced several videos on sustainable farming practices

As Vermont’s land-grant college, UVM offers a vast Extension outreach program for our friends across the state. Present in a dozen Vermont communities, Extension provides timely, research-based information and education for the families, communities and businesses of Vermont.

Michael Gurau, Clear Venture Partners, Maine

Michael Gurau is the Founder and Managing General Partner of Clear’s investment team. He brings more than fourteen years of successful venture capital experience to Clear Venture Partners coupled with four years of startup operating experience, in marketing and product management. Michael has a BS Finance from Babson College and an MBA from University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. He currently serves on several boards of directors (two as chair) for CEI Community Ventures; Michael is also on the board of directors of the Merriconeag Waldorf School in Freeport, Maine, a K-12 private school.
Clear Venture Partners is an active, early stage investor targeting fast growth, high margin technology, consumer and manufacturing businesses located in New England. Clear’s principals add value beyond capital in areas of business and strategy development, marketing and branding, financial and financing planning, and executive and board development. “It takes more than money to achieve success; our experience, relationships and collaborative style make Clear Venture Partners a value-added partner.”

John Hamilton, Vested for Growth, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund

John Hamilton, VP of Economic Opportunity for NH Community Loan Fund, has more than 25 years of executive and managerial experience in the areas of business investing, workforce development, affordable housing, and energy conservation and in the for-profit, nonprofit and government sectors. Through an initiative called Vested for Growth, he pioneered royalty financing as a community economic development tool to get growth capital into established businesses and also provide loans from $1,000 to $500,000 to a wide variety of small-business owners from farmers to food producers, artisans and tradespeople, all the way to high-margin manufacturers.

Vested for Growth provides capital in the form of royalty, or “mezzanine,” financing to established New Hampshire-based businesses. VFG’s innovative and flexible investment style gives businesses access to expansion capital without the collateral requirements of bank debt, while also avoiding the need to sell the business to pay equity investors. VFG’s portfolio companies have access to enhanced management capacity, industry contacts, human resource development, and other business resources that drive the innovation and growth needed for success in today’s economy.

Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm

Gary Hirshberg has worked on sustainability issues for over 33 years, first as the Executive Director of the New Alchemy Institute in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, and for the last 27 years as the CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s largest organic yogurt company. Hirshberg and founder Samuel Kaymen began Stonyfield as a 7-cow organic farming school on a hilltop NH farm and today it is a $340 million enterprise supporting over 165,000 acres of organic agriculture and thousands of organic family farmers with over 100 different crops.

The world’s largest organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield Farm was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Londonderry, NH. Not only recognized as an organic industry leader, Stonyfield Farm also is a pioneer in social and environmentally responsible corporate
practices.  The company mission:  We’re committed to healthy food, healthy people, healthy business and a healthy planet.

Lisl Hofer,  Kroka Expeditions

Lisl was born and raised in a small village in the Austrian Alps in the family of a forest ranger and teacher. She climbed, backcountry skied and hiked extensively in the Alps. Lisl has been a teacher all of her adult life, having taught elementary as well as high school grades. After moving to the United States in 1985 she studied at the Rudolf Steiner College in California. For 13 years she taught at the Kimberton Waldorf School in Pennsylvania, where she carried the Movement and Outdoor Education Department. Lisl devoted many years at Kimberton to develop an age appropriate outdoor curriculum. The Kimberton Waldorf High School now successfully offers at least one weeklong trip in connection to a Main block for each grade. Her son Stefan is an alumnus of VSP ’04 and both of her children have taught at Kroka.

Kroka Expeditions is committed to awakening in young people a connection to nature and the spirit within, and a capacity for conscious living and compassionate service. We strive to achieve this through wilderness adventure, community living, farming, and the practice of traditional and indigenous skills. We start by building and tending the sense of community within the group…and class communities that are strengthened by the outdoor elements carry that connection back into indoor classroom life.

*Lester Humphreys

Lester Humphreys is the owner of L. Humphreys Consulting, LLC, which specializes in helping small businesses in the Brattleboro area reach their potential.  He also serves as the director of the Cyberlore Fund, as the Chair of the Brattleboro Energy Committee, and as a Trustee of the Vermont Nature Conservancy.

John Irving, Burlington Electric Department

John M. Irving is the Manager of Generation for the Burlington Electric Department in Burlington, Vermont.  His responsibilities include being the Plant Manager for the McNeil Generating Station. McNeil is a 50 mW wood, gas and oil fired generating station utilizing a conventional boiler and steam turbine that has been operating commercially since June 1, 1984. McNeil Station was also the host facility for the Vermont Gasification Project.  Prior to joining Burlington Electric, Mr. Irving was employed by C.T. Main Inc., a major architect-engineering firm in Boston.  He has 38 years of experience in the design, construction, startup and operation of generating facilities fueled with coal, wood, natural gas, oil and red liquor.  Mr. Irving’s most recent responsibilities at C.T. Main included serving as Project Engineer, Mechanical Construction Engineer, and Start-up Engineer at the McNeil Station.  Mr. Irving received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maine and is a Registered Professional Engineer.

Trish Karter, Dancing Deer Bakery

As CEO and co-founder of Dancing Deer Baking Co. Trish Karter has found a way to marry her creative, artistic, environmental, community and business interests. The woman-owned enterprise, located in Boston’s inner city, is lauded as one of the nation’s most innovative natural food companies. All Dancing Deer employees are shareholders and the company’s operating philosophy is that when people are happy it shows in the food. Dancing Deer donates 35% of the retail price from its Sweet Home product line to direct action programs toward ending homelessness.

Karter is active in the local community and works with the City of Boston’s efforts to promote economic well-being in otherwise overlooked areas. Karter’s first business adventure was to leave her studies just a semester shy of a Bachelor’s Degree, and help dig her father (and hero) out of a Chapter 11 Reorganization. He was the pioneer of post consumer bottle and can recycling on an industrial basis. After a Management degree and professional career she left the business world to spend full time pursuing her interests as a studio artist. Years later, an unintended turn of events led her to the formation of Dancing Deer. As a longtime environmentalist and student of nature, Trish has committed the company to continuing its leadership in the natural foods movement, green practices and efforts to use it’s commercial success to create positive social change.

Tara Kelly, Rutland Area Food and Farm Link

Tara Kelly is a founding member of Rutland Area Farm and Food Link. She has been actively involved in community development efforts for over 15 years. Her specialty is organizing and involving the public to form strategies and implement actions that will shape the future of their community and region.Tara was raised near Boston, Massachusetts, spent a decade in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, and now lives in rural Vermont.

Tara is a graduate of Wellesley College with a BA in Sociology, and of San Jose State University with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning. In 2006 Tara completed a professional development program at Cornell University called “Growing Home: Community, Food and Agriculture”. She blends her passion for vibrant communities and proactive civic engagement through her current work with RAFFL. Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) is a non-profit organization formed in 2004. We increase access to local foods and support the economic viability of area farms through education of the public and by facilitating new and expanded markets, distribution mechanisms, and processing infrastructure while seeding the region with new farmers.

Phil Korman, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

Phil joined CISA in 2008 and leads the organization in its mission to strengthen local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community. Since that time, CISA has expanded its buy local campaign to 200 local farms and over 100 related businesses; created a community membership program with over 600 members; spurred the movement for eating locally throughout the year with one-day Winter Fares and ongoing winter markets; and, with partners, created the Pioneer Valley GROWS network and its $1 million dollar loan fund food system infrastructure businesses and passed legislation establishing a statewide food policy council.  He has over 20 years’ experience in management and raising resources at nonprofits and holds a master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley.

Jesse Laflamme, Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs

Jesse Laflamme, a fourth generation farmer from Monroe, N.H., heads up Pete and Gerry’s Organics, a 10 million-dozen egg business that’s laying to expand. Its niche is humanely raised, cage-free organic eggs, powered by aggressive consumer-oriented marketing. Pete and Gerry’s contracts with small family-farm egg producers, and proudly touts them to consumers. Using state-of-the-art husbandry and housing technology, Laflamme contends that efficiency and productivity improvements make this company cost-competitive with much larger operations.

*Martin Langeveld

Martin C. Langeveld is marketing director of Strolling of the Heifers as well as a freelance marketing, strategic planning and social media consultant. He spent 30 years in the media business, 28 in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and two at the Brattleboro Reformer, from which he retired in 2008. Earlier, he and his wife were innkeepers for three years in New Marlboro, Massachusetts. While living in the Berkshires, Martin served two terms as chair and one as treasurer of Hancock Shaker Village. He was a founding trustee of the Colonial Theatre Association.

Becca Martenson, Vermont Wilderness School

Becca has served as President of the Vermont Wilderness School Board of Directors for 5 of the past 6 years.   Vermont Wilderness School, a non-profit founded in 2000,  is dedicated to cultivating long-term mentoring relationships rooted in community, nature connection, and earth living skills.   Its programs go beyond traditional “environmental education” to help develop a deep understanding of self, community and nature, and in doing so, build healthy connections to the natural world and each other. Becca lives in Montague MA where she homeschools her 3 children with her husband Chris Martenson.  Becca also leads seminars with Chris, educating people about the economy, energy and the environment and the ways we can create resilient communities in the face of massive change.  She is also developing a private practice, supporting people with inner work and personal transformation.

The Vermont Wilderness School was founded in 2000 with a commitment to building a powerful community of naturalists, teachers and leaders. Our programs go beyond traditional “environmental education” to help develop a deep understanding of self, community and nature, and in doing so, build healthy connections to the natural world and each other.

Don McCormick, Carbon Harvest Energy

Don McCormick has over 20 years of entrepreneurship, management, and engineering expertise. Prior to founding Carbon Harvest Energy, he designed Laughing Duck Farm, a sustainable aquaponics business that produces year-round food (microgreens and Tilapia) in a cold climate, as well as a greenhouse that uses all renewable energy inputs and eliminates waste through a closed-loop water system.

Carbon Harvest Energy, LLC develops methane gas-to-energy projects integrated with agricultural systems that convert waste and pollutants into valuable green products for the community. In our systems, methane is combusted for electrical energy and fed to the grid. Thermal energy from the engines is used to heat greenhouses enclosing closed-loop aquaculture and agriculture operations. The carbon dioxide and other exhaust gases from the generators, combined with the waste produced by the fish, feed algae cultivation systems for biofuel production. The goal is to “harvest” waste products and convert them to their highest and best uses. In partnership with landfill owners, municipalities and local food producers, Carbon Harvest offers a source of local, renewable energy and a powerful mechanism for a community to take responsibility for its resource use.

Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, Marlboro College

Ellen is Marlboro College’s seventh and first woman president. She has strong ties to Vermont and to the nation’s Capitol; she was chief of staff to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) from 1983 to 1994. McCulloch-Lovell spent seven years in the Clinton administration from 1994 to 2001, serving as executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and deputy assistant to the President and advisor to the First Lady. In 2001, she founded the Veterans History Project, a collection of first-hand accounts of war at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  As executive director of the Vermont Arts Council (1975 to 1983), she supported individual artists and co-founded the Governors Institutes of Vermont, intensive summer programs in the arts, science, and international affairs for high school students now in their 28th year.  She was appointed to five National Endowment for the Arts advisory councils. She continues her involvement in arts education and local cultural organizations. Her book of poems, Gone, was published in 2010 by Janus Press. In her eighth year as Marlboro’s president, McCulloch-Lovell also serves as a Regent of the American Architectural Foundation, on the Advisory Council member for the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution, and on several local boards. She just completed five years of service on the National Science Foundation’s BIO Advisory Council.

Bill McKibben, 350.org

Bill is an environmentalist and writer who frequently writes about global warming and alternative energy and advocates for more localized economies. In 2010 the Boston Globe called him “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist” and Time magazine described him as “the world’s best green journalist. In 2009 he led the organization of 350.org , which coordinated what Foreign Policy magazine called “the largest ever global coordinated rally of any kind,” with 5,200 simultaneous demonstrations in 181 countries. Bill grew up in suburban Lexington, Massachusetts. He was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper in college. Immediately after college he joined the New Yorker magazine as a staff writer, and wrote much of the “Talk of the Town” column from 1982 to early 1987. His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 by Random House after being serialized in the New Yorker. It is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has been printed in more than 20 languages. Several editions have come out in the United States, including an updated version published in 2006. In March 2007 McKibben published Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. It addresses what the author sees as shortcomings of the growth economy and envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise. Bill is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s,Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, and Outside. He is also a board member and contributor to Grist Magazine. Bill has been awarded Guggenheim and Lyndhurst Fellowships, and won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He has honorary degrees from Green Mountain College, Unity College, Lebanon Valley College and Sterling College. Bill currently resides with his wife and his daughter in Ripton, Vermont. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College.

350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis through online campaigns, grassroots organizing and mass public actions that are led from the bottom up by thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries. 350 means climate safety. To preserve our planet, scientists tell us we must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million to below 350 ppm. 350 is more than a number—it’s a symbol of where we need to head aa planet.350.org works hard sto organize in a new way—everywhere at once, using online tools to facilitate strategic offline action. We want to be a laboratory for the best ways to strengthen the climate movement and catalyze transformation around the world.

*Ralph Meima

Ralph Meima joined Marlboro College Graduate School in 2006 to direct the startup of its new MBA in Managing for Sustainability, and continues to play this role.  Prior to this, he was assistant professor of Organizational Management at the School for International Training.  Before coming to Vermont, Ralph spent 14 years in Sweden, moving there in 1989 with LM Ericsson.  He completed a doctorate in management at Lund University, performing a variety of research and consulting projects in environmental economics and management, and CSR.  He also founded a communication agency in Lund, Meima Associates. He has written books and articles on environmental management and policy. He serves on the board of the Vermont Environmental Consortium, and is Co-Chairman of the Board of Brattleboro Thermal Utility.

 

Andrew Meyer, Center for an Agricultural Economy

In 2006, Andrew Meyer began Vermont Natural Coatings. The company’s patented natural wood finish formula is an important advance over existing water-based finishes in application, quality, and environmental safety. Andrew’s family has an organic dairy farm in Hardwick and after being raised in VT he worked in D.C. as the agricultural advisor to Senator James Jeffords for seven years.

The Center for an Agricultural Economy was originally known as the Center for a Biobased Economy and was founded in 2004 by Andrew Meyer, owner of Vermont Natural Coatings, a whey-based varnish company, and Vermont Soy, an organic soy drink and tofu company. As the son of a local dairy farmer and as a “green” entrepreneur, he saw first-hand the need for an organization to bring resources into the Hardwick area to support the region’s interest in promoting the development of value-added food products to enhance economic conditions. Increasingly as the weaknesses of the global industrial food system are revealed, the Hardwick region and the State of Vermont have rediscovered the possibility of remaking the state’s own food system.

Jill Michaels, Vermont Environmental Consortium

Jill is President of the Vermont Environmental Consortium and Executive Director of the New England Living Show House Fund-Raising industry.  Her work includes providing comprehensive economic development services that include business recruitment, financial packaging, grant writing, fundraising, feasibilities studies, planning for restoration of historic buildings, public policy research and project evaluation.

Vermont Environmental Consortium leads Vermont’s Environmental Business Sector. Since 2000, VEC brings businesses, educational institutions and state and U.S. government officials together to make Vermont a leader in the green economy. VEC promotes growth and job creation in Vermont’s environmental business sector through networking, information sharing and special projects.

*Terry Mollner, Trusteeship Institute

Terry Mollner, Ed.D., is Founder, Chair, and Executive Director of Trusteeship Institute, Inc., a think tank and consulting firm founded in 1973 based on the economic theories of Mahatma Gandhi. It focuses on the development of socially responsible businesses. In the 1970s Dr. Mollner was one of the earliest pioneers of socially responsible investing and, in 1982, was one of the founders of the Calvert Socially Responsible Investment Fund, the first such fund with the full panoply of social screens. Today it is the largest family of such funds with nearly $7 billion under management. He also provided leadership to create the Calvert Foundation that is pioneering “community investment” – investment to end poverty – as another new asset class in the professional investment community. It currently manages over $200 million and has just launched a program to make its note available to over 300 million EBay and Pay Pal customers. Dr. Mollner is on the board of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., the United Way of Hampshire County, Inc., a fellow of the World Business Academy, a member of the Social Venture Network, and a founder and member of Business Association of Local Living Economies (BALLE) of the Pioneer Valley.The Trusteeship Institute, Inc. (TI) was founded in 1973 by Terry Mollner for the purpose of furthering economic development based on Mohandas Gandhi’s theory of “trusteeship.” From the beginning the mission of TI has been to further this worldview both with innovative projects of its own and by participating in and supporting the projects of others.

*Greg Moschetti

Greg is a semi-retired marketing research executive turned business activist.  He is keenly interested in building environmentally sustainable and financially resilient local economies based on entrepreneurial capitalism with a respect for the common good.  A native New Englander who experienced the devastating loss of manufacturing in his own community first hand, he is interested in fostering new local resiliency into the communities of his newly adopted home state of Vermont and throughout New England.  He is the owner and president of Paradigm Consulting, Inc. He currently serves as president of the board at Brattleboro Area Hospice and is a founder and actively involved board member emeritus of Friends Center for Children in New Haven, CT.  He has held faculty positions at the University of Cincinnatiand at SIT Graduate Institute.  He is the proud steward of a sustainably operated “working landscape” forest and an avid organic vegetable garden.

Paradigm Consulting, Inc. a national market research firm specializing in consumer segmentation, new product development, marketing strategy and brand positioning.

*Orly Munzing, Founder and Executive Director, Strolling of the Heifers

Orly Munzing, is executive director and founder of Strolling of the Heifers, a Brattleboro nonprofit with the mission of supporting family farms by connecting people with healthy local food. She has master’s degree in education from Boston University and pursued a 20-year career of educational project development, supervision, and training. Under her leadership and with the help of a management team including representatives from agriculture, marketing, business, technology, the arts, and education, Strolling of the Heifers has grown in ten years from a one-day parade and festival to a set of year-round initiatives to support and promote local, sustainable agriculture.

Will Raap, former CEO, Gardener’s Supply

Will is the founder and past Chairman of the Board for the Intervale Center. The mission of the Intervale Center is to develop farm-and land-based enterprises that generate economic and social opportunity while protecting natural resources.
Will’s commitment to build linked enterprises guided by social missions has extended to Costa Rica where is founder of Greening Paraiso, a watershed restoration initiative, founding partner in El Centro Verde, a sustainable agriculture and agroforestry education and demonstration center, founding partner of Finca Lagunita, the first organic CSA membership farm in Central America, and partner in two conservation developments, Tierra Pacifica and Pueblo Verde.

Will also is working his son Dylan to develop the Reforest Teak reforestation project and furniture brand in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Will serves on or has served on a range of non-profit and corporate boards including Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Business Roundtable, Vermont Land Trust, Champlain Valley Greenbelt Alliance, Intervale Center, Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, University of Vermont School of Environment and Natural Resources, Champlain College, and Seventh Generation. Will received a B.A. in Economics from UC Davis, a Masters degree in Business and Urban Planning from UC Berkley.

Shanna Ratner, Yellow Wood Associates

Shanna has over 25 years experience managing complex research initiatives and analyzing rural economic development opportunities. She has worked closely with federal, state, and local governments, citizen groups, and non-profit organizations in identifying and implementing solutions to a range of natural resource-based economic development challenges. Shanna has worked with the National Network of Forest Practitioners in designing and implementing the National Community Forestry Center, Northern Forest Region.Under Shanna’s leadership, Yellow Wood Associates has received four awards from USDA’s Small Business Innovation in Rural Development program and has produced three trademarked services, You Get What You Measure, See the Forest, and Green Community Technologies. Shanna was one of a dozen members of the Aspen Institute’s Learning Cluster on Rural Community Capacity Building and a member of the first class of Donella Meadows Fellows in Systems Thinking. Under Shanna’s direction Yellow Wood Associates is the managing grantee for Wealth Creation in Rural America, an initiative of the Ford Foundation. Shanna holds a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Value Systems from New College in Sarasota, Florida.

Yellow Wood Associates is a consulting firm located in St. Albans, Vermont specializing in rural community economic development since 1985. The idea for Yellow Wood came from the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken. As in the poem, Yellow Wood tries to take the road less traveled, by providing superior services to clients by helping clients discover their development choices. Community economic development is about recognizing, preserving, and growing community wealth in all its forms: human, financial, social, ecological, and physical (infrastructure). Yellow Wood’s dream is a world where communities can live well off the income from their combined wealth while investing regularly in themselves to counteract depreciation. Development is effective when it contributes to community self-determination, security, and resilience, improves quality of life, unlocks creativity and reveals new choices. Yellow Wood believes material sufficiency, not maximization, is the goal for community economies

Jen Risley,  Hannah Grimes Center

Education Program Coordinator, Hannah Grimes Center. Jen Risley is a certified educator and holds a ME from Antioch New England. She was Program Intern for Marlboro Graduate Center’s MBA for Sustainability. She is on the SteeringCommittee for the Monadnock Farm & Community Connection, co-chair of Monadnock Buy Local and the Community Liaison for the Keene Young Professionals Network. Jen started part-time in 2008 and moved to full-time employment January 2009.

The Hannah Grimes Center Hannah Grimes Center is a 501(c)3 with a mission to educate entrepreneurs that is rooted in the vision that the success of these entrepreneurs results in a thriving local economy and vibrant community built upon our region’s heritage, culture, natural resources, and the entrepreneurial spirit of its people.

Chuck Ross

Chuck serves as Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets for the State of Vermont.  He began his service in January of 2011. For the previous 16 years he served as State Director for U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.  In addition to his management responsibilities for the Senator, he focused on the issues of sustainable development, energy and emerging business opportunities, including opportunities relating to agriculture and food systems.  During this time he has also helped manage his family’s farming interests in Vermont and Iowa. Prior to being employed by Senator Leahy, Chuck worked on his family’s farms and served as the State Representative from Hinesburg.  As State Representative he served on the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee and concluded his service as Chairman in 1994.  Chuck has served on various boards in Vermont including The University of Vermont (UVM); Shelburne Farms; Fletcher Allen Health Care; The Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources at UVM; and Leadership Champlain.  Currently Chuck serves on the Vermont Council of Rural Development.  Chuck graduated from UVM with a BA in Geography and received a MA in Geography from the University of Washington, Seattle WA. where he studied regional economics, agricultural land use and quantitative methods.  He lives in Hinesburg with his family.

Bonnie Rukin, Slow Money Maine

Bonnie Rukin is a social change activist, investor and philanthropist from Camden, Maine. She has worked as a teacher, organic farmer, lay homeopath and non-profit leader for decades and her values and actions have focused on sustainability in organizations and related areas of health, education, social justice, environment and agriculture. Bonnie has served as Regional Coordinator of Slow Money Maine, a network of participants from varied cultural sectors focused on investing in local sustainable food systems, since January 2010.

Slow Money Maine is an intentionally inclusive diverse group of people from many Maine sectors and communities with a focus on support of sustainable local food systems. They aim to build a diverse network of individuals, farms, philanthropists, businesses, nonprofit organizations and government entities who are focused on investing in food, farms and fertility statewide as a means of keeping and sustaining our local food systems, economies and communities. Woody Tasch and Slow Money national serve as our inspiration and national base for exchanging ideas and forming collaborations that connect investors to food producers and entrepreneurs throughout our state.

Janice St. Onge, VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C

Janice St. Onge is the Deputy Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) and the Peer to Peer Collaborative’s CEO advisory program, and President of the VSJF Flexible Capital Fund, L3C.  Janice brings economic development and financial expertise to the VSJF, having served in the technology and banking industries, higher education and state government sectors during her 25-year career.  Janice is on the board of the Vermont Investors Forum, advisory boards for both the Vt. Small Business Development Center and True Body Products, and is a founding member of the Stowe Energy and Climate Action Network.  Janice graduated in 1986 from University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and is a Vermont Leadership Institute alumni.

The VSJF is a not-for-profit whose mission is to accelerate the development of Vermont’s green economy by providing grants, loans and CEO advisory services to Vermont’s natural resource and green economy businesses.  The VSJF Flexible Capital Fund provides flexible risk capital to Vermont’s natural resource and clean technology businesses.

Matt Sayre, UVM Institute for Global Sustainability

As the founding Director of the University of Vermont’s Institute for Global Sustainability, Matt has developed many educational programs focused on sustainable business, healthcare management, educational leadership, food systems, and community design. Before becoming Director of UVM’s Institute for Global Sustainability Matt started, operated, and sold Healthy Habitat, a Burlington, Vermont based environmentally-friendly cleaning service, started and served as the founding President and C.E.O. of Earth, Inc., a Vermont non-profit corporation working to strengthen Human, Social, Natural, & Built Capital, served as the Project Coordinator of the University of Vermont Leading by Design for a Sustainable and Desirable Future Project, served as Senior Manager for Marketing and Sales to help restart Bolton Valley Resort after two bankruptcies, and worked to re-engineer business processes at the University of Vermont as part of UVM’s Project CATalyst Finance Team. In addition to working at UVM, Matt has incorporated a new business, the Community Energy Exchange which serves as a resource to facilitate the development of community financed renewable energy systems.

Matt also led effective community relations and fundraising initiatives as the Director of Medical Alumni Relations for the UVM College of Medicine and while working in Student Affairs at UVM and Northern Arizona University he planned and implemented experiential programming to strengthen the university’s human and social capital. Matt has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Le Moyne College, a M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University, and a Certificate of Graduate Study in Ecological Economics from the University of Vermont. He is currently working to complete a Ph.D. in Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.

Chris Sikes, Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund

The Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund, Inc. is a private nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution working to strengthen communities by creating economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income people in western and central Massachusetts.

WMEF was formed in 1989 as a nonprofit 501c(3) and became certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI)  by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1997.  Their primary role is to bring financial and business resources to western and central Massachusetts in order to stimulate economic growth and foster a stable regional economy.  They are based in Holyoke, Mass. and serve the western Massachusetts region which includes Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties in western Massachusetts, as well as northern Worcester County in central Massachusetts.
Rob Simpson, Brattleboro Retreat
Dr. Robert Simpson was named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Brattleboro Retreat in 2006. He joined the Retreat with more than 30 years of commitment to the treatment of individuals experiencing mental health and addiction issues, as well as extensive experience in the management of mental health and substance abuse programs. He is a graduate of Amherst College, Simmons College (MSW), Harvard University (MPH) and the University of Utah where he earned a doctorate in Social Work. Prior to joining the Retreat Dr. Simpson served as CEO of Arbour Hospital, a member of the Universal Health Services, Inc., in Boston. In earlier executive management positions he has served as Chief Operating Officer of Behavioral Healthcare and Sr. Vice President of Government Relations at the Sisters of Providence Health System, and Vice President of Behavioral Health and Cancer Services at Baystate Health System in Springfield, Massachusetts.

*Philip Snyder, Summit coordinator

Philip Snyder, Slow Living Summit coordinator. Philip is principal, Whole Future Consulting. He led several complex non-profits, was an adjunct professor of anthropology, and a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Cyprus. For thirty-five years as a leader, consultant and board member, Philip has had experience in all facets of organizational and program development. The challenge of forging a truly sustainable and fulfilling way of living for all people remains a central concern in his life.

Stephen Stearns, New England Youth Theatre

Stephen has been teaching, directing and performing as a professional clown, mime and actor for 38 years. He has a post doctorate degree in acting from England’s famed London Academy (LAMDA). He received his MA in directing (‘Best Director Award’ 1968) and PhD in Elizabethan and Scandinavian Drama, both from the University of Washington, Seattle. In 1998, Mr. Stearns founded the New England Youth Theatre, which thus far has built theatres out of an abandoned Chinese restaurant and an unused automobile machine shop, as well as produced dozens of plays over the years, including many by Shakespeare.

New England Youth Theatre provides professional training and production experience in theatre arts to young people of all abilities by engaging their intellects, bodies, and imaginations in the creative endeavor.  It serves more than 300 children each year from age 3 to age 19 and provides on-the-job training for college interns during the summer.

David Stember

David Stember is a volunteer organizer in several community-based climate action initiatives here in Vermont. Like most of us, he’s still trying to figure out what actually works to address the global climate crises. To this challenge, he brings a grounding in organizational and business development, community organizing and a variety of communications technologies. David currently coordinates multiple projects, facilitates the Climate Action Now social networking site, and is a content and advertising coordinator at Green Energy Times.

Tim Stevenson, Post Oil Solutions

Tim Stevenson is founding director of Post Oil Solutions in Brattleboro and a longtime community organizer. He lives in Athens, Vermont with his wife Sherry; they eat out of their own garden 12 months of the year. He is father of two, grandfather of two; author of many articles, currently working on book, Accepting What Is: Exercises in Buddhist Anarchy: A Handbook for Community Organizers in a Post Oil Age; meditator. He holds Masters degrees in Counseling Psychology, American Studies, and American History.

Steven Strong, Solar Design Associates

Steven Strong is acknowledged as a pre-eminent authority on integration of renewable energy systems in buildings. Drawing on his background in architecture and engineering, he has pioneered the concept of integrated design with applications such as solar electricity (photovoltaics), solar thermal and wind energy. Steven has designed dozens of homes and buildings powered by solar electricity – from the Outermost House to the White House.

Founded in 1974, Solar Design Associates has earned a global reputation for its pioneering leadership in the renewable energy field. Solar Design works with architects, engineers and commercial building owners, as well as private and institutional clients, in the quest for excellence and innovation in solar electric, solar thermal and wind energy systems. SDA continues to build alliances with solar power developers and electric utilities. Their pioneering work in building integration (BIPV) keeps them in the forefront of sustainable energy product development and zero-energy building design. SDA is leading the transition to a post-petroleum society through renewable energy and sustainable design.

Ryan Torres, Vermont Community Foundation

Ryan Torres has been a Philanthropic Advisor at the Vermont Community Foundation(VCF) since December of 2007. Ryan’s work focuses on environmental issues, agriculture and nonprofit capacity building. He works closely with a portfolio of donors throughout VT with an emphasis on Windham County. Based in Middlebury, the VCF is Vermont’s statewide community foundation that oversees over 500 charitable funds, makes about $10 million in grants annually, and has total assets of about $150 million. Ryan is a member of the Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council, the Farm to Plate Planning Committee and the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Innovation Center. Ryan is also coordinating the Vermont Food Funders Network, a learning network of 11 foundations working to leverage resources and address key issues relevant to food and agriculture in Vermont. Collectively, over the last 4 years, these foundations have contributed over $12 million dollars to food systems projects in Vermont. Prior to moving to Vermont, Ryan was the executive director of the Lead Action Collaborative Boston, where he lead a network of over 70 organizations with the goal of eliminating childhood lead poisoning in the City. He currently resides in East Middlebury with his wife and son.

Reed Underwood, Sourcemap

Reed Underwood works at Sourcemap where he builds open-source tools for modeling and analysing supply chains. He’s also operated a family farm and taught in rural public schools.

Sourcemap is a platform for researching, optimizing and sharing supply chains.  It believes that people have the right to know where things come from and what they are made of.

Josh Viertel, Slow Food USA

As president of Slow Food USA, Josh is working to create a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet. He previously co-founded and co-directed the Yale Sustainable Food Project at Yale University. The project transformed the university’s cafeteria to a menu based on sustainable, local foods, built an organic farm on campus, and developed food and agriculture curriculum and programs for undergraduates. Prior to his work at Yale, Josh started Mamabrook Farm, a small organic vegetable farm that provided food to local restaurants and farmers’ markets. Josh graduated from Harvard University with degrees in philosophy and literature. In 2010, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Josh is dedicated to building a social movement that can transform our relationship to food and farming.

Slow Food USA seeks to create dramatic and lasting change in the food system. We reconnect Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. We inspire a transformation in food policy, production practices and market forces so that they ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food we eat.

Liz Walker, EcoVillage

As the co-founder and executive director of EcoVillage at Ithaca (EVI) since 1991, Liz Walker has dedicated her full-time work to bring this internationally acclaimed project from vision to reality. (www.ecovillageithaca.org ) Her book, EcoVillage at Ithaca: Pioneering a Sustainable Culture, (2005, New Society Publishers) has helped to introduce the concepts of ecovillages and sustainable communities to a broad audience in the U.S. and other countries. She was a founding board member of Gaia Education, which now teaches workshops around the world. Her most recent book, Choosing a Sustainable Future: Ideas and Inspiration from Ithaca, New York, (October, 2010, New Society) www.liz-walker.org has garnered great interest from people who are working to create more resilient communities. While her primary work has been developing EVI as a “living laboratory” of sustainable practices, Liz has also been active in the local sustainability movement as a founding member of the Partnership for Sustainability Education between Ithaca College and EVI, which in turn helped to catalyze Sustainable Tompkins and Ithaca Carshare. She serves on the Cayuga Sustainability Council and the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative. Liz lives with her husband at EcoVillage at Ithaca, where she is managing the development of a third cohousing neighborhood, dedicated to affordability, accessibility, and cutting edge green design. In her spare time she enjoys biking, dancing, yoga, gardening and cooking. She strives to live a full and balanced life, open to the beauty of living in the moment.

EcoVillage at Ithaca, located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, is part of a growing global movement for a saner, more sustainable human culture. Comprising an intentional community and a non-profit educational organization, the project is developing an alternative model for suburban living which provides a satisfying, healthy, socially rich lifestyle, while minimizing ecological impacts. EcoVillage at Ithaca is unique in that it includes three co-housing neighborhoods.

Adam Weinberg, World Learning

Adam is the president and CEO of World Learning, an international nonprofit organization that runs education and development programs in more than 75 countries. Every year World Leaning works with people from over 140 countries helping unlock their potential to address critical global issues. Weinberg joined World Learning in 2006, serving as executive vice president of World Learning and provost of SIT from 2006-2009. Prior to World Learning, Weinberg was vice president and dean of the college at Colgate University, where he served on the faculty for more than a decade. Weinberg is active in the education and development community serving on the executive committee of the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange, as an advisory board member for the US Center for Citizen Diplomacy, and on working groups at the Brookings Institution and Woodrow Wilson Center. In Vermont, he chairs the board of Vermont Campus Compact and serves on the board of the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro.

World Learning provides education, exchange, and development programs that cultivate the global leadership and social innovation needed in a shrinking world. Its comprehensive portfolio of programs is enhanced by a worldwide network of hundreds of thousands of alumni, staff, partners, and friends, including Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver and Nobel Peace Prize winners Wangari Maathai and Jody Williams. World Learning occupies a unique position among international organizations.  Other education institutions either serve undergraduate or graduate students or professionals. Exchange organizations typically send American students abroad or bring international students to the United States. Similarly, international development organizations manage programs or they teach about development. World Learning is a leader in all of the above.

Alex Wilson, Environmental Building News

Alex Wilson is the founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. in Brattleboro, Vermont, and executive editor of Environmental Building News (EBN) and the GreenSpec Directory of green building products. Prior to launching his own company, now BuildingGreen, in 1985, Alex served for five years as executive director of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, then in Brattleboro. He is a widely published author, a LEED Accredited Professional, and an instructor with Boston Architectural College’s Sustainable Design Institute. He is author or coauthor of: Your Green Home (New Society, 2006) the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings (ACEEE, first edition, 1990, 9th edition 2007) and Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate (John Wiley & Sons, 1998) He has also written a series of four books on quiet-water canoeing and Kayaking for the Appalachian Mountain Club. Alex served on the national board of the U.S. Green Building Council from 2000 through 2005 and received the organization’s 2008 Leadership Award for Education. In 2010, he received the second annual Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing. He lives with his wife in Dummerston and is enjoying an eight-month sabbatical this year.

Environmental Building News is a monthly newsletter on environmentally responsible design and construction, featuring comprehensive, practical information on a wide range of topics related to sustainable building – from renewable energy and recycled-content materials to land-use planning and indoor air quality. EBN is read by several thousand architects and builders throughout the U.S. and Canada and is widely regarded as the leading publication in this field.

*Jerelyn Wilson, Building Green, Inc.

Jerelyn Wilson is owner and outreach director at BuildingGreen, Inc., Brattleboro. Jerelyn represents BuildingGreen at conferences, and promotes their resources on sustainable design and construction to building professionals and relevant organizations and institutions. She is responsible for managing BuildingGreen’s college and university subscriber accounts.   She is   grateful for the opportunity to promote information resources that help architects and builders use more sustainable building practices and products. Transforming the building industry is a big step toward a more sustainable future for our planet.   She completed training as a Waldorf teacher and taught for four years in the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City. She has lived in Vermont since 1983.