SPEAKERS

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: MAJORA CARTER

 

Majora Carter is an American urban revitalization strategist and broadcast producer/host from the South Bronx in New York. Carter’s career has spanned environment, economy, social mobility, and real estate development, and her work has won major awards in each sector including a MacArthur 'genius' Grant, a Peabody Award, the Rudy Bruner Award Silver Medal, nine honorary doctorates, and accolades from various professional groups. Her consulting clients benefit from her ability to disrupt outdated assumptions in order to uncover better solutions to vexing and persistent problems. Carter is quoted on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture: “Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one.” She applies this talent-retention lens to all of her work. 

Carter combines her corporate consulting insights to reducing Brain Drain in American low-status communities. Her firsthand experience pioneering sustainable economic development in the South Bronx, has enabled her to harness capital flows resulting from re-urbanization across age, race, and income levels, to help increase wealth building opportunities across demographics left out of this historic financial tide change. Her work produces long term fiscal benefits for government and leading private real estate developments through innovative economic diversity structures. 

 

Her ability to shepherd teams through difficult socio-economic conflict has garnered a very long list of awards and honorary PhD's, including: 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs, Silicon Alley 100 by Business Insider, Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement by News Corp, and other honors from the National Building Museum, International Interior Design Association, Center for American Progress, as well as her TEDtalk which was one of six to launch that site in 2006. 

 

At Sustainable South Bronx, Carter deployed MIT’s first ever Mobile Fab- Lab(digital fabrication laboratory) to the South Bronx - where it served as an early iteration of the “Maker-Spaces” found elsewhere today. The project drew residents and visitors together for guided and creative collaborations. 

 

After establishing Sustainable South Bronx and Green For All (among other organizations) to carry on that work, she opened a private consulting firm to help spread the message and success of social enterprise and economic development in low-status communities - which was named Best for the World by B-Corp in 2014.

 

Majora Carter has helped connect tech industry pioneers such as Etsy, Gust, FreshDirect, Google, and Cisco to diverse communities at all levels. 

She is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science.

Greening the Ghetto

Ted Talk by Majora Carter

Session Panelists

Sustainable Business Models

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Andrea Wilson Mueller

Inside Out Design

Andrea is a native Kentuckian and graduate of the UK College Of Design with a BA in Design. She is the first and only APLD certified landscape designer in the state of Kentucky. She specializes in designing outdoor spaces of all sizes and styles with an ecological focus.

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Heather Warman

Sup Kentucky

Heather is a native Kentuckian and graduate of the UK College of Design with a BA in Interior Design. She ran her own design studio for 10 years where she focused on environmentally friendly and sustainable design. She is also a certified environmental educator for the state of Kentucky. 

Interactive Sustainability Planning Workshop

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Jennifer Eismeier

Camp Joy Executive Director

Jen joined Camp Joy as the Executive Director in 2017 after serving for over five years as the Executive Director of the Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities. She brings 13 years of non-profit experience to Joy along with a natural resource management education from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Penn State. Outside of Joy, Jen serves as vice-president of the Millcreek Valley Conservancy District.

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Jeff Millard, PE, LEED AP, CEM

CMTA Cincinnati

Jeff has over 20 years experience designing energy efficient buildings.  Jeff designed over 30 LEED educational buildings including the first LEED Platinum school in Ohio. A 40 Under 40 honoree by BD&C, Jeff is an AIA accredited speaker and has presented on high performance building systems, Zero Energy strategies, and WELL building certification. 

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Chris Willis,PE, LEED AP, CEM

CMTA Cincinnati

Chris is a registered architect and LEED AP professional.  She has several LEED Gold and Silver projects and written sustainability guidelines for NIH Design Requirements Manual.  The Matthew O. Diggs III Laboratory for Life Science Research at Wright State University was the Midwest’s first higher education LEED Gold Laboratory, this new facility creatively employs sustainable design strategies to optimize efficiency and conserve resources while providing superior laboratory spaces that house interdisciplinary research focused on the advancement of human health.

Solutions for a Regenerative Historic Urban Core  

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Sanyog Rathod

Sol design + consulting

Sanyog is the founder of Sol design + consulting, a Cincinnati-based firm providing sustainability consulting and design. He is a longtime advocate for affordable housing, historic preservation, and green building, and has earned numerous awards for his work, including the Over-the-Rhine Infill Design Award and Habitat for Humanity’s Recognition for Service.

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Carl Sterner

Sol design + consulting

Carl is the Director of Design & Sustainability at Sol design + consulting, where he oversees the design and delivery of ambitious sustainable projects, including Net Zero Energy and Passive House work. He believes in the potential of architecture to create a more humane, equitable, and joyous world. 

Manufacturing Sustainability: Why Local Efforts Should Include Industry

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John Seryak

Go Sustainable Energy

John is the founder and CEO of Go Sustainable Energy, leading Go's strategy of providing accurate, unbiased advice on sustainable energy. John is a professional mechanical engineer, a distinguished alumni of DOE’s Industrial Assessment Center, and an energy consultant to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.

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Melissa Hulting

EPA

Melissa is an environmental scientist in U.S. EPA’s Chicago office.  She works in clean energy and air quality programs, with the last four years focused on promoting ENERGY STAR’s programs for industry.  She is also a cycling and sustainability advocate in the Chicago suburb where she lives.

The Young and The Restless: How Younger Generations are Stepping Up to Fight Climate Change/Youth Resiliency in Cinc

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Madison Butcher

Green Building Consulting

With an education in sustainable business from Ohio State University, Madison assists project teams in achieving their building certification goals through research, documentation, and verification of green program requirements. She also serves as the Emerging Professional and Vice Chairperson for USGBC SW OH Regional Chapter.

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Stephanie Crockett

Elevar Design Group

Stephanie received her Bachelors of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and she is currently enrolled in the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) working towards registration as an Architect. Stephanie cares deeply about her community serving as an advisory board member for the AFC’s Design Lab and USGBC Ohio. 

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Sarah Fischer

City of Cincinnati Office of Environment & Sustainability

Sarah received a B.S. in Sustainability & Business from Ohio State University. In her current position, she is helping implement an energy benchmarking system and public dashboard for the City of Cincinnati’s facilities. She also helps promote the adoption of electric vehicles and supports the deployment of public charging infrastructure. 

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Savannah Sullivan

City of Cincinnati

Savannah is a MPA and MS in Environmental Science candidate at Indiana University. She began her career in Washington, DC working on green chemistry programs for the US EPA and ACS Green Chemistry Institute. Prior to working with the City, she was a Turner Farm Apprentice, AmeriCorps VISTA for Rural Action, and Green Umbrella intern.

A Climate Action Pathway for the Religious Community/Solarize Ohio PPA: How Churches Can Afford Renewable Energy

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Joanne Gerson

Shomrei Olam

Joanne is the founder and president of Shomrei Olam, founder and chair of the Rockdale Environmental Committee, the Montgomery Planning Commissioner (13 years), program committee chair for the Hamilton County Regional Planning Partnership, member of the Green Umbrella Watershed Task Force, founder and director of the Super Saturday Program. She is also an accomplished artist, dressage enthusiast, and grandmother of two adorable girls.

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Lew Ebstein

Shomrei Olam

Lew is an Electronic Medical Record Software Engineer by day. Founding member and Vice President of Shomrei Olam – Jewish Environmental Advocates of Cincinnati. Past President – Wise Temple Brotherhood. Former Board Member – Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. Social Justice Advocate. Campaign Advisor and Treasurer - Brian Garry for Cincinnati City Council. Long-time member of Isaac M. Wise Temple.

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Ken Wright

Solar Energy Advocate 

Ken worked as a materials engineer at GE Aviation in Cincinnati.  After retirement, he’s focused on solar energy.  In Virginia he helped organize and lead the Hampton Roads Solar Group.  Now he’s working with Episcopalians across Ohio to set up a PPA to place solar panels on churches.

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Rev. Craig A. Foster

St. John's Episcopal Church

The Rev. Craig A. Foster, P.E. is an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church as well as a Registered Professional Engineer. Craig’s career of over 40 years includes time as an energy management consultant and as an energy and environmental manager for a large auto manufacturer in Ohio.

Peer-to-Peer Cohort Programs for Greater Impact

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Andrea Webster

Environmental Resilience Institute, IU

As implementation manager at IU’s Environmental Resilience Institute, Andrea connects Midwestern local governments with climate preparedness resources. From 2013 – 2017, she worked for Louisville’s city sustainability office. Andrea has a M.P.A. from Syracuse University and a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

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Steven Chybowski

City of Fishers, IN

Steven is a Public Administration Fellow with the City of Fishers, Indiana. In this role, he leads sustainability initiatives for the City of Fishers. He has a B.A. in international relations from Michigan State University and a M.P.A. from Indiana University.

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Jamison Czarnecki 

Elkhart Environmental Center

Jamison is the Director at the Elkhart Environmental Center. A graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Sustainability, he has actively worked both professionally and personally toward making communities more sustainable and resilient. He’s a proud Hoosier with a love for traveling.

Designing Future Foodsheds for Regenerative Regions 

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Timothy Kercheville

Festina Lente Farm & Consultant

Timothy is a full-time farmer and agricultural consultant who discovers cooperative, regenerative agricultural solutions in rural and urban contexts.  He contracts as a farmer/consultant/educator with private properties, organizations, and public institutions to build new farms, improve existing farm systems, or serve as farm manager.

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Chris Smyth

Common Orchard Project

Chris is a regenerative designer, group facilitator, and rebuilder of the Commons. After studying and practicing Permaculture for 11 years he now teaches and practices his craft in Cincinnati through consulting with individuals and organizations. Most of his devotion goes toward implementing Permaculture Orchards on Vacant Land as the Director of The Common Orchard Project.

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Doug Crouch

Treasure Lake

Doug is trained as a Permaculture Designer and Fish and Wildlife Manager. He has extensive experience surrounding landscape planning and food production systems. This regenerative design and implementation work spans the globe. He now lives on third generation land in Northern Kentucky, stewarding and educating at Treasure Lake Forest and Farm

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Braden Trauth, MDes

Cincinnati Permaculture Institute

Braden is the Program Coordinator for the Horticulture Program in the College of DAAP at UC. He has been teaching and consulting about Permaculture since 2007 with the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of USAID, the Earthship Academy, and across the US. He cofounded the Cincinnati Permaculture Institute and its Edible Landscaping Nursery, Growing Value for the past 12 and 10 years respectively. He has been involved with many of the Public forage gardens around Cincinnati.

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Alan Wight, Ph.D.

The Christ College of Nursing

Alan is on faculty at The Christ College of Nursing. He runs their Service Learning Program and leads the Mt. Auburn Gardens Initiative & Collaborative. Alan also works with the University of Cincinnati, as their School and Community Food Forest Liaison, and teaches Fruit and Nut Production for Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. 

Beyond the Levy: Connecting the Region with Sustainable Transportation/Accelerating Multi-modal Transit Through Mobility Hubs

Speakers TBD

Indigenizing Colonized Spaces: Building Health and Wealth with Food Sovereignty

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Jheri Neri

Executive Director, Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition

Jheri is Din’e / N’de and has worked with the Miami Valley Native American Council, the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, Poor People’s Campaign and Sierra Club. He was active in Standing Rock and co-founded GCNAC to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 2018. 

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Jennifer Knickerbocker

Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations, Antioch College 

Jennifer belongs to the Anishinaabe people and is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She is an environmentalist and indigi-feminist working on culturally-based sustainable development and food sovereignty in Yellow Springs and White Earth reservation through Honor the Earth. She is a published writer, poet and public speaker. 

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Shane Creepingbear

Associate Director, Antioch College

Shane Creepingbear is the Associate Director of Antioch College. 

Electric Vehicle Solutions/Vehicle Efficiency Solutions

Speakers TBD

More Than a Donation: How Re-Purposing a Solar PV System Galvanized an Urban Community

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Steve Melink

Melink Corporation

Steve is founder and CEO of Melink Corporation, a provider of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for the commercial building industry.  Author of CEO Power & Light – Transcendent Leadership for a Sustainable World, Steve advocates for a clean energy revolution to improve our global economy, security and environment.

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Pastor Damon Lynch, III

New Prospect Baptist Church

Pastor Damon Lynch, III has served as Pastor of New Prospect Baptist Church in Roselawn for 29 years.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cincinnati Bible College.  Among his many leadership roles, Pastor Lynch also serves as President and CEO of Community Economic Advancement Initiative.

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Mark Fisher

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Mark’s role at the Zoo is diverse – including the development and execution of the Zoo’s master plan, supporting teams that build and maintain the Zoo, and being present in the neighborhood of Avondale, working to heal old wounds.  Mark is also the driving force behind the Zoo's sustainability movement, transforming the Zoo from an organization that barely had a recycling program, to becoming the Greenest Zoo in World.

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Kevin Sasson

SonLight Power

Kevin serves as executive director for SonLight Power, a dynamic non-profit that equips people living without basic electricity with faith-based love and solar power for transformational, lasting impact.  Under his leadership, SonLight Power has impacted 300,000+ lives by increasing access to sustainable, clean energy.  Kevin is a featured speaker on Leadercast.

Transforming a Community: Addressing Energy Affordability in Cincinnati/Light Up Avondale

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Fia Turczynewycz 

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Fia believes in making positive connections with everyone, creating strong relationships, serving others daily, and immersing herself in Avondale where she lives and works. Working for the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has allowed her to implement change that impacts environmental stewardship and conservation action.

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Savannah Sullivan

City of Cincinnati, Office of Environment & Sustainability

Savannah is currently the Climate and Community Resilience Analyst for the City of Cincinnati's Office of Environment and Sustainability, where she is co-leading the development of two low-income energy efficiency programs for multifamily buildings, leading the City’s participation in the National League of Cities 2020 Resilience Cohort.

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Carla Walker

Climate Advisor, City of Cincinnati

As Climate Advisor for the City of Cincinnati, Carla leads the city’s work on creating energy efficiency services for low income families living in multi-family structures, public education initiatives on electric vehicles, and building out the city’s EV charging infrastructure.

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Robert McCracken

Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance

Robert  is the Director of Operations at the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance. He is committed to improving the energy literacy of homeowners and renters so that they can reduce their energy usage, save money, and improve the environment.

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Staci O'Leary

People Working Cooperatively

Staci is the Director of Utility and Special Programs at People Working Cooperatively, and has worked on HWAP programs in Indiana and Ohio, utility energy conservation and weatherization programs through Duke Energy, Vectren, and Dayton Power & Light, The Electric Partnership Program through the Ohio Department Services Agency and the development and implementation of new energy programing such as WarmUp Cincy.

The Next Frontier: Urban Carbon Capture and Storage

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Oliver Kroner

Sustainability Coordinator, City of Cincinnati

Ollie's work focuses on climate science and urban policy, including energy, transportation, waste, and food systems. He leads collaboration of government and community partners to advance and track the sustainability, equity, and resilience strategies of the Green Cincinnati Plan.

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Crystal Courtney

Cincinnati Park Board

Crystal oversees the Natural Resource Management Section for the Cincinnati Park Board. In this duty she is responsible for the care of the urban forest and natural resources along the streets of Cincinnati and throughout Cincinnati Parks. With over 10 years of experience in the Natural Resource Management field, she is honored and humbled to have the great responsibility to address City’s climate change goals through nature-based solutions on public lands.

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Matt DiBona

Cincinnati Park Board

Matt oversees the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for the Cincinnati Park Board. In this duty, Matt is responsible for the management of all the spatial assets within the park system and urban canopy throughout the city.   With over 15 years of experience in the Natural Resources Conservation field and a recent graduate from Xavier University with his Masters in Urban Sustainability and Resiliencies. Matt is honored to come back to Xavier and help promote trees within the urban landscape.

It Takes a Village: Sustaining Restoration Projects with Service Learners and Community Organizations

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Kineta Sanford

Outreach & Fundraising Manager, Yellow Springs Home, Inc.

Kineta started at YS Home, Inc. in 2018 as an AmeriCorps VISTA and is now the Outreach and Fundraising Manager.  Kineta is actively engaged in grant writing, affirmative fair housing marketing and community relationship building.  A former Village Council member, she currently serves on the YS Housing Advisory Board.

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Krista Magaw

Executive Director, Tecumseh Land Trust

Krista has long worked in public and nonprofit sectors, first focusing on improving access to quality health care, then working in land and water conservation.  With a masters in Public Policy, she has participated in policy development and implementation, ranging from federal Farm Bill programs to local land use plans

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Marianne MacQueen

Council Vice President & Environmental Commission Liaison, Village of Yellow Springs

Marianne  moved to Yellow Springs because of Antioch College President Arthur Morgan who developed a philosophy for sustainable communities well before it was fashionable.  She helped start a cooperative childcare center, the Village Mediation Program and a community land trust.  On Village Council, she leads environmental and affordable housing initiatives.

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Brian Housh

Yellow Springs Council President & Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Midwest Policy Manager 

Brian is actively engaged in regional economic development initiatives emphasizing strategies to enhance quality of life, create jobs and increase commerce via arts, culture and environmental sustainability.  With a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations and a JD/MBA (Environmental Law/Entrepreneurship), he brings a community enhancement perspective to the Village.

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Susan Jennings

Executive Director, The Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions

Susan actively supports resilient communities and led the 2017 purchase of Agraria, a 128-acre farm on the outskirts of Yellow Springs being developed into a Center for Regenerative Practice.  She facilitates a Community Climate Resilience class for UD’s lifelong learning institute and founded Dartmouth’s Office of Campus and Community Sustainability.

Clean Energy Commitments- Are They Achievable? 

Speakers TBD

Best Practices from Peer Cities

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Larry Falkin

Director of the Office of Environment & Sustainability, City of Cincinnati, 

Larry leads the development and implementation of sustainability programs; ensures the City’s compliance with environmental regulations; and oversees recycling services for City residents. Larry has more than 25 years of experience as an environmental professional, including positions with the City of Kansas City Missouri and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Larry holds a B.A. from Binghamton University and a J.D. from Pace University.

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Steve Chybowski

City of Fishers, IN

Steven is a Public Administration Fellow with the City of Fishers, Indiana. In this role, he leads sustainability initiatives for the City of Fishers. He has a B.A. in international relations from Michigan State University and a M.P.A. from Indiana University.

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Lauren Travis

Assistant Director of Sustainability, Bloomington, IN

Lauren works to improve the environmental performance of municipal operations and the community by working with local leaders, developing local ordinances and policy, and overseeing the development of Bloomington’s climate vulnerability assessment and adaptation plan.

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Kristin Hall

Director, City of Cleveland Mayor's Office of Sustainability

Kristin is a dedicated sustainability professional working to drive Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio region towards a sustainable future. Currently serving as Director in the City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Kristin oversees sustainability projects, programs, policy development, and grant administration for the City’s municipal operations and Sustainable Cleveland initiative.

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Natalie Vezina

Sustainable Coordinator, Louisville Metro Government

Natalie is the Sustainable Coordinator for Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Advanced Planning and Sustainability. She focuses on developing climate action solutions, working with private investors to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and implementing strategies to mitigate urban heat. Natalie also leads citywide sustainability plan initiatives. 

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Ali Rotarori

Senior Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute

Since 2016 Ali has worked for the Rocky Mountain Institute on programs that help non-utility buyers develop and implement renewable energy strategies. Ali is currently working with the 25 cities selected to be a part of Bloomberg Philantropies' American Cities Climate Challenge (ACCC) on renewable energy procurements that will help them achieve their aggressive short-term goals. 

A Threat to Our Drinking Water: Appalachia Petrochemical Hub

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Bev Reed

Advocate

Bev is a lifelong Ohio Valley resident with a degree in nursing and public health. She loves Appalachia and exploring nature. Bev is now working to protect herself and her community from plans to develop the PTT Global Chemical Ethane Cracker.

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Brenda Jo McManama

Advocate

Brenda Jo has been in involved in grassroots organizing for over 25 years. For the past 15 years BJ has organized media projects and frontline campaigns for the Indigenous Environmental Network promoting the Rights of Nature, food sovereignty and in defense of water and forests from encroaching extractive industries.

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Sarah Martik

Campaign Manager, Center for Coalfield Justice

Sarah is Campaign Manager at the Center for Coalfield Justice, where she works on coal, fracked gas, and petrochemical issues in southwestern Pennsylvania. She supports communities (including her own) facing infrastructure projects, and works with regional coalitions to build collective power to stand up to the fossil fuel industry.

Lick Run Greenway: A Transformative Approach to Regenerative Stormwater Management

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Gary Wolnitzek

Human Nature

Gary is a registered Landscape Architect with 34 years of experience. He leads Human Nature’s planning and design of green infrastructure projects which include regional plans, watershed-based planning and site-based solutions. He promotes a holistic approach to the preservation and restoration of natural systems for purposes of reconnecting stormwater to the natural environment, while reducing and mitigating the environmental effects of combined sewer overflows. 

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John Lyons

Environmental Engineer

John holds a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and is a registered professional engineer in Ohio and Kentucky. He has been working in the civil/environmental field for over 30 years. His work history includes a unique blend of private sector, regulatory, and municipal experience. 

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MaryLynn Lodor

Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer, MSDGC

MaryLynn is the Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSDGC) and has been at MSD for just over 10 years and has over 25 years in the water and wastewater utility industry.  MaryLynn holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management and Policy from RPI and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the State University of New York, Oswego.

Managing Natural Resources in a Developing County

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Katie MacMannis

Design Engineer, Sustainable Stream

Katie has over 11 years of experience in the fields of stormwater management and water quality. Her expertise includes watershed planning, BMPs, stream restoration, and stormwater management for channel stability.  She is particularly adept at developing comprehensive watershed plans that maximize the in-stream benefits and minimize costs.

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Liz Fet

Field Scientist, SD1

Liz has a broad background in many aspects of science, with over 20 years of experience as a field scientist. She holds a BS in Zoology and Environmental Science and an MS in Biology from Marshall University. At SD1, her focus is on the interactions of stream ecology and urban hydrology to manage impacts of stormwater runoff. 

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Mark Jacobs

Director of Conservation Programs, Boone County Conservati

Mark holds a B.S. in Anthropology at Northern Kentucky University and his A.A.S. in Recreational & Wildlife Management at Hocking Technical College. He currently serves as Director of Conservation Programs at the Boone County Conservation District, where he works with landowners, government agencies, and community partners to conserve natural resources.

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Matt Wooten

Northern Kentucky Sanitation District

An Aquatic Ecologist with 24 years of experience, holding both BS and MS degrees in biology from Marshall University, Matt Wooten has been working for Northern Kentucky Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1) since 2006, where he and his colleagues have established a nationally recognized approach to ecologically relevant stormwater management.

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