Co-founder and Chairman, Fair Indigo
Fair Indigo, a multichannel retailer of organic and fair trade apparel and accessories, is part of the growing fair trade movement that is dedicated to the principles of rewarding workers and producers fairly for their work or products. Fair Indigo was launched in 2006, after months of scouring the world for factories and cooperatives that were paying wages well over the legal minimum. They had to have things like air conditioned workshops, sick pay, maternity leave, employee education, subsidized health and education benefits, and at their core: respect. Respect for the good people who work very hard to put clothes on our backs. The company couldn't get everything it wanted right away (no outerwear, very limited pants, no fair trade certification), but the company and its product line have grown over time.
In addition to paying workers fair wages, Fair Indigo believes that the best way to help developing countries prosper is through education. As a result, they established the Fair Indigo Foundation - a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving educational opportunities in the developing countries where Fair Indigo factories and co-ops are located. Fair Indigo is donating 5% of its profits to the Foundation to support its educational projects and programs. Plus, 100% of the net proceeds from the Fair Indigo Logo Tee go directly to the Foundation's programs.
In addition to his work with Fair Indigo, Bill serves as president of Charming Shoppes Direct where he is responsible for the ecommerce businesses of the Lane Bryant, Catherines and Fashion Bug brands. Prior to co-founding Fair Indigo, Bill ran both Sears' direct-to-customer business and Lands' End's ecommerce business. Before the sale of Lands' End to Sears in 2002, he was also responsible for Lands' End's international business unit with catalog operations in Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining Lands End in 1999, Bill served as a group director at Forrester Research. Before that, he co-founded and co-managed the Boston.com Web site, the online subsidiary of the Boston Globe newspaper. Bill's business career also includes work as a strategic initiatives manager with Knight Ridder. Bill currently serves as a director of Tractor Supply Company, and is an Army veteran. He received his B.A. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University.
Fair Indigo can be found at http://www.fairindigo.com/.
Associate Professor, University of Utah
Chairman of the Board, The International Ecotourism Society
Kelly Bricker, associate professor at University of Utah has an international background that includes work as a tourism manager, guide, as well as scuba and sailing instructor. Her doctoral research at The Penn State University focused on sustainable tourism and natural resource recreation management, with special interest in ecotourism and sense of place.
Kelly serves as the Chair of the Board for The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). TIES promotes ecotourism, defined as "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." Tourism is a principle "export" for 83% of developing countriesand it is the leading export for 1/3 of poorest countries. For the world's 40 poorest countries, tourism is the second most important source of foreign exchange, after oil. On its website, TIES asks visitors to "change the way you travel, and help change the world."
Kelly actively works with The Global Partnership for the Sustainable Tourism Criteria (STC Partnership), a coalition of over 50 organizations working together to foster increased understanding of sustainable tourism practices and the adoption of universal sustainable tourism principles. The Partnership, which was initiated by Rainforest Alliance, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Foundation, and was launched at the World Conservation Congress in October 2008. These criteria will be the minimum standard that any tourism business should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world's natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for poverty alleviation.
Kelly's presentation will focus on defining a common language for sustainability in tourism, and how these social, economic, and environmental pillars of sustainability translate to sustainable tourism, one the largest economic drivers in the world. Further, the presentation will include a look at organizations working on promoting principles of sustainable tourism-mainstreaming the concept across the industry. How can tourism, an industry dependent on rich culture and a healthy environment, sustain the very resources upon which it depends? Does sustainable tourism have a place in environmental conservation and poverty alleviation? What role will tourism play in mitigating the 'Age of Stupid,' creating an age of action towards reducing its impact and contribution to the global climate crisis?
The International Ecotourism Society can be found at http://www.ecotourism.org/.
Information on the Global Partnership for the Sustainable Tourism Criteria can be found at http://www.gstcouncil.org/.
Principal, Emersion DESIGN
Chad is a principal for emersion DESIGN, the first Architecture and Engineering firm in the world to have a LEED Platinum office. Headquartered in Cincinnati, emersion DESIGN is a collaborative practice with a national reach, driven by a passion for exceptional designs that advance their clients and society.
Chad was the Master Planner for NASA’s 832 acre Facility in New Orleans. The Plan calls for districts to help revitalize the flood stricken 9th and 10th Districts, to reconstruct wetlands for stormwater quantity and quality management and to utilize phytoextraction to remove unwanted particulates from the soil. He is currently working with two higher education institutions to meet their President’s Climate Commitment goal of becoming climate neutral. As a sustainable design consultant for the American Red Cross, Chad has secured grants for the design and implementation of a vegetated roof and on site bioretention strategies. He is a co-author of Pathways and Policies: Toward Green Jobs in Cincinnati and SIB: Social Impact of Building Chad is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
Chad has been the project designer on several design award-winning projects in Architecture, Interior Design, Research and Graphic Design. He will serve as the Chair of the Regional Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council and is a member of the Cincinnati Business Courier's 2009 Forty Under 40 class. His active promotion of principles of urban and sustainable design has garnished speaking engagements to groups such as The International Education Summit, the AIA Committee on the Environment, the Kentucky Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities National Conference in Atlanta. He has volunteered his expertise toward helping organizations such as the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission, The Ohio Planning Conference, and The University of Cincinnati's President's Advisory Council on Environment and Sustainability. Chad has been invited to speak with U.S. Senators and Representatives on the importance of sustainable design.
Chad’s presentation will describe the Triple Bottom Line Emerging Trends as they relate to careers that shape the built environment. These careers will focus on sustainability from an economic, environment and social equity point of view.
Emersion DESIGN can be found at http://www.emersiondesign.com/.
Founder and Executive Director, Gombe School of Environment and Society
The Gombe School of Environment and Society (GOSESO), the dream of Yared Fubusa, is located in the heart of Kitobe Forest, an expansive fertile and mountainous rift valley within walking distance to the world-renowned Gombe Stream National Park and Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania. The mission of the school is to bridge human and wildlife prosperity through education for rural Africans with a focus on self-reliance, economic and cultural vitality, human health, and peace education. Gifted students, both high school and college-aged, are drawn from Tanzania and other neighboring countries for education and experiential learning.
"People who love the environment tend to be peacemakers," he says. "It's harder to take your gun and kill someone if you live in a community that fosters environmental stewardship, economic vitality and human dignity" explains Fubusa. For his vision, Yared was recently appointed as an Ashoka Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship.
Yared was born and raised in a small village near the Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. He served as a research assistant to the renowned British primatologist and conservationist, Jane Goodall, and was instrumental in launching outreach programs for the Jane Goodall Institute in Tanzania and abroad. Yared earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics at Longwood University, a Master's degree in Parks Management and Economics of Tourism from the Utah State University, and he is finishing a doctorate at Utah State University. Through his research, Yared seeks to bridge the gap between humans and wildlife through the promotion of local participation in environmental decision-making, rural economies, indigenous knowledge and institutions, and sustainable livelihoods.
The Gombe School can be found at http://www.goseso.org/.
Senior Manager, Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship, ARAMARK Longwood Dining Services
Rita has been with ARAMARK Higher Education for seven years. As Senior Manager for Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship she is responsible for elevating ARAMARK Higher Education's environmental commitments while assisting accounts in developing unique sustainable solutions. Prior to serving in her role as Senior Manager for Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship, Rita held the position of District Marketing Manager in the Southeast Region. Rita facilitated many accounts, including UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and Elon University, in elevating healthy, sustainable dining options and solutions. This included implementation of sustainable practices, including communication and marketing of all programs.
Rita has a Bachelor's of Business Administration from James Madison University and a Master of Business Administration from Elon University. Outside of ARAMARK, Rita enjoys volunteering in her community at the food bank, homeless shelter, and Habitat for Humanity.
Earth Science Teacher, Louisa County High School
Randy Holladay is not your ordinary science teacher-his experiments are not just limited to his Louisa County classroom. After seeing a video about Earthships; he got very excited about the idea of building one himself. But using the earth to shelter the home and utilizing recycled materials, he could build a more sustainable house and could utilize what the earth and sun "give away." In 1997 he bought some land with good southern exposure and the next year he began building what he calls his "house 'o tires." He began camping in the house in the summer of 2002 and he has been building and camping there comfortably ever since.
Randy grew up in the west end of Richmond and attended James Madison University, where he graduated in 1980 with a BS in Geology. He then moved to Colorado to work in the oil industry for a year and a half and then taught skiing for nine winters in Breckenridge, Colorado. Randy moved back to Virginia in 1991 to work on transitioning from ski teacher to school teacher. He began teaching Earth Science at Louisa County High School in the fall of 1992.
Randy will use slides of his construction process to illustrate the idea of an Earthship, and he will share ideas for making living spaces more sustainable.
Professor, Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Virginia
Paxton has been active in developing multidisciplinary design courses to help students experience the joy of engineering and develop their creative capacities. His activities are primarily focused on the energy and sustainability areas. He was engineering director for the UVA solar house project, an energy independent house designed and built by students. In the 2002 DOE Solar Decathlon, the house placed second overall and first in the Design and Livability and Energy Balance categories.
Paxton is currently working with the UVA School of Architecture on ecoMOD, a research and design/build/evaluate project that is creating a series of ecological, modular and affordable house prototypes. The houses have incorporated photovoltaic electric power, solar water heating and other renewable technologies, and an energy monitoring system has been developed to evaluate the energy performance of the houses. He is also engineering director of the Learning Barge project, developed in the School of Architecture, to design a floating environmental classroom for the Elizabeth River.
Paxton is the former Chair of the Energy Conversion and Conservation Division and the Engineering and Public Policy Division of the American Society for Engineering Education. His classes have worked with UVA Facilities Management on energy assessment projects which resulted in UVA being designated as EPA Green lights and Energy Star Partners of the Year in 1999 and 2001 respectively. He currently has a team of students working with the Charlottesville Community Design Center SPARK! program, conducting energy audits and analysis for upgrades to the houses of low-income families. Paxton also teaches a University Seminar "Designing a Sustainable Future" that engages students in community service projects while exploring the global challenges of sustainability, and partners with drama faculty to engage first-year engineering students in designing, building and operating special effects for student written and directed plays.
His Ecomod project can be found at http://www.ecomod.virginia.edu/.
Sustainability Coordinator, Longwood University
Kelly received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Longwood University in August 2007. Prior to graduating, Kelly was appointed assistant coordinator of Longwood's 2020 Campus Master Plan. As the assistant coordinator, Kelly accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in supporting and executing sustainability efforts for the Comprehensive Master Plan project and the entire university. She researched numerous sustainability practices and programs in higher education and recommended appropriate measures to be incorporated in the Campus Master Plan. She also contributed to writing a grant to fund Longwood's Sustainability Program and partially fund a position to oversee the program.
Longwood was awarded a $138,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in May 2008, to support the consolidation of the university's existing sustainability efforts into an expanded comprehensive program. In September 2008, Kelly was appointed Longwood University's first Sustainability Coordinator. She is responsible for developing, implementing and directing Longwood's Sustainability Program.
For more information about Longwood's sustainability efforts, please visit www.longwood.edu/sustainability.
Director, New Community Project
David is director of the New Community Project, a nonprofit organization that is based in Elgin, IL but has a national network and international partners. New Community Project's mission is to promote living more sustainably with the earth and more fairly with its people. Their work includes sponsoring learning tours to places where the environment and human population are struggling, providing speakers and workshop leaders for colleges, congregations, youth events, and other gatherings, placing solidarity workers in other countries and cultures, offering engaging print and web-based resources, and creating a support network for like-minded souls, with a special interest in empowering youth and young adults.
David has traveled the world on NCP's learning tours and he will provide a photo exploration of the life as it is for most of the world's people and the ecosystem--tenuous at best, imperiled at worst. He will share stories from around the world--the Arctic and Amazon, Sudan and South Asia--providing an ecological and economic overview of the "other world," the one experienced by billions of people and the planet itself.
David is a frequent speaker in schools, colleges and other settings, and has recently led NCP Learning Tours to Alaska, the Amazon, Burma, El Salvador, and Sudan. David grew up in Blue Ridge, VA and is a graduate of Bridgewater College, where he received the 2008 West-Whitelow Humanitarian Service Award.
New Community Project can be found at http://www.newcommunityproject.org/.
Executive Director, Clean Virginia Waterways
(affiliated with Longwood University and the Ocean Conservancy)
As Executive Director of Clean Virginia Waterways, housed at Longwood University, Katie is dedicated to improving Virginia's rivers and other water resources through citizen stewardship. Teachers and other Virginians have attended Katie's workshops about litter prevention, water quality monitoring, rain barrels, and protecting water quality.
Katie has organized the International Coastal Cleanup in Virginia for 15 years. In that time, more than 43,000 volunteers have removed 1.8 million pounds of trash from VA's rivers and beaches. Katie started the Appomattox River Water Monitoring program with Longwood University and co-authored a manual for estuary water monitoring for the Environmental Protection Agency. Katie has worked on projects for Ocean Conservancy, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Virginia's citizen water monitoring program. Most recently, she co-wrote a document for the United Nations about marine debris (trash in our oceans). She has been instrumental in laying the foundation for a model of conservation and environmental education program at Longwood University's Hull Springs Farm.
Katie's Master's degree in Environmental Resources and Policy is from George Mason University. Her Masters thesis examined the environmental impacts of the #1 most common type of litter on Earth -- cigarette butts. She co-authored a book for teachers that focuses on water education, co-authored several scientific articles on water monitoring, and serves on the Virginia Water Monitoring Council.
Katie's presentation will focus on the importance of and role of water resources in community, commercial, and global sustainability efforts.
Clean Virginia Waterways can be found at www.longwood.edu/cleanva.
Assistant Director, Volunteer & Service-Learning, Longwood University
Jen Rentschler is 2004 graduate of Appalachian State University where she received a BS in Psychology with a minor in English. After graduating from ASU, Jen followed her passion for working with college students and enrolled in the College Student Personnel program at Miami University in Oxford Ohio. There she worked as a hearing officer in the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution. Graduating from Miami University in 2006, Jen moved to Farmville, VA where she works with the students, faculty and staff of Longwood to coordinate volunteer opportunities and programs to encourage students to get involved in their community. Jen advises several groups on campus including Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Phi Omega, Alternative Spring Break, Big Siblings, and Student Educators for Active Leadership.
Information about Longwood's volunteer opportunities can be found at www.longwood.edu/volunteer.
ARAMARK Higher Education
Chris has spent his career in process improvement and "change management." His background in sustainability stems back informally with his days growing up in Indiana working on local farms, to performing environmental assessments in construction, facilitating change for a horticultural corporation, to energy management & conservation initiatives. Chris has previously worked for large corporations (General Motors, General Dynamics & Rubbermaid) and has worked with several smaller organizations in a consultant role.
Chris is presently responsible for strategic and tactical development, deployment, training and continual improvement of ARAMARK Higher Education's sustainability and environmental stewardship platform. In addition, Chris has led several sustainability facilitation and strategic roadmap solutions for K-12 and Higher Educational institutions, all while developing new tools, processes and service solutions that promote environmentally responsible outcomes. Examples include global sustainability strategy planning, independent third party LEED certification, greenhouse gas inventories, local purchasing initiatives, recycling program expansions & carbon neutrality planning.
Outside of ARAMARK, Chris is President of Madison Cares: working with Habitat for Humanity to provide simple, efficient sustainable housing solutions to support community outreach, education and development - all while providing greener processes and material options.
Chris received his B.S.I.E. degree from Purdue University, and has advanced training in the fields of Total Quality Management, Value Engineering, and Process Improvement. Mr. Stemen is a LEED Accredited Professional through the US Green Building Council, and is presently working with Green Seal to develop a new "Restaurants and Food Service Operations" certification.
Reporter, New York Times
Matt is a reporter at The New York Times, where he has been writing about energy topics for 30 years. He has been in the paper's Washington Bureau since 1995, and is currently assigned to write about environment and energy.
Matt has been particularly interested in civilian nuclear power since the Three Mile Island accident, and has toured more than two dozen power reactors and research reactors, as well as Yucca Mountain, which until recently was the leading candidate for disposal of nuclear waste. In the 1980's and 1990's he wrote extensively about the production of materials for nuclear weapons, and the resulting environmental problems. He has also written about oil refining, alternative fuels including biofuels, oil and natural gas production, oil spills including the Exxon Valdez and the oil fires set by the Iraqis in Kuwait at the end of the first gulf war. He also writes about batteries, the electric grid, wind energy and solar energy.
His previous assignments at The Times include Hartford, Connecticut and Boston, Mass. He holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Brown University, and a Certificate in Auto Mechanics from the Providence Vocational Technical Facility.
Professor of Anthropology and Science Education, Longwood University
Walter Witschey came to Longwood University after more than 40 years in business management in both the public and private sectors. He served 14 years as President and CEO of a computer services business and has an extensive background as an independent business and systems management consultant. He has also taught at several major universities in the southeast. From 1992 until 2007 he served as the Director of the Science Museum of Virginia, a large state-agency multi-site science center network. He is past president of the international Association of Science-Technology Centers, and past president of the Virginia Academy of Science. In July 2007 he took up a full-time appointment on the faculty of Longwood University as Professor of Anthropology and Science Education. Witschey held appointments as Leader-in-Residence at the University of Richmond's Jepson School of Leadership Studies, and as Professor of Life Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2006-2007.
At the Science Museum of Virginia, Dr. Witschey directed the expansion of statewide outreach programs, including science-mobile trailers, satellite/cable video to schools, Internet and other network services, Wonderplace for pre-schoolers, and science after school for at-risk urban middle-schoolers among other business partnerships for improved science education. During his tenure, the Science Museum enjoyed substantially increased state and private support. A $20 million project was completed at the Museum's headquarters (the Broad Street Station-a National Register Site). A $30 million capital campaign ($10 million for construction, $12 million for exhibits, and an $8 million endowment increase) raised over $36 million. The Museum's annual budget exceeded $10 million.
The Children's Museum of Richmond, at his suggestion, joined the campus of the Science Museum. The Virginia Aviation Museum, a Museum division, displays historic and unique aircraft, including a record-holding SR-71. He opened the Danville Science Center in 1995. Rice RiverCenter, site of a unique Richard Joseph Neutra home, and the historic Five Mile Locks of the James River and Kanawha Canal, was added to the Museum in 1996. The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, an affiliate, opened the same year. As he left, the Science Museum was creating new science centers in Northern Virginia (SciencePort, the Belmont Bay Science Center), in Bristol (the Mountain Empire Science Center), and in Harrisonburg as it moves to make a hands-on science center within reach of more than 97% of Virginia's citizens.
Witschey is responsible for two Guinness world records, both at the Science Museum of Virginia. In 1981, he constructed a highly accurate record-breaking giant analemmic sundial. In 2004, the Earth Kugel in the Museum's Mary Morton Parsons Earth-Moon Sculpture received the record for the world's largest floating granite ball (a 29-ton solid granite sphere that floats on a 1/3 mm water bearing at 34 psi).
Throughout his career, Dr. Witschey has served as consultant to federal and state agencies and to businesses for management, computer systems design and management, computer networks, and client management systems. His university-level faculty work includes curriculum design consulting, as well as teaching computer programming and systems management, business management, entrepreneurship, and archaeology.
Dr. Witschey wrote a monthly science column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch for twelve years. He also wrote bi-weekly for Sci-Kids, a column for elementary and middle school students keyed to Virginia's Science Standards of Learning, until the newspaper discontinued its Discover Section in June 2009. He is the author of published articles in fields as diverse as computer mapping of Colonial Virginia Land Patents and linguistic analysis of sixteenth century Spanish Colonial documents in Mexico.