Mark Hertsgaard, Our Keynote Speaker
Independent journalist and author Mark Hertsgaard has covered politics, culture and the environment for twenty years for leading outlets around the world, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, NPR, the BBC, Die Zeit, La Repubblica and Le Monde Diplomatique. He is the author of six books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Earth Odyssey: Around the World In Search of Our Environmental Future and, most recently, HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth. He is the environment correspondent for The Nation, a columnist for L’espresso, and a Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.
For twenty years, Mark has written about global warming, but the full truth did not hit home until he became a father and, soon thereafter, learned that climate change had already arrived – a century earlier than forecast – with impacts bound to worsen for decades to come. Hertsgaard’s daughter Chiara, now seven years old, is part of what he has dubbed “Generation Hot” – the two billion young people worldwide who will spend the rest of their lives coping with mounting climate disruption.
HOT, Hertsgaard’s latest book, is both a father’s cry against climate change and a deeply reported blueprint for how all of us – as parents, communities, companies and countries – can navigate this unavoidable new era. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Wen Stephensen called HOT a “significant contribution” that “raises the emotional stakes while keeping a clear head… [Hertsgaard] presents a strong case that there is still time to make an enormous difference.”
Now you can hear him speak at our opening keynote event on April 18, at our downtown conference on April 20, and at Earth Day Ithaca on April 21 (see schedule).
Learn more about Mark at his website (markhertsgaard.com) – follow his blog, buy his book, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
Shorna Broussard Allred is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Human Dimensions Research Unit in the Dept. of Natural Resources at Cornell University. Her research and extension program at Cornell focuses on understanding attitudes, motivations, and behavior related to resource conservation and management and policy alternatives. She has conducted research and outreach to provide sound guidance to municipal officials, land managers, landowners, and professional agency staff on how to respond to anticipated climate changes so that natural resources will be resilient, and New York’s communities will be more sustainable. Her inquiry has focused on the views of local climate change mitigation and adaption, barriers, and the information needs of natural resource professionals and local government officials in New York State. She received her Ph.D. in Forest Resources Policy and Education from Oregon State University, her M.S. degree in Forest Resources from Penn State University, and her B.S. degree in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State University.
Timothy E. Bael, M.D., is President of the Medical Staff at Cayuga Medical Center, and specializes in oncology and hematology with Cayuga Hematology Oncology Associates. Dr. Bael received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, and his medical degree from from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABI). Dr. Bael did his residency in internal medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, and hematology and oncology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Bael and his wife, Dr. Sandra Thananart, are raising three sons in Ithaca.
Amanda Barber is the Manager of the Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District. She graduated at the top of her class from the Ranger School of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry – Wanakena and has been a SWCD employee for over 20 years. Amanda is a tireless advocate for conservation and agriculture in Cortland County and New York State. Amanda currently serves as vice-president of the New York Agricultural Land Trust. She was recently recognized by the New York State Conservation District Employees Association with the Willard F. Croney Distinguished Service Award. Amanda is a mother of 5, stepmother of 3, and grandmother of 7. During the time she carves out for things she enjoys, Amanda likes to coach youth soccer, read, cook, hunt, and help her husband with chores on the family farm that they took over from her father in 1995.
Don Barber grew up on a 300-acre family dairy farm in Danby. He received a BS and MS in engineering from Alfred University. After working as an engineer for Corning for 10 years and earning a US patent, he returned to his farming roots on 65 acres. He also owned and operated a residential construction business for 25 years, and is currently in his 8th term serving as Town Supervisor in Caroline, NY. Don is conscious of his carbon footprint. He operates his farm with draft horses, bikes 3 miles to work at his Town office, and 13 years ago installed a 2KW photovoltaic system at his farm. Town of Caroline was one of the initial consortium of local governments to purchase their municipal electricity from renewable sources; and the second municipality in NYS to purchase 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. Caroline’s new super-insulated office building is heated by the earth (geothermal) and powered by the sun (PV).
Peter Bardaglio is managing partner and founder of Seneca Strategic Consulting, LLC and president of Black Oak Wind Farm, a 12.6MW project just outside of Ithaca slated to be in production in early 2014. Co-author of Boldly Sustainable: Hope and Opportunity for Higher Education in the Age of Climate Change (2009), he is a senior advisor at Second Nature and the coordinator of the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, a multisector effort in the Ithaca, NY area to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Bardaglio was the provost and vice president of academic affairs from 2002 to 2007 at Ithaca College, where he helped to launch the college’s nationally recognized sustainability initiative. Bardaglio received his AB from Brown University and PhD from Stanford University.
Brian Beasley has worked 15 years in the electrical industry, moving from independent over to municipal government. Along the path in the electrical field, he has worked with and built traffic signals, large commercial, industrial,wind turbine, substation utility and geothermal. Starting out at 18 after taking four years of schooling, Brian progressed from an apprentice to journeyman foreman to owning a s corp. commercial electrical company. After selling the company, he transitioned to working for the City of Elmira. He has been with the City for 5 years and last year was promoted from city electrical supervisor to superintendant of buildings and grounds and then recently was promoted with the title of acting director of public works.
Karim Beers coordinates the Get Your GreenBack Tompkins campaign, a community-based initiative to inspire universal participation in taking new steps that save energy and money in the areas of food, waste, transportation and building energy. Trained as a community educator, he has over a decade of international experience building capacity for social action among individuals and institutions. Karim has a B.S. in Education (2000) and a Masters in Regional Planning (2012) from Cornell University, as well as a Specialization degree in Education for Community Development from Centro Universitario de Bienestar Rural, a university in rural Colombia.
Paul Beyer is the State Director of Smart Growth Planning at the NYS Department of State. In this position, Paul promotes the principles of Smart Growth on the state, regional and local level in New York. Paul’s experience in land use and Smart Growth began when he worked in the New York State Legislature, where he focused on land use, environmental and public health policy. Paul served on the Planning Board in the Town of Amherst, NY for five years, where he helped develop the town’s Comprehensive Plan. Paul also served on the Board of Directors of Partners for a Livable Western New York, the premier Smart Growth advocacy group in the Buffalo-Niagara region. Paul has a law degree from the University at Buffalo.
Jalaja Bonheim, Ph.D. is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker and teacher who works with leaders and peacemakers around the world. She is internationally known for her groundbreaking use of circle gatherings as a tool for healing individuals and communities and cultivating peace. Since 2005, she has been travelling to Israel and Palestine, where she empowers Jewish and Palestinian women to serve as agents of peace. She has trained hundreds of Circlework leaders including ministers, teachers, social workers, psychotherapists, and corporate executives, and is the founder and visionary director of the Institute for Circlework (www.instituteforcirclework.
Katherine Borgella, Principal Planner with the Tompkins County Planning Department, has worked in regional planning for over 20 years. She currently coordinates Tompkins County’s energy and greenhouse gas emissions initiatives and was the primary author of the Tompkins County 2020 Energy Strategy. Prior to focusing on energy issues, Katie worked in a wide variety of planning areas including sustainability, agriculture, natural resources, transportation, housing and economic development. Katie volunteers as a board member for the Finger Lakes Land Trust, on various initiatives with Sustainable Tompkins and the Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network, and is a member of the Planning Committee and Local Government Committee for the Climate Smart & Climate Ready Conference.
Jon Bosak is a member of the Town of Ithaca Planning Board and a co-founder of TCLocal, an organization devoted to planning for community resiliency in Tompkins County. Articles published by TCLocal can be found at TCLocal.org.
Susan Brock practices municipal and environmental law in Ithaca and represents municipalities, the region’s public transit provider, and several not-for-profit corporations. She has been an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, where she taught Land Use and Zoning, and she was an instructor for several summers for a law and policy course at Shoals Marine Laboratory in the Gulf of Maine. Susan is the co-chair of the Environmental Law Committee for the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, and she has served as the Chair of the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council. She has also served as President of the Finger Lakes Women’s Bar Association, and she has been a Board member of the Finger Lakes Land Trust and a Director of the Tompkins County Bar Association. Prior to her move to Ithaca, she was an Assistant Regional Counsel in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Boston office and assisted in the prosecution of environmental crimes as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney. Susan received an A.B. in Political Science from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Leslie Danks Burke
Leslie Danks Burke serves on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council’s Agriculture and Infrastructure Working Groups, where she has recently focused on expanding broadband internet access in rural communities. In 2012, Leslie ran for U.S. Congress in New York’s 23rd Congressional District. A graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, Leslie is an attorney with the law firm of Pinnisi & Anderson. Prior to that, she practiced law with the internationally-renowned firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, with a specialty in international litigation and arbitration, and an active pro bono practice in human and international civil rights. She has served as executive director of Cornell Law School’s Clarke Program in East Asian Law & Culture, and as a strategic planner for a sustainable development NGO in Costa Rica. Today, Leslie is active with multiple organizations addressing economic, health care, and educational well-being in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier.
Kevin Carpenter has been with the American Red Cross since 2009. He serves as the District Manager of the Central New York Region for Cayuga, Cortland and Tompkins Counties. Kevin’s educational background is in Criminal Justice and he was with the NYS Department of Juvenile Justice working in the Office of Children and Family Services prior to joining the American Red Cross.
Krys Cail is an agricultural development consultant. She has worked over the past year on investigating the feasibility of three approaches to bringing good regionally-produced food into the Binghamton food desert, with the support of the Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development Center of the Wallace Center. Her work focuses on increasing regional economic resilience and food security by building closer farmer-consumer connections, and conserving energy used in transportation by promoting more localized food distribution patterns.
Rev. Dr. Kenneth I. Clarke, Sr. has been Director of Cornell United Religious Work since July 2001. He is also chair of Cornell’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee. Dr. Clarke was Director of the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs at the Pennsylvania State University from 1997-2001, following a year as Acting Director, and Assistant Director from 1990-96. He also served as an instructor in African/African American Studies for 9 years. From 1987-90 Dr. Clarke worked for the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, initially for the church’s Ethiopian Refugee Resettlement Project and later as Assistant Pastor/Administrator. A native of Baltimore, MD, Ken earned a B.A. in English from Morgan State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH. His work in higher education has been focused on fostering religious pluralism in particular and multicultural pluralism generally, the prophetic engagement of religion on campus and in local communities, an interest in media criticism and the African American religious, historical, social, political and cultural experience.
Alex Colket is a social entrepreneur and climate change crusader with a passion for using the internet to solve the great environmental and social problems we face. As founder of local web startup Swidjit.com, Alex is currently working to design the technological foundation to facilitate more just, sustainable and resilient communities. Alex served on the Sustainable Tompkins Board, volunteered as their webmaster, and developed the carbon calculator in their Finger Lakes Climate Fund. After graduating from Cornell in 2001 with a degree in neurobiology, he took a job teaching children at a local Montessori school. After three years there, he left that job to build his own business, A Playground for the Mind, which offers online games and exercises to sharpen your mind.
Jonathan Comstock is a plant ecophysiologist with 30 years of experience in both native and managed ecosystems and is currently a Research Support Specialist in Horticulture at Cornell University. He is a co-author on both the Ecosystems and Agriculture chapters of the ClimAID Report, a wide-ranging study commissioned by NYSERDA which evaluates the expected influence of climate change on the state of New York and what steps should be taken to adapt our ecosystems and human infrastructure to those changes. You can read an article by Jonathan about the ClimAID report in the current issue of the Conservationist magazine. Jonathan has been co-chair of Energy Independent Caroline since 2009, and is Steering Committee chair for Solarize Tompkins SE. He and his wife live in Caroline where they are avid gardeners and are transitioning to use more renewable energy sources into their own home.
Susan Cosentini launched New Earth Living in 2009, turning a vacant lot next to her home into a 4- unit, small urban eco-village — forming the pilot community for a new type of land development. New Earth Living LLC is a community-oriented development company that has brought together the best practices of sustainability, co-housing, and in-fill development to create a replicable urban real estate development model called The Pocket Neighborhood. The Pocket Neighborhood focuses on core issues which must be addressed in the creation of a sustainable future. Among them are the needs for the preservation of arable land and natural spaces, energy independence, local food production, intentional water conservation, and to fulfill a social need to be connected and supported, in a meaningful, engaging environment. The structures are built using the German Passivhaus technology using a proprietary building assembly to achieve ultra-energy efficiency, with a goal of carbon neutrality. Sue is a carpenter and general contractor of 30 years, and passionate about the environment and playing outside for longer than that.
Art DeGaetano is currently a Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. He also serves as the director of the Northeast Regional Climate center (NRCC). The NRCC is federally supported and has as its mission the dissemination of climate information to regional stakeholders in the Northeast. The NRCC is also at the forefront of developing online data systems that are in use nationally. His research focus is applied climatology, the impacts and adaptations to climate change. Four specific research areas are included within this general focus: modeling climate influences on man-made and biological systems, documenting observed variations in the climate system, improving climate data quality, and assessing climate impacts. He serves as the climate specialty editor for the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. In his teaching at Cornell, Professor DeGaetano has developed a very popular general interest course on Global Warming as well as upper level courses for Earth and Atmospheric Science majors on Physical Meteorology and Atmospheric Thermodynamics and Hydrostatics. Professor DeGaetano received his PhD in Climatology and Horticulture in 1989 from Rutgers University.
Philly DeSarno has had a long career in economic development. She has been employed in the corporate arena with Corning Incorporated in community development, the academic arena with Corning Community College as a corporate and small business advisor, and currently in the municipal government arena with the City of Ithaca, as Director for Economic Development. She has been a very active in community activities throughout the Finger Lakes Region. Some of those activities include: Chair of the Schuyler County Chamber of Commerce, a board member of Corning Chamber of Commerce, Ithaca Downtown Partnership, Tompkins County Chamber’s Inter-governmental Affairs Committee, and Board Chair for the new Sustainability Center of Tompkins County. She recently was awarded Downtown Champion for Economic Development by Ithaca Downtown Partnership. Phyllisa is a graduate of Elmira College with a degree in Communications and Secondary Education and attended Syracuse University’s International Program in Florence, Italy.
Frank DiSalvo is the Director of the David. R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. Frank began his career in early 1980’s as a member of the scientific staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill, NJ, where he later headed several research departments. He moved to the Department of Chemistry at Cornell University in 1986. A decade later he became the John A. Newman Professor of Physical Science. In recent years, he has studied fuel cells, fuel cell technology, and sustainable energy systems. Frank is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the American Physical Society International Prize for New Materials in 1991. That same year he was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has served on many panels for government agencies, including the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation and is currently the academic advisor for the WHAT at the Cornell-affiliated campus in Qatar. He has published over 500 scientific papers and holds or has pending 12 patents. He is an avid fisherman whose favorite fishing spots are a secret.
Josh Dolan is the community food gardening educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension and has helped to develop the program Gardens 4 Humanity for the past 4 years. Josh is also the founder of Sapsquatch Pure Maple Syrup of Enfield, NY. He has many varied interests including making radio on WRFI, making music and making good food.
Lew Durland, PE, LEED AP BD+C, is a Senior Mechanical Engineer with Hunt Engineers, Architects & Land Surveyors, P.C., where he focuses on energy systems and high-performance design. He has participated on the team of three LEED buildings, currently as the LEED Project Administrator on a LEED Silver Certified (pending) school. Lew is a Board Advisor to the USGBC New York Upstate Chapter Board of Directors, on which he served for the past four years. He initiated and is leading the effort, through a company-wide collaborative process, to develop and implement his company’s sustainability plan. Lew is a former Ithaca Energy Commission Chair, where he received NYS and USDOE Awards for Energy Innovation. He’s a Cornell University engineering graduate and a member of the USGBC New York Upstate Chapter and Sustainable Tompkins.
David (“Dave”) Eichorn is a meteorologist at the Syracuse Media Group and holds adjunct positions at SUNY Oswego, Onondaga Community College, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he teaches meterology and forecasting classes. He is also a full member of the American Meteorological Society. He has over 30 years of meteorological experience, specializing in meso-scale atmospheric modeling, lake effect snow forecasting, global weather patterns, and potential regional impacts from climate change. Eichorn formerly worked with WSYR TV Syracuse for 20 years, and has developed climate science courses for SUNY ESF under a NASA grant. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the 2010 SUNY Chancellor’s award for academic excellence. Since January 2006, he has given dozens of talks and presentations on climate change with a meteorological perspective to thousands of Central New Yorkers. Dave recently moderated SUNY-ESF’s seminar series “CNY’s Response to Global Energy and Climate Change Challenges” working with community leaders across all of Central New York on local efforts toward the mitigation of our carbon footprint. He is focused on global weather patterns and potential regional impacts as a result of climate change. Eichorn has a B.S. degree in environmental science from the SUNY Empire State College and a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from SUNY ESF.
J. David Ferris
J. David Ferris is the CEO and owner of P.W. Wood & Son, Inc., a general insurance agency, and the President, owner, and founder of Central Risk Managers, Ltd., a risk management and insurance consulting firm. Since 1964, Ferris has been licensed in the insurance business in more than 30 states with clients in the United States and abroad. He specializes in providing risk management services to a variety of clientele including organizations, colleges, and municipalities. Ferris has taken this specialization further by hosting courses at Cornell University and Ithaca College about advanced risk management and insurance, as well as other related continuing education courses for numerous other organizations. Ferris has a Ph.D with the following professional designations: Associate in Risk Management, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, and Accredited Advisor in Insurance. Ferris was one of the first in the country to be awarded the Continuing Professional Development designation by the Insurance Institute of America, Inc, and has presented at many conferences across the country.
Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, is Associate Professor of Philosophy, Chair of the Philosophy Department, and Director of the Center for Ethics, Peace and Social Justice, at the State University of New York College at Cortland. He earned his PhD from Newcastle University, UK. His academic interests are in the areas of ethics, nonviolence, love, mysticism and community. He is the author, co-author, or editor of ten books, numerous book chapters and articles in peer reviewed journals such as Social Philosophy Today, The Journal for Peace and Justice Studies, The Acorn, Peace Review, and Philosophical Practice. He is an Associate Editor, VIBS, Editions Rodopi, B.V., where he edits the Social Philosophy Series. He is a fellow of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association, certified in client counseling, and is abbot of the Lindisfarne Community, Ithaca NY, a small ecumenical religious order.
Dee Gamble is the Energy and Sustainability Manager for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County. Within this role, he is charged with educating homeowners, community leaders, businesses, and the general public on the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable resources. He is also responsible for monitoring CCETC facility energy use and identifying opportunities for energy reduction and cost savings for all CCETC buildings. Dee came to CCETC from Cornell University, where as Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment, he was responsible for developing and implementing a multicultural recruitment plan for the University undergraduate admissions office and providing leadership in all University multicultural recruitment efforts supporting the seven academic colleges. He also served as Senior Green Jobs Program Coordinator at Cooperative Extension, where he was successful in establishing and promoting a plan to expand green collar jobs in Tompkins County. Dee has a B.S. and M.S. in biology from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama. He has over 15 years of construction and building science experience and is a Building Performance Institute certified Building Analyst and Envelope Professional. He is also a board member for the U.S. Green Building Council Upstate Chapter where he coordinates the GPRO training program for New York State. As principal of Chase Parker LLC., Dee provides a host of green building services including project management, general contracting and sustainability consulting to commercial clients in New York, Georgia, Florida, and Alabama.
Lily Gershon is a co-founder of an off-grid homestead, the Dacha Project, where she lives and experiments with DIY sustainable living. She has also been an organizer for the Ithaca Freeskool since 2009, offering free classes to the community by the community. She is a co-owner of the Buffalo St. Books co-op, and a supporter of Share Tompkins. Lily is interested in developing a sharing economy and culture in her community which includes environmental sustainability as well as the arts.
Graham Gillespie, President of HOLT Architects, has been an integral part of both the New York State Architecture and Tompkins County communities for over 30 years. Realizing the impact that buildings have on our natural resources, throughout his career Graham has focused on creating environmentally conscious facilities through implementing energy efficient strategies. HOLT has designed 14 LEED Certified buildings in New York State – five of them in Tompkins County including the LEED Platinum Peggy Ryan Williams Center at Ithaca College, the LEED Silver Southwest Emergency Department/ICU Addition at Cayuga Medical Center, and the LEED Platinum Gateway Commons for Travis/Hyde Properties. Graham proudly carries on HOLT’s long-standing mission that each design integrates sustainable elements and encourages the professional development of each HOLT employee to include LEED Accreditation. Graham also looks for opportunities – such as the Climate Smart & Climate Ready Conference – to educate the community about the impacts of buildings on the environment and how we all play a role in preventing, mitigating, and planning for any further effects in our community.
Sam Gordon, Senior Planner with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, coordinates the Central New York Climate Change Innovation Program (C2IP), funded through the US EPA Climate Showcase Communities Program. Through C2IP, municipalities are conducting greenhouse gas emissions inventories, preparing climate action plans, and developing and implementing clean energy demonstration projects. Sam co-developed and coordinates the Central New York Energy Challenge Team initiative, a behavior change program working with homeowners to encourage the adoption of conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy upgrades. The Challenge utilizes a cooperative team-based approach to encouraging households to take action to reduce their energy consumption. Sam received a Fellowship in 2005 to work with the Center for Environmental Studies in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, which was selected as the European Green Capital for 2012. Gordon has Master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture and Environmental and Community Land Use Planning from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY, and has 15 years of experience in coordinating community participation and engagement for the development of sustainable communities. Sam has managed and/or provided consulting expertise on a variety of projects from greenway planning to neighborhood revitalization.
Alex Hagen joined Weaver Wind Energy as its President in 2009. After four years of installing and servicing small wind turbines from various manufacturers, Hagen set out to create a turbine with better quality, reliability, and performance. Hagen envisioned the solution as a well-designed turbine that incorporates the best qualities of existing turbines with cutting edge technology. With an undergraduate degree in engineering from Miami University and an M.B.A. from Cornell University, Hagen brings a wide breadth of experience from many fields including data storage, medical devices, biotech, and entrepreneurship. During his time with the company, Hagen has refocused its direction toward designing and manufacturing the world’s most reliable small wind turbine.
Eldred Harris has practiced law, managed business development for Nielsen, raised money for Howard University and Cornell, and managed several successful entrepreneurial endeavors. Eldred founded eLab, the Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Business Development Lab in 2009 to provide intensive business coaching to entrepreneurs to build more robust, diverse, and resilient local economies. eLab assists clients with inception, development, demonstration, and replication. eLab assists client with: brainstorming; entity creation; certification; market access; capital and equipment acquisition; and networking. As their clients become comfortable, they are exposed to the leadership opportunities in their communities. eLab also works with existing organizations to help them re-imagine operations and develop new revenue streams. At present, Eldred is on the boards of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and the Ithaca City School District. He has a B.A. from Binghamton University, and a Law Degree from Cornell.
Jon Harrod is President of Snug Planet, an award-winning contracting company offering energy audit, insulation, and air sealing services. Originally trained as an ecologist, Jon became interested in residential energy efficiency as a practical, market-based approach to cut carbon emissions while improving comfort, reducing energy costs, and extending the useful life of buildings. Since its founding in 2006, Snug Planet has improved over 300 buildings in the Ithaca area. In the last two years, Snug Planet explored ways to reduce building use beyond what can be achieved in conventional retrofits; these include deep energy retrofits (comprehensive projects designed to reduce energy use 70% or more), Passive House (a European approach to new construction that can reduce energy use 90% compared to typical homes), and integration of efficiency and renewables to achieve net-zero homes. Jon received his PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill and his BA from Harvard University.
Dan Hoffman helped to create GreenStar Cooperative Market, and has served on its board for much of the past 30 years. The Co-op is a consumer-owned enterprise with over 8,000 members, two stores and sales of $17 million a year. He is also a founder and current board member of GreenStar Community Projects, the Co-op’s tax-exempt affiliate, whose focus is to foster and support an ongoing network of businesses, organizations and individuals involved in any part of the effort to build a food system that is more locally and regionally based, more sustainable, and more just.
Steve Holzbaur has spent decades in the transportation and logistics industry and has worked with family farmers in New York as a marketing and logistics consultant. For the past three years, Steve has managed the Finger Lakes Fresh hydroponics greenhouse operation for Challenge Workforce Solutions and is preparing to break ground this spring on Challenge’s new Finger Lakes Fresh Food Hub enterprise.
Rod Howe is Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) Assistant Director for Community and Economic Vitality and the Executive Director of the Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI). He is also very involved in CCE’s NY Extension Disaster Education Network. Rod fosters collaborative programming among faculty and off-campus Extension educators and establishes effective working relationships with local, state, regional and national agencies and organizations. His diverse educational background is well suited for the range of community and economic development issues and topics that are part of the CCE/CaRDI portfolio. He enjoys his role as a link between NYS communities, campus-based resources, and CCE Associations. He served for eleven years on the Town of Ithaca planning board and is currently a Town of Ithaca board member.
David Kay is a Cornell economist who is a Senior Extension Associate currently with the Community & Regional Development Institute (CaRDI) in the Department of Development Sociology. He spent several decades as a researcher with the Cornell Local Government Program. David’s CaRDI work involves research, outreach, and training intended to support community-based decision making capacity while helping weave local policy into a regionally coherent fabric. He focuses on local government, community economic development, land use planning, and energy issues. David is a Past President of the New York Planning Federation and has been appointed to many Ithaca and Tompkins County municipal boards and committees concerned with planning and development, land use, and transportation. He is currently Board Chair of the not-for-profit Ecovillage at Ithaca, Center for Sustainability Education. David is also an experienced facilitator and a trained transformative mediator with CDRC (Community Dispute Resolution Center).
Anna Kelles has dedicated her career to building connections between nutrition, health, and the environment. She earned a dual bachelor in Biology and Environmental studies followed by four years in Ecuador promoting sound nutritional and environmental practices. Anna earned a PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology from the UNC – Chapel Hill, exploring the impact of globalization on dietary and physical activity patterns. As Director of the School of Applied Clinical Nutrition at New York Chiropractic College, Anna assembled and directed an expert faculty team to deliver one of the only whole foods therapeutic nutrition online graduate programs. She is involved in legislative action to protect the rights of nutrition clinicians and maintain a diverse, competitive, and highly qualified nutrition workforce and has recently lead the development of the Center for Nutrition Advocacy www.nutritionadvocacy.org. As the program director for the Green Resource Hub, she has helped expand education and strong marketing outreach for local businesses and organizations to thrive with a commitment to people-planet-profit values.
Larry Klotz received his early education in biology on his family’s dairy farm in southern New Jersey. Milking cows and growing plants in the garden sparked an early interest in zoology and botany. It was at Denison University during his undergraduate work where he first learned of human generated carbon dioxide causing global warming. He went to the University of Connecticut in 1973 and obtained his Masters and Ph.D. degrees studying streams impacted by pollution. Larry started as an Assistant Professor of Biology at SUNY Cortland in 1979 and has attained the rank of Distinguished Teaching Professor. His grants and research papers deal with stream ecology and the importance of beavers and the courses he teaches include Climate Change Biology, introductory biology, Environmental Studies, Limnology, Field Biology, and Conservation Biology.
In Shik Lee
In Shik Lee created the Green Energy Technology Program through TC3.biz, the workforce development and training arm of Tompkins Cortland Community College. She is the design partner at LeeMer Design & Construction, a design/build firm based in Freeville, NY, and teaches Design, Drawing, and Painting at TC3. In Shik serves on the board of Sustainable Tompkins.
Barbara Lifton represents the 125th Assembly District of New York, which includes all of Tompkins County, the City of Cortland and the towns of Cortlandville, Virgil, Harford and Lapeer in Cortland County. Assemblywoman Lifton was first elected in 2002 and is now starting her sixth term. As a former teacher, Barbara makes education a priority, and continues to push for reform of our PreK-12 schools and fight for state support for all college students, especially on SUNY campuses. She has worked on other issues of importance to women and families, including daycare, healthcare, and the licensing of midwives. Since 2008, she has devoted significant time to legislation and advocacy dealing with the issue of high volume hydrofracking. Barbara has authored eleven bills related to hydrofracking, filed amicus briefs in the Dryden Home Rule case, testified and submitted comments to the DEC and EPA, participated in several Assembly hearings on hydrofracking, authored numerous legislative sign-on letters, and spoken at meetings, rallies and to the media. She was a leader in the effort to make sure New York had the best, most secure, accurate and reliable voting machines possible after the federal government passed the Help America Vote Act. After the state passed its law in 2005, the Speaker appointed her to be his representative to the Citizens’ Election Modernization Advisory Committee, a bipartisan committee to make recommendations to the State Board of Elections as New York worked to implement the new law. She serves on five standing committees in the Assembly – Agriculture, Election Law, Environmental Conservation, Higher Education and Mental Health, served in 2009 as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, and in 2011 was designated as Chair of the Assembly Majority Steering Committee.
Paul Mazzarella has worked in the planning and community development fields for over 30 years, with experience that spans a broad spectrum of the not-for-profit and government sectors. He is currently the Executive Director of Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, a community development corporation engaged in lending, real estate development, and property management. Paul has also served as the Deputy Director of Planning and Development for the City of Ithaca, NY; and Planning Director for the Town of Amherst, MA. He is also a Visiting Senior Lecturer at Cornell University. He has a B.A from Duke University, a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and completed an executive leadership program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Ed Marx has served as Tompkins County Commissioner of Planning since 2002. He directs the County Planning Department and oversees implementation of the County Comprehensive Plan including development of strategic initiatives focused on Housing, Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Conservation and Sustainable Development. He leads efforts within Tompkins County government to achieve organizational sustainability as well as county programs aimed at long-term community sustainability. Before joining Tompkins County government, Ed was Director of Planning and Community Development for Oswego County for eleven years. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has been a frequent speaker at both regional and national planning conferences regarding comprehensive planning, sustainability and energy issues. Ed holds a Masters degree in Planning and Community Development from the University of Colorado and a B.S. in Natural Resource Economics from Cornell University.
Gay Nicholson has led Sustainable Tompkins since 2004 in designing and implementing an integrated program to advance the creation of a more sustainable regional community. Gay emphasizes a systems approach to working with partners to build the infrastructure and social capacity for more sustainable ways of living and working. Gay participates in a number of local partnerships related to energy and climate, local investing, equity as an economic driver, and sustainable enterprise. In 1990, Gay left a career in sustainable agriculture to work in environmental advocacy and education with Cornell’s Program on Ethics and Public Life, and as executive director of the Finger Lakes Land Trust before leading the creation of Sustainable Tompkins. She has been an active volunteer in numerous community and environmental organizations, providing leadership from the local to the national level. Her B.S. in Environmental Science is from University of Virginia, and her M.S. and Ph.D. are in horticulture from Cornell University.
Miranda Phillips received her B.A. from Cornell in 1997 and her Master’s in Jewish Education from Hebrew College (Boston) in 2000, with a focus on environmental issues. Returning to Ithaca with her husband in 2006, she has remained interested in the overlap between sustainability and congregational life. This interest has since broadened to include mindfulness practice in a Jewish context, particularly as a support to thoughtful social activism, and Miranda is now training to teach Jewish mindfulness practice. She has also enjoyed studying permaculture design at the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute, and continues to redesign her house and garden with these principles in mind. Miranda lives with her husband, Bobby, and children, Julie and Will, in the Fall Creek neighborhood of Ithaca.
Dan Ramer has been a wastewater treatment plant operator since 1988. He started his career there as a trainee, worked for Onondaga County for four years as a sanitary engineer in their source control/industrial pretreatment program, spent 14 years at the City of Oneida as a sanitary engineer in charge of the plant and collection system including a reclaimed water system for the Turning Stone Casino golf courses, and four years as the Chief Operator of the Ithaca Area WWTF. Dan holds a BS in Forest Biology from SUNY ESF and has 70 graduate credits from Cornell studying thermophilic methanogens.
Bridget Reagan has more than 13 years of technical commercial sales experience with various types of engineered products including HVAC systems and Vibration Isolation. Her most recent work with Solar Automation Systems for building interiors led her to the photovoltaic industry with Solar Liberty. Bridget prides herself on establishing solid relationships with her customers and works closely with them through the entire solar installation process. She has a B.S. in Engineering and Management from Clarkson University, and is a member of the Society of Women Engineers.
Robert Ross is the Associate Director for Outreach at the Paleontological Research Institution, its Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center. PRI offers Earth system education to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and in particular offers climate change education in wide variety of exhibitions, presentations, and written resources. In addition to overseeing the outreach program at PRI since 1997, Ross has participated in various national initiatives to improve Earth science education, such as development of the national Earth Science Literacy Principles, and he teaches classes at Cornell University and Ithaca College. He is co-author of the book Climate Change — Past, Present, and Future. Ross received his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University, did a post-doctoral fellowship in paleoclimatology at the University of Kiel (Germany), and was on the Faculty of Sciences at Shizuoka University (Japan) before arriving in Ithaca.
Maribeth Rubenstein received her BS in Environmental Science from SUNY Oneonta and an MS in Sustainable Development from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her independent research was focused on renewable energy policy, particularly the impact of coalitions upon New York State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). She is a volunteer for Sustainable Tompkins and serves as an at-large member of the Governance Committee at Greenstar Food Cooperative. She is interested in exploring opportunities for increasing sustainability in local food and energy systems and is very happy to be a contributor to the Climate Smart & Climate Ready conference.
Elan Shapiro is adjunct faculty in Environmental Studies at IC and a community educator, facilitator, and advocate. He moved to Ithaca and to EcoVillage at Ithaca at 1996, served as Education Director there, and helped coordinate the Ithaca College/Ecovillage Partnership for Sustainability Education, and, more recently, the Community Partnership component of the Committed to Change initiative. His courses focus on ways that social and ecological exploitation must and can be addressed and undone – together. Half of each course engages student teams in the community on projects with dedicated guides. He co-founded Sustainable Tompkins, established the Neighborhood Mini-Grant program, supports a variety of community garden and food justice initiatives, and co-facilitates Talking Circles on Race and Racism. His work has recently come to fruition in a broad-based coalition, Building Bridges, dedicated to creating a just, thriving, and ecologically sound economy in our region, including the elimination of structural racism and poverty.
Crista Shopis, LEED AP, is the President of Synairco, an emerging cleantech company aiming to manufacture ultra-efficient air conditioners. Synairco has developed a new air conditioning cycle and product that uses one-third of the energy of a typical air conditioner, uses no chemical refrigerants, and has only two motorized parts – resulting in longer product life and less maintenance. Crista is also a Senior Engineer at Taitem Engineering. While at Taitem she led the team that built the first prototype of this new innovation in air conditioning. While a member of the Peace Corps in Paraguay, Crista designed and managed construction of running water systems. In May 2009, Crista received national recognition for her work from Consulting Specifying Engineer Magazine as one of their “40 Under 40? outstanding young engineers. She has a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University.
Joe Sliker was offered the opportunity in 2010 to lead one of New York’s premier solar installers, Renovus Energy. Joe has implemented many exciting and progressive changes to the company, and has pushed relentlessly to help Renovus reach its full potential while still maintaining the quality, customer service, and attention to detail that has allowed Renovus to thrive for over a decade. Joe’s leadership and attention to detail have led Renovus to experience rapid growth, rising standards of quality and higher client approval ratings than ever before. Joe couldn’t be more pleased with the success Renovus has realized in the two years under his leadership, and he is poised to ensure that Renovus continues to thrive by providing the absolute best in renewable energy.
Linda Smith has worked for Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton since 2004 and is currently her Chief of Staff. Prior to coming to work for Assemblywoman Lifton, Linda worked as an occupational health and safety trainer for the local non-profit Midstate Education and Service Foundation (MESF) and the Central New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (CNYCOSH). She was an active member of Midstate Central Labor Council for 20 years, including serving as president. Linda also worked for Pall Corp. in Cortland for 13 years, where she was a line operator, machine set-up operator, polisher and CNC machine operator, as well as a leader in the UAW, the union that represents production workers at the plant. Linda lives outside Marathon on 50 acres with her husband. In addition to raising their own pork, they have a large garden and preserve food from it, as well as other locally grown produce. She graduated from SUNY Cortland with a degree in Chemistry.
Sox Sperry is the primary curriculum writer for Project Look Sharp at Ithaca College. He is the author of Media Constructions of Sustainability: Food, Water and Agriculture and Media Constructions of Sustainability: Finger Lakes. His 40 years of teaching practice and activist organizing have concentrated on ways to engage people in action and reflection around issues related to peace and social justice. After graduating from Hampshire College Sox began his career as a teacher and curriculum designer in 1974 working at the Learning Center parent-teacher cooperative in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Between 1984 and 2007 he worked at the Center For Nonviolence in Fort Wayne teaching nonviolence, developing curriculum and training trainers for a batterer’s intervention program. While in Fort Wayne he also taught peace studies and developed curriculum for the Three Rivers Jenbe Ensemble.
Katie Stoner works for the Park Foundation in Ithaca, NY, leading its local sustainability grantmaking program to advance energy, climate, local food, smart growth, and education goals. Previously, she served as the Sustainability Planner for the Towns of Ithaca and Dryden, NY leading greenhouse gas emissions reduction initiatives and community sustainability efforts for both local governments and, in partnership with other key local organizations and municipalities. In her work with the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, a multi-sector coalition of leaders working to achieve energy and climate goals, Katie helped move forward action-oriented collaborative projects. She was one of the founding organizers of the Get Your GreenBack campaign, a community-wide initiative aimed at engaging all people in Tompkins County to save money and energy, and to create a diverse and inclusive local movement. Katie has also served on the boards of the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, and of EcoVillage at Ithaca.
Frost Travis has led the charge to cut energy consumption and emissions across the company’s property portfolio as President of Travis Hyde Properties. Frost graduated from Cornell’s MPS in Real Estate Program with a focus on Sustainable Development and subsequently spent several years working for Urban American Housing in the New York City area. He came back to Ithaca to join the locally-owned, family company his father began in 1977 as Ithaca Rentals & Renovations.
Mary Jane Uttech
Mary Jane Uttech – better known as “MJ” – is Deputy Public Health Director for Cortland County. She is a graduate of Cornell University, a Registered Nurse with two Masters Degrees, and a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel – with 22 years of active duty service, including several at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She was instrumental in developing Kendal at Ithaca - serving as its first health care administrator.She is a recipient of the Alice A. Walker Award for her extensive community service – in areas ranging from helping at risk youth, to protecting the environment, to emergency preparedness and involvement in her church. MJ is a wife and mother of one adult daughter.
Mark Watson manages the Environmental Research and Energy Resources programs at NYSERDA. These programs support research to better understand the environmental impacts of energy production and use, and develop and demonstrate energy-efficient technologies associated with waste management, pollution control, and controlled environment agriculture. Mark was co-chair of the Climate Adaptation Technical Work Group for New York’s State’s Climate Action Council, and served on the Leadership Team for the NYSERDA report, “Responding to Climate Change in New York State: The ClimAID Integrated Assessment for Effective Climate Change Adaptation”. He served on the Steering Committee of Northeast Forests 2100 – a collaboration of scientists and government staff conducting a synthesis of climate change impacts to forests of the Northeast, and the Steering Committee of the New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Council. Mark received his bachelor’s degree in Forest Biology at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse.
Marguerite Wells is the Project Manager for Black Oak Wind Farm, a 7-turbine, 12.6 MW community-owned wind farm under development in Tompkins County, NY. She has been involved with the project for 6 years. Her other career is the co-owner of Motherplants, a nursery specializing in the plants and soils for green roofs. She got her B.S from Cornell, and her Masters in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, UK, in 2001.
David W. Wolfe
Dr. David W. Wolfe is Professor of Plant and Soil Ecology in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University, and a leading authority on climate change impacts on crops, soils, and ecosystems. He serves as co-chair of Cornell’s Climate Change Program Work Team and chairs the Atkinson Center’s Climate Change Focus Group. He currently leads a national USDA-funded project focused on new tools for farm management of carbon, nitrogen, and greenhouse gases. He is teaching a new course this spring, entitled, “Climate Change and the Future of Food”. He has co-authored past and current national impact assessments sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and was lead author of both the ecosystems and agriculture chapters of the 2011 “ClimAID” report, which focuses on vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies for New York. For more information: www.hort.cornell.edu/wolfe; and www.climatechange.cornell.edu
Jim Zecca has been the Director of Madison County Dept. of Solid Waste and Sanitation since 1988. He manages a 200 ton/day landfill, three rural transfer stations, green waste compost sites, and a scrap metal recycling yard. Jim also manages the County Curbside Recycling Program in cooperation with the Madison/Cortland A.R.C., which operates the Recycling Center through contract with the County. He has been active in the field of solid waste/ recycling management for over 25 years in both paid and appointed positions. Jim serves on the City of Utica Common Council. His A.A.S. degree was from S.U.N.Y. Ag and Tech College at Cobleskill.