Green Initiatives Conference and Expo
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Speaker Faculty at the 2012 Green Initiatives Conference

Headline Speaker

Robert F. Kennedy Jr
Visionary Environmental Business Leader & Advocate

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine's “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate, lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group's achievement helped spawn more than 160 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe. In 2009, he was named one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Agents of Change.”

Kennedy was also featured in the acclaimed environmental documentary The Last Mountain, the Sundance 2011 official selection. The film examines the struggle to save Coal River Mountain in Coal River Valley, West Virginia — the last mountain in the area untouched by the mining practice of mountain top removal. Kennedy is a professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law and serves as co-director of the school’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. He also serves as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, president-at-large of the Waterkeeper Alliance, is a partner on the CleanTech investment team of Silicon Valley’s VantagePoint Capital Ventures, is the environmental advisor to Napo Pharmaceuticals, and serves on the board of directors for Westinghouse Solar. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant district attorney in New York City. He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He also helped lead the fight to turn back the anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress. He has also worked on environmental issues across the Americas, and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands.

Among his published books are the New York Times best-seller Crimes Against Nature (2004); The Riverkeepers (1997); and Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr: A Biography (1977). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside magazine, the Village Voice, and many other publications. Kennedy’s award-winning articles have also been included in anthologies of America’s best crime writing, best political writing and best science writing. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation, he attended Pace University School of Law, where he earned a master’s degree in environmental law.

Karen D Cochran
LEED AP, CFM, CCIM, RPA, FMA, Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Lead Sustainability
Pacific Gas and Electric Company

With over 20 years of corporate real estate experience, Karen combines her project management, building management, space planning and strategy skills together to address facility management issues from all perspectives.. She is currently acting as Sustainability Manager for Pacific Gas and Electric with over 6 million square feet including 200 sites across Northern and Central California. She has been an active member of IFMA for many years; on the board of the San Francisco chapter for 5 years. She is President of IFMA SF, a position she has held since July 2010.

Karen has a degree in architecture from Rice University, and holds several professional designations including CFM, LEED AP, CCIM, RPA and FMA. Karen is also an accomplished, award winning surfer. Corporate Bio  Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California.

Erin Meezan
Vice President,Sustainability
Interface, Inc.

As Vice President of Sustainability for Interface, Erin ensures that Interface’s aggressive Mission Zero goals are met.  She leads a team that provides technical assistance and support to the company’s global business units to achieve the company’s aggressive sustainability vision.  She helps the company address sustainability at all levels, including in operations and management, with employees and customers, and in policy forums. 

Erin also has an external role working with NGOs as an advisor on Boards and steering committees to develop standards and market guidance to drive sustainable business. Because of Interface’s mission to engage others, she is a frequent lecturer on sustainable business to senior management teams, Universities and the growing green consumer sector.  She has spoken on sustainable business at a variety of conferences and forums including: Bioneers, Globe, Greenbuild, SXSW, Businesses for Social Responsibility and many others. Erin is a magna cum laude graduate of the Vermont Law School, where she earned her Masters Degree in Studies in Environmental Law and her Juris Doctor degree.

Interface Bio Since its founding in 1973, Interface has grown into a billion-dollar corporation, named by Fortune as one of the “Most Admired Companies in America” and the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” It has diversified and globalized its businesses, with sales in 110 countries and manufacturing facilities on four continents and is now the world’s leading producer of soft-surfaced modular floor coverings. In 1994, Interface Founder Ray Anderson challenged us to pursue a bold new vision "Be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: people, process, product, place and profits - and in doing so, become restorative through the power of influence" The Interface journey toward sustainability has been a momentous shift in the way we operate our business and see the world.

John McDonnell
Chief Operating Officer
Patron Spirits International A.G.

John McDonnell has enjoyed a career filled with opportunities to launch and market successful global spirits brands. He began at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, where he spent years in domestic and international sales and marketing.

John distinguished himself at Seagram with his strategic use of marketing instead of cost-cutting to increase revenue, despite difficult times. As Country Manager for Taiwan, his leadership turned the business around in just three years ... from a $13 million loss to a $21 million profit.

He joined Patrón and was appointed to his current position in January, 2005. In this role, he monitors and manages the company’s day-to-day activities, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. John has helped the company enjoy remarkable growth -- from 340,000 cases in 2005 to a global portfolio of 2.2 million cases in 2011. He helped close the company’s acquisition of ultrapremium Ultimat vodka and has led the company’s international and duty-free expansion into over 130 countries and islands worldwide.

John’s many responsibilities include overseeing Patrón’s manufacturing, sales, and marketing, including online social media. He is also actively involved with the company’s leadership in environmental responsibility. Patrón installed the first reverse osmosis water treatment plant in the history of tequila in Mexico, has become one of the largest consumers of recycled glass in that country, and has been certified for years with ISO 14001 for environmental performance in reducing waste, cleaning the air, and limiting noise.

In February 2012, John was elected Chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the national trade association representing America’s leading distillers. He is also co-owner of an entrepreneurial venture, now in its second decade: The Action Group USA, a beverage sales and marketing consulting firm.

On behalf of Patrón, John is a strong supporter of numerous philanthropic and charitable organizations. The company works to make a real difference on issues ranging from children’s health, to hunger and clean water, to the rebuilding of New Orleans. In addition, he contributes considerable time and energy to civic and educational causes in his native Boston.

Jennifer R. Dolin
Manager of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs

Jennifer Dolin has been with OSRAM SYLVANIA since 2004, where she is the manager of sustainability and environmental affairs. She oversees environmental sustainability issues including lamp and ballast recycling, greenhouse gas emissions reporting, the company's Green Team, and OSRAM SYLVANIA’s Global Care corporate responsibility initiatives.  With over 20 years of experience developing public and private environmental policy, her areas of expertise include lamp recycling programs, green building methods and solutions to combat climate change. Ms. Dolin spent 10 years with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, first as an early member of the ENERGY STAR® labeling team and then as the creator and manager of the SmartWay program for the Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ). 

Ms. Dolin holds a masters degree from Tufts University in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Professionally, Ms. Dolin is a LEED® Accredited Professional, an original member of the BSR/ASHRAE/IESNA/USGBC Green Buildings Standards Project Committee 189, a member of the California AB1109 Lighting Task Force, chair of the Greenbuild Exhibitor Advisory Working Group, a founding board member of the North Shore Transportation Management Association, a member of the TFM Green Building Advisory Board, and a member of the UL Environment 106 standard committee for luminaires. In 2011, Ms. Dolin was a speaker at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo discussing “The Truth About LEDs.”

Corporate Bio

OSRAM SYLVANIA is a leader in lighting solutions and services, specializing in innovative design and energy saving technology. The company sells products for homes, businesses and vehicles primarily under the SYLVANIA brand name, and also under the OSRAM brand. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Marty Metro
Founder & CEO

Marty Metro is the Founder & CEO of (UCB), a venture-funded reuse company tackling the gratuitous $50 billion cardboard industry in the US, where most boxes are used once, then recycled or simply thrown away. A former “Big 6” consultant with an MBA, Metro has become a prolific eco-entrepreneur, successfully balancing the need for financial returns with his passion for environmental and social responsibility.

Metro was far from an overnight success. In 2002, he initially launched a retail model to serve the Los Angeles area, with dreams of a national franchise. This first attempt was undercapitalized and riddled with logistical challenges. In 2005, Metro was forced to cease operations and absorb over $300,000 of personal debt. Devastated but not discouraged, Metro took a “day job” as an ERP consultant and devoted his nights and weekends to pursuing his dream. Within a year, Metro raised venture capital, rewrote the business plan and launched a more scalable, tech-centric model, known today as UCB. Beginning with a pilot distribution center in Los Angeles, Metro expanded UCB across the entire country.

Today, UCB works with some of the largest manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the country. They “rescue” quality used boxes from within a supply chain, and often pays more than the recycling rate. UCB then inspects, sorts and inventories those very same boxes to be resold as a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to new. Most boxes are sold by the truckload to other large companies and many are used to make UCB’s eco-friendly moving kits, for consumers.

Gary Oppenheimer

Executive Director Gary Oppenheimer, a CNN Hero, TEDx speaker, Master Gardener, Rutgers Environmental Steward, Huffington Post's "Greatest Person of the Day", Huffington Post's 2011 Game Changer, winner of the Russell Berrie Foundation's "Making A Difference" award, winner of the Glynwood 2011 "Wave of the Future" award, Echoing Green semifinalist and founder of the Campaign now makes his home in the mountains of northern New Jersey after having lived on a boat on the Hudson River in Manhattan since 1978.

After graduating from college with a degree in psychology, he promptly lost all interest in the field and instead became one of the early geeks in the personal computing arena (he soldered a computer together in 1976 - he still has it but is now afraid to now power it up) and designed a prototype email program for a mini-computer in 1977 while working for a New York bank. Although it never went any further, he was "hooked" on computers. In 1985, MCI asked Gary to help them sell and support the then fledging MCI Mail electronic mail service. Within a few years, he became their largest global sales agent (including producing what is believe to be the first "ezine" - published from 1985 to 1996) - while working from a home office located on the boat. In the early 2000's after buying a home deep in the woods in a rural northern New Jersey and planting an orchard and garden, Gary realized he actually needed to learn how to grow things and became a Master Gardener. A year later, he completed the Rutgers Environmental Stewards program.

Over the next several years, he expanded his home gardens, became a lecturer, an environmental commissioner in his town, advocated for region wide watershed preservation laws and became the director of a community garden. Aware of the increasing hunger problem in America and, in 2009, after seeing the amount of wasted food in the community garden as well as other gardens around the country, he created the Campaign - a nationwide effort to enable America's 40+ million home gardeners who grow food to be able to easily find a local food pantry eager for their excess garden bounty. Backed by the USDA, Google Inc. the National Gardening Association, the National Council of Churches and many faith and service organizations, is now helping 5,091 food pantries be accessible to local gardeners and other donors.

Gary has presented to USDA People's Garden Initiative Conference in Washington DC, was interviewed live by CNN anchor Ali Velshi after being introduced on Larry King Live as a CNN Hero, has spoken at Wharton's Social Impact Conference and at food bank conferences, did a webinar for 100,000 invited USDA employees on gardening and hunger, has twice lectured at the Bergen LEADS program and has been interviewed numerous time by both print and electronic (local and network) media outlets nationwide., working closely with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to improve fresh food access at thousands of food pantries nationwide, was noted by Michelle Obama in a speech and had the opportunity to meet the President and First Lady at the White House.He enjoys long distance cycling, boating, hiking, farming (chickens for eggs and vegetables), attacking challenges of all sorts, pondering unusual questions and discussing political/social issues at a neighborhood tavern with people who generally don't agree with him. Gary is a firm believer in the notion that to do the impossible, you must first believe it isn't. Gary is the proud father of a University of Connecticut Honors Senior (also a nationally ranked bicycle racer) and is married to a remarkable woman who has put up with him all these years.

Emily Davis
Sustainability Program Manager
Exel/DHL Supply Chain America

Emily Davis is Sustainability Program Manager for Exel/DHL Supply Chain Americas where she manages carbon reduction and waste management initiatives for their third party logistics across the US, Canada and Latin America.  Formerly, she worked in the Office of Sustainability as Manager, Product Stewardship, Manager Packaging Sustainability and as Forest Conservation Associate for International Paper Company, at the company’s global corporate headquarters in Memphis, TN. She holds an MBA in environmental management from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, is an ASCP certified medical technologist, and received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and Art History from the University Of Notre Dame. Prior to work at International Paper she was a medical technologist at Denver Veterans Administration Hospital, Chicago’s Northwestern Hospital, and Nashville’s St. Thomas Medical Center.

Corporate Bio

Exel is the North American leader in contract logistics, providing customer-focused solutions to a wide range of industries including automotive, consumer, retail, engineering and manufacturing, life sciences and healthcare, technology, energy and chemicals. Exel’s innovative supply chain solutions, skilled people and regional coverage bring together all aspects of contract logistics in addition to a wide range of integrated, value-added and specialist services. Exel is a wholly owned entity of Deutsche Post DHL, the world’s leading logistics group. For more information, visit

Cynthia Curtis
Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer
CA Technologies

As vice president and chief sustainability officer, Cynthia oversees the CA Technologies Office of Sustainability and is responsible for global sustainability strategy and initiatives for the company. Cynthia also meets with customers looking to use IT management solutions to further their sustainability efforts.

Since joining CA Technologies in 2010, Cynthia has established a track record with measurable results for the company's sustainability program. She has extended the scope of the company’s sustainability initiatives, and established a cross-functional advisory board and program management office.

In addition, she has helped enhance the environmental performance of CA Technologies operations by working with internal teams to further leverage the use of the company’s energy, carbon and sustainability management solution, CA ecoSoftware. Prior to joining CA Technologies, Cynthia was chief marketing officer at Utimaco Safeware. Previously, she was senior director of marketing for EMC Global Services. Cynthia also has held positions in the public and private sectors, including vice president of global marketing for Unisys Corporation’s network and desktop services division, and director for the United Services Organization (USO) in Germany.

Earlier in her career, Cynthia served as a government liaison for Rogers & Wells in Washington, D.C.; and a legislative correspondent for former Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr. Cynthia earned a master of business administration degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a bachelor of arts degree from Boston College. She speaks German and lives in a LEED-certified home in Massachusetts.

Daniel Blackman
Public and Intergovermental Affairs Specialist
Georgia Planet

Daniel Blackman serves as a Public and Intergovernmental Affairs specialist, and has consulted entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Green Building Council, National Wildlife Federation, Georgia Conservancy, City of Atlanta, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. In 2006, his passion for energy and the environment was fueled when he was appointed by the Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation to serve on an Environmental Policy Commission co-sponsored by an organization representing members of the United States Congress to address renewable energy and public health issues in disadvantaged communities throughout America.

Additionally, Mr. Blackman has 10 of experience serving as a cause-marketing consultant. Through activism, impartation, and leadership Daniel Blackman uses his influence to bring together people diverse in culture and generation with the hope of inspiring action, education, and true change through social responsibility.

Mr. Blackman's entrepreneurial background has afforded him the opportunity to serve in various capacities with some of the most notable brands including the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Women's Nationa Basketball Association, Walt Disney World, Radio One, Sony Music Entertainment, J Records, Essence Magazine, Usher's New Look Foundation, and working directly with high-profile athletes and entertainers; which has given him an innovative approach to leadership development and coalition building. Daniel Blackman serves as a Public and Intergovernmental Affairs specialist, and has consulted entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Green Building Council, National Wildlife Federation, Georgia Conservancy, City of Atlanta, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

In 2006, his passion for energy and the environment was fueled when he was appointed by the Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation to serve on an Environmental Policy Commission co-sponsored by an organization representing members of the United States Congress to address renewable energy and public health issues in disadvantaged communities throughout America.

Additionally, Mr. Blackman has 10 of experience serving as a cause-marketing consultant. Through activism, impartation, and leadership Daniel Blackman uses his influence to bring together people diverse in culture and generation with the hope of inspiring action, education, and true change through social responsibility. Mr. Blackman's entrepreneurial background has afforded him the opportunity to serve in various capacities with some of the most notable brands including the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Women's National Basketball Association, Walt Disney World, Radio One, Sony Music Entertainment, J Records, Essence Magazine, Usher's New Look Foundation, and working directly with high-profile athletes and entertainers; which has given him an innovative approach to leadership development and coalition building.

Gretchen Digby
Global Education Initiatives Leader
Ingersoll Rand

As the global education initiatives leader, Gretchen Digby focuses on establishing and leading a world-class internal and external energy efficiency and sustainability training curriculum. She creates and leverages Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability affiliations with universities, other companies, NGOs, thought leaders and Ingersoll Rand University to co-develop and deploy dynamic learning opportunities. Her efforts include management of a resource bank of speakers and materials, mission-related white papers and other educational tools for a variety of audiences. Gretchen joined Ingersoll Rand in 2001 as Manager, Safety and Health Engineering and was most recently Director of Safety for enterprise environmental, health and safety. Prior roles included Senior EHS Engineer at Capsule Environmental Engineering and Engineering Services Manager at Milliken & Company. Gretchen holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Dave Campbell
Vice President - Safety, Security and Environmental (SS & E)
American Airlines

David L. Campbell joined American Airlines as Vice President – Safety, Security and Environmental (SS&E) in December 2009. Campbell's responsibilities include the development and refinement of Safety, Security & Environmental Management Systems as well as the regulatory relationships with the FAA, TSA, NTSB, EPA, OSHA and other agencies such as IATA, ICAO and A4A.

Prior to this appointment, Campbell was Senior Vice President of Technical Operations for American Eagle Airlines, where he was responsible for overseeing the Flight Department, System Operation Control (SOC) and the Maintenance and Engineering departments.

Campbell joined American in 1988 as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician in Tulsa, Okla. After a promotion to Supervisor in 1989, he worked in production at both the Tulsa and Alliance bases before shifting to Inspection Supervisory work at Alliance. In 1992, he was named Manager – Quality Assurance at Alliance and later performed that function in Tulsa until being named the Director – Quality Assurance in 1996. Prior to his appointment at AFW and MCI, Campbell served as the Managing Director – Quality Assurance at the Tulsa maintenance base. In 1998, Campbell was appointed as the Vice President – Base Maintenance for Alliance (AFW) and Kansas City (MCI) where he was responsible for all operations at both bases.

Campbell is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force where he served as an Aircraft Mechanic for four years. Currently, Campbell serves on the Board of Directors for the American Airlines Federal Credit Union, Fort Worth Police Officer Award Foundation Advisory Board, and the North Texas Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity Advisory Board. He is also an avid supporter of the C.R.P. Future Pilots Flight School in Dallas, which helps train at-risk high school students to become certified pilots and mechanics.

A native of Sardis, Miss., Campbell is a 1988 graduate of Louisiana Tech University and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Corporate Bio

American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,500 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website,®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 150 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. American Airlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection,, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.

Lauren P. Alterman
Vice President of Health, Safety, and Environment
Saint-Gobain Corporation

Lauren P. Alterman is Vice President of Health, Safety, and Environment for Saint-Gobain Corporation, the world's largest building materials company. For the past three and a half years, she has been responsible for environment, health, and safety matters, for more than 175 manufacturing facilities and 155 distribution locations in North America.

In this capacity, her chief responsibility is to manage all legal issues and aspects of compliance related to EHS. Among her responsibilities, she manages 45 Superfund sites and private party cleanups. She reviews new technology to control emissions from the company's facilities. Alterman negotiates and resolves NOVs and NONs for environmental issues, including FIFRA, TSCA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, RCRA as well as federal and state issued OSHA citations.

Alterman serves as a company representative to various industry groups including, Silica Panel, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, Glass Packaging Institute and Glass Manufacturing Industry Council. She is also a member of the “Green Team,” in which she handles product related sustainable development and green house gas issues.

She assists in the development of EHS policies for North America and interfaces with international EHS managers to share best practices and create streamlined approach to managing EHS.

She was promoted to Vice President of EHS after serving as Associate General Counsel at Saint-Gobain Corporation for 15 years. Prior to joining Saint-Gobain, Alterman worked for Archer & Greiner, P.C., where she actively participated in all phases of litigation while representing numerous corporations and individuals.

Ms. Alterman received her B.A. from Mount Union College and her J.D. from Capital University Law School.

Corporate Bio

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 265 locations in North America and approximately 19,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $7.7 billion in 2011.

Saint-Gobain’s family of companies in North America includes CertainTeed Corporation, which offers the most comprehensive portfolio of interior and exterior building products in North America, as well as Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Saint-Gobain ADFORS (previously known as Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics), Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America, Saint-Gobain Glass, Saint-Gobain Solar and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

Michelle Wittmann
Director, Sustainable Solutions

As the founder and director of HDR Sustainable Design Services, Michaella Wittmann has been a leader in the sustainability and green building industry for more than sixteen years. As a strong proponent of matching sustainable strategies to the goals and characteristics of each project, she has worked closely with a multitude of clients to balance environmental, economic, and social equity goals. Her aptitude for leadership, innovation, and integration have led clients in all industry sectors to the successful completion of projects that have benefits such as reduced environmental impact, increased productivity, improved quality and reduced operations and maintenance expenditures. Michaella has worked on over 20 LEED projects, written sustainable guidelines for government agencies and organizations, trained over 3000 people in various aspects of sustainability, and  integrated sustainability into multi-million dollar infrastructure projects.

Dr. Khaleed Bekka
Director of Economics and Finance Services,

Dr. Bekka, HDR’s Director of Economics and Finance Services, is an applied economist with extensive experience in the assessment of private and public investments.  Dr. Bekka led several economic sustainability analysis studies in support of capital programs for federal agencies such as DOT, DHS, and DOC, as well as state and local agencies California, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Utah.  He has developed quantitative frameworks to assess and prioritize projects based on their viability and  sustainability aspects for companies such as CSX Railroad and Fedex.  Dr. Bekka has a thorough understanding of competitive price analyses, operations, logistics and economic development assessment.

Dr. Bekka published and presented several papers in transportation economics In the U.S., Canada, South America, and Europe.  Dr. Bekka received his Ph.D. and Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Delaware, and an MBA from Widener University in Pennsylvania.

Chintan Shah
Head Supply Chain
BIC (Canada)

Chintan currently heads Supply Chain operations at BIC Inc- Canada

His Career spans 19 years, leading both hard and soft supply chain initiatives across the globe. He has worked and live in Australia, Germany, India, the USA and Canada. A practical hands-on leader, Chintan has an extensive background in supply chain design, technology, integration and optimization.

Chintan's many areas of expertise include: cash-to-cash cycle, consolidating mission critical projects, lean & green Global Supply Chain and delivering Lean Supply Chain to organizations.

Chintan holds a B.eng and M.Eng in electronics and Systems Engineering complimented with an MBA in operations from University of South Australia.

Will Sagar
Executive Director
South East Recycling Development Council

Will Sagar is Executive Director with the Southeast Recycling Development Council.  SERDC’s mission is to unite industry, government, and non-government organizations to promote sustainable recycling in the Southeast.  Efforts include a specific focus upon the economic impact of the recycling industry.  He works from his home town of Brevard, North Carolina.

Will Sagar graduated from the University of North Carolina with a double major on Economics and Mathematics.  After selling the excavation business he built and operated for a decade, he was the Solid Waste Director for Transylvania County, NC for 16 years.  While there he started the recycling program, built the first lined landfill in Western North Carolina; implemented a Pay As You Throw program, which applied utility pricing to waste collecting resulting in a doubling of the recycling program; established  a permanent Household Hazardous Waste collection;  and started an electronics recycling program.  Later with Henderson County, he started electronics collection and created a county energy accounting system.

Will is the immediate Past President of the Board of Directors the Carolina Recycling Association.  The mission of the Carolina Recycling Association is to conserve resources by advancing recycling and waste reduction throughout the Carolinas.  He also chairs the Board of The Free Clinic of Transylvania County, which serves the medical needs of the uninsured.

Organizational Bio

SERDC’s mission is to unite industry, government and non-government organizations to promote sustainable recycling in the Southeast. Efforts include a specific focus upon the economic impact of the recycling industry. Visit us at or Please click on logo below to go to our website.

Rudly Raphael

Rudly Raphael, President at qSample, has more than 12 years of professional experience in the online market research industry. As president of qSample, Rudly is responsible for implementing internal system infrastructure to streamline business processes, channel communication, and drive the evolution of panel and sampling management system that will provide added value to qSample and its clients.

Rudly has designed and implemented sophisticated in-house CRM and customized research solutions. As President of qSample, he oversees all aspects of research logistical design involving quantitative methodology. Rudly attended Wentworth Institute Of Technology, majoring in electrical engineering. He's also a graduate of Harvard University.

About qSample

The most crucial phase of a research study is the acquisition of a reliable sample: one comprised of a population who satisfies the research criteria and who are likely to participate in the research planned.

qSample combines years of professional experience with the latest achievements in research and sampling technology. We provide quality sample in the form of the MicroPanel network: a community of respondents pre-screened and double-opted in for participation in a wide range of research studies (online surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping, etc). Nimble technology empowers clients to create a custom sample satisfying research criterion of any degree of specificity.

For firms that are in need of quality sample, qSample completes the circle, by providing access to a strong sample of the intended target. We cover general consumers, business to business professionals, IT Decision makers, physicians, generation Y and access to other population in various regions.

Ron Jarvis
VP Environmental Innovation & Sustainability
Home Depot

Ron Jarvis joined The Home Depot in February 1995 as a Product Merchandise Manager.

Since then he has held various positions in merchandising and operations. Those include Divisional Merchandise Manager, Environmental Global Product Manager, Merchandising Vice President, VP- Environmental Innovation and Senior Vice President of Pro Business, Tool Rental and Environmental Innovation.

Ron now leads all of The Home Depot sustainability efforts as Vice President of Environmental Innovation/Sustainability and Chairman of the Environmental Council.

Ron is a member of the Yale Forest Forum, a Board member of The Home Depot Foundation as well as an Outward Bound Board member.

A native of North Carolina, Ron holds a BA degree from North Carolina State University in Business Management/Economics.

Company Bio

The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,254 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China. In fiscal 2011, The Home Depot had sales of $70.4 billion and earnings of $3.9 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard

Valerie Patrick
Sustainability Coordinator
Bayer Corporation and Bayer MaterialScience, LLC (BMS)

Dr. Patrick is the Sustainability coordinator for Bayer Corporation and Bayer MaterialScience, LLC (BMS). In this role she develops strategy that facilitates progress towards and tracks progress towards the focal points of Bayer’s regional North American vision on sustainable development. With 24 years of experience, Dr. Patrick has established herself as an effective leader of challenging technical initiatives and bringing valuable innovations to the business marketplace.

Most recently, Dr. Patrick led the Creative Center for Bayer MaterialScience LLC.  The Creative Center uses proven tools and a systematic approach to manage the often times, unclear front end of innovation; tracking social, economic, and technology trends and identifying potential growth areas ripe for BMS material innovations. In addition, the Creative Center currently brings value to BMS by facilitating creative process with our colleagues and customers in the quest for future business, shining a light on target-rich areas for BMS innovations and building a network based on our credibility as experienced innovators.

Dr. Patrick received her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in 1984. She went on to receive her Master of Science and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California in 1987 and 1988 respectively. She serves on the board of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), as a member of the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) and Association for Managers of Innovation (AMI).

Patrick was honored by the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh with a Women’s Leadership Award for her demonstrated leadership and excellence in the workplace and the region.

Company Bio

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,800 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2011 sales of 10.8 billion euros. Bayer MaterialScience’s 2011 sales in North America were $2.9 billion.  The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment. Visit us at

Caroline M. Fisher, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Management & Information Science
University of Missouri

Bowling Green State University, Doctor of Philosophy, 1975

MBA, University of New Orleans, 1982 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Examiner, 1999, 2000, 2002

CAROLINE M. FISHER, Ph.D. is the chair of the Department of Business and Information Technology at Missouri University of Science and Technology, formerly the University of Missouri - Rolla (UMR). She joined UMR as the chair of business administration and the associate dean of the School of Management and Information Systems in August 2005. From August 2006 to August 2007, she served as the Interim Dean of the School of Management and Information Systems. She came to UMR from Loyola University New Orleans where she taught since 1985 and held the position of Bank One/Francis C. Doyle Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the College of Business. She served as coordinator of the marketing department, directed Loyola's Six Sigma executive training program, established and ran the Master of Quality Management program from 1993 to 2002, and was the director of the MBA program from 1992 to 1994.

Dr. Fisher has taught Customer Focus and Satisfaction, Strategic Quality Management, Statistics, Statistical Process Control, Design of Experiments, Quality Function Deployment, Consumer Analysis and Research, Promotions Management, and E-commerce. She conducts research in the theory of quality management and in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Prior to starting as a professor of marketing, she ran a marketing research company. Dr. Fisher's research has been published in a variety of professional journals. She has co-authored a book on service development and improvement with Quality Press published in April 2003. She is a Baldrige National Quality Award examiner (1999, 2000, and 2002) and has served as chairman of the board of the Louisiana Quality Foundation.

Jeff Blankman
Sustainable Manufacturing Manager
McCormick & Company

Jeff is the Sustainable Manufacturing Manager for McCormick & Company, the world’s leading producer of spices and seasonings.  In this role, he establishes best practices for McCormick’s retail manufacturing and distribution facilities for energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, and other sustainability initiatives.  Prior to his current role, he worked for over 10 years in Project Engineering at McCormick, installing packaging equipment and new packaging production lines.  He has 20 years of project management experience in manufacturing.  Jeff serves on the Company’s Corporate Sustainability Committee and is a member of the Baltimore County Sustainability Network.  Jeff has both a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Maryland.

Corporate Bio

McCormick is a global leader in the manufacture, marketing and distribution of spices, herbs, seasonings, specialty foods and flavors to the entire food industry. From our first products in 1889 to the innovative spices, seasonings and flavorings we now offer, McCormick has always brought our customers and consumers the best ingredients and expertise available. Through the years, our company has grown in accordance with certain core values and beliefs. We conduct our business ethically in a manner driven by our respect for our industry, our employees, our communities where we live and work and our environment. It is a recipe for success that has served us since 1889.

Samir Menon
Head, Eco Sustainability Services, Americas

TATA Consultancy Services

Samir has set up three successful ventures including the US-based strategy consulting firm Monitor Company's India operations and a 300 person software development and research center for a UK-based startup, Agilisys.  He also ran the Global Retail Solutions group for Invensys Building Systems, a major building systems company, and developed and launched their Web-based Energy Efficient portfolio of products and services.  His last venture was as a founding partner and CEO of NatureFirst- Green Ecological Managed Services (NatureFirst – GEMS), which focused on working with companies and governments to restore the balance between nature and economics, through sustainable, strategic, resource-efficient business practices and is now a part of the Eco Sustainability Services unit of TCS.

The Eco Sustainability services unit utilizes the power of Information Technology to help organizations achieve their sustainability goals with enhanced visibility of the key ecological indicators; decision support tools and compliance management systems.  Samir heads the unit in the Americas.  He also has extensive experience working on sustainability projects in Asia.

He is also actively involved in Climate change advocacy for almost a decade with key international policy leaders and organizations like CDP, Yale University, UNEP and The Climate Group and has spoken at a number of key events.  Samir also has experience of working on public-private partnerships and helping to influence public policy decisions.   He is also a member of the CDP Technical Working Group.

Educational Background: Samir graduated from Cornell University, New York with a degree in Computer Science.

About TCS Ecological Sustainability Unit
Eco-Sustainability Services is a strategic business unit of Tata Consultancy Services. We help organizations integrate sustainability into the business strategies to drive growth and innovation, profitability and brand reputation.  We facilitate sustainability across the value chain, all the way from driving operational sustainability in the areas of energy, water, waste, and carbon, to supply chain and product-based sustainability.  With our thought leadership in this space, ability to innovate and co-create solutions, rich sustainability and industry domain expertise and an established partnership ecosystem to provide end-to-end solutions we help our customers find new opportunities and revenue streams, and thus gain a competitive edge.

About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS)  

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that delivers real results to global business, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT, BPO, infrastructure, engineering and assurance services. This is delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model™, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata group, India’s largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 243,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 42 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $10.17 billion for year ended March 31, 2012 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India.

For more information, visit us at

Ariel Ghinga
Personality Development Group, LLC

Personality Development Group prides itself as a leader in the training and development industry.  Having trained hundreds of professionals in Atlanta, PDG has all the tools necessary to cultivate growth by improving the companys bottom line through effective training programs with measurable results.  PDG believes that if you invest in making your employees happy and empower them with the tools to lead, you will notice a better working environment along with increased profit margins.  PDG offers team and corporate training courses in the areas of public speaking, leadership, and culture creation.  Personality Development Group was founded by  Ariel E Ghinga.   Ariel is originally from Romania and has resided in Atlanta, GA since 1984.

At just 17 years old,  he attended his first self-improvement seminar and spent the following decades researching on this subject and travelling to attend as many Public Speaking and Life Coaching seminars and workshops as he could. As a skilled public speaking coach, along with his training in sales and business development, Ariel is highly regarded for his ability to resolve company issues and inspire  renewed performance dynamics for corporations and companies  abroad.  What makes PDG different from other public speaking training companies is the personal development lessons that are interwoven in every session.

Ariel is a proud graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course where he was awarded the Breakthrough Award and later served as a class coach for Dale Carnegie Institute Of Atlanta.  He has also received his CC certification from Toastmasters International where he has served as VP of public relations.

He’s currently very active in giving back to the community, hosting a weekly public speaking training seminar and serving as a Gwinnett Safe Place Educator .  Along with his community events, he also offers one on one coaching, workshops, and corporate leadership training which has increased the bottom line of numerous companies in Atlanta.  Ariel’s first student was Rony Delgarde of Global Paints for Charity.  Rony is currently enjoying the spotlight and gives outstanding presentations with ease and credits “PDG as very instrumental to my success”

Ariel is currently a member of The American Society for Training and Development

Not everyone is born a natural spokesman. But everyone can become anything they set their minds to! That’s the story of Ariel Ghinga, CEO and certified Public Speaking Coach from Personality Development Group.

Hailing from Romania – the European country with the oldest and most respected personal development lore of all – in 1984 Ariel Ghinga found in Atlanta, GA, the right place to settle and invest in his fruitful career so that he could then help others achieve their unique potential and confidence by emphasizing their strengths and improving their weaknesses.

At the early age of only 17-years-old, a blessing in disguise changed his life forever. For weeks he had prepared a speech meant to be given to his Geography class. He devised the most interesting and entertaining speech that he could; he memorized every single line and mastered every topic-connector. But when his time came to speak, not a single word could come out of his mouth. He felt the very fabric of time and space crumbling down on him while his mind and body stood paralyzed in front of the whole class.

And that was the moment when Ariel Ghinga understood that not only would he make sure that he’d never feel weak and powerless again, but he wanted nobody else to experience such feeble condition.

It took him only a couple of weeks to take the first big step towards his dream –, and also having the privilege of talking with some of the most experienced and influential people in this profession.

The very same day that he envisioned and devised The Freedom Circle Method©, the once shy and powerless teenager had already become amotivating spokesman and leader, and he inevitably decided to found Personality Development Group – the perfect medium to reach straight to the lives of others through his innovative and comprehensive transformational Public Speaking programs with results that turned him into one of the most sought after Public Speaking Coaches of our time.

We believe that what makes Ariel Ghinga so special and unquestionably apt to empower others is his insatiable thirst for knowledge and the absolute commitment to his vocation– countless are the seminars and workshops that he attended, and priceless is his personal library of both ancient and contemporary self-help books where he never ceases to look for new ways to improve his own methods.

What’s PDG for me? Well, if you can imagine it as the place where crucial goals and dreams become real, then you’re still halfway there.But if you experience it for yourself, you’ll understand my boldness when I say that it’s a shortcut to power and freedom.” – Ariel Ghinga

It’s hard to believe how fast Ariel Ghinga fully understands how to help others change their lives from all possible angles after a brief informal talk! By addressing people’s hardships and giving them the tools to cut through their limiting shells, they discover a brave and glorious new world – their own lives!

Besides his Sales Training and award-winning performance that granted him the Leasing Specialist of The Year award, our CEO is a member of The American Society for Training and Development and has honorably received countless awards for his outstanding Public Speaking skills.

Ariel Ghinga is also a proud graduate of the Dale Carnegie Course and received the course’s Breakthrough Award. Given his unmatchable skillset, he currently serves as a Class Coach for the Dale Carnegie Institute ofAtlanta and received hisCC certification from Toastmasters International where he has served as VP of Public Relations.

“Both fear and excellence are but a choice. I’m here to change the life of those who decide to make the right one.” – Ariel Ghinga

Our Public Speaking Coach has already changed many lives but he’s only looking forward to receiving a call from you so that he can change yours! Call Ariel Ghinga and learn about the life you could already be living right now.

Roy Willis
Propane Education and Research Council (PERC)

Roy Willis is the founding president of the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC), a congressionally authorized commodity check-off program. Since 1998, he has led implementation on a multi-disciplinary program of research and development, safety and training, consumer education, agriculture, and engine fuel. He was named Chief Executive Officer of PERC in 2005. He was founding chairman of the Global Technology Network of the World LP Gas Association.

Roy served ten years as a senior congressional staffer and four years as an aide in the Louisiana legislature. He was senior vice president and acting president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. He was chairman of the National Energy Resources Organization and president of an advertising agency.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Roy holds degrees in communications and law. He married his college sweetheart, Margaret Serpas, in 1975. They have four children and reside in Virginia.