Green Festival Speakers
Los Angeles 2014
Speakers at Green Festival® are articulate, powerful advocates for a just and sustainable world. From authors and filmmakers to politicians, musicians and scientists, these renowned individuals inspire packed audiences with their expertise—one of the most compelling draws to Green Festival® since 2002. Our tremendous speaker line-up exemplifies why Green Festival® is the largest, most-respected event of its kind.
Responding to an environmental calling, Ron Alcalay, Ph.D., founded Vital Hemp on Earth Day, 2003, after teaching literature and film history for ten years. He began with a weekend stand on the Venice Boardwalk, then opened a shop in Santa Monica, and now serves national and international customers. Working with a local team of hempers and family-owned businesses in Los Angeles, vital hemp has grown in response to peoples' needs for high-quality, comfortable, stylish hemp clothing, made in the U.S.A. Ron still designs and manages production of the men's, women's and children's hemp styles, including hemp accessories and custom hemp promo-wear for other eco-friendly companies.
Jessica Aldridge strives to develop and orchestrate programs, events and coalitions that educate, empower and facilitate change. She plays many roles in the community including Executive Director for Burbank Green Alliance, organizer for SoCal Climate Action Coalition 350 and Tar Sands Action SoCal and Sustainability Manager for a local recycling company. Recently, she instigated and helped organize the largest climate rally in LA history resulting in 100 organizations standing in solidarity. As a Zero Waste and Resource Management Specialist, Jessica works with businesses, schools and cities to provide next-step solutions in environmental sustainability, paying special attention to program design, employee training and customer education. In April, she was awarded “Best Public Advocate for Sustainability” at the LA Sustainable Business Council, Industry Achievement Awards. In 2010, she was recognized for excellence in Environment/Energy Efficiency at the 11th Annual Women in Business Legislative Update by Senator Carol Liu and Assemblymember Anthony Portantino.
Zuri is an agent for change in social media activism for the good food movement. She is focused on the good food movement space, assisting organizations and brands with new media marketing, brand management, content creation, social strategies, tribe building, non-profit solutions and more. She runs social media campaigns for a number of campaigns and nonprofits, including Green America’s GMO Inside campaign. She is a California-raised organic farmer’s daughter with a passion for clean living and sustainable sourcing. Zuri has been a driving force behind the GMO labeling activity across the US.
Lois Arkin is the founder (1980) of the nonprofit CRSP Institute for Urban Ecovillages, a resource center for ecological cooperative communities and neighborhoods. In 1993, she co-founded the Los Angeles Eco-Village (www.laecovillage.org ) as a project of CRSP as a demonstration. Co-author/editor of two books on sustainable cities and cooperative housing, she is the former editor for the "Ecovillage Living" column in Communities Magazine. She represents the Western U.S. with the Ecovillage Network of the Americas, is on the board of the Global Village Institute. A co-founder of the Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust, and the Urban Soil-Tierra Urbana Limited Equity Housing Co-op, she lives and works in LA Eco-Village, and is passionate about reducing auto use in L.A. She is a frequent public advocate for sustainable urban living and gives public tours of the L.A. Eco-Village neighborhood.
Beauty is so much more than painting a mask on your face. There are aspects of beauty that we haven't even begun to tap into." says celebrity makeup artist Akua Auset. A soon-to-be naturopathic doctor, Akua specializes in holistic beauty. Having worked with a who's who of celebrities, she is the author of SUPERWOMEN & GODDESSES: Workin' Your Power & Magic Book One, the creator and facilitator of 9 1/2 Weeks: The METAMOORPHOSE Project, a nine-and-a-half week journey of internal and external transformation now in it’s sixth coming season. Hand-blending beauty protocols and cosmetics for her private clients. Akua inspires us to deconstruct our entire beauty paradigm. She's says "It's time for a new culture of beauty.
Karen Behnke has enjoyed a long and successful entrepreneurial career in the Healthy Lifestyles sector of business. Her consistent goal is to marry her passion for helping people enjoy healthier lifestyles with her skill at building financially successful businesses that are mission driven. With over 25 years in this sector, Karen has a real passion for bringing alternatives to people for a healthy happy lifestyle. Healthy and organic living is also part of her home life, where she and her family enjoy over 95% organic food, organic bedding and clothing. Karen’s current company and passion, Juice Beauty, is an Organic eco-chic beauty company, with a mission to lead the industry in high efficacy and authentically organic beauty products while inspiring the ultimate customer experience. Prior to Juice Beauty, Karen led the Healthy Lifestyles investment strategy for a private equity firm that was the majority shareholder of 24 Hour Fitness.
Marta Benavides, well-known individual in the sustainability and peace movement and recipient of many awards including the Bioneers Award. Her work includes social transformation through Culture of Peace, Life-Long Learning, and other processes for durable peace. A long-time delegate at the UN, representative UN Women's Sustainable Caucus and Peace and Values Caucuses. Marta is one of the '1000 Peace Women" nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005 Project. She has opened 2 centers -CULTURE IS PEACE and AHA Museum in El Salvador. Her contribution to promote the culture of peace is accomplished by teaching Global and Planetary Citizenship. During the civil war in El Salvador, she worked for on peaceful solutions by creating a humanitarian and human rights process to support those hurt by violent conflict. Marta has experienced various exiles throughout her life. She is a leader on a culture of peace, sustainability, inclusiveness, and women rights.
Gretchen Bleiler is without a doubt one of the most accomplished female snowboarders of all time. The 2006 Olympic silver-medalist has become a true pioneer in the sport, pushing the limits in women’s snowboarding half-pipe competitions with high-flying tricks.
The Grand-Prix and X-Games-winning athlete has expanded her career off the hill, as well, designing an outerwear, clothing, goggle and accessory-line for Oakley, hosting on-air spots for Yahoo Sports and other TV and multi-media programs, starring in the snowboard movie, “Stance.” She is an active spokesperson against global warming and has given climate change presentations at different high schools and colleges, lobbied on Capitol Hill and created a call to action called “The 21 Day Reusable Challenge.” She sits on the board of Protect Our Winters (POW) and Aspen Center For Environmental Studies (ACES). She also co-founded ALEX, a sustainable water bottle company with her husband.
Rev. Leon Campbell, Jr. is the Director of the Agape Youth and Family Ministry at the Agape International Spiritual Center since November of 2004. Agape has one of the largest spiritual youth communities in the country. The ministry serves over 1,000 children per month. He has developed a comprehensive youth curriculum featuring original programming encompassing self-expression, creativity, spiritual practice, sacred rituals and service projects for youth of all ages.
He established Agape’s first weeklong eCamp. This one-of-a-kind Summer Youth Camp and Festival, located at Cedar Lake Camp in Big Bear, California, features activities that highlight Empowerment, Experiential Learning, Environmental education, Enlightenment workshops, Exercise, and Entertainment. The goal of the camp is to encourage and refine our youth’s communication skills, celebrate diversity and unleash their unique gifts and talents. This camp offers youth an opportunity to commune with nature and develop positive and lasting friendships beyond our youth services.
Michelle 'Green Queen' Carroll is a bartender and a tree hugger. Combining her love of the beverage industry with her love of the planet, she founded MGQ Bartending. Bartending services for private parties and events in the greater Los Angeles area, specializing in craft and organic cocktail mixology. Also an independent wine ambassador with Boisset Wine Living at Home. Great wines utilizing organic and biodynamic winemaking practices.
Dj Cavem will perform songs off of his award winning album "The Produce Section" focusing on the subjects of Food Justice and Organic Gardening. He can also be a featured panelist, or host a panel discussion. he is also available for an interactive raw food demonstration and lecture.
Victoria Charles is a Professor, Lecturer, Sustainability Practitioner and Writer. After a career in global marketing for more than 20 years she crossed over to the greener side. Following her passion and love for education and ecologically awareness she stepped into the role of Professor at Santa Monica College. She teaches courses on sustainable business practices such as recycling and resource management, and sustainable concepts. Creator of Circle of Zero www.circleofzero.com, Victoria, advises and threads sustainable business best practices and strategies into the core of an organization. Victoria, partners with businesses and schools to help reduce their waste by 90%, and energy/water consumption. Her blogs are featured in international posts and she continues to bring ecological awareness and action through her lectures, classes, writing and consulting.
Charles Chen of is the 24 year old founder of RawYouth.org, a thriving community that focuses on healthy living, empowerment and inspiration. At such a young age, Charles has already built an extensive resume by appearing on Hulu, Yahoo!, Natural News TV, Amazon.com & More! As a trained Organic Healthy Chef, Charles is currently on a US Tour teaching health/nutrition classes at Universities, Festivals & Conferences sponsored by Whole Foods Market.
It was just awhile ago when Charles was pre-diabetic, weighed 250+ pounds eating McDonald's every single day. Charles was unmotivated, hit rock bottom and was miserable. One day, he found a informercial talking about mono meals, eating meals of just raw fruits and vegetables. Fast forward a couple years he is now 80 pounds lighter, thriving in optimal health, driven by passion to share the knowledge of health & holistic healing.
Misha D. Clive is the Green Business Network Communications & Marketing Manager at Green America.. Before joining Green America, Misha was an entrepreneur in the international music industry. She combines her years of experience in organizing for social and environmental causes with her small business background to serve the green business community. Misha is proud to be the 50th Founding Member of Hub DC, a center-in-progress for social innovation in the WDC metro area that serves as an incubator for social enterprise.
Learn more at www.GreenBusinessNetwork.org.
Personally, Alyscia was raised with a Caribbean heritage, her parents being from the island of Trinidad and Tobago. Her hometown is Corona, NY but she now resides in the Washington, DC area. Alyscia is a granddaughter, daughter, wife, mother of 3, sister, aunty, cousin and friend to many.
Professionally, an author and an accomplished photographer who has contributed to such outlets as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online and the Smithsonian Institution, Alyscia Cunningham graduated from Montgomery College with degrees in photography and web design. She has exhibited her photography throughout Washington, DC, Maryland and New Orleans, LA. Her photographs have been published in several books including The Best of Photography 2011, Beauty Around Us, Endless Journeys and Homes of Color Magazine.
Alyscia's goal for the near future is to shoot movie stills and work in commercial portraiture. Alyscia plans to publish other photography books on other subjects of femininity.
Dr. Kevin Danaher is a Co-Founder of Global Exchange, Co-Founder of FairTradeUSA, and Co-Founder and Executive Co-Producer of the Green Festivals. His 1985 PhD in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz was based on his dissertation, “The Political Economy of U.S. Policy Toward South Africa.” He is the author and/or editor of 11 books, including his latest, “The Green Festival Reader: Fresh ideas from Agents of Change”; and "Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots". Described by The New York Times as the “Paul Revere of globalization’s woes,” Dr. Kevin Danaher’s analytical expertise, sense of humor and blunt eloquence make him an exceptionally dynamic speaker.
Davidson is the Director of Standards and Certification at Green America, a national nonprofit organization with over 30 years working with consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace to create a socially just and sustainable economy. Davidson works with companies across 45 industries to get the Green Business Certification and design standards/best practices for more sustainable businesses.
Davidson served as the Senior Regional Director for Green Festivals for 7 years. She has a BA from The Evergreen State College and an MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.
Learn more at www.GreenBusinessNetwork.org.
Dorit is a Certified Living Foods Chef & was a workshop leader for a medically supervised Cleansing and Detoxification Retreat at the Fox Hollow Clinic and Spa in Kentucky. As a Certified Movement Therapist, she was the founder of the Movement Therapy Department at Canyon Ranch Spa in the Berkshires where she built a steady and loyal following which included Donna Karan and Yoko Ono. She also is a regular workshop presenter at the annual Bioneers By The Bay Conference in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and a keynote speaker for the Toronto Raw Vegan Festival in Canada. Dorit is the personal Chef and Wellness Coach to the tennis pro Serena Williams and her client list includes such luminaries such as Marla Gibbs (best known for her role on The Jeffersons), Debra Wilson (longest running cast member of MadTV & films such as AVATAR) and Andy Dick (Comedian).
Born and raised in Alabama, Clay Dillard has been moving and traveling ever since leaving home at eighteen. In addition to several stops in the United States, he has lived in India, Pakistan, and Finland, where he worked in the construction industry on projects which achieved LEED certifications. Clay currently resides in Los Angeles, where he works as a consultant specializing in owner's representation for commercial construction projects. In his free time, he enjoys being outdoors with his son, Oscar.
Dr. Gary Douglas, involved in healing for over 20 years, has helped thousands of individuals overcome negative energies and find a place of calm and balance within themselves in spite of negativity that may surround them. Dr. Gary has discovered that returning to your core self...being grounded to the earth and it's lush green energies, can help to rapidly heal numerous emotional and other conditions. As we cannot always be in nature and are often stuck in the city filled with electromagnetic charges or even negative people, Dr. Gary has found a way to harness the natural energies of nature so that you can "take nature with you" wherever you are...even when you're in the city or bombarded by negativity.
A vegan chef and healthy living educator, Leslie is the glowing face of a fresher plant-based movement that refuses to compromise style for sustainability. Walking the plant-based talk since age eight, this Southern California native has always been well ahead of the times with her meatless mindset. She currently broadcasts her farm fresh recipes and warmhearted sensibilities via LeslieDurso.com.
After establishing herself as a private chef for the NYC and Hollywood elite, Leslie emerged as a public persona, hosting cooking segments on television and online. Determined to inspire beneficial life-long eating habits for everyone, she has appeared on Food Network, Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, and written for VegNews, CNN.com, Redbook, Glamour, and more, evangelizing the benefits of a mindful lifestyle, delivered with her trademark blend of sunshiney sophistication and girl-next-door relatability. Maxim Magazine wrote: "We want to hire Leslie as our own personal chef! We'll even eat vegetables for her."
Ceo and founder of art of glo, Arasia "Alkemia" Earth is a raw food vegan chef, nutritionist, yogi, alchemist, educator, Usui reiki master, bioenergy healing master, visionary, organic gardener, deejay, wife, partner of going green living bling, and mother of five home-birthed yogi's in which she and her husband homeschool. Arasia applies the art of mind-body medicine by her mastery of healing through energy, alchemy, combined with her knowledge of plant and mineral science, while engaging her audience through her naturally entertaining and bubbly personality, music, and captivating dialect, demanding the attention of her audience. She also heads culinary wellness workshops and demonstrations, teaching food as medicine, along side her husband Ietef "Dj Cavem" Vita.
Cicely’s adoration for holistic medicine & raw foods derived from an ironic situation, as do many great things. Although unfortunate, great change often is the result of an undesired circumstance that eventually propels one forward. After battling painful chronic eczema for over a decade, Cicely was determined to discover its root cause, as well as the origin of a host of other diseases she witnessed crippling others’ lives. She has spent the last 11 years researching the etiology of numerous chronic diseases and has helped people across the nation eliminate chronic conditions! Cicely founded Tao Holistics, whose in-house formulations range from organic beauty & wellness supplements to vegan desserts. With everyone looking to stay youthful, Cicely enjoys combining her talents to to educate people on holistic living and true anti-aging!
In 2010, Ron set out to fix the problem. Outside his front door, that is. Ron planted vegetables in the curbside dirt strip next to his home. And quietly, carefully, tenderly started a revolution.“I wanted a carrot without toxic ingredients I didn’t know how to spell,” says Ron. His was an exceptionally creative, cost-effective and simple solution; however, it was also an act of spirited rebellion that led to a run-in with the authorities. The City of Los Angeles owns the “parkways,” the neglected dirt areas next to roads where Ron was planting. He was cited for gardening without a permit. This slap on the wrist did little to dissuade his green thumb. So Ron fought back. Hard. He started a petition with fellow green activists, demanding the right to garden and grow food in his neighborhood – and then, the city backed off.
Nola Force is co-founder and CFO for ERI Living Lab. With over 40 years of experience in business, she is known as an innovator, change maker and visionary in her circles. She has been an owner, General Partner, project manager, consultant, coach and advisor. Nola began in real estate marketing, added finance and management followed by syndication, development, construction and partnership/corporate management. Today she is considered a leader in her field in designing win-win situations for her clients, with a long record of successes. Now based in Santa Barbara, CA, her interests continue for learning new ideas, supporting worthwhile not-for-profit programs, sharing what she knows, traveling and advocating for sustainable building and farming methods. Whether she is helping to create a community organic garden, coaching an organization to grow, or structuring a new project, Nola loves teamwork based on integrity and kindness.
The uniqueness of Prophetik begins with the artist himself. Garner’s vivacity and his commitment to creating distinctive, sustainable, eco-friendly fashion is a reflection of his environment. Born in the Civil War town of Franklin, Tennessee, and raised on a horse farm, Garner grew with a connectedness to nature and a peaceful understanding of the world. The Prophetik label’s genesis came once Jeff made the decision to combine his love for his surroundings with his artistic desires.
Jeff Garner (born August 18th, 1978) is an American fashion designer and artist, best known for his sustainable plant dyed red carpet gowns made in TN.
Jeff Garner was inducted into the Smithsonian Museum, Renwick Gallery in July 2012 for the 40 under 40 Craft Futures Exhibition.
Ann Gentry is a visionary, pioneer and food educator. For two decades Ann has established herself as a prominent leader in the green, non-GMO food movement with her restaurants, Real Food Daily. With locations in Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Pasadena, and a fourth that opened in LAX airport December 2013, RFD is the premier organic plant-based restaurant in the Los Angeles area. Ann is the author of Vegan Family Meals, Real Food for Everyone and The Real Food Daily Cookbook. Ann can be seen on The Dish Network and Verizon Fios on the Veria channel hosting her own cooking show, Naturally Delicious. Ann is the executive chef to Vegetarian Times magazine where she contributes recipes and articles about healthy eating and lifestyle.
Vani Hari started FoodBabe.com in April 2011 to spread information about what is really in the American food supply. She teaches people how to make the right purchasing decisions at the grocery store and how to live an organic lifestyle. The success in her writing and investigative work can be seen in the way food companies react to her uncanny ability to find and expose the truth.
Impassioned by knowing how food affects health, Vani loves sharing her message on FoodBabe.com to 4 million readers across the globe. Thanks to her investigations, petitions, and the help of the Food Babe Army Vani has been able to force major companies including Kraft, Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, Subway, MillerCoors and Anhueser-Busch to change. Vani has been profiled in the New York Times, USA Today, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, Doctors Show, NBC News, and CNN.
Joan is the coordinator for Fair Trade LA – an organization dedicated to the promotion of fair trade principles and to the growth of the fair trade movement in Los Angeles. Their objectives are to: 1) educate the Los Angeles consumer about Fair Trade as an aspect of social justice; 2) to bring more fair trade products to the LA area, making Fair Trade as mainstream as possible; and to 3) engage members of the LA community with others who have a similar commitment. Special focus of FTLA now is to help cities become Fair Trade Towns. Joan recently retired from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles where she promoted programs relating to domestic anti-poverty and Fair Trade. She is an active member of the Creation Sustainability Committee of the Archdiocese, helping parishes become more environmentally sustainable.
Chef Ayinde Author of The Lusty Vegan, is a dedicated to erasing memory of bad vegan food from your minds forever! In lieu of a Men in Black style mind eraser he tackles Omnivore favorites and recreates them using only plants! Ayinde’s unique approach to all things non animal creates new taste with the same familiar textures. He pulls from 15 years of Professional chef-ery in kitchens from New York to Singapore, Seattle to Sydney plus being a life long vegan he know vegan fare and now you do too!
Mareya Ibrahim is "The Fit Foodie" - an award-winning entrepreneur, chef, author, patented inventor and the creator of eatcleaner.com, the premier lifestyle destination. Her book ""The Clean Eating Handbook"" was released in May 2013 and is touted as the 'go-to' guide for anyone looking to eat cleaner and get leaner. She was a featured chef on the Emmy-nominated cooking show Recipe Rehab and a fit lifestyle expert for eHow.com, Livestrong.com and San Diego 6 News. Her column, ""The Fit Foodie"", appears in Edible Orange County Magazine and she is a contributor to the NYTimes bestseller "The Daniel Plan."
As the founder of Grow Green Industries, a company dedicated to eco solutions for food safety, she is the co-patent holder of a range of product for commercial and consumer applications, including eatCleaner®, eatFresh® and eatSafe®.
Mareya is certified in AFAA group exercise instruction and holistic nutrition.
Richard Larson is a counselor with a background in business and education who addresses the issues of practical spirituality in today’s world. He is a frequent guest on radio talk shows nationwide, co-hosted a radio program, and produced and hosted a series of public access television shows that air across the nation.
In these difficult times, he sees great hope in this new cosmic cycle of life on planet Earth and tries to help others do the same. Larson entertains and inspires as he shares his strong convictions about the future: that we are now in a very special time of world change -- one that offers tremendous opportunities for personal growth and positive transformation in our view of life and in all aspects of society.
John Leary, the Executive Director of Trees for the Future, has been leading international environmental and agricultural programs for a decade. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, he was determined to improve the environment by planting trees. He soon learned that working at the ‘grassroots’ level meant there was no grass and he ate roots. After discovering that the health and welfare of the land is directly related to the health and welfare of people, John focused on building programs which simultaneously combat poverty and restore the environment. While at ACDI/VOCA, John co-developed their Sell More For More™ program, linking farmer organizations to markets through improved management and marketing. John has extensive field experience, working closely with farmers in Africa and Central America to increase income and manage natural resources. Having completed a masters and doctoral coursework on training design, John is developing innovations in agricultural training and extension.
Bryan is also the President of Halcyon Innovation, LLC., a web and mobile development firm based in Los Angeles. Bryan has engaged in large-scale development projects including social networks, streaming media sites and mobile application development for iOS, Android, and Blackberry platforms. His 10 years of development experience include a role as lead engineer for software giant Computer Associates at its headquarters in Long Island, NY. Bryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Southern California with a minor in Business.
Holly is a marine biologist with a degree from the University of California-- Santa Barbara and for more than fifteen years has explored the world with Jean-Michel Cousteau and his team. A member of the expedition team for all eleven hours of the PBS series, Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Adventures, Holly acts as a liaison with scientists, and is responsible for confirming the factual accuracy of Ocean Futures Society documentaries and publications. As a marine educator, she has taught thousands of children and adults about the wonders and fragility of the marine environment and the importance of protecting our water planet for future generations.
Holly has been a marine educator for almost 20 years and, with the mentoring of Jean-Michel Cousteau, she has been involved with creating Ocean Futures Society’s consistent theme: the ocean is connected to the existence and lifestyle of every human being.
In 1983, Mr. Longobart began his career at the City of El Segundo. There he worked his way up from a Mechanic to Fleet and Facility Supervisor. For the next 12 years, Mr. Longobart was directly responsible for the Fleet and Facility Division’s Hazardous Waste Program as well as the City’s AB989 Recycling Program. He implemented an automated fleet and fuel management system that streamlined the Division’s operation by using environmentally sound business practices that decreased waste and reduced costs. Due to his leadership, the City received two certifications from the State of California. One certification from the Department of Transportation for the outstanding maintenance records and vehicle repairs and another certification from the Department of Toxic Substance for excellent environmental operations. Mr. Longobart worked to receive over $11 million in grant funds to support City efforts.
Brian Mac Mahon is the founder and community Director for Pay it Forward Labs, a free organization dedicated to providing mentorship and expertise to business people who seek council and direction from those who have already walked in their shoes. The founding principle of PIFlabs is that everyone has an expertise, which is of value to the community and by paying your expertise forward you are part of the solution for global business and we all help each other grow stronger together. The crowd then rate the different mentors based on the value given. It is a true green, value based marketplace. Prior to Pay it Forward Labs Brian owned an expedia type company for workspace (Your Office Agent) and prior to that traveled globally for 15 years living and working in over 35 countries learning what makes us different and what can bring us together.
Priscilla Santos Martinez is a lover of laughter, justice, adventures, cultures, humanity, and God. She works as a victim advocate at The Salvation Army Network of Emergency Trafficking Services, where she provide comprehensive and holistic case management to survivors of human trafficking. She’s part of the core leadership team at the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force and is a board member for Fair Trade Los Angeles (FTLA). She’s passionate about fostering a spirit of empowerment in those she works with to see them reach their full potential and contribute toward a more just society.
Sarah Newell is a student at University of Southern California and organizer for United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). USAS is the nation’s largest youth-led, student labor campaign organization, with affiliated locals on over 150 campuses. USAS affiliates run both local and nationally-coordinated campaigns for economic justice in partnership with worker and community organizations. Since 1997, USAS has won precedent-setting campaigns, educated students about the growing dominance of corporations in the globalized economy, as well as the intersection of identity and social justice issues with the labor movement, and has trained tens of thousands of young activists to become skilled organizers, researchers, and campaigners in labor and social justice organizations.
"Joe Nunziata is a best selling author, professional speaker, spiritual teacher and life & business coach. His new book Karma Buster was featured in the 2012 Academy Awards and Emmy Awards gift bags.
He has been delivering his life changing message at events and seminars since 1992. His enlightening programs are a unique blend of spirituality, psychology, philosophy and the power of internal energy.
He has appeared on many television and radio programs including Good Day New York and Street Talk on Fox TV, Cablevision’s News 12, Better TV, The Braveheart Network and various radio stations across the country.
Other books include: Karma Buster, Finding Your Purpose and No More 9 to 5
Other programs include: Change Your Energy/Change Your Life, No More Mental Barriers, Connecting to Your Spirit and The 7 Keys to Transformation "
Elizabeth O’Connell has led consumer action campaigns relating to Fair Trade, labor, and corporate social responsibility at Green America since 2009. Most notably, she ran the campaign to get forced child labor out of Hershey chocolate. This three-year campaign won Hershey’s commitment to verify their entire cocoa supply chain for all products. Most recently she worked on Green America’s GMO Inside campaign to reduce the amount of GMOs in the food supply. Elizabeth spent seven years of her childhood in Hong Kong, where she first learned about the discrepancies that exist among workers around the world. She speaks introductory Mandarin and holds a bachelor’s degree from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
As a certified Natural Foods Chef and culinary instructor, Christine Oppenheim works to break down common misconceptions that vegetables are bland or boring. She is dedicated to preparing fresh, organic foods to satisfy all palates and creates alternatives for common food allergies. Christine is also trained as a holistic health coach and a certified Food for Life Instructor. She helps busy professionals to put more healthy food on the table and make small, but lasting changes so that they can eat better, be healthier, improve digestion, and reduce risk for disease and chronic illness. For more information visit www.veggiefixation.com.
Lifestyle visionary Shel Pink captured the attention of the spa industry when she founded and launched SpaRitual in 2004, a holistic beauty company that creates multi-purpose eco-friendly products and packaging—perfectly crafted for the enlightened consumer. All products feature vegan and certified organic ingredients from around the world and are naturally colored and free of synthetic dyes.
Pink also created a business-building think tank, Seeing the Future Now, which leads trend resourcing, ideation, market research and cross-functional strategies for both the Orly and SpaRitual brands.
Lauren Pizza lives the full of life of a business executive, mother, community activist, philanthropist and author. She may be living proof that a woman can"" have it all"" but the path she traveled to this proof was extraordinary and, when Ms. Pizza tell it, both hilarious and inspiring.
Ms. Pizza's memoir, Meant to Be, (Skyhorse Press 2014) is, in the words of Judith Light ""A memorable book from a striking and memorable woman. The Lauren Pizza in this books the Lauren Pizza I've met: funny, direct, spiritual, and whatever goes beyond 'joie de vivre'. She not only is funny and engaging but profound and deeply reflective.""
Ms Pizza is President of Laridan Productions http//laridanproductions.com and Laridan Publishing, and co-founder of Intermediapost. With her husband, she leads the family healthcare group, Pharmasphere LLC, with offices throughout the U.S. and Europe, while raising her children, Ariela and Danny.
Elizabeth Plourde is a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner. Her education is augmented by invaluable experience while working with cutting-edge medical research laboratories for two decades. Applying this knowledge and background, her research has been devoted to hormone interactions, toxins that interfere with their balance, and most recently to the cellular disruptions of electromagnetic radiations that impact the body’s ecosystem.
Dr. Plourde is presenting her findings at medical conferences throughout the United States to bring awareness to this growing problem of electromagnetic sensitivity (EMS). As medical doctors are working with patients who are EMF sensitive and need solutions.
Author of: EMF Freedom: Solutions for the 21st Century Pollution;
Sunscreens - Biohazard: Treat As Hazardous Waste; Hysterectomy: The Best or Worst Thing that Ever Happened to Me?; and Your Guide to Hysterectomy, Ovary Removal & Hormone Replacement
Scott is an environmental advocate and documentarian.
He was a co-founder of Identify Foundation, a non profit that focused on critically endangered species and biodiversity issues.
He created the first modern television series to chronicle the work of activists, entitled "Manifesto." It featured stories on Julia Butterfly Hill, The Pay it Forward Foundation, and Charity Water, amongst others.
Scott’s social justice work spans environmental, animal welfare, & civil rights issues, having worked on behalf of Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, NRDC, Friends of the Los Angeles River, and Rhapsody in Green amongst others. Scott’s animal advocacy also includes campaign management for animal advocate and author Karen Dawn.
Scott is an environmental panelist on the online talk show "Coffee Table Congress." He was also featured in Microsoft's Green Leaders video series.
Marshall is the Founder and President of Citizens Climate Education Corp and Citizens Climate Lobby www.citizensclimatelobby.org, founded in Oct, 2007. The purposes of CCEC and CCL are: 1) To create the political will for a stable and sustainable climate 2) To empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. CCL has 190 lobby teams across the U.S. and Canada.
Marshall retired from business in 1990, and for the first 19 years he focused on Microcredit and Village Banking. He spoke to more than 175 Rotary Clubs and at five Rotary International Conventions. He played a key role in the development of eight microcredit lenders in Latin America and southern Asia and served on the Board of Directors of a few of them.
He is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Grameen de la Frontera www.grameendelafrontera.org, a microcredit lender in Sonora, Mexico, which has made loans of more than $15 million to more than 35,000 very poor women.
Marshall was an active RESULTS Partner for 12 years. RESULTS is an International citizens lobby that advocates for more and better foreign aid especially microcredit, global health and basic education. www.results.org
Marshall was astonished by the amount of support RESULTS provided its Partners, and consequently the power of the national grassroots lobbying organization. Later he realized that the same methodology could be applied to the climate.
Marshall was trained by The Honorable Al Gore to give The Climate Project presentation and has given 49 presentations to about 3,000 people.
He is a graduate of the University of Texas with a BA in economics and he has been married to his wife Pamela for 49 years. They have two grown children.
Rotary Distinguished Service Award 1998-1999 by the Board of Trustees of the Rotary Foundation
Grameen Foundation Humanitarian Award 2009
AshEL SeasunZ, originally from Chicago, now residing in Oakland, is a frontman emcee, vocalist, producer and the founder of Earth Amplified, a multimedia collective and spiritual activist movement livicated to social justice, equity, and environmental stewardship. He is also a Green For All Fellow, a former Educator and Media Manager at Alliance for Climate Education, and the co-founder of United Roots- Oakland's Green Youth Arts and Media Center. He is the founder of SoS Juice (System out of our System), which is a non-profit/for profit that sells juice, smoothies, tonics, and healthy meals to "pay-it-forward" for low-income communities at discount or free. He is currently creating Urban Fx (Farmacy), a vegan cafe/store that is also a wellness cooperative.
Chef Gordon Smith has cooked for celebrities, royalty and lots of families in his diverse year career. He trained under legendary chefs becoming a respected specialist in organics and spa cuisine. Chef Gordon was instrumental in opening Deepak Chopra's Center for Well Being in La Jolla, California and afterwards, served as executive chef for major resorts. He was twice awarded Best Chef for his Basil Street Café, owned a catering company and as a private chef, his clients included First Lady Betty Ford, Michael Eisner, Saudi Prince Fahad and James Garner. He wrote "Save the Males: A Kitchen Survival Cookbook" a great book for any novice cook.
Mr. Sprinkel is board president of the Cornucopia Institute and is a Harvard-educated author and organic farmer. He advises producers in the areas of production, handling, processing, and certification and is an Organic Vegetable Producer/Certification Inspector. He has farmed organically for over 30 years and also operates an organic-based grocery and restaurant, The Farmer and Cook, with his wife, Olivia Chase. He was the longtime author of the monthly organic farming column, Transitions, for one of the preeminent sustainable farming journals in the country, Acres USA.
Jason Stefanko, Plant-Based Executive Chef for Gardein
Jason is a plant based trained chef with over 15 years experience in Vancouver Canada’s restaurant industry.
After reading the book “The Kind Diet”, by Alicia Silverstone and learning about the intelligence of farm animals, environmental impact and health statistics Jason immediately adopted a plant-based diet. Jason lost 30 lbs. and after reclaiming his health, he was inspired to align his career path with the skills as a trained chef with his new values.
In 2010, Jason joined Gardein as a Research and Development Chef, working with owner Yves Potvin, creator of Gardein. In 2013, Jason moved to Los Angeles where he works as a plant-based Executive Chef for Gardein LA office.
Jason has worked with top companies like Disney, Google, Microsoft, Veggie Grill and some of America's largest colleges and universities to create great meatless menu options with Gardein.
Tom Szaky, 32, is the Founder and CEO and has been recognized as one of the world’s foremost leaders in eco-capitalism and upcycling. As a company, TerraCycle’s overall portfolio of clients includes over 75 brand partners in 25 countries, with 50 million people collecting waste worldwide. TerraCycle has now donated over $3.5 million to charities and schools.
Zachary Towne-Smith is the Co-Executive Director of ERI Living Lab. He is an empathic and multi-faceted creative leader. After graduating Cum Laude from the Afro-American Studies department at Harvard in 1999, he moved to Guatemala City. He’s made a life in there for the past 14 years, co-founding a wide array of ventures, including a non-profit dedicated to awakening creativity and facilitating social innovation (www.imagitlan.com). He co-founded a business dedicated to creativity workshops and innovation consultancies. Zachary created an internationally successful Latin folk band, his own freelance photography business and the first capoeira group of Guatemala. He has also collaborated on a number of public health and educational projects.
Alan Tratner is Chairman of the California Space Enterprises Center project, fostering new invention, innovation, ventures in space exploration and development. He is President of Green2Gold Incubators for 42 years, and Lifetime Achievement Inductee into the Int'l Green Industries Hall of Fame, is international president of Inventors Workshop Intl and Entrepreneurs Workshop, and ran the Santa Barbara County Small Business Development Center. Alan has conducted more than 4,500 workshops around the globe on invention, entrepreneurship, innovation, STEM education, green economy, sustainable economic development, and private space entrepreneurship and has helped over 100,000 members of his non profit orgs. Alan has appeared/been featured in most of the leading media of our time from CNN, GMA, CNBC, NPR, Time, Business Week, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, INC, Sustainable Industries, Oprah,Today, USA Today, Fortune Small Business, America Online Forum and more. Lielle Arad will also be presenting with Mr. Tratner
Educating and entertaining with straight talk and spoken word, John Trudell (Santee Sioux) is an internationally acclaimed poet, actor, recording artist, philosopher and orator. He was a spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969-1971 and served as Chairman of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from 1973- 1979. In 1982, he began putting his poetry to music and since that time has released 13 albums and toured extensively. He has also acted in major feature films, authored three books of poetry and was the subject of an award-winning 2005 documentary entitled TRUDELL.
In 2012, Trudell and Willie Nelson co-founded Hempstead Project Heart (Hemp Energies Alternative Resource Technologies) to raise awareness of the many economic and environmental benefits and uses of industrial hemp. As Co-Director of Hempstead Project Heart, Trudell works to enliven public action toward creating a sustainable green economy based on hemp.
Aura Vasquez, a native of Columbia, is an Organizing Representative with the Sierra Club of Los Angeles. An advocate for environmental issues, Aura helped organize the "Forward on Climate" rally which drew thousands of supporters. Working alongside Mayor Villaraigosa, Vice-President Al Gore, Sierra Club Executive Director Mike Brune, and philanthropist/businessman Tom Stay, Aura is proud of their efforts that will make LA coal free in 2025, one of only five cities in the world to do so.
Aura serves on the Executive Board of the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council and the United Nations Women LA- Chapter Board. Aura was previously a Political Advisor in New York City Congressman Eliot Engel’s office. At the United Way, Aura lobbied for education programs and managed the Dropout Prevention Program. Aura received a degree in Political Science and Multi-cultural Journalism from City University New York- Lehman.
Certified nutritionist and holistic health expert, Ashley Welch, specializes in the importance of nourishing the body through a balanced combination of diet, physical fitness, and holistic lifestyle design. She is a key figure in Los Angeles’s health movement, and has played vital roles in multiple nutrition networks throughout the entire Southern California Region. Most recently she has created ActiveAsh.com, a holistic nutrition and fitness website full of information, videos, corporate wellness programs, ActiveKids programs, and much more!
Today, ActiveAsh is speaking internationally, hosting educational seminars to inform the public of its current health state, and how we can counteract the damage that has been done through a balanced combination of proper nutrition, fitness, and well-being. Stop by ActiveAsh.com today and stay up-to-date with Ashley's ActiveHealth monthly newsletter!
My job brings me much pleasure because it enables me to help the environment by promoting renewable energy sources. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, as well as the highest quality of installations. Specialties: Solar electric system design, project management, negotiations with utility companies, utility company rebate applications & paperwork. Education: Bachelors-Business Law (CalState Northridge)
Christy Wilhelmi, author of Gardening for Geeks and founder of Gardenerd, empowers people to grow their own food, to be more self-reliant, and to reduce pollution and waste, one garden at a time. She also specializes in small-space, organic vegetable garden design and consulting. Christy has been a board member of Ocean View Farms Organic Community Garden in Mar Vista, California since 1999, and gardens almost entirely with heirloom vegetables. Between 70-80 percent of her family’s produce comes from her garden of less than 200 square feet. Christy has appeared on the Emmy nominated Home and Family Show, KCAL 9 News, Rosie on the House radio and Good Food with Evan Kleiman. She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, some chickens and two gardens.