Green Festival Speakers
San Francisco 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.
Tiffany Abend received her B.S. in Marketing from Florida Gulf Coast University. After graduating she went back to her home town of Wooster, Ohio and worked for Hartzler Dairy in marketing. She was one of two full-time employees in the office and got to talk to customers and buyers on a continual basis which made her very attuned to different concerns in the life cycle of milk—“cow comfort”, animal welfare, processing techniques, energy efficiency, anaerobic digesters, and packaging. Tiffany pursued her MBA at the University of Cincinnati to get more involved in sustainability topics and led the Net Impact Chapter at UC. After graduating, she was selected for an internship within Kroger funded by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy to focus further on sustainability in the dairy industry. In March of this year, she moved from Cincinnati to Modesto California to join Crystal Creamery as their Corporate Sustainability Manager.
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.
Gabriel Axel, MSc., E-RYT 500, is a yoga teacher, neuroscientist, musician, Integralist, and leading innovator in the fusion of yoga and neuroscience through the Neural Active™ framework. Gabriel is known for skillfully integrating the perennial wisdom of yoga with a scientific understanding in a congruent and intelligible manner. Holding a Master’s degree in Neuroscience & Cognition, he has toured world-renown institutions such as Utrecht University, Harvard, UCLA, and University of Florida studying the fascinating complexities of neuroscience, and completed thesis on how the functionality of the brain evolved to aid in the perception and interpretation of visual art. In tandem with his studies in neuroscience, he has trained extensively in the yogic sciences, including raja yoga, kundalini, tantric yogas, kriya yoga, qi gong, nei gong, alchemy, Skanda Yoga, Suspension Yoga, and a number of meditation systems. He presents an integral approach that robustly activates the nervous system for enhanced functioning.
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.
Frank Blaney has been a certified Qigong/Tai Chi Instructor for 10 years based in the Los Angeles area. He has taught at numerous venues and has a focus on empowering his students with the easy self-care practice of Qigong and Tai Chi. Mr. Blaney is also an active martial artist with a 2nd degree blackbelt in Jujitsu. He professionally works with at-risk youth in teaching violence prevention, conflict resolution, and de-escalation skills. Mr. Blaney has a Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural Studies, a Master’s Degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding. He has worked as a professional speaker around issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, healthy relationships and gender stereotyping. Into these fields he integrates principles of wholistic health from a Traditional Chinese Medicine paradigm.
Hope Bohanec has been active in animal protection and environmental activism for over 20 years and recently published the book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? She is a nationally recognized leader and speaker in the animal protection movement, and is currently serving as Projects Manager for United Poultry Concerns. Before this, Hope offered her organizational talents as the Grassroots Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. Hope was the Sonoma County Coordinator for Proposition 2 and soon after that victory, she co-founded the Sonoma County based Compassionate Living. She is also the primary organizer for the annual Conscious Eating Conference at UC Berkeley and the Sonoma County VegFest.
“Bringing It Home” is the second feature documentary produced and directed by Linda Booker, owner of By the Brook Production based in North Carolina. Linda completed the Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in 2005. “Bringing It Home” won the Jury Award at this year’s Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival and Best Environmental Film at Sedona International Film Festival. “Bringing It Home” has been part of a national outreach campaign to help educate consumers and lawmakers about hemp’s uses for healthy, sustainable products for nutrition, construction materials, bio-composites, textiles, body care and more and why policy change is needed to bring this beneficial crop back to all of America’s farmers for a greener future. By the Brook has produced videos for the City of Durham and Clean Jordan Lake on water protection issues in addition to work for numerous NC non-profits.
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.
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.
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.
Diana Donlon is the Director of Center for Food Safety's Cool Foods Campaign – a solutions oriented program, empowering the public to make the critical connections between food and climate.
Before coming to work for CFS, Diana worked for a variety of family foundations supporting youth and sustainable agriculture programs and was one of the founders of Roots of Change, a state-wide collaborative transitioning California’s food system. As a program executive at the Goldman Environmental Prize, she helped elevate the critical causes of environmental activist around the world including Wangari Maathai, Ken Saro Wiwa and Marina Silva.
Diana is the Board Secretary of Watershed Media, award-winning publishers of action-oriented titles like Farming with the Wild. She served in Peace Corps, Morocco and speaks French and Spanish. She lives amidst an abundance of fruit trees in Marin County with her husband, two teenaged boys, friendly farm cat, and three chickens.
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.
Steven Druker is a public interest attorney who initiated a lawsuit that exposed how the FDA had put genetically engineered foods on the market by perpetrating an enormous fraud and deliberately breaking the law.
He is a prominent com¬mentator on GE foods and has served on the food safety panels at conferences held by the FDA and the National Research Council, lec¬tured at numerous universities (including the Biological Laboratories at Harvard), met with government officials throughout the world, and conferred at the White House Executive Offices with a task force of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality.
His new book, Altered Genes Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public, is being released in October with a foreword by Jane Goodall hailing it as “without doubt one of the most important books of the last 50 years.”
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."
Jeff Eichen born in California 1958.
Jeff Eichen At 17 years young studied Photography with Ansel Adams at the Yosemite workshop 1974. And moved to the Netherlands to teach Photography as a teacher’s assistant and Exchange Student.
Upon returning to the States, Jeff moved to Los Angeles to pursue a professional career in Architectural photography.
Never leaving his Art behind, Jeff had several Art shows through the years.
After loosing his Mother Carole Eichen to Ovarian Cancer, Jeff expanded his almost all vegetarian diet to Vegan and after moving to Port Townsend.
This is when Jeff birthed Rawmaste™ Jars, Lids and Straws… www.rawmaste.org
Jeff now currently lives in Port Townsend and peruses his life as a digital Artist, Instructor and Professional photographer and of course Owner and maker of the Rawmaste™ line of the all GLASS drink solutions.
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.
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.
Collette Gee is a world-renowned Holistic Love Coach, Author & Speaker that helps men and women overcome the relationship challenges they face in the 21st century.
Prior to Coaching & Speaking, Collette spent several years working as a healthcare professional in the mental health industry. She recently released a new dating & relationship guide called: “Finding Happily Ever After, Without Pretending,” available now on Amazon; and is a regular Huffington Post contributor.
Today, Collette offers a wide range of coaching programs and services – from 1:1 holistic coaching and group coaching, to relationship seminars and keynote speeches. Her mission is to help people love harmoniously and successfully. As a Certified Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner (NLP), Violence Prevention Specialist (VPS), and a Holistic Coach, Collette works with each client as their partner through a holistic process of self-discovery; specializing in crippling blocks, and unhealthy relationship patterns of behaviors.
For nearly 30 years, Alisa Gravitz has led Green America, the national green economy organization. Green America develops marketplace solutions to social and environmental problems with a key focus on tackling climate change, building fair trading systems, stopping corporate abuse and growing the green economy. Green America operates the nation’s largest green business and consumer networks.
Ms. Gravitz is a leading expert on how families and businesses can “go green,” saving money and resources. She is also a nationally recognized leader in the social investment industry. She authored Green America’s acclaimed Guide to Social Investing, with over a million copies in print and the popular Guide to Community Investing.
Ms. Gravitz’s board service includes Ceres, Positive Future Network, Network for Good and People 4 Earth. She earned her MBA from Harvard University and her BA in economics and environmental sciences from Brandeis University. Green America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Annabel Hertz is the author of Seeing Green, a humorous account of a multi cultural protagonist’s jaunt into the world of 1992 environmental politics. She is also Senior Advisor to the Arch Institute, a start up dedicated to higher education, training, and research aimed at advancing tri sector approaches to global problem solving. Previously, she taught international relations, and spent over a decade in leadership roles with NGOs involved in sustainable development and security. In working with students, women leaders, and high-risk youth, she has come to greatly appreciate the role of mentoring in imparting environmental values. Annabel holds a MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School, a MA from California State University, and a BA from the University of California.
"Monte Leach is United States editor of Share International magazine. Share International brings together two major directions of contemporary thought – the political and the spiritual. It shows the synthesis underlying the political, social, economic and spiritual changes now occurring on a worldwide scale and seeks to stimulate practical action to rebuild our world along more just and compassionate lines.
Share International makes known the presence in the world today of a group of highly evolved teachers and advisors of humanity – Maitreya, the World Teacher, and his group, the Masters of Wisdom. The magazine covers news, events, and comments bearing on the World Teacher’s priorities: an adequate supply of the right food; appropriate housing for all; health care and education as universal rights; and the maintenance of ecological balance in the world.
Share International has been published monthly since 1982, and is read in more than 70 countries. www.share-international.org
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.
Scott is CEO and Co-founder of Indigenous Designs Corporation, a leading premium organic apparel brand and producer of hand-crafted fair trade clothing. Scott oversees organizational / financial planning for the company but is also responsible for directing the Indigenous Brand identity. Scott specializes in sourcing organic and fair trade production.
Scott Leonard is an ardent advocate about the positive power of business for the benefit of people and the planet. He has been a pioneer in the areas of fair trade, organics, environmental practice and the sustainability movement. He has worked for over twenty years in bringing together organizations around the world and helping to create numerous collaborative initiatives. His passion and dedication have firmly established him as a leader in the global organic and fair trade movement.
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1977, John grew up in St. Louis, MO. At a young age, he excelled in football and basketball. He continued his streak of athletic excellence throughout his high school and college years in Mc Cluer Senior High and Harris-Stowe State College respectively. Graduating with a Bachelors degree in marketing, he later went on to pursue his MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He is now working on finishing his Master’s in Health Education to later go on to start his PhD in Holistic Sports and Nutrition. John’s education in business coupled with his love for health and fitness gave him the ability to start his venture – Bad Ass Vegan – a health and nutrition company that strives to educate individuals on plant based nutrition.
In 1969 at the age of 25, Pat Lynch, having already served as the Press Secretary for a U.S. Senator and Congressman, and founded her first advertising agency in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Lynch was the first woman to begin an advertising agency single-handedly in the South. By 1977, she had been listed twice in The World’s Who’s Who of Women and most recently in the International Who’s Who and Strathmore’s Who’s Who.
In 1996, she began Women’s Online Media and Education Network (W.O.M.E.N.) which producesWomensRadio®, in order to “give women a greater voice!” WomensRadio®, a converging medium, had its beginning on the Web as a rich, content Website for women leaders. In 2001, her company also began WomensCalendar®. Today it is the largest databank of women’s events in the world, #1 in all the major search engines and reaching hundreds of thousands of women leaders each week. In the summer of 2004, the company launched the SpeakerSpot, a dynamic speaker referral program which can be accessed by meeting planners internationally. In 2005, the company introduced a new audio production tool for the Web, AudioAcrobat®, that is now the state-of-the-art, audio and video production, streaming and Podcasting Web-based media tool. This service helps everyone to have audio and/or video streaming in their emails and on their Websites. It is the tool of choice for hundreds of broadcasting professionals who want to have their long-form programs included.
During her years as the founder and CEO of her own advertising marketing company in Atlanta, she and her agency gained a reputation for introducing media, particularly radio and television, to industries which had never considered them to deliver their advertising messages. One such industry was residential real estate (including both rentals and sales).
Pat Lynch also contributes her time and experience to many not-for-profits. When the City of Atlanta had experienced a season of multiple killings of young people, a time when the economy was also in a slump, the city was looking for a number of ways to create community and give kids at risk a brighter outlook. She volunteered her time and helped to create the largest party for young people that has ever been conducted. With only three months to pull together all the details, “It’s Time,” was an all-day event hosting some 10,000 kids in Piedmont Park, the largest park in the city. All the transportation to the event, all the food, all the cooks and servers, all the entertainment, all the prizes, everything – was provided for free! Mayor Andrew Young and Gerri Elder, Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, created a special plaque of appreciation which was presented to Ms. Lynch for her work in creating and conducting this event.
She has also worked tirelessly for other not-for-profits, largely in the area of publicity and/or fund-raising for such organizations as Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy, American Heart Association.
While residing in California, she served on the boards of the Fresno, CA Court School PTA as President, Fresno Habitat for Humanity and the Fresno Ballet where she helped to raise funds to produce the first new Nutcracker in over 20 years. In the Bay Area, she served as the Media Chair for the California Women’s Agenda, was a member of the Women’s Leadership Alliance of the Bay Area, and was on the Board of Directors of the Afghan Coalition and Afghan Women’s Association International.
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.
Nicole McCann is Food Campaigns Director for Green America. Nicole oversees and acts as a spokesperson for the GMO Inside campaign, and has been interviewed and quoted by a variety of print and broadcast media outlets, including The Guardian, Food Navigator, Food Business News, the Examiner, and King TV in Seattle. She received her Master’s Degree in Global Environmental Policy with a focus on sustainable food systems from American University. She has worked in the areas of plant-based nutrition, campaigning, community organizing, research, and programs supporting sustainable food systems for ten years. She conducted her graduate thesis research in the Eastern Coastal Plains region of North Carolina studying the impact of corporate industrial hog farming on the environment, local economics, and state politics.
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.
John Picard understood the “internet of things” long before connectivity became the driver that it is today. Celebrated for his keen understanding of the innovative principles of natural systems designs, John connects visionary thinking with emerging technologies to drive successful projects for corporations, commercial buildings, college campuses, and even entire towns.
Amongst his many noteworthy design projects are the City Center Hotel Las Vegas; the elegant Grand Wailea in Maui, Hawaii (the first greening of a world-renowned resort); and a 20-million-square-foot mixed-use development called Atlantic Station in Atlanta. He also conceived and built out the first LEED Platinum private jet facility called Hangar 25 in Burbank, California.
One of John’s most personal and profound experiences has been with Interface, Inc., the company founded by Ray Anderson, who was inspired by John’s sea changing question, “what is Interface doing for the environment?” John was an integral part of the team that helped the petroleum-dependent company imagine a future without oil and chart a course towards it.
Today John is working in Silicon Valley, with seven companies who have a fierce dedication to engineering and prototyping. He is connecting them together so that the skin, security, energy, water, controls, mechanical, lighting and building occupants are all talking together in real time -- buildings that are sensate, adaptive, regenerative, cost effective, and healthy. The more a system is connected to itself, whether an economic system or immune system, the healthier it is. The same holds true for buildings. John’s work rests upon a comprehensive systemic understanding that unlocks the connective power of people and technologies to transform the built environment, and everything around it. He is designing the connectivity of things with very specific applications to every company and industry.
Author and environmentalist Paul Hawken has said of John’s prowess: “It is fresh and new, joy and enthusiasm combined with a wicked grasp of current and past technologies, strategies and opportunities.”
A highly popular and much sought-after speaker, this passionate surfer, diver and world traveler balances his consulting work as President of John Picard & Associates with personal appearances, advancing ideas that promote innovation and sustainable solutions in every sector of the new economy.
Tigre's diverse background mirrors his interests and abilities. He studied architecture and design at Princeton University followed by eight-years as a professional graphic designer and artist. In 2009, Tigre discovered The Barefoot Architect and began studying and self-teaching sustainable design and agriculture. Tigre left for South America in 2011 and has worked on a variety of organic farms and communities practicing permaculture and green design. He received his Permaculture Designer’s Certificate from San Diego Sustainable Living Institute and is a partner in Ecology Artisans, a permaculture landscape design + install firm in San Diego, California. In 2012, Tigre helped co-found Acaté Amazon Conservation, a non-profit organization that works in close partnership with the Matsés indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon.
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.
Debbie Raphael has 20 years of public service experience, running environmental programs in progressive cities like Santa Monica and San Francisco. Debbie also served under Governor Jerry Brown, leading the Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she implemented the landmark Green Chemistry Initiative. Most recently, Debbie returned to the City of San Francisco to serve as Director of the Department of the Environment. We are thrilled to have her back in the Bay Area!
Health and wellness writer and speaker Renita Rietz has spent over a decade researching nutritional strategies to increase the innate rejuvenative capacity we all possess by harnessing the pharmacologic and phytotherapeutic potential of indigenous foods and plants for prevention and regeneration. From the array of competing nutritional ideologies, Renita weaves together multiple paradigms focusing on the importance of high vibrancy, nutrient dense, plant-based superfood nutrition, fermentation and germination as the cornerstones of a healthy diet.
John Roulac, Founder & CEO
John founded Nutiva in 1999 to create a better food system that nourishes people, communities and our planet. As a vocal challenger of the industrial food system, he is a strong advocate for hemp agriculture, GMO labeling, organic farming and healthy food for all. Through his leadership, Nutiva has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing food companies in America for five consecutive years.
John is a keynote speaker on sustainability, trends in the organic food industry, purpose-driven companies and the impact of genetically engineered food. He has founded four nonprofit groups including GMO Inside and the Nutiva Nourish Foundation, which donates 1% of Nutiva’s sales to support sustainable agriculture and other environmental programs.
Organizer of Silicon Valley AgTech and FoodTech and the RoyseLaw AgTech Incubator. The founder of Royse Law Firm, PC - a business and tax law firm with offices in Northern and Southern California (www.rroyselaw.com); Roger is frequent speaker, writer, radio guest, blogger and panelist for bar associations. Roger is a mentor or advisor to several funds, accelerators and tech companies and takes an active role in the strategic planning decisions of his clients.
Shauna’s commitment to creating a more sustainable food system first began in her early years growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. There, she experienced firsthand the many systems involved in food production. Shauna went on to earn a BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a MS in Agriculture, Food and Environment from the Friedman School at Tufts University. Prior to joining Annie’s, Shauna worked on food sustainability at Clif Bar, an early venture meat company and Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). She also worked across a variety of industries as a management consultant, providing companies best practices research to help them improve business performance. In addition to her role at Annie’s, Shauna serves on the Board of Directors for the Sustainable Food Trade Association and on the advisory board for the Sustainable Food Lab.
Dr. Ilya Skolnikoff, DC, DIBAK is a Chiropractic Kinesiologist. He specializes in helping people with hormonal imbalances, thyroid disease, allergies, and obesity. Dr. Skolnikoff’s care is different than what you’ve experienced before. It cannot be compared to anything else that you would have ever heard of because it is so unique. It combines the professions and sciences of Applied Kinesiology, Energy Medicine, Functional Endocrinology, Emotional Therapies, Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Nutrition, Herbs, and Homeopathy. He became interested in chiropractic, acupuncture
and healing after suffering burnout, toxicity and poor dietary habits from working for an environmental and
health company for years. His experiences as a patient with hormonal imbalances and thyroid issues led him to specialize in these conditions. He has helped numerous people free themselves from reliance on medications and saved a number of them from surgery. He has successfully treated patients with Chronic Fatigue, Hashimotos, Rheumatoid Arthritis, various cancers, etc...
Ted Smith is the founder and former executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, coordinator of the International Campaign for Responsible Technology, and chair of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition steering committee. He was also a co-editor of Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry.
"Alex has consulted on over 75 diverse green building projects with high profile clients such as Google, Salesforce, Skype, Square, Mozilla, Comcast, GAP, and the Wharton School of Business among others. His project achievements include the first LEED Platinum Major Renovation project on the west coast, the first LEED CI Platinum project in California and one of the first projects to attempt the Living Building Challenge. Alex has taught over 300 green building workshops across the globe through organizations such as the US Green Building Council (USGBC), American Institute of Architects (AIA), Sustainable Building Advisors Program and the Stanford Graduate School of Business to name a few. He has also developed curriculum for UC Berkeley where he teaches a 6-week Green Building Project Management course.
Alex is a LEED Accredited Professional with specialties in BD+C, ID+C & EBOM, USGBC NCC Faculty and holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from UCLA. "
Mark has been owner and manager of Good Earth Natural Foods in Fairfax, California for 36 years. Good Earth is a leader in promoting and marketing organically grown foods and is a model for many other stores in the US. Prior to retailing, Mark managed his family’s farm in North Carolina and transitioned it to organics.
As a member of California Certified Organic Farmers Board of Directors from 1983 to 1988, representing North Coast Chapter, he helped write some of the original organic certification standards still used nationally. Mark was on the board and then staff with the Organic Crop Improvement Association (largest certifier worldwide at the time) from 1988 to 1994. Mark oversaw international certification staff training and operations for farm and manufacturing.
He is one of the authors of Measure B, the Marin County initiative that prohibited the outdoor cultivation of GMOs in 2004, which passed by 61%.
Michael Starkey serves as Chairman of the SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee. In this position, he rallies together scientists, volunteers, and others in order to help broaden SAVE THE FROGS’ mission of conservation. Mr. Starkey regularly gives lectures on amphibian conservation at universities, schools, and to public interest groups. He has worked as an ecological consultant for environmental consulting firms and government agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish & Game. After witnessing the result of widespread extinction of amphibians in the Panamanian rainforest, he became dedicated to conserving amphibian species around the world. Mr. Starkey began working with SAVE THE FROGS! in 2010 to inform the public about the threats facing amphibians and to help nurture a society that respects and cherishes all forms of wildlife. He has given presentations on amphibian conservation in the USA, Canada, Germany, Ghana and Belize.
Michael Stoll is executive director and editor of the San Francisco Public Press (www.sfpublicpress.org), a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization that produces in-depth reporting projects on public policy and spotlights important local stories in other public media. He has been a reporter at the Hartford Courant, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Examiner, and has written freelance for Columbia Journalism Review, Earth Island Journal, SF Weekly, San Francisco Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Quill, the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times. He has taught journalism at two local universities, and from 2003 to 2006 researched media ethics at gradethenews.org.
The Caution is a Rock ‘n’ Roll band from the South Bay of Los Angeles, CA. All the members of the band range in age from 13-15. Playing classic and contemporary rock songs like The Pretender by The Foo Fighters, Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground by The White Stripes, Gold On The Ceiling by The Black Keys, Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more, The Caution can really rock the house. The Caution is currently touring, getting great experience and writing original music together. These kids are a group of talented musicians, who are also great students, role models and share a passion for the environment. To reach The Caution, email us at TheCaution@jasland.com
Mike Tinskey leads the company’s sustainability activities for electric vehicles, energy and infrastructure. His focus is to develop and implement new products, business models, and partnerships to ensure success of Ford’s sustainability plans globally, including success of Ford plug-in and alternative fuel vehicles.
Prior to this role, Mike led the Product Planning and Program Management activities globally for hybrid electric vehicles and was responsible for developing and implementing Ford's electrification strategy that was announced in January 2009.
Mr. Tinskey has held a variety of leadership positions during his career with Ford, which began in 1991. This includes director roles in Advanced Product Engineering, Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Business Development, and Innovation. A common thread among these positions is that he was charged with identifying and implementing game-changing technologies and new business models – and developing strategies and partnerships to implement them flawlessly.
Mike holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and earned an MBA in Finance from University of Michigan. He holds multiple global patents in vehicle control systems.
At Freshwater Future, Melanie Napoleon Welch works as a Movement-Builder – the organization works on both policy and capacity-building for the needs of grassroots and citizens groups, providing personalized services that tailor-fit the needs of each group; provides unique, and much needed, grant funding opportunities to these groups for grassroots environmental advocacy work; and connects these groups and efforts to the issues. Melanie has spent her career in non-profits and museums, and has expertise in conservation programs, community engagement, informal education and Great Lakes ecology and regional issues. She is also a member of the 2010 class of Catto Fellows, an environmental leadership program at The Aspen Institute in Washington, DC. Melanie received a B.S. degree in environmental biology from Bradley University and a M.S. degree in biology from Northern Illinois University. She lives with her family in walking distance of Lake Michigan.
"Clint Wilder is a business journalist who has covered the high-tech and clean-tech industries since 1985. He is senior editor at Clean Edge, a clean-tech research and strategy firm in the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland, Oregon, where he coauthors reports and writes columns on industry trends and has been a facilitator at the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a frequent speaker at clean-energy and green business events in the U.S. and overseas, and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. In 2002, Mr. Wilder won the American Society of Business Publications Editors award for best feature series. He is also co-author of The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity, published in June 2007, which has been translated into seven languages.
Wilder's forthcoming book is Clean Tech Nation: How the U.S. Can Lead in the New Global Economy (HarperCollins, September 2012)."
McGee Young is the Founder and CEO of MeterHero. MeterHero is a software application that helps communities solve water challenges. McGee is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Marquette University and holds a PhD in political science from Syracuse University. He is the author of Developing Interests: Organizational Change and the Politics of Advocacy. McGee is the founder of several non-profits and startups. He was the Faculty Entrepreneur Fellow at Marquette University in 2012-2013. The Milwaukee Business Journal named McGee one of the top 40 under 40 young professionals in 2014. McGee was accepted to participate in the BREW Water Technology Accelerator program of the Water Council and has served as an advisor to startups in VETransfer, Revolution Labs, StartupMKE, and Marquette University.
Jerry Zeifman is the President of Advantage Health Matters, a company that distributes Certified Organic natural health and wellness products. Jerry is passionate about offering holistic strategies to help one achieve optimal prevention and longevity. Having found no solutions to his own health issues, he turned to enzyme therapy and natural remedies and discovered the answers he needed. He has since embarked upon a path to inspire others with powerful tools for transformation.