REBECCA BURGESS

Executive Director, Fibershed

Rebecca is Executive Director of Fibershed, and Chair of the Board for the Carbon Cycle Institute. She has over a decade of experience writing and implementing hands-on curriculum that focuses on the intersection of restoration ecology and fiber systems. She has taught at Westminster College, Harvard University, and has created workshops for a range of NGOs and corporations. She is the author of the best-selling book Harvesting Color, a bioregional look into the natural dye traditions of North America. She has built an extensive network of farmers and artisans within our region’s Northern California Fibershed to pilot the regenerative fiber systems model at the community scale.

JOHN CHESTER

Farmer & Documentary Filmmaker, The Biggest Little Farm

John and Molly Chester, a husband and wife team, left their job titles of ‘documentary filmmaker’ and ‘private chef’ to become farmers and pursue their dream vision of starting Apricot Lane Farms in 2011. If you saw him elbow deep in a cow assisting a difficult birth, you’d never guess that John Chester spent the first 20 years of his career making documentary films. As the director of such critically-acclaimed films as Lost in Woonsocket (OWN) & Rock Prophecies (PBS), as well as the star and show runner of Random 1 (A&E), John has built many teams in his career, which certainly helps to develop the amazing group of people at Apricot Lane Farms.

In addition to serving as farm manager with wife Molly Chester, John heads up the Apricot Lane Holistic Livestock Program, runs the day-to-day operations of the farm, and manages their active WWOOF program. John’s passion for animals is exemplified in the documentary series he made for Animal Planet and in the way he guides the very unique livestock program on the farm. The surprise ending is that for this filmmaker, farming isn’t such a stretch; during his early years in film, John spent his spare time between projects running his family’s farms, gaining experience vital to his present career.

MACKENZIE FELDMAN

Founder, Herbicide-Free Campus

Mackenzie graduated from UC Berkeley in Spring 2018 with a degree in Society and Environment and a minor in Food Systems, She was the UC Global Food Initiative Student Ambassador for UC Berkeley, and the co-founder of the Herbicide-Free Cal campaign. Mackenzie has now expanded the campaign into Herbicide-Free Campus, with the mission of eliminating the use of herbicides from every school. Her campaign recently resulted in the entire University of California system going glyphosate-free, and Mackenzie worked with a coalition to get herbicides banned from every public school in Hawaii. 

MICHELLE GABRIELOFF-PARISH

Assistant Director for Energy & Climate Justice, University of Colorado Boulder's Environmental Center

Michelle Gabrieloff-Parish is the Energy and Climate Justice Manager at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Environmental Center. A former US State Department BoldFood fellow and Center for Progressive Leadership fellow, she now works to illuminate the connections between sustainability and social justice, bringing students and partners together to work on the issues, equip them with the tools to address communal and global challenges, and reduce Boulder’s climate footprint through innovative projects, programs and events.

SUSAN GRIFFIN-BLACK

Co-Founder & Co-CEO, EO Products

Susan Griffin-Black is the co-founder and co-CEO of EO Products, the California-based parent company of two leading personal care brands: EO® and Everyone for Every Body®. For nearly 25 years Susan has been a pioneer of the personal care industry, and has built a successful, exemplary company rooted in responsible business practices. Susan is an expert on safe, healthy personal care products and essential oils. She is involved with numerous advisory boards including Turning Green and Bay Cycle Project.

KENDRA KLEIN

Senior Staff Scientist, Friends of the Earth

Kendra Klein, PhD is Senior Staff Scientist at Friends of the Earth where she leads work on food and farming solutions. She is a writer, researcher, and advocate with over seventeen years of experience in environmental sustainability, food, agriculture, and environmental health. Prior to joining FOE, she coordinated farm-to-institution work at the California Healthy Food in Health Care campaign and worked at Breast Cancer Action on chemical policy reform and corporate accountability related to pink ribbon fundraising. Kendra has apprenticed on organic farms in California and Hawaii. She is a 2011 Switzer Environmental Fellow and has written for The Nation, The Guardian, Gastronomica, Civil Eats, and EcoWatch. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami University of Ohio and a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy & Management from UC Berkeley.

FINIAN MAKEPEACE

Co-Founder, Kiss the Ground

Finian Makepeace is the co-founder of Kiss the Ground and a renowned presenter, media creator, and thought leader in the field of regenerative agriculture and soil health. His dedication to Kiss the Ground’s mission of “inspiring participation in global regeneration, starting with soil”, has motivated him to develop training programs, workshops, and talks designed to empower people around the world to become confident advocates for this growing movement. As part of the Kiss the Ground media team, Finian has worked with leading experts, farmers, and businesses to bring the ideas of regenerative agriculture and soil health as hopeful solutions to world’s problems in clear, comprehensible and thought-provoking formats to audiences everywhere. Simply, he has helped Kiss the Ground succeed in sharing this message across the globe. His background as a leader of a band and lifelong activist has given him the unique opportunity to blend his artistic vision with his ability to organize and advocate for this growing, global, and diverse community. His “calling” is that people experience being a part of making history and he believes that with enough new advocates promoting the ancient wisdom and new science of regenerative agriculture and ecosystem restoration we can heal our planet.

STACY MALKAN

Co-Founder & Co-Director, US Right to Know

Stacy Malkan is co-founder and co-director of U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit investigative research group exposing how chemical and food companies impact the food we eat and feed our children. She also co-founded the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and wrote the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” – one of the first investigations into the toxic chemicals in everyday personal care products. Stacy’s work has been published in Time magazine, the New York Times, Washington Post, Nature Biotechnology and many other outlets, and she has appeared in Teen Vogue, Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America and several documentary films including The Human Experiment produced by Sean Penn, Pink Skies and Stink Movie, now playing on Netflix. Follow Stacy on Twitter @StacyMalkan and @SafeCosmetics.

DEBBIE RAPHAEL

Director, San Francisco Department of
the Environment

In May of 2014, Mayor Ed Lee appointed Debbie as the Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, a city agency that creates visionary policies and programs to ensure a sustainable future for San Francisco. Raphael returns to San Francisco after three years leading the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she worked to bal-ance stakeholder interests in protecting the public and environment from toxic harm.

Raphael believes that cities like San Francisco are incubators for bold action that results in meaningful change. Her approach to environmental decision-making focuses on using the best available science and robust stakeholder interaction to ensure that all voices are honored. This perspective has allowed her to succeed in addressing some of the most challenging environ-mental problems, including the rollout of California’s landmark Green Chemistry Initiative.

In 20 years of public service at city, county, and state levels, Raphael has crafted and imple-mented groundbreaking policies around toxics reduction, green building, business engagement, integrated pest management, and environmentally preferable purchasing. She graduated with honors in biology from the University of California, Berkeley, was a Smithsonian and National Science Foundation fellow, and has a Master’s degree in Physiological Plant Ecology from UCLA.

BETH RATTNER

Executive Director, Biomimicry Institute

Beth directs the Biomimicry Institute’s strategic vision, managing the organization’s program development, fundraising, and marketing efforts. She speaks publicly on how biomimetic design in products, cities, and agriculture can bring about a new level of resilience to our economy and ecosystem, which in turn spur new levels of social equity. Prior to this position, Beth worked with William McDonough and Michael Braungart on The Upcycle, the sequel to Cradle to Cradle, before she helped co-found the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and became its first Executive Director and then Vice President. An attorney by training, Beth was also a managing director for one of the first sustainability business consultant firms, Blu Skye, and business manager for Hewlett Packard’s Emerging Market Solutions (EMS) group. Beth is a graduate of U.C.L.A. and Loyola Law School and lives in Marin County, California.

ERIN SCHRODE

Co-Founder, Turning Green

Erin is a citizen activist, social entrepreneur and writer. Since co-founding Turning Green in 2005, she has developed eco education and action platforms to inspire, educate, and mobilize millions of students and the global public with this non-profit and beyond. This leading voice on millennials, sustainability and social impact and vocal advocate for environmental action, public health and equal justice recently ran an unprecedented campaign for US Congress in California’s District 2 – working to redefine civic engagement, reinvigorate public service, and expand the definition of politician for a generation and a nation.

JUDI SHILS

Founder & Executive Director, Turning Green

Judi is a passionate grassroots activist and community leader. She has spent the last 14 years of her life spearheading innovative, impactful projects with diverse stakeholders on local, national, and global levels. The dearth of answers around Marin County’s high cancer rates led Shils to found the non-profit Search for the Cause, giving birth to Turning Green, a powerful student-led movement around education and advocacy that inspires and mobilizes students to transition from conventional to conscious. She is the force behind The Conscious Kitchen (TCK), a program in public elementary schools to serve fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO (FLOSN), scratch-cooked breakfast and lunch to students. TCK launched in 2013 on a campus where 95% of children are on free-and-reduced meals. Since expanding in scale and reach this past year, TCK formed the first organic, non-GMO school district in the country. Moving to the Bay Area in 1989 and becoming a mother to daughter Erin changed the course of Judi’s life. Prior to this, she was an Emmy Award-winning television producer for 25 years with ABC Sports, FOX and Oxygen, founded The Diary Project forum for youth at the onset of the internet. Judi also consults for the California Coastal Commission around public education and is a fierce advocate for positive change in the face of injustice across the globe.

ALICE WATERS

Founder and Owner, Chez Panisse Restaurant

Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades. In 1995 she founded the Edible Schoolyard Project, which advocates for a free school lunch for all children and a sustainable food curriculum in every public school.

She has been Vice President of Slow Food International since 2002. She conceived and helped create the Yale Sustainable Food Project in 2003, and the Rome Sustainable Food Project at the American Academy in Rome in 2007.

Her honors include election as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007; the Harvard Medical School’s Global Environmental Citizen Award, which she shared with Kofi Annan in 2008; and her induction into the French Legion of Honor in 2010. In 2015 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama, proving that eating is a political act, and that the table is a powerful means to social justice and positive change.

Alice is the author of sixteen books including her critically acclaimed memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook, the New York Times bestsellers The Art of Simple Food I & II, and The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea.

JOHN WICK

Owner, Nicasio Native Grass Ranch

John and his wife Peggy Rathmann own and operate the Nicasio Native Grass Ranch where John manages naturally occurring microbes, molecules, and sunshine to promote the establishment of healthy soils. John co-founded the Marin Carbon Project in 2007. He served as Founding Board Member of Project Drawdown, and is currently on the inaugural Board of the Perennial Farming Initiative.