Co-Founder, Navitas Organics
Meg Adelman, RN, BSN, MPH co-founded Navitas Organics with her husband Zach in 2003. The company’s mission is to honor a healthy lifestyle through the innovation of nutrient dense superfoods and snacks. Her long-time passion for preventative medicine led her to a career in Nursing in 2008 where she worked to empower patients to embrace self-care to overcome common health problems. Although working in the surgical field for six years provided valuable training, it reaffirmed her commitment to prioritizing prevention strategies to mitigate the pitfalls of chronic disease. In 2017, she completed her Master’s in Public Health at the University of San Francisco while taking the majority of her courses in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts. That same year, she launched a consulting and advocacy company, RN Health Stylist that focuses on population health education, corporate wellness programs and supporting food system reform, which she believes is responsible for many of the diseases that are crippling our healthcare system today.
PGC 2013 Finalist, Senior, University of California, Davis
Alice Beittel is a senior at the University of California, Davis majoring in Environmental Science and Management with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. When she is not covered in muddy water from collecting data on Californian meadows, streams, and fish, you can find Alice working as a data science and GIS undergraduate researcher at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. Turning Green mobilized Alice to understand the details behind ecosystem resilience and learn how to couple science and community need to pinpoint solutions that lower our impact on the Earth. Since becoming a PGC 2013 finalist and serving as a Turning Green Student Advisory Board member and intern, Alice’s has taken her PGC-inspired passion all over the world. Some of her current and past projects include studying how animal behavior can be the first line of defense in the face of climate change; how fishing pressures increase resource competition between herbivorous fishes and sea urchins in Pacific coral reefs of Costa Rica; and how fish boldness and exploratory behavior may be useful in foraging strategies and navigating dam passage devices in northern Mongolia. Environmental management provides the perfect platform for Alice to combine her love for field research, coding, data, and animals. Alice hopes to empower her UC Davis community to find ways to make sustainability routine through collaborative environmental policy and environmental education as the UC Davis Environmental Policy and Planning Commission chair and UC Davis Fair Trade Campaign organizer. In her spare time, Alice loves to hike, cook, hang out with dogs (and people), garden, look at cool insects, and talk about how amazing nature is.
Science Programs Director, 5 Gyres
Carolynn received a Master’s from the University of Rhode Island in Marine Affairs in 2005 and worked in the field of Coastal Management for seven years in San Francisco Bay. After her first 5 Gyres Voyage in 2011, a 33-day trip across the South Atlantic Gyre, she decided to change the course of her life and apply her science and organizing background to efforts to fight plastic pollution. Carolynn has traveled 15,000 miles researching microplastics and she will be completing her ninth ocean expedition with 5 Gyres in 2018. Carolynn is currently working on a large scale research program analyzing microplastics in San Francisco Bay, bringing her global knowledge of the issue upstream and local.
Author, Going Green with a Bronner Mom
Lisa is the author of the blog, “Going Green with a Bronner Mom” and granddaughter of Dr. Emanuel Bronner, founder of Dr. Bronner’s, maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America. A mother of three young children, Lisa has helped many make the transition to a healthier home and lifestyle. She educates consumers, the most powerful force for change in the market today, to be equipped with the knowledge to vote wisely with their dollars. In 2012, Lisa was a spokesperson for Proposition 37 to label Genetically Engineered Foods in California. Lisa’s writing has appeared on the Rodale Publishing blog and Prevention Magazine online, and she just finished up a speaking tour in Australia, focusing on the importance of Organic Integrity and Fair Trade business practices. Currently, Lisa is a spokesperson for Dr. Bronner’s and loves to share about their product excellence, progressive business practices, and revolutionary activism. Prior to her work with Dr. Bronner’s, Lisa was a high school English and journalism teacher for the gifted in Raleigh, NC. She enjoys cooking, crocheting, and quilting and volunteers with organizations that support moms in San Diego.
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.
Vice President of Operations and Engagement, Project Drawdown
Crystal Chissell directs the overall operation of Project Drawdown, and fosters adoption of a solutions-based approach within the Drawdown Coalition, a global network of partners committed to reversing global warming. As a public speaker, she brings Project Drawdown’s inspiring message to diverse audiences.
Crystal has an interdisciplinary background in law, environmental science, and business management. She has held leadership roles in and advised a range of organizations, including small businesses, the City of Baltimore, the Maryland Environmental Service, and the Town of Highland Beach, Maryland. She has worked at the University of San Francisco and at Bay Area arts organizations. She holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, an M.S. in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University, an M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco, and a B.A. in Journalism from Howard University.
Founder, Herbicide-Free Cal
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 founder of the Herbicide-Free Cal campaign. Mackenzie has now expanded the campaign into a UC-wide Herbicide-Free campaign with the mission of stopping the use of toxic herbicides across all University of California campuses. She is also a Food Sovereignty Research Assistant for the FAO and is writing a plant-based cookbook with her mom that she plans to finish by next year.
Intern, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders
Megan is a recent graduate of Vermont Law School, where she earned her Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy and was an active member of the school’s Food and Agriculture Law Society. During her time in graduate school, she has had a strong academic focus on food systems and environmental justice. Currently, Megan works as an intern in U.S. Senator Sanders’ Office in Burlington, VT, where she continues her political activism. Prior to graduate school, Megan got her degree in Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability with a specialization in Policy Analysis at The Ohio State University. Here, she founded one of the first Turning Green Chapter Clubs and was Treasury of the Ohio State Sustainability Council. Megan spent her entire undergraduate degree working with Turning Green, from a Project Green Challenge participant to an intern to executive assistant to the Director. Megan hopes to use her experiences and expertise to implement systemic change in the policies and regulations around food systems specifically, and a range of social and environmental issues generally.
Education Program, Kiss the Ground
Jessica is a Mother and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) who’s interest in health began at a young age when she witnessed the ill effects poor eating habits had on those she loved most. She has spent much of her career in public health, helping to increase access to healthy foods in underserved communities and empowering families to take an active role in their health. After starting a home garden she began to learn first hand the profound connection that nutrition has to agriculture; an experience that completely transformed her mission as a nutrition educator. She now is an advocate for soil health because simply put healthy soil grows health food, and healthy food makes for healthy people.
Visiting Scholar, Environmental Law Institute
Hill joined ELI as a Visiting Scholar in May 2015. Previously, he was the Senior Counsel for Environmental Governance of the Office of International and Tribal Affairs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also served as the Director of the Office of Environmental Justice at the EPA; and the Associate Solicitor of the Division of Conservation and Wildlife, and Director of the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Prior to that, he was Of Counsel at the international law firm of Dickstein Shapiro, LLP where he had an environmental law practice; Project Manager in the Superfund Business Unit of the consulting firm ICF international; Special Counsel to the Attorney General of the District of Columbia; Legal Counsel to the Inspector General of the EPA; Law Secretary to the Deputy Administrative Judge of New York City (Criminal Division); and an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn.
He has lectured in the Middle East, Africa, South and Central America, and the Caribbean islands on a variety of environmental law and policy issues. He has taught at Vermont Law School as an Adjunct Professor of Law for 21 years, and has served on the Environmental Law Center’s Advisory Committee since 1994. He has been the recipient of several distinguished achievement awards in environmental justice, and environmental law and policy. He has been the author of the three editions of the textbook/handbook for law students, undergraduate and graduate students in the environmental sciences, and environmental law practitioners, entitled, Environmental Justice: Legal Theory and Practice. He has authored/co-authored more than 20 articles on environmental law and policy, and environmental justice and sustainable development in scholarly and professional journals.
Hill received a B.A. in Political Science from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York; a M.A. in Political Science from Howard University; a J.D. from the Cornell University of Law; and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
Community Design for Social Impact, OpenIDEO
Lauren is a community designer and storyteller, and photographer for social impact with OpenIDEO, IDEO’s open innovation portfolio. When designing communities for global movements, Lauren draws on her experience in online and offline community building for grassroots organizations in the maternal health, indigenous rights, and malnutrition spaces from Guatemala to Uganda. Lauren mentors OpenIDEO’s global community of nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and designers through the design thinking process, while equipping innovators with the resources to take concepts from ideas to impact. Her projects with OpenIDEO span topics including reimaging maternal health, plastics in our oceans, and gratitude in the workplace.
Co-Founder & Co-Director, US Right to Know
For over a decade, Stacy has led campaigns to shift the market to safer products, healthy food and clean production. She is a co-founder and co-director of US Right to Know, a nonprofit organization that investigates and reports on what the food industry doesn’t want us to know about our food. Stacy is author of the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” (New Society 2007) and she co-founded the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in 2002. For eight years, Stacy was the communications director for Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition working to transform the health care industry so it is no longer a source of harm. Prior to her work as an environmental health activist, Stacy was a reporter and newspaper publisher. Follow her on Twitter @StacyMalkan and @SafeCosmetics.
Founder, Urban Remedy
Neka is a licensed Acupuncturist, Author and the Founder of Urban Remedy. She created Urban Remedy as a natural evolution of her passion for health and healing and living a lifestyle with “food is healing” as her mantra. Growing up in the farm-to-table culture of Northern California, Neka was inspired by people who care about what they eat and who strive to eat for health as well as pleasure. In her private practice of over a decade, Neka combined acupuncture and Chinese medicine with cutting-edge nutrition and lifestyle modifications to heal, balance and create optimal health. Neka started leading wellness retreats with her patients and over and over again they described experiencing life-changing results after just a few days. Inspired by these transformations, Neka knew she had found her calling and in 2009, Urban Remedy was born.
Director, San Francisco Department of
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.
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.
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.
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.
Senior Food Campaigner, Friends of the Earth U.S.
Chloë Waterman currently serves as senior food campaigner for Friends of the Earth U.S. where she implements policy and markets campaigns to advance a sustainable and just food system. Her work centers around reducing consumption of industrial animal products and growing the market for regenerative, organic, and more humanely raised meat and dairy.
PGC 2016 Finalist, Chief of Staff, Turning Green
Hannah is a fourth-year student at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. She was a Project Green Challenge 2016 Finalist and has continued to work with Turning Green since, now serving as Turning Green’s Chief of Staff. She credits her passion for the environment to Project Green Challenge, and loves working with Turning Green because she strongly believes in their mission to change the world through students.
PGC 2013 Champion , Illustrator & Motion Graphics Artist
Madeleine Welsch is a Brooklyn-based illustrator and motion graphics artist. Her rural upbringing in Massachusetts fostered an insatiable call to answer the question, “what impact do I have here?”, which she explores in both 2D drawings and animations. Madeleine has been an artist in residence at The Center at Eagle Hill in Hardwick, Massachusetts, The Sitka Fellows Program in Sitka, Alaska, and the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California. Finding herself at the intersection of audio storytelling and education, Madeleine has worked with clients like Panoply, Gimlet Media, AdHoc, and Resy. Currently, Madeleine can be found drawing full-time at Flocabulary in Brooklyn, NY, where she illustrates and animates educational hip hop videos aimed to engage and inspire K-12 students.
Membership Manager, 1% for the Planet
Liz manages 1% for the Planet‘s network of business and individual members throughout the Western United States, and helps those members develop strong giving strategies and nonprofit partnerships. She believes that giving back to the environment is good corporate strategy, and that businesses have a critical role to play in changing consumer behavior and driving positive environmental impact. Prior to joining 1% for the Planet, Liz helped found and direct a nonprofit dedicated to advancing more sustainable, climate-friendly refrigerants. She previously worked in atmospheric policy development for the U.S. EPA and holds a Master’s of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara and a B.A and B.S. from UC San Diego. A California native who is partial to the coast, Liz currently resides in Santa Cruz, CA with her husband and adorable dog, Tolo. She’s passionate about bikes (all types and especially for transportation purposes!) and spends her free time riding, running, surfing, and otherwise scheming her next adventure.