Saturday, February 17, 2018

2018 Green Initiative Conference

Green Initiative Conference
3rd Annual

Formerly the Green Business Conference

Northeastern Illinois University
Alumni Hall, Student Union
Tuesday April 3, 2018


10:50 - 12:05 -- The Burden: Fossil Fuel, the Military, and National Security


SPEAKERS (see detailed schedule below):

12:15 - 1:30 pm -- Seven Generations Ahead

1:40 - 2:55 pm -- Wespath Investment Management

3:05 - 4:05 pm -- Chicago Region Trees Initiative 

DISCUSSION PANEL (see details below):

4:15 - 5:30 pm -- 

Wespath Investment Management

Chicago Region Trees Initiative

Sierra Club Ready for 100 Campaign

Environmentalists of Color and Slow Roll Chicago


5:40 - 6:55 pm -- Keynote speaker:

                            Aaron Durnbaugh, NEIU Alum
                            Director of Sustainability
                            Loyola University Chicago






12:15- 1:30 pm--
Gary Cuneen, Seven Generations Ahead

"Building Sustainable Communities and Thinking Seven Generations Ahead"

Speaker bio: Gary Cuneen is the founder and executive director of Seven Generations Ahead. Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) is in its 17th year of promoting sustainable and healthy communities. SGA's name is borrowed from the Native American principle which states, "In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation." SGA supports local government, community and private sector leaders in making the changes they need to create healthy and sustainable communities, and is a catalyst for local solutions to global environmental issues. SGA's work covers energy efficiency and renewable energy; transportation; community development; waste reduction; water conservation; green business development; local, sustainable food; open space and ecosystem enhancement; and education.

1:40 - 2:55 pm --
Anita Green
Director, Sustainable Investment Strategies
Wespath Investment Management

"Megatrends to Microgrids: How investors are supporting climate solutions"

Speaker bio: Anita joined Wespath in December 2008. As the Director of Sustainable Investment Strategies, she is responsible for strategic development and implementation of Wespath’s corporate engagement program. In this role she regularly communicates with corporate management about policies and practices related to environmental, social and governance issues.

About Wespath

Wespath Investment Management (Wespath) is a division of Wespath Benefits and Investments, a general agency of The United Methodist Church. Wespath provides investment solutions for the endowment and retirement plan portfolios of United Methodist-affiliated investors through a broadly diversified family of daily-priced funds.

Wespath’s investment process proactively incorporates the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investments across asset classes and in the selection of external asset managers. Wespath's activities promoting sustainability include proxy voting, corporate and public policy engagement, and positive impact investing.

Wespath’s total assets under management were over $23 billion as of December 31, 2017. 

3:05 - 4:05 pm --
Melissa Custic, Chicago Region Trees Initiative

"State of the Urban Forest: Challenges and Opportunities"

Speaker bio: The Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) was established in 2013 as a collaboration of regional partners to develop and implement a strategy that builds a healthier and more diverse urban forest that will provide the region improved environmental, economic, and social benefits- by 2050. To make a significant, measurable improvement to the regional forest and the lives of its inhabitants, CRTI is setting actionable goals for canopy cover, species and age class diversity, and management expertise. My role as coordinator of CRTI is to support the works groups is developing solutions to regional challenges and track the impacts and progress of our efforts.


4:15 - 5:30 pm --

Anita Green, Melissa Custic, Kyra Woods (bio below), and Melanie L. Moore (bio below)

"What Does "Sustainability" Mean to You?: Multiple Perspectives of Sustainability and Development"


Kyra Woods, Sierra Club Ready for 100 Campaign 

Discussant bio: Kyra Woods is a Chicago native working with the Sierra Club as an organizer with the Ready for 100 campaign in Chicago. Kyra's initial interest in environmental advocacy and international development grew from her involvement in the Model United Nations in high school and led her to earn her Environmental Engineering degree from Northwestern University. Upon graduation, Kyra began volunteering with the Sierra Club and in 2016 was invited to join the U.S. Peace Corps as a volunteer with the World Food Programme in Guinea, West Africa. After watching the 2016 presidential election from abroad, she was eager to return to the US and work to engage diverse, interdisciplinary, and multi-generational voices in discussions around environmental and public health. 

Melanie L. Moore, Advisory Council of the Environmentalists of Color and volunteer with Slow Roll Chicago 

Discussant Bio: Melanie L. Moore is an accomplished environmental consultant that helped shape the largest energy bill to be passed in the state of Illinois.  Melanie has led projects with the Union of Concerned Scientists, Chicago Botanic Garden, Friends of the Parks, Environmental Design International, Peoples Gas and Cook County Clerk of Court’s Office.  Her areas of expertise are sustainability, environmental science, climate change, LEED, urban planning, marketing and public policy.
Ms. Moore currently sits on the Advisory Council of the Environmentalists of Color and is the Director of Legislative affairs for BK Environmental Industries.  Additionally, she holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from Hampton University and an M.S. in Environmental Science Policy from the University of Chicago.  
A native Chicagoan, Melanie enjoys gardening, baking, cycling, yoga, whitewater rafting, hosting events and is a wine connoisseur.  In addition to being a classically trained dancer, Melanie serves on the Auxiliary Board the Auditorium Theater and volunteers with Slow Roll Chicago. 


5:40 - 6:55 pm --

Aaron Durnbaugh, Director of Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago

"Making a Green Career: Sustainability as a Journey, not a Destination"


Speaker bio: Aaron Durnbaugh, Loyola University Chicago Director of Sustainability, supports the students, faculty, and staff across the university in creating the most sustainable and transformative education experience possible. Working across the curriculum, culture, and campuses of Loyola, Durnbaugh builds innovation and efficiency into the University’s programs and student experience focusing on water protection, energy conservation, and mission-driven climate action. He currently serves on the Executive Council of the Chicago Wilderness Alliance, is on the Steering Committee of the Illinois Green Alliance, and is on the Advisory Committee for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS).

Previously, he served as the Deputy Commissioner leading Chicago Department of Environment's Natural Resources and Water Quality Division (NRWQ). The Department of Environment was the lead agency developing and implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan. NRWQ educated the public on climate change issues through the Chicago Center for Green Technology, Chicago Conservation Corps, and Greencorps Chicago. NRWQ created mitigation opportunities through open space protection in the Calumet region, green infrastructure financing, and various urban forestry projects. Most recently, Durnbaugh oversaw the City of Chicago’s climate adaptation strategy engaging stakeholders in built environment, public health, and the natural environment.

He holds a Master's Degree in Geography and Environmental Studies and is a LEED™ accredited professional.