Following a decade running marketing for NYC Internet startups, Boulden received a “green MBA” on full scholarship from George Washington University. Upon graduating with honors, she co-founded Ideal Bite in 2005, a daily email dedicated to “light-green living.” The digital media venture grew rapidly by leveraging private equity capital, good business & branding sense, email list building techniques and a deep passion for building a true movement. Within 3 years, Ideal Bite was acquired by The Walt Disney Company.
Today Boulden co-leads HigherU.com, an online incubator and holistic digital marketing program for selected impact entrepreneurs, while also running her small family farm in Santa Barbara wine country, and AnavoFarm.org, nonprofit for farm animal welfare.
Renowned consumer advocate Erin Brockovich is the president of Brockovich Research & Consulting and the founder of the Erin Brockovich Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to educate and empower communities in their fight for clean water. She is the author of Superman's Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What WE THE PEOPLE Can Do About it, and coauthor of Take it from Me: Life's a Struggle But You Can Win. She has her own show on PodcastOne, and is the executive producer of the ABC television series "Rebel." She lives in Southern California. Learn more at www.brockovich.com and The Brockovich Report.
Dr. Leslie Carr is a clinical psychologist with a passion for educating the general public about the effect that our environment has on our mental health. She's the host of a new podcast (out in April 2021) called The Nature of Nurture, which explores how our emotional lives are impacted by our relationships, our culture, and even by government influence. She believes strongly that the climate crisis is a mental health crisis. More information can be found at www.lesliecarr.com.
GIGI LEE CHANG
Gigi Lee Chang is a Managing Partner at BFY Capital, a privately-owned debt financing company focused on providing growth capital to “better for you” consumer brands in the food, beverage, beauty and wellness sectors to support growth activities with minimal dilution.
Prior to joining BFY, she was the Managing Director of FoodFutureCo, an accelerator helping mission driven entrepreneurs working across the food system. Gigi is the Founder of Plum Organics and was also the CEO and Board Vice-Chair of the national children's environmental health non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World.
Named one of the top women leaders in the "future of food" by Forbes and a top dealmaker and influencer in consumer food and beverage by CircleUp, Gigi is a frequent speaker on social enterprise, sustainability, impact investing and entrepreneurship. Recent speaking engagements include Nutrition Capital Network, SXSW, FoodVision, FoodTank Summit, EscaBona, and FounderMade.
She is an advisor, board member and mentor to numerous early stage companies. Her philanthropic and board affiliations include Venture for America, Naturally! Network, One Green Thing and Nationswell Council Member.
Julia Cohen, MPH is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Plastic Pollution Coalition, based in Washington, D.C. Julia brings nearly three decades of experience in leading executive, strategic, communications, fundraising, and outreach efforts for a wide range of government, entertainment, and non-profit groups. Julia was previously the Development and Outreach Director for the Woman’s National Democratic Club, Senior Director of External Engagement at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and has been the Executive Director of Youth Vote Coalition, Vice President of Rock The Vote, and Executive Director of Save the Children’s Youth Noise.
Julia has spoken at corporate headquarters, political conventions, and international conferences and symposia. She serves on the US Movement Support Team of the Break Free From Plastic movement. She is the recipient of the Leadership Award from Four Generation of Leaders in Clean Energy & Sustainable Solutions.
She holds a BA in Modern Society and Social Thought from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Will Cole is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. Named one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation, Dr.Cole specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems.
He is the bestselling author of Ketotarian, The Inflammation Spectrum, and the New York Times Bestseller Intuitive Fasting in which he shows how to use the powerful benefits of flexible intermittent fasting to gain metabolic flexibility and find food peace.
Dr. Cole is the host of the new podcast The Art of Being Well, and has cohosted the popular podcasts goopfellas podcast and Keto Talk.
Chris Colin’s writing has appeared in Best American Science & Nature Writing, the New York Times, Pop-Up Magazine, Wired, NewYorker.com, Outside, Afar and Saveur. He’s the author most recently of Off: The Day the Internet Died, as well as What to Talk About and What Really Happened to the Class of ‘93. He also publishes Six Feet of Separation, the nation’s first pandemic newspaper by and for kids; Dan Rather called it “a virtual newspaper for our troubled times.”
Meg Dees joined Catawba College in August 2017 as Interim Vice President of Development for a two-year period as an executive on loan from the Charlotte-based Foundation for The Carolinas. In 2019, Dees accepted the permanent position of Vice President of Development for Catawba. She served the Foundation for The Carolinas from 2008 to 2019 as its Vice President - Philanthropic Advancement, Affiliate Development. Prior to that Meg was the Assistant Director of the NC Main Street Program for the State of NC from 1999-2008 and served as the Executive Director of the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation from 1993-1999.
Meg is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College and holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from NC State University. In the past Meg has served on the Board of Directors for Piedmont Players Theatre, The Rowan Museum, Preservation North Carolina, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame Association Foundation and the Catawba College Board of Trustees.
In addition to One Green Thing, Meg currently serves on the advisory boards of the Catawba College Center for the Environment and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute.
Meg is married to Jay Dees, an attorney in Salisbury, NC and has two children, son Archie, a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill and daughter Maggie, a senior in high school at Salem Academy.
Max Finberg currently serves as the President and CEO of Growing Hope Globally, a faith based organization dedicated to ending hunger by supporting farmers and their food security. Formerly Foods Resource Bank, Growing Hope Globally has helped 2.1 million people to escape hunger and extreme poverty. Their unique model has farmers and their communities in the US supporting farmers and their communities overseas. He is responsible for running all aspects of the organization.
He has dedicated his life to serving others, especially those who suffer from hunger and poverty. Prior to being chosen to lead the organization, he worked with the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP, the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize winner) in Rome, Italy, the world’s largest humanitarian organization. As a director and special advisor, he ran the Executive Director’s immediate office during his transition and managed his selection process. Before that, he served in a variety of leadership positions with the US government and nongovernmental organizations. He was a political appointee in both Democratic and Republican administrations in the White House, US Departments of Agriculture and State, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. He served on the White House Domestic Policy Council, as director of USDA’s rural anti-poverty initiative and Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and as Special Assistant to the US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture.
Most recently, he served as director of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America), an 8,000 person national service program designed to address poverty in the United States. He was the founding director of the Alliance to End Hunger and also the inaugural program director at the Congressional Hunger Center in Washington, DC, both of which are still active in the efforts to end hunger in the United States and around the world.
Max is an honors graduate of Howard University School of Divinity with a Master’s degree in Social Ethics and Tufts University with degrees in International Relations, Political Science and German. He has lived, worked and studied in Italy, Germany, Mexico, Nicaragua and England and traveled to more than 70 countries. He is a National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award winner and a Harry Truman Scholar. Originally from the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York, he currently resides in Takoma Park, Maryland with his wife, daughter and son.
Victoria Gilchrist is a Human Rights Strategic Program Manager at Intel Corporation. Although a native of Newport News, Virginia, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Victoria holds a BA in Spanish from the University of Virginia, an MBA from the University of Southern California, and an Executive Master in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University. She has either lived in or travelled to 6 continents, the experiences of which have contributed to her desire to not only love the world but to help shape it for the better.
Her day job allows her the opportunity to influence positive transformation in the tech industry’s supply chain in the areas of labor, environment, health and safety, ethics, and management systems. In her free time, she focuses on combatting the various forms of social injustice and human trafficking that exist around the world. Her work with Hope for Children Ethiopia centers around extracting children from forced labor and sex trafficking into rehabilitation programs that not only strive to heal their emotional scars, but train them for jobs so that they can independently re-enter society.
In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Victoria worked with the local chapter of Not for Sale, which works to interrupt the cycle of sex trafficking and abuse in the Red Light District by providing restaurant trade internships to women seeking to escape the sex trade. She was able to tie the idea of using tech to tackle sex trafficking at large sporting events in her TEDx Talk, Giving AI a Sporting Chance. Victoria is a frequent speaker on sustainability, equity, and human rights issues on national panels. You can read her recent op-ed in Green Biz on “How to Talk about Racial Equity in Sustainability” here.
A lifelong environmental activist with a deep love for philanthropy, social justice, and community partnerships, Kelly has spent the past decade working for two major nonprofit organizations, Yellowstone Forever (focused on the preservation of Yellowstone National Park) and the Environmental Working Group (committed to building healthier lives and homes through clean energy). Prior to her nonprofit work, Kelly helped secure funding for financially sustainable programs at Pepperdine University, her alma mater. Kelly joined the Sierra Club in 2020 as the Senior Managing Director of Major Gifts, West to develop strategic fundraising plans that support the mission and programs of the organization. Kelly lives in Los Angeles with her husband, 9-year old daughter, and goldendoodle, Benny, where she navigates her love for travel, the arts, and politics, staying centered with hot yoga, and challenging her physical agility through biking and hiking in the great outdoors.
Chris Hill has a deep desire for social justice and a passion for the outdoors. She has been an avid adventurer since she was young, backpacking, climbing, snowboarding and fly fishing all over. As an environmental lobbyist for the past decade and currently the Acting Campaign Director for the Our Wild America Campaign at Sierra Club, Chris’ desire for a just, equitable and sustainable future, one in which all people benefit from clean air, clean water and equitable access to the outdoors is rooted in community-based organizing. Chris got her start as a grassroots organizer in Appalachia working to stop mountaintop removal coal mining and advance just transition.
Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris earned a B.A. in broadcast communications and electronic media from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. and a J.D. from Vermont Law School.
Chris is currently a board member for Trout Unlimited and Alaska Wilderness League, a member of the Leadership Team for Artemis Sportswomen, an ambassador for WeGotNext, a member of the Green Leadership Trust and is a Sierra Club Outings leader (leading fly fishing trips in Alaska).
In 2019, Chris partnered with The Outbound Collective to tell her story on the water. The film, "Where I belong," won 2021 Best Short Film for the Conservation Film Festival and has been accepted into 2020’s Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, the Mountain Film Festival, among others. Watch Chris' story here. She currently splits her time between Washington, DC and Haines, Alaska.
Robin is a change agent, social entrepreneur, and organizational development consultant. She founded the nonprofit Sow Much Good in Charlotte, NC because she saw a clear and present need for healthy food in underserved and at-risk communities. Her idea has grown to become a thriving "Food for Change" movement, helping over thirty thousand individuals and raising millions to fund food justice programs and agricultural operations. She's studied food policy in China as an Eisenhower Fellow and is a sustainable agriculture expert. From as CNN to People magazine, her game-changing work inspires people around the world. Check out her TEDX Talk on Sowing Good in the Community and Yourself.
Asher Jay, National Geographic explorer turned entrepreneur and Founder and CEO of IncOperate, and key advisor to a Venture Capital Growth Fund focused on Saas, AI, smart farming and aquaculture, and renewables, is an international adventurer and public figure whose career arc has taken her from fashion designing on Seventh Avenue to campaigning against blood ivory on its Billboards. Through her compelling paintings, sculptures, installations, animations, ad campaigns, and films, Jay's work has contributed to raising consumer awareness and empowering citizen action. Her singular purpose: to solve for a sustainable, holistic future that fosters tangible coexistence between humanity and wild.
From business to design, Jay's efforts have always pushed the boundaries on and explored technology as the final frontier to promote access and address inequity. Jay and her team aim to foster an inclusive, cyclical paradigm that takes humanity out of its exploitative, deficit-causing expression and into models of mutualism. Working for people and planet with purpose Jay asserts, "individually we can tell stories, but together we can change the narrative." Learn more at asherjay.com.
Karin’s purpose is to activate integrity as a core business value while empowering employees as integrity champions. She is a leader in the Global Ethics and Compliance program for VF Corporation, the purpose-led parent company of iconic brands such as Vans, The North Face, and Timberland. At VF, Karin works daily to build culture and develop processes that foster ethical business practices. Karin has a deeply held belief that integrity and sustainability are inextricably intertwined and strong cultures of integrity naturally lead to increased action on sustainability. Karin has a profound love of nature and enjoys getting outdoors with her husband and three kids whenever possible.
René Jones is a Partner and Global Head of Social Impact at United Talent Agency (UTA), where she established the UTA Foundation for the agency and guides UTA's high-profile clients on their social impact strategies, as well as oversees corporate social responsibility across offices.
In 2020, she was appointed by the Governor to the California Volunteers Commission, which is tasked with uniting Californians in service and empowering them to take action in their communities and leads the Climate Action Corps committee.
In addition to OneGreenThing, she sits on the board of directors for U.S.VETS, the nation’s largest veteran housing and services, and Impact Guild, which activates media and popular culture for social good. Jones is a senior fellow for the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the University of Southern California and resides in Los Angeles.
Robyn O’Brien is a globally recognized leader in the food industry. She founded the AllergyKids Foundation, a 501 c3 focused on bringing transparency and safety to the food supply for the 1 in 3 children with allergies, autism, ADHD or asthma. Her work was immediately picked up by the press, and in 2009, Random House published her book, The Unhealthy Truth, putting her in the crosshairs of some of the world’s most powerful food and agrichemical companies.
With a background in finance as a founding team member of AIM/Invesco’s first hedge fund of $100 million and their $20 billion Constellation Fund, she called attention to the shortcomings of the U.S. food system, particularly the double standards employed by the publicly traded food companies, and her impact is now globally recognized. She is often quoted, saying “You can’t fix a broken food system with a broken financial system.”
Robyn served as founder and President of Do Good, a consulting company that worked deeply in the food industry with CEOs and executives at multinational CPG companies and startups to address the changing needs of 21st century families. She was invited to speak at Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg and other investor events to inform shareholders of the challenges and opportunities in the food system.
Her TEDx talk on our broken food system has been viewed by millions, translated into dozens of languages, and her work has inspired state legislation, Congressional investigations and national policy debates around food safety and security. She is regularly featured in the press, from Forbes to CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox News. Her global platform provides an ongoing stream of proprietary deal flow across food, ag+tech and agriculture.
Robyn is from Texas, attended Washington and Lee in Virginia, graduating Summa Cum Laude, received a Fulbright Fellowship to Paris, France, and earned her MBA from Rice University on a full scholarship, graduating as the top woman in her class. She is an adjunct professor at Rice University’s Jones’ School of Business, creating a course for second year MBAs, called “The New Food Economy.”
Nora LaTorre is the CEO of Eat REAL, which is a Bay Area non-profit transforming health in the United States. Eat REAL’s scalable solution empowers students, parents and school district leaders to make food delicious, nourishing, and sustainable through their evidence-based certification program. The moon-shot model tackles the deteriorating state of health for our youth while improving education through food system innovation.
Nora’s background is in tech for good, sustainability, social movements and business with purpose. She draws upon her time as VP at Fair Trade USA, where she sparked consumer demand to create market shifts, to ignite a new real food culture.
When she’s not future-proofing food, she’s exploring California in her van cabin. You can find her climbing up, skiing down or hiking around the Sierras with her husband and new daughter.
Maya Penn is a 21-year-old award-winning environmental activist, 3 time TED Speaker, animator, educator, artist, sustainability consultant and author. She has been working in sustainability and environmental justice for 13 years since 2008 when she was just 8 years old. Maya has received a commendation from President Barack Obama for outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship and has been named Oprah’s youngest Supersoul 100 change maker. Maya made history in 2016 during the Obama administration when she was commissioned to create an animated film for the opening of the first ever digital report to congress, which was to get an American museum of Women’s History built in Washington. As of 2021 this legislation has been successfully passed through the senate.
Maya has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, TIME, Grist, Scholastic Science World, ESSENCE, NRDC, The View, CNN, Wired, VICE, and has been named one of Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21. Maya’s latest TEDWomen Talk has gone viral worldwide, has been translated into 38 languages, and is one of TED’s official top 15 TEDWomen Talks of all time. Maya was awarded the 2016 Coretta Scott King A.N.G.E.L. Award, as well as honored at the SCLC Drum Major for Justice Awards when she was 12 years old. Maya’s book You Got This (Published by Simon & Schuster) is being used in schools around the world from Cincinnati, US to Bangalore, India as curriculum to teach youth sustainable entrepreneurship, creative problem solving, and giving back. Maya serves on the advisory board of Ghana-based sustainable design initiative THE REVIVAL and previously served on The Pollination Project’s Youth Grantmaking Advisory Board.
She founded her own environmental justice and humanitarian-centered 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Maya's Ideas 4 The Planet, in 2011. One of her most notable ongoing initiatives has been designing and creating eco-friendly sanitary pads that have been shipped to healthcare facilities in Haiti, Senegal, Somalia, and Cameroon. Maya also utilizes biomimicry for her work in sustainable design and innovation for the future.
Larry Schweiger became President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation in 2004 with a commitment to confront the climate crisis and to protect wildlife for our children’s future. Previously, Larry served for eight years as President and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, where he pioneered watershed restoration and promoted ecological research, land conservation and community outreach. Prior to that, Larry was the Executive Secretary of the Joint House/Senate Conservation Committee for the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs at National Wildlife Federation, and the first Vice President of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Larry is the author of The Climate Crisis & Corrupt Politics: Overcoming the Powerful Forces that Threaten Our Future and Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth.
Larry is an active community leader, having served on more than 40 governing boards, commissions and committees. In addition to his service on the board of The Climate Reality Project, he currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Climate Reality Project, the John Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment; the Blue Green Alliance; and National Wildlife Federation Action Fund. Larry is married and has three adult daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandsons.
Sara is the head strategist for communications and marketing at Ceres, and serves as a member of the organization's Leadership Team. She joined Ceres in April 2016. As the Senior Department Director of Communications and Marketing, Sara oversees a diverse team of talented communicators and marketers and directs a wide range of media and digital activities that have significantly expanded Ceres' global position as a leading sustainability nonprofit organization. She promotes the sustainability leadership and expertise of Ceres' CEO and President Mindy Lubber and other experts on a range of environmental, social and governance issues and policy advocacy. She regularly provides strategic communications guidance to major institutional investors, Fortune 500 corporate executives, and nonprofit CEOs.
Sara also leads coordinated communications and marketing efforts for the world's largest investor initiative on climate change, Climate Action 100+, as well as for The Investor Agenda, a global investor collaboration driving the net zero future.
Prior to Ceres, Sara served as Vice President of Communications at Environmental Working Group, an environmental health organization that brings awareness to the harmful toxic chemicals in U.S. food and consumer products. Her professional experience also includes eight years of television and radio news broadcasting in top media markets, including Boston and Providence. Her last stint as a reporter involved covering the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill for public radio stations across the country. In 2008, she was selected by the National Press Foundation for its prestigious Paul Miller Fellowship. In 2021, she joined the nonprofit One Green Thing as a member of its Board of Directors.
Sara holds a bachelor's degree in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a former Division I college soccer player and resides in Boston.
Mindy Simon has more than twenty years of experience working with tax-exempt entities. She is an Associate General Counsel and Senior Tax and International Specialist at Emory University, where she advises on a wide range of issues, including tax, executive compensation, conflicts of interest, international, and general corporate matters. Prior to joining Emory's Office of the General Counsel in August 2004, Mindy practiced as an attorney in the tax section of Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP in Atlanta, where she specialized in general federal taxation and the representation of tax-exempt organizations. Other previous positions include serving as a Staff Assistant for U.S. Senator Jim Sasser (Tennessee) (1994) and teaching English as a second language in Thailand (1995-1996). Mindy received her BA from Rhodes College in 1993 and her JD from the University of Tennessee in 1999.
Mindy has served in multiple leadership positions in the legal community, including as the former Chair of the Nonprofit Law Section of the Georgia Bar (2016) and former President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers (2005-2006). She serves as a frequent speaker and lecturer nationally and has presented with the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta.
In 2013, Mindy received the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta Volunteer of the Year Award. Mindy also received the Emory University Award of Distinction in 2014 and the Emory University Campus Life Awards of Service in 2016. Mindy lives in Decatur, Georgia with her husband and two sons.
Pam Solo is the founder and CEO of the Civil Society Institute. She has served in this role since 1992. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Prize Fellowship. She was a founder of the Nuclear Weapons Freeze campaign. As a community organizer in Colorado she started the campaign to close and convert the Rocky Flats Nuclear weapons plant, the place where the nuclear triggers for every warhead in the arsenal were manufactured. Fires and routine radiation emissions threatened the health and safety of downwind residents. Solo is the author of From Protest to Policy: Beyond the Freeze to Common Security.
Pam has worked in national politics, chairing the strategy committee for the National Freeze campaign, and in electoral politics, managing Congressional campaigns for Rep. Patricia Schroeder. She was campaign manager for Schroeder’s Presidential exploratory. Solo was senior staff for the Armed Services Committee panel on Burdensharing for Rep. Schroeder.
The Civil Society Institute has worked for the last 25 years on issues of climate change, community action and renewable energy.
Colleen Wachob is Co-Founder and Co-CEO at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Stanford University with degrees in international relations and Spanish, and spent 10 years working at Fortune 500 companies including Gap, Walmart, and Amazon. Wachob lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, mbg Founder and Co-CEO Jason Wachob and their two daughters, Ellie and Grace.
FOUNDER & CEO
Heather is the Founder & CEO of OneGreenThing. She has more than 20 years experience in nonprofit management and policy advocacy. The former President of Yellowstone Forever, the nonprofit partner to Yellowstone National Park, Executive Director of EWG, and Director of Education Advocacy at the National Wildlife Federation, Heather also served as Counsel on Energy and Environment to United States Senator Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and an associate a Bass, Berry & Sims law firm. A recount attorney and presidential campaign staffer for Al Gore in 2000, Heather has been named "One of the Top 100 Women in Wellness" by MindBodyGreen and recipient of the Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards. Currently serving on the board of several national nonprofit organizations, Heather graduated magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she was Managing Editor of the Tennessee Law Review. She received her B.A. in Environmental Science at the University of Virginia as an Echols Scholar. Heather lives in Bozeman, Montana.