The External Advisory Board’s objective is to keep the Erb Institute’s educational programs in the forefront of preparing today’s and tomorrow’s leaders to create a more sustainable future. The EAB advises on curriculum, including content, program structure and delivery. EAB members also support students directly through mentoring and advising, networking, and by providing projects, internships and job opportunities.
Erb External Advisory Board
- Alcoa Inc.
- Banorte Securities International Ltd.
- Barton Consulting Services, LLC
- BP America
- Business for Social Responsibility
- Cleargreen Advisors
- Clearwater Systems Corporation
- Comerica Bank
- Corporate Citizenship
- Council of Great Lakes Industries
- Deloitte Consulting
- Dow Chemical Company
- Dow Chemical Company
- Environmental Defense Fund
- Ford Motor Company
- George Washington University
- Global Change Associates
- GM Motors
- Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR)
- Growth Capital Network
- Hedstrom Associates
- Herman Miller
- Holcim (US) Inc.
- Scott Beckerman
- Lauren Bigelow
- Kathryn Buckner
- Meghan Chapple-Brown
- David Clark
- Megan DeYoung
- Jim Frey
- Peter Fusaro
- Lee Gorman
- Catherine Greener
- Charles Griffith
- Erika Guerra
- Gilbert Hedstrom
- Mayra Hernandez Gonzalez
- Shawn Hunter
- Janelle Kearsley
- Jonathan Koch
- Cynthia Koenig
- Christopher Kolb
- Mark LaCroix
- Loch McCabe
- Josh Nothwang
- Eric Olson
- Monique Oxender
- Steven Percy
- Mark Ritz
Sr. Vice President & Group Manager, Environmental Risk Management
Lauren Bigelow Reed is CEO of Growth Capital Network and was previously the Managing Director for the Cleantech Network. Prior to joining Cleantech, Lauren served as the Educational Director at the Ann Arbor IT Zone, a networking and education organization that promoted the growth of the IT industry in Michigan. At the IT Zone, Lauren was responsible for over 60 annual events, including IT Forums, Entrepreneur Bootcamps, and the Center for Venture Capital & Private Equity Finance's annual venture conference. She served the IT and Biotech sectors in collaboration with a wide range of partner organizations and entrepreneurs. Lauren was the Marketing Director of the Richard Hale Shaw Group, a boutique developer training company where she created and executed marketing strategy and brand awareness. Her prime foci were to develop marketing & advertising materials and further their market position as a premium .NET training provider in coordination with Microsoft and other software companies. Lauren earned a BA in Economics (University of Michigan) and an MA in Anthropology Northwestern University), and has authored several anthropological publications. She currently serves as a Director of the Sustainable Living Company in England and on the Advisory Board of Amara Conservation.
Council of Great Lakes Industries
MBA/MS Program 2011
Kathryn is the President of the Council of Great Lakes Industries, a tax-exempt business association that promotes sustainability in the Great Lakes region. As President of CGLI, Kathryn is focused on promoting sustainability within the Great Lakes industrial community and engaging the Great Lakes industrial community in sustainability policy. Prior to joining CGLI, Kathryn was a practicing environmental attorney who helped business and municipal clients develop proactive strategies for managing environmental challenges and opportunities. As part of the Erb Institute, Kathryn worked with a team to develop a comprehensive sustainability plan for a Cistercian monastery in Virginia. The plan covered all aspects of sustainability (land use, energy, water, toxics, solid waste, buildings, and economic sustainability) and enhanced Kathryn’s interest in the complex organizational elements of implementing principles of sustainability within business organizations.
Director, Office of Sustainability
George Washington University
MBA/MS Program 2002
Before joining George Washington University, Meghan was Director of Client Services at SustainAbility, a think tank/consultancy group, working to advise on corporate responsibility and sustainable development as it relates to market risks and opportunities. Previously, at the World Resources Institute, she managed the Beyond Grey Pinstripes report as well as other projects within the business education portfolio. She has experience in corporate social responsibility from her work with The Albright Group, Ford Motor Company, and Dow on climate change, human rights, and emerging markets, respectively. She also has expertise in community development and environmental education. While at the University of Michigan, she worked on various start-up projects including a social enterprise for the Crow Indians, a green marketing plan for a Bolivian company that is a WRI New Ventures client, and a greenhouse gas emissions registry. She also conducted a new business opportunity analysis in Brazil and Argentina for Dow Chemical through the William Davidson Institute. Her interest in the social issues of sustainability led to her work on Ford Motor Company's social performance strategy in the summer of 2001. Before enrolling at Michigan, Meghan applied her Environmental Science degree from Northwestern with Public Allies in Chicago to implement economic development programs with low-income communities. She has also worked with the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy as a community outreach coordinator and a writer for public relations and fundraising efforts. In addition, she initiated a teen community environmental program for the Southeast Chicago Development Commission.
Vice President Safety, Environment,and Sustainability
Dave Clark is Vice President Safety, Environment,and Sustainability for Amcor Rigid Plastics. Dave joined Amcor as plant manager of Amcor’s PET recycling plant. He currently leads Amcor’s EnviroAction program to enhance the environmental profile of Amcor’s Rigid Plastics plants and products, combining his hands-on technical skills and project management skills with a interest in finding more sustainable business strategies. He is closely involved with PET recycling and issues related to the collection, processing, and use of recycled containers, as well as integrating sustainable design into Amcor’s product development and innovation processes. Dave is an active member of several organizations including the Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and the Plastic Recycling Corporation of California. Amcor is a $12.6 billion leader in packaging, delivering innovative solutions to customers around the world from over 300 sites with 35,000 employees in 43 countries. Amcor’s commitment to sustainability and responsible packaging guides how the company operates both internally and as a part of our communities and the global environment. Amcor is a member of the Carbon Disclosure Project Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and FTSE4Good. Dave holds a B.S., Physics, from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He has made presentations on sustainable packaging and recycling and has been published in several articles about sustainable packaging.
Director, United States
MBA/MS Program 2002
Megan DeYoung manages Corporate Citizenship's US practice. She works with clients across many sectors on creating and implementing corporate responsibility strategies. She has expert knowledge in the pharmaceutical and food and beverage sectors. She has 14 years of corporate responsibility experience with both the private and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining CC, Megan worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers where she assisted clients on sustainability, risk management, and ethics projects. Megan also worked for Population Services International (PSI), focusing on health issues in Africa. Megan has a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan as well as a Bachelor of Art, with High Honors, in Sociology from Emory University.
Principal, CEO and Co-Founder
Resource Recycling Systems, Inc.
Mr. Frey's ability to find and implement practical environmental solutions began with his role in growing the award winning Recycle Ann Arbor program from a voluntary organization into a comprehensive non-profit municipal recycling service provider. His founding of Resource Recycling Systems kicked off over two decades of consulting for thousands of municipalities, institutions and corporations successfully addressing complex and difficult implementation challenges. Skilled in strategic planning, economic analysis, program and service design, operations management consulting, system procurement and negotiations, Mr. Frey brings a long track record of success in bringing cost effective and environmentally responsible solutions to RRS clients. Mr. Frey holds an MBA with High Distinction from the University of Michigan with a concentration in Strategic Planning, Business Economics and Public Policy.
Chairman and Founder
Global Change Associates
Energy consultant Peter C. Fusaro is chairman of New York-based Global Change Associates Inc. and co-founder of the Energy Hedge Fund Center. He is the best- selling author of What Went Wrong at Enron and is an energy industry thought leader noted for his keen insights in emerging energy and environmental issues. He coined the term “Green Trading” as well as created the annual Green Trading Summit held in New York each spring. His experiences and insights have lead him to the leading edge of energy consulting including carbon & emissions trading, LNG market developments, coal trading, hedge funds, and renewable energy project finance and venture capital.
Barton Consulting Services, LLC
After a successful career in the auto industry, Ms. Gorman now does extensive consulting work for local non-profits and early-stage companies. She began serving on the EAB four years ago, and worked closely with Erb Institute staff to facilitate the Erb strategic planning and implementation process. She enjoys coaching and mentoring at all levels, has done so for Net Impact and CleanTech Open, and especially enjoys working with Erb Students.
Greener Solutions Inc., is a network of talented people and firms; reinventing everything—creating a sustainable Future. Prior to founding Greener Solutions, Catherine was Saatchi & Saatchi S’ Vice President of Sustainability Consulting. Ms. Greener has more than 20 years of experience in the implementation of sustainability, lean manufacturing, and industrial quality management systems. She has led sustainability and resource efficiency projects for clients ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to the industrial facilities of multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, Catherine sits on several advisory boards addressing sustainability in higher education programs, for-profit companies, and the city of Denver. She has experience in the food and beverage processing, automotive, chemical, semi-conductor, facility automation (robotics), and construction industries. She combines her sustainability, quality management, and lean manufacturing experience with acute problem solving skills and an exceptional ability to uncover process waste. Catherine has given numerous talks, facilitated visioning sessions and conducted training classes in sustainability, continuous quality improvement and other disciplines, developed waste reduction programs, and led problem-solving groups for manufacturing strategy. Additionally, she has experience in ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and Six-Sigma. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and a MBA from University of Michigan. Catherine lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband Alan in a home featured on the Boulder Solar Home tour.
Climate and Energy Program Director
The Ecology Center
Charles Griffith is Director of the Ecology Center's Auto Project. He has worked for almost 15 years in the area of toxic materials management and environmental policy, including the last decade on automotive issues. Mr. Griffith currently helps coordinate a coalition-based advocacy initiative called the Clean Car Campaign, which challenges automakers to produce and consumers to purchase vehicles that meet global best practices for fuel efficiency, emissions and clean production. Mr. Griffith has served as an advisor on a variety of automotive environmental initiatives, such as the US EPA's Common Sense Initiative for the Auto Manufacturing Sector, the President's Council on Sustainable Development Auto Demonstration Project, and the U.S. Auto Pollution Prevention Project. He was also an author on a recent groundbreaking study that documented the hazards from automobile end-of-life processing and developed policy solutions to address it.
Corporate Industrial Ecology
Holcim (US) Inc.
Erika Guerra is the Manager of Government Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility for Holcim (US) Inc, a leading global manufacturer of construction materials. In this role, Ms. Guerra is responsible for leading and coordinating the company’s public policy advocacy efforts at the federal and state level. In addition, she represents Holcim (US) in a variety of trade associations and environmental forums. Ms. Guerra also develops and executes the corporate sustainable development strategy through consultation with key internal and external stakeholders. This includes the facilitation of various programs geared toward employee education and community outreach around Holcim (US) operations. Previously, Ms. Guerra served as the Regional Manager for Alternative Fuels and Raw Materials (AFR) Business Development in North America, where she lead efforts to improve the performance of Holcim (US) and St. Lawrence Cement in Canada. She participated in the successful implementation of an aggressive strategy to substitute more than 20% of fossil fuel consumption with waste-derived fuels for cement production in the region. During this time, she was responsible for ensuring the proper implementation of the company’s global standards related to alternative fuels usage. Concurrently, she held the position of Manager, Sustainability Programs, representing Holcim (US) in a number of sustainability-related organizations, including the US Business Council for Sustainable Development, University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change’s Business and Environmental Leadership Council. Earlier, she served as Senior Consultant for AFR Development in North and South America. Ms. Guerra began her career with Holcim in 1997 as a member of the Ecoltec group at Holcim (Apasco) in Mexico. Prior to joining Holcim, she worked for the Mobile Oil Corporation in the lubricants and fuels divisions. She brings a unique international perspective to her new role, having worked throughout North and South America. Ms. Guerra holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico, and a Diploma in Business Administration from Universidad de las Americas, Mexico.
Founder and Principal
Gib Hedstrom has 25 years of experience advising CEOs and board members about how to handle the toughest environmental issues of the day. Schooled in finance at GE, Mr. Hedstrom spent 20 years at Arthur D. Little, leading significant aspects of ADL's environmental auditing, strategy, and governance work. He was elected a Vice President of the firm in 1989. Mr. Hedstrom has reported to outside boards of directors of Fortune 500 companies on over 50 occasions regarding environmental governance, emerging issues, sustainable development, and audit program oversight. Following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio to 2001, Mr. Hedstrom led ADL's worldwide Sustainable Development team. During this time, Mr. Hedstrom also managed ADL's EHS activities throughout Europe and Asia. From 2001 to 2003, he was a partner with PA Consulting Group (largest consulting firm in the U.K.), leading the firm's corporate environmental and sustainable development practice. Gib holds a MBA and MS (Natural Resource Management) from the University of Michigan and a BA Economics and Geology from Hamilton College.
Corporate Director - Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Banorte Securities International Ltd.
Mayra is a creative entrepreneur whose 18-year career has focused on the fusion of strategic branding, design and sustainability. She is the Head of Corporate Responsibility of Grupo Financiero Banorte, the third largest financial institution in Mexico. Prior to her current position, her unique vision-driven leadership style helped build long-term partnerships with global clients. Mayra’s belief in the importance of giving back manifests itself in the combination of philanthropy and initiatives to inspire social innovation. Having Banorte as one of her clients, in 2004 she designed Mujer Banorte. This was the first program of its kind in Mexico to financially empower women. She serves on the borad of Synergos, a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce global poverty through “inclusive partnerships”. Mayra was selected as part of the 2012 Class of the First Movers Fellowship Program of the Aspen Institute and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design from Universidad Iberoamericana.
Life Cycle Assessment and Product Sustainability Leader
Dow Chemical Company
Director of Corporate Strategy/Sustainability
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Janelle Kearsley is Director of Corporate Strategy/Sustainability for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The Strategy/Sustainability team was established in 2005 as part of Wal-Mart's drive to incorporate social and environmental sustainability into its business practices. In her role, Ms. Kearsley is charged with deriving economic value from improved environmental outcomes by: educating associates on how to incorporate sustainability into their businesses; creating tools to enhance network-to-network communications; and communicating the sustainability strategy to internal and external stakeholders.
US Renewables Group
MBA/MS Program 1996
Jonathan is a Managing Director and co-founder of the Firm, and is based in New York. Prior to joining USRG, Mr. Koch was COO for Visible Path, a Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers funded application service provider. He was the founder and CEO of Sundial, a leader in provisioning utility services online. Sundial was acquired by Essential.com, an early entrant into retail power marketing and telecommunications, and later sold to InPhonic (NASDAQ: INPC). Prior to founding Sundial, Mr. Koch was a Business Development Manager at General Electric Power Systems (“GEPS”). Prior to GEPS, Mr. Koch spent more than five years with Booz, Allen & Hamilton consulting on large M&A transactions in the energy and life sciences sectors and advising the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA“) on policy issues in the Superfund, Clean Air and Drinking Water divisions. Mr. Koch holds a joint MBA and MS in Resource Policy from the University of Michigan and a BA from Tufts University.
Founder and CEO
MBA/MS Program 2011
Cynthia is a firm believer in the potential for business to alleviate poverty. Her career has focused on incubating mission-based businesses designed to alleviate poverty in the developing world She has been actively involved in the launch of ventures of all shapes and sizes, ranging from community-run ecotourism businesses in Mexico and Guatemala to a national strategy for sustainable tourism development in Bhutan. She is the founder and CEO of Wello, an award winning social venture that creates disruptive innovations designed to provide better, more reliable access to safe water and introduce opportunities for families to break free from the cycle of poverty. Cynthia earned MBA/MS degrees from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources and Environment and a BA in Anthropology from Trinity College. She is an Unreasonable Institute Fellow.
President & CEO
Michigan Environmental Council
An environmental champion in the legislature and a veteran of the environmental management field, Kolb was one of the legislature’s most consistent and vigorous defenders of clean water, clear air and public health during his six years as State Representative from the 53rd District. He was instrumental in important environmental legislation, including joint planning commissions, land bank authorities, lead poisoning prevention for children, regulation of dangerous polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs), establishment of a fund to help clean up leaking underground storage tanks, and numerous land-use initiatives. Kolb graduated from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Executive Vice President, Global Business Development
The CarbonNeutral Company
Mark LaCroix is Executive Vice President of Global Business Development for The CarbonNeutral Company headquartered in New York City and London. As a member of The CarbonNeutral Company senior management team, and a thought leader in the sustainable business movement, he is an outspoken advocate for sustainable business practices. Mark has leveraged his experience to “sell” the business case for this sustainability and provides guidance and direction to all disciplines within companies seeking to integrate sustainability in all its dimensions. At Interface, he was instrumental in the launch and creation of the Terratex brand, the most widely recognized name in increasingly sustainable textile products. Along with this experience, Mark has also developed and provided hundreds of workshops and CEUs covering a broad spectrum of sustainability related topics. Mark is a LEED Accredited Professional and a regular speaker on sustainability related topics. He was co-chair of the Materials workgroup for the BIFMA Sustainability Assessment Standard for Commercial Furnishings, a board member of the Association for Contract Textiles and of the Joint Committee for the ACT Sustainability Assessment Standard for Commercial Furnishings Fabrics. Mark has served as President of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. He serves on the advisory boards of Aquinas College Sustainable Business Degree program and Very Special Arts – Grand Rapids.
Loch McCabe founded Shepherd Advisors in 2000 with the belief that the key to a truly sustainable future is to grow businesses which enhance our wealth and environment at the same time. Mr. McCabe has been involved in the formation of the Clean Tech sector from “day one.” In the late ‘80s he helped design and raise money for commercial and municipal recycling programs. In the ‘90s, he built the Environmental Capital Network, which facilitated over $50 million in early-stage investments to Clean Tech companies nationwide. He has a knack for recognizing opportunities, developing stories, and working with others to secure needed resources. He backs up his instincts and enthusiasm with analysis and due diligence that fosters clearer thinking and action. At Shepherd, Mr. McCabe focuses on strategy, market development, and financing.
Manager, Strategy and Operations Practice
MBA/MS Program 2008
Josh is a Manager in Deloitte Consulting's sustainability service offering. In this role he delivers sustainability solutions across the value chain; recent client engagements include sustainability strategy for a major retailer, sustainability reporting strategy (GRI, CDP) for a health care REIT, water strategy for a major restaurant chain, and development of performance standards in the impact investing sector. At Michigan he focused on Corporate Strategy and Environmental Policy, interning at Deloitte and Ford. He also conducted independent projects at Waste Management and the World Resources Institute. Prior to Michigan, Josh was a Research Analyst at Industrial Economics; while there he analyzed the economic impact of regulatory actions proposed by EPA and other government agencies. In addition to his MBA/MS, Josh holds a BA in Environmental Studies/Geology from Middlebury College. He currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Lori, daughter Lila, and dog Lincoln.
Senior Vice President
Business for Social Responsibility
Eric leads BSR's growing Advisory Services practice of delivering consultation on successful corporate social responsibility strategies and integrating them into the core businesses of BSR’s member companies. He joined BSR in 2005 with 15 years of work in the consulting field, including significant experience both in supply chain management and issues related to sustainable development. Most recently, Eric led The Natural Step in San Francisco to deliver advice and counsel to a broad range of companies on sustainability matters. He has also served as Vice President at the Boston Consulting Group and was a Partner and Founding Member of the Mitchell Madison Group, a global consultancy focused on strategic sourcing and supply chain management. Eric's primary expertise is in CSR and sustainability strategy development and integration, strategic sourcing and supply chain management, climate change strategies and program development. He has a Master’s degree in philosophy in Russian and East European studies from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. in chemistry and Russian from Macalester College.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR)
MBA/MS Program 2004
Monique Oxender leads Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) efforts related to sustainability engagement. Within the company, this includes metrics management, systems integration and accountability for the enterprise and across business units. Monique also facilitates meaningful engagement with partners and stakeholders external to the company via formal reporting and active dialogue. She joined GMCR in April of 2012 after 8 years with Ford Motor Company where she designed and developed a leading supply chain sustainability program spanning the company’s $65B buy from 60 countries. Issues under her responsibility included human rights, indirect carbon and water footprints, and raw material transparency. In addition, she served as Chair of multiple industry workgroups for the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and represented Ford on United Nations Global Compact, US State Department, Department of Labor and OECD advisory groups. With a background in secondary education and sustainability, Monique has an MBA and an MS from the University of Michigan.
Chairman & CEO (retired)
Steve Percy is the former Chairman and CEO of BP America, Inc., BP's U.S. subsidiary prior to its merger with Amoco Corporation, and served in that capacity from 1996 until 1999. Prior to assuming those duties, he was President of BP Oil in the U.S. from 1992 to 1996, and since retiring from BP has also served as the head of Phillips Petroleum's Refining, Marketing and Transportation Company. He currently is Visiting Professor, Corporate Strategy and International Business, at the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business. Mr. Percy returned to BP America from London, England where he served as Group Treasurer of The British Petroleum Company p.l.c. and Chief Executive of BP Finance International. Born in 1946, Mr. Percy is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Masters in Business Administration from The University of Michigan and graduated with a Juris Doctorate from Cleveland Marshall College of Law. He is a member of the Ohio State Bar. Mr. Percy joined The Standard Oil Company in 1976 following service in the U.S. Army and several years with Babcock & Wilcox as a Senior Planning Analyst. His posts with Standard Oil included Manager of American Flagged Marine Transportation, Manager of the Eastern Crude Oil Division, Director of Operations Analysis, Director of Downstream Strategic Planning and Development, and Director of the Executive Office. In 1987, following the merger of BP and Standard Oil, Mr. Percy moved to London to become Manager, Oil Planning and Control in BP Oil International. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Omnova Solutions Inc. and is Chair of its Audit Committee. Past corporate board memberships include GenCorp, Inc., the Tranzonic Companies, KeyBank National Association, and Transtar International. Mr. Percy currently serves on the boards of Resources for the Future and Junior Achievement International and Chairs the Board of the Chautauqua Foundation which is a supporting organization to the Chautauqua Institution. At the University of Michigan, Mr. Percy is a member of the Ross School of Business Corporate Advisory Board and the External Advisory Board of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. He is also a member of Rensselaer's Engineering School's Advisory Board and the National Advisory Council of the Cleveland Marshall College of Law. Previously, he has served as a member of President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development in the role of Co-Chair of its Climate Change Task Force. He has Chaired Cleveland State University's Foundation, held the position of Vice Chairman of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association and Chair of its Finance Committee and Chairman of Neighborhood Progress, Inc. He has also served as a member of the boards of University Hospitals of Cleveland, the American Petroleum Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, the British American Chamber of Commerce and the Council on Economic Priorities. Mr. Percy is married to Barbara, a math educator, and has two daughters, Amy, a graduate business student at the University of Michigan and Sarah who is an environmental consultant.
Mark is an accomplished international business development professional, with an excellent combination of technical aptitude and business acumen.
He has had a variety of experience in both staff and operating positions. After starting his career at Ford Motor Company in Product development and Product planning, Mark transitioned to the automotive supply base, focused on electronics products. He served as Director of Product Planning for Bendix Electronics, then was responsible for strategic planning for the global automotive business at Siemens. He then became Director of Sales, Marketing Planning for the automotive electronics division of United Technologies Automotive. After UTA was acquired by Lear Corporation, he was promoted to Vice President, Marketing and Business Development for the electrical/electronics division. His responsibilities included evaluating and executing technical partnerships with outside companies for joint product development. This work led him into Lear’s mergers and acquisitions group as Vice President, Business Development where he executed over two dozen acquisition, divestiture and joint venture transactions. He was also responsible for corporate oversight of more than 30 international joint ventures, including serving on the board of directors of seven different JV’s.
At the end of 2008 Mark ended his corporate automotive career and transitioned to the entrepreneurial arena. He currently serves as the director of business development for a local start-up and provides consulting services for other companies.
Mark has a passion for renewable energy. His home is powered by a 5kW photovoltaic array, and he volunteers his time with the Clean Energy Coalition to work on the XSeed Energy community solar project.
Mark’s education includes a bachelor degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University, a Master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Director, Corporate Partnerships
Environmental Defense Fund
Gwen provides strategic direction for Environmental Defense's Corporate Partnerships Group, which develops innovative, business-based solutions to environmental problems. The Corporate Partnerships Group develops and implements policies to leverage the corporate supply chain, increasing the demand for, and supply of, environmentally preferable products. Ongoing projects involve reducing corporate paper use and increasing recycled content, improving emissions and fuel efficiency in corporate vehicle fleets and incorporating design-for-environment principles into corporate product development. Prior to her role at Environmental Defense, Gwen served as Vice President and Director of Environmental Sustainability for Metcalf & Eddy (1998); Director of Executive Program Planning and Operations, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, (1995-1997); Director of External Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, New England Region (1984-1994); Chief of Marine & Estuary Protection for Massachusetts Bay, Buzzards Bay, Narragansett Bay and Long Island Sound; and Chemical Engineer, Texaco Inc. (1984 1987). Gwens other service includes Innovations in American Government (evaluation team leader for Harvard University) (1997 and 1998); Robert C. Seamans Fellowship in Technology and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government (1994); U.S. House of Representatives Merchant Marine & Fisheries Committee, loaned executive (1991); and Water Environment Federation, Watershed Management Committee Vice-Chair. Gwen is the author of numerous articles on watershed protection, coastal development sustainability, and point and non-point source pollution management. Gwen earned a M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a B.S., Chemical Engineering from University of Virginia.
Health & EHS Systems Director
Haig joined Alcoa as an industrial hygienist in Pittsburgh in 1978. He then began a series of EHS management positions in Tennessee and Pennsylvania, before being named environmental manager in 1994 for Alcoa’s Rigid Packaging business, based in Tennessee. In 1997, Haig returned to Pittsburgh as manager, EHS Audit. In 2005 his accountability was expanded to include Operations Audit, responsible for global assessment of the Alcoa Business System. A Pittsburgh native, Haig received a bachelor's of science in biochemistry in 1975 and master's degree in industrial hygiene in 1979 from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2004, Haig received an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business, where he received the honor of class valedictorian. He and his wife, Theo, have five children.
Global Project Manager, Future of Mobility
Ford Motor Company
Kristin Schondorf, who holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the dedicated global lead to define Ford's overall vision on the future of mobility: determining how to address key macro societal and environmental issues such as 'global gridlock' and outlining the fundamental near/mid and long-term technologies required to deliver the plan. She is also responsible for identifying and defining the business model and supporting ecosystem as well as the development of key enabling technologies. Key organizations that are involved include Ford's Sustainability Environment and Safety Engineering, Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Product Development. Kristin has 20 years of experience at Ford Motor Company. She spent the first 12 years of her career working in Engine and Powertrain, during which time 2.5 years was spent working in Cologne, Germany. As Ford's Director of the MIT Alliance, she managed a $3M annual research budget. The past 7 years were spent in various roles in Planning and Strategy, with the last 4 years in the area of technology development including alternative fuels, emissions/aftertreatment and the in-vehicle air quality initiative with TUV. During her time in the cross-vehicle feature group, 15 customer features were launched on vehicle programs, including SYNC, Park Assist and Easy Fuel. Kristin has been the Ford recruiting lead at MIT for the past 20 years and has chaired the Ford/MIT Advisory Board since 2002. She served as the SE Michigan MIT Alumni Club President for 2 yrs, was a member of the Board and also conducted incoming student interviews. The Midwest district elected her to serve on MIT's National Selection Committee from 2007-2010, which elects the officers for the Alumni Board of Directors and 3 to the MIT Corporation. She also served on her class reunion committee and gives regular guest lectures at MIT.
State Director, Michigan Chapter
The Nature Conservancy
Helen Taylor is the State Director of The Nature Conservancy's Michigan Chapter. She joined the Chapter in 1999 to lead their efforts to protect the natural heritage of Michigan, a beautiful and ecologically significant state on a regional and global scale. She came to Michigan after directing the Conservancy's Great Lakes Program for three years. While there, she led the program's work with Conservancy state programs, public agencies, private institutions, government, industry, and environmental organizations to develop and implement a concerted science- based strategic approach for protecting the biodiversity of the Great Lakes ecosystem. Prior to joining the Conservancy in 1996, Helen spent nine years working in the environmental policy field with a concentration in Great Lakes issues, pollution prevention, waste, and public involvement. Her project work focused on designing, facilitating, and mediating environmental initiatives, partnerships, and decision-making processes involving multiple stakeholders. Prior to entering the environmental field, Helen spent several years in the field of social services working with youth; the arts; as well as teaching overseas. She holds a degree in philosophy from Northwestern University.
MBA/MS Program 2003
Mark Tholke is enXco’s Vice President of Origination – Southwest Region. In his role, Mark is responsible for identifying, evaluating, structuring and developing renewable energy projects throughout the Southwest Region – California, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, including directing site assessment, land acquisition, interconnection strategy, permitting, public outreach, customer relationships, regional policy analysis, initial financial feasibility analyses and engineering/design and project legal review. Mark has oversight over the origination of multiple projects either through internal origination or acquisition. In addition, Mark is responsible for the support of power marketing and finance activities as they relate to late stage projects and financial closing. Mark joined enXco in November, 2006, as the Regional Project Development Manager; and was promoted to Director of the Southwest Region in August, 2008. Prior to joining enXco, Mark held positions of Vice President for Business Development at Eurus Energy, Commercial Leader at GE Wind Energy, and Western Region Marketing Manager at Green Mountain Energy. Prior to his career in renewable energy, Mark worked at a research affiliate of the Heinz Foundation and the Nature Conservancy in Washington, DC.
Vice President Sales
Clearwater Systems Corporation
Bob Tierney Bob has been with Clearwater Systems Corp. since April 2012. He is responsible for global sales of Dolphin WaterCare, a non-chemical water treatment system for cooling towers. Bob manages all aspects of sales, including strategy development and leadership for the direct and indirect sales teams. Prior to coming to Clearwater, Bob was employed at United Technologies Corp. in various management positions. His latest role was General Manager of fuel cell sales for California. In this capacity, Bob sold alternative energy systems for buildings to Fortune 500 customers. Bob earned his B.S. Environmental Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology, M.B.A from Florida Atlantic University, and Masters of Environmental Management from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is a registered professional engineer and a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional.
Director of Sustainability
David J. Tulauskas is the Director of Sustainability at GM. In that role, he leads efforts to further integrate sustainability into GM’s business through activities such as the establishment of a “Sustainability Council” and sustainability reporting. Mr. Tulauskas joined GM in 1991 as an engineer on the Environmental Activities Staff in Detroit, MI. Over his 20-year career, he spent over 10 years being based in Asia and has worked in a wide range of functions from manufacturing to product development to government relations. Tulauskas has a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, a master of science degree in civil/environmental engineering from Wayne State University and an International Executive MBA from Rutgers State University. He participated in the Keystone Leadership Forum in 1999. He and his wife are blessed with three children.
Managing Director-Ogranic Growth, S4 Energy Solutions
Mr. Vaillancourt serves as Managing Director in the Organic Growth Group at Waste Management, Inc. Mr. Vaillancourt was one of the founding members of the group responsible for developing a new ventures unit for the company focused on developing new and innovative growth platforms in the environmental, sustainability, solid waste, recycling, energy and cleantech sectors. Prior to this role, he spent 7 years as a Director in the company’s waste to energy division involved in finance, asset optimization and strategic development. Prior to joining Waste Management, Mr. Vaillancourt spent 10 years in entrepreneurial endeavors as part of various founding groups of start up and early stage companies in the high tech, entertainment and financial and business advisory services sectors. Throughout these engagements, Mr. Vaillancourt has assisted in structuring in excess of $800 million of debt and equity financings as well as contributed to the operational management of many of these ventures. Mr. Vaillancourt holds a BS in accounting and finance as well as an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. In addition to serving as an advisory board member of the Erb Institute, he also serves on the external advisory boards of The University of Massachusetts College of Management, Greenopolis.com and is a member of the Strategic Venture Association.
Director of Sustainable Strategy
MBA/MS Program 2002
Melissa is the Director of Sustainable Strategy for Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet, which has promised to eliminate its negative impact on the environment by 2020. Melissa has 14+ years of experience leading sustainability initiatives across all levels of organizations, from senior executives through sales staff and external stakeholders. She works closely with technical, marketing, and sales to develop the company’s image, messaging and presence. Currently focusing on social innovation and driving business advantage through positive social change. Passion for learning, mentoring, and developing talent in others. Skilled researcher, connector, and project manager with deep expertise in corporate sustainability. Connects external opportunities, adding value and learning, to create stronger culture within organization. Melissa is a 2001 graduate of the Erb Institute and has a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology from Duke University. Previously worked in environmental education with AmeriCorps as part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the John G Shedd Aquarium.
Product Sustainability Leader, Ventures and Business Development
Dow Chemical Company
Carolina Vojtisek is the Product Sustainability Leader for V&BD and for DEM. In this role, she is responsible for working closely with business team to assess the EH&S and Sustainability opportunities and risks, and to provide EH&S and Sustainability guidance. Carolina represents Dow at the University of Michigan Erb. Institute and the University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems leveraging Dow’s programs, experiences and information. Carolina joined Dow in 2008 as member of CDP, Commercial Development Program, the rotational assignment program for marketing and sales. She has been nominated Account Manager for Dow Specialty Plastics business in May 2009 and in October 2010 with added responsibilities, Account Manager for Dow Packaging and Converting. In November 2011 Carolina has been nominated European PET EHS Sr. Engineer for Equipolymers. She represented Dow Italia and Equipolymers in Federchimica Energy Committee and at the European associations Petcore and CPME. Carolina has worked with Dow Italy Leadership on project development. As well she has been Dow Ambassador at the Italian Universities. Carolina worked as Project developer at Medio Credito Centrale and as Start up and Estimating Engineer at Technip. Carolina holds master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rome ‘’La Sapienza’’. She holds as well the Italian National State qualification for engineering professional activities.
Huron River Ventures
MBA/MS Program 1999
Ryan is currently Principal at Huron River Ventures, a Michigan-focused investment fund that specializes in early stage ventures in alternative energy and other advanced technology sectors. Ryan was Co-Founder and Managing Director of Huron River Ventures. He brings over 13 years of professional experience in investing, operating and consulting roles in the alternative energy and environmental sectors, and is widely recognized as an experienced alternative energy technology investment professional. Ryan was previously a Director at ZBI Ventures, the private equity arm of Ziff Brothers Investments, LLC (ZBI). ZBI is a multi-billion dollar private investment firm that manages the assets of the Ziff family, formerly of Ziff-Davis publishing. ZBI Ventures invests in energy assets and technology companies with a primary focus on unconventional oil and gas, biofuels, solar and other carbon-favored energy sources. Before joining ZBI, Ryan was Director of Venture Services for NextEnergy, a non-profit corporation founded to advance the alternative energy technology industry in the State of Michigan. There he developed and managed Michigan\'s only business accelerator program and seed fund focused exclusively on alternative and clean energy technologies . Prior to joining NextEnergy, Ryan spent over six years at DTE Energy Company (NYSE: DTE) where he identified, evaluated and managed clean energy technology investments in DTE Energy\'s $100 million corporate venture capital fund (DTE Energy Ventures), as well as managed several advanced energy technology demonstration projects. Ryan has also worked as an environmental engineer, and co-founded a start-up company, GetOutdoors.com. Ryan earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin. He also earned an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where he participated in the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. Ryan currently serves on the External Advisory Board for the Erb Institute, and has lectured and taught courses on energy, energy technology and venture capital at the University of Michigan. After nearly four years living and working in New York, Ryan returned to Michigan in 2010 with his wife, four children and dog Brady. They live in Dexter, Michigan.
Director of Environmental Health and Safety
Gabe Wing provides the technical leadership for the Design for the Environment (DfE) team. Since joining Herman Miller in 2001, Gabe has created an environmental materials database that allows Herman Miller’s engineers to specify the most eco-effective materials for the new products. A significant portion of his work involves working closely with key industrial partners to optimize current materials and to also identify new, sustainable solutions. In addition, he has led the training sessions that educate designers and engineers on the principles of sustainable product design. Gabe received an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science from Michigan State University in the same discipline. “My primary role is to help make the world a little bit safer by selecting the best possible materials,” says Gabe. He loves a good pickup basketball game, and enjoys running and biking with his wife and young children