Advisory Board, Emeritus

The Institute gratefully acknowledges the contributions of our past External Advisory Board members. The following emeritus members remain active in sustainable enterprise areas and welcome contact from Erb community members seeking professional development advice and networking assistance.

Bama Athreya
Senior Specialist, Labor and Employment Rights, USAID
Dr. Bama Athreya is the Executive Director of United to End Genocide. United to End Genocide is the new collaboration of Save Darfur Coalition and the Genocide Intervention Network. Dr. Athreya has a life-long commitment to human rights and ending genocide and human rights atrocities. In the early 1990s, she lived in Indonesia where she worked with human rights activists, including activists exposing atrocities in East Timor, West Papua and Aceh. In the late 1990s Athreya led a campaign to expose mass atrocities in Exxon Mobil’s area of operations in Aceh. During the mid-1990s, Athreya lived in Cambodia where she witnessed the fragile recovery as the United Nations Transitional Authority worked to re-establish rule of law and foster peace after Cambodia’s brutal years of civil war and genocide. Bama was previously the Executive Director of the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), where she advocated for stronger protections for workers’ rights with governments, multinational corporations and international organizations. Dr. Athreya is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania and received her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan. In 2009 she was appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to a special Consultative Group on Forced and Child Labor. Athreya has published extensively on the issues of corporate accountability and human rights in global supply chains, and has provided public commentary on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and other major media outlets.
Nancy Bacon
Senior, United Solar Ovonic/Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
Nancy M. Bacon, serves as a consultant to  United Solar Ovonic Corp. and ECD working principally in government relations and business development.  Ms. Bacon  represents ECD and United Solar on the boards of the  Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), the Solar Energy Industries Association and the United States Industry Coalition (USIC) and is a member of the Management Committee of Cobasys a Joint Venture between ECD and Chevron.  Ms. Bacon was until April 1, 2008   Senior Vice President of ECD where her responsibilities included government relations, business development including finance and presentation of business and strategic plans to major international corporations for the commercialization of ECD technologies. In 1997, Ms. Bacon was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of Detroit’s Most Influential Women.  Ms. Bacon has a B.S. in Accounting and is a certified public accountant (CPA). Prior to joining ECD, she was a manager at Deloitte & Touche.
Dave Berdish
Manager, Social Sustainability/Ford Motor Company

David Berdish has been at Ford since 1983 and has worked Production, Program Management, Finance, Quality, Business Planning and Organizational Learning. He received a BA from the University of Michigan and a MS from Virginia Commonwealth University. His work has been featured in several publications and he has presented at systems thinking conferences around the world. David is responsible for the development of the Ford Motor Company Business Principles. The Principles will integrate the “triple bottom line” of economics, environmental, and societal performance into current Ford operating processes. He is also leading the design and development of a Human Rights Code of Conduct and related processes. David regularly teaches courses for the Erb Institute and is also on the faculty of the Prince of Wales Business and Environment Programme.
Karen Flanders
Sustainability Practice Leader, Wisdom Works Group, Inc.
Karen Flanders is the Sustainability Practice Leader for Wisdom Works, a strategy development firm that advances wellbeing and sustainability in companies and communities worldwide. To her role, Karen brings over 20 years of experience working on sustainability issues within corporations, non-profits and intergovernmental organizations, both domestically and internationally. karen is an accomplished professional with 25 years of international and domestic experience developing and embedding sustainability strategies in corporate, non-profit and public policy sectors (WWF, Coca-Cola, HRH Prince of Wales, UN).  Special expertise in integrated stakeholder engagement strategies and strategic partnerships that advance sustainability objectives. Named one of the “Top 10 Women of Sustainability” in the clean-technology and sustainability sectors (2012); Who’s Who in America (2008); Top 15 Women in Business by the Forté Foundation & Pink Magazine (2007).
Peter Fusaro
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.
Catherine Greener
Greener Solutions Inc.
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.
Reyn Hendrickson
Manager, StarPak Group, ForestCove LLC
We mourn the passing of Jack (Reyn) Henrickson who died suddenly on December 30, 2013. 
Reyn was an Associate Broker of Swisher Commercial and a member of the Michigan Bar Association with 30 years’ business and real estate experience.  He also built, managed, leased and sold hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois and had  active projects elsewhere in the (Utah) plus a 20-suite mini-resort on Lake Rapel in Chile.Reyn  lived in and around Ann Arbor since 1970. His academic background is 100% University of Michigan: undergraduate degree in location research and demographics, and Juris Doctor from University of Michigan Law School.
Sara Kendall
Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Sustainability, and EHS, Weyerhaeuser
Kendall has overall responsibility for the Weyerhaeuser’s federal and regional public affairs, communications, community investment, sustainability, and environment, health and safety functions. Prior to assuming this role, Kendall was vice president – Environment, Health and Safety, and Sustainability. In that role, she was responsible for the company’s EHS programs such as remediation, safety and regulatory affairs in addition to the company’s sustainability initiatives. She retains those responsibilities. During her career at Weyerhaeuser, Kendall also has served in the law department and worked in the company’s Timberlands and Wood Products businesses. Kendall joined Weyerhaeuser in 1989 after serving as a natural resource legislative counsel for U.S. Senators Dan Evans and Slade Gorton. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and earned her law degree at Georgetown University. She also holds a Master of Forest Science from Yale University.
Peter Mertz
CEO, Global Forest Partners LP
Peter C. Mertz is Chief Executive Officer of Global Forest Partners LP.  Mr. Mertz’s responsibilities include setting the strategic direction of the firm and the development and implementation of investment strategies.  Prior to founding GFP, Mr. Mertz served as Managing Director of UBS Timber Investors where, since 1997, he directed the firm’s timberland investment capabilities. In addition to his responsibilities as CEO, Mr. Mertz is Chief Investment Officer; is the chairperson of the Investment and Compensation Committees; and serves on the Boards of eight private equity timberfunds.   Mr. Mertz is a certified forester and member of the Society of American Foresters. He also serves as a Trustee and a member of the Investment Committee for the Montshire Museum of Science.  His affiliations with the University of Michigan include serving on the Advisory Board for the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, the Visiting Committee for the School of Natural Resources, and the National Advisory Board for the Michigan Congenital Heart Center.  Mr. Mertz holds a B.S. in Forestry and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He resides in Hanover, New Hampshire with his wife Carolyn.
Paul Murray 
VP Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, Shaw
Paul Murray is currently the Vice President of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs at Shaw Industries Group, Inc., a carpet manufacturing company in Georgia. Before this position, Paul spent 22 years as the Director of Environmental Safety and Sustainability at Herman Miller. He created the Environmental Quality Action Team that has helped the company to reduce waste, use more sustainable products, build LEED-certified buildings and increase renewable energy.  Herman Miller has received many awards for their environmental efforts including being named one of the top 100 global companies for sustainability.  Paul grew up in Selby, a small farming community in north central South Dakota. He attended Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, where he earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry; he also holds a Master’s in management from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Initially credentialed as a high school teacher, Paul taught math and chemistry, and served as a high school coach, before leaving his teaching career to work as a research chemist with PPG Industries and Boise Cascade Corporation.
Scott Noesen
President and CEO, WorldView Consulting LLC
Scott-Erb.jpgScott Noesen is President and CEO of WorldView Consulting LLC, a firm that helps businesses and non-profit institutions integrate sustainable thinking and processes into all phases of their activities. Scott retired from The Dow Chemical Company in December of 2008, after 33 years of service. As Director of Sustainability and Business Integration, he was responsible for directing and integrating Sustainability activity into the core business processes of the company – with an emphasis on implementing one of Dow’s critical Sustainability 2015 Goals – Sustainable Chemistry. Noesen also managed Dow’s Corporate Environmental Advisory Council (CEAC) – a standing council of various external stakeholders that provides guidance to Dow on corporate sustainability issues. He is also Dow’s Liaison Delegate to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Noesen has extensively participated in various external forums on the subject of Sustainability and has been a key contributor on a number of related external advisory boards and programs, including the Erb Institute, University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems, Sustainable Enterprise Institute Advisory Board at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and The Center for Corporate Resilience at the Ohio State University.
Richard Plewa
Sr. Vice President and Director of Corporate Sustainability, Comerica Bank
Rick is responsible for leading Comerica’s efforts to implement a comprehensive, enterprise-wide sustainability strategy that creates long-term value for stakeholders. He works with colleagues across the company as well as with external stakeholders to embed sustainable practices in Comerica’s workplace, workforce, products & services, processes, and governance structures and to identify opportunities for improved sustainability performance. Rick previously served as head of the bank’s Environmental Risk Management Group for 20 years prior to taking on his current role. He is a founding member and current officer of the Environmental Bankers Association and is a past chairman of both the Michigan Bankers Association’s Environmental Affairs Committee and the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. He was also chairman of the board of directors of the Washtenaw County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. Rick served on the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Environmental Advisory Council and on the Cross-Cutting Issues Technical Workgroup of the Michigan Climate Action Council.He was educated at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.A.), the University of Goettingen in Germany (Fulbright Scholar), and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (M.A. and M.B.A.). In 2005, Rick completed the Senior Executives Seminar of the Prince of Wales’s Business and the Environment Program (BEP), a program of Cambridge University which seeks to train corporate leaders from across the world on the challenges and opportunities of sustainable business.
Gwen Ruta
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.
Joseph Vaillancourt
Managing Director-Ogranic Growth, S4 Energy Solutions, Waste Management
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.