Speakers

David Gelber

Creator and Executive Producer,
Years of Living Dangerously

David Gelber is the creator and executive producer of Years of Living Dangerously, the award-winning television series on climate changes. When asked why he got involved in this project Gelber replied, “I covered about ten war zones in my years at 60 Minutes, but this story, global warming, is just as dramatic — and more important — than any of them. We’ve spent three years figuring out how to tell the story in ways that are absolutely riveting — and with the same editorial integrity that guid­ed us at 60 Minutes. I’ll bet you won’t see anything on TV this year that’s more entertaining, more informative and more important than Years of Living Dangerously.”

David Gelber served as Ed Bradley’s producer at 60 Minutes for 25 years, during which he won every major journalism award, including a Peabody, two DuPont Awards and eight Emmy Awards.
During the nineties, Gelber was executive producer of Peter Jennings Reporting at ABC News. He spent two winters in Sarajevo producing documentaries on the Bosnian Conflict. He returned to CBS News in 1996 to head the Ed Bradley Unit. A story he did with Scott Pelley on medical charlatans who peddle bogus stem cell therapy to patients dying of ALS won the Emmy for Best Investigative Story of 2010 by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

David Yarnold

President and CEO,
National Audubon Society

David Yarnold is an accomplished enter­prise executive with a blended career in the for-profit and non-profit sectors leading organiza­tions through significant trans­formation and growth. From his most recent success steering the turnaround of the 112-year-old National Audubon Society to positioning the Environmental Defense Fund as the top conservation partner for global corporations to transform­ing The San Jose Mercury News into one of the best and boldest newspapers, David has delivered excellence and results.
A visionary, agile leader with an uncon­ventional career arc, David has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to adapt, respond

to new challenges, solve complex problems and navigate crisis situations during pivotal points of an organization’s evolution.
David excels at assembling high-caliber, cross-disciplinary leadership teams, develop­ing efficient, innovative organizations, raising funds — and communicating a compelling brand story, a defining strength cultivated early in his career at The Mercury News where he earned a Pulitzer Prize and pro­gressed up the leadership ranks to Execu­tive Editor. Throughout his career, David has demon­strated a steadfast com­mitment to equity, diversity and inclusion and has proven to be an influential civic leader.

List in formation.

Lynn Arthur

Chair, Southampton
Sustainability Committee

Lynn Arthur is a volunteer on Southampton Town Green Sustainability Advisory Committee where she chairs the Energy sub-committee. She is also Executive Director at Peak Power Long Island, a not for profit who provides marketing and communications services in the areas of conservation and renewable energy solutions. Lynn is currently under contract to the Town of Southampton. She designed and together with town staff launched the Town’s Tri-Energy program, which is funded by LI Green Homes, PSEG LI and New York State Energy Research & Development Authority. Lynn is available and has provided outreach to all communities, civic groups and any requesting organization within the Town of Southampton. She has delivered presentations to the Kiwanis, Rotary, Incorporated Village Board of Trustees, religious organizations and the Cub Scouts.

Ron Bowen

Founder and President, Prairie Restorations

Prairie Restorations, Inc. (PRI) has spent the last 40 years restoring thousands of acres of private, public and commercial land back into native prairie, wetland, shoreline, and woodland plant communities.
The massive movement of solar array installation across the United States is providing a critical, time-sensitive opportunity for land owners, along with solar developers, to restore array lands into native, pollinator-friendly habitat creating a remarkable patchwork for butterflies, native insects and honeybees, possibly saving species while clean energy is produced. Ron Bowen of PRI will share what’s been achieved regarding native and pollinator friendly vegetation specifically at solar sites, how it’s being accomplished, and what you can do to positively influence your local planners and authorities in making every solar installation a pollinator friendly solar garden.

Noam Bramson

Mayor, City of New Rochelle

Through his dedicated public service, Noam Bramson has acquired a reputation for effective, responsive, and visionary leader­ship. Bramson has served as the Mayor of New Rochelle since January 2006 and has been reelected three times by landslide margins, most recently in November 2015. Prior to becoming Mayor, Bramson served for ten years on the New Rochelle City Council. Bramson has been at the forefront of efforts to strengthen New Rochelle’s economy, environment, safety, and quality of life. He has worked successfully to forge public-private partnerships aimed at job creation and economic growth, including the most ambitious downtown develop­ment initiative in New Rochelle’s history. He has been a strong advocate for thoughtful community planning, spearheaded the creation of New Rochelle’s award-winning Sustainability Plan, promoted efforts to establish new public access to the Long Island Sound shore, and adopted new land use policies to preserve open space and protect areas from overdevelopment.

Chris Burdick

Supervisor, Town of Bedford
CEO, Sustainable Westchester

Chris Burdick is the friendly and approach­able Bedford town supervisor. He works relentlessly on behalf of the people of Bedford, listening to the concerns of community members and finding solutions to problems. Whether it’s affordable housing, efforts toward paving 684, commercial sewers, sustainability, or fiscal responsibility, there is nothing Burdick will not tackle to get results.

Marcia Bystryn

President, New York League
of Conservation Voters

Marcia Bystryn joined the League as Executive Director in 1999 and was named President in 2008.  A statewide organiza­tion, the League works to elect strong environmental candidates to office and to hold them accountable. Previously, she served as Senior Corporate Policy Manager for the Environment and then Senior Business Manager for Economic Develop­ment at The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  In the first capacity she oversaw the development and implementa­tion of corporate environmental policy and in the later the development of new busi­ness opportunities in the areas of regional solid waste management, deregula­tion of the electrical industry and port expansion. She formerly served as the Assistant Commissioner for Recycling at New York City’s Department of Sanitation, where she designed and implemented New York City’s recycling program, as well as the Deputy Director of the Twentieth Century Fund, now the Century Foundation.

Ellen Rouse Conrad

Co-Founder and Co-President, Bedford 2020

Ellen is particularly proud of the leadership role Bedford 2020 has taken in bringing the idea of planting native and pollinator friendly vegetation beneath ground mounted solar arrays to New York State. The idea of providing essential forage for pollinators, promoting native plants, advancing renewable energy and increasing agricultural production — all at the same time — is truly a unique opportunity. Bedford 2020 is looking forward to a collaborative effort bringing together farmers, businesses, solar developers, elected officials, beekeepers, birders and concerned citizens to promote a project that benefits all. A Pollinator Friendly Solar Demonstration Project will be launched on February 3, 2018 for the region of Hudson Valley, Westchester County and Long Island. Our goal is to bring together a variety of solar developers as well as diverse solar array sites such as farmland, landfills, brownfields, corporate sites, open space land, to showcase best practices and address problems in order to create replicable projects that will assist in promoting Pollinator Friendly Habitats throughout the region.  

Rob Davis

Director, Center for Pollinators in Energy,
Fresh Energy

Rob Davis is a director at Fresh Energy where he leads the nonprofit organization’s work building partnerships to realize numerous benefits from America’s accelerating transition to clean energy. Davis’ work on pollinator-friendly solar has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and featured in training by the Electric Power Resource Institute and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Conservation Training Center. Previously, he helped launch technology start-ups and created the international crowdsourced campaign that launched the Firefox web browser. Davis is a two-time recipient of the Teresa Du Bois Exline Award for Best Prac­tices in Communications and Marketing, and a graduate of Macalester College.

Katy Franklin

Operations Manager, ReFED

ReFED is a multi-stakeholder nonprofit, powered by an influential network of the nation’s leading business, nonprofit, foundation, and government leaders committed to reducing U.S. food waste. Previously, Katy managed operations at Sustainable America, where she gained a deep understanding of successful food waste reduction programs with consumers, food service providers, private firms, and at major events. Katy also helped develop Further with Food, a public-private partnership convened to address food loss and waste.

Ron Hernandez

Managing Director, The Monday Campaigns

Ron Hernandez has worked in the marketing industry for more than twenty years. With The Monday Campaigns, a non-profit public health initiative that dedicates the first day of every week to health, he oversees operations, creative services, partnership development & marketing. For organizations including New York University, Simon & Schuster and Art+Auction magazine, he has led functions including consumer research, data analysis and optimization of activities. He has also worked on advertising campaigns for clients such as Microsoft, Citibank and Universal Pictures. Ron holds an MBA in Management and Marketing from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He has held positions on the board of nonprofits for organizations dedicated to childhood education and HIV/AIDS awareness.

Linda James

Chair, Town of East Hampton
Energy Sustainability Committee

Linda links her climate change vocabulary to the business of transforming, on the South Fork, the existing fossil fuel generation of energy to clean renewable resources. She has a degree in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and a MPh from New York University.

Ron Kamen

CEO, EarthKind Energy

Sustainable Westchester retained Ron and his firm, EarthKind Energy, to create its Clean Transportation Program, which aims to triple the number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the county by 2020. In its first year, the Clean Transportation Program secured dramatic discounts for the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3 EVs, and helped municipalities secure grants and discounts for municipal fleet EVs and charging station infrastruc­ture. The program now aims to increase the number of EV charging stations and expand aggregation discounts to additional EV sedans, as well as electric buses and trucks.

Brent Kim

Program Officer, Center for a Livable Future

Brent earned his Master’s in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he serves as a Program Officer at the Center for a Livable Future. Since joining the Center in 2008, his work has spanned farm to fork, with published works on industrial food animal produc­tion, soil contamination, urban agriculture, food and agricultural policy, and the role of diet in mitigating climate change. As a former digital artist and high school educator, Brent has never lost his love of teaching and visual communication, and continues to translate the science to students, journalists, policymakers, and other key audiences.

Jay Lippin

Executive Chef, 
Crabtree’s Kittle House

Chef Jay Lippin has enjoyed a colorful a diverse career cooking in some of the finest restaurant kitchens in New York City and Westchester County.
During this most recent chapter at Crabtree’s Kittle House, Jay has expanded the venerable restaurant’s role as ‘farm to table” pioneer by becoming involved in multiple organizations that support sustainable, humane food practices in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Some of these include: the Chefs Alliance, Westchester Growers Alliance, Slow Foods USA, Kitchen Cultivators of Glynwood, and Food Bank for Westchester. Jay works closely with Zwilling-Henckels Corporation and Glynwood Farm as well as with dozens of small farmers throughout the Hudson Valley in order to help advance the cause of local, slow food. In 2017, Jay was selected to be the Honoree at the annual March of Dimes fundraiser Gala.

Brendan Murphy

Watershed Forester,
Watershed Agricultural Council

Brendan is a forester with the Watershed Agricultural Council. His work focuses on supporting the 36,000 private woodland owners within the NYC Water Supply Watershed through their newly launched MyWoodlot.com website.

Katherine Nadeau

Deputy Director, Catskill Mountainkeeper

Katherine is Catskill Mountainkeeper’s Deputy Director, ​providing leadership in developing strategic direction for the organization and its programs, guiding messaging and external communications, serving as lead internal project manager, and ​spearheading our advocacy efforts in Albany in partnership with program staff, while continuing to manage our RenewableNY program and Solar Outreach Initiative​. Before joining our team in 2015, she served as Policy Director and Water and Natural Resources Director for Environ­mental Advocates of New York, where she managed the organization’s work in the state capitol to protect and preserve New York’s environment, and led its efforts to protect New York state from fracking, among other successful legislative initiatives​. In recognition of her advocacy efforts in Albany, Katherine was named one of City and State’s “40 under 40” in 2012.

Will Nicholas

Northeast Regional Sales Manager,
Tesla Motors

Will has been with Tesla for seven years, most recently managing policy and business development efforts across the Northeast. His primary focus is to open sales channels for Tesla’s sustainable products in the most populous markets in the country. He joined the company in 2010 to market Tesla’s first car, the Roadster. Upon the launch of Model S, Will opened the first stores on the East Coast. Will came to Tesla from Google’s sales and marketing team and holds a degree from Northwestern University.

Nina Orville

Director, Solarize Westchester
Principal, Abundant Efficiency

Abundant Efficiency creates and imple­ments innovative solutions to environment­al and business challenges for local governments, corporations and non-profit organizations. Ms. Orville brings deep expertise in designing and managing market aggregation initiatives to maximize environmental, community development and economic benefits for diverse stakeholders. These efforts are currently targeted towards accelerating the adoption of clean energy technologies through initiatives including Solarize campaigns, community solar, energy efficient street­lights, and clean heating and cooling.

Eric Pooley

Senior VP for Strategy and Communications, Environmental Defense Fund

Eric is notably the author of The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth (Hyperion, 2010), which Bill Clinton hailed as “a riveting tale” and “the very first account of the epic American campaign to get serious about global warming.” Eric has written about climate politics for Time, Slate, Bloomberg News and other publications. In the fall of 2008 he studied press coverage of the issue at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Govern­ment, where he was a Kalb Fellow at the Shoren­stein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. He was a featured com­mentator in “Heat,” the 2008 PBS Frontline global warming documentary, and has appeared on Nightline, Charlie Rose, The CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, All Things Considered, and many other programs.

Karl Rábago

Executive Director,
Pace Energy and Climate Center

Karl Rábago is the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, at the Pace Law School in White Plains, New York. The Center’s mission is to protect the earth’s environment through solutions that transform the ways that society supplies and consumes energy, with a special focus on clean energy—renewable energy, energy efficiency, microgrids and community energy solutions, electrification of transportation, and other distributed energy resources. An attorney licensed in Texas, Karl has more than 27 years of experience in energy and climate policy development, regulation, markets, and business. In his career, Karl has been a military officer, a utility regulator, a utility executive, a renewable energy developer, a law professor, and a clean energy advocate.

Michael Rauch

Project Manager,
Renewable Highlands and BQ Energy

Michael ​Rauch is a project management and business development professional with more than a decade of experience in renewable energy and public policy. His experience includes development of utility-scale wind energy projects, financing commercial solar energy projects, and developing community energy savings initiatives. He currently works as a consultant in the energy sector with a focus on distributed generation, community choice aggregation (CCA), and municipal energy policy. Michael earned a Masters of Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a Bachelors of Science from the School of Natural Resources at the University of Vermont.

David J. Ringer

Chief Network Officer,
National Audubon Society

As Audubon’s first Chief Network Officer, David oversees the health, vitality, capacity, diversity, and strength of Audubon’s vast distributed network. That network includes hundreds of Audubon chapters, more than 40 Audubon nature centers, thousands of deeply committed advocates and volun­teers, and a wide range of partner organiza­tions. He leads Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Communities program, which engages people in practical, joyful solutions to protect birds and special places and to make communities healthier for people too. He is a leader in Audubon’s equity, diversity, and inclusion work, and he oversees Audubon’s public relations and communications team.

David Sandbank

Director of NY-Sun, NYSERDA

NY-Sun is Governor Cuomo’s solar program designed to drive growth in the state’s solar industry through a public-private partnership to lower solar costs for homes, businesses, schools and other energy users. New York-Sun’s solar offerings: Incentive programs, Community solar, K-Solar, Shared Renewables, Unified Solar Permit, Balance of System Soft Cost Reduction and PV Trainers Network are unified under one initiative with the goal of achieving a self-sustaining solar industry by 2023.

Dana Smith

Campaign Manager, Meatless Mondays

Meatless Mondays is the popular global public health initiative that encourages people to cut meat from their diets one day a week. Dana oversees brand vision, strategic planning and messaging, and manages partnership development. Meatless Monday is part of the Monday Campaigns.

Nathaniel Stinnett

Founder and Executive Director,
Environmental Voter Project

Environmental Voter Project, a non-partisan nonprofit that uses big data and behavioral science to identify non-voting environmentalists and then get them to vote. Dubbed “The Voting Guru” by Grist magazine, Stinnett was named one of America’s 50 environmental visionaries, and he is a frequent expert speaker on cutting-edge campaign techniques at top universities and campaign management trainings. He has held a variety of senior leadership and campaign manager positions on U.S. Senate, Congressional, state, and mayoral campaigns, and he sits on the Board of Advisors for MIT’s Environ­mental Solutions Initiative. Formerly an attorney at the international law firm DLA Piper LLP, Stinnett lives in Boston, MA with his wife and two daughters.

Carter H. Strickland, Jr.

New York State Director,
Trust for Public Land

Carter creates open space and park infrastructure for The Trust for Public Land as the New York State Director. His love of nature was developed through a childhood spent fishing and swimming in the 1000 Islands region of the St. Lawrence River and canoeing and hiking in the Adirondacks. Previously in his 25-year career as a pragmatic environmentalist, Carter has prosecuted polluters at the New York Attorney General’s office, taught the next generation of environmentalists at Rutgers, Fordham and Columbia, represented environmental groups at the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic, worked on sustainable cities as a senior policy advisor for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, built green and large scale infrastructure and responded to major hurricanes as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and advised cities, water and wastewater utilities, and other clients on resiliency and infrastructure matters at HDR. When not thinking about how to make cities more livable and durable, Carter can be found hiking, skiing, fishing, gardening, and hunting with family and friends.

Brad Tito

Program Manager, Communities and Local Government, NYSERDA

As Program Manager, Communities and Local Government at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Brad Tito works with communities across the state to save energy and improve the environment. His role is to package and promote innovative and responsive clean energy offerings that resonate with local governments and the communities they serve. Prior to joining NYSERDA, Brad served as Director of Sustainability for the City of Yonkers, NY where he led a number of high-profile initiatives including an award-winning LED streetlight project and mandatory green building standards. Brad also served as the Director of Environmental Coordination for Nassau County, NY where he worked for five years implementing a broad range of environmental and health initiatives.

Luke Tonachel

Director, Clean Vehicles and Fuels Project,
Natural Resources Defense Council

Luke Tonachel is the Director of the Clean Vehicles and Fuels team at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Since joining NRDC in 2004, his focus has been on reducing the environmental impacts of the world’s transportation demands by advocating for policies that develop and commercialize cleaner, more efficient vehicles and non-petroleum fuels. Mr. Tonachel has authored and contributed to numerous nationally-recognized reports and analyses covering vehicle electrifica­tion, improved vehicle efficiency and other oil and pollution reduction opportunities.

Lily S. Trager

Director of Investing with Impact,
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

In her role at Morgan Stanley, Lily has specific responsibilities for delivering wealth management clients — including individuals and institutions — with investments and portfolios that align with a broad range of values, mission and impact objectives as well as promoting an understanding of sustainable and impact investing across the firm’s financial advisors and consultants. Lily joined the Firm in 2014; previously, from 2007 until 2014, She worked for Veris Wealth Partners in New York, a Registered Investment Advisory focused exclusively on serving clients with interest in sustainable and impact investing, most recently as Head of Research and Due Diligence. Lily began her career in the Boston office of Cambridge Associates. While at Cambridge Associates, she worked on teams overseeing $3.9 billion in nonprofit, high-net-worth and foundation investment portfolios with a focus on mission-related and socially-responsible investing.

Glenn Weinberg

Director, Joule Community Power,
Joule Assets

Glenn Weinberg manages Joule Community Power, which partners with municipalities to develop innovative energy procurement models while advancing energy reduction, energy management, and clean energy goals amidst an evolving regulatory envi­ronment. He is responsible for spear­heading Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs across New York State and beyond. Glenn served as the inaugural Program Director of Westchester Power, New York State’s first CCA program, and was been instrumental in the design and implementation of the program. Before joining Joule, Glenn taught environmental sociology and urban sustainability at the City University of New York.

Dan Welsh

Program Director, Westchester Power

Dan Welsh has been a core team member with Sustainable Westchester and its predecessor organization, the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium since 2009. He was a part of the original team that created the Energize NY initiative, served as vice chairman of the NWEAC Executive Committee and later on the Sustainable Westchester formation steering committee. Having led the effort to establish the first “Complete Streets” policy in Lewisboro, Dan took on a co-chair role with the new Transportation & Land Use Committee, following SW’s launch. Since September 2016, as an employee of SW, Dan has been responsible for all operations and program development for Westchester Power, the first Community Choice Aggregation for New York State.

Frank Zappone

Deputy Supervisor, Town of Southhampton

Frank has served as Town Deputy Supervisor for the past nine years. Prior to this position Frank was a school administrator and worked for a number of years as program coordinator and project manager for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As Deputy Supervisor Frank oversees the development of the capital budget, manages project implementation as well as a number of policy initiatives. He is responsible for coordinating the grants programs and serves as a member of the Town’s management team. Frank also serves as chair of the economic development committee and is the link between the Town’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and the Town’s legislative body.