Greenlight Finals Will Feature Renowned Panel of Judges

April 25, 2016


Fox Lane Students Enter the “Shark Tank” Facing an Impressive Panel of Expert Judges at Greenlight Award Final Competition on May 20th

On Friday May 20, eight Fox Lane High School and Middle School students will enter Bedford 2020’s virtual “shark tank” and compete for the Greenlight award. This event will be the culmination of a year-long contest in which students have been developing and bringing to life big green ideas and competing for the distinction of winning the Greenlight award. Community members are invited to attend this event and watch our local students (aka, our future environmental leaders) in action.

Like the popular TV show, “Shark Tank”, students will present their final projects to a panel of distinguished, expert judges who will ask them tough questions and then vote for the Greenlight winners, one from the high school and one from the middle school. The final eight competitors were selected from a pool of thirty students who participated in round one of the competition last December.

When the student finalists enter the “tank” on May 20th, they will be facing a panel of “sharks” with deep and varied experience in the areas sustainability, business and in the non-profits world. Panelists were selected based on their depth of knowledge, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for making a difference on our planet. Olivia Farr, Co-Founder of Bedford 2020 explained, “We wanted judges who would bring a depth of knowledge and real life experience to the task of questioning competitors and selecting the final winners. We also thought it was important to identify panelists who would inspire and serve as role models for our competitors and everyone in the audience.”

The panel of distinguished judges selected for the Greenlight finals includes:

Wendy Gordon, Co-founder, CEO 3P Partners, Inc. Experienced entrepreneur and pioneer in the conscious consumer movement, Wendy is founder and CEO of ‘Positive Impact Points’ or PIPs Rewards. A trademarked brand of 3P Partners, a Certified B Corporation, PIPs leverages the power of points, smart tools and games to record and reward daily life choices that deliver personal and planetary benefit. PIPs won ‘Best Game’ prize in BigAppsNYC 2014 competition, the nation’s leading civic innovations competition.

Derval Thomas works as an environmental engineer at EPA with bachelor and masters degrees in chemical engineering. Bedford resident, Thomas, has been working for the Environmental Protection Agency for over 28 years, where he currently manages a technical staff of seven engineers in his position as Chief of the Hazardous Waste Compliance Section. In his current role, he is responsible for ensuring that the regulated community (industrial, manufacturing, and hospital sectors) complies with regulations under the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), a federal environmental law. Working with EPA’s and Department of Justice legal teams, Derval coordinates development of enforcement cases against companies found in violation of RCRA regulations and he participates in legally binding negotiated settlement of these cases.

Jeff Tannenbaum, Founder Fir Tree partners, sPower: Sustainable Power Group, and Katonah resident Jeff Tanenbuam formed Fir Tree Partners, a private global investment firm, in 1994 and serves as its Chairman.  Mr. Tannenbaum founded and currently chairs sPower, one of the largest solar utilities in the US. Through the Fir Tree Philanthropies (“FTP”). Mr. Tannenbaum focuses on accelerating America’s energy independence and promoting sustainable capitalism through innovations in public policy, finance and entrepreneurship. FTP sponsors a variety of global sustainability projects and operates a Scientist in Residence program in Long Island. Through FTP, Mr. Tannenbaum organized our nation’s first major bi-partisan symposium focused on eliminating foreign oil dependence and hosted President Obama’s energy cabinet members for their 100 day planning retreat.  Mr. Tannenbaum also founded and chairs the not for profit which has helped create a new form of financing home and building energy retrofits.

Jayni Chase, Environmental Education and Green School Advocate. Acting on the belief that positive environmental change must begin with the education of our children, Jayni Chase founded the Center for Environmental Education in 1988 and authored Blueprint for a Green School, published by Scholastic in 1995. She is the Founding Chair of the GREEN Community Schools initiative, being implemented in 5 cities by the direct-service organization, MGR Youth Empowerment. She serves on the boards of Cool Globes, MGR Youth Empowerment, the USGBC Center for Green Schools, Friends of the Earth, the NY Harbor Foundation and is a member of Pleiades, a network of women working on sustainability.

David Fenton, Chairman of Fenton. David founded the Fenton agency in 1982 to create communications campaigns for the environment, public health and human rights. David also leads the agency’s Energy and Climate practice, while also contributing to other NGO, foundation, government and corporate responsibility clients. The National Journal called David “the Robin Hood of public relations,” while PR Week named him “one of the 100 most influential P.R. people.” Some of his best-known campaigns include aiding the rise of, stimulating the rise of organic food sales, a decade representing Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, saving swordfish from extinction with a coalition of top chefs, running Yoko Ono’s campaign which helped stop fracking in New York State, working with Al Gore and the United Nations on climate change, public health campaigns against tobacco and toxic chemicals, and many others.

This panel of judges will hear students present their final project on topics ranging from a solar bus shelter to a farmers’ market food justice program to launching elementary school composting to a program for removing invasive plants from a local preserve and more. This is sure to be an action-packed and engaging evening, not to be missed. The event takes place at the Theater at Fox Lane High school at 7:00pm on Friday, May 20th. Be sure mark your calendar and come see our local “shark tank” in action find out who will win Greenlight award. For more information, visit