Senior Vice President for Climate & Energy, Environmental Defense Fund
Gwen Ruta is Vice President, Programs for Environmental Defense Fund, a leading nonprofit organization that links science, economics, and law to solve our most serious environmental problems. Ms. Ruta’s focus is to ensure that EDF delivers world-class execution of its strategies to protect human health and the environment.
Ms. Ruta builds clear shared goals among the EDF program staff, ensures that resources support strategic priorities, and works to embed management practices that allow EDF to deliver transformational results. Her responsibilities include program planning, execution and adaptation; budget development and execution; management and staff development, and new opportunity assessment.
Previously, Ms. Ruta held the position of Vice President, Corporate Partnerships at EDF. There, she spearheaded EDF’s work with multinational companies to accelerate environmental innovation in business products, services and operations. Ranked #1 for effective environmental partnerships by the Financial Times, Ms. Ruta’s team kicked off transformations in market sectors from shipping to retail to fleets. Notable initiatives included slashing supply chain greenhouse gas emissions with Walmart, creating a market for hybrid trucks with FedEx, and launching an innovative business internship program to catalyze energy efficiency in business.
Prior to joining Environmental Defense Fund, Ms. Ruta was Vice President at Metcalf & Eddy, an environmental engineering firm. She has also held senior management positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Ms. Ruta is on the Board of Directors of the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan, and is an expert blogger for Fast Company and The Huffington Post.
Ms. Ruta earned an M.P.A. from Harvard University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia.
WASTE MANAGEMENT PANEL
Town of Bourne, MA and SNE Chapter SWANA
Phil Goddard currently holds the position of Manager of Facility Compliance and Technology Development at the Town of Bourne, Department of Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM.) He has worked for the Town for 16 years. He is responsible for permitting, health and safety and site development projects that will maximize the long-term utility of the Town’s property beyond the life of the landfill.
He has over 27 years of experience in the environmental sector, specializing in solid waste and recycling. Previously he has held the positions of; regional recycling coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, consultant to the Bourne Board of Selectmen during the development of the ISWM facility, and Community Relations Coordinator for Waste Management of CT, Inc.
In addition to his current position, he serves as President of the Southern New England Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Treasurer of MassRecycle, Chairman of the Massachusetts Product Stewardship Council and is a member of the Joint Base Cape Cod Cleanup Team which is overseeing environmental remediation efforts.
Mr. Goddard is a graduate of Babson College in Wellesley, MA majoring in Marketing and has also recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Policy from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
Executive Director, MASSRecycle
Edward Hsieh is the Executive Director of MASSRECYCLE, the statewide 501c3 nonprofit coalition of individuals, all 351 municipalities, green corporations and other organizations dedicated to increasing recycling and waste reduction in the Commonwealth. For the past 6 years, he has worked to increase the advocacy presence of the organization at the State House, all while improving MASSRECYCLE’s educational programming, including the R3 Recycling & Organics Conference & Trade Show, the biggest conference of its kind in the Commonwealth and one of the biggest in the nation.
Recently, Edward pioneered and spearheaded the MBTA Public Space Recycling Pilot Project in collaboration with the MBTA. Through this project, MASSRECYCLE is bringing much needed public space recycling to the MBTA system, but the real impact is the drastic increase in direct educational touch points which MASSRECYCLE can leverage to drive social change. As of January 1st 2017, the MBTA Pilot Project reaches a quarter of a million riders daily.
Prior to working for MASSRECYCLE, Edward served as the Executive Director of Brookline GreenSpace Alliance for 7 years, protecting many hidden and historic open spaces in Brookline, including areas that house two endangered species. During his tenure there, Edward negotiated a land conservation restriction with the State that resulted in the first new public park in Brookline in over a decade. Edward has also worked for EPA Headquarters on the Hudson River Dredging Project and with the USPS Emergency Management Office on the BDS Anthrax Project. He holds a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University, where he regularly speaks to provide career counseling to those interested in sustainability and public interest work.
Co-founder & CEO, Waste Hub
Believing he could turn opportunities into profitable realities and add value to clients through efficient waste management, Jacob Vaillancourt co-founded Waste Hub, a marketplace designed to help companies reduce the multiple costs of waste by using a transparent yet efficient transaction method.
INNOVATIONS IN CLIMATE FINANCE
President & CEO, GreenerU
David Adamian is President and CEO of GreenerU. He has over 25 years of diverse engineering and management experience in energy efficiency and related fields. David cofounded GreenerU in 2009 with a mission to help colleges and universities lead the world in mitigating climate change and accelerating sustainability. Since that time he has helped build GreenerU to a staff of 20+ and a client base covering a broad spectrum of private educational institutions in New England and beyond.
Principal, Intentional Endowments Network
Georges Dyer is Executive Director of the Crane Institute for Sustainability, and a Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network, supporting endowments in aligning investment policies with institutional mission, values, and sustainability goals. For over 20 years he has been engaged in solutions-based, whole-approaches to sustainability. From 2006-2014, Georges served in various roles, including Vice President, at Second Nature to develop and support the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) — a network of nearly 700 colleges and universities committed to achieving climate neutrality in campus operations and integrating climate and sustainability into education, research, and community engagement activities. He has spoken and presented widely at national and regional conferences and individual campuses, and written for Fast Company, GreenBiz, Sustainability: The Journal of Record, and The New England Journal of Higher Education.
Through his freelance consulting practice, Greenland Enterprises, Georges has engaged in a variety of sustainability projects, including strategic evaluations for the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University and for Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative. Previously, Georges was the Head of Market Intelligence for the Institutional Equities Group at LaBranche Financial Services in New York, where he was an NASD Series 86/87 licensed analyst. He was a Partner at Aedi Group, a sustainability-focused investment holding firm with a portfolio of start-up companies in the real estate and technology sectors. Georges also worked with design-build firms on residential green building projects Vermont and Colorado, and is certified in Permaculture design.
Georges served as a Trustee of Stratleade Sustainability Education for seven years. He is a graduate of The Mountain School of Milton Academy, Phillips Exeter Academy, and Dartmouth College. He holds a M.Sc. in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Karlskrona, Sweden, where his thesis research focused on carbon reduction projects under the Kyoto Protocol and EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
Founder & CEO, TechSandBox
Barbara Finer, CEO & Founder, TechSandBox, has founded several technology companies. She has served on Boards including MIT Enterprise Forum, WPI Venture Forum, Choices Wellness Center, and Spidersplat and has judged and/or mentored at Ignite/CTO, FIRST, and MassChallenge. Her professional areas of expertise include Marketing, Business Development, Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Barbara can be found teaching Marketing, Business and Entrepreneurship at local colleges. She holds a BS from Northeastern University and a MSA in Management of Innovation and Technology from Boston University.
Founder & CEO, enVerid
Dr. Udi Meirav is CEO and Founder of Boston-based enVerid Systems, a technology leader in Air Care, which has developed and commercialized groundbreaking HVAC Load Reduction (HLR®) technology – modular, intelligent scrubbers for indoor air that enable dramatic reduction in HVAC energy consumption and improved indoor air quality in commercial buildings. He founded the company in 2010. Dr. Meirav has a multidisciplinary background with executive experience in technology and finance. Before enVerid, he served as CEO of Boston based Luminus Devices, an independent developer and manufacturer of high performance LEDs for solid state lighting applications, a company he had led from its inception into a globally recognized technology leader and manufacturer. He has also worked as an investor at Stata Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital fund, and Strategic Decision Group, a premier global strategy consulting firm. Dr. Meirav has served on numerous boards of directors of other startup companies ranging from semiconductors and cybersecurity to oncology and healthcare IT. He has a PhD in Physics from MIT and began his career as a nano-physics research scientist.
Director Sustainable Energy and Environmental Initiatives, Brown University
As Director of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Initiatives at Brown University, I lead a team to identify opportunities to make efficiency improvements on campus and earn a return on endowment capital invested. Our operational and infrastructural investments provide a return to our loan fund and improve operational cash flow for the campus while aligning the campus with the student values.
Co-Founder and Managing Director of Kendall Sustainable
Mr. Chaimanis is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Kendall Sustainable Infrastructure (KSI), a private equity firm that makes direct investments in clean-energy projects. Through September 2016, his firm has raised over $60M of capital and has made investments into 20 distinct renewable energy projects.
In 2005, Mr. Chaimanis began working in clean energy finance, which represents the nexus of his business interests with his passion for making a positive impact. After working with regional renewable energy project developers in the New England area, he joined a subsidiary of Edison International in California, where he acquired and developed 250MW of wind energy projects, investing over $500 million dollars.
Mr. Chaimanis regularly advises clean energy startups, and consults with investors looking to understand the clean energy investment landscape. He has been featured in the 2014 Journal of Environmental Investing Most Influential Investors edition, the Family Office Review, and is the author of a graduate level energy investment business case. Mr. Chaimanis speaks frequently on the topic of clean energy finance and is an adjunct faculty member at Babson College.
Prior to his career in clean energy investing, Mr. Chaimanis was a founder of a charter school in the greater Boston area. Mr. Chaimanis holds an M.B.A. from Babson College, a B.S. in Finance from Villanova University, and has earned certification from US SIF for Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI).