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Adele Simmons    

PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL PHILANTHROPY PARTNERSHIP


The GPP supports Adele’s work in both strengthening the infrastructure that supports global philanthropy and also her focus on global cities and sustainable cities. She co-chaired the Task Force that produced Mayor Daley’s Chicago Climate Action Plan, led the committee which helped implement Mayor Emmanuel’s Sustainable Chicago 2015, and was Vice-Chair of the regional planning group Chicago Metropolis 2020. She is a founder of Global Chicago and served as co-chair of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ studies group that produced The Global Edge:  an Agenda for Chicago’s Future.  She helped to establish the Urban Sustainability Directors Network that brings together sustainability directors from 125 cities in the US and Canada; she manages networks of the Sustainability officers of Chicago’s global corporations, and of Chicago area universities.  

She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Field Museum, the Synergos Institute, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Ceres.

She served as President of the MacArthur Foundation and of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and as a senior officer and member of the faculty at both Princeton and Tufts Universities.


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BOB LANGERT

PRESIDENT OF MAINSTREAMING SUSTAINABILITY | EDITOR AT LARGE FOR GREENBIZ GROUP | RETIRED VP OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR MCDONALD’S

Bob joined McDonald’s system in 1983, with management positions in logistics, packaging and purchasing in the 80s. In the 90s, he had responsibilities for the environment, energy management, animal welfare, and Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities’ grants.   He was appointed McDonald’s first VP to lead sustainability in 2006.

Bob led the development of McDonald’s 2020 Sustainability Vision and Framework, including McDonald’s commitment to the environment, supply chain sustainability, and balanced menu choices. He retired from McDonald’s, March, 2015 and joined the GreenBiz Group, writing a regular column, The Inside View; and helping with the GreenBiz Executive Network. He is President of Mainstream Sustainability, advising companies on sustainability strategies, and a nationally recognized speaker.

He published a book entitled “The Battle to Do Good; Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey,” in January 2018.   Based on 25 years leading McDonald’s sustainability efforts, Bob shares stories of trying to address some of the most significant societal issues of our times, including obesity, waste and packaging, the Amazon rainforest, animal well-being, and much more.

Bob has a Masters Degree in Business from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA, a BA from Lewis University, Romeoville, IL.  He has served as a board member of Net Impact, Keep America Beautiful, and the National Recycling Coalition.

Bob is married to Diane, resides in Amelia Island, Fl.  He has two daughters and six grandchildren, and loves tennis, beach walking, and reading.


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Carla Walker-Miller

FOUNDER AND CEO AT WALKER-MILLER ENERGY | FOUNDER OF WATER ACCESS VOLUNTEER EFFORT (WAVE)

Carla launched WMES, a values-driven Detroit-based firm that creates and manages customized energy waste reduction programs to help electric and gas utilities meet mandated energy savings goals. As a proud Detroit booster, Carla champions issues related to utility affordability and the intentional recruitment, training, and employment of black Detroit residents. During the economic collapse, she pivoted to energy efficiency, a growth industry, and led her business to double-digit growth, earning both local and national recognition as a scrappy, innovative company to watch. Since 2014, her firm has experienced more than 700% revenue growth and operates in three states.

As an award-winning company, recent accolades include the 2019 Distinguished Business Leader award by WBENC Great Lakes Chapter, DBusiness magazine’s 2017 Champion of the New Economy, and the Ernst & Young 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year award for Michigan and Northwest Ohio region in the category of business consulting. Additionally, WMES received both the Small Business of the Year, and the Woman-Owned Business of the Year award in 2015 by Michigan Small Business Administration (SBA).

In 2000, Carla founded WAVE, the Water Access Volunteer Effort, which has distributed more than $2 million to help vulnerable Detroit families maintain access to water and sewer services. She focuses on empowering people and enriching communities by providing extraordinary experiences for her team members, clients, and the community

She serves on the boards of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board, the Michigan Small Business Development Center, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Michigan Energy Innovators Business Council, the BUILD Institute, the Wayne State University Physicians Group, TechTown, the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, and the American Association of Blacks in Energy.

An advocate on issues relating to entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion, energy efficiency, sustainability and workforce development, Carla is determined to create positive change in the world and transform lives by offering innovative solutions.


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DAN MCLAUGHLIN 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT CHICAGOLAND ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS | FOUNDER AND PRODUCER OF “BUILDING CHICAGO” MAGAZINE | FORMER MAYOR OF ORLAND PARK, ILLINOIS | FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE PLUMBING CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION OF CHICAGO | FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT PLUMBING COUNCIL OF CHICAGOLAND

A longtime leader in the plumbing and construction industries, Dan is the Executive Director of Chicagoland Associated General Contractors, a nonprofit trade association. Dan is responsible for a financial and marketing overhaul that led to a thriving, industry-leading organization.

As Executive Director, Dan has coordinated the first Strategic Planning Board program, the Construction Leadership Council with a membership of 300 young professionals, and the diversity hiring and small business program.

Dan was elected six times from 1993 to 2017 as Mayor of Orland Park, IL and played an active role in planning and operating this southwest suburb of Chicago with 58,000 residents, and over 12 million square feet of commercial properties. As mayor, Dan led his administration to initiate many notable sustainability initiatives related to water consumption and storm water management, mobility, and mixed, public land use, which led to several U.S. Conference of Mayors City Livability awards.

Dan’s administration-initiated projects included the “Smart Living Orland Park” program, created to educate residents and businesses in water conservation and energy savings. Dan worked with CMAP on a Model Water Use Conservation Ordinance and developed three-tiered water conservation pricing. He also served as part of the North East Illinois Water Supply Planning Group with CMAP and served on a Water Quality in Storm Water Management panel through the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

His administration created the “Orland Park Open Lands” program saving over 300 acres from development. One 200-acre park, unused in winter, was turned into a Winter Wonderland including an ice-skating rink, sledding hill, cross-country skiing, hiking, and holiday displays. In addition, several miles of biking/walking paths were added. Dan’s over-riding theme with staff was, “Plan For People Not Cars.”

And at the intersection of infrastructure and mobility, Dan initiated more than $700 million in municipal buildings and infrastructure including three new train stations, LEED Gold Police Station, pedestrian bridge over Route 45, library, and recreation center.


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Leith Sharp

DIRECTOR AND LEAD FACULTY OF EXECUTIVE EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP AT HARVARD T.H CHAN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH | PREVIOUSLY THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF HARVARD’S OFFICE FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Leith is the Director and Lead Faculty, Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She has spent 20 years driving sustainability into the core business of higher education. Leith established one of world’s first campus sustainability programs in 1995 at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia. For 9 years Leith was the founding director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability leading Harvard to become a global leader in campus sustainability. Leith was the founding executive director for the Illinois Green Economy Network, a partnership of 48 community college presidents targeting green economic growth. Leith was the founding Chair of the Sustainability Futures Leadership Academy, an international collaboration driving executive leadership development for sustainability. Leith has consulted with over 100 universities and other organizations around the world including the U.S. House of Representatives House Chief Administrative Office, The USA Association of Governing Boards, The Ministry for Science, Denmark, and the World Student Environment Summit.

Leith has taught change leadership for sustainability at Harvard University for the last 12 years, earning numerous commendations for distinguished teaching performance. Leith is currently directing a new collaborative program in Executive Education for Leadership in Sustainability through the Harvard School of Public Health Center for Health and the Global Environment. For her work Leith has received numerous awards internationally including Young Australian of the Year, NSW Environment Category and a Churchill Fellowship. Leith has an engineering degree (UNSW) and a master of education (Harvard).

Leith’s talk will be on Change Management in Sustainability.


MARK THOMANN

MANAGING DIRECTOR AT SPIRAL SUN VENTURES

Mark is an entrepreneur who is dedicated to helping early-stage companies and their management teams scale their businesses. The lack of seed capital available to early stage companies that are focused on better for you products inspired him to co-launch Spiral Sun Ventures. He takes a hands-on approach to investing and takes an active role in assisting many of the SSV portfolio companies.

In addition to SSV, Mark serves as Chief Executive Officer of Dormitus Brands, a company that acquires, redevelops, and monetizes iconic dormant brands.

Mark received a B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.  He lives in Chicago with his wife and three children.


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Mike Stopka, AIA, LEED BD+C

FOUNDER OF MIST ENVIRONMENT CONSULTING | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS LEADERSHIP FACULTY AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

In 2016 Mike founded MIST, a Chicago-based sustainable strategy and education advisory working with universities, cities, nonprofits, and corporations. MIST helps clients audit their organization-wide sustainability performance, quantify the business value of improving and chart a roadmap to their desired future. Trained as an architect, Mike’s work evolved to change management, teaching, human-centered design, and business intelligence. Diverse experience within organizations and as a consultant provides a balanced perspective to reach many types of people.

Mike is faculty at Northwestern University, designing curricula and teaching sustainability leadership in business. He serves on the Illinois Green Alliance Board of Directors and the AASHE Advisory Council. His favorite pastime is fishing with his wife and three daughters.

Previously, as Director of Sustainability at the University of Chicago, Mike led the team that published the institution’s first sustainability plan. Prior, he founded the sustainability department at the design firm, SCB. Mike’s education includes architecture, planning (University of Illinois and Clemson University) and business (University of Chicago – Booth School of Business).