Keynote Address: Paul Hawken

Sponsored by Xavier University

Paul Hawken, co-founder of Smith & Hawken and an internationally recognized proponent of sustainable business practices, will serve as Keynote Speaker for the 2016 Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit. Bestselling author of seminal books on the green economy, Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism shaped corporate sustainability and have been widely acclaimed as two of the most important books of the 20th century.

Hawken’s talk will cover aspects on the innovative green economy, and ideas that can be adopted locally and regionally in environmental sustainability.

Morning Breakout: Transportation — Linking All Modes

Sponsored by Nissan USA

Panelists will share highlights of all alternative transportation modes becoming available to our region and discuss opportunities for improving how we use multiple modes for our daily trips.

Moderator: Nathan Alley, Conservation Program Coordinator, Ohio Chapter Sierra Club


Kim Lahman, Outreach and Sustainability Manager, SORTA / Metro

John Gardocki, Service Analyst, SORTA/Metro

Frank Busofsky, Manager of Planning, TANK

Wade Johnston, Regional Trails Coordinator, Tri-State Trails


Transit Maps

Morning Breakout: Educating for Sustainability — Innovation and Collaboration at our Universities

Sponsored by Cohen Recycling

Institutions of higher education not only have the responsibility of educating future leaders about sustainability but, as major economic drivers, have the power to create systemic change in their communities by changing their building practices, energy use and waste streams. The panel will have representatives from regional universities to discuss what is currently happening and what needs to happen if they are to be on the cutting edge of sustainable thought and practice.

Moderator: James Buchanan, Director of Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Xavier University


Peter Moorhouse, Sustainability Coordinator, University of Cincinnati

Nancy Berteaux, Ph.D, Professor of Economics and Sustainability, Xavier University


Tess Phinney, Sustainability Manager, Northern Kentucky University

Morning Breakout: Innovation, Sustainability, Collaboration and Inclusion

Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank

Supplier Diversity leaders discuss sustainable innovation in a variety of industries that are opening doors of opportunity for small and diverse businesses.

Moderator: Clifford A. Bailey, CEO, TechSoft Systems, Inc.


Denise Thomas, Director of Corporate Supplier Diversity, The Kroger Co.

De Asa Nichols, Supplier Diversity Manager, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Pamela Brailsford, Senior Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability, Cintas Corporation

Morning Breakout: Sustainable Food in the Midwest

Sponsored by Atmos360, Inc.

Our changing climate has made agriculture in some places harder and more risky, resulting in higher food prices and more food price spikes everywhere. This trend will intensify. What can you do to assure the availability of healthy food for yourself and your community? Come learn about Best Practices for Sustainable Food in the Midwest.

Moderator: Larry Falkin, Director of Office of Environment & Sustainability, City of Cincinnati


Cheryl Graffagnino, Columbus/Franklin County Healthy Food Access Program Manager


Felicia Graham, Environmental Compliance Coordinator, City of Dayton


Dan Divelbiss, Chief Growing Officer, Waterfields, LLC


Morning Breakout: The Lead Story and the Other Story

Sponsored by Green Forward Technologies

Today our water utilities are in the headlines as they are faced with unprecedented and unrelenting challenges in providing safe drinking water. This session takes a look behind the scenes at those on the frontline of our regional water story.

Moderator: Melinda Kruyer, Executive Director, Confluence


Verna Arnette, Deputy Director, Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Michele Simmons, Environmental Manager, City of Dayton

Keshia Kinney, Dayton Water Supply and Treatment Supervisor, City of Dayton

Tim Neyer, Plant Manager, Clermont County

Jeff Swertfeger, Water Quality Superintendent, Greater Cincinnati Water Works

Lunchtime Program: Cincinnati Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Sustainability Awards Ceremony

The City of Cincinnati continues efforts to recognize the outstanding contributions of small and large businesses that are advancing sustainability. At the Midwest Regional Sustainability Summit, the City celebrates people and companies that demonstrate unique vision, innovation and achievement in support of the Green Cincinnati Plan, Greater Cincinnati’s regional economy and the sustainable development of our small business community.

Thought Leader Panel

Sponsored by US Green Building Council SW Ohio Chapter

Paul Hawken will join Steve Melink CEO of Melink Industries and Melinda Kruyer, President of Confluence, for a wide-ranging discussion of some of the innovative technologies and business models that are taking place in our own region. The discussion will be moderated by James Buchanan from the Brueggeman Center for Dialogue at Xavier.

Moderator: James Buchanan, Director of Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Xavier University


Paul Hawken

Melinda Kruyer, Confluence


Steve Melink, Melink Corporation


Afternoon Breakout: Food in the Waste Stream

Sponsored by Cleanlites Recycling

The US EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash and accounts for about 21 percent of the waste stream. Reducing food waste can help address climate change, as 20 percent of total U.S. methane emissions come from landfills. By keeping wholesome and nutritious food in our communities and out of our landfills, we can also help address the many regional residents that live in food insecure households. Come learn from three innovative approaches to reducing, reusing and recycling food waste that are impacting our region.

Moderator: Larry Falkin, Director of Office of Environment & Sustainability, City of Cincinnati


Suzy De Young, Founder/Chef, LaSoupe


Jerry Crabb, Senior Director of Ballpark Operations, Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians Green Initiatives

Kelly Birkenhauer, Geologist/Assistant Project Manager, TriHydro


Additional Resources:

For follow-up materials:
Matt Schnarr, Expansion and Partnerships Manager,, 202.847.0227

U.S. EPA, Office of Resource Conservation and Recover: “Food Waste Management Scoping Study,” April 2014.

U.S. EPA: “Advancing Sustainable Materials Management; Facts and Figures 2013

World Resources Institute: “Reducing Food Loss and Waste (Full report can be downloaded on their website)

Afternoon Breakout: Green / LEED Buildings: From Market Transformation and Economic Impact to “What’s Next?”

Sponsored by ClearArc Capital

From the perspective of the designers, constructors and Owners of “green”, especially LEED
Buildings, this panel will provide insight into where the market is headed and what has been the economic success of the overall approach to improving buildings by using the LEED rating system as a guide. Further, Living Building Challenge and other type approaches to designing “beyond” LEED will be discussed and part of the “What’s Next?” discussion.

Moderator: Michael Berning, President, USGBC SW Ohio Region, Sr. Principal – Heapy Engineering


Paul Yankie, LEED AP Homes, CFO, Green Building Consulting

Ryan Hoffman, PE, CEM, LEED AP BD+C,Sustainability & Energy Services Manager – Heapy Engineering

Jamie Accurso, Senior Architect – City of Cincinnati

Video: Cincinnati District 3 – First Net Zero Energy Police Station in USA!

Afternoon Breakout: Innovation in Waste Stream Business Models

Sponsored by Xavier University Center for Innovation

Employees, clients, and consumers are demanding more sustainable practices from the business sector, forcing businesses to rethink their models, operations, and business philosophies. Join us for an engaged discussion with businesses big and small about what benefits they reap by incorporating sustainability into their business practices, specifically around the waste stream.

Moderator: Greg Hume, Program Manager, Energy and Environment at TechSolve



Adam Dumes, Senior Vice President, Cohen Recycling

Suzanne Lindsay-Walker, Director of Sustainability, The Kroger Co.


Catherine Bennett, Manager of Operations, Kinetic Vision

Phil Rozenski, Senior Director of Sustainability, Novolex


Afternoon Breakout: Economic Inclusion and Sustainability — New Areas of Opportunity

Sponsored by P&G

Learn about community and neighborhood development projects that are supporting the City’s sustainability and inclusion efforts.

Moderator: Deborah Robb, Director of Housing and Development & Inclusion, Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority


Oscar Bedolla, Director of Community and Economic Development, City of Cincinnati

Gene Ellington, President and CEO, Ellington Management Services

Robert Bell, Economic Inclusion Coordinator, Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority

Cincinnati SBE Sustainability Awards Reception

Sponsored by MadTree Brewing Company

Celebrate the SBE Award Winners: All Summit attendees are welcome to join us after the Summit for this reception held in the upstairs lobby of Cintas Center. Meet and greet the small business award winners and finalists and network with other Summit attendees.