The 2015/16 SEMBA Council of Mentors
The SEMBA Council of Mentors comprises experienced professionals who work in for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that are committed to sustainability and social responsibility. Co-led by Justin Worthley and Hinda Miller, the Council’s mission is to provide mentorship and guidance to students in the SEMBA Class of 2016.
David, as Director of New Ventures, oversees the development and expansion of VEIC’s entrepreneurial work, both within the current VEIC structure and through the creation of new business models to advance its social justice focused sustainable energy work. Previous to this role he was responsible for leading the DCSEU startup team; establishing the organization’s Business Development function and launching Commons Energy L3C. David joined VECI in 2009 with 35 years of experience in growing social enterprise businesses. He has held executive and senior operating positions with Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, Autumn Harp, and Shelburne Farms. In addition to starting two of his own businesses, David has been a senior advisor to social enterprises that have established non-traditional business models. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Arts in Administration from the Graduate School of Business at Saint Michael’s College. At VEIC, David also serves on the Executive Leadership Team, with shared responsibility for the organization’s’ long term strategy and success.
Jeff oversees all business operations and administrative areas of the company. He is responsible for setting NativeEnergy’s strategic direction, leading its growth efforts, and managing its sales and project teams.
Jeff has over 20 years of experience in business development, strategy, and finance in renewable energy, cleantech, and manufacturing industries. Prior to NativeEnergy, Jeff held senior positions with GE-AES Greenhouse Gas Services, DTE Energy Resources, and the Environmental Capital Network (precursor to Cleantech Venture Network). Jeff holds an M.B.A. with distinction and an M.S. in resource ecology from the University of Michigan and B.S. degrees in business and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He lives with his wife Veronica, three sons, and various cats and dogs in Shelburne.
Andrea Cohen currently serves as Manager of Government Affairs and Member Relations for Vermont Electric Cooperative in Johnson Vermont. Previously she was Public Policy Manager (2006-2010), and then Executive Director (2010-2015), for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Before joining VBSR, she worked for 16 years at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources in a variety of positions involving pollution prevention, resource conservation, and solid waste management. Andrea holds her M.A. in Environmental Science from Antioch University and her B.A. in Psychology and Economics from Vassar College. She lives in Montpelier with husband Matt Chapman, General Counsel of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, her teenage son, 2 cats, 1 puppy, and 1 resilient goldfish.
Cairn Cross is the co-founder and managing director of FreshTracks Capital a venture capital firm focused on Vermont companies and entrepreneurs which has invested in 24 companies during its 12 year history. Cairn has an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University (1987) and a BS from Montana State University (1980) and is a graduate of the American Bankers' Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking (1994). He has spent most of his career financing startup and growth companies in Vermont as a banker and then as a venture capitalist. Cairn presently serves as a board member of NativeEnergy, Budnitz Bicycles, Mamava, Vermont Teddy Bear and Faraday. During spring semester he teaches BSAD 138 in the undergraduate school of business and Financing Innovation in the SEMBA program.
Dee DeLuca serves as Executive Director of Living Well Group, a Vermont based non-profit, including Ethan Allen Residence and Living Well Residential Care Home, which achieved the 2008 Governor's Award for Healthy Aging. An advising member of the Community Council at UVM's Center on Aging and a pioneer in small business applications of Dynamic Governance, she brings years of academic training, commitment and entrepreneurial success to the arena of holistic health care for elders. Dedicated to cutting edge practices in both business and integrative medicine, including arts based therapies and community focused circles of care, Dee was recognized by Vermont Health Care Association as Administrator of the Year in 2009. Living Well Group's facilities work collaboratively with educational and social service agencies in research and development efforts to identify and refine psycho-social and medical approaches that enhance the communities in which elders are served. Dee is currently engaged in projects directed toward shaping public policy to ensure elders and disabled persons of all socio-economic sectors opportunities to age creatively with dignity, integrity and joy. Recently appointed a Goodwill Ambassador of Joy for Elders, she joins 14 other international ambassadors bringing their message of joyous, healthy aging to a larger public by regularly contributing to world Elder Land publications and through public speaking engagements. Dee holds a BS from The University of Vermont and a Masters of Education from City University of New York.
Joe Fusco is a vice president of a Casella Waste Systems, Inc. He is an advisor to the company's chairman and chief executive officer on organizational and leadership development, human performance, brand strategy, public affairs, business and market trends, and corporate communications. He's also a teacher and coach to over 200 mid- and senior-level managers and numerous work teams. He speaks frequently to companies and organizations on leadership development, organizational and problem-solving culture, business and cultural trends, economic development, corporate responsibility and sustainability, and life/work balance. He's been engaged as a speaker by groups and companies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Project Management Institute, GreenFiber, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, Green Mountain Power, Vermont Golf Course Superintendents Association, and the Vermont Community Development Association.
He's a member of, and co-chair of, the Board of Advisors for UVM's Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA. He is currently a trustee of the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, and serves as a member of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council. Joe is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and is the former chair of the Vermont Economic Development Strategy steering committee.
Prior to 1995, Joe was an Albany, N.Y.-based political and corporate communications consultant serving political candidates, state-level political parties, lobbyists, public affairs advocacy groups and corporate clients (energy, software, retail) throughout the northeastern U.S. He has also held several staff positions in the New York State Legislature. He received a B.A. from the University at Albany (SUNY).
Elizabeth is Clean Yield's Managing Director and partner. She came to them with 25 years of experience in Socially Responsible Investing. Elizabeth started her career crafting a community-banking program for a Vermont bank that focused on ensuring access to credit for low-wealth communities. Subsequently, she worked for two SRI asset-management companies, managing portfolios for clients who wished to integrate their social values with their financial objectives. Elizabeth's last position was with the Calvert Foundation, which assists non-profits in low-wealth and impoverished communities. She was instrumental in growing the organization from six to 38 employees, with a loan portfolio of $200 million.
In 1993, Elizabeth was first elected to the board of the Social Investment Forum, her industry's trade association. She served for 14 years, several as VP. Currently, she sits on the board of Vermont Public Radio and is Chair of their Investment Committee, she is a Trustee of Marlboro College and, is Chair of the Board of the Lyme School in Lyme, NH.
Elizabeth received a BA from Marlboro College and is a graduate of the National Graduate Trust School at Northwestern University. She also has a degree in financial planning from Boston University. Elizabeth loves most sports and competes nationally in rowing. She and her husband Peter are raising three children in Lyme, NH.
Anna Grady currently serves as the Director for Human Resources for Renewable NRG Systems. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Vermont and a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for King Street Center, a non-profit community organization providing children and families with core life-building skills. Working at Renewable NRG Systems has sharpened her perspective on sustainability and energy concerns, and has fueled both personal and professional changes in response, such as investing in solar panels for her home earlier this year. Anna values the importance of "walking the talk" to net real, sustainable results. As part of her work role, she strategizes creative ways to build benefit structures that fit with the company's core values of environmental stewardship and innovation as well as invites and implements continuous improvement ideas from all employees. Creativity and innovation, engagement and involvement are all critical to spurring entrepreneurship and sustainable efforts.
Anna joined Renewable NRG Systems in 2006, bringing over 20 years of diverse work experience across higher education, manufacturing, youth services, and international development. Anna previously served as Director of Administration for Northlands Job Corps, a U.S. Department of Labor program where young students receive job and life skills training. Prior to that, she served as a Clinic Liaison Manager in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She also worked for IBM Corporation as a Tactical Marketing Manager, and as a program manager at the Academy for Educational Development in Washington D.C. Just out of college, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa and has travelled extensively ever since, through Africa, Panama, Europe and Pakistan.
Robert Lair is Co-Founder of Africa ELI (formerly NESEI), a non-profit NGO recognized by the World Bank as an outstanding model of sustainable, market-based development in the field of girl’s education in East Africa. Robert has been a businessperson, investor and education entrepreneur for the past 25 years, and is dedicated to the idea of improving the efficacy of international development via strategies borrowed from competitive business practices. Africa ELI schools are currently 85% self-sustaining and were recognized by the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) in 2014 and 2015 for their outstanding achievement on national exams. Robert teaches in the Environmental Studies Department at Saint Michael’s College and is currently working on developing courses focused on innovations in the world of environmental entrepreneurship, in Vermont, nationally and internationally. He has traveled to 49 countries and has led international study trips to Uganda, South Sudan, and, most recently, to an energy self-sufficient school in Ladakh, India.
Felicity is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Village Industrial Power, an early stage, venture backed social enterprise startup that is commercializing an innovative energy solution for rural enterprises and communities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Felicity has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master Degree from Johnson State College in Mental Health Counseling. Felicity brings a strong background in complex project management to the team through her 16 years of experience working on high-end residential and commercial construction projects in New York City. Felicity was a pioneer not only in her role as a woman in the construction industry in general but also as one of the first women to manage complex construction projects from the job site. Felicity worked with adolescents and their families in a residential treatment setting to address chemical dependence and mental health issues providing individual and family therapy and milieu management.
Travis Marcotte was born into a family of dairy farmers in Charlotte, Vermont. Prior to joining the Intervale Center, he worked in agriculture and community economic development in Central America and the Caribbean, where he focused on farm viability, food security and national policy in the agricultural sector. With a passion for working landscapes and a love of food, Travis deeply appreciates the opportunities and challenges that face our farmers and our food system today. Since joining the Intervale Center almost ten years ago, Travis has focused on the power of food to change the world. He started his career at the Center as a consultant working one-on-one with farmers to improve their finances and overall quality of life, then went on to oversee the development of the Intervale Center’s farm incubator, Conservation Nursery, Food Hub and business planning programs. In 2010, Travis became Executive Director and has since focused on deepening the Center’s impact, bringing the model to communities across North America and building a healthy, strong, and sustainable organization that reflects the values of the community food revolution.
Chris Miller is the Social Mission Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry's, a unique position within the corporate world. He is responsible for development and execution of the company’s issue advocacy campaigns that are rooted in its progressive values. Ben & Jerry’s has a long history of running campaigns on issues like mandatory GMO labeling, marriage equality, money in politics, and climate change.
Before joining Ben & Jerry's, Chris led the sustainability work at Seventh Generation, the leader in natural non-toxic household and personal care products. In addition to his for-profit experience, Chris directed Greenpeace USA's national climate change campaign and served on the staff of then Congressman Bernie Sanders.
He currently serves as the Chair of the board of directors of Car Share Vermont, is vice-chair of the board of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and is a board member of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG).
Founder of Sultana Group, Hinda just completed 10 years of service in the Vermont State Senate where she championed the creative/ local/ sustainable economy, complementary healthcare, and social change. She currently sits on the board of Keurig-Green Mountain as Chair of the Sustainability committee. Ms. Miller co-founded Jogbra, Inc., in 1977, the original maker of the "jogbra" women's sports garment. The original Jogbra is part of collections at the Smithsonian Institute and Metropolitan Museum of Art. She served as President of Jogbra, Inc., until company was purchased by Playtex Apparel and continued her leadership as President of Champion Jogbra, a division of Sara Lee Corp.
Matthew Mole is Director of Strategic Global Sourcing at The Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Prior to joining The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Matt was Founder and President of Vermont Organic Fiber Co. Under his leadership, the Vermont Organic Fiber Co. established the first global supply chain of 100% certified organic wool:“Field to Fashion". Using his "Field to Fashion" supply chain model, Matt supplied leading brands (i.e., J. Crew, Patagonia, Timberland and Eileen Fisher) with certified organic wool yarns and fabrics, ultimately helping them to meet their sustainability goals.
Matt has served as Vice-Chair of the Organic Trade Association's Fiber Council. As part of the OTA's Quality Assurance Committee, he's played an integral role in the development of the North American Organic Fiber Standards, a precursor to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Giving breadth to Matt's in-depth experience is time spent time managing the Intervale Center's Success on Farms Program – a business planning program that helps Vermont farms and value-added businesses improve their viability.
Matt is a graduate of UVM, (BS, Agricultural Economics; Minor Plant & Soil Science). When he isn't scouring the globe looking for new ways to increase the efficiency and sustainability of the supply chain at The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Matt can be found with his family, on Lake Champlain or skiing the mountains.
Antonio Ribeiro is the Sales Operations Director for PepsiCo Americas Beverages – Latin America. Antonio was born and grew up just outside Lisbon, Portugal where he studied Economics at the University of Lisbon. In 1989 Antonio moved to the Middle East where in 1991, after Operation Desert Storm, he joined the PepsiCo Franchise Bottler in Kuwait. From 1991 to 1998 Antonio took various sales roles with the bottler and in 1998 moved to PepsiCo first as a third party contractor until 2000 and then as Marketing Equipment Manager for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan until 2002, Customer Operations Manager from 2002 until 2005 and Sales Operations Director since then. Antonio is based at PepsiCo Latin America Headquarters in Miami, Florida.
Beth Sachs co-founded the non-profit Vermont Energy Investment Corporation in 1986 with partner Blair Hamilton, and served as its Executive Director until 2008, during which time it grew from two people to a staff of 170. She now holds the title of Founder, and in this role, fosters stewardship of the mission, values, and goals of VEIC in the workplace and in the community. She also participates in VEIC’s education, advocacy, and business development activities. She has been involved in energy efficiency and passive solar work for more than 40 years, a career that spans several oil embargoes, major changes in utility regulation, and many enormous weather events that she believes are related to human-induced climate change. Beth serves on the Board of Directors of Vermont Works for Women, the Vermont Energy Education Program, and the Renewable Energy Vermont Education Fund, and is Secretary of the VEIC Board. Her passion for social justice has always and will always drive the environmental and social equity work she does.
Justin is a 7th generation Vermonter and 3rd generation UVM graduate (BA Environmental Studies, 1994) who obtained his MSA in Organizational Behavior from St. Michael's in 2002. He is currently the VP of Human Resources at Burton Snowboards, and has previous HR, OD and Operations experience at Rhino Foods, Bosch, Unilever and Ben & Jerry's. He lives in South Burlington with his wife Cara. His son Asa is attending Syracuse University studying business, and his daughter Hannah is an Occupational Therapist, also living and working in the Syracuse area.
Last modified October 02 2015 12:07 PM