The SEMBA Advisory Board is made up of individuals that work in corporations that have a commitment to sustainability and of individuals that have a long and successful career as entrepreneurs. Some members of our Advisory Board represent the iconic Vermont Brands, while others represent new and exciting firms. Some members come from government agencies and non-profits and others lead firms in the venture capital and private equity worlds. All the members of the Advisory Board are committed to sustainability and to the entrepreneurial spirit that permeates SEMBA's curriculum.

This terrific group of individuals will play an important role by being in the classroom, developing cases, judging "pitch" competitions, arranging and hosting practicums, and mentoring students. We are grateful for their leadership, support, energy, and commitment to make SEMBA one of the best programs in the world.

 

Laura Asiala

Laura AsialaLaura Asiala is the Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs at PYXERA Global. Passionate about the power of business to solve-or help solve-the world's most intransigent problems, she leads the efforts to attract more participation of businesses to contribute to the sustainable development, through their people and their work. She serves on the Board of Directors for Net Impact, a community of more than 40,000 student and professional leaders creating positive social and environmental change in the workplace. Laura's thirty year career in international business included roles in finance, marketing, business development, HR, branding, and communications, and corporate social responsibility.

Prior to joining PYXERA Global, she was the Director of Corporate Citizenship at the Dow Corning Corporation where she led the development of their international corporate volunteer program (Citizen Service Corps) and oversaw CSR strategies and relationships, including the company's public-private partnership with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (a UN Foundation, US State Department & Clinton Global initiative). Laura holds a BA in economics from Alma College and a MS in Organizational Development from Case Western Reserve University.

 

Joey Bergstein

Joey BergsteinJoey Bergstein joined Seventh Generation in 2011 and has been working with his team to drive double digit revenue growth, to dramatically increase its consumer base and to deliver the company’s mission of inciting a revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations.  A graduate of University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business, Bergstein began his career at Procter & Gamble where he held marketing leadership roles over the course of ten years across North America and in Europe. Since then, his career turned to beverages where Joey served as VP Global Business Development and VP Marketing at Molson and finally at Diageo where as Senior Vice President of Global Rum, Joey led a global team that doubled the rum business to over $1 billion, transforming Captain Morgan into the fastest growing spirit brand in the world at the time.  Joey, his wife Andrea, and their two daughters Tori and Rachel live in Charlotte, VT.

 

Jeff Bernicke

Jeff BernickeJeff Bernicke, President & CEO of NativeEnergy, Inc., has over 20 years of experience building and leading teams in renewable energy, emission reduction, and clean tech project financing and development. At NativeEnergy, Jeff has driven an expansion of NativeEnergy’s Help-build program to provide corporate clients with their own Help-Build portfolio of projects. Portfolios that drive impact and business value. Prior to joining NativeEnergy, Jeff led the portfolio development and strategy for Greenhouse Gas Services (a joint venture between General Electric and AES Corp) and was a senior member of the executive team for DTE Energy Resources focusing on renewable energy development. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bernicke advised companies in the clean tech sector and worked as a strategy consultant to large corporations across numerous industrial sectors. Jeff holds an M.B.A. with high 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 and three sons in Shelburne, VT.

 

Valeria Budinich

Valeria Budinich Valeria Budinich is a social entrepreneur, author and organizational strategist specializing in high-impact business/social entrepreneurship.

As a Global Leadership Group Member at Ashoka, she founded “Full Economic Citizenship”, a global initiative that has enabled over 50 hybrid business models in housing, small farmer agriculture and health. In 2012, she received the “Harvard/McKinsey M-Prize” for management innovation for her pioneering work in enabling Hybrid Value Chains & Systems. In its new phase, this work is focused on spreading a new vision of leadership and collaborative entrepreneurship designed to scale social impact and wealth creation for the good of all.

Valeria has worked extensively on entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Prior to Ashoka, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of Appropriate Technology International – a group specialized in transforming small producers’ economies. Valeria was also the founding VP of ‘Endeavor’ for Latin America and the co-founder of a pioneering Seed Investment Capital Fund launched in partnership with local angel investors in Chile.

Valeria serves in the Advisory Boards of the Lemelson Foundation and Leapfrog Investments. She is the author, alongside Oliver Kayser of Hystra, of “Scaling Up Business Solutions to Social Problems” (Palgrave, 2015).

 

Carolyn Cooke

Carolyn Cooke Carolyn is a dedicated brand champion whose roles have included Co-Founder and President, General Manager, and Vice President of Sales within innovative, market leading companies and has unique expertise in pioneering start-up products and brands. She currently is the Director of Sales and Marketing at AllEarth Renewables. In her role she provides leadership and coordination of all company sales and marketing functions related to building a nationwide network of dealer/installers for the companies dual-axis solar tracker. Originally based in the outdoor industry, she spent twelve years with Karhu/Merrell and as the Vice President of Sales, she was a key player on the small team that transitioned Merrell from a niche telemark ski boot company to a worldwide footwear brand.

In 1998, Carolyn co-founded the women’s outdoor clothing company, ISIS, serving as President and CEO and was responsible for all aspects of the business from brand platform and product development to sales and marketing strategy. She was accountable for financial plans and budgets including bank and private equity financing of the business and a successful sale of the company to American Recreation Products. Under her leadership, she set a North American industry precedent by establishing ISIS as a pioneer brand for female-specific product. Her volunteer activities include founding the non-profit Outdoor Industry Women’s Council and co-producing the Vermont Full Circle Festival. She has served on numerous industry and community boards and currently sits on the board of Vermont Works for Women, a non-profit organization offering training for women and girls to develop economic independence.

 

Cairn Cross

Cairn Cross 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.

 

Nick Donowitz

Nick DonowitzNick Donowitz is the Chief Operating Officer of THINKmd, a global healthcare innovation company committed to expanding access to quality healthcare worldwide. Nick is an entrepreneur with almost fifteen years of international business experience in clean technology and life sciences. He’s held leadership roles in privately held and venture-­‐backed companies.

Prior to THINKmd, Nick spent five years as a member of the executive leadership team of Heliae Technology Holdings, Inc., an early-­‐stage algae biotechnology company founded by members of the Mars family. Prior to Heliae, he worked for a division of Mars, Inc. called Symbioscience where his work focused on strategic supply chain projects in raw feedstock-­‐sourcing regions in Sulawesi, Indonesia. As part of his role in Indonesia, Nick worked with Halosource (LSE: HALO), a water innovation firm developing low-­‐cost water purification technology to prevent diarrheal disease in low-­‐income agricultural communities.

Nick began his career in economic and international development, spending two years living on the windward island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas working for the Cape Eleuthera Institute -­‐ Island School. Nick earned a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College.

 

Don R. Droppo Jr.

Droppo was named President and CEO of Curtis Packaging in 2010.  Under his leadership, the company dramatically increased sales and rebranded itself “luxuriously responsible,” becoming the first printing and packaging company in North America to be Forest Stewardship Council certified, manufacture using 100% clean renewable energy and be carbon neutral.  In 2011, he was named one of Connecticut Magazine’s “40 Under 40” most promising young leaders.  Don is also Past Chairman of CBIA (Connecticut Business and Industry) and Connecticut River Valley Chapter of YPO (Young Presidents Organization) Board of Directors.

Prior to his appointment as President and CEO, Droppo served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, responsible for marketing, sales and innovation.  Before joining Curtis, he was an Assistant Vice President at General Reinsurance, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.  Droppo holds a B.S. in marketing and finance from the University of Vermont. He lives in Avon with his wife and their three children.

 

Robert A. Freling

Robert A. Freling Robert Freling is Executive Director of the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that has been on the cutting edge of delivering solar solutions to rural villages since 1990. Under Freling’s leadership, SELF has pioneered the use of solar power for a wide range of applications including household lighting, water pumping, school electrification, drip irrigation and wireless Internet access. SELF has completed projects in 20 countries, making it a leader among non-governmental organizations in providing practical and cost-effective renewable energy alternatives for the developing world.

Fluent in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Indonesian, Mr. Freling holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from Yale University, and an M.A. in Communications Management from the Annenberg School of Communications at the Uni. of Southern California. Mr. Freling is the recipient of the 2008 King Hussein Leadership Prize.

 

Joe Fusco

Joe Fusco 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).

 

John Gardner

John Gardner John Gardner was named Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for Novelis Inc the world’s leading aluminium rolled products and aluminum recycling company, on January 1st 2011. He is a member of the Global Executive Committee. He is responsible for driving sustainability across Novelis’ operations in 11 countries and 11,600 employees. Novelis supplies premium aluminum sheet products throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

John Gardner has served for more than 25 years with Novelis, and has held a variety of senior roles throughout the company including positions within sales and marketing, operations, recycling and corporate affairs. Most recently, John was Vice President, Human Resources and Communications for Novelis Europe.

Mr Gardner, a UK national, has a Master of Science from the Warwick Business School and a BA degree. He has served as Chairman of the European Aluminium Association Packaging Group and of the OEA Aluminium Recycling Association.

 

Al Hammond

Al Hammond ALLEN HAMMOND is a member of the Leadership Group at Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, where he heads its global health activities. He is also a serial entrepreneur (6 start-ups), an expert in market-based solutions to poverty, and a global leader in base of the pyramid (BOP) business strategies. Dr. Hammond is also the principal author of The Next 4 Billion, a landmark study of BOP markets and has published extensively in the scientific, policy research, and business literature, including articles in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Harvard Business Review, and Innovations. He has served as a consultant to the White House science office, to several U.S. federal agencies, to the United Nations, to a number of major corporations, and to several private foundations. He holds degrees from Stanford and Harvard Universities in engineering and applied mathematics.

 

Claudia Harner-Jay

Claudia Harner-Jay Claudia Harner-Jay is a senior program officer at PATH, a leading global health innovator and international nonprofit organization, based in Seattle, Washington. She manages public-private partnerships to solve global health problems and creates strategies to increase access to innovative health technologies in low-resource settings around the world. Claudia has spearheaded a variety of new initiatives while at PATH. She led the commercialization efforts on the US$ 25 million Bill & Melinda Gates-funded Safe Water Project, and PATH’s collaboration with Merck for Mothers to increase access to life-saving maternal health innovations for women. Currently Claudia leads Innovation Countdown 2030, a PATH-led initiative to identify high-impact innovations that can transform global health by 2030. Before joining PATH, Claudia worked as a business development manager at Monsanto Company developing the market for agricultural products in Mexico for small farmers in low resource settings. Prior to Monsanto, she worked at the Harvard Center for International Development with coffee farmers in Central America where her findings and recommendations led to a US$50 million World Bank loan for the coffee industry in El Salvador. Claudia also worked for Nike, Inc. as a marketing associate, and for UBS in Zurich as a banker, where she simultaneously earned a Swiss Banking Diploma. She holds an MBA and MS in environmental policy from the University of Michigan and a BA in international affairs from the University of Puget Sound. She is fluent in both Spanish and German.

 

Amit Kapoor

Dr. Amit Kapoor is President & CEO of India Council on Competitiveness; Honorary Chairman at Institute for Competitiveness, India and Editor-in-Chief of Thinkers (Magazine). He is the chair for the Social Progress Imperative and Shared Value Initiative in India and sits on the board of Competitiveness initiatives in Mexico, Netherlands, Italy & France. In addition to being advisor to Thinkers50 and participant with the Global Solutions Network. He is an affiliate faculty for the Microeconomics of Competitiveness & Value Based Health Care Delivery courses of Institute of Strategy and Competitiveness, Harvard Business School and an instructor with Harvard Business Publishing in the area of Strategy, Competitiveness and Business Models. He has been inducted into the Competitiveness Hall of Fame which is administered by Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School. Amit is a Ph.D. in Industrial Economics and Business Strategy and has received the Ruth Greene Memorial Award winner for writing the best case of the year, by North American Case Research Association (NACRA). He has been invited by Kennedy School of Government & Harvard Law School, Harvard University; Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, World Economic Forum to present his views on various issues and themes like strategy, outsourcing and economic development. Amit is the author of India City Competitiveness Report, India State Competitiveness Report, India Manufacturing Competitiveness Report, India State Sustainability Report, Livability Report et al. He is also been a columnist with IANS, Business Insider, Hindu Business Line, Mint, Financial Express, Outlook Business & Governance Now in addition to penning down academic pieces. Based on his work three awards have been constituted within the country titled “State Competitiveness Awards” by Mint & Hindustan Times wherein the Chief Ministers are awarded; City Competitiveness Awards by ABP wherein City Heads are awarded and “Institute for Competitiveness ¬Mint Strategy Awards” wherein the corporates are awarded for their strategic acumen. He chairs the jury and curates Porter Prize in addition to curating events like Competitiveness Forum, Thinkers 50 (India) etc. He tweets @arthsastra and @kautiliya.

 

Ali Kenney

Ali Kenney Ali Kenney is the Director of Global Sustainability at Burton Snowboards. She has 8+ years of experience at Burton in numerous positions including in Finance and as the Product Manager of Snowboards. Ali built Burton’s Sustainability department from the ground up, and reports directly to Burton co-owner and president, Donna Carpenter. Ali drives the global sustainability strategy and platform for Burton's portfolio of brands - covering social responsibility and human rights in the supply chain, sustainable chemicals management, sustainable sourcing and country risk assessment, sustainable product and packaging strategy, and improving Burton’s overall impact on the environment and community. She spearheads many innovation and growth opportunity projects for Burton with outside groups, including exploratory projects with students from Tuck and the UVM MBA program.

Ali has extensive international experience and has traveled and/or worked in over 40 countries, mostly in Asia and Europe. She currently serves on the Sustainability Advisory Council for the Outdoor Industry and is also on the Board of Directors of Vermont Parks Forever. Ali is very active in local government and has served on the Winooski Development Review Board and chaired the city Environmental Board for many years.

Prior to Burton, Ali played semi-professional ice hockey in Denmark and Canada and then coached college hockey at Bowdoin and Brown. Ali received a BA in International Relations- Political Economy of Development from Brown University and an MBA from the University of Vermont. Outside of work, Ali plays whenever she can and has a long list of favorite activities, including snowboarding, backpacking, cycling, surfing, standup paddleboarding, yoga, beach volleyball, gardening and chasing around her four crazy chickens.

 

Shad Khan

Shad Khan Shad Khan is a senior manager in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP and has 11 years of experience, four of which have been with EY. Shad specializes in organization and change, his experience includes healthcare, finance, human resource transformation and organizational change management initiatives. Shad is currently pursuing his PhD in Management at Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. His research focused on corruption and sustainable growth.

Shad future ambitions include continuing his career as a management consultant in the area of change management and organizational effectiveness. He would also like to continue his academic career in developing countries. He loves spending time with his family and enjoys travelling, cooking, teaching, and playing basketball.

 

Jonathon Koch

Jonathon Koch Mr. Koch co-founded US Renewables Group, a private equity fund focused on investing in clean fuels and renewable energy, where he served as a Managing Director at the firm until earlier this year when he became the CEO of Proterro, an industrial biotech company, and oversaw a strategic redirection and turn around effort at the Company until August, 2015. Earlier in his career, Mr. Koch was the founder and CEO of Sundial.com, a leader in provisioning utility services online. Before starting up Sundial.com, Mr. Koch worked at General Electric focused on the acquisition of energy equipment service providers and distributed generation technology. Prior to GE, Mr. Koch worked at Booz, Allen & Hamilton consulting on large M&A transactions in the energy and life sciences sectors and advising the EPA on policy issues in the Superfund, Clean Air and Drinking Water programs.

Mr. Koch served on the Boards of Renewable Energy Group (NASDAQ: REGI); Pipestem Energy Group prior to its sale to Magellan Midstream Partners; Westerly Wind, a wind development company that sold projects First Wind, now owned by SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE); General Compression, an energy storage company; Fulcrum BioEnergy, an advanced biofuel company; OPX Biotechnologies, a biochemicals company sold to Cargill; and Niagara Generation, LLC, a power generation facility.

Mr. Koch completed the Corporate Environmental Management Program (now called the Erb Institute) at the University of Michigan and earned a joint MBA and Masters of Science in Resource Policy. Mr. Koch received a B.A. from Tufts University.

Mr. Koch established the Renewable Energy Scholars program at the Erb Institute and serves on the Advisory Board of the Erb Institute. Mr. Koch is also Board member of the Children’s Environmental Literacy Foundation (CELF).

 

Andrew Mangan

Andrew Mangan Andrew Mangan is co-founder and executive director of the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development, a non-profit association of businesses launched in 1992 that harnesses the power of collaborative projects, platforms and partnerships to develop, deploy and scale solutions to ecosystems, energy, materials and water challenges.

The US Business Council is one of 65 national business councils worldwide that are associated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a CEO-led organization of forward-thinking companies that galvanizes the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment.

Mr. Mangan received a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he also attended the School of International Affairs as an International Fellow. Prior to organizing the Business Council he served as deputy commissioner for natural resources with the Texas General Land Office, worked as a congressional correspondent for the Associated Press, and commercially fished salmon in Southeast Alaska.

 

Erin Meezan

Erin Meezan In 1994, modular carpetmaker Interface shifted the vision and focus of its manufacturing to becoming a sustainable and ultimately restorative enterprise. This transformational shift changed the companies processes, products, but also its people. A by product of the new thinking that this sustainability focus ushered in was a new way of doing business, a changed culture that took hold in all levels of the company from management teams to factory employees. Interface has acknowledged the importance of this unique culture of sustainability in driving innovation and retaining and attracting talented employees.

As Vice President of Sustainability for Interface, Erin gives voice to the company’s conscience, ensuring that strategy and goals are in sync with the aggressive sustainability vision established almost 20 years ago. She leads a team that provides technical assistance and support to the company’s global business, addressing sustainability at all levels– from operations and management, to employees and customers, and in policy forums. And she also keeps a finger on the pulse of the company’s transformed culture, a by product of sustainability thinking that has been critical in driving innovation and retaining and attracting talented employees. Erin and her team are focused on nourishing and reinforcing the unique culture, and also on documenting its evolution. Erin is a frequent lecturer on sustainable business to senior management teams, universities and the growing green consumer sector. She has spoken at a variety of conferences and forums including: Bioneers, Greenbuild, SXSW, Businesses for Social Responsibility and others. Erin is a magna cum laude graduate of the Vermont Law School, where she earned her Masters Degree in Studies in Environmental Law and her Juris Doctor degree.

 

Rob Michalak

Rob Michalak Rob Michalak is the Global Director of Social Mission for Ben & Jerry’s. Rob sits on Ben & Jerry’s Global Leadership Team and is the lead advocate at Ben & Jerry’s to keep its Social Mission vigorous and in balance with the company’s Product Mission and Economic Mission. Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission works to create innovative ways that the business can apply its many resources to achieve positive social change in the world and make progress on the company’s sustainable corporate concept of “linked prosperity,” which is the ambition that as the company prospers, its stakeholders prosper too.

“We work to advance our model of linked prosperity by constantly exploring a systems-based approach throughout our entire value chain in designing innovations that can deliver positive social, economic and environmental change,” Michalak said.

Rob has been with Ben & Jerry’s twice. His first role at the company was as its PR Czar from 1989-1998. He came back to the company to serve as its Social Mission Director starting in 2006. Before that, and in between his Ben & Jerry’s days, Rob worked in broadcast media holding a variety of jobs in news, public affairs and independent productions.

 

Hinda Miller

Hinda Miller 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.

 

Robert Miller

Robert MillerVSECURobert Miller is President and Chief Executive Officer for VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not-for-profit credit union in Vermont. VSECU serves over 60,000 members with nearly $700 million in assets, 170 employees, and 9 branch locations statewide. Rob started his career with Citibank in New York and Chicago. He then relocated to Vermont, and worked for the Vermont Department of Economic Development where he was ultimately appointed Commissioner by Governor Howard Dean. Prior to joining VSECU, Rob spent over a decade in the institutional investment management industry. He led Dwight Asset Management’s (now Goldman Sachs Asset Management) fixed income business development efforts targeting the pension, foundation, and endowment markets; as well as their entry into the 3rd party insurance asset management space. Subsequently, Rob served as Head of Global Business Development for Conning, a global insurance asset manager and risk management consultant and software developer. Rob currently serves on the Board of Directors for Capstone Community Action, Energy Action Network, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, and Vermont Council on Rural Development. Rob possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Vermont. He is a graduate of The Vermont Leadership Institute, a program of the Snelling Center for Government. And he is currently working towards his Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designation through the Credit Union Executive Society (CUES). Rob resides in Shelburne, VT with his wife and 2 daughters. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, running, traveling, and discovering new experiences. You can follow Rob @robmiller802

 

Robert Morier

Robert Morier is  Managing Director and Head of North America for Global Evolution.  Global Evolution is a specialist emerging and frontier markets fixed income asset manager founded in 2007.  Based in Denmark with offices in Zurich and New York, the firm manages dedicated Emerging and Frontier Market Debt Strategies respectively in both hard, local and blended currency.  As part of the firm’s investment philosophy and process, Global Evolution is committed to leaving a legacy of impact investing, which assists in lifting developing nations out of poverty.  Global Evolution is part of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) sovereign fixed income working group and integrates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics into their investment decision making process.

Global Evolution has been appointed as board member at the UNPRI Advisory Committee on Credit Ratings (ACCR). This is an achievement both for Global Evolution as a firm, but especially for promoting the important ambition to more appropriately consider ESG factors as part of sovereign credit ratings.  Global Evolution has a strategic commitment to sustainable investment and ESG sustainability as an integrated part of their approach to investment. Global Evolution integrates ESG sustainability into their investment management approach through quantitative econometric models.  Global Evolution actively promotes responsible investing and consideration of ESG variables which are deeply engrained in our investment decision making process.

Previously Robert was the Director of Institutional Business Development at ClearBridge Investments where he was responsible for global consultant and institutional client relationships.  Prior to this, Robert was the Director of Institutional Investments at Indus Capital where he managed global institutional relationships for Emerging Market and Asia investments. From 2002-2012 Robert was responsible for business development and client service for Artio Global Investors (formerly Julius Baer Investment Management), where he established the firm’s first European presence in London.  Robert began his career with Greenwich Associates as Senior Research Analyst with a focus on the global financial sector.  Robert has been working with global emerging and frontier market investments for over fifteen years across fixed income and equity strategies. 

Robert resides in New York City with his wife Sarah who he met in Burlington where they both attended the University of Vermont. Robert holds a BA in History.  He enjoys spending time with family and friends, surfing, traveling, and getting back to Vermont as often as possible.

 

Monique Oxender

Monique Oxender Monique Oxender leads Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. efforts to Brew a Better World. Monique joined Keurig Green Mountain in 2012 and has navigated a path for integrated sustainability management during the recent period of growth and change. Her journey, which is informed by a multitude of internal and external stakeholders, brings her to the intersection of sustainability and business, the place where she sees the most potential to deliver societal benefit and create business value. Prior to joining Keurig Green Mountain, she spent eight years with Ford Motor Company where she designed and developed a leading supply chain sustainability program spanning the company’s $65B buy from 60 countries. Issues under her responsibility included human rights, indirect carbon and water footprints, and raw material transparency. In addition, she served as Chair of multiple industry workgroups for the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) and represented Ford on United Nations Global Compact, US State Department, Department of Labor and OECD advisory groups. With a background in secondary education and sustainability, Monique has an MBA and an MS from the University of Michigan.

 

Robert Philips

Bob Phillips is an SJ Partners consumer products operating partner and currently serves on the board of directors of SJ Partners portfolio company European Soaps LLC where he is also an investor.

Bob is also a Managing Director of The Clarecastle Group, a marketing company which specializes in consumer and personal care products. He has also served a Senior Advisor to Peter J. Solomon Company.

From 1988 to 2000, Mr. Phillips was with Unilever PLC and Unilever NV where he served as the North American Business Group President and Global Coordinator of Personal Products. During his tenure at Unilever, he also served as Chief Executive Officer of Elizabeth Arden Company Worldwide and Chairman of Unilever Prestige Personal Products. In addition, Mr. Phillips was a director of Unilever from 1994 to 2000.

Prior to joining Unilever, Mr. Phillips held a number of senior brand management, marketing and executive positions at Chesebrough-Ponds, Inc., including President and Chief Operating Officer. Upon the acquisition of Chesebrough-Ponds, Inc. by Unilever in 1988, he was named President and CEO of the Chesebrough unit, holding that office until 1992. From 1979 to 1981, Mr. Phillips launched General Entertainment Corp., a unit of Nabisco, and also served as President of the Clairol division of Bristol Myers. In addition, Mr. Phillips is a non-executive director of Cosmolab Inc, Cosmetico LLC, European Soaps LLC, and JWL Partners Acquisition.

Mr. Phillips received a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.B.A. from Columbia Graduate School of Business and an M.A. from the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

 

Iqbal Quadir

Iqbal Quadir Iqbal Quadir is a pioneer in creating inclusive ventures in low-income countries. In the 1990s, he founded Grameenphone in Bangladesh; it now has 50 million customers. Subsequently, he helped found bKash; bKash, with 17 million customers, is dramatically improving financial inclusion in Bangladesh. With this inclusive philosophy in mind, in 2005 Quadir cofounded Innovations, an MIT Press journal, and in 2007 he founded the Legatum Center at MIT. The Center has already trained 200 MIT students who aspire to create for-profit enterprises promoting prosperity in low-income countries.

Quadir’s work and thinking has been cited in over 70 books. He has published in the Financial Times, Forbes.com, Harvard Business Review, Science, Nature, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal. He holds an MBA and MA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a BS from Swarthmore College. He has received two honorary doctorate degrees and other honors for his work.

 

Donald Reed

Donald Reed A Managing Director in PwC’s US Sustainable Business Solutions practice, Don has 17 years of experience helping operating companies, asset managers, and financial institutions develop and implement sustainability strategies that create business value by growing revenue, enhancing brands, improving operating efficiency, and managing risks.

He helps asset owners and managers improve risk-adjusted returns by integrating sustainability analysis into their decision-making process across their investment policy, asset allocation, investment selection, active ownership, portfolio management and exit disciplines. Don joined PwC in 2009 with the acquisition of Sustainable Finance Ltd.

Don is co-author of “Resilience: Sustaining the supply chain” published by PwC and "Single Bottom Line Sustainability" published by Ecos Corporation, and author of “Stalking the Elusive Financial Case for Corporate Sustainability” and “Green Shareholder Value-Hype or Hit?” published by WRI.

A Chartered Financial Analyst, Don has an AB degree in Political Economy from Princeton University and an MBA in Finance from the Stern School at New York University.

 

Antonio Ribeiro

Antonio Ribeiro 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.

 

Dawn Rittenhouse

Dawn Rittenhouse Dawn Rittenhouse is Director, Sustainabilty for the DuPont Company.

Dawn joined DuPont in 1980 and has held positions in Technical Service, Sales, Marketing, and Product Management within the Packaging and Industrial Polymers business and Crop Protection businesses. In late 1997, she began working in the corporate organization to assist DuPont businesses in integrating sustainability strategies into their strategy and business management processes. She leads DuPont’s efforts at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the United Nations Global Compact.

She is currently is on the Sustainability Council at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, the Corporate Consultive Group Advisory Group of World Resources Institute, is on the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy of Delaware and the Board of Directors of the Delaware Nature Society.

Dawn has a double major in Chemistry and Economics from Duke University.

Dawn lives in Wilmington, Delaware. In her free time she loves sports photography and is a runner.

 

Martin Wolf

Martin WolfMr. Martin Wolf is the Director of Sustainability & Authenticity at Seventh Generation, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of ecological household and personal care products. He is responsible for assuring the sustainable design of products at He is also responsible for designing and implementing a sustainable business model, and creating a more sustainable system of commerce.

Mr. Wolf brings over 40 years of experience in industrial and environmental chemistry to his work, starting with environmental fate and metabolism studies for agricultural chemicals, followed by studies of the occurrence of hazardous chemicals in the environment, conducting life cycle studies of product systems, and designing more sustainable household cleaning products.

In addition to his work for Seventh Generation, Mr. Wolf has served as the Vice Chair and Chair of the Sustainability Committee (2010-2015), and as the Vice Chair and Chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee (2007-2011) of the American Cleaning Institute (formerly the Soap & Detergent Association). He was appointed a Fellow of the Aspen Institute, Environmental Forum in 2006, and received an EPA Region 1 Environmental Merit Award in 2011. In 2013 Mr. Wolf was appointed by the National Academy of Science to the Committee on Design and Evaluation of Safer Chemical Substitutions, and in 2015 he won the Elva Walker Spillane Distinguished Service Award of the American Cleaning Institute.

Mr. Wolf holds an M.A. in Chemistry from Yeshiva University (New York) and a B.S. in Chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Massachusetts).

 

Robert Zulkoski

>Mr. Zulkoski has been an investment manager since the early 1980’s, and as general partner invested over US$5BN of fiduciary capital over the past several years. Mr. Zulkoski has built a number of large-scale fund management businesses and has played a lead role in a number of other successful business start-ups as a personal investor, advisor and/or board member. The majority of Mr. Zulkoski’s current activities are focused on social impact investment projects or initiatives.

In this regard, Mr. Zulkoski is currently Chairman and Managing Partner of Vermont Works, Chairman of Laurasia Capital Management (Singapore), a member of the board of directors of Talana Asset Management (South Africa), Chairman of Greenlots (USA), and a member of the board of directors of Maiyet (USA). In addition, Mr. Zulkoski is an active member of the Clinton Global Initiative with several active commitments to action.

Most recently Mr. Zulkoski has been part of the investment and leadership team overseeing the redevelopment of the iconic Nevele Resort in Ellenville, NY. When completed, the Nevele Resort & Spa and the Nevele ProSport Campus will be the premier youth sports destination in the Northeastern United States and the premier group/event destination in New York State. The Nevele redevelopment is a prime example of a public/private collaboration representing a strong profit opportunity as well as the generation of enormous positive social impact measured in the promotion of youth health and welfare, and job creation in the economically depressed Hudson Valley/Catskill region of New York State.

In his last operating executive role, Mr. Zulkoski was Managing Director and Head of Asia Special Situations and Real Estate Investments for Oaktree Capital Management, a US$80BN+ fund manager. While at Oaktree, Mr. Zulkoski's team was voted by peers as the "Best Special Situation Manager" and "Best Distress Manager" in a 2009 vote sponsored by Private Equity International Magazine. Prior to Oaktree, Mr. Zulkoski was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pangaea Capital Management, which he founded and subsequently sold to Oaktree in 2007 after building Pangaea into an organization with five offices and nearly US$2 billion of assets under management.

Before establishing Pangaea, Mr. Zulkoski was Founding Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Colony Capital Asia Pacific, where he oversaw the expansion of CCAP from a one person, one office start-up to a 150-person, six office business with in excess of US$2 billion of assets under management. Prior to CCAP, Mr. Zulkoski was a Founder and Executive Director of Oakwood Asia Pacific ("OAP"), a start-up focused on developing a leading serviced apartment management company, where Mr. Zulkoski contributed to OAP achieving the position as the second largest serviced apartment management firm in Asia. Early in his career, Mr. Zulkoski was employed by GE Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of the General Electric Company (US). He held several positions while at GE Capital, most recently as a Managing Director and Head of Asia Real Estate Investment and Financing. Mr. Zulkoski started his professional career in New York City at Kidder, Peabody & Co where he held several positions, the last as Vice President Real Estate Capital Markets.

Mr. Zulkoski is a full-time resident of Charlotte, VT., and he and his wife are patrons of numerous local philanthropic entities.