|2016 COMMIT!Forum Speakers|
Assistant Director of Corporate Social Responsibility
Crowe Horwath LLP
Crystal Adams is a seasoned corporate social responsibility professional with more than 20 years’ experience in Corporate America as a nonprofit advocate, partner and friend. She currently is the Assistant Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Crowe Horwath LLP after serving as a consultant for AT&T. Her experience includes community engagement, project management, corporate philanthropy, event sponsorship, cause marketing, relationship management and nonprofit partnerships.
Alexander & Associates LLC
Bart is Principal of Alexander & Associates LLC, a Denverbased consulting business that helps individuals, teams and organizations to achieve meaningful and sustainable change. His career has focused on aligning business, government and NGO resources to simultaneously achieve social, environmental and economic results.
Bart previously served as Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer for Molson Coors Brewing Company where he successfully integrated corporate responsibility into company strategy and culture. During Bart’s tenure, Molson Coors was recognized as the most sustainable beverage company in the world by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, a leader in climate change action by the Carbon Disclosure Project, a Newsweek Green sustainable company and a Top 100 Corporate Citizen by Corporate Responsibility Magazine.
Prior to his corporate role, Bart served in senior public leadership roles in economic development, jobs programs and health and human services at the federal, state and local levels. In 2016, Bart was recognized for the second year in a row as one of America’s top leaders in trust by Trust Across America.
Bart holds a MSc from the London School of Economics, a BA magna cum laude from Harvard College, and served as a senior Executive Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a guest lecturer in business school classes for local universities.
Nick Anderson is an associate specializing in CSR at MorganMyers, a strategic communications firm with clients along the farm-to-table spectrum. Nick brings expertise in corporate communications, social responsibility and brand purpose to MorganMyers’ clients. He’s passionate about helping companies use their corporate voice to connect with consumers in meaningful ways.
Vice President – Market Research
Director, Corporate Responsibility Products & Services
Tanya Bolden is Director, Corporate Responsibility Products & Services at AIAG, joining the organization in October 2010. As leader of AIAG’s strategic programming and associated product offerings, she works with teams of volunteers, drawn from AIAG member companies, to develop and implement guidelines and share best practices to help companies manage their legislative, regulatory, and customer requirements on issues such as supply chain sustainability, environmental responsibility and business ethics.
Bolden joined AIAG from General Motors Company, where she was Corporate Responsibility Manager, responsible for a broad range of global corporate responsibility issues impacting the company. She specifically was responsible for the social sector, including industry collaborations, stakeholder engagement, reporting, risk assessment and cross-functional leadership interface. Bolden worked at General Motors for 20 years, in a variety of positions, with growing responsibility. She holds a bachelors of science from Michigan State University and a master of science in administration from Central Michigan University.
Vice President, Employee Engagement
Tara Cardone joined JPMorgan Chase Co. in 1999 and works in Global Philanthropy as the Head of Employee Engagement & Volunteerism. Ms. Cardone is responsible for developing, expanding and implementing programs that engage employees in community service experiences both in the U.S. and globally as a way to deepen the firm’s commitment to the communities in which it operates and to help employees develop leadership and other skills.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Manny Chirico has been with PVH for over 20 years and has served as Chief Executive Officer since 2006 and Chairman since 2007. Under Manny’s leadership, PVH has become one of the largest apparel companies in the world, including through his engineering of the transformative acquisitions of Tommy Hilfiger in 2010 and Warnaco in 2013. He also played a key role in our 2003 acquisition of Calvin Klein. These transactions, along with others, added new brands and product categories to the PVH portfolio and saw PVH’s business expand beyond North America to include retail, wholesale and licensing businesses covering all major global markets.
Previously, Manny held a number of financial and operational positions within PVH, including President & Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining PVH, Manny was a Partner at the international accounting firm, Ernst & Young, running their Retail and Apparel Practice Group.
Manny has always been passionate about giving back to the community. His philanthropic work includes serving on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Fordham University (Class of '79), as well as the board for Save the Children and the Healthcare Chaplaincy. Manny supports the Ronald McDonald House in New York City, and was honored at their 23rd Annual Gala in 2015. Manny is also a director of Dick's Sporting Goods.
SharedXpertise, CR Magazine
Elliot Clark is CEO of SharedXpertise, owners of CR Magazine. As COO of Kenexa, a leading HR outsourcing provider, Clark helped take the company public and served as the company’s chief compliance officer and de-facto CRO. Clark holds a BS in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Executive Vice President and Co-Founder
Governance & Accountability Institute
Louis Coppola is EVP and a co-founder of Governance & Accountability Institute and serves on the Board for The Global Sourcing Council. He also coordinates the Institute’s various research projects such as the ongoing GRI Data Partner report analysis, the "Sustainability - What Matters?" research, and studies of sustainability reporting external assurance practices in collaboration with GRI, Bloomberg, and the big four accounting firms.
Louis is also an adjunct professor at the Bard M.B.A in Sustainability, teaching the business pragmatics of sustainability. He is also an active New York Society of Securities Analyst (NYSSA), Sustainable Investing Committee steering member.
Global Head, Corporate Responsibility and Inclusion
Patsy Doerr is the Global Head of Corporate Responsibility and Inclusion for Thomson Reuters. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the company’s corporate social responsibility, diversity & inclusion and sustainability functions. Patsy has over 20 years of experience in talent, learning, organizational development, diversity and inclusion, employee recognition and customer engagement mainly in investment banking. She has held a number of global leadership roles at JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, in New York, London and most recently, Hong Kong.
Global Head of Strategy - Corporate Responsibility and Inclusion
Dawn Emling is Head of Strategy for the Corporate Responsibility & Inclusion team of Thomson Reuters. In this role she oversees planning, execution and measurement within the Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, and Diversity & Inclusion functions. Dawn has over 20 years experience in Corporate Social Responsibility, international development, and social entrepreneurship. Prior to her role with Thomson Reuters she served as CEO of a sustainability consulting firm and COO of a social impact technology company. During her tenure with Credit Suisse, Dawn held two leadership positions as the Head of Sustainability in EMEA and the Head of Community Investment in Asia. Early in her career, Dawn was a Senior Advisor to the United States Agency for International Development.
Vice President of Philanthropy & Community Engagement
MGM Resorts International
As Vice President of Philanthropy & Community Engagement, Shelley Gitomer is responsible for supporting the development of MGM Resorts’ community investment strategy, programs and activities – including giving by the Company and our employee-driven MGM Resorts Foundation, and volunteerism – to enhance the company’s strategic goodwill and alliances with host communities.
Ms. Gitomer brings more than 25 years of experience in the management of philanthropic programs in such fields as higher education, social service agencies and health care; strategic and program planning and implementation; corporate giving; and execution of major capital fundraising campaigns. She most recently served for 10 years as Vice President for Development at Nevada Cancer Institute, where she played a primary role in raising more than $200 million to develop the institution and oversaw special events, corporate and foundation relations, and data management. Prior to that, Gitomer served as the Assistant Dean for Development & Alumni Relations at the University of Maryland School of Law. During her time there, she successfully led the school’s first major capital campaign for building expansion.
Ms. Gitomer’s previous experience also includes work as the Director of Development for the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center where she managed a comprehensive fund-raising program to meet capital, endowment and programmatic needs in cancer research, patient care and medical education.
Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, Americas
As Director of Corporate Citizenship at IBM Corporation, Doris Gonzalez leads philanthropic initiatives that are improving education and healthcare, exploring ways to protect the environment, and spurring communities to greater economic development.
At IBM, Doris has led multi-million dollar grants of innovative technologies to improve English literacy among children and adults; introduce early learners to reading, science and math; and transform the way educators and employers collaborate to prepare young people for college and career. In 2015, Doris led the initiative with the New York Historical Society where IBM loaned more than 100 artifacts for its exhibit titled “Silicon City: Computer History Made in NY” which was on view November 2015-April 2016.
Before joining IBM, Doris had a 14-year career in New York City’s public sector as Deputy Executive Director for Public Affairs at the NYC public schools; Director of Government and Community Relations at the New York City School Construction Authority; and Assistant Press Secretary at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Doris is on the board of Youth Communication; Aspira of NY; is on the Professional Development Thought Leadership Council of the Corporate Responsibility Association; and has served as advisory board member for the United Way of New York City. In 2013, LatinaStyle magazine named her one of the top five Latina corporate executives in the U.S. In 2014, she received the Women of Excellence Award from the National Association of Female Executives.
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, she is proud to be a product of the New York City public schools and the City University of New York where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Baruch College. She lives in the Bronx, NY, with her daughter.
Senior Vice President of Brand
Junior Achievement USA
Ed Grocholski is the Senior Vice President of Brand for Junior Achievement USA (JA), the world’s leading nonprofit economic education organization for students in grades K through 12. In this role, Ed oversees the development and implementation of JA’s national brand strategy, including marketing and communications activities.
Prior to joining Junior Achievement USA’s senior management team, Ed spent 10 years as a partner with the Lindberg Group, a marketing and communications firm in Washington, D.C. At Lindberg, he was responsible for business development, management and strategic communications planning and implementation for the firm's clients, which included the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Education, NASA, OSHA and many nonprofit and for-profit organizations in the education and technology space.
Prior to co-founding the Lindberg Group, Ed was vice president of Public Education for Ogilvy Public Relations, where he developed several marketing and public relations programs for national education and public information initiatives.
Early in his career, Ed was Junior Achievement's director of Public Relations and Development. For more than 20 years Ed has been an active supporter of JA at the national and local levels as both a volunteer and donor.
Danielle Holly serves as CEO of Common Impact, an organization that designs, launches and scales community-based leadership development programs at companies across the country. She works closely with Common Impact's corporate partners to develop strategic community partnerships, develop employees' talents, and help them to achieve both their business and community impact goals. Danielle is considered one of the country’s leading experts on skills-based volunteerism. She is passionate about sharing her vision for the strategic design of pro bono programs and the value they can bring to nonprofits, employees and global companies. She shares her experiences designing skills-based volunteering programs and strategic vision for the future of the sector at leading industry conferences. She has played a key role researching and developing prescriptive community-based talent development solutions for corporations. Recent work includes the development of strategic pro bono programs at Fidelity Investments, John Hancock, JPMorgan Chase, Charles Schwab and State Street.
Reputation Economy Advisors
Anthony co-founded REA to bring together business consulting and technology solutions for senior executives charged with managing the complexity of today's Reputation Economy. He saw the need coming — as did his current strategic partner (and online reputation pioneer), Reputation.com, who hired him to lead their Enterprise Strategy. He spent the previous 8 years leading the development of the world's first Reputation-based management consultancy, Reputation Institute. Before that, Anthony was recruited to found The Coca-Cola Think Tank. His thoughts on reputation’s link to business can be found in: Forbes, Bloomberg, The Economist, American Banker, Quartz, Financier Worldwide and The Wall Street Journal.
Head of Sustainability
Marilyn is Head of Sustainability for IHS Markit, leading a global Sustainability program for nearly 10 years. She is committed to advancing the culture and profession of sustainability, and adoption of sustainable business practices. Marilyn has over 20 years of experience developing and executing strategy to advance Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability in global companies. Marilyn is an active professional in the Sustainability field, including her role as President of the ISSP Board; an SASB Advisory Council member and previously with the AIHA Stewardship and Sustainability Committee. Johnson is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, Sustainability Leadership program; Seattle University's Executive Leadership Program; holds a Master’s degree in Health Science from the University of Toronto; a Bachelor’s degree in Biology; and a Bachelor’s degree in Physical and Health Education, both from Queen’s University in Canada.
Director of Public Affairs and Sustainability
Pirelli Tire LLC
Maureen is the Director of Public Affairs and Sustainability for Pirelli Tire North America, covering the US, Canada and Mexico. She is based in New York.
Previously she managed Pirelli’s global public affairs, and before that its international communications, from the company’s headquarters in Milan, Italy.
Prior to her public affairs and communications career, Maureen worked as a journalist. She was a Milan correspondent for the Wall Street Journal Europe and Business Week, among others.
She currently writes a weekly column for Inc.com on sustainability. Maureen is a board member of the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada and of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer
As a retired trial lawyer from Georgia, Ken has extensive experience in advocating client’s interests on long-term projects as well as in complicated litigation in both the private and public sectors. After 14 years of the practice of law, Ken decided to move with the entire family to a coffee farm in Costa Rica. With the transition from trial lawyer to coffee farmer, Ken quickly began to understand the injustices that farmers face in the current value chain of coffee.
With the combination of Ken’s never failing passion for advocacy and his new found vocation as a coffee farmer, Ken decided to make the case for the coffee farmer and to reveal the truth about your morning cup. THRIVE Farmers is the direct result of Ken starting the San Rafael Sustainable Coffee Initiative in mid-2010 with other farmers in his coffee-growing community. The SRSCI became the initial local platform and test case for the farmer in San Rafael. THRIVE Farmers was the natural next leap to take the case of the coffee farmer to the entire world.
As Chief Sustainability Officer of THRIVE Farmers, Ken seeks to find, advocate and project the voice of the farmer and to tell the world that a new day has come in the world of coffee. His passion to stand and advocate on behalf of his fellow coffee farmers has found its place in THRIVE Farmers.
Prior to law and farming, Ken was a marketing director with Feld Entertainment, Inc. working in public relations and marketing for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and Walt Disney’s World on Ice.
There is no coincidence in life, only Providence. A past experience in public relations, the practice of law, the passion for advocacy, and now coffee farming all are being brought to bear in Ken’s life to make THRIVE Farmers the connection between the coffee farmer and the lover of coffee.
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Stewart Leeth is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for Smithfield Foods, Inc. Leeth has both legal and business responsibilities, including oversight of federal and state regulatory compliance for the company and its subsidiaries, as well as development and implementation of Smithfield’s corporate social responsibility programs. Those programs include environmental stewardship and sustainability, animal welfare, worker safety, food safety and community development.
Prior to joining Smithfield Foods Leeth was a partner at the Virginia law firm McGuireWoods, where he represented the firm’s clients before federal and state courts and agencies in matters involving the major federal and state environmental statutes, water rights disputes, cost recovery and contaminated property litigation, rulemaking and permitting. He also focused on state and local government matters and land use disputes.
Leeth formerly served as assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Virginia, representing a variety of state agencies, and also served as a law clerk to Judge Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Sue Marks is the CEO of Cielo, the world’s leading pure-play provider of technology-enabled Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solutions. Sue’s visionary thinking, creative problem solving and ability to motivate and inspire people are the foundation of Cielo’s corporate culture and client relationships. She is widely recognized as one of the key founders of, and a pioneer in, the RPO industry.
Since its inception, she has been an annual member of the HRO Today HR Outsourcing Superstar listing, and was recognized as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the service business category. She is the winner of the Marquette University College of Business Administration’s Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship and a three-time winner of both the Working Woman 500 designation and the Future 50 of Wisconsin.
Sue earned her Bachelor of Science in business administration from Marquette University and is an annual participant in YPOWPO’s prestigious executive education program at Harvard Business School.
Founder and CEO
Susan McPherson is a serial connector, cause marketer, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. She is the founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social good, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises. She's a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Triple Pundit and Forbes and has 25+ years' experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications. She is a featured speaker at industry events including Net Impact, Center for Corporate Citizenship's Annual Summit, DLD Women, and Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy's Summit. Susan founded and hosts the bi-weekly #CSRChat on Twitter.
Susan invests in, and advises women-led technology start-ups, including ZADY, TheLi.st, Lover.ly, News Deeply, Hint Water, Reserve, Apolitical, GoldBean and The Muse. She serves on the boards of USA for UNHCR, Girl Rising, a social action campaign/platform funded by Intel to expand girls' education in the developing world, The PVBLIC Foundation and served on the board of Bpeace, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting women in regions of conflict and post-conflict start businesses from 2006-2012. Additionally, she serves as an adviser to several non-profits, including Girls Who Code, She's The First, The Adventure Project, and The OpEd Project. Susan was selected as a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and was named as one of 40 Women to Watch Over 40, Fortune's 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter and Fast Company's 25 Smartest Women of Twitter.
Vice President of Communications for Regional Operations
MGM Resorts International
Suzette Meade serves at the Vice President of Communications for Regional Operations for MGM Resorts International. Her responsibilities include overseeing the external communications strategies for MGM Resorts’ portfolio of U.S. properties outside of Las Vegas, including projects under development in National Harbor, Md. and Springfield, Mass. Ms. Meade focuses on the creation and implementation of public relations programs, corporate communications and crisis management communications. In addition, she supports the Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Marketing efforts to engage the community through PR, events and social media.
Most recently, Ms. Meade served as Director of Corporate Communications for the Americas at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), based at the regional headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. She was responsible for external communications, public relations, C-suite executive visibility and messaging, crisis management, and new brand and hotel development communications.
Prior to joining IHG, Suzette spent six years working in New York City at public relations and marketing agencies – Weber Shandwick and Stanton Crenshaw Communications – where her work ranged from financial communications to media relations to issues management. During her tenure, she was part of award-winning teams with public relations campaigns recognized by PRWeek and HSMAI.
Ms. Meade earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Duke University. She enjoys volunteering in her community, international travel and learning languages in her spare time.
|Cheryl Miller Houser|
Co-Director & Producer
Cheryl started her career developing and producing feature films, including David O. Russell’s first movie SPANKING THE MONKEY, winner of the Sundance Audience Award. She has produced several award- winning social issue documentaries including CHILDREN OF DARKNESS (PBS), a film about children with mental illness that was nominated for an Academy Award, and the awardwinning TRUST ME (Showtime) about an interfaith camp in rural North Carolina founded the summer after 9/11. She has helped create and produce hundreds of hours of TV for broadcasters such as the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, History Channel, A+E, Lifetime, Food Network, Discovery ID, and Travel Channel, including 90 episodes of Dr. G: Medical Examiner, the top-rated show on Discovery Health and the pilot for the hit Travel Channel series Hotel Impossible. In 2013 Cheryl launched Creative Breed, a full service multi-platform production company, to create engaging stories across all media. GENERATION STARTUP is the company’s most ambitious project to date. Mad Genius Tips, a popular web series Cheryl created for Food & Wine Magazine, was nominated for a James Beard Award, the highest honor in the food world. Cheryl holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brown University.
Sustainable Sourcing Manager
Environmental Defense Fund
Maggie Monast is a Sustainable Sourcing Manager at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) with expertise in the agriculture supply chain, crop and livestock operations, efficient fertilizer management, and economic incentives for environmental stewardship. Maggie’s work focuses on advancing solutions for the agricultural sector that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and nutrient losses to water while maintaining crop productivity and food security. As part of EDF’s sustainable sourcing initiative, Maggie manages EDF’s collaboration with Smithfield Foods. The project reduces GHG emissions from the company’s feed supply chain by increasing grain farmers’ adoption of fertilizer efficiency and soil health practices.
Chief Technology Officer
Steve is currently the Chief Technology Officer for Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans and a leading online brokerage firm. From 2005-09 he was the Chief Information Officer of Fidelity Investment Management Technology (FIMT). In this role, he has developed a best-in-class leadership development for Fidelity’s technologists engaging them, through Common Impact, with the community based experiential learning opportunities that enable their success at the firm. Prior to joining Fidelity, Steve was with Salomon Brothers in New York and London. He served in several technology management roles including vice president of Systems Support, vice president of Application Development for Salomon Brothers International Limited in London, and senior operations officer responsible for infrastructure and operations in the business technology organization in New York.
Chairman and CEO
As CEO since 2006 and Chairman of the Board since 2009, Rich Noll has transformed HanesBrands (NYSE:HBI) into an industry leader by driving its Innovate-to-Elevate strategy, building a global supply chain with 50,000 Hanes employees, and completing multiple acquisitions to expand the company’s capabilities and international footprint. Since its spinoff under Mr. Noll’s leadership, Hanes has increased sales by more than 30 percent, quadrupled profits, and expanded its shareholder value from $2 billion to $12 billion. As a result of this success, the company gained entry to both the S&P 500 index and the Fortune 500 in 2015.
Mr. Noll serves as lead director of The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM) and is a member of the Business Roundtable. Previously in his career, Mr. Noll led the turnarounds of several Sara Lee Corporation bakery and apparel businesses; consulted for Strategic Planning Associates; and began his career as a systems programmer. Mr. Noll earned his BS in business administration from Pennsylvania State University in 1979; his MSIA (MBA) from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1985, graduating with distinction and receiving the Elliott Dunlap Smith Award; and his honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Wake Forest University in 2008.
Mr. Noll is passionate about corporate social responsibility. Hanes has been honored with awards by the Great Place to Work Institute, the U.S. EPA, the United Way, and Americans for the Arts, and currently ranks on Corporate Responsibility magazine’s best corporate citizens list. Mr. Noll has also worked with numerous nonprofits, including the United Way, Winston-Salem Arts Council, St. Louis Civic Progress, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and advisory councils for the business schools of both Wake Forest University and Washington University in St. Louis.
Nereida (Neddy) Perez is the Founder of D&I Creative Solutions and MightyChicks.org. Neddy's background includes more than 20 years of experience in Human Resources, Diversity Management, and STEM workforce development.
She previously served is Global Chief Diversity officer for companies like Ingersoll Rand, National Grid, and KPMG. Prior to launching her company Neddy served as VP of Diversity and Talent & Organizational Capabilities at Ingersoll Rand (IR), in that capacity she was responsible for developing and implementing the company’s global Diversity and Inclusion strategy. During her tenure at IR she delivered more than $27 million of savings and revenue generation through the deployment of diverse talent and marketing solutions.
She has traveled the globe developing and implement diversity and inclusion talent strategies to help companies to address leadership skills gaps, gender differences and diversity.
Neddy is considered to be one of the top leader in the field of STEM talent strategies. She has been a speaker on the topic of STEM and workforce diversity at a number of national conferences and co-founded STEMConnector.org a central clearinghouse for corporations and educational institutions.
In 2015, Neddy was recognized as one of the 10 most influential global diversity leaders by Global Diversity Magazine and was previously named as the top Hispanic Corporate Executive in the U.S. in 2014 by the National Hispanic Business Council.
Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs
The Mosaic Company
Ben Pratt is Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs at The Mosaic Company, the world’s largest producer of phosphate and potash fertilizers. Ben leads internal, executive, investor, media and crisis communications, as well as the company’s community investment activities and its sustainability reporting.
Prior to joining Mosaic in February 2012, Ben was Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications at Ameriprise Financial, Inc., in Minneapolis. Earlier in his career, Ben worked in a variety of communications and investor relations capacities at The PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, and at Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, both in New York. A graduate of Duke University, Ben lives in Deephaven, Minn., with his wife and two children.
Fellow, Class of 2014
Venture for America
Labib moved to Detroit in August 2014 to work as a product manager for Mason, an early stage startup building android smart phones and tablets, where he was the first employee. His parents, immigrants from Bangladesh who went into debt to send him to Johns Hopkins University, had a different path in mind. They expected Labib, the first person in his family to graduate from college, to parlay his degree in Biomedical Engineering into a high-paying, secure job. Labib’s entrepreneurial passion began long before Mason. While in college he co-founded Medella Medical, which worked with various departments at Johns Hopkins to develop a more user-friendly digital health record platform. He also built an android app to help physicians and midwives in the developing world better adhere to childbirth safety guidelines. Eager to help his parents financially, in early 2016 Labib took a well-paying job at an established company, IPC Systems, as a product manager.
On nights and weekends he is launching a startup with his brother to connect clothing manufacturers in the US with factories in Bangladesh that use fair labor practices, hoping to use technology to create a more efficient market and drive job growth in Bangladesh where he spent much of his young life. Labib is part of the 2014 Venture for America class.
Veena Ramani is a Senior Director in Ceres’ Corporate Programs. Since July 2006, she has managed the relationships with a portfolio of Ceres companies, and currently leads the program’s work with the financial services sector. As a part of this, Veena works with companies on a variety of sustainability strategy, performance and disclosure issues including policy and program development, sustainability reporting, stakeholder engagement processes etc. Veena also leads Ceres’ work on governance for sustainability, and recently authored the report, “View from the top: How corporate boards can engage on sustainability performance."
Prior to Ceres, Veena worked as a Management Consultant with CDM, an environmental consulting firm and focused on providing a variety of sustainability services to clients in the public and private sectors. Prior to that, she spent three years with Integrative Strategies Forum, a Washington DC based NGO, working on developing national and international policy solutions on sustainable development, building consensus and coalitions among civil society groups on these issues and lobbying government representatives. Veena has also practiced law in India.
Veena has an LL.M (Masters in Law) degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. LL. B (Hons) degree from National Law School from India University, Bangalore.
Director, Executive Education
Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Stewart Rassier, Director, Executive Education Stewart is the Director of Executive Education at the Center; he has more than 11 years of sustainability education, communications, and advisory experience working with leading companies across the globe. Stewart has designed and implemented workshops, sustainability strategies, policies, programs, and performance management systems that connect sustainability to the business, reduce cost, engage stakeholders, and produce impact. Prior to the Center, Stewart was the regional head of North America at AccountAbility, a sustainability advisory, research, and standards organization, and was a director at Saatchi & Saatchi Sustainability, a sustainability strategy consultancy. Stewart has worked with leading companies across the globe including Disney, Walmart, Fidelity, McDonald’s, ING, Hess, Accenture, Saudi Aramco, Vestas Wind Systems, Alston + Bird, WellPoint, Kellogg’s and Frito Lay.
Federal Public Affairs Director
Susan Robinson is Public Affairs Director for Waste Management. She has worked in the environmental industry for 30 years in roles that span the public sector, non-profit, consultancy, and over twenty years in the private sector. Her experience includes global commodity marketing, research and analysis of industry trends, and twenty years managing municipal solid waste and recycling contracts.
Susan has worked for Waste Management since 1999, with much of her time interfacing with local governments and implementing new municipal programs. She currently works with Waste Management’s recycling, organics, innovative technology and fleet teams and is responsible for the company’s public policy efforts around these programs.
Susan is on the Board of Directors of Ameripen and the American Biogas Council, served on the Washington State Governor’s Beyond Waste Working Group and is past president of the Washington State Recycling Association. She attended Stanford University and the University of Washington, and holds degrees in Applied Earth Sciences and English. Her Masters work in Environmental Studies is from the Evergreen State College.
Senior Vice President & Partner
Beth Rusert is a partner and senior vice president at Standing Partnership, a reputation management consulting firm. With extensive experience helping companies manage reputational risk, Beth provides expertise in developing strategic plans that leverage strengths while managing potential issues. Beth is an author of white papers on Reputational Risk: How Senior Leaders can Build Trust in their Organizations and Creating Positive Social Impact: Mitigating Risk by Aligning Social Impact with Business Strategy.
Principal; Chief Purpose Officer; Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer; President, The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.
A highly accomplished and sought-after corporate responsibility (CR) leader, Shannon has a deep understanding of social innovation, youth education, employee engagement, and the meaning of purpose beyond profit. Having established purpose as part of the CR strategy, she is now working to infuse purpose into PwC’s core business strategy, elevating the global conversation on building trust, collaboration and acting with intention and meaning in every practice, service offering and engagement. Shannon has spoken at the UN General Assembly, participated in G20 meetings and keynoted at the Social Innovation Summit. Foreign Policy honored her as a 2015 Global Thinker, and she is a managing editor for Huffington Post's What's Working initiative.
President and CEO
ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Richard C. Shadyac Jr. was named the President and Chief Executive Officer of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in September 2009. He is ALSAC’s sixth CEO since the organization’s founding in 1957.
Shadyac has led ALSAC to record-breaking achievements, guiding strategic efforts that have increased fundraising revenue 56% since the start of his tenure, despite a global economic decline that have resulted in significant drops in charitable giving overall. Key strategic initiatives launched during his leadership include enhanced fundraising and awareness efforts in the fitness, digital, multicultural and international areas. In addition, Shadyac has expanded marketing and donor development strategies and is overseeing efforts to elevate St. Jude as an iconic brand. Shadyac established cultural pillars for the organization that focus on high performance, innovation, collaboration and being strategic.
Prior to becoming President and CEO, Shadyac served as the Chairman and President of the ALSAC Board of Directors. He joined the Board in 2000 and also served as the Vice Chair and was active on several Board committees.
Vice President of Corporate Sustainability
MGM Resorts International
Yalmaz Siddiqui is Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at MGM Resorts International. He started this role in May 2016 and is responsible for leading a range of environmental sustainability initiatives for the company, including green conventions, food waste reduction, waste management, sustainable sourcing and employee engagement. He is also developing an advanced sustainability strategy framework for MGM Resorts, including metrics and goals, project accountability and roles, and reporting strategy.
Prior to joining MGM Resorts, Yalmaz was Senior Director, Sustainability at Office Depot, where he set strategic direction and helped integrate a series of social and environmental sustainability programs into the global organization. During his ten years with Office Depot he helped the company grow sales of environmentally preferable products from $1.2 Billion to $3.2 Billion, reduced carbon emissions by over 40%, and reach the ranking of #1 greenest large retailer America in Newsweek magazine's green rankings for three consecutive years.
A global expert in sustainable purchasing, Yalmaz was the Founding Chair of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, a widely recognized, multi-stakeholder organization creating a methodology and recognition program for this emerging area of sustainability action.
Before Office Depot, Yalmaz worked for ten years as a management consultant at IBM and PwC where he focused on B2B customer relationship management and performance improvement strategy.
Yalmaz has a Masters in Environment & Development from the University of Cambridge in England, and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in Canada.
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility
Marriott International, Inc.
Mari Snyder is responsible for developing Marriott’s social responsibility strategy and its global implementation and, in her role on the company’s Global Green Council, collaborates enterprise-wide to develop Marriott’s sustainability strategy and practices, in support of the Council’s executive co-chairs.
Ms. Snyder manages Marriott’s portfolio of innovative environmental initiatives, including a rainforest preservation project in the Amazon and a water conservation/micro-enterprise project in Southwest China. Ms. Snyder’s team establishes and manages the company’s community partnerships, corporate contributions, disaster relief, associate volunteerism and stakeholder engagement programs. She reports the company’s sustainability and social responsibility results.
Ms. Snyder joined Marriott in 1999. Marriott International, Inc. is a leading lodging company with nearly 3,700 lodging properties in 72 countries and territories. Marriott employs approximately 129,000 employees and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the best companies to work for and one of the world’s most admired companies.
Prior to joining Marriott, Ms. Snyder worked for M&M/MARS for nine years. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Ms. Snyder serves on the Board of Advisors of the Universities at Shady Grove, University System of Maryland and the Business Advisory Council of St. Bonaventure University.
Professional Sustainability Manager
SUSTAIN®, a Land O’Lakes Business
Molly Toot has lived in central Iowa all of her life and has worked in the agriculture industry for over 20 years. Currently she serves as a Professional Sustainability Manager for the SUSTAIN Business Unit at Land O’Lakes where she works direct with the Crop Management teams. Prior to this she managed the SUSTAIN platform for United Suppliers, Inc., SUSTAIN is nutrient management platform being implemented and executed through locally controlled retailers. SUSTAIN includes nutrient management and soil and water management. As manager of the platform, Molly worked closely with the locally controlled ag retailers to train agronomy sales teams on the components of SUSTAIN. In addition to working with the sales teams, Molly spends time presenting SUSTAIN to growers by providing information on the tools and technologies for best management practices specific to nutrient management. Finally, Molly works closely with supply chain partners within their sustainable sourcing regions to help connect them with ag retailers and ultimately the growers that are using best management practices. Prior to her work at Land O’Lakes, Molly worked for Syngenta in various sales and marketing roles.
Joan brings more than 25 years of experience in major corporations, leading world-class communications and marketing functions, building reputation leadership and brand strength to drive corporate performance. She combines research, marketing and strategic communications expertise and insights to support companies and their leadership teams through times of change, including M&A transactions, CEO transitions and corporate crisis. Most recently, Joan served as EVP Corporate Relations and Interim CMO for The Allstate Corporation. Prior to Allstate, Joan served as EVP at both Monsanto and Qwest. She also serves on the board of many civic and cultural institutions, including the National Women's History Museum, Chicago Public Television, Rutgers University, and The Ad Council.
Vice President for Environment, Engineering, and Support Services for Smithfield Hog Production
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Kraig Westerbeek is the Vice President for Environment, Engineering, and Support Services for Smithfield Hog Production Group. In this role, Westerbeek is responsible for ensuring compliance with all state and federal environmental rules and regulations, in addition to oversight of engineering, feed manufacturing, and transportation activities. He has served on the the North Carolina Pork Council’s (NPCC) Board of Directors and the NPPC Environmental Committee. Westerbeek is certified by the Irrigation Association as a spray irrigation designer and is certified by the Natural Resources and Conservation Service as a technical service provider to develop nutrient utilization plans for animal producers.
Head of Global Corporate Responsibility
Jeffrey Whitford joined Sigma-Aldrich in 2005 and since that time has served in a variety of positions including the company’s first-ever head of Global Citizenship. After the acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in 2015 he was named Director of Corporate Responsibility for the Life Science business. In his latest role, Whitford is responsible for developing and implementing strategic programs designed to enhance MilliporeSigma’s position as a global leader in green chemistry, product recycling, environmental sustainability and social responsibility. He works to integrate sustainable development concepts into the strategic plans for each of MilliporeSigma’s business units. He also directs the company’s largest Corporate Responsibility initiative, SPARK, where employees in more than 36 countries participate in charitable events designed to benefit their local communities. Whitford guided Sigma-Aldrich to recognition for leadership in their Corporate Social Responsibility efforts from the Carbon Disclosure Project, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, #20 from the Corporate Knights Global 100 at the World Economic Forum at Davos, #5 in the United States on Newsweek’s Green Rankings, #1 in the Materials Sector on The Civic 50 and #5 on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s Top 100 Corporate Citizens.
Whitford earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Strategic Communications from the University of Missouri-Columbia and earned a master’s degree in business administration at Washington University in St. Louis. Whitford has served as board member of the International Institute in St. Louis and the St. Louis chapter of JDRF.
Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA)
Allie Williams, IOM, is the Executive Director of the Corporate Responsibility Association and Vice President of Membership Services at SharedXpertise. With a diverse background in Organizational Management and Corporate Sales, he brings a fresh approach the association. Williams served as Director of Membership in the Office of Federation Relations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for nearly 8 years - raising significant revenue and building strategic alliances to strengthen the federation of state, metro and local chambers of commerce throughout the country. For 4 ½ years, he was the Director of Organizational Development at the American Chamber of Commerce Executive, a trade and professional society where he exceeded membership revenue goals and built visibility for the ACCE brand at state chamber conferences. In his last role, he served as the Sr. Membership Management Executive at WebLink International, an industry leader in database management and custom website systems for chambers of commerce and trade associations around the world. For 3 years at WebLink, he led the sales team and maintained an average of 114% of annual quota. Williams completed the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for Organization Management and Leadership Montgomery (MD) programs.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Richard Woods, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs is responsible for Capital One’s corporate communications, philanthropy, and reputation risk management programs. He is also responsible for Capital One’s Community Development Banking function, which includes CRA compliance and its related community lending, investing, and community outreach activities.
Before joining Capital One in 2000, Mr. Woods served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Revlon, Inc. Prior to Revlon, Mr. Woods served as Vice President of Corporate Communications at Eli Lilly and Company and as Senior Vice President, Director of Communications for MasterCard International.
Early in his career, Mr. Woods provided communications consulting to clients of Burson-Marsteller and Ruder & Finn. He also worked in the corporate finance departments at Warburg Paribas Becker and Loeb Rhodes Hornblower.
Founder & CEO
Venture For America
Andrew is the Founder and CEO of Venture for America, and has worked in startups and early-stage growth companies as a founder or executive for more than twelve years. He was the CEO and President of Manhattan GMAT, a test prep company that was acquired by the Washington Post/Kaplan in 2009. He has also served as the co-founder of an Internet company and an executive at a healthcare software startup. Andrew has been selected by the White House as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and a Champion of Change for his work with Venture for America. He is the author of “Smart People Should Build Things,” published by Harper Business (excerpts here and at Amazon). He was named one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” and has appeared on CNBC, Morning Joe, Fox News, TIME, Techcrunch, the Wall St. Journal, and more. He is a graduate of Columbia Law and Brown University and lives in New York City with his wife and son.