The Impact Report brings together students and faculty in Bard MBA's Sustainability Program with leaders in business, sustainability, finance, social entrepreneurship and more.
#403: Natasha Dyer
Making Cities More Resilient By Eliminating Food Waste: A Conversation with Natasha Dyer, Senior Recycling Program Coordinator for the City of Atlanta
In her role with the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, Natasha Dyer focuses on creating municipal programs that increase wasted food diversion from landfill as part of the City’s Climate Action and Food Access plans. This includes programs that recover edible surplus food to feed food insecure residents and collaborating with external partners to create decentralized composting systems that then benefits local urban agriculture. In her role with the City, she has also created and administers a citywide Sustainability Ambassador Leadership Program that graduates just under 100 participants per year.
Bard MBA's Emma Chandler speaks with Natasha for this episode of the Impact Report.
#402: Paul Sellew
The Future of Agriculture is Local and Greenhouse-Grown: A Conversation with Paul Sellew
Paul Sellew, founder and chief executive officer of Little Leaf Farms, had a vision to grow lettuce in New England year-round after mastering the growing and distribution of greenhouse-grown tomatoes with his previous company, Backyard Farms.
Founded in 2015, Little Leaf Farms grows flavorful, crisp, leafy baby green lettuce in a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, sustainable greenhouse facility in Devens, Mass. By innovating greenhouse growing, capturing rainwater, and using sunlight, Little Leaf Farms is an industry leader in controlled environment agriculture, allowing the company to grow lettuce and ship it to stores within 24 hours thereby surpassing competitors on taste and quality. Little Leaf Farms is able to reduce food miles and waste by growing locally as compared to 95 percent of the lettuce grown and trucked cross-country from California and Arizona. Using captured rainwater allows the company to use 90 percent less water than field-grown lettuces. Using natural sunlight over electric lights contributes to the company’s efficiency in growing practices. No human hands touch Little Leaf Farms’ lettuce throughout the growing process to ensure safe growing practices and to reduce any risk of contamination. A socially responsible company, Little Leaf Farms also works with nonprofit charity partners, Greater Boston Food Bank, Loaves to Fishes, and Daily Table, to name a few.
#401: Karen Chovan
Reducing Risks for Responsible Mining: A Conversation with Karen Chovan, CEO & Founder of Enviro Integration Strategy
Enviro Integration Strategies is focused on helping leaders to rapidly integrate sustainable choices and practices into mining designs and operations.
After 20 years in mining, CEO and Founder, Karen Chovan has gained a breadth of experience and knowledge working as a geological engineer and project manager. She has also worked as an organizational change agent helping teams to solve environmental problems, avoid risks in future major projects, and create programs and protocols to improve performance within the sustainability realm. From problem identification, all the way through to change implementation, Karen has helped teams get to the other side, and she has a very large network to find any unique support the project might need to get there.
Bard MBA’s Patrick Connolly speaks with Karen for this episode of the Impact Report.
#321: Karla Magruder
Collaborating to Accelerate the Textile Industry's Move From Linear to Circular: A Conversation with Karla Magruder, Founder & President of Accelerating Circularity
Karla Magruder has 35 years of global experience from fiber to finished garments. Accelerating Circularity is a 501(c)3 with a mission to divert textiles from landfill and incineration for textile-to-textile circular supply chain systems.
Karla also founded Fabrikology International, a textile consulting company in 2003. She led the apparel launch of Ingeo fibers, the 1st manmade fiber created from 100% annually renewable resources and developed Textiles Exchange’s first preferred fiber and material strategy and their rPET Working Group. During her tenure leading the group she successfully facilitated a commitment of over 60 major brands and retailers to increase their recycled polyester use by 25% by 2020. Karla is currently a Textile Exchange Governance Board member, UNFCCC Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action Steering Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Raw Material Working Group and a Gr3n Advisory Board Member.
Bard MBA's Kirstie Dabbs speaks with Karla for this episode of the Impact Report.
#320: Ben Vandenwymelenberg
The Great Pivot: A Conversation with Ben Vandenwymelenberg, Chairman & Founder, WOODCHUCK USA
WOODCHUCK USA manufactures technology-driven wood products and specializes in customization. WOODCHUCK USA was founded with a simple mission: putting nature back into people's lives. Their passion is to be a daily reminder of our planet's vulnerability by using real wood products and planting a tree with every product sold. Their way of making a better world for future generations is us bringing jobs back to America while bringing quality products to our consumers.
Ben founded WOODCHUCK USA as an undergraduate senior at the University of Minnesota and is the true visionary behind the company. Ben graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012 with a degree in Architecture and Landscape Architecture. He grew up on a small farm in Wisconsin and learned the importance of strong morals, hard work, and a deep love for nature, which he infuses into everything the company does today. Ben was named “40 Under 40” by the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal, “Power 50” by Minnesota Business Magazine, and “32 Under 32” by the Minnesota Ad Federation.
For this episode of the Impact Report Series Producer, Katie Ellman speaks with Ben about entrepreneurship, learning from missteps and putting people and planet first in business.
#319: Jane Lawrie
Purpose, Prosperity & Priorities: A Conversation with Jane Lawrie, Global Head of Corporate Affairs at KPMG International.
Jane Lawrie joined KPMG International as the Global Head of Corporate Affairs in late 2019. With more than 30 years’ communications experience, Jane has worked for global brands including Coca-Cola, Diageo, Boots and most recently Tesco. A member of the Tesco Executive Committee from 2016 to 2019 she led the Group Communications function through the company’s turnaround including the acquisition of Booker. She led the Tesco Board Corporate Responsibility Committee and established a new sustainability program, The Little Helps Plan.
Throughout her experience, Jane has focused on stewarding businesses to make the right decisions to protect and shape reputation. She has fronted developments in companies from policy decisions through to digital investments. Jane was recognized as PR Week’s No1 Corporate Communicator in 2018. Jane sits on the Cass Global Women’s Leadership Council.\
Bard MBA's Molly Kiick speaks with Jane for this episode of the Impact Report.