Patricia Ambinder chairs the Peace and Justice Institute Advisory Council at Valencia College. At the University of Central Florida, she serves on the Center for Study of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Advisory Board and the Global Peace and Security Studies Program Advisory Board. Patricia is an Honorary Life Member of the Board of Directors at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of Central Florida. Her work centers on SDGs 2 and 16.
Chris Beehner is a Professor in the Center for Business, Legal Studies, and Entrepreneurship at Seminole State College of Florida. His research focuses on sustainable business, workplace spirituality, and system leadership. He uses system leadership, systems thinking, and business process management to teach sustainable business strategies. His work focuses on sustainable development goals 8, 12 and 17.
John Byron is a retired Navy captain who served in five submarines and a cruiser. He commanded the submarine USS GUDGEON (SS-567) and the Naval Ordnance Test Unit at Cape Canaveral. After a second career in strategic planning and business development with a Fortune 100 company, he has been active in community affairs in East Central Florida. He currently serves on Brevard County’s Save Our Indian River Lagoon Citizens Oversight Committee and chairs the Planning Board of the City of Cocoa Beach. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical oceanography from the University of Washington and is graduate of The National War College, on which faculty he also served. He is concerned with developing and putting into execution local efforts to deal with sea rise, environmental degradation and amelioration of the effects of population increase. His work pertains to SGDS 11, 13 and 14.
Chris Castro is a renowned sustainability and clean energy professional, eco-entrepreneur, and community organizer who has devoted his life to accelerating the transition to smart, resilient, and sustainable communities around the World. Chris is currently the senior advisor to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Director of Sustainability, and Co-chair for the Smart Cities initiative at the City of Orlando. In his work, he focuses on developing policies, programs, and partnerships to support the sustainability, clean energy, and climate resiliency goals of Orlando and Mayor Dyer’s Green Works Orlando initiative. Chris also sits on more than 10 nonprofit and academic Board of Directors, including the vice chair of the UCF Florida Solar Energy Center, US Green Building Council of Florida (USGBC-FL), the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, and the Founder and President of the UN-accredited NGO, IDEAS For Us. Through his work in the City of Orlando and various organizations, he works to advance many of the sustainable development goals, including 2, 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17.
To sustainably fight the rampant poverty in Haiti, Julie Colombino created a model of development using the best practices of the nonprofit and for profit sectors. REBUILD globally is the nonprofit arm providing revolutionary education and paid job training programs to the most vulnerable. Every program graduate is then guaranteed a dignified, living wage job at deux mains, a Haitian owned and operated business that manufactured high quality, handmade ethical footwear and accessories. Our hybrid social business model allows us to concentrate on 5 of the SDG’s: REBUILD targets SDG 1, 8, 10; while deux mains targets SDG 5, 8, 12.
Kathy DeVault serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando. As Director of Strategic Partnerships, Kathy oversees the development and implementation of special projects as directed by Mayor Dyer. Kathy develops strategies to enhance the engagement of the community, businesses and residents with City government. Kathy also assists with policy initiatives, particularly those with a focus on economic development, technology and startup businesses and she manages partnerships with Orlando’s higher education providers. Kathy is known for convening communities, building relationships with constituency groups and forging partnerships with business and community organizations. Her work supports SDG 11.
Clayton Louis Ferrara
Clayton Louis Ferrara is a biologist and the Executive Director of the United Nations accredited environmental NGO, IDEAS For Us. He recieved two degrees (Biology and Envionmental Studies) from Rollins College in 2009 and was named a Young Alum of Siginificant Distinction just two years after his graduation by the college of Arts & Sciences in 2011. He is a millenial, writer, poet, world-traveler, and expedition leader, having conducted research on five continents and additionally he serves numerous organizations by sitting on boards, volunteering, and belonging to societies that bring him to interact with leaders such as Pope Francis and the decendents of Charles Darwin. He calls Winter Park, Florida home since 2004. His work supports all 17 UN SDGs.
Dave Finnigan is the Founder and Director of Climate Change is Elementary, a one-day elementary school program that gets teachers, students and parents focused on filling out and pledging to follow a Green Action Checklist of specific climate action steps they promise to take to reduce their family’s carbon and water footprints. Finnigan will be adapting this program, which has been refined over the past years in schools in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Colorado and Maryland to Florida schools. Finnigan’s program reaches students with STEM content using kinesthetic, spatial, interpersonal, musical and environmental learning styles. His work is quality education (SDG 4) which focuses on SDG’s 7, 11, 12 and 13.
Mital Hall, MSc, PMP, LEED AP O+M
Mital Hall, PMP, LEED AP has over 15 years of experience in sustainable and smart development to include working with universities, federal, state and local governments and businesses. As Director of Programs for ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability, Mital oversees all new construction, existing building and sustainability projects. Her skill set includes incorporation of cost effective and sustainable solutions into organizational structure through continued process improvement, policy development, reporting, planning and initiative development, 3rd party green building certifications, ISO compliance, and energy efficiency program administration. Mital is a published author and currently serves on University of Central Florida’s India Center Advisory Board, US Green Building Council – Central Florida Vice President, leadership committee for the Indian American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, Airports Council International – Sustainability Working Group, Project Management Institute, and as a judge for Orange County Green School Recognition Program. Through her work with ecoPreserve and various organizations, Mital works to advance many of the sustainable development goals, including 2, 4, 5, 7-9 11, 12, 13, 15, 17.
Dr Reese Halter is a distinguished forensic naturalist specializing in Earth’s life support systems, award winning broadcaster, author, blogger, podcaster & contributor to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Overnights, the Organic Gardener and The Science Show.His work aligns with the SDGs 13, 14, and 15.
Nathaniel Ryan Hernandez
Nathaniel Ryan Hernandez’s work focuses on developing a shared vision for global development by spreading the concepts of ‘systems thinking’ and ‘civilization design.’ His trailblazing work evaluating the pros and cons of many comprehensive designs for civilization is all done in hopes of helping jumpstart a global conversation to crowdsource the best imaginable civilizational future (and roadmap to get there). As part of this work, he actively seeks partnerships with professional animation companies that can help visualize civilization designs in high quality online video formats to spread these world-building visions and way of thinking to the broadest audiences possible. Nathaniel is a Digital Design Instructor in Orange County Public Schools and co-founder of WeekendTraveler.net. His work relates to all 17 of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
Francois P. Kamano
Francois Phopho Kamano is the founder of SOS GUECKEDOU, a community led network, that advocates for human rights and environmental protection, builds youth leadership, works to end violence against women and children, assist the poor in the town of Gueckedou located in the south of Guinea. Francois is the current Sub Regional Project Officer in the Mano River zone ( Guinea-Cote d’Ivoire-Liberia and Sierra Leone) for BirdLife International. For the past 6 years has provided training and assistance in the areas of NGO startups, organizational planning and management, evaluation, governance, fundraising, advocacy,community organizing and professional translation services (French and English). His work in focusing on advancing Sustainable Development Goal in Africa and mainly SDGs 16 and 17.
Chester Kennedy is the Chief Operating Officer of BRIDG. BRIDG is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership that operates a nanoscale microelectronics fabrication facility in Osceola County as part of a regional economic transformation initiative. BRIDG and the economic transformation that it is leading would not be possible without the investment, partnership and support of the University of Central Florida. BRIDG is becoming the “go to” place for industry partners whose business is enhanced by having access to microelectronics development and low-volume production capability. In addition to the physical infrastructure and qualified staff, BRIDG serves as a conduit to connect industry with key academic research for the purpose of getting new smart sensors and other microelectronic-based products to market – “Bridging the Innovation Development Gap” that makes commercialization possible.
A life-long resident of the Space Coast, Dale Ketcham has shared in the dramatic swings of the regional economy associated with NASA programs. As the VP of Government Relations at Space Florida he has spent his career engaged in the space program; from growing up in Cocoa Beach with the Original 7 astronauts, a decade working on the Shuttle, to space-related work with Congress, the State of Florida and in academia. Having enjoyed the benefits of growing up where exploration and the environment flourished together, he is actively working to assure that proud legacy in Florida is only enriched. Expanding human activity out into the solar system can be an essential, if not pivotal, component of restoring the natural balance of this planet, but it cannot be at the expense of the region which gave it birth. His work supports SDGs 8, 9 & 11.
Ana Maria Leal
Ana Maria Leal is a Senior Sustainability Consultant with product design background, focusing on circular design for zero waste, regenerative design and material upcycling. She works on Eco-design, Cradle to Cradle Assessments, Health Product Declarations, recyclability calculations and Life Cycle Assessments. She assisted the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) group during the development of the product category rules of the Product Environmental Profile (PEF) of the European Commission. Her experience in consumer electronics served in the technical group updating the IEEE 1680-1 standard for laptop computers and displays. She is an active member of the Circular Economy Club, a global non-profit organization of Sustainability experts facilitating circular economy. Her work focuses on SDGs 9, 12 and 14.
Former State President of the Florida League of Women Voters, Deirdre Macnab now leads the League’s campaign: Make Florida #1 in Solar and the NextCarPledge.org. In the past two years, the partnership which she helped create between the League and Solar United Neighbors has helped launch 31 solar cooperatives in Florida, with 20 more planned in 2018, contributing 10% of Florida’s residential solar growth in 2017, and making the state #1 in residential solar growth in 2017. She is also a cofounder of NextCarPledge.org, an online campaign to help move electric vehicles to a faster tipping point in the U.S. With an MBA from Columbia University, and experience in the public and private sector, including Bankers Trust and Dun & Bradstreet, Macnab has also worked in the NYC prison system, served on the Nashville Board of Education and several other non-profit boards in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. Her work supports SDGs 7, 11 and 13.
Paul Owens is president of 1000 Friends of Florida, a nonprofit, member-supported organization leading the charge for a more sustainable future in Florida since 1986. 1000 Friends educates, advocates, negotiates and, when necessary, litigates to protect Florida’s environment, economy and quality of life amid the state’s booming population growth. Paul and his organization are especially focused on SDGs 11, 13 and 15. Prior to becoming 1000 Friends’ president, Paul was opinions editor for the Orlando Sentinel.
Lee Perry is a Bachelor’s Degree alum from the University of Central Florida with a major in Environmental Science. Seasonally, she teaches children at an ecology camp at the Ed Yarborough Geneva Wilderness Area in Seminole County. For years, she worked on the board of the Native Plant Society while educating young students during an internship at the Environmental Science Center. Throughout her life, she was raised in the garden and plans on dedicating the future to her passion occupation as the Fleet Farming Director. With this position, she is immersing herself in various communities while spreading the mission of minimizing the ecological footprint of the agriculture industry by converting lawns into micro-farms. This program is increasing fresh produce accessibility while training the next generation of American farmers. To her, Fleet Farming is a true solution to combat the detriments of the agriculture industry and shift a culture to change the cycle of food. Her work supports SDGs 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, 15, and 17.
Dr. David Randle is the managing director for the Blue Community Consortium, a UNWTO Affiliate and UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatory. Blue Community co developed with the Walt Disney Animal, Science and Environment team, 12 strategies for sustainable tourism that will assist all in the tourism industry to achieve the U.N. SDG’s. Dr. Randle has also been active in education teaching a number of SDG Academy based courses in such topics as Planetary Boundaries: Human Opportunities, Sustainable Communities, One Planet One Ocean, The Age of Sustainable Development, and Climate Action: Solutions for a Changing Planet. In addition Dr. Randle has organized and provided leadership for a number of experiential learning programs including the conference Choices for Our Sustainable Futures. Dr. Randle has received the Olympic Award for his Culture Based Leadership Development program for sustainable development in a program he developed with UNEP and has been a featured speaker in programs throughout the U.S., Canada, Iceland, UK, Cuba, France, Italy, and Chile to name a few recent programs. He led the UN DPI workshop that resulted in sustainable tourism becoming part of the SDG’s and was a member of the Steering Committee for the U.N. Year for Sustainable Tourism For Development in 2017. Read More
Margaret Richardson is currently a Vice President with Anuvia Plant Nutrients. Anuvia manufactures a unique eco-friendly, sustainable fertilizer for row-crop production. Anuvia’s fertilizer reduces GHG emissions by 37% compared to conventional fertilizer and utilizes organic matter that would be thrown away or placed into landfills. Margaret’s focus includes regulatory, legal and environmental issues and her work centers on SDGs 11 and 15.
Sean Roberts is Vice President & Senior Counsel with Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (“MVW”). In his role, Mr. Roberts is responsible for negotiating and documenting all legal aspects of MVW’s real estate acquisitions, sales and development. Mr. Roberts has enjoyed a wide-ranging career in real estate development, including a real estate lawyer with the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. While at Greenberg Traurig, Mr. Roberts also represented commercial and private lenders in their providing of acquisition, construction, permanent and mezzanine financing. As for Mr. Roberts’ social and philanthropic efforts, a parent of 27-week premature twins, he has focused on causes related to women, children and babies. To that end, Mr. Roberts serves as an ambassador and Champions Circle Member at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, the Tiny Baby Ball Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation where he actively supports programs serving the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies and the Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families. His work supports SDGs 3 and 9.
Jenifer Rupert has returned to the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council to develop and implement an EDA funded project to focus on Regional Resiliency; bridging the gaps between growth management, emergency management and economic development. Her career has focused on creating and implementing collaborative networks with proven success in regional systems. She authored and ushered the resolution for the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council to develop a framework for a Resilience Collaborative and continues to lead the effort to unite local governments and stakeholders around the collaborative initiative. In addition, she formed a network of Emergency Management Directors and their respective Long-Term Recovery Group Chairs to support and enhance their front-line efforts to improve resilience in local communities. Jenifer continues establishing and maintaining partnerships with the philanthropic community, academic institutions, civic groups and local businesses to further enhance resilience and a collaborative ecosystem in East Central Florida. Her work supports goals 11 and 17.
Resham is the Director of Education for Sustainability at Valencia College. Her 10+ years of professional experience has focused on designing and implementing sustainability initiatives and projects for the public and private sector both locally and internationally. Her work in higher education includes educating students, employees, and the community on sustainable living and working practices, integrating sustainability across the curriculum, and partnering with government and community organizations to align and advance local sustainability efforts. Resham holds a B.S. in Biology, B.A. in Anthropology, and an M.S. in Environmental Management. She is a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional), Florida Water Star Accredited Professional, a certified Permaculture Designer. Resham’s work aligns to all 17 goals.
Sabrina Stein is a program manager at the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF) a program of the New York-based Social Science Research Council (SSRC). CPPF works to strengthen the knowledge base and analytical capacity of the United Nations in conflict prevention and management, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. Sabrina’s work focuses mostly on Latin America and the Caribbean, including post-conflict Colombia and chronic violence in Central America, and more recently her regional focus has included work on the Middle East and North Africa. Some of the cross-regional issues that she covers include prevention, sustaining peace, gender, humanitarian interventions, and drug policy. In the last year, Sabrina has produced policy papers on issues varying from post-conflict Colombia to disaster risk reduction as a framework for prevention. Most recently, Sabrina designed, raised funds, managed, and executed a research project that drew on lessons learned from the fields of disaster risk reduction, nuclear non-proliferation, and public health to inform the prevention discussions presently taking place at the UN. Sabrina has an M.A. and B.A in Political Science and a B.A. in French from the University of Central Florida. Her work centers on SDG 16.
Joe Tankersley is a futurist, storyteller, and advocate for better tomorrows. He serves on the board of directors of the Blue Community Consortium, a UNWTO Affiliate and UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatory. As a member of Walt Disney Imagineering’s elite Blue Sky Studio, Joe helped to establish the division’s first strategic foresight group and led strategic narrative sessions for hundreds of Disney Cast members. As principal of Unique Visions, Inc., Joe works with organizations to help them imagine and create futures that are sustainable, abundant and just. His work typically incorporates multiple SDG goals since he believes that the best path forward is by creating a holistic vision for our sustainable future. His book, Reimagining Our Tomorrows, offers readers 10 visions of a future that aligns with the SDG goals.