Advisory Board

Gar Alperovitz's picture
Gar Alperovitz

Gar Alperovitz is Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political-Economy at the University of Maryland and a Founding Principal of the Democracy Collaborative, an organization devoted to developing community wealth-building approaches to local and national democratic reconstruction.

Alperovitz is a former Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University, of the Institute of Politics at Harvard, and of the Institute for Policy Studies; he was also a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. He received his Ph.D. in Political-Economy as a Marshall Scholar at Cambridge University.

Alperovitz served previously as a Legislative Director for Rep. Robert Kastenmeir (WI) as well as for Earth Day Founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson (WI), and as a Special Assistant concerned with United Nations issues in the Department of State. He was also Chief Economic Adviser to a coalition of 135 Members of Congress led by Rep. Richard Ottinger. Alperovitz lectures widely; his most recent book is Unjust Deserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance (with Lew Daly).

Faith Bautista's picture
Faith Bautista

Faith Bautista is the President and CEO of National Asian American Coalition (NAAC), a HUD-­‐approved homeowner, small business and consumer advocacy organization serving our nation’s 28 million Asian Americans. Through Ms. Bautista’s leadership, the NAAC has expanded to a national organization with its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, a regulatory office in Washington, DC, and five housing offices throughout California.

Ms. Bautista advocates in the halls of Congress, California legislature, and before key federal regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Housing and Finance Agency, Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Justice, and Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as with America’s Fortune 500 corporations, as a major voice for the Asian American community. She was a member of the Office of Thrift Supervision Minority Depository Institutions Advisory Committee and sits on the Low-­‐Income Oversight Board for the California Public Utilities Commission. Ms. Bautista currently serves as a member of California Utilities Diversity Council and is also the Chair of the City of San Diego’s Home Ownership Advisory Committee. Ms. Bautista is also the host of a prime time news show on The Filipino Channel, “Asian News in America” that discusses issues, such as the future of homeownership, small business lending, technical assistance and consumer protection.

Through her leadership, she has gained the support of Corporate America in effectively reaching out to minority groups and has been a leading advocate for low-­‐income and the underserved communities.

Ellene Felder-Scharnott's picture
Ellene Felder-Scharnott

A Senior Leadership Developer with Next Level USA, an innovative, Swedish firm providing leadership and organizational development solutions, Ellene is a diversity strategy and multicultural marketing management consultant. Her executive experience encompasses the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. In 2012, she was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Temple of Understanding, an organization closely affiliated with the United Nations, that has led the way in understanding diversity, multicultural communications, overcoming injustice, and interfaith education and advocacy for over 50 years.

Ellene has been a trusted advisor to Fortune 1000 companies and also has advised leading German, British, and Japanese corporations in developing new market entry strategies, marketing, diversity, cross-cultural management, integrating multi-national work teams, and workforce development. Ellene has held business development and leadership roles at Deloitte & Touche, Right Management, and Greater Philadelphia First. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her BA, and a graduate of The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University where she earned her MA.

Steve Kagen's picture

M.D. Former Member of Congress – Wisconsin
Steve Kagen

Steve Kagen was born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he and his wife Gayle raised four children. Steve founded four Kagen Allergy Clinics and served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Allergy-Immunology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Dr. Kagen is Board Certified in Internal Medicine; Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology. Kagen served for seven years as the exclusive Allergy Consultant to CNN, CNN Airport News, CNN Headline News, and CNN Interactive.  In 2006, Kagen was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the 8th District of Wisconsin from 2007 – 2011.

To give small business a voice at the legislative table, Congressman Kagen founded the first Congressional Business Owners Caucus (CBOC), and he led the fight to outlaw discrimination against patients with pre-existing medical conditions. Dr. Kagen is working hard to secure transparency in all health care pricing and to improve the health of his patients and our nation’s economy.

Bill Ritter Jr.'s picture
Bill Ritter

Bill Ritter Jr. was the 41st Governor of Colorado from 2007 to 2011. During his term in office, Ritter pursued an aggressive agenda that included education reform, transportation funding, and health care reform. Ritter also signed 57 clean energy bills into law and, in the process, made Colorado a national and international hub of the “new energy economy.”  Due to Ritter’s efforts, Colorado has one of the most aggressive Renewable Energy Standards in the nation and a variety of policies that support the development of a clean energy economy.

After leaving the Governor’s Office, Ritter became the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Vince Siciliano's picture
Vince Siciliano

Vince Siciliano is president and CEO of New Resource Bank, a mission-oriented bank in San Francisco that works with businesses, nonprofits, and individuals seeking environmental and social as well as financial returns. The bank is dedicated to advancing sustainability with everything it does—lending, operations, and putting deposits to work for good. Vince has previously been the president or CEO of a number of San Diego financial institutions. He started his banking career in Bank of America’s International Division.

Vince serves on the advisory board of the American Sustainable Business Council based in Washington DC. He is also chairman of the board for the Ken Blanchard Center for Faith Walk Leadership. Vince and the bank are founding members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. He is a graduate of Stanford University and earned a master’s degree in environmental planning from the University of California at Berkeley.

Michael H. Shuman's picture
Michael Shuman

Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and Director of Community Portals for Mission Markets in New York City. He’s also a Fellow of three organizations: Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), Cutting Edge Capital, and Post-Carbon Institute. He has authored, coauthored, or edited eight books. His most recent book, just published by Chelsea Green, is Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Move Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity. His previous book, The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006), received as bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006. He regularly helps communities analyze economic “leakages” and job-creation opportunities from expanded “LOIS” businesses (locally owned, import substituting), particularly those linked to local food, energy, and finance. A prolific speaker, Shuman has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for the past 30 years. He has lectured in 47 U.S. states and eight countries.

Gus Speth's picture
Gus Speth

James Gustave “Gus” Speth, is Professor of Law at Vermont Law School in Royalton, Vermont as well as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos. Until his retirement in 2009, he served as Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Sara Shallenberger Brown Professor in the Practice of Environmental Policy.

From 1993 to 1999, Speth served as administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the UN Development Group. Prior to his service at the UN, he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality; and senior attorney and co-founder, Natural Resources Defense Council.

Throughout his career, Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President’s Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment.

Jennifer Vervier's picture
Jennifer Vervier

Jenn Vervier started on the bottling line at New Belgium Brewing (NBB) in 1993.  She became NBB’s first CFO and later COO.  She is now the Director of Sustainability & Strategic Development.  Her responsibilities include the sustainability management system, corporate responsibility reporting, greenhouse gas accounting, natural resource management, legislative advocacy, philanthropy, public/private renewable energy partnerships, strategic planning, and property development.  Jenn creates opportunities to expand New Belgium Brewing's business role model practices. She’s active on the Boards of the Colorado Conservation Voters and Colorado State University’s Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Enterprise.  Jenn received a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Washington College in Maryland.  She also holds an MBA in Finance from Regis University and completed the course work for a Masters in Applied Ethics from Colorado State University.

Judy Wicks's picture
Judy Wicks

Judy Wicks founded the White Dog Café on the first floor of her Philadelphia row house in 1983. As the restaurant grew, so did her notion that the strength of her business relied upon the quality of its locally grown ingredients. Envisioning how strengthening relationships among like-minded independent, locally owned businesses could inspire profound social change, she founded the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia in 2001, and co-founded the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies that same year. Judy also founded Fair Food in 2000, dedicated to building a local food system in the Philadelphia region. In 2009, she sold the White Dog through a unique agreement that preserves local, independent ownership and maintains sustainable business practices, including buying from local farmers, composting and using renewable energy. Her book, Good Morning, Beautiful Business was published by Chelsea Green, in March, 2013.


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