Mike Aller

As executive director of Space Coast Energy Consortium, Mike Aller is responsible for managing the Consortium's day-to-day operations and helps to coordinate several of the Consortium's industry working groups. Mike has over a decade of experience in economic and policy analysis, including five years as a researcher at the Brookings Institution and the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C., and two years of service with the White House Office of Management and Budget (O.M.B.). He is also an adjunct faculty member at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., teaching courses on international economics, emerging economies (China and India) and global energy and resource issues. Mr. Aller holds a master's degree in international economics and environmental policy from the University of California at San Diego, and a bachelor's degree in science, technology and international affairs from Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and French, is a former U.S. National Team rower and lives with his wife and son in Winter Park, Fla.

Session Summary

Discussion of economic development efforts pertaining to clean energy at the local, national and international level. What could the energy landscape look like in five, 10, or 15 years' time? Discuss the Clean Energy Jobs Accelerator, energy efficiency finance programs and other initiatives of the Space Coast Energy Consortium.

Jean Bredbenner

Jean Bredbenner is a municipal services manager with Republic Services. After graduating from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering, she worked for Florida Power and Light in Miami, Fla. for ten years before moving to Central Florida where she worked as an environmental manager and maintenance director for Polk County Schools for ten years. In 2006, Jean joined Republic Services at their Lakeland Division administering municipal contracts and participating in governmental affairs and has recently transferred to Republic Services of Orlando. Jean is the treasurer of the E.I.A. Women's Council and has been a member since 2007.

Session Summary

The 5th Annual Green Symposium focuses on new opportunities in sustainability, energy use and conservation, and natural resource management. My presentation for the symposium will show how Republic Services, the second largest solid waste company in the United States, is committed to a more sustainable world. Whether it's the land uses of our Republic Services operations or the water, fuel, energy or other resources we rely on to serve our customers, we are keenly aware that the decisions we make have an impact on the environment. We work hard to ensure that the impact is a positive one.

Republic Services is committed to responsible stewardship of the lands that we own and we are proud to have certified wildlife habitat programs at two of our landfills (Charlotte Motor Speedway Landfill in Concord, N.C. and the Little Dixie Landfill in Flowood, Miss.). In Hutchins, Tex., the company donated 20 acres of restored wetland habitat to serve as the home of Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to help injured, sick or orphaned birds return to their natural environment.

At the Tessman Road Landfill in San Antonio, Tex., Republic combined a first-of-its-kind solar technology with an existing gas-to-energy system to turn the facility into a sustainable energy park. Republic's Oak Grove Landfill gas-to-energy project in Winder, Ga. was recognized by the U.S. EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program as a Project of the Year and supplies enough renewable energy to heat 10,500 homes. Nationwide, similar projects provide renewable energy for almost 400,000 homes.

The cleanest of the fossil fuels, natural gas is seen as a critical link and a bridge fuel to an economy less dependent on foreign oil and more reliant on domestic renewable energy and alternative fuels. We are building Compressed Natural Gas (C.N.G.) fueling stations throughout the United States. Nationwide, we have over 1,000 alternative fuel trucks in our fleet.

From implementing responsible stewardship programs and recycling four million tons per year at our 74 recycling facilities nationwide to food waste composting in Oregon and gas-to-energy projects in California, Republic Services is pursuing the goal of sustainability because it's the right thing to do and it makes good business sense. Environmental protection is always front and center for us because... we live here, too.

Dr. Henry H. Fishkind

Henry Fishkind

With over 30 years of experience in economic analysis and forecasting, Henry Fishkind, Ph.D. is widely regarded as one of Florida's premier economists and financial advisors. Fishkind's career began in the public sector where he worked as an economist and associate professor at the University of Florida. In 1980 Fishkind became the associate director for programs at the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. During his tenure at the university, he served from 1979 to 1981 on the governor's economic advisory board. He began his career as a private sector consultant when he became president of M.G. Lewis Econometrics in Winter Park, Fla. In 1988 Fishkind formed Fishkind & Associates, Inc. as a full service economic and financial consulting firm.

Session Summary

Fishkind will provide insight on the current economic landscape in Florida, economic impacts on sustainability and new initiatives that could be considered to achieve environmental sustainable goals.

Fishkind will discuss the primary changes in the policy environment and economics of growth in the state over the past five years; the short term economic forces that are likely to have an impact on sustainability in Florida, especially in the area of real estate development; and what new initiatives should we be considering if we want to encourage economic growth while working to achieve environmental sustainability.

Eliza Harris

Eliza Harris is a senior associate at Canin Associates in Orlando where she focuses on active transportation, regional planning and coding. She led a multi-county G.I.S. and design effort for the metro Orlando M.P.O. Long Range Transportation Plan that introduced land use as an important variable to improve transportation efficiency while contributing to sustainability and quality of life. She recently co-wrote a form-based code for Restoration, a planned transit borough in the City of Edgewater, that was awarded an Outstanding Innovation & Design award by the Surfcoast chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.

Harris is engaged in outreach and advocacy on smart growth issues. She currently serves on the board of the Congress for the New Urbanism, a national nonprofit that promotes walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development. Ms. Harris discovered her passion for the workings of the urban environment and improving on suburban transportation choices while pursuing a biochemical sciences degree at Harvard University and subsequently completed a master's degree in urban planning with a focus on housing and neighborhood development at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.

Ms. Harris serves on the Orlando Green Works Task Force, which is guiding the development of Orlando's Community Action Plan, and was recently appointed to Orange County's Sustainability Committee to help advise their sustainability initiative.

Session Summary

Land use and transportation are high impact, sometimes overlooked, elements of a community's approach to sustainability. These areas have great potential to improve ecological outcomes by meeting real market demands for a greater variety of living options and improving quality of life. Ms. Harris will address the most fruitful approaches to implementing sustainable approaches to land use and transportation in different types of communities and the ways in which land use choices influence environmental outcomes including water and air quality, energy and water use and health.

Michael W. Hewett

Michael Hewett

Michael Hewett has over twenty years of experience in environmental management, including regulatory compliance and sustainability programs. Beginning his career with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Hewett spent eight years developing rules and setting regulatory policy while partnering with the federal E.P.A. and various state and local governments. The balance of Hewett's career has been spent helping corporations build strong environmental compliance programs and sustainable business strategies. Currently, he manages the sustainability and environmental compliance programs for Publix Super Markets, Inc. Mr. Hewett has a master's degree in environmental engineering and is a licensed professional engineer. He is currently a member of the Food Marketing Institute's Sustainability Executive Committee, the Retail Industry Leaders Association's Sustainability Initiative, the Florida Retail Federation's Sustainability Council and he is chairman of the Board of Sustainable Florida.

Session Summary

Mr. Hewett will discuss the challenges grocery retailers face as they try to incorporate sustainability into their daily business decisions. Hewett will also touch on the growing issue of food insecurity in the United States.

Jon Ippel

Jon Ippel is the sustainability director and special assistant to the chief administrative officer for the City of Orlando. In this role, Jon chairs Mayor Dyer's GreenWorks Orlando committee and is responsible for oversight of all of Orlando's environmental initiatives, including policy and project implementation. Programs include municipal and community energy programs, electric vehicle deployment, renewables, management of the city's sustainability grants, sustainable landscaping policies, environmentally-preferential purchasing, and green building programs. He received his master's of urban planning degree from the University of Michigan.

Session Summary

Mr. Ippel will present on Orlando's successful Green Works Orlando program and how cities can plan an innovating role in overcoming many of our environmental, social and economic challenges through robust sustainability-oriented programs. He will highlight how Orlando is focusing on this challenge, both its successes and areas needing improvement.

Carisse LeJeune

Carisse LeJeune has been with the City of Boynton Beach since February, 2000. She is currently the assistant city manager as well as the city's sustainability coordinator and emergency operations center manager. Ms. LeJeune manages special projects for the city, which have included the Green Task Force, Green Community Alliance and the multi-project Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant for the past three years. She continues to manage the award-winning Climate Action Plan, which has been used as a model throughout the country. She leads the city's re-branding efforts as well as the creation of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (C.E.M.P.) and Continuity of Operation Plan (C.O.O.P.). Ms. LeJeune is an active member of the Palm Beach County Local Mitigation Strategy Steering Committee and is the chairperson of the Risk/Hazard Analysis sub-committee. In addition, she is the Palm Beach County municipal representative to the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact Staff Steering Committee. She is a member of the F.C.C.M.A., P.B.C.C.M.A., I.C.M.A., F.E.P.A., and the Palm Beach County-City Sustainability Collaborative. Ms. LeJeune holds a bachelor's degree in public administration from Barry University.

Session Summary

The City of Boynton Beach will present their award-winning Climate Action Plan, a landmark document that acknowledges the foresight of city leaders in addressing the biggest challenges of this century - sustainability, energy and climate change. The pursuit of sustainability has governed the direction of the City of Boynton Beach since 2008 and they have made great strides towards envisioning the steps necessary to achieve a sustainable future. The city's Climate Action Plan provides an integrated approach to the full spectrum of government services including buildings and facilities, water and wastewater, vehicle fleet, solid waste, procurement, land use and development, and community engagement. The presentation will address the innovative creation process, implementation challenges and successes, their unique P.A.C.E. and Green Building programs, key demonstration projects, and future trends of regional collaboration and civic engagement, as Boynton Beach continues to embrace green living and sustainable growth.

Marty Mesh

Marty Mesh became committed to organic agriculture and sustainable food systems while a farmworker in 1972, started growing organically himself in 1973 and in 1976 helped start Bellevue Gardens Organic Farm in Archer, Fla. Marty helped form Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers, Inc. (F.O.G.) in 1989 and has served as executive director since 1995. F.O.G. is active in local, state, national and international work to further sustainable agriculture and improved food systems. F.O.G. is active in various food systems projects. He was named among the 25 people who most influenced the organic industry, due in part to the past 40 years he has dedicated to a more environmentally responsible and socially just form of agriculture. He served nine years on the Board of the Organic Trade Association, and is a past charter board member of the Alachua County Nutrition Alliance, Organic Materials Review Institute, Accredited Certifiers Association and the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group as well as past board member of the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, among others. Mr. Mesh is still the current charter board member of the Florida Food Policy Council. Mesh helped birth the Agricultural Justice Project in 1999, and also the formation of the Domestic Fair Trade Association. He co-produced an acclaimed documentary film, What's Organic About Organic? to help educate the public about organic agriculture and improved food systems.

Session Summary

Promoting Sustainable Food Systems

Florida Organic Growers (F.O.G.) Executive Director Marty Mesh will be talking about current and future challenges to create a sustainable food system, especially focusing on the history, potential and benefits of organic agriculture. Marty will share how F.O.G. was created and highlight its efforts to promote a healthy food systems since 1989. F.O.G. is a not-for-profit organization that promotes sustainable and organic agriculture based in Gainesville, Fla.

Kent Portney, Ph.D.

Kent Portney

Kent Portney, Ph.D., is the author of the newly released second edition of Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: Economic Development, the Environment, and Quality of Life in American Cities and other books on environmental policy and civic engagement. He is a professor of political science at Tufts University, where he teaches courses in public policy, American politics and public administration. He also authors the Our Green Cities blog and website. The 2013 edition of Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously draws a roadmap for effective sustainability initiatives through a systematic comparison of sustainability policies across cities using measurement and analysis of the fifty-five largest cities in the country. Separate chapters provide case studies of large, medium-size and small cities. The book examines the relationship between sustainability and economic growth; and discusses issues of governance, equity and implementation.