Blog Archives

Ray Allen Opening Organic Fast-Food Restaurant In South Miami

Miami Herald
By Chabeli Herrera

Move over, LeBron James: It’s another former Miami Heat star’s chance at a lucrative career in Miami’s healthy dining scene.

Ray Allen and his wife, Shannon, are trying their hand at nutritious meals with Grown, an organic fast-food restaurant set to open in March in South Miami at 8211 S. Dixie Hwy.

The Juice Spot closed early this year, leaving a vacancy in the field of basketball player-owned healthy eateries in Miami.  12208257_736457803122560_6718164481174088180_n

But Allen’s will be different.

Grown was inspired by his son’s battle with Type 1 diabetes. Nine-year-old Walker’s struggles with managing a busy lifestyle and getting the nutrient-rich food he needs inspired mom Shannon to create her own solution.

“I had an aha moment where I realized I couldn’t sit around helpless waiting for someone else to create a fast-food option that met our family’s dietary needs, and as we did our research it became obvious that this wasn’t a struggle unique to us, families everywhere are looking for convenience without compromise,” she said.


Michigan’s own Connor Sports and The Green Sports Alliance leverage cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities

by Lauren Leffel

There is hardly another platform in existence that garners as much attention and loyalty than the world of sports.

Greening of the Great Lakes host Kirk Heinzewelcomes both Jason Gasperich, the director of sustainability for Connor Sports and Justin Zeulner, the chief operating officer for the Green Sports Alliance, to talk about their mutually beneficial relationship and ongoing sustainability initiatives.

Connor Sports is a world-renowned company in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that manufactures basketball courts, including the NCAA Final Four court every year. Connor Sports recently received a grant from the US Forest Service that will be used to make modifications to their plant’s boiler system. More specifically, it will make the system completely automated. Once the boiler has been lit, a computer will take over and constantly make any needed adjustments.


Here is how this new boiler system, sustainability, and the US Forest Service all tie together. As of right now, the plant burns biomass as its primary fuel source and purchases propane as needed. By improving the efficiency of the boiler system, the company will not only be saving money and energy, it will reduce the amount of propane/fossil fuel it needs. The excess residue left from burning biomass is given to other businesses to use and create sustainable products.

Connor Sports is also going into its fifth year as a part of the Green Sports Alliance, which is an organization that leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities.

“Connor Sports and the Green Sports Alliance have a similar vision: to improve the quality of life for people around the planet,” Gasperich says.

The Green Sports Alliance began as a small local initiative and is now a worldwide movement.

“We are harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of sports fans to advance environmental stewardship through a nonpolitical medium,” explains Zeulner.

Two initiatives The Green Sports Alliance is involved in are waterless urinals and the 1,727 solar panels installed on the roof of The Staples Center in Los Angeles. More than just the act of installing these improvements, how The Staples Center is truly using its athletic platform is through the informational plaques around the facility that explain to fans how and why they are making these improvements. These signs have prompted other business owners and individuals to follow in their footsteps and make green improvements themselves.

Football, basketball, baseball and several other sporting leagues have now begun to reach out and ask for fan support of sustainability initiatives while attending and watching games. For example, food composting and recycling initiatives at sporting events have been successful and have saved thousands of pounds of waste from going to the landfills at virtually no extra cost.

Connor Sports was one of the first businesses to join this initiative and blazed the trail to include the private sector into environmental responsibility in the sports world.

Oracle Arena Awarded Prestigious LEED Green Building Certification

September 17th, OAKLAND, CA – AEG Facilities managed Oracle Arena announced today that it has been awarded LEED® certification. The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

38_OracleArena_FloorLogo“Ensuring that we have a positive impact on the Oakland/ Alameda County community and our environment is extremely important to us” said Krystle von Puschendorf, Sustainability Programs Manager for Oracle Arena, “We are proud to have achieved LEED certification and are dedicated to running an environmentally friendly operation here in Oakland.”

To become LEED certified Oracle Arena made a number of impactful environmentally friendly upgrades throughout the venue, for example, replacing all 30% recycled paper with 100% recycled paper and using all 100% post-consumer recycled paper products in restrooms. Additionally Oracle Arena created recycling stations throughout the office for e-waste, installed low flow aerators for water conservation, partners with a local vendor who turns oils from concessions into bio-diesel, implemented ORBIO Sc-5000 which utilizes water, salt and electricity to create a cleaning solution versus using chemicals, retrofitted the arena, replacing all arena lighting with low energy fixtures and lamps as well as motion sensors in key areas to provide energy savings of more than $80,000 a month.

“It’s been a goal of AEG Facilities to achieve LEED Certification for Oracle Arena with the enthusiastic support of the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Authority Board” said Chris Wright, Vice President and General Manager, “we are constantly looking for ways to make our operation more eco-efficient and will continue to identify future projects that are in line with our goals.”

Oracle Arena achieved LEED certification by implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

LEED is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. More than 72,000 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 13.8 billion square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 150 countries.

“Building operations are nearly 40% of the solution to the global climate change challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like AEG Facilities Oakland, Oracle Arena are addressing it through local solutions.”

About Oracle Arena & O.co Coliseum
Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum, managed by AEG Facilities, are the premiere sports and entertainment complexes in Northern California. Home of the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and MLB’s Oakland Athletics as well as host to concerts, family shows and special events. Additional information on Oracle Arena and O.co Coliseum, including a complete schedule of events can be found online at www.coliseum.com.