Summit Speakers2019-05-31T15:26:11-06:00

Elaine Aye

Associate / Regional Manager, RWDI

Elaine is a widely respected sustainability consultant and strategist focused on building performance, wellness, equity and resiliency. Her passion is to move organizations towards a more sustainable future, helping achieve performance and social responsibility goals. She listens to diverse stakeholder groups with an intuitive ear, discerns challenges, facilitates corporate visioning sessions, and develops plans and protocols to implement strategies for desired outcomes. A strategic thinker and engaging communicator, Elaine’s approach to facilitating project teams results in long-term client success – whether that means achieving certification, educating staff, or enhancing building performance through materials, water and energy efficiency. Driven by a desire to protect the environment, Elaine addresses critical issues facing the built environment – helping achieve sustainability and equity one building or organization at a time.

John Balkam

Director, EVERFI Sports & Entertainment

John Balkam develops social impact partnerships in the sports industry with the leading education technology company, EVERFI. EVERFI partners with organizations, institutions, and educators to revolutionize the way education is developed and delivered—using today’s technology to connect learning to the real world and equip communities with the skills they need for success in the 21st century.

John is also the Author of Three-Win Sponsorship, a new book (expected publication, Winter 2019) on how leading brands and properties are building deeper connections with consumers by integrating social and environmental impact into their sponsorship deals.

Connor Barwin

NFL Player and Founder, Make the World Better Foundation

Connor Barwin is an 11-year NFL veteran who has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Houston Texans. He selected in the 2nd round of the 2009 NFL Draft and played in the 2014 Pro Bowl.

Connor’s international philanthropic efforts began in 2011 when he traveled to Nigeria on a humanitarian mission to bring medical supplies, textbooks, and American footballs to Nigerian youth.

While partnering with NRG Energy, Connor visited Haiti on multiple occasions to install solar panels on orphanages, schools, and hospitals.

In 2018, Connor climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about water scarcity.
While living in South Philadelphia and biking to practice during his time with the Eagles, Connor found a need for playgrounds and began the first steps in revitalizing local parks. Connor founded Make The World Better, Inc. to foster community engagement and input through all phases of its revitalization projects.

Connor holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Cincinnati. He and his wife Laura reside in Philadelphia with their son, West.

Lewis Blaustein

GreenSportsBlog, LBS Green Consulting

After a successful career in sports marketing communications and advertising sales, Lew Blaustein became passionate about the environment and climate change as a patriotic reaction to the 9/11 attacks.

A successful solo eco-preneur career soon followed with the opening of LBS Green Solutions in 2005. Since then, Blaustein has helped build a myriad of green-focused businesses and non-profits through strategically powerful marketing, communications, and business development programs.

GreenSportsBlog (http://greensportsblog.com), which Blaustein launched in 2013, has become “the source for news and commentary at the intersection of Green + Sports.” Its monthly audience of up to 8,000 includes commissioners, team and league executives, sustainability leaders, eco-athletes and more. GreenBiz, Sustainable Brands and others syndicate GSB content.

Blaustein was trained by Al Gore and his Climate Reality Project team in 2012. Since then, he has given the slide show that was at the heart of An Inconvenient Truth to 35+ schools, religious groups, businesses and more. He also volunteers with Citizens’ Climate Lobby, lobbying members of the US House and Senate on behalf of the “Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019,” the first bipartisan carbon pricing bill ever introduced.

Alex Baxter

Sustainability Program Manager, Blue Strike Environmental

Alex oversees sustainability programs for multiple PGA TOUR events, marathons/road-races and music festivals among other special events nationwide. His work is centered on advancing sustainability to create a positive environmental and social impact in each market Blue Strike engages with.

Most recently, Alex managed the GEO (Golf Environmental Organization) certification for the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He previously served on the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee for 2017 NCAA Final Four Council for Responsible Sport evergreen certification as well as helping facilitate the Arizona Diamondbacks inaugural composting program during the 2017 season.

Robert Bennett

Executive Chef, Classic Cake

Robert Bennett joined Classic Cake in December 2005 as Executive Chef. In this role, Robert is the creative driving force behind the company’s product offerings and introduces unique, customized breads and desserts to the commercial market. Robert’s oversight also involves the daily operations of the bakery and is responsible for ensuring the company’s high-quality product and service standards.

For over 30 years, Robert Bennett has shared his passion for cooking through his work as a creative chef, teacher and owner. Robert started his career as Executive Pastry Instructor at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI), his alma mater. He quickly catapulted into the worldwide media in January 1985 for being appointed the Honored Pastry Chef for President Reagan’s second Inauguration. He prepared a cake for 44,000 people with a small team of students from N.E.C.I. After which, he took on the position of Executive Pastry Chef/Consultant at the Jumby Bay Resort, Antigua, West Indies. In 1987, Robert was hired as one of four Pastry Chefs at Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he quickly worked his way up to Le Bec-Fin’s Head Pastry Chef. In 2001, Robert stepped out on his own and opened Miel Patisserie, a high end, boutique style pastry shop in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Over the years, Robert Bennett competed in numerous competitions worldwide and in 1989, he represented the United States in the premier World Cup Pastry Championship in Lyon, France. Since retiring from competition, Robert has served as a judge for the United States Pastry Competition in New York. An active member of the culinary community, Robert Bennett was one of the original members appointed to the Board of Directors of the North American Pastry Chef’s Association. He is also co-founder of the Philadelphia Pastry Society and was honored by NECI with their “Distinguished Graduate Award.” Chef Bennett is also one of the founding chefs of Chef Aid, which has raised millions of dollars in its 13 years existence. In 2003 He was named U.S. Ambassador for the Barry-Callebut Chocolate Company and was the U.S. Judge at the 2005 World Chocolate Master Championships in Paris, France.

Most recently Chef Bennett has appeared on QVC here in the U.S. 11 times selling Classic Cake’s pastries and traveled to Seoul, S. Korea for several appearances on the CJO Shopping Network selling Classic’s own Philadelphia cheesecakes.

Locally, Robert donates his time and dessert specialties to more than 30 charities each year.

Originally from Lynchburg, Virginia, Robert now resides in South Jersey with his family and “Bailey” the Beagle.

Whitney Washington Boles

Manager, Offsite Renewables, Constellation

Whitney Boles is the manager for offsite renewables for Constellation’s retail organization. Whitney works on the company’s efforts to provide Constellation offsite renewable solutions (CORe) to Constellation’s retail customers. Prior to her current role, Whitney was Chief of Staff to the CEO of Constellation and the President and CEO of Exelon Generation, Constellation’s parent company.

Whitney joined Constellation in 2014 as an in-house transactional attorney supporting Constellation’s wholesale energy business. In that capacity she focused on structured transactions in wholesale power and upstream gas.

Prior to joining Constellation, Whitney practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom, focusing on energy project development, financing and mergers and acquisitions.

Whitney holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government from Harvard College and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

Alexandra Criscuolo

Environmental Impact Consultant, Kickstarter

Alexandra Criscuolo is the in-house Environmental Impact Consultant for Kickstarter and a full time student in the Bard MBA in Sustainability program. She specializes in early-stage entrepreneur sustainability and sports sustainability. Previously, she spent 5 years at GE Capital Energy Financial Services and GE Capital Americas working in areas such as environmental risk and energy project finance. Alexandra has a BS degree in Finance, with minors in Environmental Studies and Spanish from Fairfield University. She swam in college and enjoys training for and competing in triathlons.

Carolyn DiGiuseppe

General Manager, Facilities, Spectra Venue Management, Citizens Bank Park

Carolyn DiGiuseppe is responsible for the day to day maintenance of Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Included in this scope are cleaning, electrical, HVAC, mechanical systems, contracted services, life safety systems, green initiatives and oversite and the management of 23 full-time staff, including union building trades and over 200 seasonal custodial workers.

Carolyn is in her 19th year with Comcast-Spectacor/Spectra. In 2003, she was transferred from Comcast-Spectacor at the Wells Fargo Center to Citizens Bank Park as an Operations Assistant holding several operations roles until becoming General Manager of the facility in 2014. Carolyn has managed the operations of two MLB World Series, the 2012 NHL Winter Classic, many world class concerts and 14 Philadelphia Phillies baseball seasons. Carolyn is a member of the Stadium Managers Association.

She received a BA in Political Science with a concentration in Public Administration from Bloomsburg University.

Paul Douglas

Senior Meteorologist, Founder & President, Praedictix

Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with over 40 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist and Founder of Media Logic Group. Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for various media and corporate interests at Praedictix. Developers and engineers create unique streams of weather data, imagery and API’s via AerisWeather. He files print and online updates for Star Tribune and co-hosts a radio program with Jordana Green weekdays on WCCO Radio. Douglas is on the board of EEN, the Evangelical Environmental Network, focused stewardship and Creation Care. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. He has two sons; Paul and his wife of 34 years live in the western suburbs of Minneapolis.

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