Director of Sustainability, Circuit of The Americas / Formula 1 US Grand Prix
Edgar Farrera is Director of Sustainability at Circuit of The Americas. He is responsible for sustainability and environmental compliance at the venue, and has been involved with major events including the US Formula 1 Grand Prix, Summer X-Games, IndyCar, Moto GP, and concerts for the likes of Taylor Swift, Elton John, and Justin Timberlake. Edgar grew up in Austin and Houston. He is a trained Architect, and prior to joining COTA was heavily involved in green building.
Solar Energy Technologies Office Director, Department of Energy
Dr. Charlie Gay is the director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Office. In this position, he leads a team that is dedicated to early-stage research and development of solar technologies, with a focus on how they contribute to supporting the reliability, resilience, and security of the U.S. electric grid.
Charlie is an internationally recognized pioneer in photovoltaics. After starting his career in 1975 designing solar power system components for communications satellites at Spectrolab, Inc, he later joined ARCO Solar, where he established the research and development program and led the commercialization of crystalline silicon and thin film technologies.
In 1990, he became president and chief operating officer of Siemens Solar Industries, and from 1994 to 1997, he served as director of DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 1997, he was named president and chief executive officer of ASE Americas, Inc., and from 2001 to 2005 served as founding chairman of the technical advisory board at SunPower Corporation. He joined Applied Materials in 2006 as corporate vice president and general manager of the Solar Business Group. He served as president of Applied Solar and chairman of the Applied Solar Council from 2009-2013. As president, Charlie was responsible for positioning applied materials and its solar efforts with important stakeholders in the energy industry, technical community and governments around the world.
He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside and was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2013. He established the Greenstar Foundation in 1997 to demonstrate an economically sustainable model that delivers solar power and internet access for health, education and microenterprise projects to developing world villages.
Principal, Rhythm Strategy Consultancy
Rita L. Garza, Principal at Rhythm Strategy Consultancy, a woman and minority-owned boutique advisory firm, focuses on enterprise-wide impact by delivering custom solutions to your corporate social responsibility, marketing communications and change management needs to support both emerging and established companies with strategic insight or technical assistance. She brings more than 25 years of executive-level experience within a diverse range of sectors: sports, financial services, telecommunications, utilities, and health care. Rita received a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from The University of Texas at Austin and as a National Urban Fellow received a master’s degree in Public Administration with honors from Baruch College, School of Public Affairs, City University of New York.
Professional Snowboarder & Olympic Bronze Medalist
Arielle Gold is a 23 year-old professional snowboarder and Olympic Bronze Medalist from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She is an undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder, working towards a degree in psychology with the hopes of eventually attending veterinary school and majoring in equine science. Over the past several years, Arielle has been volunteering with Protect Our Winters (POW), a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to uniting professional athletes and outdoor-lovers alike in the fight against climate change. Alongside POW, Arielle has spoken at several local elementary and high schools, inspiring awareness with the next generation and giving them the tools needed to reduce their own carbon footprint. More recently, Arielle had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC with POW, alongside several other Olympic athletes, to speak with congressman on Capitol Hill about the effects of climate change on her life and her sport. She hopes to continue using her influence as a professional athlete to bring awareness to the issue of climate change, and encourage sustainable living practices.
Senior Executive Chef, Philadelphia District, Aramark
Richard Grab is an accomplished chef with a qualified, diverse background. He was formally trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park NY and after graduation he worked his way through various restaurants in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles before joining Aramark. Additionally, he is working towards his MBA at Johnson & Wales, RI.
Rich has been with Aramark Sports and Entertainment for 8 years in various positions and is currently the District Executive Chef for the Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington DC Districts. He his directly responsible for developing Aramark’s culinary talent, focusing on best practices, identifying and improving areas of opportunity for multiple outlets and developing the culinary brand within the region.
Rich has been an integral part of executing multiple NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL Playoff Games, NCAA tournaments, MIA Festivals on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and many others including direct oversight of Food and Beverage for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Rich is a member of the American Culinary Federation and has completed Level III of the Culinary Institute of America’s ProChef Certification. He is also an active member, and cyclist, of ChefsCycle, a branch of the No Kid Hungry organization which raises money to help stop childhood hunger through donations and education.
Vice President, Social Responsibility, Major League Soccer
Jan Greenberg Mirman is the Vice President of Social Responsibility at Major League Soccer (MLS). A strategic business executive with a nearly 20-year track record of leadership and innovation stretching across all areas of sports philanthropy, her mission is to leverage sport as a vehicle for positive social change.
Greenberg Mirman is responsible for day to day operations for MLS WORKS – the League’s social responsibility platform – which has developed into one of professional sports’ most successful charitable endeavors. MLS WORKS executes national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertakes various initiatives that enrich and educate youth, create sustainable communities and promote inclusion at all levels of the game. Through MLS WORKS, Major league Soccer and its clubs seek to enrich the lives of those in need across the United States and Canada.
During her 10+ year tenure, Greenberg Mirman has driven strategic direction, developing community service programs and initiatives that target key social issues and are designed to increase visibility for the League, MLS players and clubs, extend and build the MLS WORKS brand and increase local relevancy. She has been instrumental in establishing the League’s commitment to social responsibility and continues to work on elevating efforts across the enterprise to position MLS as a leader in the space and leave a positive impact within the community.
Prior to joining MLS, Greenberg Mirman spent seven years at Madison Square Garden where she managed community and fundraising programs and charitable events for both the Garden’s non-profit foundation (Garden of Dreams and previously Cheering for Children) and the New York Rangers.
Greenberg Mirman earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a masters in sports management from Adelphi University.
A native of New York, Greenberg Mirman resides in Long Island with her husband and son.
Project Manager, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
Eric supports advocacy organizations to optimize and innovate on their campaigns by leveraging YPCCC public opinion research and data tools. He also collaborates with groups who are studying public perception in Latin America. Prior to YPCCC, Eric was an outdoor educator taking people on expeditions throughout the Americas and Europe. Watching glaciers recede in Patagonia over ten years inspired him to pursue a Masters of Environmental Science at Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Vice President – Sustainability Director, Southeast, JLL
Rex Hamre is JLL’s Sustainability Director for the Southeast Region and Vice President with JLL’s Project and Development Services. Rex is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design & Construction and Operations and Maintenance.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Rex leads a team of sustainability professionals managing local and national sustainability projects, including sustainability master planning, efficiency programs, healthy building initiatives, all LEED Rating Systems, and the WELL Building Standard. His work focuses on leveraging the bottom‐line benefits of sustainability initiatives to achieve positive environmental impact.
Director of Engagement, Business Climate Leaders
Steve Hams, a co-founder of Business Climate Leaders, provides strategic oversight of BCL’s operations, including leadership of BCL’s industry sector teams, and coordination with Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s nationwide activities. Steve brings more than 30 years of management experience in human resources, high tech, medical technology, education, sports and non-profit fields to BCL and has consulted on climate change and education for nearly a decade. Before joining BCL, Steve was the Organizational Sustainability Officer at Skoll Foundation in Palo Alto, Calif. Previously he held senior HR positions at Kyphon, Epiphany, and Hewlett Packard, and was Co-founder of the American Basketball League, the first women’s professional basketball league in the ‘90s.
Corporate Engagement Manager, The Climate Group
Kristin leads corporate engagement for North America at The Climate Group. She is responsible for working across the EP100, EV100 and RE100 campaigns to enhance corporate ambition on energy productivity, electric vehicles and renewable electricity, and she also assists with the coordination of Climate Week NYC each year. Prior to joining The Climate Group, Kristin worked at Bowdoin College as both the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator and the Assistant Women’s Volleyball Coach, where she led campus programs addressing energy, waste, and water issues while also engaging teams to participate in campus sustainability efforts. Kristin has several years of experience working in corporate sustainability and reporting. She led internal CSR programs at Thornton Tomasetti covering energy efficiency, emissions reduction and employee engagement. At Edelman, she worked on the Business + Social Purpose team to support clients with program development and implementation, communication strategies and external reporting.
Kristin is currently pursuing her MBA in Sustainability from Bard College. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Government from Bowdoin College and has completed the Sport Sustainability Leadership graduate certificate through Seattle University.