Friday, October 21, 2016 | 8:00AM - 3:30PM
Hilton Columbus Downtown

View Our Program Summary


9:00AM - 10:25AMBreakfast Panel DescriptionBreakfast Keynote Plenary


Central Ohio is a dynamic and growing region featuring prominent industry leaders achieving success with a sustainable mindset and strong collaboration.  Through clarity of purpose and planning, many companies and organizations are integrating sustainability as a core value for achieving their mission and goals. The recent example of this success is by the City of Columbus in winning the Smart City Challenge award with the $50 million prize from U.S. Department of Transportation and Vulcan, Inc. matched by $90 million through public-private partnerships.

Spencer Reeder, Vulcan

10:45AM-12:15PMBreakout Description  Panelists 

Looking Ahead, What Are the Important Sustainability Policy Issues?

A sustainable environment is essential to our health and economic success as a region.  Panelists will address emerging environmental and sustainability issues we face as a region and provide their legislative insight on potential policy solutions in the years to come.

Moderator: Laura Koprowski, MORPC

Speaker: Kent Scarrett, Ohio Municipal League

Speaker: Jon Honeck, PhD, Greater Ohio Policy Center

Speaker: Holly Nagle, Columbus Chamber of Commerce

Speaker: Jack Shaner, Ohio Environmental Council


Turning Waste into Wealth; Growing our Circular Economy

Ever wondered about the economic impacts of recycling, reusing, or reducing waste? During this session you will learn why these activities are so important to the health of our communities and economy. A panel of experts will share real examples unfolding in Central Ohio and discuss opportunities and challenges for increasing the local impacts such as jobs and revenues, as well as the environmental and community benefits.   

Moderator: Kyle O'Keefe, SWACO

Speaker: Steve Sargent, Rumpke Recycling

Speaker: Kelly Engbersen, Goodwill Columbus

Speaker: Cierra Yanok Rider, Community Plates

Driving Down Single-Occupant Vehicle Use: Creative Strategies to Move the Needle on Regional Air Pollution

In Central Ohio, emissions from mobile sources like cars and trucks are the single greatest contributor to ozone pollution. High concentrations of ozone pollution make it difficult to breathe, especially for older adults, children, people with respiratory diseases such as asthma. In order to breathe cleaner air, communities need to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Learn how some clean air agencies are engaging their communities to modify transportation habits to improve air quality, while also reducing the cost of commuting. 

Moderator: Channon Cohen-Denson, Ohio EPA

Speaker: Laura Henry, MVRPC

Speaker: Laura Loges, MVRPC

Speaker: Joe MacDonald, NOACA

Speaker: Tim Kovach, NOACA

Speaker: Dan Sheehan, MORPC

Speaker: Evelyn Ebert, MORPC

In Collaboration We Trust: Insights From The Field

Community consensus is essential to a project’s sustainability. Gaining that consensus requires collaboration and trust among residents, their local government, and private sector participants. Learn about the state of trust today and build community confidence and consensus for your next project with effective engagement strategies. 

Moderator: Jennifer Noll, MORPC

Speaker: Bryan Haviland, FrazierHeiby

Speaker: Orie Kristel, Illuminology

Speaker: Marie Keister, MurphyEpson / Engage Public Affairs

Speaker: Megan Canavan, City of Powell

Speaker: Jacolyn Thiel, City of Upper Arlington

Speaker: Douglas Francis, City of Hilliard

From Farm to Institution

Local food does not simply transport itself from the farm to a college, hospital, or school. There are many conversations, preparations, and deals that must occur. Learn from a farmer, food distributor, and chef about how it happens. Mike Long, as moderator, will Introduce the topic by outlining Columbus Zoo & Aquarium's five pillars of sustainability; carbon footprint as common denominator; designing a reliable, sustainable, synergistic system.

Moderator: Mike Long, Resource100 LTD

Speaker: Bryn Bird, Bird's Haven Farms

Speaker: Joe Brown, Columbus City Schools

Speaker: Alex Curavo, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium


12:30PM-1:50PMGreen Region AwardsLunch Description 

Awards & Panel

The winners of the Green Region Awards will be announced during the lunch program. Followed by a discussion around local foods.

Food is essential to our lives. Food feeds us and our economy. But food preparation and consumption can also be an experience.

In a Pecha Kucha style format, hear from local food entrepreneurs about sustainable practices related to food production, sourcing, processing, packaging, and distribution. Each speaker will have 6 minutes to share with you a unique aspect of their business related to the local food supply chain. You will feel inspired, invigorated, and invested to be part of the sustainable local food movement.


Lunch Panelists and Videos

Tom Pendrey, Donatos 

Abed Al Shahal, A&R Creative Group

Bryn Bird, Bird's Haven Farms

Glen Courtright, EnviroFlight 

Matt Habash, Mid-Ohio Foodbank

Ryan Lang, Middle West Spirits 

2:00PM-3:30PMBreakout Description  Panelists 

How To Be An Effective Advocate

Want to enter the arena of public policy, but don’t know where to begin? Learn from both legislators and lobbyists on how to effectively represent your interests and build effective relationships with elected officials and staff. Panelists will share their experiences on what works and more importantly what doesn’t.

Moderator: Steve Tugend, Kegler Brown Hill + Ritter

Speaker: State Representative Mike Curtin, Ohio House District 17

Speaker: State Senator Bob Hackett, Ohio Senate District 10

Speaker: Kristen Easterday, Columbus Regional Airport Authority

Speaker: Derrick Clay, New Visions Group


A Feast of Food Plans

Too many cooks spoil the broth, but lots of plans will not spoil D7the food system. Columbus and Franklin County are completing the Local Food Action Plan.

Moderator: Jeff Sharp, The Ohio State University

Speaker: Brian Snyder, The Ohio State University

Speaker: Matt Brown, Franklin County 

Speaker: Kevin Wheeler, City of Columbus

Income Stream: Water as a Community Asset

Millenials, Boomers, and everyone in between use water every day for practical reasons and for play. The availability of clean and abundant water contributes to a high quality of life that can attract people and businesses. Learn how Central Ohio and its communities are using water to grow the local and regional economies.

Moderator: Kristen Knight, Brown & Caldwell

Speaker: Glenn Marzluf, Del-Co Water

Speaker: Abby Rhodebeck, REI

Speaker: Doug McLarnan, Knox County Park District / Kokosing Gap Trail

Speaker: Jerry Newton, Licking County Planning Commission

Local Efforts Making a Global Impact: The State of Climate Change and How Central Ohio is Driving Sustainability

In Ohio, average temperatures are projected to increase by 3 - 5°F over the next 34 years. While this may not seem like a high number, the impact of rising temperatures on our air quality, agriculture, and natural resources will be significant. Join us to learn first-hand about the current state of climate change from Lonnie G. Thompson, whose research has earned global recognition. Then hear from innovative local leaders in the food industry who are making a positive difference through business models built around sustainability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and who are committed to conserving energy while fostering the development of the local economy.

Moderator: Dale Arnold, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

Speaker: Lonnie G. Thompson, The Ohio State University

Speaker: Nohal Al Shahal, A&R Creative Group

Speaker: Katherine Harrison, Harrison Farm

Speaker: Barry Adler, RainFresh Harvests

Leave the Car, Take the Trails

Active transportation provides numerous health and wellness benefits to communities and is becoming a more popular way for Americans to move around. Trails and greenways help promote active transportation by providing a safe space for non-motorized transport, such as walking and biking. Speakers in this session will discuss the efforts Central Ohio is taking to develop trail networks in order to promote active transportation among residents and visitors. Learn about the development of key trails in the region and hear stories about a cyclist’s time on the trails.

Moderator: Marie Keister, Engage Public Affairs, LLC and Murphy Epson, Inc.

Speaker: Julie Walcoff, ODOT

Speaker: Tony Collins, City of Columbus 

Speaker: Tim Moloney, Franklin County Metro Parks

Speaker: Andrew Overbeck, MKSK

Speaker: Adam Wagenbach, Trail User