Harnessing Consumers & Communities to Help Meet U.S. Food Waste Reduction Goals

Columbus, Ohio
Friday, August 26, 2016

David Andre
David Andre is an Ohio native whose family farm, Andre Farms, has always focused on environmental stewardship. Formally trained in design, marketing, and computer science, he's spent over 15 years in the experience research and digital design space with Fortune 500 companies and consultancies. In 2015 he organized Econopia in order to pursue lasting economic, environmental, and social stewardship through mainstreaming bio-recycling and specifically diverting food waste from landfilling. 

Angel Arroyo-Rodríguez
Angel Arroyo-Rodríguez is an environmental planner and public health practitioner specializing in solid waste planning, policies for sustainable management of materials, and development of markets for recyclables with emphasis in organic waste materials. He currently works in the Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention of Ohio EPA as sustainable materials management coordinator and environmental planner. He is also a PhD candidate in City and Regional Planning (The Ohio State University) specializing in planning for sustainable management of food waste throughout the food system and food waste diversion behaviors. Angel is a Registered Sanitarian and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Peter Cech
Peter Cech has been a public relations practitioner for almost 25 years, most recently with Metro Vancouver (formerly GVRD). For the past eight years he led the creation and implementation of numerous waste reduction initiatives including the creation of an online multi-family recycling toolkit and a household food waste reduction campaign, Love Food - Hate Waste Canada. He also led a team that developed an online resource to help people donate or recycle just about anything in the Metro Vancouver region. Forming unique collaborations with students and academia at UBC’s Brain and Attention Research (BAR) Lab, Peter confirmed a best practice for conveying recycling information - the use of icons - a practice that has now been widely adopted by municipalities throughout the Metro Vancouver region. His collaboration with Emily Carr University of Art + Design to improve streetscape recycling resulted in a bin design that has been tested by Multi-Material BC and a number of municipalities. Peter has presented his projects and insights during webinars and conferences put on by waste reduction agencies including SWANA and the US EPA as well as post-secondary institutions. Using the Community Based Social Marketing model Peter now works as a consultant to help stakeholders identify barriers to desired behaviours and then develops practical, evidence-based solutions to overcome them.

Christy Cook
Christy Cook is Director of Sustainability Performance and Field Support for Sodexo North America’s Office of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility.

In this role, Christy is responsible for implementing, training and measuring the progress of sustainability and corporate responsibility practices throughout Sodexo’s 8,500 partnerships in North America. This includes leading all sustainability training initiatives, creating the tools and resources needed to implement sustainability practices and the measurement of Sodexo’s sustainability performance.  

Christy’s expertise is food waste and she leads Sodexo’s global strategy on waste reduction efforts impacting 80 countries. Christy is a member of the National Restaurant Association Sustainability Advisory Council, the Food Waste Reduction Alliance and is a certified Zero Waste Business Associate by the US Zero Waste Business Council.

Ben Fledderjohann
Ben Fledderjohann has worked on his father-in-law’s hog farm, located in Northwest Ohio, since 2006. In 2007 they began feeding waste from a local potato processor.  They continue to refine the process of feeding food scraps to their hogs until they have a model that will be profitable to their farm and provide a needed service to the food production industry.  Since 2007 they have expanded the number of hogs that they feed food scraps to 30,000 from 2,400.

Tony Gillund
Tony Gillund serves as the Sustainability Manager for the office of Energy Services and Sustainability (ESS) at The Ohio State University. As the Sustainability Manager, Tony is responsible for leadership, strategic planning, development, coordination and implementation of sustainability programs, standards and policies at an institutional level.  

Prior to his current position, Tony served as a Sustainability Coordinator within ESS, where he was responsible for development, coordination and implementation of numerous sustainability programs including the Zero Waste Initiative and other forms of sustainable materials management.

Tony has nearly a decade worth of experience in multiple fields under the umbrella of sustainability; he has an undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture and a M.S. in Ecological Sciences and Engineering from Purdue University.

Elise H. Golan
Elise H. Golan is the Director for Sustainable Development at the U. S. Department of Agriculture.  In this role, she provides leadership in planning, coordinating, and analyzing the Department's policies and programs related to sustainable agricultural development.  Prior to this position, Elise served as the Associate Director of the Food Economics Division at the Economic Research Service, USDA. Before joining USDA, she did consulting work for, among others, the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, and the California Department of Finance. Elise served as a senior staff economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1998-99. She received her Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of California at Berkeley.  

Ray Leard
Ray Leard, a successful food industry entrepreneur for over 40 years, was living in Athens, Ohio when in 2012 he started up “The Compost Exchange” and serving as their Chief Composter. The core of the Compost Exchange was a Class II Ohio EPA licensed composting facility in Athens. With that facility he was very successful in diverting from 50 commercial and 200 residential accounts over 5,000 pounds per week of organic food waste away from the local overcrowded landfill. He did this by operating a booth to collect food scraps for two years at the very popular local Athens Farmers Market. In 2015 Ray sold his physical licensed facility to the Athens/Hocking Recycling Centers, Inc. He now uses that facility to take some of the material collected at farm markets. He also takes material to community gardens and local small scale composters. Ray has recently moved back to his hometown of Columbus and is starting a similar operation in the Columbus region having been accepted at several central Ohio Farmers Markets. Ray’s vision is to offer the residents of the Columbus region with a service of food waste diversion by establishing food waste “drop off centers” at a wide variety of convenient locations including area farmer markets and other high traffic public locations. To close the recycling loop by establishing relationships with the regions’ urban farmers and community gardens by providing them with the organic materials collected at these various drop off “centers”.

Michael Long
Mike Long is the President of Resource 100 LTD, a consulting firm with a focus on waste reduction, recycling and the conversion of waste to products, fuels and energy. He is currently focusing on projects related to food scrap recovery and conversion. He is a frequent speaker on issues relating to food scrap recovery and served as the co-project manager for the development and operation of the Ohio Grocers Foundation Food Scrap Recovery Network. He also serves as a consultant for the Ohio By-Product Synergy network that helps businesses turn their waste into resources. He is a member of the Ohio State University team that developed this workshop and webinar.

Susann Moeller 
Former Watershed Coordinator and Humanities Professor Dr. Susann Moeller, OSU Alumna and collector of extension certifications including Ohio Naturalist, Master Gardener, Master Urban Farmer etc., moonlights at DNO Produce as School Liaison & Sustainability Consultant with a vested interest in community activism that addresses social and environmental justice issues.  Today, she addresses food waste not from the perspective of consumption (reduction) but the vantage point of a waste generator (diversion).  

Susan Mooney
Susan Mooney is Chief of the Municipal and Industrial Materials Section at the U.S. EPA Region 5 (Region 5 encompasses the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin).  Her section is responsible for implementing portions of EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management program, tribal solid waste and pollution prevention program, and RCRA Subtitle D (or non-hazardous waste) program.

Under the Sustainable Materials Management program, Susan is responsible for working on measurement, sustainable food management, and the management of materials associated with the built environment. 

Susan has been with the EPA for nearly 30 years and has worked on a wide variety of solid waste management issues and projects.  She holds a BA (Chemistry) from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and a Master’s of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Laura Moreno
Laura Moreno is a PhD student in UC Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group studying household-level food waste prevention. Additionally, Laura is the project manager and lead researcher for a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) project to measure how much and what types of food are wasted as well as explore food waste related behaviors in three cities: Nashville, New York City, and Denver. Prior to graduate school, Laura worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Pacific Southwest Region for over 4 years as the Regional Organics lead with a focus on wasted food. 

Brian Roe
Brian Roe is the McCormick Professor of Agricultural Marketing and Policy in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics at Ohio State University. Roe attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics and was named as part of the 1990 Truman Scholar class. Roe went on to receive a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland.  Prior to his employment at Ohio State, Roe worked on policy issues surrounding food safety and health information disclosure as a Staff Fellow at the US Food and Drug Administration in Washington, DC. Roe has served as an editor of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the flagship journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, and as faculty program leader of the undergraduate program in his home department.  His current research includes work studying the economics of food waste and local foods.

Viki Sonntag
Viki Sonntag, PhD is a practitioner, activist, and researcher in alternative economics and founding director of EcoPraxis. Her current projects include participatory action research on the operationalization of community-based economies and the power of networks in community building.  From 1997 to 2003, Viki did research in the Netherlands, working with the leading practitioners and theoreticians of transition management, a policy approach to structural/system change adopted by the Dutch Ministry of Environment to guide their sustainability initiatives, (arguably the most progressive policies in the advanced industrialized world). Her PhD thesis examined the relation of over-consumption in the highly industrialized countries to changes in production technologies. Viki is also a Buddhist whose spiritual practice informs her work in sustainable community development.  She is seeking insights on over-consumption and social inequality as root causes of ecological/economic collapse.

Brandi Whetstone
Brandi has been with the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) for over six years and serves as Senior Program Manager in MORPC’s Department of Energy & Air Quality. Her Department connects local governments, businesses and residents to financial and program resources on air quality, sustainable energy, housing repair, and home weatherization services. She also facilitates MORPC’s Materials Management Working Group, made up of public and private stakeholders from the Central Ohio region who convene to share best practices and provide expertise in the area of waste management and recycling.  Prior to MORPC, Brandi worked for the Sierra Club Ohio Chapter to coordinate water quality and natural resource protection programs. She resides in the Village of Minerva Park, OH where she enjoys taking walks around Minerva Lake with her Great Dane.  She holds a BA from Bowling Green State University in Environmental Policy & Analysis. 

Ashley Zanolli
Ashley Zanolli is considered a national expert on consumer food waste prevention.  Ashley is currently leading the development of a statewide strategy and unprecedented measurement study in Oregon to prevent the wasting of food and to engage stakeholders.  Prior to her current assignment at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Ashley co-led the West Coast Climate and Materials Management Forum, which is convened by EPA Regions 9 and 10, for the past 5 years.  Through the Forum, she led the development, implementation and evaluation of the Food: Too Good to Waste toolkit, which has helped families and individuals reduce preventable wasted food by more than 50%. 

Ashley also has professional experience working on issues related to biofuels, air toxics, climate change, environmental justice, supply chains, and sustainable consumption.  She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and serves on various national advisory councils including the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) and ReFED.  Ashley also co-leads the Behavioral Insights Group of Portland (BIGpdx) and serves on the board of directors for the Pacific Northwest Social Marketing Association.  Currently, Ashley is on a 2-year long assignment from the US EPA to the Oregon DEQ.  

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