WEDNESDAY LUNCH: Georgia Environmental and Energy Policies Update
Hear the latest in Georgia’s environmental and energy policies from Georgia House Representative and Chair of the Natural Resources & Environment Committee Lynn Smith and Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols. These two leaders demonstrate great knowledge and passion for Georgia’s environment and will share the best Georgia has to offer for environmental protection and wise use of our State’s natural resources. These two devoted public servants work in their respective areas of government, the Georgia Legislature and the Public Service Commission, to ensure Georgia’s environmental and energy policies and plans are sound, secure, and innovative.
Tim Echols was elected to the Public Service Commission in 2010, after spending 15 years in the nonprofit sector. His primary job is energy regulation. When Tim took office, Georgia was 34th in solar power. Now, eight years later, the state is in the top 10 in the nation in approved solar. Tim’s commitment to promoting clean energy has resulted in not only in millions of solar panels being installed in Georgia, but has resulted in more electric vehicles as well. Tim created the Clean Energy Roadshow that has traveled the state every summer for the last eight years, helping commuters, businesses and municipal governments evaluate alternative fuel for their transportation and residential use. He leads by example by personally using sustainable energy solutions such as driving alternative fuel vehicles, and using solar heating and energy conservation in his home. Tim and his wife, Windy, have been married 34 years, they have seven children, and reside in Jefferson, Georgia. Tim has a BA and two Master’s degrees from the University of Georgia.
State Representative Lynn Smith was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1996. She currently serves as chairman for the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee (NR&E). She champions sound environmental policies that protect the environment as well as the economy of Georgia, most recently including the Water Stewardship Act, the creation of the Regional Water Plans, and revisions to the Brownfield Act. She also serves on the Appropriations, Rules, and Reapportionment Committees. Along with the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government (CVIG), she developed the NR&E Committee Policy Academy to study annually the pressing issues before the committee. In addition to state committees, Lynn serves as chair of the Southern Legislative conference (SLC) Energy and Environment Committee and is a board member of the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB). She is also a member of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL). She has supported her community through many local organizations and has received numerous prestigious awards including Georgia Trend’s list of the 100 most influential Georgians. A graduate of the University of Georgia, a former educator, business owner, and community leader, she continues to dedicate her time and energies to her community. The Smiths attend Central Baptist Church and support many local philanthropic causes as well as community initiatives. Lynn and her husband Charles also enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.
THURSDAY BREAKFAST: The Best in Peanuts: 360 Degrees of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Manufacturing
Many know that agriculture is the largest single component of Georgia’s economy — by some measures $71B — but not as many know the sustainable activities occurring during the production of food and its by-products. This plenary will focus on the cycle of peanut production and use in Georgia, discussing both growth and post-production activities, as well as natural resource impacts and stewardship. From planting and farming, to harvesting and shelling, this panel will cover the full life spectrum of the humble, yet economically powerful, peanut, and its impact on the state.
Donald Chase is a farmer in Macon County, Ga. Together with his wife, Michelle, and parents, Glen Lee and Ellen Chase, they grow peanuts, corn, and sweet corn on 1,500 acres of irrigated land. Chase Farms also produces poultry in 10 houses. Their farmland is adjacent to or near the Flint River near Oglethorpe, Ga. Donald serves on the board of the Georgia Peanut Commission and several other peanut organizations, and as chairman of the sustainability committee for the American Peanut Council. He is also the chairman of the Upper Flint water planning council and serves on the board of Flint Energies. Donald received his undergraduate degree from Southern Adventist University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University.
Alissa Marturano acts as the Global Sustainable Sourcing Manager for Mars Wrigley Confectionery. In this role, Alissa is responsible for helping the global peanut, dairy, and sugar categories better understand the environmental and social sustainability challenges within their supply chains. Together with category buyers, experts, and industry partners, Alissa helps to define opportunities to address these challenges and initiate interventions towards achieving Mars, Incorporated’s Sustainable in a Generation Plan. Alissa has been with Mars for seven years and has held several positions focused on sustainability. She received a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University, where she discovered her passion for corporate sustainability.
Karl Zimmer has served as President and CEO of Premium Peanut since July 2015. Located in Douglas, Georgia, Premium Peanut is a grower-owned peanut sheller, with a $50 million state-of-the-art shelling facility (the largest in the world) that has a capacity of over 300,000 tons annually. Owned by peanut growers in 30+ counties throughout Georgia, the company has grown to close to $200 million in annual revenue in just over two years of operation, and recently completed construction of a manufacturing facility to produce peanut oil. Prior to joining Premium Peanut, Karl spent close to 14 years with a Fortune 500 global manufacturer of copper and aluminum wire & cable products, where his last assignment was as Senior Vice President Sub-Saharan Africa, Global Supply Chain, and Europe & Africa Product Supply. Karl has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and is actively involved in a wide-range of activities with UC and the Boy Scouts of America. Karl is the Vice President of the American Peanut Shellers Association, and resides in Douglas, Georgia with his wife Joan.
THURSDAY LUNCH: Tackling Marine Debris
Tackling marine debris requires local organizations along the shoreline and upstream collaborating with scientists, and resource managers to create and adopt new policies for ocean protection. This panel features local leaders and scientists from Georgia’s own Golden Isles, and other scientists and policy experts who are developing workable solutions that address marine debris from its origins to its impacts. Hear about ongoing local initiatives from Keep Golden Isles Beautiful and the University of Georgia Marine Extension, and ground-breaking science at the UGA New Materials Institute that address non-degradable wastes, as well as important policy options that are available to create trash-free oceans. This discussion will range from engaging local residents on importance of protecting coastal ecosystems to how national advocacy organizations such as Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® Program create options for organizations from small communities to large corporations to create practical solutions for ocean trash. A companion topical workshop follows in Session 6 for more in-depth discussion.
Sarah Dearman is the Sustainable Packaging Program Director for the Coca-Cola Company in North America where she is leading efforts to make the company’s vision for a world without waste a reality. She collaborates internally and externally to reduce the environmental footprint of Coca-Cola’s iconic packaging, from design to sustainable sourcing and recycling. Prior to joining Coca-Cola seven years ago, Sarah led sustainability programs for the State of Georgia. She has a Physical Science degree from the University of Maryland. Sarah serves in advisory roles with several nonprofit organizations including The Recycling Partnership, where she is currently the Board Chair, Closed Loop Fund, and Sustainable Packaging Coalition.
Eric DesRoberts is the manager of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® Program, based in Washington, D.C. In this role, he works to empower citizen action, advance new science, and engage industry leadership to achieve the conservation goals and impact of the Trash Free Seas program. This includes working closely with the Trash Free Seas® Alliance, a collaborative group of businesses, leading environmental organizations, and academics, to leverage the power of collaborative partnerships to develop systemic solutions to ocean trash issues. Prior to working at Ocean Conservancy, Eric was a project manager with GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition where he conducted research aimed at developing practical solutions, resources and opportunities to integrate sustainability into product and packaging systems. Eric holds an MS in Resource Economics and Policy from the University of Maine, where he studied the economic and environmental impacts from bioplastic production and integration into packaging.
Lea King-Badyna joined Keep Golden Isles Beautiful as executive director in December 2013, leading the 39 year-old organization’s charge in the areas of litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling, community greening, water resource awareness and youth education. She was named “2016 executive director of the year” in the Keep Georgia Beautiful 78 affiliate network. Lea’s public and community relations career spans 26 years in the Golden Isles with particular emphasis in the coastal environmental realm. Spending a decade with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources/Coastal Resources Division, she organized and coordinated CoastFest, Georgia’s largest outdoor celebration of coastal, historical, natural and cultural resources, growing the event to 90 exhibitors and over 7,000 annual attendees. Prior to joining Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, Lea worked as part of the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service and Georgia Sea Grant’s communications team, serving outposts in Brunswick, Athens, Atlanta and Savannah. After attending Mercer University, she graduated cum laude from Valdosta State College with a BFA in speech communications with an emphasis in public relations. Active within the community, Lea is a founding member and past chairperson of the Glynn County 4-H Advisory Council, co-founder of the Georgia Coastal Education Group, active member of GreenScene of Coastal Georgia, FaithWorks volunteer, and a LifeLink of Georgia and Brunswick Transplant Group organ donation awareness community educator.
Jason Locklin obtained his BS from Millsaps College in 1999. He graduated with his MS from the University of Alabama Birmingham in Chemistry in 2002, and PhD from the University of Houston in 2004 under the guidance of Rigoberto Advincula. Jason continued on as a Director of Central Intelligence Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University in 2005 with Zhenan Bao in the Department of Chemical Engineering. In 2007, he joined the University of Georgia in the Department of Chemistry and helped to establish the College of Engineering in 2012. Jason founded the New Materials Institute in 2016, whose overarching research focus is to develop innovative materials and adaptive systems based on green engineering principles that will mitigate the accumulation of non-biodegradable plastics in the environment. Jason has been awarded the Central Intelligence Agency Young Investigator Award (2007), NSF CAREER Award (2010), the Northeast Georgia ACS Chemist of the Year for Research (2009-2010), and the Atlanta Magazine Groundbreaker Award (2011). He has published over 100 papers and holds more than 30 patents and patent applications during his tenure at the University of Georgia.
Katy Smith graduated from the University of Georgia in 1997 with a BS in Ecology and a minor in French. After working as a laboratory technician in UGA’s Department of Marine Sciences, Katy joined the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant as the Brunswick Station’s Water Quality Program Coordinator in 1999. During 18 years with the Marine Extension, she has been involved in a variety of research, education and outreach initiatives aimed toward understanding and protecting coastal water quality. In 2013, Katy received an Office of Sustainability ‘Outstanding Staff Award’ for her efforts engaging the public in sustainable solutions. Katy was promoted to Public Service Representative in 2014, and then to Public Service Assistant in 2017. As faculty, she serves on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Advisory Council and the National Sea Grant Water Resources Visioning Team. Through community partnerships, campaigns and educational programs, Katy strives to engage coastal residents in water quality issues, like marine debris, and promote consumer solutions with the goal of maintaining Georgia’s healthy coastal ecosystems.
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