8:00 AM – 9:30 AM Opening Breakfast Plenary  “Greening the (Grocery) Food Chain – Industry Trends”

(Pending GBCI)

Erin Rolfes, Corporate Affairs Manager, Kroger Co.,

Erin is the corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Cincinnati-Dayton division. She is responsible for driving Kroger’s purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit; by engaging with the community and non-profit partners in Cincinnati and Dayton and generating uplift through storytelling and internal communications.

9:45 AM – 10:45 AM Education Tracks

Track –   “A Sustainable Food System” (Earn 1.5 GBCI CES, PDHs)

Kristin Gangwer,  Product Development & Communications Manager, Produce Perks Midwest

Prior to her current role, Kristin served as the Interim Executive Director at Green Umbrella, a regional sustainability alliance, and as Chief Executive Officer at Our Harvest Cooperative, a Cincinnati-based farm and food hub. Kristin is also part of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council’s Leadership Team and is the Board Chair for Cultivate! Ohio Valley. She is the author of the 2013 study, “The State of Local Food in Central Ohio River Valley,” commissioned by the Green Umbrella Local Food Action Team, as well as a 2018 update to that report. Before moving to Cincinnati, Kristin worked on local food and agriculture issues in New Mexico and Colorado.

Michaela W. T. Oldfield, JD, PhD, Director, Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council

Michaela coordinates a cross-sector coalition of stakeholders advocating for policies and systems changes to ensure that all residents of the Greater Cincinnati Region have access to food that is healthy, fair, affordable and green.

Jessica Shelly, MBA, REHS, SNS, Director, Student Dining Services, Cincinnati Public Schools

Jessica is responsible for overseeing the service of over 60,000 meals each day at 65 schools. She has received many accolades for her dedication and work in school meal programs including:  Ohio Department of Education Stellar Nutrition Award, Ohio School Board Outstanding Food and Nutrition Director of the Year, Children’s Hunger Alliance School Breakfast Program of the Year Award, and Cincinnatus Outstanding Administrator of the Year Award.

Jessica has been recognized as a trailblazer in area of child nutrition with unique implementation at Cincinnati Public Schools such as salad bars and cultural spice stations in every school, reimbursable meal vending machines, Life Time Foundation’s Clean Label Initiative, and the Good Food Purchasing Program.

Haley Carretta – Project Manager – Food System, Public Health (Moderator)

Track –   “An Argument for a More Responsible Consumption in a 1.5 C World”                 (Approved for 1 AIA LU/HSW, GBCI LEED Specific (BD+C, O+M), PDH)

Jay Warmke, Co-owner, Blue Rock Station, LLC

Jay is co-owner (along with his wife Annie) of Blue Rock Station (www.bluerockstation.com), a sustainable living center that features the first Earthship (a 2,200 sq ft passive solar home constructed out of garbage) built east of the Mississippi, many straw bale buildings, a plastic bottle greenhouse, a solar shower, gardens, milk goats, lots of summer interns, and way too many cats.  In the years since establishing Blue Rock Station, more than 30,000 people have wandered through their living room – drawn by the vision of a truly sustainable lifestyle.

Track –   “Grid Modernization and Building Resiliency”                                                               (Approved for 1 AIA LU/HSW, GBCI LEED Specific (BD+C, O+M), PDH)

Kevin Hall, PE, Director of Transmission and Distribution Investments, AES (Dayton Power & Light)

Kevin has been with AES and its Ohio utility, DP&L, for nearly 28 years and is presently responsible for the development and execution of the long-term transmission and distribution capital investment plans.  Kevin has provided leadership and project management for key initiatives over the years including development of DP&L’s Distribution Modernization Plan that was filed with the PUCO in December 2018.  He has held positions of increasing responsibility within AES including engineering, operations and construction roles.

Nathan Lammers, Energy Services Leader, Waibel Energy Systems

Over the past 10 years, Nathan has used his background in energy efficiency, building automation and analytic technology to help Waibel clients get the most out of their buildings. In that time Waibel clients have attained millions of dollars in energy savings and utility rebates while improving the operation of their buildings. Nathan has a real enthusiasm for energy management, and enjoys helping clients with their bottom line through controlling one of their biggest expenses, energy.

Ryan Hoffman – Principal, Operation Practice Leader – Heapy (Moderator)

11:45 AM – 1:45 PM SES Awards Keynote Lunch Resiliency in the Corporate Environment” (Earn 1.5 AIA LUs, GBCI CEs, PDHs)

Robert Gavin, CPCU, AIC, ARM, Risk Manager, Oswald Companies

Bob is a Risk Manager in the Architects + Engineers Industry Segment at Oswald Companies. He has over 35 years insurance and risk management experience specializing since 1990 in the area of Architects, Engineers and related design disciplines.

Scott Hassell, Director of Environmental Sustainability, Fifth Third Bank

He leads efforts to integrate environmental sustainability into the company’s culture, strategy, risk management, and beyond. He also led the Bank’s effort to purchase 100% solar power using a virtual power purchase agreement.  The resulting solar project is currently under construction and expected to come online shortly.

Scott is a member of the Cincinnati Green Umbrella Board of Trustees and a past chair of the Greater Cincinnati Green Business Council.  Previously Scott worked at the RAND Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

Fred Yoder, Chair, North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA)

Fred Yoder is a fourth-generation farmer who has lived and farmed near Plain City, Ohio, for more than 40 years.  Fred has traveled many times to the European Union to speak about co-existence of both organic and other production systems, which can thrive side by side as neighbors.

He is spending a great deal of time these days addressing the issues of pending climate policy, conservation, and sustainability concerns. He serves as Chair of the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance (NACSAA), he is a Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Solutions from the Land (SfL), a non-profit organization working with the Global Alliance of Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA), enabling developed and developing countries to sustainably ramp up global food production and distribution.  He is also active in working with the UN Climate initiative showcasing how agriculture can adapt to changing weather patterns and reducing our carbon footprint.

McCall Vrydaghs, Chief Meteorologist, WHIO TV7 (moderator)

McCall was named the Chief Meteorologist WHIO’s Storm Center 7 team in 2018. Vrydaghs joined the team in 2012 and earned the coveted Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society due to her proven track record in tracking severe storms and winter weather in the Miami Valley.


2:45 PM – 3:45 PM Education Tracks

Track – “Is Regenerative Farming the Future of Food?” (Earn for 1 AIA LU, GBCI CE, PDH)

Chad Bitler, Research Director, Greenacres in Cincinnati

Chad leads Greenacres research with a goal to explore connections between generative agricultural practices and the outcomes on soil health, food quality, and the environment – which are all inextricably linked. Greenacres is a non-profit organization with a focus on education, research and conservation. The data collected from Greenacres research is aimed at inspiring land managers to instill regenerative practices that can provide positive impacts on their land.

Susan Jennings, Executive Director, Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions

Since 2014, Susan has partnered with the AMICS board to implement a new strategic plan oriented toward the support of resilient communities. She also led AMICS in the 2017 purchase of Agraria, a 128-acre farm on the outskirts of Yellow Springs which is being developed into a Center for Regenerative Practice. Susan serves on The Village of Yellow Springs’ Economic Sustainability Commission, the Board of the Greater Dayton Conservation Fund, and on the national Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching on behalf of Central State University. She also facilitates a Community Climate Resilience class for the University of Dayton’s lifelong learning institute.

Haley Carretta – Project Manager – Food System, Public Health (Moderator)

Track – “Resilience in Building Design to Support A Resilient Society”                                          (Earn 1 AIA LU/HSW, GBCI LEED Specific (BD+C, O+M), PDH)

Major recent events (natural and human caused) have increased awareness of the need for our built environment to be designed and constructed for better resilience. For example the hurricane induced shutdown of the electrical grid in Puerto Rico in 2017 or the devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy in the northeastern U.S in 2012. Buildings must also be able to adapt to human-caused issues such as terrorist attacks, etc. These events point out the vulnerability of buildings and the built environment. This talk will cover the potential areas for focus in upgrading our systems for resilience (both passive and active systems) as well as some of the recent trends and technology changes needed for increasing our ability to maintain resilience in the built environment. This topic also discusses the interrelationship between resiliency, sustainability, efficiency and “smart” aspects of the built environment.

Thomas Lawrence, PhD, PE, Professor, University of Georgia

Evan Nutt, Account Executive  – ElitAire, Inc. (Moderator)

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Closing Plenary “The Nexus of Resiliency and Climate Change”                 (Earn 1 AIA LU/HSW, GBCI LEED Specific BD+C, O+M), PDH)

Our Community is dependent on the buildings, infrastructure and safety services that reside in them and use to provide necessary shelter, access, health and wellness in times of disaster.

Whether one believes Climate Change is man-made or simply nature having its way, it is real.  Communities must be prepared to address it safely, reliably and resiliently.  They also need to quickly and thoroughly have plans in place to address and resolve issues related to domestic terrorism and “normal” system failures.

Resiliency is about how a community can quickly and thoroughly respond to and recover from such events and impacts.  Communities need to plan for disaster recovery.  Communities also need to write a Climate Action Plan to address how to relieve the stress we placed on our environment as well as to prepare for future climate evolution.

Our Dayton Regional Community has seen the effects of all these in just this year, (water) system failures, multiple tornadoes, domestic terrorism.

  • This Closing Plenary Session will be the start of the Community conversation and planning for Climate Action and Resiliency.
  • It will advance our environmental commitment and bring together key stakeholders from the public and private sector to prioritize steps to reduce risk and enhance our climate resilience.
  • You are invited to learn about the outline of what these planning efforts involve as well as discover the delineation between Resiliency, Mitigation, and Climate Action.

Felix Fernando, Associate Professor, University of Dayton Hanley Sustainability Institute

Jeff Jordan, Director Office of Emergency Management, Montgomery County

Stacy Schweikhart, Director of Strategy & Engagement, MVRPC

Julie Sullivan, Executive Vice President Regional Development, Dayton Development Coalition



Register @ www.DGE2019a.eventbrite.com

Please Direct all Correspondence and Questions to Lori Dahm at 937-224-0861 or lddahm@heapy.com