Michael Werner is Lead for Circular Economy at Google. His mission is to eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and drive higher environmental performance and sustainability of product design. Michael holds a BS in Chemistry from Villanova University. He previously led safer chemistry and biocompatibility initiatives at Apple and was Sr. Sustainability Engineer with Haworth Inc. Michael has worked in the green building and product design space for 14 years including with renowned green architect Bill McDonough. He currently sits on the advisory board of the Green Science Policy Institute and has previously served as a sustainability advisor to the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Building Sciences.
Alysia Garmulewicz is an Associate Professor of High Tech Entrepreneurship at the Facultad de Administración y Economía, Universidad de Santiago de Chile. She is also an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS) and the CABDyN Complexity Centre, Saïd Business School, at the University of Oxford. Alysia researches digital fabrication and the circular economy, with a particular focus on open data and local material markets for 3D printing.
Nathan Shedroff is an Associate Professor at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA, where he founded the ground-breaking MBA in Design Strategy. This program prepares the next generation of innovation leaders for a world that is profitable, sustainable, ethical, and truly meaningful by uniting the perspectives of systems thinking, design thinking, sustainability, and generative leadership into a holistic strategic framework. He is a pioneer in Experience Design, Interaction Design and Information Design, is serial entrepreneur, and researches, speaks and teaches internationally about meaning, strategic innovation, and science fiction interfaces. His many books include: Experience Design 1.1, Making Meaning, Design is the Problem, Design Strategy in Action, and the new Make It So.
He holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a BS in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design. He worked with Richard Saul Wurman at TheUnderstandingBusiness and, later, co-founded vivid studios, a decade-old pioneering company in interactive media and one of the first Web services firms on the planet. vivid’s hallmark was helping to establish and validate the field of information architecture, by training an entire generation of designers in the newly emerging Web industry.
Nathan is on the board of directors for Teague and the AIGA.
Colin Webster works with the UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation as an Education Programme Manager. In this role, he introduces high school teachers and students to the circular economy, produces educational resources and works with universities through the Foundation's Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship programme. Prior to working with the Foundation, Colin worked in secondary schools and in graphic design. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Christopher Carter is an educator, a seasoned animator/story board artist, and a nationally-known and highly regarded sculptor of reclaimed and re-purposed found materials.
He holds an MFA (Fine Arts/Sculpture) from UC Berkeley and a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). In addition to being a working artist, Christopher was a Visiting Professor and Lecturer at UC Berkeley, and an Instructor at San Francisco's Art Institute of California. His art work has been shown in numerous solo museum, gallery, and Artfair exhibitions, and is held in private collections and museums. Most recently one major work was acquired by the new African American Museum of History Art and Culture-Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
Christopher has an extensive background in animation. He was CEO/Creative Director of Maverix Studios (San Francisco, CA and Tokyo, Japan) from 2007 to 2012, and twice won a "Clio" (the advertising industry's highest award) for his animation work and art direction while at Colossal Pictures and Wild Brain, Inc. Maverix Studios' clients included HBO, National Geographic, Warner, Proctor and Gamble, Coke (Sprite) and Lucas Arts and Entertainment.
Christopher is also a Trustee/Board Member of The Wege Foundation and resides in Miami, FL, where he is constructing a multi-use mixed media art studio and exhibition venue implementing used shipping containers for the primary art production space.
Wendy joined the Grand Valley Metro Council in 2013 as the Director of Environmental Programs. GVMC is an alliance of governmental units in West Michigan committed to collaboration and coordination of governmental services. Wendy came to GVMC to create its Environmental Programs Department, bringing her expertise of over 25 years in watershed and stormwater management and also her passion for convening and developing partnerships to build capacity in addressing environmental issues. Originally from Maryland, Wendy came to Michigan to earn a B.S. in Forestry from The University of Michigan. After a year out west, Wendy returned to Michigan, and joined the Allegan Conservation District as a Watershed Coordinator. While earning an M.S. in Resource Development from Michigan State University, she worked for Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc., for 13 years focusing on water resource management projects.
At GVMC, her programs include the facilitation of 23 NPDES Municipal Stormwater Permits in Kent and Ottawa Counties, implementing the strategic plan for the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW), and assisting the project team in bringing back the rapids and restoring connectivity and habitat in the Grand River, working with Grand Rapids Whitewater and its many partners. Wendy also serves on the board of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, connecting businesses with their watersheds and minimizing their impact on the natural resources.
Mary Ellen Mika
Mary Ellen Mika is Director of Sustainability for Steelcase Inc, the global leader in the office furniture industry. She leads a team responsible for the company’s overall sustainability programs including its energy, renewable energy, and climate change response strategies; managing compliance with environmental regulatory requirements for products, facilities, and operations including implementation of the company’s ISO 14001 environmental management system and addressing environmental due diligence for potential acquisitions; pursuing product certifications for sustainability and indoor air quality; tracking and reporting waste, water, energy, recycling and composting efforts and setting goals for continuous improvement.
Mary Ellen is a LEED-accredited professional and recently served on the Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group for U.S. Green Building Council. She has a B.S. in Biochemistry, an M.A. in Counseling Psychology, and over thirty years of experience in environmental consulting and industry.
For more than 35 years, Tom Newhouse has been designing furniture, lighting, appliances, and other products as the owner/principal of an industrial design consulting firm located in western Michigan. Prior to 1978, he was a member of the corporate design staff of Herman Miller, Inc. He holds a degree in industrial design from the University of Michigan. Tom works primarily in the areas of home and office furniture, lighting, kitchen cabinetry, and major appliance design, with an emphasis on environmentally sustainable design practice. He currently holds over 90 design and utility patents. Tom lectures to professional design societies and universities internationally on the topic of environmentally sustainable design and his “Four Corners” design philosophy.
Tom was inducted into the WMSBF Business Hall of Fame in November 2015. This lifetime achievement award honors individual practitioners that have made the greatest contribution to sustainable business in West Michigan during their careers.
David A. Rinard retired in 2016 as director of Global Environmental Performance for Steelcase Inc., the global leader in the office furniture industry. He currently serves in a project manager role in a phased retirement plan. During his 38-year career at Steelcase Dave, served in a variety of roles leading the department that was responsible for overseeing the company’s environmental initiatives and performance and implementing corporate environmental strategy, including regulatory compliance, environmental management systems, sustainability programs, environmental outreach and responsible conduct programs.
Dave is also on the board of directors for the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum; is a member of the external advisory board of the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Systems; sits on the U.S. Green Building Council; is a past chair of the West Michigan USGBC Chapter; and is a board member of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. He also participated in the BIFMA (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) Government Affairs Committee, Vice Chair of the BIFMA Sustainability Committee and participates in several technical working groups.
Bill Stough has proven business skills in the design and implementation of sustainable development business strategies, creation of regional sustainable business networks, and creating baseline performance profiles for an organization’s ecological footprint and environmental and regulatory compliance. He has over 35 years of experience solving environmental problems, implementing sustainable business programs and directing operational and marketing plans.
He was the project manager working for the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association and NSF International to develop the ANSI/BIFMA Office Furniture Sustainability Standard. Mr. Stough is a widely recognized leader in developing environmental management systems and implementing sustainable business networks throughout the United States and is a 2014 inaugural inductee into the West Michigan Sustainable Business Hall of Fame.