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Movers & Shakers

What does a sustainability career look like?

Who's moving where? Who's doing what? Each month, "Movers and Shakers" chronicles the comings and goings, the promotions and achievements, of sustainable business professionals.

Got a tip about someone (maybe you!) who's worthy of a shout-out? Send a note to: [email protected].

Jobs are the No. 1 thing on many people's minds these days. The GreenBiz Job Board always attracts a lot of traffic, and every week we engage in conversations with students and executives about how they can snag a job in sustainability or jump to a new role in the field.

In fact, we toyed with giving this debut colum the headline, “Click Here for a Great Sustainability Job,” but we were afraid we might bring down the Internet.

For this column, we want to tell you about, first, the movers, the people who have just taken on new jobs with a focus on sustainability. There are any number of reasons for this. Perhaps most importantly, these are early days for a sustainability or a green “career” and there’s no clear path to follow. We look forward to highlighting some of the great jobs people are taking -- and hopefully you can start to see the myriad opportunities that are emerging. In fact, we almost called this column “Stepping Stones” to acknowledge how individuals are advancing in their careers.

But we also want to talk about the shakers, those going beyond their day jobs to work with non-profit boards and serving their governments while still holding down a day job. Or those who are stepping sideways to shake things up in a new way, by launching a new venture or promoting a cutting-edge sustainability initiative.

Ellen Weinreb recently wrote about one mover – Christy Consler – who has recently moved from Safeway to Jamba Juice. But she’s not the only mover or shaker. A number of senior executives formed the company GlobalEdge Solutions, described in a recent press release as “a firm providing strategic sustainability services that drive performance.” The company’s pedigree is impressive, as it includes Dave Newman, former climate and energy manager with Nike, Dave Guernsey, a former sustainability program manager at UPS, and a number of other experienced sustainability consultants.

Here are some other recent movers and shakers:

Nina Goodrich has become the director of sustainable packaging coalition at GreenBlue, a nonprofit that works with companies to increase sustainable business practices. Goodrich brings a long history in the world of sustainabie business and packaging. She's been program director at the Packaging Association's initiative PAC NEXT; principal of a consultancy she founded called Sustainnovation Solutions; and director of sustainnovation in the Growth and Innovation Organization of Alcan Packaging.


Shannon Paul Biggs has joined LED lighting company Lunera Lighting as senior vice president of operations. Previously, Biggs was vice president of operations at Kulicke and Soffa, a semiconductor equipment and materials business.



LED technology company Lunera Lighting has snagged George Sigler as chief financial officer from Permlight Products, another LED business.




Michael Bremser is another former Permlight Products employee to join Lunera Lighting, where he's taking over as chief technology officer and vice president of engineering. Bremser was the CTO at Permlight and vice president and global program manager of LED products at Fulham, a global manufacturer of almost everything lighting-related.


Lisa Morden has been promoted to senior director of sustainability at Kimberly-Clark Professional. Previously, Morden was tissue category manager.



Chris Gilbert is the managing principal of GlobalEdge Solutions, a newly formed sustainability consultancy firm. With more than three decades of experience, Gilbert previously served as the executive vice president and provost at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, a Seattle educational institute that offers an MBA in sustainable business. He also currently works with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on a sub-Saharan Africa food security initiative.


Jon Blumenauer has joined GlobalEdge Solutions as a principal. Blumenauer is also the owner of Hutani Sustainability Strategies, a Portland-based sustainability consultancy.



Patsy Feeman has joined GlobalEdge Solutions as a principal. Feeman has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable business. She worked at LionHeart Consulting for ten years as a principal, helping organizations get sustainable business results.



Dave Newman has joined GlobalEdge Solutions as a principal. Previously, Newman was global climate and energy manager at Nike. Newman's work at Nike resulted in the company recieving the highest rating on the Climate Counts 2008 ranking of corporate efforts to mitigate climate change.



Dave Guernsey has moved to GlobalEdge Solutions as a principal from UPS. Back in 1992, Guernsey became the international environmental manager at UPS. In 2003, Guernsey created the industry's first Sustainability and Reporting program and ended up leading nine sustainability reports for UPS until his retirement from the global delivery company in 2012.


Jim Long has jumped from managing director at EcoFin to Greentech Capital Advisors as a partner in the Zürich office.



Derek Bentley has shifted from his post as director in the Energy & Power group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch to become a principal in Greentech Capital Advisors' New York office. 



Oscar Wong has been promoted to Asia Lighting President & CEO at GE Lighting. He was formerly general manager of GE Lighting China.




Board of Directors Announcements

David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables, has been elected as board member and treasurer at the Distributed Wind Energy Association.



Heather Rhoads-Weaver, principal consultant and founder of eFormative Options LLC, has been elected as board member and secretary at the Distributed Wind Energy Association.



Dan Juhl, chairman and CEO of Juhl Wind Inc., has been elected as board member and director at the Distributed Wind Energy Association.



Paul Heiden has been elected as non-executive chairman at Intelligent Energy. Previously, Heiden was chief executive officer at FKI plc.



Robert J. Sprowls, president and CEO of American States Water Company, has been elected president of the National Association of Water Companies board of directors and its executive committee.



The National Association of Water Companies has also selected a new bunch of 2012-2013 board of directors:

  • Daniel Corredor, president and CEO of South West Water
  • Joe Gysel, president of EPCOR Water USA
  • Robert J. Iacullo, executive vice president of United Water
  • Louise Knight, chief operating officer of Superior Water Company
  • James Lynch, chief financial officer and treasurer of San Jose Water Company
  • Robert Maclean, president of California American Water
  • Bernadette Sohler, vice president of corporate affairs of Middlesex Water Company

Image of businessman jumping provided by andrea michele piacquadio via Shutterstock.

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