Elizabeth Ü is Founder and Executive Director of Finance for Food and Financing Strategy Consultant with Cutting Edge Capital. She is currently authoring Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business, to be published by Chelsea Green in Spring of 2013. Previously, Elizabeth served on the management team at RSF Social Finance as Manager of Strategic Development. She has also worked at Slow Money (then a project of Investors' Circle) and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), always focusing on impact investing opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs.
Ullman is a cofounder and vice president of the Seattle Folklore Society, which spawned the Northwest Folklife Festival. The Seattle Folklore Society is a nonprofit organization that sponsors folk music concerts, dances, song circles and camps in the Seattle area.
Ungari has been teaching sustainable lifestyle choices for more than five years in the Chicago region. Ungari'a professional work has included education roles involving the Right Bite sustainable seafood awareness program and the Green Initiative, which she spearheaded while working at the John G. Shedd Aquarium. Ungari also directed education and outreach programs for Evanston's Healthy Green Goods. Ungari's work with The Green Mama involves helping a small green business practice what it preaches and teaching others about greener choices. Ungari is also a trained doula, focusing on the complete spectrum of maternity support: preconception, pregnancy, labor and postpartum stages. Often recognized as the Worm Girl, Ungari managed the Aquarium's vermiculture program and continues to conduct public workshops on this approach to compost production. Ungari worked with geothermal energy systems and green building contractors in the Chicagoland area as well as with the Friends of the Chicago River. Ungari is an honors graduate of North Park University, where she received a B.S. degree in Biology in 2003.
United Roots is Oakland's Green Youth Arts & Media Center. United Roots engages and empowers marginalized youth through youth leadership, arts and media training, career and workforce development, community engagement projects and by creating a safe and healing environment. United Roots offers free classes and paid training opportunities to youth ages 13-24 in music production, graphic design, video production and webdesign. The United Roots community center in Oakland is green, and youth leaders from the program repurposed the space with non-voc paints, recycled carpeting and bamboo flooring. The media center is powered by solar panels, and the building has a rainwater catchment system, an aquaponics system and a permaculture parking lot garden.
Author and speaker Wanda Urbanska hosts and coproduces with Frank Levering the Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska television series that airs nationally on PBS stations. She is the author or coauthor with Frank Levering of six books, including Simple Living, Nothing's Too Small to Make a Difference and Moving to a Small Town.
Sonia Anahue Uscamayta has been working with the Munay Rumi jewelry cooperative for four years. Sonia was born in the Cuzco region of Peru and spent her youth helping her family take care of their small plot of land where they grew potatoes and tended to llamas. In order to help her family, she moved to Lima in search of employment when she was old enough to work. She met the other members of Munay Rumi while employed at a jewelry factory in Lima, working nearly 80 hours a week (earning only $115 a month). She’d always liked working with jewelry and while the employees were exploited and suffered appalling work conditions, Sonia recognizes that the job helped her learn some basic skills about jewelry making. It was also at this factory, where the managers often locked the doors from the outside so the workers could not leave, that the idea was hatched to break off and start their own business.
Sonia appreciates her colleagues because, as she said, “in the beginning, we were struggling to make money and find customers. When one person would want to give up, the others were beside them and encouraging them to stick with it.” Their dedication has paid off. Munay Rumi’s sales have increased exponentially – nearly 600 times – since they started just four years ago. They have benefited from technical and design training over the past two years by PJT’s Sales Coordinator and jewelry designer, Peggy Eng. These trainings have built a cohesive collection and developed a signature style.
Emily Utter is the Advocacy and Community Partnerships director for the ChicoBag Company based in Chico, CA. At ChicoBag, Emily works with cities around the country that are working to reduce the number of singleuse bags consumed in their communities. Prior to ChicoBag, Emily led the research and advocacy component of the San Francisco Department of the Environments grocery bag fee proposal, which later resulted in the first plastic bag ban in the United States. When Emily is not acting as resident bag lady, she enjoys riding her bicycle, hiking, and traveling.