Green Festival Speakers

Washington DC 2014

Speakers at Green Festival® are articulate, powerful advocates for a just and sustainable world. From authors and filmmakers to politicians, musicians and scientists, these renowned individuals inspire packed audiences with their expertise—one of the most compelling draws to Green Festival® since 2002. Our tremendous speaker line-up exemplifies why Green Festival® is the largest, most-respected event of its kind.


Founded in 1994, Step Afrika! is the first professional company in the world dedicated to the tradition of stepping. It promotes an appreciation for stepping and its use as an educational, motivational and healthy tool for young people. It accomplishes this mission through arts education activities, international cultural exchange programs and performances world-wide.

Step Afrika! has bought stepping and its associated values of teamwork, commitment and discipline to students in DC classrooms, at non-traditional dance venues and our city’s performing arts venues for more than 20 years. It has been named one of the top ten African American dance companies in the US by Dance USA and has represented DC and the US as an official Cultural Ambassador in countries as diverse as Croatia, South Sudan and Samoa.



Gabriel Axel, MSc., E-RYT 500, is a yoga teacher, neuroscientist, musician, Integralist, and leading innovator in the fusion of yoga and neuroscience through the Neural Active™ framework. Gabriel is known for skillfully integrating the perennial wisdom of yoga with a scientific understanding in a congruent and intelligible manner. Holding a Master’s degree in Neuroscience & Cognition, he has toured world-renown institutions such as Utrecht University, Harvard, UCLA, and University of Florida studying the fascinating complexities of neuroscience, and completed thesis on how the functionality of the brain evolved to aid in the perception and interpretation of visual art. In tandem with his studies in neuroscience, he has trained extensively in the yogic sciences, including raja yoga, kundalini, tantric yogas, kriya yoga, qi gong, nei gong, alchemy, Skanda Yoga, Suspension Yoga, and a number of meditation systems. He presents an integral approach that robustly activates the nervous system for enhanced functioning.



Gene Baur is co founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization. Gene Baur has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by TIME magazine. For more than 25 years he has traveled extensively, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our cheap food system. His book, entitled Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, was published by Touchstone in March 2008 and has appeared on the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe best-seller lists.



“Bringing It Home” is the second feature documentary produced and directed by Linda Booker, owner of By the Brook Production based in North Carolina. Linda completed the Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in 2005. “Bringing It Home” won the Jury Award at this year’s Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival and Best Environmental Film at Sedona International Film Festival. “Bringing It Home” has been part of a national outreach campaign to help educate consumers and lawmakers about hemp’s uses for healthy, sustainable products for nutrition, construction materials, bio-composites, textiles, body care and more and why policy change is needed to bring this beneficial crop back to all of America’s farmers for a greener future. By the Brook has produced videos for the City of Durham and Clean Jordan Lake on water protection issues in addition to work for numerous NC non-profits.



Rachael Callahan joined Common Good City Farm as the Executive Director after working with non-profit organizations dedicated to sustainable food and farming systems in Nantucket, Massachusetts and Belize, Central America. Rachael holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Georgia and a Master’s in Global Environmental Policy from American University.

Common Good City Farm is a non-profit urban farm and education center housed on a half acre plot in the LeDroit Park neighborhood of Washington, DC. Our mission is to grow food, educate, and help DC community members meet their food needs.



For thirty years, Theodore Casparian has combined teaching, finance, and corporate social responsibility. After studying Mathematics at Cornell University, Theodore was a bond trader for Goldman Sachs. He followed this by building the socially responsible and environmentally progressive company White Lotus Home, a member of Co-op America/Green America and the Green Business Network since 1993. In addition to teaching mathematics in public schools, Theodore has taught thousands of people about the power of the pocketbook in bringing about corporate, environmental, and social change in a variety of forums. His current focus on the even greater power of invested savings is concurrent with the double-digit growth of sustainable investing in the US and worldwide. Theodore’s ability to embrace and explain both corporate finance and social activism to audiences of all backgrounds has made him a dynamic and much sought speaker. Even more important, he is a dad.



"Nappy G (a.k.a. Gordon Clay) is a Brooklyn-based dj,producer & long-time percussionist in NYC's dance club scene. He is well known from the world-traveling Turntables On The Hudson parties, his weekly Bembe parties in Williamsburg, his monthly residency at Le Bain, his former band (Grammy-nominated) Groove Collective, & the original Giant Step parties in the 90's. Currently, his latest e.p. "Good Timing" (available on iTunes,Amazon,Bandcamp,Spotify & Google Play), & his music video "Bembe Gente" are lighting up soundsystems & computer screens all over the globe. Nappy G is proud to be a part of the eco-movement, including the "Love NY,Don't Frack It Up" cause & 2014 marks the year he becomes known as "The Green DJ"!"

Website: www.nappyg.com
DJ Mixes: www.soundcloud.com/nappyg



At Ford, Jon works with Ford's fleet customers to develop sustainable solutions to their specific needs through the use of technology, fleet optimization and understanding driver behavior.
Jon has been involved with sustainability at Ford for more than 10 years and has represented Ford at venues ranging from the United Nations to the Academy of Management to TED and other thought-leading conferences. His passion for sustainability is evident in his research focusing on how large organizations engage in sustainable behavior and how that decision making process can be embedded in the organization's day–to-day operations. This research provides unique insights into the evolution of corporate sustainability. Jon’s view of sustainability goes far beyond "green" to include human rights, urban mobility and societal well-being, embracing the ideal that true sustainability involves "doing more good, not doing less bad."



Dr. Kevin Danaher is a Co-Founder of Global Exchange, Co-Founder of FairTradeUSA, and Co-Founder and Executive Co-Producer of the Green Festivals. His 1985 PhD in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz was based on his dissertation, “The Political Economy of U.S. Policy Toward South Africa.” He is the author and/or editor of 11 books, including his latest, “The Green Festival Reader: Fresh ideas from Agents of Change”; and "Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots". Described by The New York Times as the “Paul Revere of globalization’s woes,” Dr. Kevin Danaher’s analytical expertise, sense of humor and blunt eloquence make him an exceptionally dynamic speaker.



Deboleena Dutta is the founder of HerbNZest, a healthier take on condiments. As a new mom, Deb noticed how unhealthy grocery options were: high in sugar, salt, fats, and artificial ingredients. With a desire to make a difference and belief in the power of cooking to fuel, heal and bring together families and friends, she quit her career to launch HerbNZest.

HerbNZest condiments are easy to use straight out of the jar or as meal starters. Through her website, products, recipes, and workshops, Deb hopes to inspire people to create good food easily to fit their lifestyle.

Deb has an MBA from The Wharton School and 10 years spanning banking, portfolio management, and grassroots microfinance. She lives in Princeton, NJ with her family and credits her knowledge of food, business, and life to an endless quest for the new and the different.



Kim Eierman is the Founder of EcoBeneficial! a horticulture communications and consulting company dedicated to improving our environment through ecological gardening and landscaping.

Kim is an Environmental Horticulturist specializing in ecological landscapes and native plants. She teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, The Native Plant Center, Rutgers Home Gardeners School, et al. Kim is an active speaker on many ecological gardening topics, presenting at green industry conferences, garden clubs, nature centers, Audubon Society chapters, beekeeping groups, and other organizations interested in environmental improvements. In addition to being a Certified Horticulturist through the American Society for Horticultural Science, Kim is a Master Gardener, a Master Naturalist, an Accredited Organic Landcare Professional and a Steering Committee member of The Native Plant Center. In her prior life, she worked on Wall Street.



Dave serves on the Board of Directors for Green Savings Coop, 40Plus of Greater Washington, and Graceful Growing Together, a Bethesda-based community service nonprofit organization. Dave Feldman is co-founder/partner of the Livability Project, a mission-based professional services firm launched in 2006. Dave currently speaks on a variety of topics including sustainable communities, incubation, green community hubs and leadership skills.

In 2008, Dave became founding director of Bethesda Green, a collaboration of business, government and citizens working together to promote sustainable living practices. He set up a center that incubates green businesses, educates the community about sustainability and facilitates the implementation of green solutions in the region.

In 2009, Dave was named one of “The 25 CEOs You Need to Know” by The Gazette of Politics and Business and as “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record. In 2010, the Montgomery County Council named him one of the “40 Environmentalists in 40 Years”.

From 2002-07, Dave was Consul, Trade & Investment at the British Embassy and helped foster economic development between the U.S. and U.K.



Tiffany is the food futures campaigner at Friends of the Earth. Prior to joining Friends of the Earth, she worked as a community health organizer at Many Languages One Voice, running campaigns to improve equitable access to affordable, culturally and linguistically appropriate health-related information, services, and care. She has also led labor solidarity and environmental stewardship campaigns and completed an independent research study in Bolivia focused on the impacts of climate change on bee populations and implications of pollinator declines for the food systems and global ecosystems. Tiffany hails from a seven generation organic family farm in Vermont which taught her the importance of protecting our local family farms and need to build a sustainable and just food system. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs with a Concentration in Contemporary Cultures and Societies from George Washington University.



Ian Fisk has led the William James Foundation since 2005. He has also served as the CEO of ITF Consulting, Inc. and Director of Projects for Wall Street Without Walls. Ian helped launch the AmeriCorps*VISTA Entrepreneur Corps and design the federal database of AmeriCorps members. Ian has helped to found more than a dozen ventures. He worked with Public Allies, City Year, ServeNet , KaBOOM!, CitySoft and many other social enterprises, and was the internet coordinator for the Paul Tsongas Presidential Campaign in 1991. An active champion of Net Impact, he has been recognized as a success story and a distinguished member. His community service work includes serving on several boards, founding The Community Tool Chest, Washington DC’s largest tool loaning library and being a charter organizer of Hands On DC, an annual volunteer work-a-thon for the D.C. public schools. Ian holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management.



Justen Garrity is an Army Combat Veteran turned green entrepreneur. Mr. Garrity is the Founder and President of Veteran Compost, a commercial composting operation based in Aberdeen, MD. Veteran Compost is the only commercial food scrap composting facility in Maryland. Everyday he and his staff turn tons of food scraps into organic soil products.

Justen is a licensed commercial composter and speaks about composting to audiences around the country. He has consulted on projects ranging from small backyard set-ups to large industrial operations.



Amy Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.” She is the first co-recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media’s Izzy Award, named for the great muckraking journalist I.F. Stone.

Goodman’s fifth book, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope, written with Denis Moynihan, rose to #11 on The NYT bestseller list. She writes a weekly column syndicated by King Features.

Goodman has received the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award; the Paley Center for Media’s She’s Made It Award; and the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, the George Polk Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.



For nearly 30 years, Alisa Gravitz has led Green America, the national green economy organization. Green America develops marketplace solutions to social and environmental problems with a key focus on tackling climate change, building fair trading systems, stopping corporate abuse and growing the green economy. Green America operates the nation’s largest green business and consumer networks.

Ms. Gravitz is a leading expert on how families and businesses can “go green,” saving money and resources. She is also a nationally recognized leader in the social investment industry. She authored Green America’s acclaimed Guide to Social Investing, with over a million copies in print and the popular Guide to Community Investing.

Ms. Gravitz’s board service includes Ceres, Positive Future Network, Network for Good and People 4 Earth. She earned her MBA from Harvard University and her BA in economics and environmental sciences from Brandeis University. Green America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.



A sugar addict who was extraordinarily depressed, angry and overweight, Sharon was diagnosed with a tumor and arthritis so severe her spine might fuse into one piece! She changed her lifestyle, let go of disease and an extra 55 pounds – all after age 40. A Board Certified Holistic Practitioner, Sharon maintains a private practice offering phone coaching around the globe for clients who want to reach their goals for health, weight loss and stress reduction.

Sharon is an author, speaker and expert in the raw foods and vegan lifestyles.

She speaks at international and national events including the annual North American Vegetarian Society Conference and Mother Earth News Fairs. Sharon is also a Healing Touch Certified Practitioner and Registered yoga teacher. She’s going to show you how to take charge of your health for the rest of your life.


JuJu Harris was raised in Oakland, California where her interest in the connection between health and food began when her father changed his diet and exercise habits to manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and borderline diabetes. Affectionately known as “Nana JuJu”, creating delicious, nutritious meals from few ingredients is her specialty.

Juju currently serves as Culinary Educator and SNAP Outreach Coordinator for Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, working from a converted school bus that serves as a mobile farmer’s market. She conducts cooking demonstrations, showing practical ways to introduce nutritious, produce into one’s diet. As a mother who previously received food assistance (WIC and SNAP), she is convinced that healthy food can be easily and inexpensively prepared. JuJu has written a cookbook of recipes--The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook-- which combine WIC staples with fresh produce. It is available to Arcadia Mobile Market patrons this season.


A marketing communications professional and community builder with over 30 years of experience, Dave Heffernan has worked with Bethesda Green since the nonprofit launched 2008. Before that, Dave was Marketing Director for 40Plus of Greater Washington, a job-search support nonprofit, and VP of Public Affairs for the Center for Education Reform, where he supervised communications, marketing and public affairs activities. Earlier in his career, Dave was Managing Editor at the Children's Defense Fund, where he led an editorial and production team that created over $1 million in publication sales annually. Dave also supervised multi-million dollar outreach contracts with FDA and NIST as a Project Manager with SciComm, a small, Bethesda-based consulting firm.



Pamela Hess is the executive director of the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture, a 501©3 dedicated to creating a more equitable, sustainable local food system. Pam is a former national security journalist who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the CIA and Pentagon.



Lori is Co-Founder and President of Sister Eden, a company that inspires people to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives. Through humorous and inspirational video shorts that Lori co-writes and appears in, Sister Eden is spreading the message around the world of how to live the green life. Lori is chief contributor to Sister Eden’s blog, and she appears on TV, radio and speaks around the world. Every winter Lori dons her bikini and participates in the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s Polar Bear Plunge and was named a Climate Hero for her work in raising awareness about climate change.



Wendy Howard is the Executive Director of GreenWheaton and the owner of WH Consulting a green/environmentally friendly computer firm providing sustainable IT support services and training for PCs and Macs.

Wendy has been instrumental in increasing GreenWheaton’s outreach and promoting Wheaton Maryland as a “visibly green” sustainable community.

Wendy has been a stalwart participant of Montgomery County Community Service Week for many years and has managed a number of green service projects. She believes in doing what she can to make a difference in the lives of others.

She is a Program Coordinator for the Wheaton-Kensington Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Program Committee for the Corporate Volunteer Council, and is Vice President of the Women Business Owners of Montgomery.

In 2013, Wendy Howard was awarded The Phyllis Campbell Newsome Rising Star Award which honors the life of a visionary community activist and a founding member of Montgomery Women.


Internationally-renowned registered dietitian, Ashley Koff RD knows better nutrition is simple but may seem confusing and complicated at first. A frequent award-winning nutrition expert, Koff regularly appears nationally in media, at podiums, and is the go-to consultant for the nation's medical leaders. A self-described “Qualitarian,” Koff emphasizes the value of better quality nutrition choices to create optimal health and a happier life.


Sheida Kourangi has been a volunteer for Share International organization for over 20 years. She is a holistic researcher interested in the interrelation of all fields of human endeavor, currently writing about the necessity of a radical re-evaluation of our vision of reality in line with the latest scientific findings. She advocates the view that the current crisis reflects a misunderstanding of our place in the universe, which treats the environment as an externality and does not recognize the interrelationship and interconnection of all life. However, ecological and economic sustainability are inextricably intertwined, and the restoration of balance and harmony to the environment necessitates a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources that meets the basic needs of all people as well as the needs of the planet as a living organism whose healing and well-being is critical to the sustenance of all life on this planet.



John Leary, the Executive Director of Trees for the Future, has been leading international environmental and agricultural programs for a decade. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, he was determined to improve the environment by planting trees. He soon learned that working at the ‘grassroots’ level meant there was no grass and he ate roots. After discovering that the health and welfare of the land is directly related to the health and welfare of people, John focused on building programs which simultaneously combat poverty and restore the environment. While at ACDI/VOCA, John co-developed their Sell More For More™ program, linking farmer organizations to markets through improved management and marketing. John has extensive field experience, working closely with farmers in Africa and Central America to increase income and manage natural resources. Having completed a masters and doctoral coursework on training design, John is developing innovations in agricultural training and extension.



Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1977, John grew up in St. Louis, MO. At a young age, he excelled in football and basketball. He continued his streak of athletic excellence throughout his high school and college years in Mc Cluer Senior High and Harris-Stowe State College respectively. Graduating with a Bachelors degree in marketing, he later went on to pursue his MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He is now working on finishing his Master’s in Health Education to later go on to start his PhD in Holistic Sports and Nutrition. John’s education in business coupled with his love for health and fitness gave him the ability to start his venture – Bad Ass Vegan – a health and nutrition company that strives to educate individuals on plant based nutrition.



Adair Lindsay believes in the innate power of the body to heal itself when nourished with healthy, whole foods. Educated in evidence-based medicine, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Earlham College and completed a Master’s Degree in Nutrition at Bastyr University, a globally recognized school of natural medicine. She completed her Dietetic Internship with Virginia Tech. Adair is a Regional Trainer for Genesis Today and travels up and down the east coast educating people with simple tips for staying healthy. Adair also has a private practice called Eating with Integrity, located in Annandale, VA. Since 2011, she has served on the Executive Board of the Northern Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NVAND) and currently holds the position of Council on Practice Chair of Sustainable Food Systems. Her most recent accomplishment includes receiving the prestigious 2013 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award.


Kathleen Merrigan is Executive Director of Sustainability at The George Washington University, leading efforts in sustainability education, research and outreach. From 2009-2013, she was U.S. Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where she created the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative to support local food systems; was a key architect of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign; and was the first woman to chair the Ministerial Conference of the FAO of the UN. Dr. Merrigan was the Director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment M.S./Ph.D. Program at Tufts University, Administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, and staff to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where she wrote the law establishing national standards for organic food. She holds a Ph.D. from MIT. Time Magazine named her among the “100 most influential people in the world” in 2010.


Akshata was born and brought up in Bangalore, India. She got her Master of Science degree in Biochemistry at the University of Maine at Orono, in 2007, where she studied the effects of toxins on the activity of the immune system.

Between 2007 and 2010, she worked at the University of Rochester, as a research technician, studying the progress and evaluation of traumatic brain injuries. While in upstate New York, she attended New York Chiropractic College and earned her second Master of Science degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition in 2010.

Presently, she divides her time up as a nutritionist at Alternative Roots Wellness Center (www.alternativerootswellness.com), a holistic health center started with her husband, and a business owner at The Orange Owl (www.theorangeowlshop.com), which offers 100% vegan and chemical-free skin care products handmade from scratch in Vermont.


Pam currently runs the Blue Shutters Project, which provides furniture picking and painting services, as well as home styling advice. Previously she was a naval officer and a military quality of life policy analyst for the Department of the Navy. Pam's undergraduate degree is from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her graduate degree is in Communication from the University of Oklahoma. She is a wife to Charles Nemfakos and a mother to a daughter, Alexandra.



Internationally syndicated DJs who through the FuseBox Radio Broadcast (founded in 1998) provide a media outlet that consistently exposes the absolute BEST of Hip-Hop & Soul Music (and the Black Music genre in general) from all over the world along with bringing quality interviews, news, and commentary.



Anca Novacovici is a sustainability entrepreneur, author, speaker and blogger. She is a LEED AP, sits on the Board of the Green Building Institute, blogs for the Huffington Post and is an Adjunct Professor at Montgomery College.

Anca is the president of Eco-Coach, Inc., an environmental sustainability firm that assists leading organizations to evaluate, design and implement sustainable practices for long-term organizational success and positive environmental and social impact. Founded in 2006, Eco-Coach is CBE and WBENC-certified and a GSA contract holder. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, government and non-profit organizations.

Anca has over fifteen years’ experience with strategic planning, change management, business process redesign, benchmarking, training and communications. She has worked with companies in the energy, health care, utility, and telecommunications sectors, and with international lending institutions.

Anca holds an MBA from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.



Colin O’Neil is the director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety. Since joining in 2008, he has contributed to the expansion of the Center’s policy campaigns, organizing and overseeing daily operations of the Center’s congressional and federal policy work. He regularly meets with Members of Congress and their staff on issues of concern to the food safety community, including regulation and oversight of genetically engineered (GE) crops and animals, food and farm policy, organic agriculture and climate change, as well as nanotechnology and synthetic biology. Colin acts as a spokesperson for a range of issues and actions by the Center, and has been interviewed and quoted by a variety of print and broadcast media outlets, including the New York Times, Politico, Dow Jones, Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and Fox News. Colin is a graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin and an avid outdoorsman.


Whitney Pipkin covers the intersection of food, farms and the environment in the DC region as a freelance journalist. She also is a part-time staff writer for the Chesapeake Bay Journal. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Flavor and Foodshed magazines, Northern Virginia Magazine, ElevationDC, NPR's Kitchen Window, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and Grist.org. She blogs at thinkabouteat.com and is a fellow of the Institute for Journalists of Natural Resources.



Scott Pomeroy is the Sustainability Manager for the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID). Since 2008, he has managed a wide range of sustainability initiatives including the Downtown DC ecoDistrict, a comprehensive district-wide framework of programs established on Earth Day 2011. The programs include managing the ecoDistricts participation in the DOE Better Buildings Challenge, piloting the DC Smarter Business Challenge, as well as facilitating the production of the annual Building Energy Summits. Prior to working at the DowntownDC BID he was the Executive Director of the 14th & U Main Street Initiative from 2002-2006 where he managed the revitalization efforts of a twenty six linear block area that was recognized in 2011 by American Planning Association, as one of their Great Places in America: Streets. He also volunteers for numerous boards and community groups, including Keep Washington DC Beautiful, Career Path DC, and the U Street Neighborhood Association.



Bernadine (Bernie) Prince is a founder and co-executive director of FRESHFARM Markets, a nonprofit organization based in WDC that operates the largest network of producer-only farmers markets in the Chesapeake Bay region. She oversees the SNAP/Matching Dollars program--FRESHFARM Markets was the first DC market to offer this program and the second to do so in MD to ensure that people of all income levels can afford fresh, healthy food. She also oversees the FoodPrints program, now in 4 DC elementary schools and reaching over 1,000 students with hands-on gardening and a nutrition-based curriculum. Prince has received numerous awards for her work at FRESHFARM Markets including WETA "Local Heroes." She serves as president of the national Coalition of Farmers Market and has traveled to Australia and New Zealand where she helped those countries set standards for their farmers markets. More information at www.freshfarmmarkets.org



Health and wellness writer and speaker Renita Rietz has spent over a decade researching nutritional strategies to increase the innate rejuvenative capacity we all possess by harnessing the pharmacologic and phytotherapeutic potential of indigenous foods and plants for prevention and regeneration. From the array of competing nutritional ideologies, Renita weaves together multiple paradigms focusing on the importance of high vibrancy, nutrient dense, plant-based superfood nutrition, fermentation and germination as the cornerstones of a healthy diet.



Number 1 Sons was born after Yi Wah and a few friends had a late-night pickling session. The fermented pickles tasted uniquely sour with complex flavors. After working in restaurants, Yi Wah gave up the late nights for early morning farmers markets with his sister Caitlin.

Number 1 Sons makes fermented foods that draw inspiration from all over the world -- pickles, kimchi, kraut and more! These foods harken to the traditional Chinese fermented foods and the vegetable-heavy, nothing-from-a-box meals that their Number 1 Mom makes for her family.



Joseph Robertson is Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Strategic Coordinator and was the first group leader in the Northeast, serving as the volunteer coordinator for NY, NJ, and PA. He is in the process of co-authoring a hundred-year plan for a clean economic transition. Joseph is the founder and president of Geoversiv Envisioning, a social-benefit commercial endeavor that aims to discover and deploy the ingredients of a clean future of global abundance. He is an emeritus faculty member of the Villanova Center for Energy and Environment Education. From 2000-2007, he was lead online translator into Spanish for the Earth Policy Institute‘s Eco-Economy and Plan B updates on ecological economics. He is the creator, director, and editor-in-chief of the science, technology and economics-focused periodical, the HotSpring Quarterly. He authored the 2010 report “Building a Green Economy: On the Economics of Carbon Pricing & the Transition to Clean, Renewable Fuels.”



John is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Sister Eden, a company that inspires people to make sustainable choices in their everyday lives. Through humorous and inspirational video shorts that John writes, produces, directs and appears in, Sister Eden is spreading the message around the world of how to live the green life. John is also a regular contributor to Sister Eden’s blog, where he makes witty and thoughtful observations about the challenges of going green. John has expressed his environmental interests through volunteer work for his church’s Green Sanctuary Committee and as a life member of the Sierra Club.



Anya Schoolman has been working on environment and sustainable development for more than 25 years. She spent 10 years in the Federal Government and 15 years working as a strategic adviser for NGOs and Foundations. She founded the Mt Pleasant Solar Coop seven years ago with her son Walter which led to a city-wide effort to develop solar in Washington, DC. She has assisted more than 250 homeowners in the area to go solar and has helped foster the creation of 11 sister coops that joined together to form a city wide organization called DC Solar United Neighborhoods (DC SUN). She is the founder of the Community Power Network and manages Maryland Sun (MD-SUN), West Virginia Sun (WV-SUN) and Virginia Sun (VA-SUN).



Brendan Shane is the Director of the Office of Policy and Sustainability at the District Department of the Environment. He is responsible for developing policy and programs in waste management, renewable and clean energy, climate, and green building.



Gary is an entrepreneur and activist who runs Deeper Green, a marketing firm that helps organizations reach environmentally conscious consumers in an authentic and credible way. He was the co-founder and President of Clean Currents, which he grew into one of the premier clean energy companies in the Mid Atlantic. Gary led the company’s sales, marketing and sustainability efforts. His ground breaking work opened up the market for clean energy, with many others following his lead. Gary has been a leading proponent of B Corps, calling for entrepreneurs to use their business as a force for positive change in society. He has extensive experience advocating for progressive environmental legislation at the national, state and local level, and was the co-author and lead advocate of Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law. He has a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.A from the University of Miami, Florida


John has been a pioneer in the development of solar homes, sustainable community development and self-sufficient homes worldwide for over 40 years. He has been building zero energy homes in the Washington DC region for almost 30 years. He built the first sustainable community in South Africa in 1995 which was recognized at the Kyoto Global Warming conference. He was the sustainability consultant to the Beijing Olympics and built sustainable communities and hospitals throughout China. At home John builds zero energy homes and commercial buildings. He designed and built 58 affordable townhomes in downtown Frederick Maryland that cost less to own than comparable homes in the neighborhood. John was the architect for the off grid, 100% solar/wind powered, Sustainable Energy Research Facility at Frostburg State University. John was also the founder of the Maryland Clean Energy Center which promotes economic development and job creation in the clean energy sector.



Eric Steenstra is the President of Vote Hemp, a national, single-issue, non-profit advocacy group founded by members of the hemp industry to remove barriers to industrial hemp farming in the U.S. through education, legislation and advocacy. Vote Hemp has been instrumental in changing policies at the state and federal level including the 2014 Farm Bill which authorized hemp research and pilot programs in states where hemp is legal.

Team Green World


Team Green World (TGW) brings our unique style of environmental education to Green Festival DC. We call it “Eco-edutainment!” TGW’s mission is “to provide education through fun & inviting musical messages in environmental issues, science and causes.” Remember how you learned your ABC’s? It was through music! Children of all ages will learn how to “think ecologically” with our interactive puppet production created by Kat Korac, who is also a CGMA Songwriter of the Decade from Nashville. Come meet our puppets Professor “E”, Grady and Lazy Mae and be invited to join in and dance to our high energy “Lean Green Dancing Machine” song with Eco the Butterfly. They will also be entertained with original “eco-friendly” songs by Oscar contending vocalist and TGW President, Donna Britton Bukevicz, along with our 12 year old “Rising Star” Tystan Manahan, Student at Allegro Community School of Arts in Warrenton, VA, from our mentoring program.



Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. Public Citizen is a leading champion of a constitutional amendment to rescue our democracy, as well as other measures to reduce corporate power and the Big Money influence over elections and policymaking.


Brian Wynne is the President of the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA). Appointed in April 2004, he acts as chief staff executive of this member-based international organization, which promotes battery, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles and infrastructure.

Mr. Wynne brings in-depth experience in transportation and technology applications gained in leadership roles with trade associations and public-private partnerships.

Currently, Mr. Wynne serves on the Committee of 100 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Industry Advisory Board for the GATE Center for Electric Drive Transportation at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and recently served a term on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee as a key representative for the electric drive industry. In June 2011 he was named to Automotive News’ “Electrifying 100” list of most influential leaders of vehicle electrification. He also serves as the President of the GoElectricDrive Foundation.



Joe Yonan is the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Travel editor of The Washington Post and the author of “Eat Your Vegetables: Fresh Recipes for the Single Cook” (Ten Speed Press, August 6, 2013). In 2011, he wrote “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One,” which Serious Eats called “a truly thoughtful, useful, and incredibly delicious book.” Joe was a food writer and Travel section editor at The Boston Globe before moving to Washington in 2006 to edit the Post’s Food section, for which he also writes the Weeknight Vegetarian column and occasional feature stories. His work from the Globe and Post has appeared in three editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology. Joe spent 2012 in North Berwick, Maine, on leave from the Post to learn about growing and homesteading from his sister and brother-in-law and to work on “Eat Your Vegetables.