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Women in Sustainability, Benchmarking Sustainability Performance, and Food and Employee Wellness

We are a month away from the 11th annual Wisconsin Sustainable Business Conference, hosted at the iconic Monona Terrace Community and Conference Center. We are excited to offer 12 unique breakout sessions, that will allow attendees to gain further insight into the specifics of sustainable business practices. Each session will consist of individual presentations from panel members which will last roughly 30 minutes. After, we will open the sessions up to hear the questions that you want answered. The following sessions are filled with innovative individuals who are doing all they can to move business "Sustainably Forward."


Register for the Conference Here


Women in Sustainability: The Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility

As sustainability became an issue that more and more businesses addressed, women came to dominate the decision-making roles in the field. This session will highlight the shift that has happened from the perspective of women working in sustainability that are representing different generations in the workforce.

Kayla Buszka - Hanging Gardens

Kayla graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Conservation and Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2015. She has worked in the field of Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management for over three years and serves as the Co-Chair of the US Green Building Council’s Emerging Professionals Committee in her free time. She also assists as a volunteer event planner with Women in Sustainability, a group housed within the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. Kayla has spoken at international tradeshows on the topics of green infrastructure for stormwater management, development of women in the workforce, and sustainability in action. In Fall 2017 she delivered her first Ted Talk on the topic of freshwater as a shared resource and, as humans, our undeniable responsibility to its stewardship. It has been hard to keep her quiet since

Chris Schultz-Buechner - WECC

As a talented leader, strategist, and communicator well-versed in several areas of the organization, Chris currently oversees WECC’s internal and external marketing and communications activities. In addition to leading high-visibility initiatives such as corporate branding, websites, and annual reports, Chris guides a diverse team to develop innovative, award-winning energy efficiency marketing campaigns for clients in 14 U.S. states.A driving force at WECC for 15 years, Chris has played instrumental roles in directing operations, proposal development, behavioral program design, and more. She led a revamp of the organization’s RFP response process, which led to improved resource efficiencies and success rates.

Leah Steinberg - Evolution Marketing

Leah Steinberg is a recent University of Wisconsin, Madison graduate, with a degree in political science and certificate in environmental studies from the Nelson Institute. She joined the Evolution Marketing team as an intern in March 2018 and recently became a Marketing Associate for Evolution Marketing in October 2018. During Leah’s internship, she was responsible for project managing Evolution Marketing’s independent third-party certification programs for sustainability (certified B Corp, Wisconsin Green Master’s Program), communication and outreach engagement, and assisting in telling the Evolution Marketing story of sustainability through innovative brand messaging. As a Marketing Associate, Leah is now responsible for interacting with Evolution Marketing clients to help tell their respective sustainability stories. Her roles include assisting clients with strategic marketing and communications, social media planning/engagement and event planning/management services.

Moderated By: Lindsey Jacques

Lindsey Jacques is from Appleton, Wisconsin and is a senior at UW Madison majoring in Economics and Environmental Studies. After graduating, Lindsey is planning on going to law school, and is currently thinking of practicing environmental, food, or business law. In of her areas of interest, sustainability is a large factor for later development, and she believes sustainability will be a pivotal factor for maintaining growth and prosperity in the future. She would like to see widespread environmental and social practices implemented into our culture to improve the long term common good, and thinks businesses play a key role in creating a demand for these practices to become standardized. In the future, Lindsey feels integrating sustainable practices into business models will be mandatory for businesses to remain competitive.


Benchmarking Sustainability Performance

You may have found that there is a lot of interest in measuring and assessing your sustainability performance. But, often, the needs of one set of stakeholders are quite different from another. This session aims to address and identify best practices in benchmarking so as to meet the needs and expectations of your stakeholders. You will be hearing from Brenda Kubasik from MG&E, John Mourand from Briggs and Straton, and Mark Alan from Inpro. They will discuss how their companies have benchmarked their sustainability performance and how their choices of metrics have been shaped by their communication strategies.

Brenda Kubasik - MG&E

Brenda Kubasik is a Senior Environmental Specialist at Madison Gas and Electric (MGE). MGE was the first utility in Wisconsin to be recognized as a Green Master in 2014 from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. Brenda will be talking about how MGE participates with other utilities around the country in benchmarking for priority metrics. She received her Bachelor of Science in Geological Engineering from the University of Minnesota and is a Professional Engineer in Wisconsin.

Mark Alan - Inpro

Mark has 22 years of experience as a senior leader in General Management serving the last 12 years as the Senior Vice President of Product Management and Development at Inpro. He oversees product sustainability and compliance and has led the company’s efforts toward disclosing both Environmental and Health product declarations. He is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch and is a LEED Green Associate.

John Mourand - Briggs & Stratton

John Mourand is the Corporate Director of Environmental & Product Safety Compliance and Sustainability for Briggs & Stratton Corporation. In his role, he is responsible for global environmental compliance, energy and natural resource management, product safety compliance, due diligence activities, and public reporting on the corporation’s environmental and sustainability performance. He received his BS and MS degrees in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University and has 20+ years of environmental and operational management experience.

Moderated By: Alexis Steuart

Alexis Steuart, grew up in Waunakee, Wisconsin and was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is pursuing degrees in Community and Environmental Sociology and Environmental Studies. From an early age the outdoors was a way of life for her, from attending youth camps in the Tetons, to backpacking with her family. When she first arrived at the University of Wisconsin-Madison she enrolled in a business sustainability course and discovered her love for sustainability because it combined her interests in communities, the environment, and business. After graduation Alexis aspires to pursue employment that allows her to learn more about business and its’ intersections with the environment and social networks.​


Food and Employee Wellness

Businesses have integrated corporate wellness programs within their sustainability programs and within company culture. Providing healthy options ensures that employees learn about portion size and what foods are good for them and how to prepare them. Employees (and often their families) benefit and employers benefit from a more committed (and happier and healthier) employee. This breakout session will feature companies that have invested in corporate wellness programs and examines the impact a corporate wellness program has on creating a healthier workforce.

Lisa Bote - UW Health

Lisa Boté is the Manager of Retail and Catering Operations for UW Health and the American Family Children’s Hospital. She is responsible for retail strategy development and implementation, menu development and relationship building with farmers and local producers. She is keenly focused on using locally sourced products and sustainable practices to change the perception of hospital cafeteria food. Lisa leverages 20 years of culinary experience to effectively serve more than 6,000 guests per day in five retail venues.

Ellen Ritter - UW Health

Ellen is the Executive Chef for UW Health. In this role, she oversees patient and retail food production, procurement and purchasing, as well as the implementation of policy initiatives related to local and sustainable partnerships. She is committed to growing the local/sustainable purchasing program to exceed policy goals and contributing to a responsible food system. Ellen has worked in the foodservice and hospitality industry for over 20 years, 15 of which have been in the healthcare sector both in contract managed and self-operations.

Mary Larsen - Aurora Health

Mary Larsen leads the Advocate Aurora Health (AAH) system’s environmental sustainability initiatives, driving sustainable operations, green building and environmentally preferable purchasing best practices, community partnerships and AAH team member engagement. Mary’s extensive experience in healthcare administration includes nearly 25 years of leadership in hospital-based operations and enterprise-wide experience in supply chain and support operations. Mary’s key accomplishments include earning Advocate and each of its hospitals top honors in environmental excellence for ten consecutive years from Practice Greenhealth, the creation of an employee recognition program celebrating staff for exemplary demonstration of environmental stewardship and/or personal health and development of a green building and operations certification checklist for major renovations and new construction projects.

Scott Louks - Mercury Marine

Scott Louks has over 20 years’ operational experience in project management, manufacturing, engineering, quality and continuous improvement at Mercury Marine. Scott coordinates Mercury’s global sustainability efforts revolving around four key pillars: responsible consumption of energy, caring for the environment, product stewardship and quality of life. Scott holds a BS Mechanical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University.

Moderated By: Taylor Weiss

Taylor Weiss is a Senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying Economics and Environmental Studies. She attributes her passion for the environment to the many years spent at summer camp where she was living on a lake, camping, hiking and enjoying the outdoors. Taylor knew she wanted to pursue a career in sustainable business practices after taking a course called “Challenges & Solutions in Business Sustainability.” Throughout Taylor’s education she has recognized the part business has to play in order to ensure stability for future generations. After gradzation this upcoming Spring she plans to return home to New York where she hopes integrate her two majors by working on sustainability teams within big business.

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