John A. Andersen, Jr.
John Andersen is founder and President of Greenleaf Advisors, LLC, where he advises businesses, institutions, and communities on strategies that advance their sustainable development. John’s thirty-plus years of experience, serving businesses, capital clients, nonprofits, governments and institutions, demonstrates that it takes effective engagement across these sectors to achieve sustainable growth and solve complex problems.
His current clients include regional governmental entities seeking to protect water resources, renewable-energy companies, private-equity investment firms, nonprofits, energy research institutions, and industrial-materials recycling and waste-energy recovery companies.
Previously, John was an International and Managing Director at Jones Lang LaSalle, where he managed the company’s national land business and its strategic expansion into China. He was also the Great Lakes Director of The Nature Conservancy, where he worked across the region’s scientific, business, and government sectors to advance biodiversity conservation. John is a faculty member at DePaul University, where he teaches Sustainable Value Creation in the Kellstadt Business School.
Additionally, John is President of Greenleaf Communities, a nonprofit research entity that recruits and organizes multi-disciplinary teams of scientists to investigate environmental influences on health and apply that knowledge to improve industrial practices and public policies. John holds an AB in Economics from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Ben Bezark is a Director at Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities where he works with clients to meet their business and environmental objectives. He joins Greenleaf from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute where he led the development of operational systems and technologies to facilitate the growth of the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Products Program to thousands of products from over 600 companies around the world. Ben brings experience in operational and technology management, product design and development, and circularity and waste reduction.
Ben holds his MS in Product Design and Development Management from Northwestern University and B.S. in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont.
Katie assists with research, outreach, and communication efforts across Greenleaf's priorities - land, water, material, and energy. She also supports the company’s communication and administrative needs. To advance sustainable water solutions, Katie works with Opti to bring innovation to stormwater management in Illinois. She works on sustainable energy with Intelligent Generation to assist in their development and analyze potential renewable energy projects. Her agricultural research focuses, in part, on the soil and water benefits derived from the use of gypsum as an agricultural amendment. She coordinates outreach and organization for the Healthy Soils for Healthy Waters symposia series including outreach and speaker engagement. Katie has conducted literature reviews on the agricultural and environmental benefits of gypsum and a white paper on microgrids.
In addition to her work at Greenleaf Advisors, Katie is Program Manager at our sister nonprofit organization, Greenleaf Communities, where she leads our agricultural and healthy soils work and provides support to program areas of climate and water.
Katie graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a BS in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences and a minor in Business. She graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an MS in Environmental Management and Sustainability.
Francine van den Brandeler
Associate, Water and Climate Fellow
Francine leads Greenleaf’s water projects as well as applied research and policy analysis on climate, water and urban planning. She conducts outreach communications with partners, clients and stakeholders.
Francine brings a decade of international experience in water research, governance and urban resilience with think tanks and policy centers in Europe, Latin America and Africa. She is completing doctoral studies at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, with a dissertation on multi-scalar water governance in Mexico City and São Paulo, Brazil. She currently conducts water research across Latin America with a team at the University of California, Davis and is lead author on the Water and Cities Chapter of the 2020 United Nations’ Global Environmental Outlook report providing guidance to world governments and organizations. Francine graduated from New York University with a BA in politics and from the University of Amsterdam with a Research Master’s in international development.
Julia Armstrong D'Agnese
CEO and Co-Founder
Julia Armstrong D’Agnese is an innovator and change-maker and as Earth Knowledge CEO drives strategic partnerships and big-picture transformational opportunities to help build a more sustainable world. She uses her ability to gain respect of, and constructively challenge, business and organizational leaders, advocating and driving reinvention through technology. Julia works with Fortune 500 company leadership to innovatively become truly sustainable, harnessing global change opportunities and mitigating risks to become more climate resilient and nature positive.
President, CTO and Co-Founder
Dr. Frank D’Agnese is an internationally recognized Earth Systems Scientist and the innovator of the Earth Knowledge Integrated Planetary Intelligence Platform, Petascale+ Digital Twin of the Earth and the 300+ Global Change and Sustainability Indicator Framework. Frank is a systems expert continually focused on the multi-dimensional systems involved in natural, social and economic sustainability and global change. His life’s work and passion involve helping to save our Earth through providing understandable and actionable business intelligence for the best decision-making. He focuses on leveraging the internet and cloud computing as tools for empowering cross-functional agility in organizations to provide better access and share information for efficient and effective business decisions. Frank is known for creating and facilitating large, interdisciplinary and multi-organizational teams, developing a common understanding among participants, critical in building our Earth Knowledge Network, Digital Twin and Indicators.
Warren Dick, PhD
The Ohio State University
Warren Dick is a Professor Emeritus of soil and environmental science at The Ohio State University. He studied enzymatic and biological nutrient cycling in soil under various management systems. Recent research has focused on microbial ecology and on the use of gypsum for improving soil and water quality. Warren has mentored more than 35 graduate students, 12 undergraduate interns, 8 postdocs and 27 visiting scholars. He has published 31 papers that have been cited more than 100 times. He is active professionally and has served as Editor-in- Chief of both the Soil Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy. Warren currently serves as Editor of the journal, Agricultural & Environmental Letters. His recent activities have largely focused on establishing an environmental and agricultural university and training center in Ethiopia.
Ali Fatemi, PhD
Editor-in-Chief, Global Finance Journal
Emeritus Chairman and Professor of Finance
Dr. Ali Fatemi is Editor-in-Chief for Global Finance Journal and is the Emeritus Chairman and Professor of the Finance Department at DePaul University, Driehaus College of Business. Dr. Fatemi taught sustainable value creation and is a leader in DePaul’s advancement of sustainability. His research deals with issues related to socially responsible investing, mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, dividend policy and corporate governance.
Affordable Community Energy Services
As President and Founder of Affordable Community Energy Services Company (“ACE”), Jeff leads all efforts, with a focus on financing, and client acquisition and service. Prior to ACE, Jeff worked at Jones Lang LaSalle where he eventually co-founded and co-led JLL’s Public Sector practice. Jeff worked for Deutsche Bank in New York as Head of Strategic Planning/Real Estate—Americas and AsiaPacific, and then as Global Head of CRES Corporate Planning. He attended Northwestern University and Columbia University Law School. Jeff has served on the Boards of Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, Facing History and Ourselves and The Institute for Clinical Social Work. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences on energy and water conservation and renewable energy improvements for affordable housing.
Janet Hock, PhD
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Center for Urban Health Investigator
Janet Hock brings an interesting mix of career experiences and scientific executive expertise to Greenleaf Communities. From 2007-2013, while leading the Maine Institute for Human Genetics and Health, she created a translational research program investigating environmental risks for cancer, integrating biobanking, genomics and geospatial information sciences. She is currently a Professor at The Polis Center at Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, and at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA.
Access Janet’s scientific publications here.
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (Retired)
Nancy Holm was the Assistant Director at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) which is a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In her role as assistant director, she has overseen ISTC’s Sponsored Research Program which funds research projects through the State of Illinois’ Hazardous Waste Research Fund. Additionally, Nancy is involved with several research projects at ISTC on pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the aquatic environment and, most recently, fate and transport of microplastics in aquatic systems. She is also co-leader of ISTC’s Solar Module End-of-Life Initiative promoting proper recycling of decommissioned solar modules.
Nancy holds a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry from Luther College and an M.S. in Oceanography and Limnology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Energy Attorney and Consultant
John W. Jimison is an energy attorney and consultant. He was the Managing Director of the Energy Future Coalition, a broad-based, non-partisan public policy initiative of the UN Foundation. Prior to joining the Energy Future Coalition in 2011, Mr. Jimison served as Senior Counsel to the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, advising Chairman Henry Waxman and the committee’s other members on a range of legislative issues in energy policy. His responsibilities included energy efficiency, regulatory matters, energy markets, and electric grid modernization.
He is a graduate of the College of Wooster and Georgetown University Law Center, a member of the Washington, D.C., and Virginia Bars, a member of the Energy Bar Association, and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Somalia, East Africa.
Cherokee Asphalt Solutions
Andrew Johnson is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. He currently serves as the President of Cherokee Asphalt Solutions, LLC and Executive Director of the Native American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois. He is a CPA and received his MBA from the University of Southern California. Throughout his career, he has been a key member of the Executive Management Team at multiple corporations in addition to having extensive depth in the non-profit industry.
CEO & Founder
Jay Marhoefer is the inventor of Intelligent Generation and has 30 years of relevant business experience as an electric utility consultant, practice leader, software developer, IT executive, mathematician and attorney. Jay has served as the CEO of IG since co-founding the company in 2009. Jay was valedictorian of his law school, practiced intellectual property litigation and corporate law at Latham & Watkins, and authored Re-energizing America. He has led the implementation of major systems at large utilities like Baltimore Gas & Electric and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Pete continues to work in partnership with Greenleaf on intelligent infrastructure projects. While at Greenleaf, he contributed to Greenleaf’s projects ranging from sustainable water resource solutions (including the Chicago Area Waterways System Project) to wind and solar energy.
As a consulting engineer, Pete led multidisciplinary teams to gather and analyze data. As a utility manager, he led strategic planning and innovation. As a management and urban design consultant, he led smart cities initiatives and developed resilience and climate changes plans for municipalities and private corporations. In each role, success was predicated on understanding and improving the current practice, executed with workshops, clear communications, analysis, and collaboration.
Darrell Norton, PhD
USDA National Soil Erosion Research Lab
Research Soil Scientist, Retired
Dr. Darrell Norton recently retired as a Research Soil Scientist for the USDA-ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory (NSERL) located on the campus of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana where he also is a Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Agronomy and Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Darrell consults with Greenleaf Advisors on the GYPSOIL project and other soil matters.
Solutions in the Land
After 25 years as the Founder and President of Conservation Design Forum, Jim is transitioning into a new role as a Principal Partner of Solutions in the Land LLC, the firm that he co-founded with Ron Doetch in 2011. Solutions in the land will focus on the connection of urban and rural environments, uniting the efforts between restorative practices that jointly benefit both sectors. Their full efforts will be directed at the promotion of community-wide economic and social development initiatives coupled with a holistic vision for the restoration of the health and vitality of the region’s water, soil, air, and ecological systems.
Global Sustainable Sourcing Lead
Dan is Global Sustainable Sourcing Lead for Dairy, Meat, Poultry and Eggs and is supporting the procurement of sustainably produced dairy products, as well as other animal-sourced foods, to meet Nestlé global sustainability targets.
Dan was formerly the Communications and Development Manager for Greenleaf Advisors and Greenleaf Communities.
Dan is an experienced research program manager and environmental professional with agricultural and water management expertise. He brings scientific information to multiple audiences to help organizations effectively understand, manage, improve and communicate their environmental performance.
Brian Richter has been a global leader in water science and conservation for more than 30 years. He is the president of Sustainable Waters, a global water education organization, where he promotes sustainable water use and management with governments, corporations, universities, and local communities. He previously served as Chief Scientist for the Global Water Program of The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organization.
Read more about Sustainable Waters.
Read Brian’s blog.
Sabina Shaikh, PhD
University of Chicago, Faculty
Director, Program on Global Environment, Environmental & Urban Studies
Dr. Sabina Shaikh is a part of the faculty at the University of Chicago in the Program on Global Environment, where she directs the Environment, Agriculture and Food group. She was previously a Senior Consultant at CardnoENTRIX focusing on the economic valuation and development of mechanisms for the provision of ecosystem services in both the private and public sectors.
Read more about the Environment, Agriculture and Food group.
TM Capital Corp
Managing Director/Founding Principal
Paul Smolevitz is a Managing Director and founding principal of TM Capital Corp., an independent investment banking firm based in New York, Boston, and Atlanta.
He has led TM Capital’s execution of many complex transactions, including strategic acquisitions, exclusive sales and divestitures, financings, restructurings and fairness opinions in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, distribution and service businesses.
Read more about Paul at TM Capital Corp
VP, Marketing & Business Development
At Intelligent Generation, Marc is in charge of international partnerships, business development and distribution opportunities, links the product to its markets and prepares the brand for market expansion. After a ten year career in industrial sales and business development in the middle-east and south-east Asia, Marc spent the next ten with Whirlpool Corp. in North America and Europe. There he held various roles of brand, product and marketing management, and later director of corporate strategy and global customer quality.
Marc is an Electrical and Mechanical engineer from ESTP in Paris and holds an MBA from INSEAD.
Don Wuebbles, PhD
University of Illinois (emeritus)
Senior Landscape Architect/Ecological Planner Green Infrastructure Foundation