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Sustainability Summit Program

Tuesday September 26 at Penn State Great Valley


7:30-8:30 — Registration, networking, and light breakfast


8:30-8:50 — Welcome remarks

Dr. Colin J. Neill — Chancellor, Dean, and Chief Academic Officer at Penn State Great Valley

Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline

8:50-9:30 — Keynote Address: The Path to Sustainability

Ariella Maron is the new Executive Director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, our region's federally designated metropolitan planning organization. She is a passionate thought leader who is well known for her work to accelerate progress towards local sustainability, environmental justice, energy, and climate goals. Over her twenty-plus year career in the private and public sectors, she has led the development and implementation of far-reaching solutions to a broad set of urban challenges across the disciplines of urban planning, local government policy, infrastructure, and economic development.

Maron began her planning career working in the Bronx Office of the New York City Department of City Planning, followed by the Energy Office of the NYC Economic Development Corporation. She was then tapped to help build the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability and lead the development of PlaNYC, the groundbreaking sustainability plan that integrated land use and housing, parks and open space, economic development, infrastructure, and climate action planning. Maron was then appointed to the role of Deputy Commissioner of Energy Management at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. In that role, she created and led the effort to reshape the energy performance of the City's 3,000+ existing buildings, implemented a number of clean energy projects, and helped establish the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation.

Maron has spent the last decade as a consultant supporting the work of cities, communities, and their partners across the country, first as Principal in the Cities practice of BuroHappold Engineering and, more recently, as the CEO of her own consultant firm, Lion Advisors, based in Philadelphia. As a consultant, she has helped regional authorities, local governments, communities, supporting organizations, and philanthropy to align climate work with community and institutional priorities, design more inclusive engagement processes and governance models, and develop strategic plans and initiatives to achieve shared goals. She is also a partner with the collaborative City Scale, which explores and expands the roles that local government can play on climate change, and she is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.


9:30-10:35 — Sustainability Speed Share

Quick and inspiring presentations from local organizations that are making a difference

Deirdre Childs, Associate Dean for Public Services with WCU's University Libraries

Deirdre Childs serves as the Interim Associate Dean of Public Services for University Libraries at West Chester University. She is the administrative contact for student outreach, support, and engagement for the libraries and is committed to providing resources, services, spaces, and technology that meet the needs of the WCU community. Deirdre is part of a campus team that launched the Bicycle Lending Library last year.

Jennifer Anderson, Executive Director, Trellis for Tomorrow

For much of the last 30 years, Jennifer has developed and managed innovative and forward-looking organizations at the intersection of social impact and business. After receiving an MPH from Drexel University in 2004, Jennifer help to set up and run an innovative federally funded program administered through Mercy Health System offering healthcare, wellness and prevention services through a consortium model to underserved communities in Philadelphia and Delaware counties. In 2007, she co-founded DudenAnderson, a management consulting firm specializing in strategic planning and financial systems optimization for non-profit organizations. In 2010, Jennifer switched her focus to sustainability management and co-founded Sustrana, a company that provided software and consulting services to small businesses to Fortune 500 companies looking to better manage their environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts. With a BS in Economics, prior to her social impact and sustainability work, Jennifer spent 8 years at SEI Investments, marketing institutional investment solutions both internationally and domestically.

Devi Ramkissoon, Executive Director, Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia

Devi Ramkissoon comes to SBN with 15+ years of experience in international development, specializing in working with sustainable businesses for economic growth and poverty reduction. An immigrant and social entrepreneur herself, Devi has worked tirelessly to advance the work of small businesses from underrepresented communities across Latin America, Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East. For nearly the past decade at USAID, she led multimillion dollar food security, environment, and private sector development projects around the world, managed the Agency's premier knowledge-sharing platform for market development, and advanced the US Government's sustainable development goals at multiple international market development fora. She has won numerous awards from the US Government and the private sector for her leadership navigating global humanitarian crises.

Andrew M. Hoffman, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM, Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Andrew Hoffman received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University in 1985, and Doctor of Veterinary Science from the University of Guelph in 1991; he is a board-certified large animal internal medicine, and practiced veterinary medicine for over 30 yrs. At Tufts University he was principal investigator of a continuously (NIH) funded research program (>20 yrs.) in biomedical research that bridged veterinary and human medicine large animal translational disease models and advancement of novel therapeutics. Dr. Hoffman was appointed Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Vet) in 2018. He has advanced programs that span veterinary medicine and multiple health and non-health sectors, for example starting new dual degree programs; further, he has initiated several inter-professional research centers, programs, and Penn's 19th Institute, the Institute of Infectious and Zoonotic Diseases. Dean Hoffman has participated in key programs that address the connections between climate change, agriculture and food systems, and biodiversity; specifically, as a UN Observer and speaker at COP27, member of interprofessional panels (e.g., 2023 IPEC panel, Association of Schools of Professionals of Public Health), invited working groups (e.g., Environmental Health, National Academy of Medicine), and workshops (e.g., Methane and Health, Environmental Defense Fund; Living with Extreme Heat, Perry World House, UPenn). Currently as Chair of the Climate Change Task Force for the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), he leads strategic visioning of global initiatives for member veterinary institutions in climate and health education, and advocacy for decarbonization of the animal health sector.

Bob Berkowitz, Founder of Downingtown Repair Café

Bob Berkowitz is the organizer of the Repair Café Downingtown and a lifelong "Repair Coach." With an educational background in Mechanical Engineering technologies, Bob served in the US Navy's Construction Battalion (aka Seabees) where he operated and maintained shore based nuclear power plants at remote locations. After serving in the military, Bob worked in the utility industry for approximately 30 years as a plant engineer and then, in corporate services. He was instrumental in leading the utility company's small and minority business program, which became a best-in-class program in the early 1980's.

After retiring, Bob started a handyman business specializing in small home repairs. He started volunteering at a local Repair Café in New York before moving to Chester Springs in 2021. Being a believer in the Repair Café movement, he started the Repair Café Downingtown in 2023.

Patti Lynn, Chester County Recycling Resources Manager

Patti Lynn is the Recycling Resources Manager for Chester County, working at the Solid Waste Authority. Patti is a Certified Recycling Professional in PA. She has an MA in Teaching and a BS in Human Ecology. Patti has 35+ years experience in the environmental health, education, and recycling professions. She has managed recycling programs on local and county levels for 18 years. She was elected to the Board of the Professional Recyclers of PA (PROP) in 2021.

Sarah Sharp, Lead Planner, Brandywine Conservancy

Sarah Sharp is a Lead planner for the Brandywine Conservancy's Municipal Assistance Program. In addition to helping municipalities with Comprehensive Plans, Open Space plans, and other municipal planning projects, Sarah has led the development and launch of the Conservancy's Climate Resiliency Program. The Climate Resiliency Program is a new planning effort of the Brandywine Conservancy to help local municipalities and landowners proactively address climate change in their communities. Sarah also serves on Chester County's Environmental and Energy Advisory Board and her local Open Space Committee.


10:35-11:00 — Networking and coffee break


11:00-12:00 — Breakout sessions

Sustainability has become more than a buzzword — adopting procedures and practices that support the environment, our neighbors, and advance good governance have become infused in policy and in the expectations of those our businesses and organizations serve. So how do we effectively infuse sustainability into our own organizations, and how do we do it in a way that advances the local, state, national, and even global movement to address climate change, social equity and environmental health? This session will share the basics of the "why" and "how" of setting actionable goals and creating a sustainability plan for your organization that reflects the unique values of your organization's stakeholders. Attendees will gain an understanding of just how pivotal of a moment we're in, and how organizations can best position themselves to take advantage of the unprecedented funding and incentives that are or will be available to support the implementation of sustainability practices.


Andrea Wittchen is a co-founder and principal of iSpring, a sustainability consulting firm. She has been instrumental in the creation of four companies, the last of which — iSpring — fulfills her passion for the earth and the future of its inhabitants. Andrea has found sustainability to be the perfect expression of vision combined with common sense. Her work with iSpring covers areas of operational sustainability, outreach and education, and metrics and reporting. She currently heads up the Lehigh Valley Breathes bi-county air quality monitoring project to identify sources of particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) pollution and develop policies to mitigate it. Andrea has been recognized as one of the 50 Best Women in Business in Pennsylvania and received the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (now Green Building United) — Lehigh Valley Branch's Sustainability Award for Individual Leadership. She was instrumental in the creation and development of the Lehigh Valley Sustainability Network and serves as its President.

Abbey Cadden currently serves as an Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator for the Governor's Office of Critical Investments at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This role is responsible for securing over $5 billion in federal funding for Pennsylvania afforded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. With those funds, Abbey assists entities developing innovative projects that advance clean energy priorities, remediate brownfields, increase manufacturing efficiency, decarbonize the industrial sector, expand clean water and wastewater infrastructure, and more.

Previously, Abbey spent eight years as an Executive Policy Specialist in DEP's Policy Office overseeing the regulatory and strategic plan development for the Bureaus of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields, Mining, Waste Management, Environmental Justice, Radiation Protection, Oil and Gas Management, Safe Drinking Water, and more. Abbey is a Chester County resident who is excited to play a role in fostering healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities where people choose to live, work, and adventure. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from Slippery Rock University and Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from West Chester University.

Is your business or organization considering moving toward an electric fleet? This session will provide an overview of how to perform a fleet vehicle suitability analysis with an emphasis on comparing internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle to electric vehicles (EV) based on their lifetime economic, energy and environmental suitability. Through use of a case study, the session will explain the steps of conducting a suitability analysis and will lay out a roadmap for the transition to an electric fleet. Topics covered will include:

  • How to establish fleet baselines
  • Discussion of ICE and EV options
  • An overview of EV charging hardware/software and their grid interconnection requirements
  • Total cost of Operation (TCO) calculations
  • Fleet management considerations, and
  • Measurement and verification of results


Dennis J. Rowan, Managing partner, REIV2G network; Southeast PA Head for Drive Electric PA

As the Managing Partner, REIV2G (an acronym for Renewable Energy Integrated Vehicle 2 Grid), Dennis Rowan specializes in planning for Electric Vehicles. REIV2G performs fleet suitability analyses, EV charger planning and grid integration for public and private sector campuses, and assists with funding and financing for fleet transition initiatives. Current and past clients include Muhlenberg College, Urban Outfitters, Weavers Way Co-Op, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., East Pikeland and West Vincent Townships. His firm also manages the EV charging network for multiple locations including Urban Outfitters' national headquarters.

Mr. Rowan also serves as the Southeast PA head for DRIVE Electric PA., a cross-sector coalition that aims to advance the transition to electric vehicles that includes state and municipal government officials, Clean Cities Coalitions, EV businesses and consultants, transportation organizations, electric utilities, and others. In this role Mr. Rowan assists public and private sector entities in obtaining funding, rebates, and other incentives related to electric vehicles and conducts seminars and EV Ride and Drive events to educate towns, schools and corporations on EV adoption.

Lawn to meadow conversions are gaining strong interest for their benefits in reducing stormwater run-off, supporting pollinators, and beautifying urban, suburban, and rural landscapes alike. Additionally, well-maintained meadows are also incredibly effective at sequestering carbon, reducing the harmful impact of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Landowners that currently mow unused lawn areas, including HOAs, municipalities, corporate campuses, and schools are reducing their weekly mowing and converting lawns to meadows. This session will cover topics including:

  • Introduction to meadows and stormwater benefits
  • Funding for meadows
  • Working with communities and weed ordinances
  • Planning and care of meadows
  • Long term maintenance requirements


Kelsey Mummert coordinates the Lawn Conversion with the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. As a community ecologist, she's passionate about using native plants on the landscape to improve water quality and biodiversity while making human-built environments more verdant.

Susan Myerov is the Watersheds Program Director for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, where she leads numerous water program planning, education, and collaborative partnership projects. Susan is a certified professional planner with over 30 years of experience in public, private, and non-profit organizations, concentrating on watershed and stormwater management assessment, education, and planning projects.

Susan holds a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. degree from Penn State University. She is a member of the American Planning Association and American Institute of Certified Planners. Susan's community work includes serving on the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership Board of Advisors and Chair of the Abington Township Environmental Advisory Council.

Paul Racette serves as Pennsylvania Environmental Council's (PEC) Program Manager for Watersheds. Paul has 40 years of environmental science experience with federal agencies, private consulting groups, and educational/nonprofit organizations. His work at PEC has focused on stormwater management and watershed restoration programs. He holds Biology (BS) and Environmental Science (MS) degrees.


12:00-1:30 — Lunch and networking