George Bandy, Jr.
Vice President of Sustainability
George Bandy, Jr. serves as vice president of sustainability for Mohawk Group, a leading commercial flooring company known for cutting-edge and innovative flooring solutions. George is responsible for managing the comprehensive concepts and practices of sustainability for Mohawk. He identifies opportunities to position environmental, economic and socially responsible solutions for both the organization and its customers so that, together, they can demonstrate the type of sustainability leadership that will result in a brighter future for us all.
George is a highly sought after presenter on key topics such as the business of sustainability, biophilc design, social sustainability, circular economy, greening the supply chain, health and wellness in the built environment, and innovative smart design. Prior to joining Mohawk Group, George worked for Interface, where he most recently served as the flooring company’s vice president of sustainability, and was also a member of Interface’s Americas Sustainability Council.
Before working at Interface, Bandy was employed as the University Sustainability Officer for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He is the immediate past board chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and has also served on the board for Second Nature, a non-profit that champions for higher education institutions to make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of learning.
When asked what truly sets Bandy apart, the sustainability industry’s most notable leaders point to his experience, charisma and depth of understanding:
“George Bandy is the consummate sustainability leader on every level you can name,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. “As chair of the USGBC board of directors during a time of explosive growth and change, his amazing ability to lead others to consensus and action was so critical to advancing our work to create a healthier, more sustainable built environment. He deeply understands what needs to be done, and is brilliant in sharing with others why it matters in ways that are both inspirational and instructive, and we’re all better for it.”
“George Bandy is highly regarded for his thoughtful approach to sustainability,” said Jason McLennan, founder and chair of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). “He joins a strong team in place at Mohawk. The company has been a tremendous partner to the ILFI and an early adopter of our programs and ideals. George’s passion and leadership abilities will undoubtedly breathe new life into an already successful sustainability platform at Mohawk.”
Bandy received his bachelor’s degree in English from Morehouse College. Additionally, Bandy holds LEED Accredited Professional certification from the USGBC. He is a native of Opelika, Ala.
President and CEO
New York New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council
Terrence Clark serves as the President and CEO of the New York New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council. At the Council, Terrence provides operational oversight and carries out full management and operational responsibilities for the Council staff including personnel, administration, work delegation and performance evaluations. He also provide supervision and direction related to the Council program areas and activities in the Council’s market areas which are the State of New York and New Jersey up to the Trenton area.
Prior to this position, he served as the Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Business Development for the National Urban League, where he was responsible for the management of all of the small business and entrepreneurship programs. Terrence also served as the Senior Vice President, Knowledge Sharing for Opportunity Finance Network, where he was responsible for the management consulting, training and annual conference lines of business for community development financial institutions nationwide.
Excelsior Growth Fund
Steven Cohen is president of Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF), a prominent Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing small business financing and advisory services. Prior to joining EGF, Mr. Cohen was executive vice president and deputy commissioner at Empire State Development, where he led the Department of Small Business Services and Community Economic Development. Mr. Cohen served as senior vice president for Seedco Financial Services where he worked in executive management and economic development, as well as loan portfolio management. He also founded and ran a music production company in San Francisco. Steve has a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School.
Ballpark Operations, New York Mets ballpark, Citi Field
Michael began his career with the New York Mets in 1999 as an intern in the Stadium Operations department at Shea Stadium. Now Senior Director, Ballpark Operations for the New York Mets ballpark, Citi Field, which opened in 2009. His day to day operations include assisting in the maintenance and operation of the ballpark and oversight of in-house labor (engineers, plumbers, electricians, utility / grounds crew), life safety, vertical transportation, trash removal as well as all structural issues, repairs and financial analysis of the department. He is spearheading the current, and future, sustainability efforts of the ballpark and is solely responsible for the data collection, benchmarking, reporting and increasing efforts based on findings
Illonka Javette Hines
Director, Supply Chain Development, Inclusion, and Sustainability
Illonka (Javette) Hines is Director, Supply Chain Development, Inclusion, and Sustainability at Citi. Javette joined Citi Procurement Services in 2008. She manages and sets direction within Procurement for Citi’s Supplier Diversity and Sustainability initiative. Additionally, she ensures awareness of current legislation and trends and is spearheading Citi’s role in the groundbreaking Supplier Connection initiative, www. Supplier-connection.net. The dual role has been a win-win as it ensures supply chain and supplier alignment in Citi’s sourcing efforts and aligns with Operations and Technology’s 2015 sustainable supply chain goals. Most important, it has allowed for an additional educational platform for MWBEs and a way to further realize a level playing field and a greater understanding of contractual requirements regarding sustainable procurement/ethical sourcing.
Javette has over 18 years of experience in procurement, diversity, contracts and management. Prior to joining Citi, Javette worked at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) where her responsibilities included recruitment of supply chain talent, management of US and global sourcing. Javette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Middle Grades Education from Clark Atlanta University, and a Juris Doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Minority Supplier Development Corporation and serves as Secretary; a past secretary and member of the Board of Directors of the NY & NJ Minority Supplier Development Council.
CDP Supply Chain Program
George is the Director of CDP’s Supply Chain Program in North America. His responsibilities include establishing and maintaining relationships with sustainability and procurement executives in major corporations and other purchasing entities. George and his team assists member companies with the development of strategic plans that enable the integration of CDP environmental criteria into their key sustainability decisions.
Prior to CDP, George worked with NGO’s and non-profit organizations on consulting engagements that enabled companies to with integrate the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into their business operations. He also has a background in business development and spent more than 10 years in sales and operations management roles at multinational companies.
George holds two degrees from Columbia University, including a master’s degree in Human Rights and International Law.
Facility Operations in the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball
Jason Kobeda is Sr. Coordinator, Facility Operations in the Commissioner’s Office of Major League Baseball. In this role, Jason oversees many aspects of ballpark operations such as security, fan experience, concessions and environmental sustainability. Jason also provides planning and management support for MLB jewel events such as the All-Star Game and World Series.
Prior to joining the Office of the Commissioner, Jason spent four seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates as Ballpark Maintenance Manager where he oversaw daily operations and worked with Populous and senior leadership to develop a long-term holistic master plan for PNC Park.
Jason began his career as Business Specialist for the Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh where he was a member of the development team for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ PPG Paints Arena, the NHL’s first LEED Gold certified venue.
In addition to his role in baseball, Jason is on the Board of Governors for the 2030 Districts Network which has been established in cities across North America to provide a business model for urban sustainability through collaboration, leveraged financing, and shared resources. The 2030 Districts work toward a common goal of meeting the energy, water, and transportation emissions reduction targets for existing buildings and new construction called for by Architecture 2030.
MBE Capital Partners, Inc.
Rafael Martinez has over 29 years of experience working with middle market companies in developing financial solutions that allow clients to leverage the use of internal assets to increase cash flow. He has overseen over $8.7 billion in financing over the last five years, which helped clients increase revenues exponentially. He’s an enthusiastic leader with proven achievements in spearheading innovative, cost effective sales strategies and initiatives that produce dynamic business results.
Rafael uses his strong interpersonal skills to help seasoned CEOs/CFOs develop an understanding of their most pressing needs and develop financial solutions that address them. He has built a solid reputation with capital markets professionals for providing viable financing opportunities that have performed at or above projected levels.
Rafael is recognized for his ability to build, guide and sustain successful financial services organizations in marketing products and managing the ongoing delivery of those services. He is adept at negotiating major financial contracts, as well as fostering effective business relationships at the highest levels. A creative deal maker with a solid track record of developing companies and customer productivity, Rafael combines his excellent presentation, negotiation, closing and follow-through skills with his strong ability to build an industry presence.
MBE Capital Partners, LLC (MBECP) was established as a finance company with the strategic objective of developing straight-forward financing products for small to midsize MBEs as a division of Rafael’s 19-year-old Republic Companies. MBECP offers alternative financing through its accounts receivable, purchase order and supply chain financing (using its dynamic Speed Pay Program).
Mr. Martinez is a passionate entrepreneur working on niches that no one else focuses on. Before it all, Rafael is a family man living in Franklin Lakes, NJ. He enjoys traveling, salsa (the kind you dance to a Willie Colón song to), attending international fencing tournaments to watch his daughters compete for the Dominican Republic National Fencing team and great moments with his wife of 28 years, Ina, and his daughters Chelsea, 24, and Samantha, 19.
Rafael Martinez is looking for a building in his old neighborhood of Washington Heights where he will create an after-school program for middle and high school students that focuses on STEM, learning how to code and introducing youth to professionals who look like them. During the day, the facility will serve as an adult learning center to teach English as a second language and computer skills.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Sustainability
Dr. Meyerstein works in Citi’s Sustainability team, helping to lead the development of policy frameworks and risk management approaches to human rights and sustainability issues. Prior to joining Citi, Meyerstein led multilateral organization policy engagement on human rights, labor affairs, sustainable development and corporate governance for the United States Council for International Business, an association of Fortune 500 U.S. businesses. In addition to representing the U.S. business community at the OECD, the ILO and with various U.S. executive branch agencies, Meyerstein conceived of and launched in 2015 the Business for 2030 portal for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of the earliest platforms to promote business engagement in the SDG. Prior to USCIB, Meyerstein spent several years developing expertise in international dispute resolution while working for global law firms and in international courts and tribunals. From 2008-10 he served as Legal Adviser to the Hon. Charles N. Brower of the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, where he also assisted with investor-state disputes, and clerked from 2007-08 for the Hon. Judge M. Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Meyerstein has served on a number of advisory committees to various U.S. executive branch agencies on the intersection of trade, investment and human rights and sustainable development and currently serves as Business Vice-chair of the Stakeholder Advisory Board to the State Department’s U.S. National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. He also served as an advisor to the U.S. Employers’ delegation to the International Labour Conference from 2014-2016 and has also participated in several multi-stakeholder advisory groups at the OECD aimed at developing responsible business conduct guidance documents in different sectors, including finance. He was elected a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations in 2016 and is a member of the Global Advisory Council of the Ethics Alliance, which focuses on thought leadership in the area of anti-corruption and bribery prevention. He is a frequently invited speaker on business and human rights issues, has published several articles and book chapters on various aspects of human rights law, including its intersection with finance, and teaches business and human rights as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law. He received his law degree and PhD in Jurisprudence & Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. He has a B.A. from Columbia University in English & Comparative Literature with a concentration in Human Rights. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and two children.
Chief Procurement Officer and Source-to-Pay Global Process Owner
Enterprise Infrastructure - Enterprise Supply Chain (ESC)
John Sack joined Citigroup in August, 2010 and is presently the Chief Procurement Officer and Source-to-Pay Global Process Owner within Citi’s Enterprise Supply Chain Organization. In this capacity, Mr. Sack leads an organization responsible for developing and executing Citigroup’s source-to-pay strategies and processes globally across all non-compensation categories of spend in support of all Citi Businesses and geographies worldwide.
Prior to joining Citigroup, Mr. Sack led the global technology sourcing and procurement organizations for AIG (2007 – 2010) and JPMorganChase (2002 – 2007).
Previously, Mr. Sack was a founding member of a sourcing advisory firm based in Philadelphia, PA engaged in sourcing consulting services and B2B e-commerce strategies for small to mid-size enterprises.
Prior to assuming various leadership roles in sourcing and procurement, Mr. Sack held a variety of senior finance, operations and business development roles in the retail and financial services industry.
Mr. Sack earned a BS degree in Business Administration/Finance from SUNY Binghamton in 1988.
Division of Environmental Science and Assessment
Dr. Williamson has a strong background and extensive experience in the field of chemical and environmental engineering, including manufacturing process modification for improved material recovery and reuse, sustainability and green engineering. Dr. Williamson serves as the Director of the Division of Environmental Science and Assessment (DESA) at EPA Region 2 and oversees a staff of 63 employees to carry out DESA’s mission. Dr. Williamson is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and coordinating the implementation of Region 2’s environmental science and assessment programs.
Dr. Williamson’s responsibilities include, directing the collection, analysis & evaluation of environmental data in support of all the major environmental programs including air, drinking water, wastewater, groundwater, surface water, sediment, soil and hazardous waste; directing the operations of a regional laboratory; providing policy guidance and technical assistance to other federal, state, local and tribal agencies regarding surveillance and monitoring techniques, analytical methodologies and quality assurance/control principles; leading the Region’s Caribbean Science Consortium to expand science collaboration between universities, government agencies and non-governmental organizations to address critical public health issues in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; leading the Region’s Citizen Science Program to empower communities to collect quality environmental data with which to advocate for their health; directing the Region’s quality assurance program to assure generation of appropriate quality data to be incorporated into the decision making processes; conducting special studies, investigations, analyses and surveys to acquire the necessary environmental data to support program offices within EPA and directing the Region’s research programs.
Prior to joining the EPA, Dr. Williamson served as the Director of the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology and as a Senior Engineer at Xerox Corporation. In these roles, Dr. Williamson worked with industries, communities and academia on implementing a variety of manufacturing solutions that focused on reducing both environmental and economic footprints. Dr. Williamson also has extensive experience in utilizing life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology for evaluating the environmental performance of a process/product from cradle-to-grave and has performed multiple LCAs throughout her career.
Dr. Williamson is a Lean Six Sigma certified Greenbelt. She understands the importance of applying lean thinking when implementing environmental solutions. Dr. Williamson holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental engineering, all from Clarkson University.