Joey Feinstein – Executive Director
Joey had given little thought to climate change until he met a small town North Dakota farmer during a cross-country bicycle trip in 2000. This farmer shared his deep concerns about the shifts he was seeing in weather and this conversation changed Joey’s life. The following spring, Joey graduated from the University of Illinois in Chicago with a BA in Sociology and began teaching in his hometown of Evanston, IL at Rice Children’s Center. More than 80% of all children attending this school were wards of the state and lived in a residential facility attached to the school. Despite the severe personal challenges these children faced, Joey could never shake the nagging feeling that these kids were learning little about the global challenges that would ultimately affect them in the future. After graduating from the Presidio School of Management with an MBA in Sustainable Management in 2007, he founded Climate Cycle.
Elizabeth Rublev is happy to be part of the Climate Cycle team. Elizabeth possesses wide-ranging experience in project management, event planning, collaborative writing, photography, and nonprofit administration. Previously, she served as the Gallery Director at both the Jane Addams Center/Hull House, and the Chicago Photography Center.
Elizabeth is very attached to her Scott CR-1 Comp road bike, and counts her completion of the 2012 North Shore Century as a major accomplishment.
A graduate from Yale University with a B.A. in English, Elizabeth has trained her focus on sustainability. She recently completed the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Certified Sustainability Reporting Course, and her LEED Green Associate accreditation.
Erin Potter – Schools Programming Coordinator
Erin Potter joined the Climate Cycle team in 2012 and is happy to be part of such a dynamic organization. As the main point of collaboration for schools, Erin gets to ride her bike all over the city visiting teachers, students and administrators that are committed to making environmental change a reality for their communities.
She came to us fresh from leading Bike & Build’s Providence to Seattle route, in which 30 young adults pedaled over 3,900 miles, in 70 days, from Providence, Rhode Island to Seattle, Washington. This trip exposed her to a wide variety of experiences—from talking with young men involved in the fracking industry in Pennsylvania to biking 90 miles in 99 degree weather in the Midwest to hearing about another trip rerouting around the wildfires in the west— that cemented her concern for our changing climate.
Erin worked for three years in the community development field, working mainly around issues of affordable housing. Her experience in fundraising and endurance events proved irresistible, and we are stoked to have her join us.
Hanh Pham – Events & Operations Coordinator
Hanh’s passion for waste reduction, creative reuse, and making eco-smart choices is infused into her role at Climate Cycle. Hanh has “greened” conferences, where 1,100 pounds of food waste was diverted from the landfill, and festivals, where the waste diversion rate was over 90%. Dedicated to assisting Climate Cycle operate sustainably, Hanh strives to support local green businesses in procurement of products and services. In her free time, Hanh enjoys bringing beauty to waste through a project called Pretty Dirty. Hanh has an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio School of Management and a BA in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis.
Board of Directors
Bess Celio – Chair
Trustee for the Lumpkin Family Foundation and Climate Cycle Board Chair, Bess Celio has worked for non-profits in some capacity, whether as a volunteer or employee, for her entire career. She is a past Chair of the Healthy Schools Campaign, an organization that advocates for healthy food and healthy environments in schools. Under her direction, the then start-up organization was grown from the ground up to a $2 million annual budget. She is part of the Oak Park Elementary School District 97 Green Teams, and serves as Chair of Holmes Elementary School’s PTO Wellness Committee. Holmes school was one of the first schools in Oak Park to receive a Zero Waste grant from ILDCEO and currently has a zero waste lunchroom, commercial composter and school garden. She lives in Oak Park with her husband and 3 daughters.
Bert Cohen – Treasurer
Bert Cohen has a track record of building brands in the natural foods industry. Cohen co-founded his first venture, Enjoy Life Foods after writing the company’s business plan as part of a class assignment for the TMP program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The business plan was inspired by his mother, who has a variety of dietary restrictions and frequently sacrificed good taste and nutrition in order to find foods that she could eat. Cohen and his team envisioned a unique company that would offer great tasting, nutritious foods for people like Cohen’s mother.
In late 2001, Cohen left a career in investment banking at Bank One, and alongside a Kellogg classmate sought funding for Chicago-based Enjoy Life Foods from friends, family and “angel investors.” Together, they got the company off the ground, developed products, and built a dedicated nut- and gluten-free bakery so that their products could be made in the safest environment possible.
In 2008, Cohen sold his interest in Enjoy Life Foods and founded Wheeling, IL-based TruSweets, LLC as a socially responsible company dedicated to building, delicious, sweet snack brands that are better for our families and the planet.
Today, TruSweets owns and markets Surf Sweets, the country’s leading brand of natural and organic gummy candies and jelly beans. Surf Sweets has ten unique varieties of candies that are all made with organic and sustainably grown ingredients without any corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors or GMOs. TruSweets also owns the TruJoy Sweets brand, which has one of the only organic candy canes in the market.
Cohen was named to Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2005 and received the Food Allergy Initiative’s Leadership Award in 2003. He also received his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Nancy Goldstein – Secretary
Nancy Goldstein is the Chief Strategist at Compass(x) Strategy. With experiences as a brand strategy consultant and a leader in brand management, Nancy has developed a 20 year track record of successfully growing businesses of all shapes and sizes. Her specialties include: marketing strategy development, value propositions and positioning, brand communications, new product launches and business model development.
Prior to launching Compass(x) Strategy, Nancy was a Director of Consulting at Zyman Group, a boutique marketing strategy consulting firm founded by Sergio Zyman, the former CMO of Coca-Cola. While at Zyman Group, Nancy led projects for clients as varied as: beverages, not-for-profit, pet food, industrials and financial services. Nancy co-authored a white paper on connecting brands to consumers in a digital world. She also co-created an approach to identify and leverage consumer preference at key points in the decision-making process for durables and other “considered goods.”
Nancy honed her business building and marketing skills running some of the world’s most iconic brands. Nancy was recruited to World Kitchen to turn around the struggling CorningWare and Revere brands – household staples for generations that had lost their way. At Pillsbury and General Mills, Nancy ran large, complex businesses such as Old El Paso Mexican Food as well as launching new products such as Refrigerated Ready-to-Bake Cookies and Brownies.
Nancy earned an MBA from the Olin School at Washington University and a BA in Economics and Psychology from Tufts University.
Nancy Rich – General Counsel
Nancy J. Rich represents clients in complex matters involving environmental liabilities associated with the acquisition, ownership, use and sale of real property, corporate assets, and manufactured products.
She devotes a significant portion of her practice to counseling corporate, local government and financial institution clients in major transactional and compliance matters. Highlights include addressing environmental, oil and gas issues on behalf of the acquirers of nearly one million acres of timberlands, and developing and overseeing a multi-layered liability allocation plan which allowed a Firm client to successfully divest an environmentally challenged business. Her practice includes a number of brownfield projects, and she advises lenders and investors who are dealing with troubled loans on environmentally challenged properties.
Ms. Rich began her legal career as an Assistant Illinois Attorney General in the Environmental Control Division, where she served as a member of the Attorney General’s Toxic Waste Strike Force. She represented the State in negotiating the first multi-party cleanup of a hazardous waste site under Illinois’ then newly-enacted state Superfund law. Ms. Rich has authored numerous publications and she has been quoted in articles addressing environmental liabilities under Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and common law theories. She is recognized in Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and named by Leading Lawyers as one of the top 50 women real estate-related attorneys in Illinois.
Ms. Rich received both an Honors undergraduate degree and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago. She is admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the District of Columbia, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois including the Trial Bar.
Matt’s primary goal in life is to drive environmentalism forward. After much consideration and research, he has chosen Climate Cycle as his primary vehicle of choice on this journey because he feels its mission is beautifully simple and he believes it is an efficient & effective machine. In addition to serving on the board of directors, he also uses his online marketing skills and his event production experience to generate awareness, excitement and funding for the cause. Matt has volunteered for non-profit organizations for over 15 years, and works as an online marketing consultant for Performics where he advises Patagonia in their search engine marketing efforts.
Outside of the office he has a remarkably worthless yet lovable cat named Carlitos, a penchant for costumes and an infectious laugh that can occasionally raise eyebrows in subdued environments.
Holly is currently serving as the Executive Director of A Giving Heart Foundation, an organization committed to eliminating the need for babies and children to have open heart surgery. She began her career in sales and marketing but eventually followed her passion for serving nonprofit organizations by joining the American Heart Association and later the Pat Tillman Foundation. In her nine year career with the American Heart Association, Holly led development staff to build some of the top fundraising campaigns in the country. Coupling a solid strategic plan with motivated volunteers and staff resulted in millions of dollars raised to fund life-saving research and education programs.
While completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Valparaiso University, Holly interned at CNN in Washington, D.C. and The Second City in Chicago and studied abroad in Greece and Germany. In addition, Holly is a Co-Active™ trained coach through The Coaches Training Institute.
Former Board Member Mark Jackson has spent his career in the investment management field, advising institutions on their investment portfolios. His last position was Managing Director within the Financial Institutions Group at asset management firm BlackRock. Mark has a lifelong devotion to education, the environment and sustainable building, as well as to addressing investment opportunities and challenges. He is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council – Illinois Chapter and the CFA Society Chicago.
Mark has an MBA from Capital University and graduated with a BS in Business Administration from The Ohio State University. He holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation from the CFA Institute and a LEED Green Associate accreditation through the Green Building Certification Institute and the U.S. Green Building Council.
Rachel Lowen – Event Producer
Rachel Lowen comes to Climate Cycle from the faced-paced world of event production. Focusing primarily in the eco and music industries, she embraces chaos management with open arms. Rachel has coordinated exhibitor logistics for Green Apple Music Festival, America’s Largest Earth Day Celebration, and trade show appearances for Mountains of the Moon Eco-Fashion, veteran eco-fashion designer. In the music realm, Rachel coordinates event logistics for 100+ musicians at major festivals like Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and Coachella. Most days, you’ll find her at the Umphrey’s McGee headquarters, a Chicago-based rock n’ roll band for which Rachel oversees Brand Development and Merchandising, and most evenings you can find her out seeing live music around town.
Ethan is the Co-founder of GiveForward.org, a website that provides individuals with personal fundraising pages to raise money online for the causes and organizations they care about. When he manages to step away from the GiveForward office, Ethan can likely be found scouring the aisles of Trader Joe’s or training for marathons in a banana costume.
Rob’s broad-based public relations experience spans more than 20 years. Prior to opening Eiseman Associates, he worked with a variety of public relations agencies, as well as broadcast and association groups. He served as creative director for Dome Communications, earning creative agency of the year honors in 2000. Rob has also served as vice president at Selz/Seabolt, Ketchum Public Relations (Chicago) and Laughlin/Constable Public Relations (Milwaukee). He spent the early part of his career as director of communications for the National Roofing Contractors Association, and as promotions director for WBEZ-FM Radio.
Rob has worked with a variety of nationally-recognized clients, developing award-winning campaigns for Wendy’s, Harley-Davidson, Bombardier (Ski-Doo/Sea-Doo recreational products), Jim Beam Brands, Encyclopedia Britannica, Motorola, ConAgra, Disney Regional Entertainment, ESPN Zone, Sara Lee, Sargento Cheese Company, Fannie May, Mayflower, the American Iron and Steel Institute and many others.
Marise is currently a freelance event planner/fundraising consultant. She has lived in Illinois for the past 12 years, currently residing in Decatur. With 19 years of experience working for diverse clients including Fortune 500 companies, universities and nonprofits, she brings her professional fundraising experience along with a long-held passion for the environment to Climate Cycle. Over the past three years she created a ride called Rolling on the River from the ground up. With the backing of the Lumpkin Family Foundation and Grand Victoria Foundation this ride for the environment raised funds for three statewide charities (Prairie Rivers Network, Illinois Environmental Council Education Fund and Stewardship Alliance). Rolling on the River quickly became known for its high level of participant support and beautiful route, growing 200% in just three years and advertised to more than 3 million households. Although she holds three degrees in the sciences and spent her early years as a field biologist in the wilds of the Adirondacks and Florida swamps, she discovered through her work with Rolling on the River a love of event planning and a talent for partnership development. With her event on hold until 2010, she is pouring her passions into growing Climate Cycle. She encourages all the cyclists, sponsors and volunteers from Rolling on the River to join her in supporting Climate Cycle in 2009.
Nick Aster – Media Architect & Web Builder
Nick is a new media architect specializing in using online technology to advance conversations on sustainability. He has worked with companies like Nike, SAP, Gawker Media, Offermatica, and many others on internal and external strategies for communication, and is also a founding team member of TreeHugger.com, the most popular environmental website in the world. Currently, Nick runs the Green Business website TriplePundit.com to promote sustainable business and works for Mother Jones magazine.
Nick holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.
Nancy is a corporate attorney with more than 15 years’ experience in leading efforts to create and implement meaningful change within organizations. She is passionate about advancing environmental initiatives and encouraging companies, schools and community groups to be successful by helping the environment. Nancy created a comprehensive and successful environmental program at Williams-Sonoma. She currently works with local schools and other community stakeholders in Highland Park, IL, while serving on the city’s Natural Resources Commission. At all levels of an organization, Nancy turns skeptics into participants and enthusiasts into true champions and collaborators to drive results.
Hunter is president and founder of the Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS). (www.natcapsolutions.org) NCS educates senior decision-makers in business, government and civil society to restore and enhance the natural and human capital while increasing prosperity and quality of life.
Trained as a sociologist and lawyer (JD), Hunter co- founded the California Conservation Project (Tree People), and Rocky Mountain Institute, which she led for 20 years. Lovins has consulted for scores of industries and governments worldwide, including the International Finance Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, Interface, Clif Bar and Wal-Mart. Governmental clients include the Pentagon, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and the governments of Jamaica and Australia. She also serves as an advisor to the Energy Minister of the Government of Afghanistan.
Michael is a senior program director for the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. He joined the Department of Cultural Affairs in 1993 as an intern in the Public Programming Division assisting on a number of performing arts series at the Chicago Cultural Center. Over the years, Michael has worked at transforming the Chicago Cultural Center into a prime venue for a variety of musical forms including jazz, blues, folk and world music. Additionally, he created two summer festivals that have become staples in the Chicago summer festival season. Chicago SummerDance, an 11-week outdoor dance/concert series (now in its 12th season) and World Music Festival: Chicago, a multi-day festival highlighting both traditional and contemporary music from around the world in a variety of venues throughout Chicago (now in its 10th season).
In 2004, Michael was instrumental in organizing the opening weekend events at the new Millennium Park in downtown Chicago and is now responsible for programming a majority of the non-classical events including a series of jazz, world music and rock concerts this season. Currently, Michael serves as senior program director for the Department of Cultural Affairs and collaborates with many additional city agencies including the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, Chicago Office of Tourism and the Chicago Park District on a variety of seasonal events. He was selected as one of the “Chicagoans of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune in 1999.
Lisa Brin Spewak
Lisa has been a teacher of early childhood for 20 years. She is also the Director of the Gorton Children’s Drop-In Center in Lake Forest. She is formerly the Director of Early Childhood at the JCYS Northwest Family Center in Buffalo Grove and Sunflower Day Camp at the Lutz Family Center in Highland Park, a northern suburb of Chicago. Lisa is interested in bringing the great big ideas of renewable energy to small children in order to help them understand they can be an active part of a global solution. She continues to seek innovative ways for children to be active partners in changing our climate for the better. She works with children to actively participate in being a good steward to the environment through daily activities. Lisa has been been active with Climate Cycle since before the inaugural 2009 ride.