Panel Speakers' Bios:


Panel A: Understanding Sustainable Economy


Larry Arrington, Pinellas County Government

After 18 years in public administration in Florida's Volusia and Leon Counties, he moved to the private sector in 1991 and began working with Dr. Herb Marlowe on a variety of assignments. He returned to the public sector during the period 1995-2000 as County Manager of Volusia County, the chief executive of a chartered, council-manager general-purpose government located in Central Florida. He left Volusia County to reenter his consulting practice.He presently works as Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives for Pinellas County Government, located in the Tampa Bay Region of Florida. He heads the county's planning function and serves as the organization's chief strategy officer as part of the Executive Leadership Team under the direction of County Administrator Bob LaSala.

Mr. Arrington has a combination of experiences at all levels of government as a public administrator and consultant. He has practical as well as academic experience with the principles and best practices of public administration, and strategic planning. He has developed special expertise in applying the theory of sustainability to public policy and administration. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science from Stetson University. He is an adjunct professor and lecturer at Stetson, having taught in the Political Science Department. Arrington is a former board member of the Florida City-County Management Association and is past President of the North and Central Florida Chapters of the American Society for Public Administration.


Gypsy Gallardo, Power Broker Magazine

Gypsy is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government with a Masters in Public Policy (dual concentrations in Political & Economic Development and International Trade & Finance); and of the Whitney Young College of Leadership at Kentucky State University with a BA degree (double major in English Literature and Liberal Arts).

Though she is best known for her role as Publisher of the Power Broker, the most widely circulated magazine targeting African Americans in Florida’s Tampa Bay region, Gypsy’s career is broadly dedicated to advancing America toward sustainable and broad-based economic prosperity for all her people.

Her work has strategically focused on the design of cutting-edge investments and programming that moves the needle of progress in areas such as accelerating job creation, speeding small business growth, and improving the health of low-performing community economies.

Gypsy has held executive positions with trailblazing organizations in the fields of economic, commercial, workforce, political and business development, as well as education advocacy. Among them, she was Vice President of Development for Urban Development Solutions and of International Enterprise Development.

Gypsy is the recipient of two dozen awards for leadership and service.


Kerul Kassel, Fielding Graduate University 

Kerul Kassel has a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems and a Masters degree in Human Development. She is a faculty member at Fielding Graduate University teaching in the Sustainability Leadership and Global Leadership programs and is the author of The Thinking Executive’s Guide to Sustainability (Business Expert Press, 2014). She holds the Certified Sustainability Professional through the International Society of Sustainability Professionals and the LEED Green Associate designations, as well as and multiple executive coaching certifications. Dr. Kassel’s work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals and in conferences around the world. She serves on the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce National and Southeast Region Education Committees. Her research focuses on sustainable business practices and education and leadership for sustainability in organizations.


Amy Kedron, University of South Florida St. Petersburg 

Amy Kedron (JD/PhD) is the founder and former CEO of Buffalo First Inc. She created this social enterprise in 2006 as a critical research project--a means of empowering a community while also seeking to better understand it. At the conclusion of four years of dissertation field work, she turned control of Buffalo First over to the community she studied.

Buffalo First continues to strengthen Buffalo, New York’s local economy: it helped pass ground-breaking Benefit Corporation legislation in New York State and has hosted the 2013 conference of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. Its award-winning work has appeared in Business Week, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.

Kedron is also a founding board member of the progressive policy think tank, the Partnership for the Public Good. She has studied at Columbia University and the University at Buffalo. Her research examines race, class, political economy, local business ownership and sustainable community economic development. She currently teaches at the University of Southern Florida at Saint Petersburg.


Panel B: Emerging and Alternate Models of Investing, Financing, and Savings


Tony Budak, Time Bank Mahoning Watershed 

Tony Budak hails from Youngstown, Ohio. In 2004, after 40 years and 6 months of service, he retired from Delphi Packard Automotive in Warren, Ohio.In 1966 Budak was drafted in to the Army where he served the majority of his time in Korat, Thailand. He worked as a Military Police Investigator and was honorably discharged in 1968. After returning from active duty, Budak became a department supervisor. In 1973 he decided to leave management and he returned to the shop floor. Budak became active in the Union, and was eventually elected to IUE 717's Executive Board, holding that office 13 years. Following his years on the Executive Committee Budak was elected as Sub-Chairman of IUE-CWA Local 717. At the time of his service, Local 717 was the largest IUE-CWA Local in the world. As Sub-Chair, Budak was an active and outspoken member of the Bargaining Committee and was responsible for enforcing the contract between 717 and Delphi Packard Electric- GM. In the course of his time at Packard, Budak received his M.S. in Community Economic Development, from New Hampshire College in 1991.Shortly after retirement, Budak founded Time Bank Mahoning Watershed, and in 2009 TBMW received tax exempt status from the IRS. Mr. Budak is TBMW’s CEO and chief evangelist. Tony resides in Hubbard, Ohio in a renovated barn with his wife, Jennie, and is the father of two children, Anthony and Cordelia.


Don Hall, Transition Sarasota

Don Hall is the founder and Executive Director of Transition Sarasota. Previously, he worked for two years as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Transition Colorado (now, the Local Food Shift Group), the first official Transition Initiative in North America and a statewide hub. Don holds a Master's in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University and is a certified Permaculture Designer and US Transition Trainer. In 2011, Don graduated from the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute, and in 2012, he was recognized as one of the “10 People Behind Local Food” by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.


Marie Wilson Nelson, Tampa Bay Time Bank 

A writer, activist & grounded theory researcher, Marie Nelson is an Emeritus Professor at National Louis University who spent her academic career teaching writing and studying how to make classrooms and academic programs more authentic, inclusive, engaging, responsive and fair. With a background in linguistics, writing, change studies and the evolution of groups, she taught and consulted in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East about responsive teaching, growth-biased assessment, action research for professional development, and teaching as a spiritual activity. Studying cultural shifts in the U.S. during a 2004-05 sabbatical year, she noticed that the ethics, principles and evolutionary process of permaculture design were aligned with the findings that had emerged from her own research studying classrooms where virtually every learner succeeds (documented, for example, in At the Point of Need: Studying Basic and ESL Writers). She became certified as a permaculture designer, joined the Transition Movement, and organized Tampa Bay Time Community Service Exchange, also known as a time bank, in which trades made in Hours complement and help rebalance the mainstream economy. Since retiring she has studied a range of financial strategies for shifting local economies of scarcity to economies of abundance for all.


John Wakefield, Ygrene Energy Fund

Mr. Wakefield's professional experience spans over 12 years of service in corporate and investment banking, wealth, investment management, and strategic corporate development. In 2007, Mr. Wakefield planned, organized, and launched EcoAsset Solutions for Lykes Bros, Currently, he is the President & Chief Operating Officer of EcoAsset Solutions and responsible for the division's operating performance.

Prior to beginning his work at Lykes Bros. Inc. Mr. Wakefield spent nine years working in various capacities of the financial services industry. Initially, he worked for Wachovia Bank in Atlanta, GA in the bank's large corporate finance group. In this role, Mr. Wakefield concentrated on credit structure and analysis as well as capital markets solutions and advisory for clients located in the Southeast.

Following this role, Mr. Wakefield joined a newly formed media, telecommunications corporate, and investment banking group at Wachovia. In this capacity, Mr. Wakefield was responsible for managing the due diligence and underwriting process related to capital structure advisory and solutions that his clients used for coporate development, management buyouts, mergers, and acquistions. In 2001, Mr. Wakefield relocated to Tampa to join Wachovia's regional coropate banking group and subsequently, moved to SunTrust Bank where he worked in the Commercial Banking, Wealth, and Investment Management lines of business.

Mr. Wakefield obtained a BA-English from the College of Charleston and an International MBA from Thunderbird-American Graduate School of International Management.


Panel C: 21st Century Green Investments and Portfolios


Susan Glickman, Florida Director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Susan has worked with Southern Alliance for Clean Energy since 2001 as a consultant and lobbyist. She was named Florida Director in August 2013. Susan has a background in running political campaigns and also directs SACE’s Action Fund in the sunshine state. A native of Florida, she has consulted with many national organizations such as Natural Resources Defense Council, Ceres, Advanced Energy Economy, Union of Concerned Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Vote Solar, Clean Energy Group, Environmental Defense Fund and Clean Air Task Force. She developed and directed The Florida Business Network for a Clean Energy Economy, a coalition of business leaders working together to advance the clean energy economy.

Prior to energy and climate issues, Susan worked to grant the FDA authority to regulate tobacco with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; to institute a nation-wide health tracking system with Trust for America’s Health and for the first time to fund prostate cancer research with the National Prostate Cancer Coalition.

Susan was recently appointed by Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Commission on Volunteer Service. She was Founding Chair of The Florida Commission on the Status of Women.  She grew up in Tampa, attending St. John’s Episcopal Day School and Academy of the Holy Names. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech from the University of Texas at Austin and an A.A. from Florida State University. 


Janet Harrison, The Sustany Foundation 

Janet Harrison is a third generation Tampa native. She gained a deep respect for the natural environment fishing the local waters of Tampa Bay with her family. Janet is a graduate of the University of South Florida College of Business (Finance).

After a career in business management and sales in small and global corporations, Janet changed course to focus exclusively on sustainability visioning, process, data management and employee engagement in business and government.

Her project portfolio includes: Sustainable Green Printer Certification for a leading US screen printer, Sustany Sustainable Business Program, three year sustainability report outline for a global forest products company and contributing author and editor of the 2013 Heartland Energy Baseline and Greenhouse Gas inventory for the Central Florida Regional Planning Council.

She is an independent sustainability consultant, GRI Certified, and board member of the Sustany Foundation. Contact:;


Stephen M. Koontz, CEM, LEED AP, Tampa Bay Trane

Mr. Koontz is responsible for leading Tampa Bay Trane’s Energy Services business.  Mr. Koontz identifies, develops, and implements building retrofits and operational changes that help owners achieve green, high performance buildings.  Since joining Tampa Bay Trane in 1997, Mr. Koontz has implemented more than $100 Million in energy savings projects.  These projects are saving his clients more than $10 Million every year. 

Mr. Koontz is a leader in the green building movement and previously served as Vice-Chairman for the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, which has more than 800 members.  He has provided training to over 1,000 local building industry professionals preparing for the LEED Accredited Professional exam.  In 2009, he was appointed by Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio to the Mayor’s Energy Conservation Task Force.   

Mr. Koontz’s community activities include serving as the Chairman of the HCC Education Foundation and Co-Chair for the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.  He is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers, the Energy Services Coalition, the 2007 Class of Leadership Tampa,  He has authored several papers on energy efficiency and is a sought after speaker for local civic and professional organizations.  He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida.  He is a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Accredited Professional.


Abraham Rahmanizaheh, Barclays

Abraham Rahmanizadeh recently graduated from The University of Tampa with a double major in Accounting & Finance. Abraham has interned at Raymond James, Bankers Financial, Barclays Capital in New York City, and several other firms through his time at UT. After an extraordinarily busy summer due to Fed rhetoric at Barclays, Abe is excited to be heading back up to Manhattan to join Barclays full-time as an Investment Banking Analyst starting in June. He aspires to start a fund that focuses on a small number of investments and focuses on helping them reach their full potential. The fund would have metrics to meet for People, Planet, and Profits in order to benefit all stakeholders in each transaction. Outside of business and sustainability, Abe is passionate about mentoring, education, and technology. A lot of his spare time is spent thinking about how he can play a role in providing anyone who wants access to these resources the ability to use them. Finally, on the weekends and nights during the week Abe is typically mountain biking at one of the four major parks within an hour of Tampa getting his fix of adrenaline.


Panel D: Integrating Sustainable Economy Models Across the Curriculum


Tyanne Campbell, Hillsborough Community College

Tyanne Campbell has been teaching mathematics at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) since January 2011. Prior to HCC she taught math (Advanced Placement Calculus, Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, Algebra 2 Honors, & Advanced Topics in Math) for 6 years and held the position of department chair for two years at Brandon High School in Brandon, Fl. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Mathematics and from Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s of Science in Math Education. Currently she teaches College Algebra, Trigonometry, Liberal Arts I & II, Pre-calculus, and Intermediate Algebra. In addition she is the club advisor for Students For the Environment at the Brandon Campus of HCC, actively participates in HCC Sustainability Council meetings, and volunteers with the Florida Association of Mu Alpha Theta Regional & Invitational competitions for the last eight years.


Jason Gaschel, Seminole State College

Jason graduated in 1996 from Hudson Valley Community College, from the General Motors ASEP Automotive Technology Program. In 2001, Jason obtained a degree in Vocational Teacher Preparation through SUNY Oswego.

Soon after receiving his diploma, Jason moved to Florida and has been working at Seminole State College of Florida since 2002 as an instructor and program manager in the same program he graduated from in New York: GM ASEP. As a firm believer in the community college and its many benefits, this career has fit him well. In 2011, Jason completed a Master’s Degree in Education. In 2013, Jason has taken on a new role in the school of Engineering, Design and Construction as the project manager of an NSF award to promote pathways to STEM careers, and the Program Manager of the newly created Alternative Energy Certificate Program.

Jason is an avid proponent of the alternative energy movement, and led the development and build of a 100% student build electric car conversion project. This is a show car that will travel around the county to raise awareness of a future generation ready to tackle new technology.


Richard D. Schulterbrandt Gragg III, Ph.D., Florida A&M University 

Richard D. Schulterbrandt Gragg III, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy in the School of the Environment at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee Florida. He is the Chair of the FAMU Environment and Sustainability Council and member of the EPA Science Advisory Board, Environmental Justice Technical Guidance Review Panel. He is the founding director of the Center for Environmental Equity and Justice (1998-2011) and a former member of the Audubon of Florida Board of Directors, and the Florida Environmental Regulations Commission. He is recently published as a contributor to ‘Science and Technology Leaders for a Sustainable Future;’ in P. Barlett and G. Chase (Eds.), Re-imagining higher education: stories and strategies for sustainability, MIT Press (2013). Dr. Gragg received his B.S. degree (1981), M.S. degree (1986), and Ph.D. degree (1994) in pharmaceutical sciences from the Florida A&M University.


Brian Lovell, National Science Foundation; The Watt Doctors LLC.

Brian Lovell has spent 20+ years working in the building automation systems (BAS) industry, holding every position from technician through CEO of one of the leading controls companies in the Atlanta area.

In 2007, Brian joined the Technical College System of Georgia and led the development of the nation's first BAS associates degree program with support from a range of industry partners.

In 2012, Brian joined the National Science Foundation's Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) national center and began disseminating the curriculum developed in GA to a wide audience of community colleges around the country.

Today, Brian continues his work with the NSF's BEST center, works as a national education consultant for the AACC's SEED Center, and also manages his engineering consulting firm, The Watt Doctors, LLC.


Panel E: Redesigning Careers and Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Sustainable Economy


Brian Gansz, Lifecycles Tech, LLC.

Brian Gansz is an entrepreneur and owner of Lifecycles Tech LLC in Plant City, Florida which began operations in 2009. Lifecycles specializes in full accountability electronics recycling and reverse logistics in the greater Tampa Bay area. Prior to founding the business, Brian spent 20 years in the professional workforce achieving accolades working as an e-commerce director, IT support technician and account executive in one of the largest media and information services companies for the automotive and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, employment and travel industries. He also spent his spare time fixing computer hardware and volunteering as a disaster communications operator for local amateur radio organizations from California to Virginia. Early on in life, Brian realized that being the child of an electronics engineer had its benefits, mainly the unending supply of unique devices to take apart and put back together again, hopefully to its original working order. Brian’s current projects are creating sustainable recycling processes with the use of renewable energy.  


Ryan Kania, Executive Director of Advocates for World Health, Inc. (AWH)

Ryan Kania founded AWH and serves as Executive Director. Ryan leads the team by coordinating partnerships with international relief agencies and setting the strategies for future growth. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of South Florida in 2010. Prior to AWH, Ryan worked in investment banking with Crosstree Capital and did research on USF’s endowment fund.

About AWH:Advocates for World Health, Inc is a not-for-profit corporation that recovers surplus medical products and distributes them to relief agencies working in developing nations.The medical products AWH recovers improve healthcare access in impoverished communities while preventing these life-saving materials from going to waste. To learn more about AWH, please visit


Ed Turanchik, Akerman 

Ed Turanchik has more than 25 years of experience working in and with state and local government and leading businesses as an attorney, public official and business owner. Ed's client focus includes working with local governments and private clients on infrastructure, transportation, sports, affordable housing, urban land development and water projects and issues where his public and private sector experience provides clients with a range of perspectives for solution driven outcomes.

Ed served as a principal of two private development companies, one focused on infill affordable housing and the other on major urban redevelopment projects. He successfully orchestrated two of the largest urban land assemblages in the Tampa Bay area. Ed also served as the president of Florida 2012, Tampa's joint effort with St. Petersburg, Lakeland and Orlando to host the 2012 Olympic Games, one of the first "super-regional" civic efforts in the I-4 corridor.

Ed's public sector experience includes having run recently as Mayor of Tampa, serving on the Hillsborough County Commission as well as on numerous local and regional authorities. Ed's public sector work included leading the statewide effort to secure $2 billion in high speed rail funding, initiating regional rail and bus transit plans in the Tampa Bay area, and leading the successful effort to end 70 years of regional water wars, which culminated in the formation of a new regional authority and over a billion dollars of new water supply projects. He also led the effort to locate and build the St. Pete Times Forum in downtown Tampa. Ed's visionary leadership earned him numerous national and regional awards and repeated recognition as one of Tampa Bay area's top business leaders.


David Whitwam, Whitwam Organics 

David is the owner of Whitwam Organics, a Florida registered nursery that provides retail sales of seedlings and gardening supplies at Tampa Bay area Farmers’ Markets. During the week Whitwam Organics offers full edible garden installations and ongoing maintenance packages for residences as well as community gardens, school gardens, and church gardens in Pinellas and Hillsborough County. David has learned that for gardens to remain truly sustainable, passing on knowledge of soil, garden beds, compost systems, worms, vermicomposting, vertical systems, seed tables, seedlings, organic pesticides, organic fertilizers, planting seasons, weeding, harvesting and use of tools was only part of the equation. There is a much bigger picture. Along with organic methods of growing food David has also added to his tool box: organizing volunteers, training community members, staff, and volunteers to be leaders, making a garden “business plan”, navigating grants, partnering with non-profits, working with large groups of students- of all ages, helping with a garden’s identity and using community resources to their full extent. David has experience organizing and executing classes, tours, workshops, and lectures.


Panel F: Students Defining Sustainable Economy at College Campuses and Communities


Eric Gribin, Norwalk Community College

In 2009, with funding from the U.S. Dept. of Labor SOAR grant (Sustainable Operations, Alternative and Renewable Energy Initiative), Eric developed the BEST undergraduate certificate program. BEST trains students for careers in sustainable building, energy efficiency, and renewable energies. In 2012, under DOL’s TAA grant, Eric developed the noncredit Building Energy Worker Training (BEWT) Program. BEWT features a unique accelerated, remedial, contextualized Boot Camp that enables developmental students to join.

Eric holds a Master of Science degree from the Robert J. Milano School of Management at the New School University; a Diploma in Construction Management from New York University’s Real Estate Institute; and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Michigan. He is a Certified Green Professional; a certified G-PRO, a Building Analyst Professional, and a Home Energy Rater candidate. He has directed the construction of multi-million dollar commercial and residential projects, and in 2008, was awarded ‘Remodeler of the Year’ by the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Fairfield County, CT.

Eric also serves as Chair of NCC CARES - the NCC’s Committee for Active and Responsible Environmental Sustainability.


Laurie Horning, Eckerd College

Laurie Horning is a senior at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida majoring in Environmental Studies with minors in Anthropology and French. After the Gulf oil spill, Laurie became passionate about protecting the planet and spreading awareness about environmental issues. Throughout her years at Eckerd, she has led an environmental club on campus, worked with a group of students to get over 100 Florida students to attend the Forward on Climate Rally that took place in D.C., and is currently working with active student leaders to ensure that Eckerd College stops investing in stocks linked to the extraction of fossil fuels. She will be representing the student led group, EC Divest, and will be sharing their successes in meeting with their college’s investment committee, what strategies they have found work best, and their continuing plans.


John Williams, St. Petersburg College

John Williams is currently employed by St Petersburg College (SPC) as a Professor of Physics and Astronomy. He has served as faculty advisor of the Student Chapter of FES (Florida Engineering Society) since 2007 and was recently recognized by The Pinellas Chapter of FES as “Mentor of the Year” for 2011-12. John and the Student Chapter have played major roles in the development of SPC’s “solar initiative” which began in 2007.

SPC's original solar project is a $25,000 3.46-kilowatt flexible thin-film amorphous silicon photovoltaic test installation located on the LEED Gold certified Natural Science and Mathematics building on SPC’s Clearwater Campus. It was completed on March 19, 2010.

The Student Chapter proposed Clearwater’s second array located on the Social Science and Ethics Building, which opened in spring, 2013. The 17.3 kW Copper Indium Gallium (di)Selenide (CIGS) flexible thin film solar array will give the Clearwater Campus two flexible thin-film installations. Thanks to a recent $515,000 grant from Duke Energy, the 2013 SunSense Schools Post Secondary School Program will fund a 100 kW photovoltaic array project to be split between the Clearwater and Seminole campuses.

John has a BS in Math and Physics from the University of Charleston and a MS in Astrophysics from Florida State. He has completed three years of doctoral study in nuclear physics at Auburn.


Will Wysong, University of South Florida

Will Wysong is a senior at the University of South Florida double-majoring in Environmental Science and Geography. He has been actively involved in USF’s environmental community for several years, and currently leads the Student Environmental Association: a student organization dedicated to creating a more sustainable campus. SEA members raise awareness, host events, take part in political actions and work with university officials to bring about positive change. In October, Will and fellow students journeyed to Pennsylvania to take part in the Power Shift conference, which featured speakers like Bill McKibben and culminated in a rally against fracking.  Will also serves on USF’s Student Green Energy Fund Council. The SGEF is supported by a student green fee and allocates nearly one million dollars annually for sustainability projects on campus. He will be sharing its successes, discussing its shortcomings, and exploring the broader potential of green funds in academia.