Institute selects 2015 environmental leadership class

By Maria Saporta

If you want to know who are part of the up-and-coming environmental leaders in Georgia, the 2015 IGEL class is a good place to look.

IGEL stands for the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. The Institute has slected “32 outstanding participants” for its 2015 class, according to IGEL’s leaders, including Susan Richardson, who chairs the nonprofit’s board.

These individuals will join a diverse network of statewide leaders who collaborate to solve Georgia’s environmental challenges. The IGEL experience is a development program that will take the class through multiple sessions throughout the state, actively exposing them to the vast potential and pressing environmental concerns in all regions of Georgia.

The IGEL program emphasizes hands-on learning and opportunities to master new skills through practice. The program is facilitated by the Center for Ethics and Corporate Responsibility at Georgia State University.

Bob Rolader with Brent Holdings, LLC, is vice chair of the IGEL board and served as chair of the selection committee.

“The pool of quality candidates was especially impressive,” Rolader said. “It’s always a challenge to determine the right mix across sectors and geography to maximize the experience for the participants.”

Richardson said the class of 2015 includes the first recipient of the Barbara Gallo memorial scholarship. Gallo was an alumna of the IGEL Class of 2007 and chaired the board in 2013.

IGEL is a nonprofit organization facilitating leadership in collaborative problem-solving to preserve and enhance the environment in Georgia.

Here are the members of the IGEL Class of 2015:

Kimberly Ajy, president and owner of R2T, Inc. – Roswell

Shan Arora, policy programs manager of Southface Energy Institute -Atlanta

Erin Black, vice president of sustainability and environmental, health, and safety for Coca-Cola Refreshments – Smyrna

Michael Black, faculty associate and lecturer, Georgia State University – Decatur

Evelyn Bolden Sr., manager, vendor management of Cox Enterprises, Inc., – Atlanta

Dan Carney, environmental program manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Atlanta

Scott Cole, of counsel for Hall Booth Smith and Slover, PC, – Atlanta

Mark Crosswell, managing partnerof CK Advisors – Atlanta

Stephen Ezelle, partner of Gilbert & Ezelle Real Estate Services – Savannah

Stacy Funderburke, assistant regional counsel and real estate associate, The Conservation Fund – Atlanta

Mindy Goldstein, clinical professor and director of the Turner Environmental Law Clinic and interim director of the environmental and natural resources lw pogram at Emory Law School – Atlanta

Scott Griffin, forester of Georgia Forestry Commission – Gainesville

Doug Haymans, policy coordinator of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Brunswick

John Haynes, vice president of CBRE, Inc. – Atlanta

Anne Heard, deputy regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Atlanta

Hollister Hill, partner atTroutman Sanders LLC – Atlanta

Sharon Holbrooks, conservation easement specialist at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Winterville

Clay Johnston, owner of Burnt Mountain Builders ~ Designers – Jasper

Anne Kaiser, vice president of Georgia Power Co. – Rome

Pam Lister, executive director of Keep Thomas County Beautiful -Thomasville


Jodi Mansbach, vice president of Jamestown – Atlanta

Dale Mediate, director of sustainability at Flowers Foods, Inc., -Thomasville

Tyronda Minter, director of regional impact at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta – Atlanta

Katherine Moore, program manager at the Georgia Conservancy -Atlanta

Ashby Nix, Satilla Riverkeeper and executive director of Satilla Riverkeeper – Woodbine

Ruthie Norton, senior program manager at the City of Atlanta – Atlanta

Russ Pennington, director of policy and public affairs at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division – Atlanta

Raymond Pittman, principal of Integrated Science & Engineering – Richmond Hill

Gwendolyn Ruff, senior vice president of Columbus Water Works – Columbus

Nathaniel Smith, founder and CEO of the Partnership for Southern Equity – Atlanta

Donald Stack, managing attorney of Stack & Associates, P.C. – Atlanta

Michael Stubbs, principal of Hodges, Harbin, Newberry & Tribble, Inc. -Macon

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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