Past Speakers

Here is a growing collection of movers and shakers in the environmental scene. The dedication and passion expressed by so many individuals here in Chicago is mind blowing. Truly making the world a better place. 


Keisha Glover & Rebecca Quesnell, Independent Recycling Services

IRS is one of the major recycling services in the Chicago region. They aggregate our disposed items and find buyers that will then recycle them. Keisha and Becca threw the curtains back on what recycling in a city like Chicago actually means.

Watch their presentation

Bailey Warren, Co-Founder of Zero Waste Chicago

Zero Waste Chicago is an environmental organization that offers resources and education to increase awareness of alternatives to the traditional waste stream. They seek to divert waste from the landfill through increased recycling and composting, transitioning from disposable items to reusable alternatives, and broader participation in the secondhand market. They highlight helpful resources and local businesses, host workshops and events, and work to build a supportive, inclusive community that encourages Chicago to transition to zero waste.


Tomas de Medici, Analyst at Trajectory Energy Partners

Trajectory Energy Partners brings together communities, organizations, and landowners to develop clean energy projects with strong local support.

Tomas is also the founder and digital strategist of The Chicago Sustainability Series Podcast.

Macy Gould, Field Organizer at Elevate Energy

Elevate works with everyone we can to help them reduce their energy costs—from homeowners, renters, and building owners, to nonprofit organizations, utilities, and municipalities, we’re creating programs that pair relevant technical solutions with education and outreach to improve energy efficiency in a major way, and create benefits for everyone.

In this role, Macy works to educate residents, building owners, and community organizations on Chicago’s West and Northwest side and suburbs on energy efficiency and encourage them to make smart energy choices. 

Lavannya Pulluveetil Barrera, Tom Graff Fellow, Midwest Clean Energy

As a Tom Graff Fellow working on the implementation of the Future Energy Jobs Act, Lavannya focuses on outreach to EDF partners and community organizers across Chicago. Her work seeks to understand how the opportunities available through the legislation can complement and advance current clean energy efforts, with special attention to reaching economically-disadvantaged and environmental justice communities.

Kyle Trebotich - Out Our Front Door

Kyle joined us to spread the news about the great work Out Our Front Door is doing getting people outside to explore and enjoy the environment. 

"Out Our Front Door provides exploratory adventures by immersing and educating in the area's history, culture, and the uniquely beautiful natural habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area through bicycling. You can go on your own by picking up a trail book/map or join us on one of our guided tours, where we reveal the grandness of Chicagoland and beyond."

Juanita Garcia - Founder and CEO of BIM for BETTER

Juanita Garcia is seen here reaching a captivated audience. In Jan. 2018 she spoke about the important work of Environmentalists of Color and how everyone can get involved. 

Not only is she on the advisory council of EOC - she is also CEO of Bim for Better. Juanita is currently developing a platform for dynamic 3D models of buildings for building owners and facilities managers to be used throughout the lifecycle of buildings. 

Kate Jakubas, Founder and COO of Meliora Cleaning Products

"Meliora Cleaning Products is on a mission to provide families with the information and products they need to have a clean, comfortable home without exposure to toxic and environmentally damaging chemicals." 

Kate is truly making the world a better place. She had a vision and made it real. In 2015 they became a Certified B Corporation. Her products are amazing and being used all over Chicago. Bonus points if you can tell me what meliora means.

Here's Kate speaking to a captive audience

Here's Kate speaking to a captive audience

Marguerite Huber - creator of waste not want not

Marguerite is a networking master. She created the blog Waste Not Want Not. Get some inspiration to live more sustainably. Follow her on twitter @MargieH13

Claire Micklin - Creator of My Building Doesn't Recycle

Claire is a user experience designer living in Chicago. My Building Doesn’t Recycle! is a web app that allows multi-unit renters (renters in buildings with 5 or more units) to report that they do not have recycling in their building. Claire is an inspiration to us all. She saw a problem and worked to fix it. She has now become a prominent force for recycling across the whole City of Chicago.  


Here she is speaking at the July 2016 event.

Here she is speaking at the July 2016 event.