Recap of 5th Annual SUMASA Symposium: Driving Sustainability

SUMASA is very proud to have presented our 5th Annual Sustainable Perspective Symposium, “Driving Sustainability: Who’s Responsible?” last Friday, April 8th at Casa Italiana on Columbia University’s campus.

As Steve Cohen, Executive Director of the Earth Institute, announced in his opening speech, we are proud to have students so motivated in the area of sustainability. Nilda Mesa, Director from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, briefed the audience in her keynote speech on the changes occurring through the growth of New York City in the face of poverty. Nilda’s point were validated through the featured speaker, Matthew Ketschke, VP of Distributed Resource Integration, Con Edison Company New York, who discussed the rising challenges of solar and wind power across the grid of the New York City area and the innovation that is constantly being harnessed and shared nationwide to create new ways to store and utilize energy.

Our Master of Ceremony, Brian Wennersten of NBCUniversal Media, introduced us to two enthralling panel discussions on Reshaping Corporate Innovation and Advancing Resilient Cities.

Reshaping Corporate Innovation panel was impeccably moderated by our SUMA Professor Celine Ruben-Salama of CBRE. Panelists discussed the importance of reporting and engaging corporations to be more involved. Panelists discussed how to involve consumers; waste management of organic foods into the sewer system and the importance of metrics.
Panelists: Ralph Bianculli Jr., Managing Director of Emerald Brand; Marisa Buchanan, Executive Director, Sustainable Finance at JPMorgan Chase; Ellen Kondracki, Senior Director of Global Sustainability Becton, Dickinson and Company; Peter Smith, Vice President of Delos Solutions Delos Living.

Steve Clemon’s of Atlantic Live, had the audience captivated with his in-depth knowledge of the presenters and entertaining commentary on the Advancing Resilient Cities panel. The discussions ranged from electric busses, innovation with lighting to advancing sustainability through sport franchises and our common devotion of athletics.
Panelists: Collette Ericsson Chief Sustainability Officer and Enterprise Asset Management Lead  for New York Metropolitan Transportation Bus Operations; Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, President of Sports Alliance; Miguel Sossa, Co-lead Smart Cities NA Accenture; Amanda Stevens, Manager, Env. Research Program at NYSERDA.

Interested in making an impact on next year’s symposium? Please use this link to submit your thoughts on next year’s topics, speaker or interest in volunteering on the committee.

We would like to invite you all to celebrate the success of the program on Thursday at 8:00pm at Mel’s Burger (2850 Broadway, NYC). Looking forward to seeing you all there.

SUMASA 2015-2016 Board Members
Shaun A. Hoyte, President
Keith Wong, VP Academic Affairs
Crystal Li, VP Communications
Derrick Sullivan, VP Community Outreach
Jocelyn Gan, VP Events
Cheryl Poccia, VP Finance

A special thank you to all who volunteered! This event couldn’t have been the success that it was without their teamwork and dedication.

SUMASA Symposium Volunteers
Leticia Valadez
Lindsay Ferzoco
Ari Kapiloff
Jordan Chan
Alia’a Harum
Fred Yonghabi
Cher Yang
Sargam Saraf
Kerry Babb

Special Thank You for your generous guidance and support.
Allison Laude
Pamela Vreeland
Diane Spizzirro
Marivi Perdomo Caba

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