Wisconsin leaders are developing breakthroughs and forging creative and practical solutions that will make our climate, water and energy future brighter and cleaner. The Wisconsin Academy's Innovators Showcase: Wisconsin Climate and Energy Leaders highlighted advances ranging from corporate campus design and retrofitting vintage ranch houses, to greener ways to bring home the beef and butter and more.
Keynote speaker Jeff Thompson, Gundersen Health System CEO, talked about the mission driving plans to become 100% energy independent in 2014. Presentations featuring leaders from across the state (see below) featured innovations in systems, from manufacturing and waste water treatment, to sustainable cities; innovations on the farm, with three distinct approaches to dairy and beef production; and designs for living, looking at new designs for a super-efficient, furnace-free house, and smart and affordable ways to retrofit older houses.
Click here to download the agenda or browse selected videos of this event in the box to the right.
This special forum event was made possible by a grant from the Sally Mead Hands Foundation and convened in partnership with Discovery World, an exceptional example of innovative architecture, design, and renewable energy applications, and with the UW–Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences.
Kenn Buelow is dairy manager and part-owner of Holsum Dairies, 2012 winner of the US Dairy Sustainability Award. The two 4,000 cow dairy operations participate in the DNR Green Tier program and maintain environmental management systems.
Tom Eggert is Executive Director of the WI Sustainable Business Council and has taught classes on sustainability at UW Madison since 1994. Eggert taught classes on business sustainability for the WI School of Business from 1997- 2014 and developed the graduate certificate in Business, Environment & Social Responsibility. He continues to teach classes on sustainability for the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.
John Imes, executive director and co-founder of Wisconsin Environmental Initiative (WEI), has over 25 years of experience creating and managing award-winning programs for improving our environment and economy. Previously, Imes was the Environmental Manager for Quad/Graphics, a company long known for its environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
Peter Kilde has been executive director of the West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, Inc. (West CAP) since 1995. West CAP provides low income housing, homelessness and foreclosure prevention programs, weatherization, food security, the JumpStart car ownership program and various sustainable community initiatives.
Dr. Sonya Newenhouse is President of Community Car LLC, Wisconsin’s first Carshare Organization, which has more than 1300 members and 14 cars. Author of the book, EnAct: Steps to Greener Living, Newenhouse also founded Madison Environmental Group, an award winning sustainability consulting firm and WasteCap Wisconsin, a nonprofit helping businesses recycle.
John and Dorothy Priske have owned and operated Fountain Prairie Farms in Fall River Wisconsin since 1986. They have the largest herd of Scottish Highland cattle in the Midwest. They direct market the beef to restaurants in the Madison and Milwaukee area as well as the Dane County Farmers Market located in Madison. They installed a 50kw wind turbine in September 2010 on their rotationally grazed farm. The Priskes transitioned from row crop farming to a grass based system 14 years ago.
Kevin L. Shafer became the Executive Director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) in 2002. As Executive Director, he is responsible for the overall management, administration, leadership, and direction of MMSD. Under Shafer’s leadership, MMSD instituted a regional stormwater runoff rule and has been a leader for innovative ways to manage stormwater runoff.
Erick Shambarger is the Deputy Director of the City of Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability. The Milwaukee Office of Environmental Sustainability was created by Mayor Tom Barrett to develop practical solutions that benefit Milwaukee's environment and economy. Shambarger oversees the Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) program and coordinates efforts to reduce energy use in City operations.
Dr. Jeff Thompson is the former CEO of Gundersen Health System, a pediatrician, and the author of Lead True: Live Your Values, Build Your People, Inspire Your Community.
Joe Tomandl III and his wife, Christy, own and operate a seasonal grass-based dairy in north central Wisconsin. The Tomandls purchased the original 35 cows and 80-acre farm in 1998 after short careers as agriculture instructors. It was their desire to raise their children in the country and managed grazing that lured them back to the farm. The past fourteen years have brought numerous changes in cow management and facilities.