Speaker Bios

George ChmaelGeorge Chmael, Council Fire

George is the Founder and provides the vision and overall leadership of Council Fire and has spent 25+ years counseling leading U.S. and international organizations including private entities such as China Light and Power and NRG Energy; NGOs such as World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Defense Fund; government entities such as U.S. Army and NOAA; and philanthropic organizations including the Walton Family Foundation. Trained as a lawyer and marine specialist, he has expertise across all elements of sustainability and is noted for his particular expertise on coastal management issues, including extensive work related to the Chesapeake Bay. He is a B Ambassador and serves on several Boards and lectures and writes extensively on sustainability, public policy, environmental, social and economic issues. George earned his Masters of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, his JD from The George Washington University Law School and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Connecticut.

Nick DilksNick Dilks, Ecosystem Investment Partners, UMD Alumnus

Nick Dilks is the Managing Partner at Ecosystem Investment Partners. He has extensive experience in land conservation finance and real estate. He spent 10 years with The Conservation Fund, most recently as its Vice President for Real Estate, completing some of TCF’s most complex and innovative transactions. He has a BA in Environmental Science & Policy from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Maryland.

Jennifer GerholdtJennifer Gerholdt, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center

Jennifer Gerholdt is the Senior Director of the Environment Program at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center. In her role, Jennifer directs high quality programming for business leaders to help them maximize their positive contributions to society’s challenges. This includes developing and executing the strategy for CCC’s engagement with the private sector on issues including the circular economy, the energy-water-food nexus, and water stewardship. Prior to CCC, Jennifer was Senior Manager of Conservation International’s Business & Sustainability Council and a program officer with WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network-North America program. Jennifer holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from New Mexico State University.

Sarela HerradaSarela Herrada, Director of Supply Chain, Cava

As the director of supply chain and through strategic sourcing and traceability, Sarela is breeding a culture of transparency at Cava, focusing on sustainable growth, cost management, quality performance, and a thoughtful supply chain. Prior to joining Cava Sarela served as the Operations Systems Manager for Mayorga Coffee, LLC., and also as a Consultant for Manhattan Associates. Sarela holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University.

Rehana NathooRehana Nathoo, Vice President, Social Innovation at the Case Foundation

Rehana joined the Case Foundation in 2016 as part of the Social Innovation team. Rehana serves as Vice President of Social Innovation, leading the Foundation’s efforts around Impact Investing. Previously, Rehana worked at the Bank of New York Mellon to help design the firm’s Social Finance program, and created a prototype for the firm’s first Impact Investment Fund. Prior to BNY Mellon, Rehana was a Program Associate at The Rockefeller Foundation, working on program initiatives that pertain broadly to economic development and innovative finance, with a specific focus on impact investing. Rehana also supported the Global Clearinghouse for Development Finance and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and served as an Assistant Adjunct Faculty member at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at NYU, teaching on topics related to CSR and Social Finance. Rehana holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in Political Science from Queen’s University, and a Master of Arts in Development Economics and Foreign Policy Analysis from the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy.

Dan NeesDan Nees, Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland, UMD Alumnus

Dan Nees was named Director of the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) in October 2015, after previously holding this role from 2004-2007. He began his work at the EFC in 1998 as a graduate intern and passionately expanded the breadth of his role and his expertise. Since then, Dan has been dedicated to assisting communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Mid-Atlantic region in their efforts to implement and finance environmental and sustainable development initiatives. Dan’s work currently focuses on developing innovative market and performance-based financing systems to reduce the cost of environmental compliance at local, state, and regional levels. In the time between his tenures as Director, he led environmental market and water quality programs at Forest Trends, a global NGO that seeks to develop market and economic solutions to global environmental problems, and at the World Resources Institute (WRI), an environmental think-tank. At the University of Maryland, College Park, Dan earned a B.A. in Economics, a Master of Environmental Policy, and a Master of Business Administration.

Ryan SteinbachRyan Steinbach, Impact Business Leaders, UMD Alumnus

Ryan Steinbach works with mission driven professionals to build more meaningful careers. He is the Marketing Director at Impact Business Leaders, where he leads program recruitment, marketing, and overall revenue generation activities. Ryan also supports the execution IBL programs all over the world which are designed to develop talented professionals into the next generation of leaders in the social sector. Prior to IBL, Ryan was a Community Manager for the Center for Social Value Creation at the Robert H. Smith School of Business where he connected students to programs and opportunities in social entrepreneurship, corporate sustainability, and business model innovation. Before that, Ryan worked on digital marketing strategy and execution for Calvert Foundation, Oikocredit USA, and The Newberry Group. Ryan earned degrees in Marketing and Management at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Clifford YeeClifford Yee, Raffa

Clifford Yee is the Managing Director of Corporate Social Responsibility Services at Raffa, P.C., an accounting, consulting and technology firm based in the District of Columbia dedicated to service and community. As a certified B-Corp, national Top 100, "Best of the Best" CPA advisory firm specializing in nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses, Raffa provides support to help organizations effectively and efficiently manage their most critical processes. Cliff serves as the firm’s Practice Leader for Corporate Social Responsibility consulting services. He assists forward leaning companies and nonprofits with assessing, developing, improving, and delivering their social impact and partnership strategies. Prior to Raffa, Cliff was the Senior Director of Community Affairs and Market President Network at Capital One. Cliff earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree cum laude from the E. Claiborne Robins School of Management at the University of Richmond. He also holds a Certificate in Social Sector Leadership from the University of California – Berkeley, a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a Certified ScrumMaster with the Scrum Alliance.

Alan ZangAlan Zang, CustomerFirstRenewables, UMD Alumnus

Alan is Vice President, Finance & Operations and leads CFR’s finance, accounting, process improvement, financial modeling, and project structuring activities. He has a deep background in financial analysis, risk management, and transaction execution, most recently as a key member of DaVita HealthCare Partners’ M&A office, where he was responsible for the valuation, structuring, and execution of a range of transactions. Previously, Alan was a Senior Associate at Ernst & Young, where he served large private equity clients on various accounting and transactional matters. He is also a CPA. Alan has been with CFR in a lead finance role since the company was founded in 2010. Alan holds a M.S. in accounting from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Maryland, College Park.