The 2019 Spring Convening

April 12, 2019

Our Spring Convening connects students, staff, faculty, industry thought leaders, and alumni via a half-day conference held right here at the University of Maryland, College Park. It delivers engaging speakers, cutting edge industry insights, and networking opportunities to explore the role of business in advancing economic, social and environmental prosperity.

Join us for two keynotes, and two lightning-round panels, covering topics including climate and financial disclosure, data and innovation, circular economy, and more. Hear from S&PGlobal, Unilever, International Finance Corporation, LOOP, PwC, Mom's Organic Market, Tata, and Zero Mass Water. Meet industry leaders, gain valuable insights, and make connections across our student, alumni and professional communities! Registration is capped at 150 seats. Early bird hors d'oeuvres and networking from noon to 12:30, and a closing networking reception to follow.

Schedule [+]

12–12:30 p.m.

30 MINS.


12:30–12:40 p.m.

10 MINS.


12:40–1:10 p.m.

30 MINS.

“Climate & Financial Disclosures”

1:10–1:35 p.m.

25 MINS.

“From Data to Innovation: The Future We Imagine”

1:35–1:40 p.m.



1:40–2:05 p.m.

25 MINS.

“Hard Pivot: Toward a Circular Economy”

2:05–2:55 p.m.

50 MINS.

“Be a Voice not an Echo”

2:55–3 p.m.



3–4 p.m.

50 MINS.


Session Details [+]

Brian Werner, Account Director, ESG, Trucost, part of S&P Global

"Climate and Financial Disclosures"

The moment for improved financial disclosure on climate has arrived.  Companies now are expected to address climate-related issues by translating its financial implications on income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets. How are these climate-related risks assessed, priced and managed? And what are the common challenges and opportunities, as climate data mainstreams into capital markets? Join Brian Werner of S&PGlobal for the opening keynote to hear the answers to these questions, and more!

  • Brian Werner, Account Director, ESG, Trucost, part of S&P Global
  • Alumni Facilitator (Q&A): John Chickering, VP Fidelity Investments (Retired)


“From Data to Innovation: The Future We Imagine”

Sustainability as a buzzword has become commonplace. But have we stopped to truly consider what it is we want to sustain? What is the future we imagine? In this session we explore two key dimensions sure to shape our world –data and innovation– and hear from three organizations making bets on a future that includes economic, social and environmental prosperity. How do these factors move us closer to a world where companies, communities, society and the natural world collectively thrive? Join us to find out.

  • Fabiana Feld, CIO, International Finance Corporation
  • Alpana (Ana) Mittal, Charitable Foundation Operations Manager, PwC
  • Colin Goddard, Director, Zero Mass Water 
  • Christine Briscoe, VP Member Services and Human Resources, Responsible Business Alliance


“Hard Pivot: Toward a Circular Economy”

Contrasting our current economic model of ‘take-make-waste’, the circular economy aims to design waste out of the system and decouple economic activity from the consumption of finite resources. Companies attempting a move toward circularity aspire to redefine growth, increase efficiency by building new business models and processes, mitigate risk and increase performance. Some say this is a trillion-dollar opportunity ripe for innovation, job creation and economic growth. How will we pivot toward a circular economy? Who’s taking the lead? And can we do it quickly enough?

  • Jasmin Druffner, Industrial Designer, LOOP (project of TerraCycle)
  • Melanie Condon, External Affairs, Sustainable Business & Communications, Unilever
  • Sarah Mihalecz, Sustainability North American, Tata Sons
  • Alumni Moderator: Anne Pellicciotto, President & Chief Change Agent, SeeChange Consulting


Scott Nash, Founder & CEO, Mom’s Organic Market

“Be A Voice, Not an Echo”

Scott Nash was just 22 when he started MOM’s out of his mother's garage. After 3 decades MOM’s is now in four states and DC, employs more than 1,000 people, and boasts a culture that reflects its corporate purpose: to protect and restore the environment. Nash—a man who likes to challenge conventional wisdom—has made MOM’s into a market with a mission. The company banned plastic grocery bags in 2005, plastic water bottles in 2010, and all of its produce is always organic. Join us as Nash offers insight and advice on his journey from misfit, to activist to successful CEO, and why adaptability, resilience, and remembering your purpose are key to having a meaningful life and career.

  • Scott Nash, Founder & CEO, MOM’s Organic Market
  • Alumni Facilitator (Q&A): John Chickering, VP Fidelity Investments (Retired)

Speaker Bios [+]

Christine Briscoe, VP of Member Services and Human Resources
Responsible Business Alliance

Christine has experience working with a range of companies, from Fortune 500 to family businesses and start-ups, in multiple industries including electronics, footwear, apparel, collegiate and promotional products. She has extensive expertise in developing and implementing online compliance and capability building tools and programs. She successfully launched a comprehensive new online e-learning platform for Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), its 95 members and thousands of supply chain partners. Christine has a track record of introducing and revamping organizational processes to improve accessibility and efficiency, with a special focus on using technology. She created and launched a program to help hundreds of university licensees improve compliance with labor, health and safety requirements, enabling them to gain and retain customers. Christine has a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Ottawa and MBA from the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.

Melanie Condon, External Affairs
Sustainable Business & Communications

Melanie is responsible for external affairs and issues management at Unilever. She is a passionate, creative and results-driven sustainable business strategist experienced in strategic planning, marketing, data analytics and communications. She has deep knowledge of state and federal government stakeholder engagement. Prior to Unilever, she worked as a Policy Specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures where she represented the legislative bodies of all 50 states and the U.S. territories to the Federal Government focusing on energy, environment, transportation, and agriculture policy issues. Melanie has a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire and MBA from the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.

Jasmin Druffner, Durable Packing Developer

Jasmin Druffner is a trained Industrial Designer focused on circular systems and conscious materials. She is passionate about creating solutions and making connections between waste and design while incorporating Biomimicry into these solutions. Her personal work is centered on natural and bio-degradable materials, such as ‘rucksack’ a completely compostable backpack that earned her a spot as a finalist for the Independent Handbag Awards in 2018. While working as a designer and developer for Loop, her focus is on durable packaging design, long lasting and circular recycling materials. Jasmin envisions a World that is self-sustaining for which she helps create intersections between unexpected materials and innate function.

Fabiana Feld, Chief Investment Officer
International Finance Corporation

Fabiana has experience in investment banking and corporate finance for private sector companies in emerging markets. She has helped structure debt, equity and mezzanine financing within East, South and Central parts of Asia and Europe, Africa and Latin America. She is effective in strategic analysis and formulation, transaction structuring and documentation, operational and portfolio monitoring and strategy implementation. Fabiana has a proven track record of high-level interaction with government officials, CEOs and CFOs, company boards and family shareholders. She manages high performance teams and large portfolios of assets or activities cutting across various sectors such as agribusiness, chemicals, petrochemicals, fertilizers, steel, cement, retail, hotels, heavy manufacturing and financial services.

Colin Goddard, Director
Zero Mass Water

Colin Goddard is a director with Zero Mass Water. The organization’s mission is to make drinking water an unlimited resource by putting the power of safe, high-quality water production into the hands of every person in nearly every climate and corner of the world. Prior to Zero Mass Water’s, Colin was responsible for business development at Summit Ridge Energy, where he worked on developing and financing solar power plants across the United States. Colin is a fellow at the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, he earned his bachelor’s in international studies from Virginia Tech and Master of Business Administration from the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland where he was president of the Smith Energy Association.

Sarah Mihalecz, Sustainability for North American
Tata Sons

Sarah Mihalecz leads Sustainability for North American Tata group companies.  Sarah convenes, facilitates, and supports the 11 North American (US and Canada) Tata group companies.  She convenes the North America Sustainability Working Committee, promotes group initiatives such as Tata Engage and Tata Sustainability Month, and provides training and collaboration opportunities and direct support to company initiatives.  Before joining Tata Sons, she was Senior Manager in Deloitte Consulting’s Sustainability for 5 years. Sarah was also the World Bank Sustainability Coordinator.  Sarah has a Bachelor of Science from James Madison University in Integrated Science and Technology and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University with a focus on Industrial Environmental Management.

Alpana (Ana) Mittal, Manager
Charitable Foundation Operations Manager, PwC

Ana Mittal is a corporate responsibility Manager with PwC’s Responsible Business Leadership team. In this role, she oversees operations for the PwC Charitable Foundation including its education and humanitarianism grants and the Foundation’s emergency financial relief program. She has also managed employee engagement, implementing programs to energize PwC’s 50,000 people in the firm’s corporate responsibility initiatives. Prior to joining the Responsible Business Leadership team, Ana spent 8 years with PwC’s client service practices, specializing in change management and program effectiveness. Ana holds a B.S. in Business and Information Systems from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Wharton, with majors in Strategic Management and Organizational Effectiveness. She also has a graduate certificate from Harvard in Corporate Sustainability and Innovation.

Scott Nash, Founder
MOM's Organic Market

At the age of 22, entrepreneur Scott Nash started MOM’s in his mom’s garage, with only $100. Through innovation and strategic vision, Scott has grown MOM’s into one of the nation's premier chains of family owned and operated organic grocery stores with 1,300+ employees. Scott also works to close the income gap between the extremely wealthy and poor, as well as to diminish the negative impact of advertising and technology on children.

Anne Pellicciotto, President & Chief Change Agent
SeeChange Consulting

As founder and president of SeeChange, Anne Pellicciotto has provided strategic and cost-effective independent consulting services to the Metro Washington, DC community for 15 years. Anne brings a unique, combined background in business/decision information sciences and organization/human development to her engagements, helping clients address both the head and heart sides of the change management equation, ensuring organizational changes that stick. Anne is a master facilitator with experience leading hundreds of groups, a change management innovator employing holistic methodologies, and a seasoned coach to organizational leaders. Anne has a B.S. in Decision Information Sciences from the Smith School of Business, and M.S. in Organizational Development from American University.

Brian Werner, Account Director, ESG
Trucost, part of S&P Global

Brian is responsible for helping corporations quantify and value environmental performance of their operations and supply chains to meet investor expectations and procurement needs.  He speaks frequently at industry events on sustainability reporting, supply chains, carbon pricing, UN Sustainable Development Goals, integrated value assessments, and natural capital. Prior to joining Trucost, Brian spent over 15 years in the advertising industry, specializing in healthcare, retail, and consumer packaged goods as a Media Director at Razorfish and CMI and as a Senior Account Executive at AOL.  Brian holds a BS from the University of Delaware in Business Administration (Marketing) and a Master of Environmental Studies (Sustainability) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Supporting Partners


Over the last ten years, we have been honored to bring together more than 250 thought leaders in corporate responsibility, social innovation, and sustainability from companies including PwC, Unilever, Tata, TOMS, GE, IBM, Honest Tea, and CLIF Bar, reaching more than 5,000 students. This year, we reinvent the experience. What was formerly known as the Annual Social Enterprise Symposium will become a newly imagined experience, co-hosted by the Coalition for Better Business, and focused on strengthening connection and engagement across our student, alumni and professional communities.