Delta Emerging Leaders

ABOUT THE DELTA EMERGING LEADERS

The Delta Emerging Leaders (DELs) serve as the official associate board of Delta Institute and advance Delta’s mission by expanding its network of supporters, donors, and partners through events and initiatives that engage new and diverse audiences. 

Every year, the DELs host a live, crowd-funding pitch competition called BOOST for sustainable start-up businesses that help make Chicago a thriving, environmentally conscientious city to live and work in. The DELs have invested $50,000 in 13 organizations over 7 years. They also educate the community on environmental, economic, and social challenges and solutions through events. DELs attend other community events and spread the word about Delta Institute’s mission to build a more resilient Midwest.

 You may view our currently serving members here. 

 


Featured BOOST Sponsor: Carbon Yield

On November 12, 2019, Delta Institute’s associate board, the Delta Emerging Leaders, will host our annual BOOST event at Chop Shop in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. BOOST, now in its 8th year, showcases Chicago’s most innovative emerging entrepreneurs in sustainability. We are grateful to have philanthropic support from the local community through sponsors like Carbon Yield, a platinum sponsor for this year’s event. We talked with them to share more about their approaches to innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

Our annual BOOST event showcases the most innovative emerging entrepreneurs in the local area. Why is entrepreneurship and innovation important to you/your organization?:

If it is true that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then the only logical approach to reorienting our economy around climate justice is to try something fundamentally different. Carbon Yield believes entrepreneurship can allow us to generate new, inclusive, just approaches that are unburdened by, yet in conversation with, the status quo. We believe in supporting nimble, responsive, values-driven work that can respond to our biggest challenges and activate meaningful solutions.  

What do you/your organization see as the biggest opportunities and barriers to improve and increase sustainability in the Chicago area?

What has always inspired me about climate action is that it provides an urgent opportunity for restorative justice. We are not just responding to a crisis, we also have a chance to do so in ways that create durable, equitable opportunities and overcome cultural barriers. Climate challenges exaggerate existing inequalities. Toxic lands and polluted air accelerate climate change but emerged in the first place from a history of economic and social exclusion. Climate responses hold the promise of reversing these dynamics. Carbon Yield is excited about opportunities to remake our energy system, rethink the way we use land, and collaborate with nature to not just stabilize our climate, but to heal our society.

Your sponsorship is helping support sustainability efforts in the Chicago region and greater Midwest. Are there other ways in which your business/organization is committed to sustainability?

Carbon Yield provides farmers the resources they need to align their operations with climate resilience and carbon sequestration. We are working to make it easier for farmers to get compensated for the environmental benefits they generate. We believe that the Midwest can be a leader in rebuilding soil in ways that mitigates climate change while producing healthier food, more resilient communities, and a better relationship with nature.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about why your business/organization decided to support BOOST and Delta Institute?

In many ways, my own entrepreneurial story has matured alongside BOOST. In partnership with an incredible group of collaborators, I helped found Boost about seven years ago as a co-chair of the DELs. I was excited to create a community where innovation was well supported, and where everyone felt their relationships, talents, and resources could advance promising ideas. I am thrilled to see all the progress and impact generated by our Boost alumni, but never realized that these relationships, that the ideas, feedback, and support I received along the way, would also propel my own enterprise. My volunteer experiences at Delta have provided an experiential crash course in regenerative agriculture, ecosystem services, and social entrepreneurship that has laid a foundation for Carbon Yield. I am thrilled to now serve as Vice Chair of Delta’s Board and be in a position to sponsor Boost and pay it forward to support the next generation of driven doers and entrepreneurs.

What else would you like to share with our supporters about your business/organization, and where can they go to learn more?

Sign up on our website, carbon-yield.com, to hear about our progress and support our mission of returning carbon to healthy, productive landscapes.


Thank you to Carbon Yield for supporting BOOST, and sustainability in Chicago!

Tickets are on sale now for $45, or the day of the event for $50. Purchase your tickets today!

Event details:

November 12, 2019 | 6pm-9pm
Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647




Featured BOOST Sponsor: West Monroe Partners

On November 12, 2019, Delta Institute’s associate board, the Delta Emerging Leaders, will host our annual BOOST event at Chop Shop in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. BOOST, now in its 8th year, showcases Chicago’s most innovative emerging entrepreneurs in sustainability. We are grateful to have philanthropic support from the local community through corporate sponsors like West Monroe Partners, a platinum sponsor for this year’s event. We talked with their Sustainability Team to share more about their approaches to innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability.

Our annual BOOST event showcases the most innovative emerging entrepreneurs in the local area. Why is entrepreneurship and innovation important to you/your organization?

As an organization founded in 2002, entrepreneurship and innovation have been core to our firm’s growth and success. We see start-up organizations consistently reshaping the ways in which we live and work – and it is through innovation that we uncover ways to improve society. At West Monroe we introduced a formal innovation strategy five years ago and since then have continued to refine our approach. We invest in innovation through many facets including:

  • Hiring a senior director of innovation and strategic partnership, Tyson Hartman.
  • Adding a career path for technologists centered around innovation.
  • Launching our “Shark Tank” program in 2017 that evaluates and funds employee ideas for new business and technology solutions.
  • Investments in innovation in our communities through event sponsorships like BOOST.

What do you/your organization see as the biggest opportunities and barriers to improve and increase sustainability in the Chicago area?

As we think about opportunities to address sustainability, we must think about the type of future we want to create. To address sustainability, we must first prioritize it in our decision-making, set goals for improvement, and then enable the necessary processes and technology to realize those goals. Beyond this, an area where our firm sees significant opportunity is to improve sustainability measurement. While it’s important to set goals, without a baseline and continued mechanisms for measurement it is challenging to make progress. Furthermore, organizations need to be equipped with tools to interpret data and understand how to use it to inform decision-making. 

Your sponsorship is helping support sustainability efforts in the Chicago region and greater Midwest. Are there other ways in which your business/organization is committed to sustainability?

West Monroe Partners’ mission is to build the Next Generation of Leaders, and we know the success of our firm ultimately depends on the health and viability of the people, communities, and environment around us. Therefore, we invest our time, talent, and treasure to giving back to our local communities. Through events like National Day of Service and our charitable giving, we are making strides toward improving the communities where we live and work. Furthermore, through the West Monroe Sustainability team, we are measuring and working to reduce our firm’s environmental impact as well as support clients in achieving their sustainability goals. Our Sustainability team’s efforts expand across our offices allowing this team to have national impact through local office action.

What else would you like to share with our supporters about your business/organization, and where can they go to learn more?

We are excited about our continued commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. Stay updated on our efforts in this space on the social responsibility portion of our website.

Thank you to West Monroe Partners for supporting BOOST, and sustainability in Chicago!

Tickets are on sale now for $45, or the day of the event for $50. Purchase your tickets today!

Event details:

November 12, 2019 | 6pm-9pm
Chop Shop, 2033 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647


Welcome the New 2019 Delta Emerging Leaders!

The Delta Emerging Leaders (DELs) serve as the official associate board of Delta Institute and advance Delta’s mission by expanding its network of supporters, donors, and partners through events and initiatives that engage new and diverse audiences. Since 2011, DELs have raised awareness of environmental, economic, and social challenges and solutions through exciting events and initiatives. The DELs’ most popular event is BOOST—a live, crowd-funded pitch competition for sustainable startups—that has invested over $50,000 in 13 organizations over the past 7 years.

The DELs are thrilled to welcome 15 new members this summer as we continue to build our network of people and organizations that are committed to bringing sustainable solutions to the Midwest. Find out a little bit more about each of the new DELs, and why each new member is excited to be part of the Delta family!

Bryan Biello

Bryan is the Director of Events and Outreach, Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, so we can’t wait to bring his event planning expertise to BOOST! Bryan wants to learn how to better educate others about environmental challenges (he’s the friend that regularly informs you of what’s recyclable). Bryan volunteers at the Green City Market outdoor farmers market’s information tent. Bryan is looking forward to supporting projects surrounding waste diversion, whether that’s upcycling old materials or diverting recyclables and food waste from the landfill.

Sarah Bury

Sarah engages in her community and the political landscape in both legal and non-legal settings. Sarah’s volunteered for a variety of organizations in the past – from Sierra Club to the Mr. Theater Foundation Board to the League of Women Voters. Sarah is driven by passion, curiosity, and a sense of fairness. She embraces equity and collaboration, and she wants to connect with other like-minded people and work to effect positive environmental change.

Ketzel Feasley

Ketzel comes to DELs from Foresight Design, and works on sustainability projects, so we’re excited to add Ketzel’s sustainability expertise to the Delta family! Ketzel recently moved to Chicago (welcome!) and looks forward to growing a network of like-minded peers to collaborate and make a greater impact. Ketzel is a huge believer in empowering innovation, especially in sustainability, and can’t wait to support BOOST.

Natalia Gardocki

Natalia works at the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, where she helps to manage and implement a number of residential energy efficiency programs. Natalia loves to volunteer and has done so not only for a number of public institutions but also for her university’s ultimate frisbee team! Natalia is drawn to Delta’s work within communities to bring about solutions to environmental issues, and she looks forward to expanding her knowledge base in sustainability issues beyond energy to agriculture, waste, and water.

Emily Lanzillotta

Emily works as a treasury analyst for the steel company ArcelorMittal, and when she’s not crunching numbers, she works with the communications department to plan health & wellness and sustainability events for the office. Emily is passionate about environmental stewardship and sustainability, and she actively volunteers with our friends and BOOST finalists over at The Plant Chicago and Out Our Front Door. Emily believes farming is vital to support the growing population and is excited to support Delta’s regenerative food system initiatives that protect land and water ways while feeding the planet.

Paulina Martínez

Paulina joins us from the City of Evanston, where she works with the Arts Council, the Public Art Subcommittee, the Equity and Empowerment Commission, and also works on economic development. Paulina currently serves on the Local Government Hispanic Network as a Director at-Large, where she supports the organization to boost the profile of Hispanics in local government and create a supportive network among Hispanic professionals. When it comes to climate change and sustainability issues, Paulina believes communities of color do not always have a voice and are the most affected by negative environmental impacts, and by learning more about Delta’s initiatives and programs, she can be an agent of change and information in her community.

Alex McGhee

Alex works for Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services where she helps clients utilize software to become more energy efficient. But Alex is no stranger to Delta Institute, as she previously worked as one of Delta’s Chicago Energy Efficiency Program Managers. We are excited to have Alex back with the Delta family! Through the DELs, Alex wants to meet and grow with a community committed to environmental justice in the Midwest and is also looking forward to BOOST, thereby supporting local environmentally and socially minded enterprises.

Christopher Newman

Chris is a Research Scientist at Cabot Microelectronics where he specializes in formulation development, data analysis, database construction, and design. Chris is an active member of the Illinois Science Council and has volunteered with many Chicago institutions like WBEZ, Shedd Aquarium, and Lincoln Park Zoo, just to name a few. Chris is committed to a sustainable lifestyle and believes sustainability is an important issue that does not receive nearly the level of attention it deserves. Chris is excited to join the DELs to meaningfully contribute to a cause he’s passionate about while meeting like-minded people.

Carly Norris

Carly is an ORISE Research Fellow for the U.S. EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office Area of Concern program. Carly provides technical and administrative support to understand and track environmental improvements and health after remediation and restoration work have been completed. We can’t wait to learn more from Carly’s environmental science and policy expertise, and Carly looks forward to learning more about how non-profits function to support sustainable communities. Carly has a passion for community redevelopment, sustainable planning, sustainable farming practices, and green infrastructure, and is excited to learn more about these initiatives via the DELs.  

Jiten Parbhoo

Jiten joins us from Marathon Capital, a clean energy-focused investment bank. He does due diligence, creates marketing materials, and prepares financial analysis models. We’re excited for Jiten to bring his clean energy expertise to DELs, and Jiten looks forward to helping Delta solve agriculture, waste, and infrastructure issues. Jiten is especially looking forward to BOOST as he is very entrepreneurial in nature, and as a new Chicago resident (welcome!), Jiten can’t wait to grow his network of passionate sustainability professionals.

Nicole Rojas

Nicole has recently been working in Santiago, Chile, with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where she works with clients to collect and analyze data, communicate findings, and drive change. Nicole supported Delta’s development team through pro bono consulting, so we are excited to have Nicole officially join the Delta family via the DELs upon her return to Chicago! Nicole can’t wait to grow her network in the sustainability space, and she is interested in how Delta works with communities to address environmental challenges. Nicole wants to spend more time and energy working with organizations that focus on combating climate change, promoting sustainability, and saving our planet – and DELs look forward to providing that opportunity!

Peter Scruggs

Peter is the Venue Sustainability Coordinator for Live Nation, where he is in charge of directing the venue’s waste management programs and implementing new sustainable initiatives. While he’s not helping music lovers have a more sustainable concert going experience, Peter volunteers with our friends and BOOST finalists, Urban Rivers. Peter is interested in supporting Delta’s Green Infrastructure Solutions for Municipalities initiative, as his degree was in Urban and Regional Planning, so it is Peter’s dream to help cities adopt more environmentally friendly policies.

Natalie Spetter

Natalie is a Program Coordinator at Kinship Foundation, where just one aspect of her job includes organizing and staffing the month-long training program for global conservation leaders, Kinship Conservation Fellows. Natalie loves to set up future leaders for success, as she also volunteers for Off The Street Club, providing one-on-one tutoring and mentor services for students. Natalie is most looking forward to supporting BOOST, where she has an opportunity to invite friends and colleagues to be more informed and involved with people who are working to find solutions for environmental, economic, and social challenges in the community.

Margot Zuckerman

Margot is an Ingredients Buyer at Kraft Heinz, where she manages a 600-material portfolio of spices, herbs, seasonings, salt, and sauces on Kraft Heinz’s Ingredients Procurement Team. It’s no surprise that Margot is passionate about all parts of the food supply chain, and she is most interested in learning more about how Delta supports regenerative farming practices and food systems. Margot’s volunteer efforts also reflect her passions. In addition to volunteering with Green City Farmer’s Market, Margot also volunteers with Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) on civic engagement issues, and recently joined their immigration justice campaign committee. Margot is excited to join the DELs as they share her enthusiasm for environmental sustainability and community engagement.

Join us in welcoming this incredibly talented group of individuals to the Delta family!

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