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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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!