e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Leading Sustainability in Public, Private and Nonprofit Organizations

Leading Sustainability in Public, Private and Nonprofit Organizations Workshop

Program leadership consists of researchers, educators and practitioners with extensive experience in many topic areas including sustainability, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon neutrality, life cycle analysis, environmental and energy systems, business, finance, leadership, organizational change and social systems. For more information about our exemplary instructional team, please see bios below.

Program Chair

Richard SmardonRichard Smardon (rsmardon@esf.edu, 315.470.6576)
Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Studies, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF)

Dr. Richard C. Smardon has lived and worked in Vermont, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Oregon and California before coming to the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry. At SUNY ESF he was, until recently, Chair of the Dept. of Environmental Studies. He is Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute.  He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in Landscape Architecture and Bachelors in Environmental Design from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has edited/written three books; The Future of Wetlands; Assessing Visual-Cultural Values (1983) with Allenheld-Osmun; Foundations for Visual Project Analysis (1986) with John Wiley and Sons; and The Legal Landscape: Guidelines for Environmental and Aesthetic Protection (1993) with Van Nostrand Rhinehold. He is also engaged in writing a book "Sustaining the World's Wetlands" with Springer Press, which will focus on the role of NGO's in international wetland management.

He was appointed by the Governor of New York to the Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council in 1989 and has chaired the council. He has serves on several editorial boards including Landscape and Urban Planning, Environmental Science and Policy and ScientificWorld. His major areas of expertise include landscape assessment and management, wetland assessment and mitigation, environmental management/citizen participation, law and aesthetics, ecotourism and heritage resource management, and energy sustainability planning implementation. He currently writes a column for Central New York Business Exchange magazine on energy and environment.

Instructional Team

Michael KelleherLisa Cleckner (lcleckner@syracusecoe.org, 315.443.4445)
Ph.D., Assistant Director of Operations for Quality Assurance and Research, Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems

Dr. Lisa B. Cleckner strategically coordinates Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) initiatives that involve communities and scientists with the goal of advancing the impact of research and technology deployment at local, regional, and national levels. In her position, she works with businesses and institutions on the research applications and commercialization potential of environmental and energy system projects. Cleckner also works with companies, economic development agencies, and academic institutions in identifying workforce development and sustainable enterprise opportunities throughout the environmental and energy systems cluster.

Throughout her career, Lisa has secured over $2.5M in competitive grant funds from federal, state, and non-profit agencies. Cleckner co-teaches a class on Managing Sustainability at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and is an adjunct faculty member of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the LC Smith College of Engineering at Syracuse University.

Cleckner earned her Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan, and previously worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also earned an MBA at the Simon School at the University of Rochester.

Michael KelleherMichael Kelleher (mkellehe@esf.edu, 315.470.6921)
Director, Renewable Energy Systems; Adjunct Professor, Dept. Forest and Natural Resources Management, SUNY ESF

Mike joined the College of Environmental Science and Forestry as the Director of Renewable Energy Systems. In this position he is focused on expanding the use of sustainable technologies and energy efficiency to reduce the College’s carbon footprint. Prior to joining ESF Mike served as an executive with National Grid and Niagara Mohawk.  He has extensive hands-on senior management experience in market assessment, strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, corporate finance, and transaction structuring. Mike and his team built and maintained strong relationships with commercial, industrial, and municipal customers for National Grid.  In addition, he developed effective economic development and pricing programs to attract and retain customers.  He has also held a variety of financial and resource planning positions with Niagara Mohawk. Mike earned an M.S. in Agricultural Economics, and a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering Technology from Cornell University.

Yolanda PaganoYolanda F. Pagano (yolanda.pagano@obg.com, 484.804.7221)
Esq., CPA, Director, Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, O'Brien and Gere Engineers, Inc.

Yolanda Pagano concentrates her practice in the areas of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Working with for profit, non-profit and governmental clients, Yolanda leverages existing governance structures, strategies, and initiatives to deliver sustainable results. She has assisted clients in developing and advancing their CSR and sustainability programs, in preparing climate action plans, and in educating and engaging their workforce on these matters. Yolanda has over 20 years of experience in the energy and financial sectors where she has held various project management, strategy, policy, and sustainability roles. She earned her J.D. from Villanova, and holds a B.S. in accounting from Saint Joseph's University.

Parikhit SinhaParikhit (Ricky) Sinha
Ph.D., Senior Technical Director, O'Brien and Gere Engineers, Inc.

Dr. Parikhit (Ricky) Sinha leads O'Brien & Gere's greenhouse gas (GHG) program and GHG projects for municipal, industrial, and institutional clients. This includes development of baseline carbon footprints, carbon mitigation plans, regulatory risk analysis, and impact analysis of future GHG emissions from new construction. As a former study director at the National Research Council's Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Dr. Sinha has led studies relating the science of climate change to federal policies for carbon mitigation and management. He earned a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from University of Washington and a B.S. in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University

Stuart SpiegelStuart Spiegel (stu.spiegel@obg.com, 315.956.6297)
Vice President of Higher Education, O'Brien & Gere Engineers, Inc.

Stu Spiegel directs the Higher Education Market Sector activities of O’Brien & Gere Engineers, for which he has worked since 1973. His technical responsibilities include sustainability planning, environmental auditing and compliance for academia, healthcare, industry and municipalities; environmental due diligence and site assessments for corporate and private transactions; and environmental planning and impact analysis for major public and private development projects. Spiegel is the author of over 50 papers and presentations. He has taught as an adjunct assistant professor at Syracuse University, from which he earned his B.S. in 1972 and M.S. in 1977.

Guest Speakers

baeElet Callahan (escallah@syr.edu, 315.443.3673)

Professor of Law and Public Policy, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University

Elet Callahan teaches sustainable enterprise, the legal environment of business, and environmental law and policy at the Whitman School and serves as faculty director of the Sustainable Enterprise Partnership (SEP), a collaboration of Whitman, SUNY-ESF, and the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems.  The SEP promotes sustainable enterprise through curricula, outreach, and research. 

Callahan has received numerous teaching awards, including the SU Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award.  Her research has been published in the American Business Law Journal, the Virginia Journal of International Law, the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, the Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law, and the Journal of Business Ethics, among others.  She has received the Ralph C. Hoeber Award for Excellence in Research for articles published in the American Business Law Journal and the Holmes-Cardozo Award for Outstanding Conference Paper from the Academy of Legal Studies in Business.

Professor Callahan and her family designed and built the first home in New York State to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. 

Professor Callahan holds a J.D. (magna cum laude) from Syracuse University College of Law and a B.A. from Wellesley College (Wellesley College Scholar).

Mr. Chris Fowler (chris.h.fowler@gmail.com)

Founder/Executive Director of SyracuseFirst

SyracuseFirst is a not for profit organization committed to preserving the character and vitality of Greater Syracuse's economy, community networks and natural landscape by promoting the importance of purchasing from locally-owned, independent businesses.
Syracuse First is based on the idea of the triple-bottom-line: People, Profit, Planet

Chris Fowler's has a background in public policy on both the federal and state level with a focus on agriculture, conservation and economic development. A native of Central NY Chris attended Salisbury University on the Maryland's Eastern Shore and has a degree in Communications.

Research Assistant

baeHyunkee Bae

Ph.D., Department of Environmental Studies, SUNY ESF.

Dr. Hyunkee Bae has extensive experience in the areas of sustainability, sustainable business practices (sustainable entrepreneurship), environmental management systems, and the evaluation. He was a lead auditor of the ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System-EMS) and auditor of the ISO 9000 (Quality Management System-QMS) and audited ISO 14001 and ISO 9000 of many companies in Korea. He also joined the development of the integrated management system with EMS, QMS, and Occupational, Health & Safety Management System. He participated in the Monroe County Strategic Environmental Management Initiatives program which helped to establish and implement strategic environmental management systems for helped small and medium companies in Rochester, NY.  He earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the SUNY ESF in December 2009 and also holds M.S. in Environmental, Health & Safety Management from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Virginia Williams Virginia Williams
Project Manager, ESF Outreach; Adjunct Instructor, Dept. Forestry and Natural Resources Management, SUNY ESF

Virginia (Ginny) joined the ESF Outreach team as a green infrastructure training program manager, a position is funded by a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Northeast Area State and Private Forestry Competitive Grant. This project is a partnership between ESF and the Metropolitan Development Associate of Syracuse and Central New York (MDA) and their affiliated effort, the North Side Collaboratory Workforce Development Program (also known as the Green Train). Ginny's role entails management of green infrastructure training and demonstration projects for people who reside in the City of Syracuse and other synergistic programs and projects. Ginny holds undergraduate and master's degrees from Cornell University in environmental engineering, as well as a masters in environmental interpretation from ESF. At ESF she was a National Science Foundation GK-12 Fellow, a College-wide Colloquium on Teaching and Learning Fellow and, among other roles, president of the Graduate Student Association.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about the Leading Sustainability Program or other SUNY ESF Outreach Programs, please contact Ginny Williams at 315.470.6818.