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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Global Green Team Work in NOLA

Global Green's New York City and New Orleans offices worked in tandem to create a vibrant one-day conference, NOLA Resource Recovery Conference, held at the BioInnovation Center on March 2. 

Through their Coalition for Resource Recovery, the NYC office is dedicated to material and organics recycling programs, many based in research and technology development. In NOLA, Global Green is committed to rebuilding the neighborhoods destroyed during the 2005  Katrina floods.  The IMPACT Blog post, Global Green Hosts NOLA Rebuilding Tour, for an overview of a tour provided in conjunction with the conference.

Annie White and her NYC team engaged their national network of industry experts for a phenomenal conference program.  Sessions throughout the day educated NOLA city and area officials on the support available for a city ready to embrace resource recovery. With the Global Green office's local connections, NOLA director Beth Galante orchestrated the imperative local participation.  The successful conference shows the team work inherent within the Global Green organization.

Global Green President Matt Petersen
with Linda Morgano @ the reception
An evening reception kicked-off the conference where speakers and participants enjoyed the festivities prior to the full schedule the following day.  Thanks to the Louisiana Restaurant Association event sponsorship, guests were served scrumptious cuisine prepared by local talent.  A tight knit national community, guests were thrilled to spend time together and catch-up with their industry pals in the reception's welcoming ambiance. 

For the conference, Annie and her team, Lily Kelly and Matt de la Houssaye, created a dynamic, logical series of panel topics that flowed through the day. As the first speakers, Cynthia Sylvain-Lear, City of New Orleans Department of Sanitation Acting Director, and  Kara Renne, New Orleans Regional Planning Commission, gave the local landscape and set the stage for the pursuing  presentations.

Chris Moyer at the podium
Phenomenal food is synonymous with New Orleans. Grounding the foodservice industry's contribution to NOLA's economic vitality, Wendy Waren of the LRA gave a presentation filled with  facts substantiating the industry's financial impact on the City.  In her presentation, Wendy voiced the significant role sustainability plays in future operating priorities. Chris Moyer, National Restaurant Association ConServe Program Director, validated Wendy's presentation with the NRA's support for sustainable programs, including resource recovery.

Throughout the day's presentations a common theme emerged:  Importance of Glass Recycling.  It was fun as the theme emerged in the morning sessions yet glass recycling was on the afternoon agenda.  During the formal glass recycling session, the audience was prepared, energetic and ready to embrace solutions.  Though not easy, foodservice industry enthusiasm coupled with glass manufacturer support, an economically viable solution will emerge. Stay tuned as the necessary players were at the conference.

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover
at the podium with Myles Cohen of
Pratt Industries listening

Collaborative effort was another theme in the conference dialogue.  An example is the public-private partnership between the City of Shreveport and Pratt Industries. Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover traveled south to tell the partnership success story.  In 2009, Pratt opened a $160 million high-tech recycled paper mill along with a materials recovery facility (MRF) in Shreveport, creating jobs and stimulating the local economy. Prior to Mayor Glover's talk, Myles Cohen of Pratt Industries gave an engaging presentation of Pratt's operations and interesting industry facts.

The Ei FB album, 03-02-12 NOLA Resource Recovery Conference, gives a pictorial recap of the conference including short descriptions of presenter topics.  Ei Founder Holly Elmore's PPT presentation on the Sustainable Food Court Initiative may be downloaded from the Ei Speaking Engagements page.  Thanks to Ei Chair Scott Seydel's fine-tuned filming skills, Holly's presentation is available on a YouTube video, 03-02-12 NOLA CoRR Holly Elmore.

For details on the conference program, the Global Green blog post, NOLA Resource Recovery Conference, gives an excellent overview.

SUCCESS was the key word to describe the conference.  Future action will tell the direction success chooses for its path.  Kudos to Global Green, both the NYC & NOLA offices, for demonstrating how team work is a key to untangling many of humanity's challenges.

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