The Drawdown Georgia Leadership Council Advances Climate Solutions in Our State

drawdown georgia leadership council

Successfully implementing the Drawdown Georgia framework depends on a wide diversity of effort, and a shared commitment to lifting up everyone in our state while we draw down emissions. Chaired by Jasmine Crowe, founder and CEO of Goodr, Inc., Roy Richards, Jr., chairman of the board for Southwire, and Nathaniel Smith, founder and chief equity officer of Partnership for Southern Equity, the Drawdown Georgia Leadership Council guides and advances the effort to scale the 20 climate solutions identified as having the most potential to reverse climate change in Georgia in coming years.

The members of the Drawdown Georgia Leadership Council include:

Drawdown Georgia- Jasmine CroweCo-Chair Jasmine Crowe is an award-winning social entrepreneur, TED Speaker, and leader who is working to make the world a better place one cause at a time. In 2017, after years of feeding people experiencing homelessness from her own kitchen, she launched Goodr, a sustainable waste management company that leverages technology to combat hunger and reduce food waste. She has been featured on CNBC; in Oprah Magazine, Inc., Forbes, Fast Co., NY Times; and was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top 100 influential female founders. Under her direction, Goodr has redirected nearly five million pounds of surplus food from restaurants, event centers, airports, and businesses to the millions of people who are food insecure. Since March of 2020, Goodr is responsible for providing over two million meals to people in need.

Drawdown Georgia- Roy Richards Jr
 
 
 

Co-Chair Roy Richards, Jr. is chairman of Southwire Company. Previously, he served as president of the International Cablemakers Federation and chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. In 1999, Richards was elected "Georgia's Most Respected CEO" by readers of Georgia Trend magazine.

 

 

Drawdown Georgia- Nathaniel-Smith (new)Co-Chair Nathaniel Smith serves as founder and chief equity officer of the Partnership for Southern Equity, which advances policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South. A child of the Civil Rights Movement and an Atlanta native, Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from Morehouse College and a Master of Science from the New School. Smith was named to the Grist 50 by Grist Magazine in 2018 and the Atlanta 500 by Atlanta Magazine in 2019 and 2020. He was also designated one of the 100 “Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Mike_Berg Drawdown Georgia-1

 
 
 

Mike Berg is a former president of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Dawson County, District 3 Gwinnett County Commissioner, and board member of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. Berg has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia State University.

 

 

Steve Bradley Drawdown GeorgiaSteve Bradley is vice president of Cox Cleantech, where he is responsible for building a new business vertical at Cox Enterprises that tackles sustainability challenges and drives profitability, topline growth, and diversification. With Bradley’s leadership, the Cox Cleantech team is acquiring solutions that transform key segments of agriculture, energy, and waste through resource efficiency, resiliency, and adaptation to sustainably meet the needs of a rapidly growing global population. He is a 2012 graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership Program (IGEL) and was named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Who’s Who in Sustainability list. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State University.

 
 
Drawdown Georgia- Marilyn Brown
 

Marilyn Brown is a Regents' and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech. She joined the university in 2006 after a distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she led several national climate change mitigation studies and became a leader in the analysis and interpretation of energy futures in the United States. Dr. Brown co-founded the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and chaired its Board of Directors for several years. She has served on the Boards of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Alliance to Save Energy, and was a commissioner with the Bipartisan Policy Center. She has served on eight National Academies committees and is an Editor of Energy Policy and an Editorial Board member of Energy Efficiency and Energy Research and Social Science.

 

 

Casey Cox Drawdown GeorgiaCasey Cox is a sixth-generation farmer from Camilla. Her family farm, Longleaf Ridge, borders the Flint River and produces sweet corn, peanuts, field corn, soybeans, and timber. Prior to returning to the farm full-time, Cox was executive director of the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, where she was responsible for procuring and managing over $13.5 million of funding for conservation programs. She was appointed by Secretary Sonny Perdue in 2019 to serve as Georgia’s alternate board member on the National Peanut Board. She is a 2016 graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership and a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2019. Her most significant professional contribution to date was teaching Cookie Monster and Gonger where peanut butter comes from on Season 49 of Sesame Street.

 

Dennis Creech Drawdown Georgia

 

Dennis Creech serves as a fund advisor at The Kendeda Fund, which supports the dignity of individuals and the sustainability of communities through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. In 1978, Creech co-founded and served as executive director of Southface for 38 years, a nonprofit promoting sustainable homes, workplaces, and communities. Under his direction, Southface has become a trusted partner by federal and local governments, utilities, businesses, and nonprofits, as well as a valuable resource to consumers. He has been designated by Georgia Trend as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians.”

 


Gerald Durley Drawdown GeorigaThe Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley is the former pastor of the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church of Atlanta, where he served for nearly 25 years. Rev. Durley’s previous roles include executive director of the Head Start Program for Fulton and Douglas Counties, director of the Health Promotion Resource Center at the Morehouse School of Medicine, and founder of Perspectives, International, a consortium of historically black colleges and universities. In 2011, Rev. Durley was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame for his contributions during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Rev. Durley continues to serve as an outspoken advocate on a number of social justice issues and works diligently to understand the differences and similarities among people, cultures, and beliefs.

 

 

John Hardman Drawdown Georgia

John Hardman is managing director of WoodLeaf Partners, a business advisory and investment group based in Atlanta, Georgia, and actively serves as the chairman and director of WildArk, a global conservation effort aimed at protecting land and ecosystems around the world. Previously, Hardman served as vice president of Granite Holdings and GeoFields, Inc., and president and investment manager of First Light Ventures, an early-stage social venture fund affiliated with Gray Ghost Ventures where he oversaw the incubation and spin out of Village Capital. Hardman also practiced corporate law at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, worked in financial management services at Synovus, and taught school in the Dominican Republic. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University, a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, and an MBA from INSEAD.

 



Jenni Harris Drawdown GeorgiaJenni Harris is the fifth generation of the Harris family to tend cattle at White Oak Pastures. After living on the farm her entire life, Harris went to Valdosta State University and earned a degree in business marketing, graduating in 2009. She remained intimately involved in the family business throughout her studies. After graduating, Harris moved to Atlanta where she interned at Buckhead Beef, a SYSCO company. She put in time in every department, from shipping and receiving to the cut shop, and was later hired to work as a sales associate. In June of 2010, Harris returned home to Early County to work for White Oak Pastures full time. As the director of marketing, she manages ecommerce marketing and fulfillment and wholesale relationships.

 

Doug Hooker Drawdown Georgia

 


Doug Hooker leads the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), which convenes local government leaders, their community partners, and residents, to develop strategies for improving the region’s quality of life and to address the challenges of a rapidly emerging future. Prior to joining the ARC, Hooker worked for public sector and private sector organizations, including: Atkins Global, the City of Atlanta, Bio-Lab, Inc., Georgia Power, and the State Road & Tollway Authority. Through the different facets of his career he has been able to work on local and regional issues involving education, energy, public works, sustainability, transit, transportation, and water. Hooker holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Tech, and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

 



Nataki Osborne Jelks Drawdown GeorgiaDr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks is an assistant professor in the Environmental and Health Sciences Program at Spelman College in Atlanta. Dr. Jelks also co-founded the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA), a community-based environmental justice organization that works to grow a cleaner, greener, healthier, more sustainable West Atlanta through authentic community engagement, organizing, education, community science, and research. Since 2018 she has served on the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a federal advisory committee that works to integrate environmental justice into the Environmental Protection Agency’s programs, policies and activities as well as to improve the environment or public health in communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and risks. Jelks studied chemistry and civil and environmental engineering at Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology respectively before earning a Master of Environmental and Occupational Health degree at Emory University and a Ph.D. in public health at Georgia State University.


James Marlow Drawdown Georgia

 

James Marlow is the CEO and founder of Atlanta-based Clean Energy Advisors. Founded in 2019, Clean Energy Advisors provides strategic planning and consulting services for solar, energy storage, clean tech, sustainability, and digital transformation initiatives. Marlow has extensive technology marketing, business development, and policy experience. He has worked with Computerland, Lotus Development, IBM, and Yahoo!, and has been part of 11 new business initiatives at Lotus Development and IBM. Marlow is a graduate of Georgia Southern University and has completed the Georgia Tech Mid-Career Management Program.

 

Jeff Pratt Drawdown Georgia

 

Jeff Pratt is president of Green Power EMC, a not-for-profit corporation that secures renewable energy resources on behalf of Georgia’s Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) and the more than four million members they serve. Pratt earned an MBA in finance from Georgia State University and a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University.

 

 

Costas Simoglou Drawdown Georgia
Costas Simoglou is the director of the Center of Innovation for Energy for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. His various roles within the department range from export promotions to recruitment of new investment to helping develop the State’s strategic industries focus. Prior to joining the Department of Economic Development, Simoglou worked in the technology industry. He has served on boards of various industry associations including Southeast Software Association, Technology Association of Georgia, and AeA, and is active in the business and technology community of Georgia.

 


Christine Reeves Strigaro Drawdown GeorgiaChristine Reeves Strigaro is the executive director of The Sapelo Foundation, a private family foundation based in Savannah, Georgia. On a mission for a just Georgia, Strigaro leverages every form of philanthropic capital to lift up Georgia as a destination for social and environmental justice. She serves on the board of Funders Committee for Civic Participation, the public policy committee of Georgia Grantmakers Alliance, and the steering committee of Georgia Funders Network for Racial Equity. Previously, she served as director of foundation programs at Alliance for Justice and senior field associate at National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Strigaro graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Emory University, and earned her master’s degree from Duke University’s Terry Sanford School of Public Policy.

 



Andres Villegas Drawdown GeorgiaAndres Villegas is president and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association. In this capacity, he is focused on ensuring that the state’s 22 million acres of working forests continue to deliver value to Georgia's 10+ million residents through the creation of jobs, clean air, drinking water, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Villegas was born in Bogota, Colombia, and has traveled extensively throughout the world promoting environmental sustainability, trade, and collaborative partnerships. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Georgia and an Executive Certificate of Management and Leadership from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management.

 

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