Thomas Barr is the Executive Director for Local First Arizona, the largest coalition of local businesses in North America. He advocates for a strong local business community that contributes to building vibrancy, equity, and prosperity across the state. A proud Arizona native and graduate of Arizona State University, Thomas leads the business coalition of Local First Arizona by advocating for the economic and cultural benefits provided by building strong local economies.
Matt Cunningham is a partner in Civic Economics, an economic analysis and strategic planning consultancy with offices in Chicago and Tulsa. Matt develops the firm’s analytical methodologies, and brings a data-driven approach to the firm’s varied endeavors. He earned a M.S. in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas and a B.A. in Political Science from Binghamton University in New York.
Rodney Foxworth is a nonprofit executive, social
entrepreneur, impact investing advisor, and philanthropy consultant. He has founded, led, and advised numerous social impact and economic development ventures. Rodney is a “40 Under 40” honoree of Baltimore Business Journal and Next City magazine. He is featured in the best-seller “Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding.”
Kimber Lanning is Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona, a statewide organization implementing innovative strategies for new models of economic development that create vibrant local economies. Lanning is an entrepreneur, business leader and community development specialist who works to cultivate strong self-reliant communities and inspire a higher quality of life for people across Arizona.
David Levine is the Co-founder and President of the The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC). ASBC is a growing coalition of business organizations and businesses advancing market solutions and policies that support a vibrant, just and sustainable economy. ASBC informs and engages business leaders, while educating decision makers and the media about opportunities and policies that can lead to a more sustainable economy. Today, ASBC represents more than 200,000 businesses.
Derek Peebles is the Executive Director of the American Independent Business Alliance. Derek is a servant-leader with advanced education in Organizational Leadership and Public Relations and 10 years of professional experience in business and community development. Derek’s reputation is built on cross-cultural and cross-sector collaboration, bridging communities for capacity building. Derek builds strong relationships with executives and civic leaders to connect diverse communities.
Jennifer Rubenstein started working for the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA) in 2008 and became Director in 2011. Under her leadership, LIBA has grown from 60 to close to 900 business members. LIBA educates the public about the advantages of buying local, promotes the Keep Louisville Weird and hoLOUdays campaigns, holds annual Buy Local Fairs and the Louisville Local Business Expo, publishes the Buy Local Guides and leads initiatives in South and West Louisville.
Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig joined forces, to found Zingerman’s Delicatessen, and opened the doors on March 15, 1982. All they wanted at that time was a great corned beef sandwich and an organization with soul. Zingerman’s started as 1300 square feet of combined restaurant and specialty food retail space, run solely by Paul, Ari and two employees. The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses now has 23 partners, employs over 750 people and generates over $60 million from ten separate businesses
Ismail Samad is the Director of Manufacturing Business Operations at CommonWealth Kitchen, Boston’s nonprofit food business incubator. He is a pioneer among chef-advocates for the reduction of food waste across the country. Trained as an environmental biologist, then as a chef, he incorporates food rescue principles, creating menus that are directly linked to sustainability. Ismail was also pivotal in the planning, launch and early expansion of Daily Table, nonprofit grocery stores in MA, addressing the issues of food insecurity, nutritional health, and wasted food.
Judy Wicks’ main project is All Together Now Pennsylvania which she founded in 2019 to unite rural and urban economies around building resilient, self-reliant regional economies in our state. These will decrease the carbons of long distance shipping and end our reliance on global supply chains easily disrupted by increasingly chaotic weather, while building community wealth and preparing for climate change by producing basic needs locally.
Nicola Williams Entrepreneurial marketing leader with more than 15 years experience in marketing. Recognized for superior problem-solving, project management, relationship building, and strategic marketing planning skills. Principal of The Williams Agency. a full service marketing firm that works on mission-driven marketing projects and planning events that matter. Focus areas include sustainable food, sustainability, the environment, green marketing, and multicultural projects. WBE/MBE and SOMWBA Certified company with experience working in successful partner relationships.
Anna Shipp has been with the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia since 2013, and couldn’t be prouder or more committed to our mission to build a just, green, and thriving economy. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Anna served as Manager of SBN’s GSI Partners, a business-informed initiative working to maximize the triple bottom line impact of Philadelphia’s innovative nature-based storm water management plan, Green City, Clean Waters.
Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a globally recognized expert on community economics. He is one of the architects of the crowdfunding reforms that became the “JOBS Act,” signed into law by President Obama in 2012. Shuman is currently Director of Community Portals for Mission Markets and a Fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and Post-Carbon Institute. He’s a founding member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He is also an adjunct instructor in community economic development for Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
Breakout Session + Roundtable Speakers
Courtney Berner joined the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives in 2011 and assumed the role of executive director in 2018. Courtney develops research, outreach, and education programs on cooperatives and provides support to new and established cooperatives in a wide range of industries.
Deb Brown of Save Your Town manages programs on small towns, what to do with empty buildings, customer service, marketing and economic development and more. These programs have been received by chambers, economic developers, tourism specialists, museum experts, business groups, and small town conferences.
Jessica Cavazos is the President of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County. Cavazos was formerly the President of the Eleva Group, whose mission was to create social programs, help non-profits with governance issues and implement initiatives that are economically and socially beneficial. Cavazos has extensive experience in government relations, policy, community engagement and business development.
Laury Hammel is the President and CEO of The Longfellow Clubs which encompasses health and sports clubs, holistic health centers, children’s centers, and camps that serve 10,000 members. Honored by the Boston Globe as one of the top places to work in MA, Longfellow is a recognized industry leader in innovative business practices, environmental responsibility, and community service.
Katharine Jandernoa holds over a decade of experience in local food systems and sustainability. Prior to joining Local First as Local First Program Manager, Katherine was the co-founder, program and development director of Food Connects in Vermont, working to increase access to healthy, locally sourced foods within schools. Jandernoa earned her M.A. in Sustainable Development from the SIT Graduate Institute and her B.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University.
Kristen Lavelett is the Executive Director of Local First Utah, working to educate the public, government, and business owners about the value of local businesses. Kristen leads the “buy local” movement in Utah, advocating for independent businesses in urban and rural communities. Her expertise has spurred development across the state. She is on the Board of Directors for Urban Food Connections, and is an ex officio member of the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Business Advisory Board.
Rebecca Melacon is the Executive Director of the Austin Independent Business Alliance. She works to help the local business community in every way she can. From marketing to advocacy, Austin’s local businesses and a thriving local business community are her passion. It has and continues to be a privilege and an honor to serve this community. While Rebecca may not always be a welcomed sight at city hall, she is always there to be Vocal for Local.
Colin Murray is Executive Director of Dane Buy Local in Madison WI, a position he’s held since 2013. Colin is a promoter of local business with over 15 years’ experience in locally-focused economic development. He has been involved with Dane Buy Local from its initial formation in 2004 and served as President from 2010-2013. During that time he oversaw the organization’s growth from 450 to more than 700 member businesses. Under his direction, Dane County Buy Local now boasts nearly 800 members.
Carol (Orange) Schroeder is passionate about independently owned businesses, and is eager to share her ideas and insights. Carol and her husband Dean have co-owned Orange Tree Imports in Madison, WI for over 42 years. The store was chosen as a Millennium Retailer by Gifts and Decorative Accessories magazine, and a finalist for their Retailer of the Century. Carol is the founder and chair of the Monroe Street Merchants Association, and leads the Metropolitan Neighborhood Business Council of the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mary Alice Scott is the Executive Director of Portland Buy Local (PBL) in Portland, ME. For nearly a decade, Mary Alice has worked on community building through advocacy and supporting local economies. Previous to her work with Buy Local, she worked to open the Portland Food Co-op, leading the effort to increase Member-Ownership from 500 to 3,600, and helping to raise over one million dollars in start-up funds. She is passionate about advocating for local businesses on a local and national level.
Kristi Streiffert was Managing Director of Local First in Durango, Colorado. After ten years overseas and soon after earning her MBA at University of Cyprus Kristi bought and operates Wren Consulting, a local independent business in Durango. She is interested in building communities that support locally-owned independent businesses as a path to an economy that values people, the planet and prosperity for everyone.
About 2020 Vision:
This 2.5-day conference will provide an interactive format for idea-sharing, skill-sharpening, and movement building. AMIBA is harnessing our decades of expertise, and gathering movement leaders in one place, as we embark in a fresh direction to strengthen our collective impact and individual communities. Join us!