Chatham University

Moderators

Mary Whitney

University Sustainability Coordinator at Chatham University

Ms. Whitney has spent the last decade in environmental education, working primarily with citizens, teachers and their students. As sustainability coordinator for Chatham's campuses, she leads collaboration on sustainability practices at the university, works to help Chatham meet its carbon neutrality goals, and teaches environmental studies and civic engagement.

Ms. Whitney is one of the founders of GEM, the Green Education movement, a professional support and education organization for environmental education practitioners in Pittsburgh. She has a Master of Public Policy and Management from the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and is a graduate of Chatham College for Women at Chatham University.

Nancy Gift

Acting Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University

Nancy Gift, Acting Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham, is also author of A Weed by Any Other Name (Beacon, 2009), called by the New York Times Book Review "a charming collection of essays" about her friends the lawn weeds. A native of Kentucky, she holds degrees in biology (Harvard, A.B.) and weed science (University of Kentucky, M.S.; Cornell, Ph.D.). Before coming to Chatham, she was an agricultural extension educator at Cornell University and taught environmental science at the University of Chicago. She now lives in O'Hara township, with her spouse, two daughters, one cat, six chickens, and a lawn full of weeds.

Speakers

Lindsay Baxter

Sustainability Coordinator City of Pittsburgh

Lindsay Baxter is the first Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Ms. Baxter was employed as a Municipal Fellow with Clean Air-Cool Planet, a science-based, non-partisan, nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding and promoting solutions to global warming. In this role, she worked with the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative to research greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies and used modeling software to predict emissions reductions. She was the primary author of the recently adopted Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, which recommends actions to be taken by municipal government, citizens, community groups, businesses, and institutions of higher education to decrease Pittsburgh’s impact on climate change. Ms. Baxter has diverse experience in the environmental field; she has assisted small business owners implementing energy efficiency improvements, provided technical assistance to rural landowners employing watershed protection practices, helped to complete the first full-campus greenhouse gas inventory for Duquesne University, and provided training to other universities wishing to also complete inventories.

She holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College, Meadville, PA and an MS in Environmental Science and Management from Duquesne University.

Tania Bikerman

Chief Operating Officer, Castle Co-Packers

Tania Bikerman is the Chief Operating Officer at Castle Co-Packers, a kosher and organic certified bottling plant located in New Kensington, PA. Castle Co-Packers is the nation's only "green" co-packing facility. Castle Co-Packers recycles all the by-products from the production lines - including glass, plastic and cardboard - and makes a profit from doing so, as well as taking advantage of other "green" technologies.

Ms. Bikerman is a Pittsburgh native, though left to get her undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and her Master's from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon her return to Pittsburgh, Ms. Bikerman has held a variety of positions in a wide array of industries, including: teaching at Carnegie Mellon University and Robert Morris University; working as a Microsoft Certified Professional and Trainer, a business coach for local small businesses through Bridgeway Capital and owning and running her own Squirrel Hill retail shop, Pittsburgh Knit & Bead. Ms. Bikerman has authored and edited three books published by McGraw Hill and also enjoys her weekly gig as the host/producer of the Wednesday Evening Mix on WYEP 91.3 FM.

Victoria M. Holt

Senior Vice President, Glass and Fiber Glass

Victoria M. Holt is senior vice president, glass and fiber glass, of PPG Industries. She is responsible for PPG's fiber glass and performance glazings business units.

Holt joined PPG in 2003 as vice president, fiber glass, and was promoted to her current position in May 2005.

She began her career with Monsanto in 1979, selling commodity and specialty chemicals from its New York office. Holt then held sales and business management positions in St. Louis and San Diego before becoming assistant to the chief executive officer in 1993.

In 1996, she was named vice president and general manager of Acrilan, a global acrylic fiber business that is part of Solutia, the chemicals business spun off by Monsanto in 1997. In 1998, Holt was named vice president of Saflex, a global business manufacturing the raw materials and plastic sheet used to make laminated glass for automotive and architectural applications. She then became vice president and general manager of performance films for Solutia in 2000.

Holt earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Duke University and a master's of business administration degree in finance from Pace University. She serves on the boards of directors of Spartech Corporation, with headquarters in Clayton, Mo., and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, in Pittsburgh.

Christine Mondor

Principal, Evolve Environment

Christine Mondor is an eternal optimist regarding the power of design in our environment. Her diverse experience enables her to note trends and technologies and bring benefit across project types, from residential and commercial to educational planning. She has been active in shaping the Pittsburgh region's buildings and landscapes as an architect, educator and activist for over a decade. Her projects have been recognized nationally and internationally and include the design of MAYAspace in Pittsburgh, Edge Offices in Arizona and Kansas, "extended stay" house, and the evolveHOUSE, a prototype for affordable sustainable living. She has explored sustainability at a variety of scales, from project architect for the 100,000 sf Food Bank that was one of the first 10 LEED Rated buildings in the nation, to a modest and beautifully detailed straw bale comfort station in rural Pennsylvania. She has strong experience with organizational dynamics and she has helped companies like ALCOA, General Dynamics, and Phipps Conservatory bring sustainable ideas and practices to their organization.

Christine teaches architecture and landscape design at Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham University. She supports organizations who promote design and currently is Chair of the Board of the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh and sits on a Project Committee for Friendship Development Associates. She has also contributed to Pittsburgh’s reputation for excellence in sustainability as a board member of the Green Building Alliance and Three Rivers Association for Sustainable Energy (TRASE). She received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University and studied architecture and sustainable design in Scandinavia. Christine is Registered Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional.

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