Speakers

Sara Axelrod
Sara Axelrod

Director of Sustainability, Beverage Packaging North and Central America

Ball Corporation

Andy Beerman
Andy Beerman

Jessica Burley
Jessica Burley

Council Member, Town of Frisco & Sustainability and Parking Manager, Town of Breckenridge

Town of Frisco & Breckenridge

Luke Cartin
Luke Cartin

Environmental Sustainability Manager

Park City Municipal

Judy Dorsey
Judy Dorsey

Founding President and Principal Engineer

Brendle Group

Josh Elliott
Josh Elliott

Director of Partnerships

Mananalu

Mayor Eric Mamula
Mayor Eric Mamula

Mayor

Town of Breckenridge

Dr. Michael Mann
Dr. Michael Mann

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science

Penn State University

Pete McBride
Pete McBride

National Geographic photographer and filmmaker

Chris Menges
Chris Menges

Director of Climate Action

The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado Chapter

Grace Rink
Grace Rink

Chief Climate Officer for the City and County of Denver and Executive Director of its Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency

City and County of Denver

Rachel Setzke
Rachel Setzke

Senior Policy and Research Associate

Eco-Cycle

Jacob Smith
Jacob Smith

Executive Director

Colorado Communities for Climate Action

Sam Whelan
Sam Whelan

Vice President of Power Supply and Programs

Holy Cross Energy

Rollie Williams
Rollie Williams

Creator and Host of Climate Town

Climate Town

Hollie Velasquez Horvath
Hollie Velasquez Horvath

RVP, State Affairs and Community Relations

Xcel Energy – Colorado

Sara Axelrod

Sara Axelrod

Director of Sustainability, Beverage Packaging North and Central America
Ball Corporation

Sara Axelrod currently leads sustainability initiatives in North and Central America for Ball Packaging, where she is focused on creating and promoting a commercial and regulatory environment in which the company can support its customers’ sustainability goals, drive efforts around real recycling and the circular economy at scale, and ultimately utilize its market position to create systemic change to improve the recycling system. Sara previously led marketing and innovation for the sustainability team at Land O’Lakes Inc. and was a founding member of the Food & Agriculture team at the Glover Park Group, a leading public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. In addition to her work at Ball, she serves on the Board and Executive Committee of The Recycling Partnership. She holds an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts from The George Washington University.

 

Andy Beerman

Andy Beerman

Andy is a native of Ohio but spent his summers in the West developing an early appreciation for grand landscapes. In 1991, he graduated from Miami (of Ohio) University and headed to Alaska to instruct for the National Outdoor Leadership School.  Eventually, he set up basecamp in Park City meeting his wife Thea Leonard and investing in a struggling hotel called Treasure Mountain Inn.  Over a decade of renovations, they transformed the hotel into a modern, eco-tique and one of the first net-zero hotels in North America. This earned them the ‘Park City Environmental Hero award’ and inspired Andy’s deeper involvement as a climate advocate, president of the downtown business alliance, City Councilor, then Mayor.  While in office he spearheaded the preservation of 3000+ acres of land, the electrification of Park City’s fleet, committed to community-wide net-zero by 2030, and changes to State law (HB411) allowing the rapid conversion to 100% clean renewables. In 2019 Andy helped to create Mountain Towns 2030 (MT2030) to promote collective action and encourage other communities to set climate goals.  Recently retired, Andy is appreciating the slower pace, learning to surf, and contemplating new avenues for climate activism.

Jessica Burley

Jessica Burley

Council Member, Town of Frisco & Sustainability and Parking Manager, Town of Breckenridge
Town of Frisco & Breckenridge

Jessica Burley is a Council Member for the Town of Frisco and serves as the Sustainability and Parking Manager for neighboring Town of Breckenridge. A sustainability professional and instructor for over a decade, Jessica promotes an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving and creative thinking. Since 2018, Jessica has been responsible for implementing the SustainableBreck program including the pathway to 100% renewable electricity, transportation electrification, water conservation, and materials management. Jessica helped lead both the towns of Breckenridge and Frisco in phasing out plastic bags in 2021 and is an advocate at the state for programs like producer responsibility. She served one term on the board of Recycle Colorado and was the Policy Committee Chair.  She helped pave the way for Breckenridge’s global recognition as a Mountain IDEAL sustainable destination and is a Sustainability Excellence Associate.

Luke Cartin

Luke Cartin

Environmental Sustainability Manager
Park City Municipal

Luke Cartin is the Environmental Sustainability Manager for Park City, Utah and MT2030 co-founder.  He oversees Park City’s goals of achieving net-zero carbon and 100% renewable electricity for city operations by 2022, and community-wide 2030. These goals are the most ambitious in North America for any municipality, and one of the most aspiring world-wide. Previous to coming to the city, he worked in ski resort sustainability and land planning for 15 years. His work has been featured in the New York Times, BBC, Outside Magazine, Powder, Newsweek, and other international outlets. He lives with his wife, three kids, and many animals just outside Park City.

Judy Dorsey

Judy Dorsey

Founding President and Principal Engineer
Brendle Group

As the founding president and principal engineer of Brendle Group, Judy is a pioneering engineer, entrepreneur, and sustainability business leader with 26 years of executive expertise in innovation, strategy, and risk management. Judy has led the completion of more than 300 sustainability projects for over 150 clients across 30 states, including a market-leading portfolio of projects focused on ski areas, ski towns and sustainable tourism. Many of these projects pioneered new frontiers in sustainability, prior to national standards and certifications, in areas such as green building, greenhouse gas management and accounting, net zero energy, and climate resilience. Judy has also advised numerous business leaders and public policy makers on managing the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, energy system transitions, and other socioeconomic challenges. Judy is the recipient of numerous industry awards including the NSAA 2016 Ski Industry Impact Award and is featured in the Smithsonian Institute’s Places of Innovation exhibit. She is also a U.S. C3E Ambassador, a group of distinguished senior leaders who serve as role models and advocates for women in clean energy

Josh Elliott

Josh Elliott

Director of Partnerships
Mananalu

Josh Elliott is the Director of Partnerships for Mananalu, a brand of purified still and flavored water on a mission to unplastic the planet. 

Mayor Eric Mamula

Mayor Eric Mamula

Mayor
Town of Breckenridge

Eric Mamula was born in Whittier, California. After multiple moves during childhood, the family settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where Eric attended Moravian College. Not long after graduation in 1986, he came to Breckenridge with his family. The plan was to help his parents get settled here and then head to the Vermont School of Law. The mountains won out over law school and Eric chose to remain in Breckenridge. A short stint in the US Air Force was followed by the opening of Downstairs at Eric’s in 1989.

In 1994, Eric began his political career by winning a seat on the Breckenridge Sanitation Board. Since then, Eric has served on the Red, White and Blue Fire Board, the Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Committee, Breckenridge Board of Adjustments, multiple terms on the Breckenridge Planning Commission and two terms on the Breckenridge Town Council. Eric is married to Sara and they have a son, Quinn. Eric is an avid mountain biker and downhill skier and really loves spending time with his family.

Dr. Michael Mann

Dr. Michael Mann

Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science
Penn State University

Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC). In Fall 2022, he will become Presidential Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment in the Annenberg School for Communication. He will also be the inaugural director of the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media (PCSSM).

Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA’s outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News’ list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017, the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2018 and the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union in 2018. In 2019 he received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and in 2020 he received the World Sustainability Award of the MDPI Sustainability Foundation. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2020. He received the Leo Szilard Award of the American Physical Society in 2021. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.

Pete McBride

Pete McBride

National Geographic photographer and filmmaker

Pete McBride is an Award-winning photographer, filmmaker, writer, and public speaker who has spent two decades studying the world with a camera with a focus on freshwater and conservation. He has traveled on assignment to over 75 countries for the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian, USAID, The Nature Conservancy and many more and spoken on stages for TEDx, The World Economic Forum, Nat Geo Live. His Disney+, National Geographic documentary Into the Grand Canyon chronicles a 750-mile journey by foot through the entire length of the Grand Canyon. It was nominated for an Emmy in 2020 and his book Grand Canyon: Between River and Rim won a National Outdoor Book award.

His latest project explores the power and fragility of natural sounds and quietude. Smithsonian and The Week magazines named the accompanying book, Seeing Silence, one of the top photo books of 2021. He lives in Basalt, Colorado.

Chris Menges

Chris Menges

Director of Climate Action
The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado Chapter

As Director of Climate Action for The Nature Conservancy in Colorado, Chris leads advocacy, projects, and programs to ensure that all Coloradans benefit from cleaner air and water and abundant natural spaces, as Colorado becomes a national leader for climate action. This includes developing and supporting binding policies to reduce GHGs 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, influencing new finance mechanisms that direct public funding towards equitably decreasing emissions, and establishing frameworks and best practices for siting new energy development. Prior to serving in this role, Chris spent eight years managing climate and sustainability programs at the City of Aspen. During this time, he led the development and implementation of regional climate action strategies and helped advance state climate policy with Colorado Communities for Climate Action. He also chaired committees within the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and worked with partners from multiple sectors to co-develop actionable tools that have been leveraged by communities across the country. Chris enjoyed serving as the Climate and Clean Energy Director for High Country Conservation Advocates in Crested Butte during the earlier years of his career. He holds a BA in Environmental Policy from Western State Colorado University, and an MS in Climate Science and Solutions from Northern Arizona University. Chris has lived in mountain towns since the late 90s (Crested Butte to Aspen) and is incredibly gratified to see the leadership of mountain communities in turning challenges into opportunities.

Grace Rink

Grace Rink

Chief Climate Officer for the City and County of Denver and Executive Director of its Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency
City and County of Denver

Grace Rink is the Chief Climate Officer for the City and County of Denver and Executive Director of its Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency. This new office, created in 2020, manages the city’s ambitious climate action and sustainability goals and promotes policies and programs that strengthen Denver’s economic vitality. Denver voters approved a special sales tax to provide this office with up to $40M per year to implement projects such as new solar installations, electrifying buildings, and expansive community engagement programs. Prior to joining Denver in 2020, Grace enjoyed a long career in Chicago with the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department of Environment, AECOM, and Quercus Consulting. 

Rachel Setzke

Rachel Setzke

Senior Policy and Research Associate
Eco-Cycle

Rachel Setzke (she/her) has been with Eco-Cycle since August of 2019. In her role as Senior Policy and Research Associate, she researches trends and best practices in recycling, compost and Zero Waste in order to support Eco-Cycle’s education and advocacy work. Her work has focused on providing policy and program solutions at the community and state levels as well as studying diversion access, trends and scalable solutions across Boulder County and Colorado. Rachel is the co-author of the annual State of Recycling and Composting in Colorado Report as well as a report for CDPHE on access to recycling and composting in Greater Colorado. She is proud to be an active member of Recycle Colorado’s Rural Colorado Working Group.

 

Jacob Smith

Jacob Smith

Executive Director
Colorado Communities for Climate Action

Jacob joined CC4CA in 2017, becoming executive director in the following year. His professional experience has centered on climate and conservation advocacy in Colorado and around the country. Jacob lived in Washington, D.C. during his stint as a Congressional staffer in the U.S. Senate, and also served on the City Council and as Mayor of Golden, Colorado.

 

Sam Whelan

Sam Whelan

Vice President of Power Supply and Programs
Holy Cross Energy

Sam Whelan is the Vice President of Power Supply and Programs for Holy Cross Energy (HCE), a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative utility providing electricity and energy products and services to more than 45,000 members in Western Colorado. Headquartered in Glenwood Springs, HCE is leading the responsible transition to a clean energy future with its 100×30 initiative, aimed at obtaining 100% renewable and clean energy for its members, by 2030.

 

Sam and his team lead HCE’s efforts in resource planning, program development, and operation and optimization of power supply resources, including both supply- and demand-side assets. Prior to joining HCE in August 2016, Sam was a Revenue Analyst and Litigation Accountant for Chesapeake Energy. Sam holds degrees in finance and marketing, both from Oklahoma Baptist University.

Rollie Williams

Rollie Williams

Creator and Host of Climate Town
Climate Town

Rollie Williams is a Brooklyn-based comedian, video editor, and guy with both student debt and a Climate Science & Policy degree from Columbia University. He is the creator and host of Climate Town, a comedy series about climate change. It sounds kinda depressing, but I promise it’s fun. Climate Town’s YouTube channel has amassed 380,000+ subscribers, millions of views, several awards, and has spawned a Discord community of climate-focused-yet-delightfully-regular people. Rollie is also the former creator and host of the monthly comedy show ‘An Inconvenient Talk Show‘ doing sketches and comedic deep dives by pairing comedians (SNL, The Daily Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, etc) together with climate scientists (NASA, MIT, Harvard, etc). When he’s not doing climate stuff, Rollie plays an unhealthy amount of billiards and recently achieved his dream of commentating for the World Cup of Pool in England.

Hollie Velasquez Horvath

Hollie Velasquez Horvath

RVP, State Affairs and Community Relations
Xcel Energy – Colorado

Hollie Velasquez Horvath became Regional Vice President of State Affairs and Community Relations for Xcel Energy in 2021. Prior to her current position she held the position of Senior Director of State Affairs and Community Relations, Director of Community Affairs and Senior Manager of Civic and Political Engagement. She’s been with Xcel Energy since 2011. 

Prior to coming to Xcel Energy, Hollie held several roles, including co-ownership of a public affairs firm, in the social, political, and civic industries in Colorado. Her former client list included the City of Denver, top tier non-profits and Colorado state and federal politicians. 

In her current role as Regional Vice President, she leads a team of directors, managers, analysts, and lobbyists who are responsible for managing the state, city, and county political, business and community relationships as well as the local economic development on behalf of the Colorado operating company. These critical relationships shape local and state energy policy, transmission market strategy and overall Colorado operating company strategy. The philanthropic arm of the Colorado company is within her department and supports Colorado communities and customers with foundation grants, employee volunteerism and corporate sponsorships. 

Hollie currently holds several leadership roles in the community by serving on non-profit and economic boards. She currently sits on the boards of Denver Health Authority, Downtown Denver Partnership Inc, Visit Denver, Aurora Economic Development Corporation, and the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado.

Hollie has received several community recognitions and awards for her leadership in the community. They include Downtown Denver 2021 Champion, Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40, Colorado Women’s Chamber Top 25 Most Powerful Women, Urban Peak Urban Nights Celebrity Model, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dancing with the Denver Stars. 

When Hollie is not working or volunteering in the community, she enjoys spending time outdoors and cooking with her husband, Bryon, 13-year-old twins Chase and Lillian, and 8-year-old labradoodle named Murray.