Concurrent Education Session

My Output is Your Input: Sustainable Business Parks (1 CEU)

Thursday, August 23
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Delta C

Using synergies to support zero waste policies

To create a sustainable business park (a.k.a. eco-industrial park), you need more than just financial incentives. This panel of experts will explore how public and private sectors are cooperating to develop their infrastructures to turn their visions into realities. Come listen to those going through the process firsthand as they describe their efforts and successes in developing integrated sustainable business parks (SBPs) focused upon upending the linear model of production by turning waste materials from one industrial process into useable inputs/feedstocks for others. Walk away with avenues for pursuing SBPs in your own community and how they align with zero-waste goals.


Stephen Simmons, Senior Vice President, Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc.

Stephen Simmons

Stephen Simmons is a sustainable development business leader with more than 30 years of experience in the energy and environmental services sectors. He is highly experienced in program and project management, new business development, waste and power marketing, technology evaluation, business financial modeling, profit and loss management, facility design, procurement, and construction having worked with leading international energy operating companies and engineering/consulting firms. Throughout his career, he has helped communities and companies develop programs and projects implementing the 3 E’s of sustainability: ecology, economy and equity. He has extensive renewable energy experience, having managed the development, construction, and operation of power generation projects with capital budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars. These facilities have produced millions of megawatt-hours of renewable energy, displacing millions of tons of fossil fuels.

Dr. Rob White, Executive Director for Research Programs, Sierra Energy Research Park

Rob White

Dr. Rob White is the Executive Director of the Sierra Energy Research Park (SERP) and the Area 52 Accelerator, as well as the Chief Strategist for Sierra Energy, a waste gasification and renewable energy company. Named a White House “Champion of Change for Local Innovation,” Dr. White has been recognized by regional, national, and international organizations for his work on economic development, regional innovation clusters, and partnership with federal agencies. As a State of California registered Professional Geologist, Dr. White has broad experience in waste management and disposition, environmental engineering, regulations and risk management. Dr. White’s primary role at Sierra Energy is the planning, design, and implementation of SERP and Area 52, co-located in Davis, CA, and the future build-out of the Zero Waste Innovation Park (ZWIP) located in Yolo County. Before joining Sierra Energy, Dr. White was the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Davis, with a focus on entitlement and development of innovation districts, support for startups and entrepreneurs and liaison to academic institutions. During his previous tenure as Economic Development Director for the City of Livermore, he co-founded the i-GATE Innovation Hub, one of California’s designated 14 regional innovation clusters. Dr. White has 25 years of experience in local government, academic research, environmental engineering, regulatory compliance, reuse/redevelopment, land use regulation and planning, small business assistance, human health risk assessment, geologic/hydrologic investigations, hazardous materials cleanup/remediation and contaminant fate and transport. Dr. White has completed a Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development (DPPD) and Master of Planning and Development from the University of Southern California (USC), significant coursework in a Doctor of Governance (DGov) from Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Chico State University.

R. David McConnell, Vice President, Business Development, Enerkem

David McConnell

David McConnell joined Enerkem’s management team as vice president, business development, North America, in April 2015. He has more than 25 years of experience in operations, sales and procurement in the solid and hazardous waste industry. Mr. McConnell was most recently vice president of supply chain at Waste Management, where he was responsible for the alignment between corporate functions and field operations to achieve WM’s transformation goals. Previously, Mr. McConnell was area vice president overseeing the financial and operations of the Waste Management of North Florida and Puerto Rico. The area consisted of solid waste hauling operations, transfer stations, landfills, material recovery facilities and business development. He has held positions in the hazardous and solid waste industry across the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. Mr. McConnell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Louisiana State University.

Stacy Hettmansperger, Compost Facility Manager, Phoenix, Arizona, Public Works Department

Stacy Hettmansperger

Stacy Hettmansperger serves as the Operations Manager for the City of Phoenix Public Works Department. In that role she oversees the transfer station, recycling facility, compost facility and palm frond diversion operations at the City’s Resource Innovation Campus. Ms. Hettmansperger has worked for the City of Phoenix for seven years, six of which have been in the Public Works Department. Ms. Hettmansperger holds a Master’s Arts Degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University with a concentration in Urban Management. She also has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Arizona State University in Political Science. She was also awarded 2017 Operations Manager of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of Solid Waste Association of North America.

Kristen Wieland, Marketing and Communications Manager, Kent County Department of Public Works, Michigan

Kristen Wieland

Kristen Wieland has served the Kent County Department of Public Works in several capacities over the last 13 years including Resource Recovery Specialist and Resource Recovery and Recycling Manager, overseeing the operations of the Kent County Recycling and Education Center Ms. Wieland currently works as a communications and marketing manager overseeing outreach and education, while maintaining stakeholder communications.

Hotel Info

Gaylord Opryland Hotel

Gaylord Opryland Hotel
2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 3721

Do not call the hotel directly, they will refer you back to VIP Meetings & Conventions the official housing company.

or Contact VIP Meetings & Conventions
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15901 Hawthorne Blvd
Lawndale, CA 90260

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