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Presenters

Local Food Movement: TJ Johnson, Sustainable South Sound
Economy: John MacLean, Energy Efficiency Finance Corp.
Energy: Kirk Haffner, South Sound Solar
Food Security and Land Use: Kim Gaffi, Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB)
Inner transition: - Facing change with an inspired heart: Kelsang Tsoglam, Olympia Mayahana Buddhist Center
Transportation and Land use: Thera Black, Thurston Regional Planning Council
Materials Management & Product Stewardship: Terri Thomas, Thurston County Solid Waste
Water: Nadine Romero, Thurston County Hydrogeologist


TJ Johnson, Sustainable South Sound
TJ is the Director of the Local Food Systems Program at Sustainable South Sound. He recently completed an appointment as a visiting faculty member at the Evergreen State College, where he taught in the Ecological Agriculture program. He serves on the TRPC Sustainable Thurston Food Panel, and in 2011 was the primary organizer of Come to the Table – Food Summit South Puget Sound. TJ served six years on the Olympia City Council, chairing the Finance Committee and the Intercity Transit Authority, where he was a passionate advocate for a more sustainable community and a more peaceful world. He was a featured speaker at the 2006 Japan Peace Conference, and a member of the World Peace Forum International Advisory Committee. In 2006, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility awarded him the prestigious Paul Beeson Peace Prize for “his extraordinary leadership towards a world free of nuclear weapons and war.” He’s a past member of Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB) Board of Directors, and the founder of Beyond Hiroshima, a grassroots anti-nuclear education and advocacy organization. He is a former union organizer and shop steward who established and ran a successful bed and breakfast, was a founder and long-time president of the Upper Eastside Neighborhood Association, and has served as a citizen representative on several city advisory committees. His hobbies are gardening, cooking, brewing, canning, hiking and playing the guitar.


John MacLean, President, Energy Efficiency Finance Corp.
John is an economist by training (Yale University, 1980) and avocation, has taught political economy and ecological economics at Antioch, Evergreen and Bainbridge Graduate Institute. He hosts the Olympia Seed Exchange community garden and is a co-founder of the Local Economy Study Group & Roundtable organized by Sustainable South Sound, whose mission is envisioning and building a sustainable local economy. Professionally, John’s field is finance for energy efficiency (EE) and small scale renewable energy (RE) projects.

Since striking out on his own in 1988, John’s clients have included commercial banks and investors, development financial institutions, energy efficiency companies and contractors, utilities, public agencies and state and local governments. The last three years his work has focused on EE development finance programs in the US, many using federal ARRA grant funds and several here in Washington State.


Kirk Haffner
Kirk Haffner, M.S., earned his Master's Degree in Physics at the University of Washington. He has worked as an award-winning high school math and science teacher, an engineering manager at Intel, and now for the third half of his career, as the founder, president and lead engineer of South Sound Solar. He is now considered the South Sound's leading expert on Solar Power, as well as renewable energy in general. From running the family farm to converting a Ford Escort to an all electric vehicle powered by the sun, Kirk enjoys applying his passion for renewable energy to his daily life. He is very excited to be part of the sustainability movement in our community.


Kim Gaffi, GRuB co-founder
As a GRuB co-founder, Kim has served the organization since 1997. In that time, GRuB has been dedicated to building a just, sustainable food system by creating nurturing and engaging leadership opportunities for youth and adults. More than 200 teens and 2,400 families have benefited from GRuB' employment and garden-building programs respectively. GRuB is currently in collaboration with multiple school districts to integrate GRuB’s food justice curriculum and youth development model into area high schools. She earned her BA in Community Development and BS in Environmental Science from the Evergreen State College and loves thinking about and working on the intersection of humans and the natural environment. GRuB Kim brings her passion for experiential education & food justice as well as her skills in group facilitation & organizational development to her leadership role at GRuB.


Kelsang Tsoglam
Kelsang Tsoglam, is an American Buddhist nun and a close disciple of Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Her sincere teachings are presented with humor and practical examples that make them accessible to everyone. Through her kindness and enthusiasm for meditation practice, she provides an inspiring example of a modern Buddhist practitioner for our society. Tsoglam teaches the General Program (or drop-in classes) in Olympia, Tacoma and Shelton, the Foundation Program, many of the special Saturday classes, and our Teen Night.


Thera Black
Thera Black is a senior planner with Thurston Regional Planning Council. Her focus is on the integration of transportation and land use decision-making, particularly in achieving the quality community form necessary to support an efficient multi-modal transportation system. Other areas of current focus include transportation finance, inter-regional travel, corridor studies, sustainability planning, and public education and outreach. Ms. Black chairs the Metropolitan Policy, Planning and Processes committee of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board, and participates on several different study panels at the local and national levels. Ms. Black received her B.A. from The Evergreen State College, with an emphasis in urban planning.


Terri Thomas, Education & Outreach Specialist, Thurston County Solid Waste
Terri Thomas has been with Thurston County Public Works as the Solid Waste Prevention and Recycling Supervisor since 2006. In that time, she and her staff have began or expanded a host of technical assistance and outreach programs. The result has been a 70% increase in recycling and a greater awareness of waste prevention as a whole. Trash disposal is down 19% but the economy shares the credit for that. Prior to moving "back home" to Washington State, she worked on waste reduction programs for both Ventura County, CA and the Department of Defense Environmental Division in Crete, Greece.


Nadine Romero, Thurston County Hydrogeologist
Ms. Romero has spent the last 28 years working as a professional hydrogeologist for state, local and tribal governments and is currently the Thurston County Hydrogeologist -- where she has been for the last 3 years. Practicing both chemical and physical hydrogeology, she has been involved in studying and characterizing hydrologic systems.

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