Transforming Communities Summit

9:00 —10:00 a.m. Registration, Coffee, Networking
10:00 —11:30 a.m. Opening Plenary Welcome RemarksLori Arguelles, Executive Director, Alice Ferguson Foundation

Krista Schlyer, Photographer and Author Anacostia: A Watershed Moment for the Forgotten River

John Tarpley, Director, NOAA Marine Debris Program (acting) Turning the Tide on Trash: What We Thought Then, and What We Know Now

11:30 —12:00 p.m. Networking Break
12:00 —1:30 p.m. Luncheon Keynote Panel:The Honorable Rushern L. Baker, III, Prince George’s County Executive

The Honorable Isiah ‘Ike’ Leggett, Montgomery County Executive

Tommy Wells, Director, District Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE)

Moderated by Jim Dinegar, President and CEO, Greater Washington Board of Trade

1:30 —1:45 p.m. Networking Break
1:45 —3:15 p.m. Roundtable Discussions
3:15 —3:30 p.m. Networking Break
3:30 —4:00 p.m. Closing PlenaryPanel Discussion with Lisa Feldt, Director, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection

Adam Ortiz, Director, Department of the Environment for Prince George’s County

Tommy Wells, Director, District Department of Energy & Environment

Presentation of Potomac Champion Awards

4:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Discussion Sessions

Trash Trapping Technologies: A Case Study in Best Management Practices
Matt Robinson, Environmental Protection Specialist, District Department of Energy and the Environment and Trey Sherard, Anacostia Riverkeeper
The District of Columbia was the first jurisdiction in the Potomac Watershed, and in some cases the country, to install innovated trash reduction technologies. Learn more about Bandalong Trash Traps and other devices, including what’s worked well and what hasn’t.
Who Should Attend: Local government representatives, nonprofits and community activists.

If It’s In The Street, It’s In The Stream
Tiaa Rutherford, Litter Reduction Program Manager at Prince George’s County Department of the Environment
The Prince George’s County Adopt- A-Stream Program has been developed to service as a litter reduction effort that will aid in the elimination 170, 628 pounds of litter in the Anacostia Watershed. This discussion will inform participants of the program and get feedback on its implementation.
Who Should Attend: Business community, government, NGO, student groups, elected officials, educators, citizens interested in removing litter from our region

Citizen Science Through Successful Cleanups
Hannah Seligmann, Potomac River Watershed Cleanup Coordinator, Alice Ferguson Foundation; and Joanna Freeman, Program Coordinator, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
Regional cleanups provide a method to demonstrate data trends, opportunities for community engagement, and a platform for education. We will discuss the benefits of a cleanup, and how they go beyond trash removal.
Who should attend: students, educators, community activists, nonprofits, and business leaders

Dirty Harry: Talking Trash with the Police
Julia Irving, Community Outreach Coordinator and Officer Jason Medina, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, District 6
Studies show that there is a strong correlation between high volumes of litter and increased crime rates. Not only do littered areas attract more litter, they lead to higher incidences of vandalism. Join MPD 6 to learn about the collaboration necessary to have successful litter enforcement.
Who Should Attend: Elected Officials and the broader community

Life Without Foam
Chris Kibler, Environmental Protection Specialist, District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment
A ban on the use of styrofoam products in the foodservice industry went into effect on January 1, 2016 for Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and the District of Columbia. In this session, we will discuss how to eliminate foam in industry, business and everyday lives.
Who should attend: Business Community, NGO and Student Groups

Sustainable Food Service
Josh Carin, Proprietor, Geppetto Catering
Meet with our caterer for this year’s event to see what goes into making an event 100% green from a food service standpoint. Discussion will cover trash-free strategies, buying food locally and using products based on sustainability.
Who Should Attend: business leaders, government agencies, nonprofits, and community activists

Talkin’ Trash – Hablando Basura
Jason Rolfe, Mid-Atlantic and Carribean Regional Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Kara Pennino, Assistant Program Director, Alice Ferguson Foundation
Learn about litter prevention campaigns that have successfully used community based social marketing techniques to capture attention and reduce litter regionally and internationally. Strategies discussed will include social marketing, adopt a litter can and public-private partnerships.
Who Should Attend: Business community, government, NGO, student groups, elected officials, educators, citizens interested in removing litter from our region

Large Scale Food Composting
Steven Birchfield, Maintenance Manager, Maryland Environmental Services
Prince George’s County’s Food Scrap Pilot Project was implemented in 2013 and provides for the composting of food scraps with yard waste. This session will discuss the scope of the project and strategies to move our communities closer to zero waste.
Who should attend: Business owners, consumers and anyone interested decreasing the amount of trash sent to landfills

Bottle Soup
Dan Smith, Anacostia Watershed Society
4.4 million plastic water bottles are going into the Anacostia River every year from Maryland and the District of Columbia. A number of strategies have been employed to reduce this number including a bottle bill, reusable water bottle refilling stations and single stream recycling. Discussion will revolve around actions that you can take to decrease this number.
Who Should Attend: Business community, government, NGO, student groups, elected officials, educators, citizens interested in removing litter from our region

Put a Lid on It
Emily Franc, Anacostia Riverkeeper; and Tyler Orton, Manager, Recycling Programs, Keep America Beautiful
Many factors go into perceptions of public space recycling and attitudes about littering. This discussion will seek input on various can designs in use around the DC metro area. Topics for discussion will include color, access to regular trash cans, public perceptions of the value, and success rate of sorted vs. single stream recycling.
Who Should Attend: Business leaders, government agencies, nonprofits, students, elected officials, educators, and community activists

Trash-Related Legislation
Julie Lawson, Trash Free Maryland; and Adrienne Farfalla, Trash and Education Program Manager, Alice Ferguson Foundation
Two trash related bills are on the table in the Maryland Legislature (plastic bag ban and bottle deposits). This is an opportunity to support efforts and comment on future policy needs.
Who Should Attend: Local government representatives, nonprofits, and community activists.

Rushern L. Baker III

Rushern BakerMr. Baker is the seventh County Executive of Prince George’s County, the highest income African-American majority county in America and the second largest jurisdiction by population in the State of Maryland. Since his election in November of 2010, Mr. Baker has worked closely with other state and regional leaders to pursue positive change, focusing on creating jobs, growing the economy, and improving public safety and education in the County.Since taking office, Mr. Baker has raised the profile of Prince George’s County in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan region, implementing innovative programs designed to improve the quality of life for residents.Mr. Baker established The Economic Development Incentive Fund (EDIF), an unprecedented $50 million fund designed to stimulate business growth in the County. He is also addressing healthcare disparities through his leadership and advocacy for a new world-class Regional Medical Center in Prince George’s County that will transform health care in the region.

Mr. Baker introduced the Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) in 2012 in order to uplift economically challenged neighborhoods in Prince George’s County. TNI is an innovative approach to government service delivery.Mr. Baker is very focused on improving education and public safety in the County. For the last two years he has ensured that schools and the County’s public safety agencies receive adequate funding and resources. The result has been rising test scores and significant reductions in overall crime.Mr. Baker has also made significant reforms to ensure openness, transparency, and accountability in government. Under his leadership, the County recently launched CountyClick 3-1-1. Residents now have increased access to the government online or via a County call center. He also introduced CountyStat, a program used to measure and monitor government operations in order to improve service delivery by County agencies.Mr. Baker has received many awards and honors including the National Forum for Black Public Administrators’ National Leadership Award for Public Service and 2012 Most Innovative Executive of the Year for Minority Business from the Maryland/Washington Minority Contractors Association.Mr. Baker started his political career in the Maryland House of Delegates representing District 22-B from 1994 – 2003. During that time, he served on numerous committees and was Chair of the Prince George’s County Delegation from 1999 to 2003. While in that role, Baker earned a reputation of being a consensus builder, an honest professional, and a tough, well-respected leader. In addition to his success in politics, Mr. Baker—an accomplished lawyer— has served as the legal counsel to a nonprofit community development and social services organization and as the executive director of an education reform nonprofit. From 1987 to 2001, Baker was also a member of the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps.Mr. Baker graduated from Howard University with a Juris Doctorate in 1986 and is a member of the Howard University Alumni Association, and the Maryland Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Isiah “Ike” Leggett

Ike_leggett-webHe holds four higher education degrees: Bachelor of Arts from Southern University, a Master of Arts degree and a Juris Doctorate degree from Howard University, and a Master of Laws from George Washington University. Ike Leggett graduated from Southern University in 1967 as a Distinguished Military Graduate. In 1981 he was selected as the Southern University Outstanding Alumni. He finished first in his class from Howard University Law School, graduating Magna Cum Laude. At the time of his Howard Law School graduation, he held the third highest academic average in the law school’s history. In 1985 Leggett received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Howard University Law School.

Political Service: In November 2006, Isiah Leggett was elected to a four-year term as Montgomery County Executive. He is the first African American to be elected to this public office. In November 2014 he was reelected by County voters, with winning over 65% of the ballots cast in each election.

Isiah Leggett was the first African American to be elected to the County Council. Ike Leggett served four terms as an At-Large Member (1986 – 2002). He also served as the Council’s President three times (1991, 1998, 1999) and as its Vice-President three times (1990, 1997 and 2002). As a Council Member he also chaired the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee and served on the Education Committee.

His other political service includes chairing the Maryland Democratic Party from December 2002 – December 2004, which involved working with local officials throughout the State of Maryland. Leggett was elected as president of the Maryland Association of Counties in January 2015.

Leadership: In earlier leadership experience he served as an infantry Captain in the United States Army. His tour of duty in the Vietnam War earned him the Bronze Star Medal, the Vietnam Service, and Vietnam Campaign Medals. As an administrative aide he specialized in small business concerns for Congressman Parren Mitchell of Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. He also worked as a Social Security Administration claims examiner and as a staff attorney for the Department of the Navy.

In 1977 Ike Leggett was selected as a White House Fellow, one of a small number of citizens selected from across the country for their exemplary civic, professional and educational achievement. This program assigns the Fellows as staff members to the President of the United States and Members of the Cabinet. After his term as a Fellow, the Board of Directors of the White House Fellows Foundation elected Leggett as its Treasurer.

He served as a Professor of Law at the Howard University Law School from 1975 – 2006. He ran the day-to-day operations of the Law School as its Assistant Dean from 1979 – 1986.

Community Service: Leggett’s community service is extensive and diverse. In 1979 and in 1981 the County Executive appointed him to serve as a member of the Montgomery County Human Relations Commission (now called Human Rights Commission) and then Chairman of the Commission from 1983 – 1986. From 1982 – 1986, he also chaired the Commission’s Hearing Panel on Employment Discrimination.

Professional, Civic and Community Organizations: Leggett has been an active board of directors member of a number of professional, civic and community organizations including: the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, the Maryland College of Art and Design, Leadership Montgomery, the Montgomery Multiple Sclerosis Center, the Montgomery County Chapter of the NAACP, Impact Silver Spring, the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Tennis Association, the Washington Area Housing Partnership, Montgomery County Boys and Girls Club, Metro PFLAG, and the African American Business Council. He is also a member of the Urban League, the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Forum, the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Burtonsville Kiwanis, and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Honors and Awards: He has received more than three dozen honors and awards from some of these and a variety of other organizations, including the Leadership Award from the Maryland State Teachers Association, Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Montgomery County Humane Society, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Lung Association, the Good Scout Award from the National Capital Area – Boy Scouts of America, the Advancement of Public Service Responsibility Award from the Maryland Bar Foundation, and the award for Achievement in Environmental & Occupational Health from Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association.


Jim Dinegar

jim-dinegar.-webpngJim oversees the leading regional organization representing the business interests for major companies throughout Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and Suburban Maryland. The Greater Washington Board of Trade puts focus on the critical issues and opportunities, including transportation; emergency preparedness and business continuity; green as a competitive advantage; and the workforce challenges of recruiting and retaining highly qualified people. Special emphasis is paid to economic development strategies that will advance the growth of this region and focus is provided on the important issues of stability in this challenging economic climate. Jim previously served as chief operating officer of the American Institute for Architects (AIA) where he was responsible for the overall operation of a 77,000-member organization and directed strategic efforts in the areas of education, technology, international collaboration, organizational alliances and government advocacy. During his six-year tenure he oversaw the growth of annual revenues by more than $20 million – from $34 million in 1999 to over $56 million for the 2006 budget. Jim serves as chairman of the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian National Zoo and is on the boards of the Close-Up Foundation, Goodwill Greater Washington, the Nonprofit Roundtable, Leadership Greater Washington and United Way of the National Capital Area.


Lisa Feldt
LisaLisa serves as the Director of the Department of Environmental Protection in Montgomery County, Maryland. She oversees four divisions comprising solid waste management, watershed management, and environmental policy and compliance, and water and wastewater management comprised of 166 personnel and a combined budget of approximately $131 million.

Before serving in local government, President Obama appointed Feldt in 2009 as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She also served as the Acting Deputy Administrator from August 2014 to October of 2014. Prior to returning to EPA, Feldt was a manager of an environmental consulting firm providing a range of environmental compliance and liability and project management services to a variety of industrial and governmental clients.

From 1989 to 2000, Feldt held various executive positions culminating in serving as the Chief of Staff at the Department of Energy in the nuclear waste management and clean-up programs. Feldt began her career in the early1980s as an environmental engineer at EPA, where she worked on the remediation of Love Canal, the site that led to the creation of the Superfund program, and helped develop EPA’s national radon program. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from George Washington University.

Adam Ortiz
adamOrtiz As the Director of the Prince George’s County Department of the Environment, Adam leads a Department that is responsible for taking innovative and sustainable approaches to our environmental challenges and oversees a new organics composting program; a zero waste, resource recovery approach to our waste stream; cost saving public-private partnerships (P3) for clean water creating green infrastructure and jobs; increased partnerships to boost animal adoptions, pet foster families and low cost vet services and major investments in renewable energy generation like solar farms and electric charging stations.

Previously Adam launched and managed the “CountyStat” office for County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. He also served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and as a three-term Mayor of Edmonston, Maryland.

Krista Schlyer
Krista Schlyer portrait (1 of 1) (1) Krista is an award-winning photographer and writer focusing on conservation, biodiversity and public lands. Her work has been published by BBC, Newsweek, The Nature Conservancy, National Parks and Sierra. Schlyer is the author of three books including Almost Anywhere and Continental Divide: Wildlife, People and the Border Wall, winner of the 2013 National Outdoor Book Award. She is also the 2014 recipient of the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography.


John Tarpley

John Tarpley is the acting Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program. The Marine Debris Program is the federal lead for researching, preventing, and reducing the impacts of marine debris in the United States. Before joining the Marine Debris Program, John spent 23 years of his career in oil spill response, contingency planning, natural resource damage assessment and habitat restoration. Most recently, he has been the Chief of the Regional Operations Branch for NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, Emergency Response Division in Seattle, WA for 10 years where he managed the spill response operations program for the Office, which provides scientific support to the U.S. Coast Guard for oil and hazardous materials spills in the coastal zone. Working on many regional and national committees and high interest responses, he has worked on a wide variety of notable spills such as the 1989 Exxon Valdez, 2002 Jacob Luckenbach, 2005 Hurricane Katrina, and the Deepwater Horizon and Superstorm Sandy. Prior to joining NOAA, John worked with the State of California Department of Fish and Wildlife oil spill program for 13 years. He also has performed a variety of research in the kelp forests and intertidal communities of California. John has a Master’s degree in marine ecology from San Jose State University – Moss Landing Marines Labs and a BS in Biochemistry from Colorado State University.

Tommy Wells
Tommy WellsTommy is the director of the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE). Appointed January 2015, he is chiefly responsible for protecting the environment and conserving the natural resources of the District of Columbia. Tommy’s team is comprised of approximately 300 environmental professionals collectively working to improve the quality of life for residents and the natural inhabitants of the Nation’s Capital.

Most recently, Tommy served as the DC Councilmember representing Ward 6—a position he held since 2006. During his time on Council, he garnered broad support for his efforts to make the District livable and walkable for all. Tommy worked with the City’s leadership and, in particular, residents of Ward 6 to create a shared and respected place where drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, and exercise enthusiasts can co-exist safely. Known for his neighborhood-focused development, Tommy championed efforts to ensure availability of public transit, including the construction of new streetcar lines and the expansion of the DC Circulator. As Chair of the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment, he worked to double the city’s Capital Bikeshare program.

In 2009, Tommy crafted The Anacostia River Clean Up and Protection Act of 2009, to implement $0.05 fee on disposable bags. This landmark legislation prompted thousands of District residents to curb use of plastic bags and instead opt for reusable, green alternatives. Seventy-five percent of DC residents reported a decrease in their use of disposable bags once the bill took effect on January 1, 2010. The legislation also established a fund to restore District water bodies, including the Anacostia River; support the distribution of reusable bags in the District; install trash traps; and provide environmental education for District students. These and other efforts, championed by Tommy, have helped position the District as a model for sustainable green living for jurisdictions nationwide.

With a career in public service that spans 32 years, Tommy’s commitment to District residents–particularly children–is unwavering. In 1996, he led a successful class action lawsuit, LaShawn v. Barry, to address the city’s failure to protect children in its care. In 1991, he took the helm of the DC Consortium for Child Welfare, where he helped to create neighborhood-based family service collaboratives to coordinate the delivery of city and nonprofit resources to underserved District residents. He was the architect of a groundbreaking program to match foster families with children affected by HIV/AIDS and he led the drive to create the DC Family Court,–resulting in a 300 percent increase in the number of foster children adopted into permanent homes each year.

A passionate innovator and student of cutting edge solutions, Tommy earned his law degree from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in 1991 and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota in 1983. He and his wife, Barbara, a writer and arts enthusiast, are residents of Ward 6 in the District