Next Generation Advisory Council

ELPC’s Next Generation Advisory Council of early- to mid-career professionals acts as ELPC ambassadors and supporters. Members are interested in sustainability and renewable energy development and in gaining access to substantive professional and networking opportunities. ELPC’s Next Gen Advisory Council meets quarterly for strategic policy briefings, networking receptions and fundraising events. The Council members are:

Colleen Smith (Co-Chair)

is Legislative Director of the Illinois Environmental Council. Smith was recently a Government Affairs associate at Stricklin & Associates, focusing on state policy. She worked previously as Chief of Staff for State Representative Ann Williams, Women's Outreach Coordinator for Quinn for Illinois, and as Clean Water Advocate for the Sierra Club of Illinois. She is pursuing her Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School, B.A. in Environmental Studies from University of Colorado- Boulder, 2012.

Tomas de'Medici (Co-Chair)

is the founder of The Chicago Sustainability Series and a consultant with a focus on tech and green clients. He co-leads the Community and Economic Development group of the Chicago Community Trust's Young Leaders Fund.

Gina Chen

is currently pursuing her J.D. at Northwestern University and is a summer associate at DLA Piper, LLP. Previously, she assisted with organization development for the Chengdu Urban Rivers Association, a non-profit non-governmental organization that protects rivers and the environment, and promotes sustainable rural and urban development. She also served as the Director of U.S. Operations and the VP of Growth & Development at Education In Sight. J.D., Doctor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law, anticipated 2017; B.A., Political Science, Yale University, 2011.

Amy Ewaldt

is the Owner / Director of Cortland Preschool and Tutoring, where she developed the Lucy Flower Children's Garden Club. The school actively works with the West Bucktown community to grow, share, repurpose, support, and renew, from gardening events to clothing swaps, recycling projects to Cortland scholarships, composting to early conservation education. M.A., Teaching, Columbia College, 2007.

Carey Goldblatt

previously worked as the Service Area Manager of Environmental Health and Safety for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and as a Staff Scientist and Environmental Health and Safety Specialist at ATC Associates, Inc. She was a board member of the Parkways Foundation Young Professionals Organization and has worked with the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in the Education department. She was a Business Marketing Intern at ELPC while attending graduate school. M.B.A., University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 2002. B.S., Environmental Science, Brown University, 1997.

Drew Gravitt

works in Energy Business Development for the Schneider Electric Buildings Business, where works with clients to upgrade aging facility equipment, lower utility bills, meet renewable energy goals, and improve building and employee performance. He worked previously as a Territory Manager at EFCO, Corp. and in sales, project management and marketing for Ryland Homes. B.S., Marketing & Management, Drake University, 2006.

Erik Gullickson

is a Financial Advisor at Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Previously, he served as a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones Investments. B.A., Aurora University, 2007.

Garrett Johnson

is the Coordinator of Policy and Advocacy at Shedd Aquarium. He develops and implements conservation efforts around the aquarium’s policy interests, encouraging advocates to take action on issues such as plastic pollution, shark conservation, and sustainable seafood. M.P.A, Public Affairs, La Follette School, 2017; B.A., Evolutionary Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2014.

Nick Poplawski

is a Program Analyst at the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, which works to improve energy efficiency, advance the development and use of renewable energy resources, and protect natural areas and wildlife habitat in communities all across Illinois. Georgetown University, 2008.

Kelsey Ryan

is a Coordinator of Communications and Public Relations at Shedd Aquarium where she champions communications efforts surrounding the aquarium's sustainability and conservation initiatives, sharing stories about energy efficient technologies, water conservation, applied research programs and conservation advocacy platforms. B.A., Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015.

Corey Schires

is the Founder and Lead Developer at Scholastica, a start-up that allows academics to create, manage, and publish peer-reviewed journals online. Corey brings a wealth of knowledge regarding best strategies for information sharing. M.A., History, University of Chicago, 2007. B.A., History and Politics, West Virginia University, 2004.

Jeff Smith

is Principal of Energy & Utilities at West Monroe Partners, working to deliver and manage smart energy solutions and grid assessments for the greater Chicago area. Previously, Jeff worked as a project developer for Recycled Energy Development and a field technician for Clean Air Engineering. M.P.A., Environmental Science and Policy, Columbia University, 2007. B.S., Civil/Environmental Engineering, Tufts University, 2006.

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