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Thurs Sept 28 Leaders in Energy Event, "Coming Full Circle with Sustainability: A Workshop on B

I am very excited to announce that I will be facilitating the workshop portion of the September 28th Leaders in Energy Circular Economy program! And you are invited!

Join us for a workshop to meet with those interested in developing a circular economy in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region. A circular economy is a regenerative system which minimizes or eliminates resource inputs, waste, emissions, and energy leakages.

We will feature a number of initiatives which are nurturing a circular economy ecosystem. Presenters will provide examples of success stories of the circular economy and share their expertise on components of the circular economy including urban farming and workforce development, local business, advanced manufacturing focused on utilizing local resources and labor, ecoindustrial parks, and regional economic development.

In this workshop, you will:

  • Network with those who share a passion for sustainability as a lens for assessing systems;

  • Learn from those utilizing and/or developing circular economy practices;

  • Engage with others in small group discussion on how to expand these practices in business, our communities, and daily lives to accelerate the circular economy;

  • Develop an action framework to further enable the circular economy in our region; and

  • Receive a list of tools and resources on the circular economy.

This will be an exciting and practically focused workshop that will help you and others in the region to think forward in living our values. This will be Leaders in Energy’s 3rd annual circular economy event. (See more on our previous events in 2015 and 2016.)

Thanks to Mom’s Organic Market for being our refreshment sponsor.


Rates also available for job seekers and students. Ticket includes workshop, list of tools and resources, refreshments and light beverages.


Urban and regional planners, economic development specialists, clean energy, sustainability, and resilience practitioners, business people and entrepreneurs seeking to implement circular economy practices, and citizens interested in the topic.


Thursday, September 28th, 5:30 – 8:30 pm, The Windows Lounge – School of Business, Building 38, 2nd floor, University of the District of Columbia (UDC), 4200 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Washington D.C. 20008 (near Van Ness Metro Station – Red Line)


This will be our 3rd annual Circular Economy event. Our first Circular Economy workshop in 2015 focused on sustainable manufacturing. Our second event in 2016 examined Sustainable Facilities for the Circular Economy. This workshop is also part of National Clean Energy Week (NCEW) which is taking place across the United States from September 25-29th with the goal of advancing support of our nation’s energy sector through new methods of market development, policy change, and technological innovation.

Here is a quick summary of the key concepts surrounding the Circular Economy from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at Rethinking Progress – The Circular Economy (3 minute video). Additional resources are available at their website here.


BARBARA ENGLEHART will provide an overview of the circular economy. Englehart is the Leaders in Energy Director of Business Sustainability and Principal of Englehart Consulting. She helps organizations implement and promote sustainable solutions that are good for the planet and good for their business. Combining her management skills with her studies of business sustainability and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), she helps to guide businesses in reviewing their operations in terms of the use of energy, water, materials and toxic control. Englehart has presented on circular economy topics at Leaders in Energy workshops, the Northern Virginia Regional Planning Commission, and Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment.

In partnership with Northern VA Regional Commission, Barbara founded and runs the Northern Virginia (NoVA) Sustainability Network of local governments, universities, and large corporations, a group dedicated to advancing sustainability in Northern Virginia. She is the chair of the Arlington Public School Sustainability Advisory Committee and adviser to the award winning Arlington Energy Master program. Englehart has business experience in product management, marketing, and development, information communications technology, finance and accounting and a background as an MBA and CPA.

JANINE FINNELL will provide circular economy examples in our region and around the world. She is the Executive Director of Leaders in Energy. Finnell has been instrumental in the design of several Leaders in Energy circular economy workshops. Her career experience has encompassed working for IBM and DynCorp International in support of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy and other organizational entities and serving as a Foreign Service Officer for U.S. Agency for International Development. As an energy policy analyst and program manager, she has worked on multi-faceted teams and projects spanning green supply chains, sustainable product IT platform development, circular economy, bioenergy, energy in agriculture and the food system, energy in the building, transportation, and industrial sectors, and sustainable development policy.

Finnell has a Masters from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Agricultural and Applied Economics (with a focus on international development and energy resource economics) and pursued Post Masters work at George Washington University in energy and environmental management and resource policy. She serves on the Boards of the Association of Energy Engineer’s (local and national) representing its Council on Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership (CWEEL).

DWANE JONES, Ph.D., will discuss the role of sustainable food systems in the circular economy and his related work in the Metro region. Jones is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, a division of The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES). He conducts research and teaches courses in Urban Sustainability, Urban Design, Urban Planning and Low Impact Development. His recent work has focused on increasing local food hubs in cities and related workforce development.

Jones has degrees in Urban Planning, Environmental Planning, and Urban Design. The Center for Sustainable Development incorporates the three pillars of Sustainability: People, Places, and Profit (Environment, Economics, and Equity). As such, the Center consists of faculty and staff appointments in Environmental Sciences, Economic Analysis, Sustainable Spaces (green infrastructure, green buildings, and resources), and Entrepreneurship. UDC’s Center for Sustainable Development also includes a world class water quality research lab as part of its Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI).

PETER LOWITT will highlight how businesses and entrepreneurs are implementing the circular economy at the Devens EcoIndustrial Park located in Massachusetts. Lowitt is the Director/Land Use Administrator for the Devens Enterprise Commission, the agency charged with permitting the redevelopment of the former Fort Devens army base in Massachusetts. At Devens, Lowitt focuses on the sustainable redevelopment of the 4400-acre former army base. In this capacity, he promotes eco-industrial networking and Devens as an Eco-Industrial Park.

Lowitt is the chair of the Eco Industrial Development Council of North America and founding Chair of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the trade association of the green roof industry in North America. He has been active in the planning and economic development profession and was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners. See more on the Devens Ecoindustrial Park here. (Invited).

JIM SCHULMAN, AIA will examine how local businesses and communities can help build a healthy regional circular economy. Schulman is a regional sustainability strategist, an environmentally-sensitive Architect, and a social entrepreneur. He is the Executive Manager of the Alliance for Regional Cooperation, a regional economic development organization.

Between 1999 and 2014 Jim administered a variety of deconstruction and salvage job training programs in the District of Columbia in partnership with the Youth Build Public Charter School, the DC Housing Authority, and US-EPA Region III. During the same period he also served in a leadership role on a number of restorative landscaping projects for the DC Department of Health, several Washington area foundations, and the Washington Navy Yard. He is the former Treasurer of the Building Materials Re-use Association and founded Community Forklift, a used building materials store in Prince George’s County, Maryland.


BETH OFFENBACKER, Ph.D., HR Consultant and Coach, Waterford, Inc. is a dynamic, visionary talent development and engagement executive with corporate, nonprofit, and public agency experience. She brings more than 25 years of experience in training, coaching, talent development, engagement, community relations, marketing, and project management experience to the Waterford team. As an adult learning professional, she has more than 15 years of experience designing enterprise-level and business unit learning strategies and delivering professional development, workshops, and classroom learning for individuals at all career levels and that have delivered on performance goals.

Offenbacker designed and delivered classroom instruction as an adjunct faculty member with the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs and the American University School of Communications and she also served as Chief Learning Officer with the online training provider, PublicDecisions. She has designed and led workshops, sessions, and training seminars for community nonprofits, professional conferences, and stakeholder groups, from small groups to sessions with more than 100 participants. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at the State University of New York at Brockport and a master’s degree in public communications at American University. A graduate of Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy, Offenbacker’s dissertation focused on the practice of public participation in 12 countries (Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Ivory Coast, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, and the U.S.).

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