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Blythe (Dyson) Ardyson is a former high school science teacher at Carolina Friends School in Durham, North Carolina, who is currently taking time to stay home with her two children, ages 5 and 2. She and her family strive to reduce their carbon footprint, build community, and prepare for a post-peak-oil economy.
Some efforts so far include reducing household energy use in their 1950s ranch house by adding insulation and installing a solar hot water heater and a soapstone woodstove; establishing a forest garden based on permaculture principles to produce fruit, berries, and asparagus; remaining a one-car family and commuting by bike, carpool, and public transportation to their nearby workplaces; supporting local farmers and businesses when possible; and creating their own fun with family and friends. They share a lawnmower and lawn-mowing chores with a neighbor, barter goods and services with friends, and dream of establishing a shared flock of sheep to take over some of the lawn care activities. Each week, they host a “Simple Supper” meal of beans and rice for anywhere between five and twenty friends and neighbors.
Ardyson taught physical science and tutored math at Olney Friends School in the late 1990s.
Megan Quinn Bachman has written and lectured for seven years on solutions to global climate change and peaking oil production. She has organized six national conferences on peak oil and climate change, spoken before nearly 100 groups, published articles in Permaculture Activist, Communities Magazine, Vermont Commons, WellBeing and Kindred and appeared in Harper’s Magazine and on MSNBC’s “Scarborough Country.”
Bachman co-wrote and co-produced the award-winning documentary film, The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (2006), which has been translated into seven foreign languages with more than 14,000 copies sold worldwide. She received a bachelor of arts in diplomacy and foreign affairs from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a master of science in environmental education from Wright State University in Dayton.
She is a reporter and photographer for the weekly Yellow Springs News in Southwest Ohio, a columnist for the Ohio-based environmental newspaper EcoWatch Journal, and former outreach director for the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, a Yellow Springs nonprofit. She teaches a course on sustainable agriculture at Antioch University Midwest and serves on various local economic development boards.
Michael Bischoff is an organizational development consultant based in Minneapolis. A member of Twin Cities Friends Meeting, Bischoff draws on Quaker principles and practices in his work. He is former executive director of Friends for a Non-Violent World, a Quaker peace organization in Minnesota.
Matthew Bennett is president and operations manager for Dovetail Solar and Wind, a renewable energy systems design and installation company based in Athens, Ohio. Dovetail specializes in solar photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal, and wind energy systems for residential, commercial, and industrial applications.
Bennett holds PV certifications from the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). He has trained solar PV installers at the Hocking College Energy Institute and Washington State Community College.
A long-time advocate for renewable energy, he was a founding board member of Green Energy Ohio and continues to lead educational workshops on solar and wind power.
Lin Dai (Olney ’08) is a junior at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She is a business student with a dual concentration in marketing and legal studies. In 2009, she worked at Haffler Radtich & Sattia, LLP as an intern in the litigation department. She is now working as a marketing analysis intern at SAP America. “One of my favorite quotes is ‘A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business,’ by Henry Ford. I like this quote because it shows that money is not everything. It is not the key to success and happiness,” she says.
Amy Eller has been a member of the Whole Foods Market, South region marketing team since 2007, spending most of her time in the Durham, North Carolina store integrating the marketing goals of the company with the needs of the local community. She also holds the role of “Train the Trainer,” in which she trains new store leaders region-wide about how to effectively hire and train new marketing team leaders into the company.
She grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, where she was most often found with her bare feet in the soil of her grandfather’s “accidentally organic farm.” Upon entering the new-to-her world of academia at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, she discovered a desire to combine the world of journalism and mass communication with the world of small communities, social and economic justice, and human rights. She was one of the first students to graduate with a minor in social and economic justice, and probably the only one to pair it with journalism and mass communication (with a concentration in advertising and public relations at that!).
Eller brings a range of nonprofit experience to the Whole Foods Market table, having worked previously in animal welfare, sustainable agriculture, and human crisis organizations. She brings an understanding of how different social concerns coalesce at the community level. And she finds peace working for a company that feeds the people while it also feeds the community through giving back and working for social and economic change.
Mark Glass is parent of Rosie (Olney ’13) and Taylor (Olney ’10). A local caterer and merchant, he is co-owner of the Bethesda Market in Bethesda, Ohio. Born in Pittsburgh, he grew up on St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands. A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Glass has been in the restaurant business for 30 years. In addition, he previously co-owned a guidebook company in the Caribbean.
Hackbert is an entrepreneurship educator and a management consultant. Building upon his industry research and consulting, his current teaching interests include both emerging companies in growth industries and the development of new products and services in the Appalachian region.
Hackbert is known to contribute to the infusion of an entrepreneurial mindset in students and entrepreneurs who may have little or no business or management education background. His students this past year received recognition as the “best presentation,” and the project with the “most potential to positively impact an Appalachian community” at the University of Kentucky Appalachian IDEAS Network Showcase. In 2009 two of his students received grants of $30,000 each from the state’s Kentucky New Energy Ventures program targeted at high-growth-potential, early-stage, Kentucky-based companies developing and commercializing alternative fuel and/or renewable energy technologies.
Hackbert has been a frequent speaker at numerous national academic and industry conferences on enterprise growth and planning, opportunity recognition, value-added marketing, guerrilla marketing, digital media technology, and “live case” study procedures and entrepreneurial practices. He currently serves on the Board of Sustainable Berea. Sustainable Berea spearheaded Transition Town Berea, the 13th United States community of 134 international transition initiatives to plan and implement a response to the growing economic, environmental and energy challenges.
Judy Hale Reed (Olney ’91) has worked to improve women’s and children’s lives for nearly two decades, with an emphasis on combating trafficking in persons for the past eight years. She has focused on addressing these complex social issues through partnerships and cooperation between government and civil society.
She taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova, and later returned to Moldova to work on social service system development and national coordination for anti-trafficking in persons work. She has served as a commissioner for the City of Seattle Women’s Commission, participated in the Washington State Anti-Trafficking Task Force, and volunteered as a bilingual domestic violence advocate.
Currently, she works with the City of Pittsburgh and is involved with the League of Women Voters as well as local anti-trafficking efforts. She earned a master’s degree in public administration specialized in anti-trafficking in persons work from Seattle University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s studies from Ohio University. She loves her cats, her husband, and gardening.
Latine Halstead is parent of Alexandra Turner (Olney ’11). For several years, she owned an insurance agency; these days, she is an insurance agency consultant. Originally from the island nation of Antigua, she grew up in White Plains, New York. She has a master of business administration (MBA) degree from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the College of New Rochelle. She has three children.
Erik Hansen is gradually easing into retirement after 10+ years as dean of work at Sterling Collegein Vermont, where he has headed and honed the work program since the college joined the nationalWork Colleges Consortium in 1999. Faculty duties at Sterling have also included oversight of global field programs and teaching education and Northern studies courses. Hansen’s passions include work, words, and the value of foreign study and global experience. He recently completed a month on the road with students for the tenth consecutive year of the Sustainable Scandinavian Systems course and is currently contemplating a study of rural development on a possible visit to Japan and Nepal in 2011.
Don Hartley (Olney ’67) is a founding member of the Raven Rocks nature preserve about 15 miles from the Olney Friends School campus. He is co-owner of a farm and livestock business and past co-owner of a concrete business.
Keith Helmuth was a founder of Quaker Institute for the Future and a contributing author to the book, Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy. He has been active in environmental and community economic development work in the St. John Valley of New Brunswick, Canada for over three decades. He currently serves on the Steering Committee of Transition Town Woodstock (NB).
Ellen Helmuth was a founder and manager of the Woodstock Farm Market Cooperative (NB). She co-managed a family farm business for almost thirty years. She spent ten years as the assistant to the general secretary of Friends General Conference (FGC). She is a board member of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Clerk of New Brunswick Friends Meeting.
Kevin Hunter is a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University. Among his many talents is the ability to steer a moving vehicle with one hand, while demonstrating, with two shoelaces, how computer parallel processing works with the other. He is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). His studies include a focus on climate change modeling.
David and Elsie Kline are editors of Farming Magazine. They own a 45-cow organic dairy farm in Mount Hope, Ohio with their daughter and son-in-law.
Hollister Knowlton is trained as a biologist and science educator. Through the 1970s and ‘80s, she taught middle and high school science, K-8 nature center environmental education, and served as a teacher/naturalist and exhibit researcher/writer at Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences. Concerned that the degree of ecological damage being caused by our society required fundamental policy changes, she moved to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council in 1990 as an air and transportation policy analyst. In 1994, for reasons of conscience, she gave up her car. In 1996 she found Quakers and began a transition to working on environmental and justice issues from a faith perspective.
In 2003 Knowlton gave up her paid work to devote her life to lifting up the need for transforming the human-earth relationship. She travels with a minute of religious service from Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, on behalf of her ministry of calling Friends to live in right relationship with all creation.
Now completing her tenth year on the steering committee of Quaker Earthcare Witness of the Americas (QEW), and its immediate past clerk, Knowlton is also a member of the Policy Committee of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a Quaker lobby in the public interest. She has clerked Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Earthcare Working Group, and now serves on its Eco-Justice Working Group and A Quaker Witness for Ecology and the Economy.
Judy Logback is a tropical biologist who recognized in 1997 that helping rural Amazon villagers market non-timber forestry products was an effective strategy for rainforest conservation. Co-founder of Kallari Chocolates, she spent years working with international chocolatiers and technicians to help Kallari create its own line of dark chocolate. Currently she manages US sales and is researching Asian markets. She recently completed her MBA and Master of Forestry graduate degrees at Yale University with a fellowship from the Moore Foundation.
The Kallari Association has won international acclaim as the first indigenous cooperative of organic cocoa growers to reap full profits of the growers’ hard work by launching a line of gourmet dark chocolate bars. The cooperative has 900 member families, supporting nearly 5,000 beneficiaries, and is presently marketing Kallari chocolate on four continents.
Irene McHenry is a licensed psychologist, school consultant, author/editor of numerous publications including the 2009 Tuning In: Mindfulness in Teaching and Learning. She consults with Friends schools worldwide, providing professional development for administrators, faculty, trustees, and aspiring leaders. McHenry was founding head of Delaware Valley Friends School, co-founder of Greenwood Friends School, and founding faculty for Fielding Graduate University’s doctoral program in educational leadership and change. She is the executive director of the Friends Council on Education (FCE), board president for the Council for American Private Education, and a trustee for Haverford College.
Denise Museminali (Olney ’08) is an undergraduate at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she is in her third year in a five-year bachelor’s/master’s degree program in business administration with a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship. After graduation, she may return to her home country of Rwanda to “start a few businesses.” While in high school in Kigali, Rwanda, she was one of a handful of friends who founded a reconciliation organization in the wake of the 1994 genocide,Peace and Love Proclaimers, to advocate for children’s rights and to fight AIDS in the youth population. About her time at Olney, she says, “Even today, though I’m not a Quaker, I still take time to collect. At Olney, I met some of the greatest friends I have ever made. I met people from all different parts of the world. It is part of the culture to be welcoming to everyone.”
Carrie Newcomer’s ability for sharp observation of the world has led the Dallas Morning News to rave, “She’s the kind of artist whose music makes you stop, think and then say, ‘that is so true’.”
Newcomer, a Quaker, cuts across secular and spiritual boundaries. In recent years, she has emerged as a respected and recognized artistic voice for the progressive spiritual community. On her latest album, Before and After, Newcomer continues to be inspired by her friendships and recent collaborations with leading authors and theologians, including Parker J. Palmer, Phillip Gulley, Scott Russell Sanders, Jim Wallis, Brian McLaren, Jill Bolte Taylor, Richard K. Thomas, and Barbara Kingsolver.
Newcomer’s music has been praised in Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Acoustic Guitar, Performing Songwriter, Paste Magazine and several other outlets. In the words of acclaimed writer Barbara Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible, “Carrie Newcomer is much more than a musician. She’s a poet, storyteller, snake charmer, good neighbor, friend and lover, minister of the wide-eyed gospel of hope and grace.”
John Rataiczak is a lifetime resident of Belmont County, Ohio. He is the banking center manager of Wesbanco , Barnesville. He is president of the Barnesville Area Chamber of Commerce; chair of the Barnesville Hospital Foundation; board member of the Belmont County Tourism Council; board member of the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities; member of the Barnesville Area Education Foundation; and president of the Morristown Historic Preservation Association. He has a bachelor of science degree in business and finance from Miami University and a master of business administration (MBA) degree from Wheeling Jesuit University.
Cedrick Rugege (Olney ’08) is an undergraduate at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, where he is in his third year of a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program in international business. He participates in Students in Free Enterprise, a national nonprofit entrepreneurship organization uniting “university students, academic professionals, and industry leaders” in projects aimed at positive social change through free market intervention. For example, he helped to organize high school students around the world – 250 students in 19 high schools – to make, sell, and market t-shirts to rebuild a school in Haiti that was damaged by the earthquake. After graduation, Rugege would like to “provide aid and relief in Third and Second World countries – hopefully through the UN,” he says. He is originally from Rwanda. About high school, he says, “Before Olney, I was more concerned about myself. I was a busy person. School, homework, basketball practice. One after the other. No time to mingle and do fun things. I was focused on me: I have to do, get done, get ahead. Olney made me aware [that I need to strengthen] bonds needed to get ahead. In the end, the people you know and how you interact with them, is what gets you where you want to be.”
Howard L. Sacks directs Kenyon College’s Food for Thought program, “an initiative to build a sustainable local market for foods produced in and around Knox County, Ohio.” He is National Endowment for the Humanities Distinguished Teaching Professor at Kenyon, where he has taught sociology since 1975. As director of Kenyon’s Rural Life Center, Sacks coordinates a wide variety of educational, scholarly, and public projects to enhance community life in the county. He currently serves on the governor’s Ohio Food Policy Council, which is working to develop sustainable local food systems throughout the state.
Leslie Schaller is director of programs at the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), where she has worked since 1992, developing infrastructure, programs, and public policy to enable farmers and food producers to receive entrepreneurial support, resources, and capital. ACEnet addresses rural economic development, entrepreneurship, and local food systems. The organization offers itself as a trainer-practitioner and peer-learner when providing services.
In the early 1990s, Schaller was part of the founding staff of ACEnet’s Food Ventures program and oversaw the development of a kitchen incubator facility. She has worked directly with food producers, farmers, and artisan micro-entrepreneurs since 1992. She designs curriculum, provides direct technical assistance, and coordinates the expertise of ACEnet staff teams to create innovative product ideas, marketing strategies, business plans, and financial management systems within the targeted sectors.
Since 1985 Schaller has served as the business director of the worker-owned restaurant corporation that operates Casa Nueva, a restaurant and nightclub; and Casa Manufacturing in Athens, Ohio. Schaller currently serves as an appointee to the governor’s Ohio Food Policy Council, the Ohio Department of Agriculture Market Connections Task Force, the national Farmers Market Coalitions Board, the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the Athens Municipal Arts Commission.
Michael Shellenberger is president and co-founder of the Breakthrough Institute. He is co-author with Ted Nordhaus of Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility (Houghton Mifflin 2007). Time magazine called Break Through “prescient” for its prediction that pollution regulations could not transform the global energy economy, and Wiredmagazine said the book “could be the most important thing to happen to environmentalism sinceSilent Spring.” The book received the 2007 Green Book Award and a starred review fromPublishers’ Weekly, which called the book “Convincing, resonant, and hopeful.” In 2004, Shellenberger and Nordhaus generated a national debate in the pages of The New York Times and around the country when they published “The Death of Environmentalism,” which argued against apocalyptic climate rhetoric and the regulation-centered policy approach in favor of an aspirational discourse and an investment- and innovation-focused agenda. For their work, Shellenberger and Nordhaus were named Time magazine “Heroes of the Environment 2008.” The Breakthrough Institute’s strategy to “Make Clean Energy Cheap” was the recent subject of a profile on NPR’s Morning Edition. Shellenberger has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The American Prospect, Salon, Harvard Law and Policy Review, Democracy, Glamour Magazine, and other publications.
Larry Sidwell (Olney ’71) lives in West Des Moines, Iowa. He is Senior Vice President for Credit and Operations for John Deere. He credits Olney Friends School with helping to prepare him for success in business. The values he learned at Olney, he says, such as “diversity, education, global presence and reach, integrity, commitment, and innovation” are also important at Deere. He chairs Olney’s Campaign Steering Committee.
Bryan Smith is the watershed coordinator for Captina Creek, a division of Belmont County Soil and Water Conservation District. Previously, Smith taught high school science for nine years. He has a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences and a master’s degree in science and technology education.
About his new role, Smith says, “I am excited to be in this position because it gives me the opportunity to positively influence something that I am passionate about – Belmont County and Captina Creek. My responsibilities in this role include preserving and protecting the biological resources of the creek by implementing best practice land usage and management techniques as well as providing educational opportunities and outreach to the public.
“I am involved in the Captina Conservancy land movement and am hoping to launch a program for vernal pool identification and installation within the watershed. Vernal pools are small bodies of water usually 100-500 square feet in surface area and 12-18 inches in depth that fill with spring rains then dry out by the end of summer. Their semi-permanent nature precludes fish and attracts a unique collection of aquatic crustaceans and insects as well as amphibians. My role is to document the locations and inhabitants of as many of these pools as possible within the watershed.
“Specifically, I enjoy working with amphibians such as the spotted salamander and mountain chorus frog and maintaining vernal pool habitats.”
Mike Wagner is parent of Kim ’12. He works at a Fortune 500 information services company, EMC Corp, in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. In addition, he holds several patents for computer programs. He has a master of science (MS) degree in computer science from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; a master of arts (MA) degree in the history and philosophy of science from Indiana University; and an MA in teaching English as a second language (applied linguistics), also from Indiana University. He has lived and worked in both Sana’a, North Yemen (for a stint in the Peace Corps) and Mogadishu, Somalia (where he taught for the United States Information Agency). He notes with regret that his passport has received little use in the past decade and more. He completed his undergraduate degree at Guilford College. He is also an experienced novelist and bar tender.
Keri Willever is associate director of admission at Warren Wilson College, a work service college in Asheville, North Carolina. She leads student service trips around the United States; and she volunteers with a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Asheville area.
Willever graduated from Warren Wilson College with a degree in outdoor leadership in 1995. She has worked for the Peace Corps in West Africa, at a private zoo in California, as a logistics coordinator for Outward Bound, and as a staff member of an Action Against Hunger refugee camp in Albania.
She enjoys traveling, playing old-time music on her fiddle, doing triathlons, skiing, horseback riding, and gardening. A birthright member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), she belongs to the Fox Valley Friends Quaker Meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Aaron Woolf is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has focused on the human dimension of government policy. He has spoken extensively on policy issues ranging from immigration to agriculture to rebuilding America’s infrastructure.
Woolf is the director and producer of the critically acclaimed film, “King Corn,” his sixth feature documentary, for which he was awarded a 2008 George Foster Peabody Award. His work has been released theatrically in the US, Europe and Japan and broadcast on PBS, the Sundance Channel, and numerous international networks including RAI, ARTE, and SBS.
In 2000, Woolf directed “Greener Grass: Cuba, Baseball, and the United States,” a WNET-ITVS co-production that received a Banff Rockie Award. In 2003, he directed “Dying to Leave: The Global Face of Human Trafficking and Smuggling,” which won an Australian Emmy Logie Award for best documentary series, aired as a two-hour special on the PBS series Wide Angle, and has been screened at the State Department and the United Nations. Woolf has presented work and spoken at numerous institutions including Stanford University, Yale, UCLA, the CDC, and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
He is the founder of Mosaic Films Incorporated and has recently completed a new film, “Beyond the Motor City,” which focuses on Detroit, and aired on PBS in February 2010. The film was part of the Blueprint America series on American infrastructure. In May and June of 2010, Woolf will be touring the country, speaking about the future of America’s transportation infrastructure supported by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2007 he opened Urban Rustic, a Brooklyn NY grocery specializing in locally sourced and organic foods. He divides his time between New York City and Elizabethtown, NY.