About SBN

For more information, please contact Lisa Thresher.

Meet the team.

SBN leadership consists of individuals at all levels of the organization who tirelessly contribute their talents to achieve the shared vision of a prosperous, local economy that values the earth and its inhabitants.



Jamie Gauthier, Executive Director

Jamie joined SBN in March 2013 as Executive Director. In this role, she is responsible for implementing policies set by the Board and for providing financial, programmatic, and administrative leadership to the organization.

Jamie has spent the balance of her career working with others to improve Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. Prior to joining SBN, she held the position of Program Officer with Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and collaborated extensively with community based organizations on community economic development initiatives designed to bring new life to communities. This work provided Jamie with an in-depth view of how important small, locally-owned businesses are as sources of goods, services, jobs, and vitality for neighborhoods as well as the region more broadly. As such, she was extremely excited to join SBN and to lead the organization forward in its goals of improving the quality of life in communities, serving socially-conscious businesses and shaping our region’s economy into one that is more local, just, and sustainable.

As with her professional work, Jamie’s volunteer work has been dedicated towards the empowerment of individuals and the betterment of local communities. She currently serves as Co-President of Garden Court Community Association (a civic association serving the community she resides in), and as a board member of both the 52nd Street CDC and Traveler’s Aid Family Services of Philadelphia.

Jamie holds a Masters degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Temple University. Prior to her career in community and economic development, she worked in a financial capacity in the for-profit sector and is excited to bring those skills to her position at SBN as well. Jamie is a resident of West Philadelphia. She is married to Luis Gauthier and is mother to two sons, Xavier 9, and Nathaniel, 5.


Anna Shipp, Project Manager, GSI Partners

Anna joined SBN in January of 2013 as the Project Manager of the GSI Partners, a business-informed initiative working to advance the green stormwater infrastructure industry and innovation in the region, as well as the local businesses whose services and products relate to green stormwater infrastructure.

Anna spends many hours volunteering for local and sustainability efforts in Philadelphia. Since 2012, she has served on the Board of Directors for the South Philadelphia Food Co-op, who are working to open a community-owned grocery store in South Philadelphia. Anna has also volunteered for the Friends of the Wissahickon’s Sustainable Trails Initiative, an ongoing effort to reduce erosion in Wissahickon Valley Park.

Anna holds a Masters of Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where her academic work focused on urban sustainability and sustainable stormwater management efforts. She was also a 2012 US Forest Service Sustainability Science Fellow, and the 2013 recipient of the Dr. Frederick Scatena Award for Outstanding Research Related to Urban Forestry.

In the decade prior to joining SBN, Anna provided program coordination and project management for several non-profits in Philadelphia, each around the theme of making this city a better place - environmentally, economically, and socially.

Anna thoroughly enjoys being outdoors, going for long bike rides, gardening, cooking, and working on her South Philadelphia rowhome. Contact Anna


Mike Daly, Membership Associate

Mike joined SBN as an intern, and through hard work, was hired in September of 2013 as Membership Associate. Mike promotes members and their businesses through social media, newsletters, and various forms of communication, along with developing solid marketing strategies to keep the Sustainable Business Network relevant and interesting to potential members. In 2014 became responsible for executing the SBN event calendar.

Before joining the SBN team, Mike worked with nonprofits such as the YMCA and Bringing Hope Home. His career in media started with collegiate event planning and photography. Mike has a B.A. in Mass Communications from York College, PA.

Mike is a foodie, social media aficionado, and loves exploring his South Philly neighborhood. When he’s not at at SBN combining his passion for communication with his passion for causes in the community, Mike can often be found behind his camera. Contact Mike


Chris Hershberger-Esh, Program Associate, GSI Partners

Chris joined SBN in October 2014 as the Program Associate. He splits his time between the GSI Partners and the Rain Check Program, working closely with contractors and other businesses that work in these programs to make our city greener and our rivers cleaner.

Prior to joining SBN, Chris worked from Mexico City, coordinating policy/advocacy work for various Mennonite Central Committee offices in Latin America and the Caribbean. He’s a Philadelphia-native who has spent the rest of his career working here, including positions at Local Initiatives Support Corporation, CityLights Network, and helping to launch a homeless outreach project in Bucks County.

Chris holds a B.A. in Applied Sociology and Community Development from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA.

Chris enjoys bikes, hip hop, sourdough bread baking, and camping. He’s married to Heidi and has an infant son Camilo and a rowdy dog. They currently live in Germantown. Contact Chris







Lisa Thresher, Office Assistant

Lisa joined the Sustainable Business Network in November 2014 as the Office Assistant. In this position, she supports the SBN team through the process of event planning, administrative support, and membership relations.

Lisa also interns for the Environmental Protection Agency. Her efforts assist the implementation of the Food Recovery Challenge which diverts food from landfills to local food banks or compost facilities. She verbally presents and writes materials, conveying technical information to a non-technical audience, explaining and promoting the FRC. Lisa initiates general business correspondence with stakeholders such as composting businesses, community groups, and institutions. As a result, more participants joined the FRC. Lisa also worked for the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education as a Land Restoration Assistant. She implemented environmental strategies such as installing water bars and deer fencing to promote the health of the nature center. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Sustainability from Philadelphia University. 

A native Philadelphian, Lisa enjoys swing dancing, the outdoors, and anyone or anything Australian. Contact Lisa


Board of Directors


Lee Huang, (Econsult Solutions, Philadelphia, PA)

Lee Huang is Senior Vice President and Principal of Econsult Solutions. With an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School and a master’s degree from the Fels School of Government of the University of Pennsylvania, Lee provides an excellent perspective for public, private, and non-profit clients. Prior to joining Econsult Solutions, Lee was a director at Econsult Corporation, and was been responsible for leading projects examining commercial corridors, affordable housing, neighborhood change, transportation financing, MWBE procurement, real estate development, economic development, tax policy, economic and fiscal impact, transit-oriented development, financial modeling, tax increment financing, waterfront development, discrimination in lending practices, higher education, workforce development, technology, historic preservation, and recreational amenities.

From 1995 to 2005, Lee was employed at The Enterprise Center, an entrepreneurial center in West Philadelphia where he acquired extensive experience in day to day management as well as strategic decision making. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, where he was responsible for all programs and operations, and helped manage fifty staff and interns and a $1.2 million budget. He was also Founder of The Enterprise Center’s YES (Youth + Entrepreneurship = Success) Program and Director of Cities Beyond, The Enterprise Center’s consulting department. 

In 2006, Lee earned his Masters of Public Administration at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, where he also received certificates in Public Finance and in Economic Development and Growth. Lee received his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 1995 from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, with a dual concentration in Accounting and Management. 

Lee lives with his wife Amy and their daughter Jada and son Aaron in West Philadelphia, and is an active member and elder of Woodland Presbyterian Church.He currently serves on the board of the Spruce Hill Community Association.



Iola Harper (The Acceleration Group, Philadelphia, PA)

Iola Harper is a nationally recognized, award-winning advocate for small businesses and urban neighborhoods. As the Executive Director of the Sustainable Communities Initiative-West, she works on the ground with West-Philadelphia based Community Development Corporations, Institutions, residents and business owners to craft strategies and implement programs designed to restore economic health, safety, and vitality to West Philadelphia. Iola has spent close to two decades working with countless economic and business development agencies, always with one goal in mind – to level the playing field for disadvantaged businesses and urban neighborhoods. She has worked with organizations including: The Temple University Small Business Development Center, Mt. Airy USA, The Women's Opportunities Resource Center, The Women's Business Development Center, and The Enterprise Center, The City of Philadelphia and Main Street New Jersey, just to name a few.

Iola served as Senior Legislative Aide and Economic Development Director for Philadelphia Councilman Wilson Goode Jr. In that role she planned and implemented one of the City's first job fairs for ex-offenders. Her success working with not only small businesses, but in urban neighborhoods garnered the attention of former Governor Edward Rendell when she was named one of Pennsylvania's to 50 Women in Business. Her work drew a national spotlight several years ago when she was honored by Hector Barreto, former Administrator of the Small Business Administration as one of the Nation's top small business advocates.


Susan Firestone (SiwThaiSilk, Yardley, PA)

Susan Firestone is CEO and founder of Siw Thai Silk, managing the company's operations and design development. Siw Thai Silk, Inc. works exclusively with village artisans in Thailand to design and manufacture its high-end line of hand-crafted home furnishings accessories. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the company offers products made from hand-woven silk, natural fibers, and other textiles, operating under fair trade practices.

Firestone has over 20 years of international management and finance experience, as well as a lifelong love of handcrafted textiles and international design. A frequent traveler to Thailand, Susan has developed a cadre of creative and manufacturing resources in a number of village co-ops. She maintains a strong commitment to both the artisans who create Siw Thai Silk's handcrafted products and to the customers who purchase them.




Leslie Benoliel (Entrepreneur Works, Philadelphia, PA)


Leslie H. Benoliel is Executive Director of Entrepreneur Works, a non-profit microenterprise development organization that provides comprehensive business training, counseling and microloans to entrepreneurs in low income, minority and other underserved communities throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. Combining over 30 years banking and community development experience, Leslie has built Entrepreneur Works into an effective, nationally-recognized microfinance and development organization. Her key accomplishments include: having served more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners, raising over $15 million in operating and loan capital, advancing over 360 microloans totaling $1 million and successfully implementing several national microenterprise initiatives bringing new corporate resources to invest in the region’s entrepreneurial community: Hewlett Packard Microenterprise Project, Covad Broadband Entrepreneur Program, Prudential’s Young Entrepreneur Program, and, most recently, Starbucks Create Jobs for USA initiative. In addition to EW, Leslie currently serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Microenterprise Coalition and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. In January 2013, she was appointed by Mayor of Philadelphia to the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. Ms. Benoliel has a BA from the University of Vermont and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two teenage sons.


Elizabeth Babson (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Philadelphia, PA)


Elizabeth is an Associate in Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP’s Corporate and Securities and Benefit Corporations and Corporate Sustainability Practice Groups. She works closely with SBN partner B Lab, providing pro bono services and working on policy issues related to sustainable businesses, including drafting legislation for a new type of corporation for socially conscious businesses called a benefit corporation. Elizabeth’s practice also includes representation of public and private clients in a variety of corporate and securities matters, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, venture capital investing, financing, corporate governance, ongoing compliance with federal securities laws and general business counseling. Elizabeth is actively involved in the community, coordinating fundraising efforts at her firm for SBN, the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Women in the Workforce” event and Career Wardrobe.


Colleen Bracken (Bracken Leadership, Philadelphia, PA)

Co- Chair

Colleen is the founder and principal of Bracken Leadership (BL), a management consulting firm that helps its clients leap forward in the areas of Leadership, Organizational Change, Team Effectiveness, Communication, and Creativity. BL’s processes help organizations operate in new and different ways that produce robust business, thriving communities, and a healthy environment.

BL does its best work with clients who share their values of conscious, sustainable business practices and creating good for the whole of our society and our planet.
Over the span of her career, Colleen has worked with a wide variety of organizations including GlaxoSmithKline, The United Way, Sungard, Fair Food, ThomsonReuters, Johnson & Johnson, University of Pennsylvania, Comcast, Federal EPA, Centocor, and many more.

Colleen co-established and co-leads the Executive Coaching & Feedback Program for the full time MBA students at the Wharton School of Business, where she also teaches coaching seminars. Her nonprofit board experience includes past-president of Philadelphia’s chapter of the International Coach Federation, a worldwide association for professional coaches, and went on to be elected Global Committee Chair, leading decision making on membership and community issues for 20,000 member coaches around the world.

She holds the International Coach Federation PCC credential and a Master’s degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania.



Steve Masters (JustLaws, Philadelphia, PA)

Attorney Steve Masters is the chair of SBN’s recently formed Policy Committee.Steve spent twelve years at the Philadelphia City Council where he drafted many ground breaking and innovative bills, including laws combating predatory lending and gun violence and laws promoting sustainability, neighborhood quality of life and worker rights. Steve also designed and staffed City Council’s city-wide and local nuisance business task forces where community leaders worked hand in hand with elected officials and City and State law enforcement agencies to eliminate vexing quality of life issues like nuisance Stop-N-Gos and night clubs.While at City Council Steve pioneered the use of community benefits agreements with take-out beer licenses, turning many nuisance beer sellers into responsible businesses. His efforts were recognized by State Representative Cherelle Parker, who awarded Steve a Dedicated Community Service Award in 2007.In October 2012 Steve launched JustLaws, an innovative government relations and community empowerment law firm. JustLaws navigates the political and legal landscape of Philadelphia to deliver significant legislative victories for non-profits, unions, businesses and concerned citizens at the Philadelphia City Council, help local small businesses and MBEs/WBEs win major contract bids with federal, state and local agencies and empower community groups to shape local economic development and win strong community benefits agreements.Since launching JustLaws, Steve has scored major victories for his clients at City Council and before the Zoning Board of Adjustment.Steve also has over thirty years experience leading successful grassroots legislative advocacy campaigns on the local, state and national levels in the areas of gun violence prevention and promoting U.S. leadership to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Steve was featured in the documentary "PASSIONATE VOICES: American Jews and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" which aired on public television and was one of a handful of American Jews who traveled to Geneva Switzerland to witness the public commitment ceremony for Israelis and Palestinian architects of the Geneva initiative on December 1, 2003. Steve is a long time board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee.



Lee Meinicke (Philly Compost, Inc, Philadelphia, PA)

Co- Chair

Founder and President of the Mid-Atlantic region’s only woman-owned organics recycling business, Philly Compost, Lee was raised in Portland, Oregon, and has her MBA in Sustainable Business from Bainbridge Graduate Institute near Seattle. She’d like to think that West Coast sensibility is responsible for her commitment to the triple bottom line approach to business. From her 20 years’ experience in the non-profit sector, Lee brings staff and board skills gained in environmental conservation, social justice and religious organizations. Her expertise includes organizational management and development, operations systems and improvements, and program evaluation. Lee serves as Treasurer for the Unitarian Society of Germantown and as a Board Member of Green in Chestnut Hill.


Mark Mills (The Metropolis Group and Lovers & Madmen Coffee Lounge, Philadelphia, PA)

Mark is the owner of The Metropolis Group, a real estate development company, as well as Lovers & Madmen Coffee Lounge in University City. Mark graduated from Temple Law and worked with Allan Domb and Pennrose Properties before launching his own company in 2003. Through The Metropolis Group, Mark has developed properties in University City with a focus on maintaining human scale and integrating the existing community and the student population. As an extension of this neighborhood vision, Mark opened Lovers & Madmen in 2009. Lovers & Madmen is also committed to serving the community and supporting local purveyors with sustainable practices and missions.


Lynne Andersson (Fox School of Business, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA)

Lynne is an Associate Professor of Business, Society & Ethics in the Fox School of Business and Management. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior/Social Issues in Management from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her M.S. in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and her B.S. in Biostatistics also from UNC. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Lynne worked as a statistical programmer and information systems consultant in both research and corporate settings in the southeastern U.S.
Lynne has developed and taught a wide variety of courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels in the areas of management, organizational behavior and theory, business and society, corporate sustainability, and business ethics. No matter the course or the student, she feels an obligation to challenge students to think critically about the institution of business around which they are building their lives.
Apprising students of the potential for meaningful work and careers through sustainable enterprise has been an overarching mission of Lynne’s work as an educator, and the sustainable business community here in Philly has been a fantastic vehicle. Lynne has worked in the niche of sustainable business as an academic in Philadelphia since 1995.



Clifford David (Conservation Economics, Lower Gwynedd, PA)

Clifford David has built his career as an innovator, combining non-profit mission with for-profit financial incentives to transform land management through conservation. His distinguished and groundbreaking work as a senior leader of a regional land trust and other nonprofit and for-profit organizations has advanced the cause of natural resource conservation and historic building preservation.
Mr. David is recognized as an energetic and savvy senior leader with a successful 20+ year track record. He has developed breakthrough revenue generating concepts while utilizing collaboration with best-in-class partners to take each project to a positive revenue execution.
Mr. David’s repeated successes in adaptive reuse of underperforming real estate assets combined with his experience turning around struggling organizations create a unique set of skills to lead Conservation Economics. By connecting and collaborating with external partners, Mr. David has demonstrated the ability to further organizational objectives and generate enthusiasm for a common, achievable mission.
As an entrepreneurial strategist, Mr. David is gifted at identifying emerging opportunities not seen by others and systematically converting them into successful organizational initiatives and projects. Mr. David serves on the Board of Directors in leadership roles for several for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Mr. David holds a BA in Psychology, BS in Botany, and an MS in Organization and Management.



JoAnn Garbin (KnowE, Philadelphia, PA)

JoAnn Garbin is the founder and president of KnowE, a boutique consulting firm providing strategic guidance and support to those managing corporate sustainability programs or building or buying sustainability-related technologies.

JoAnn has been providing expert energy and sustainability tools and advisory services to the world’s largest corporations and cities for 14 years. She has been instrumental in the definition, implementation, and on-going execution of energy and sustainability management programs providing a wide range of services such as goal development, scenario modeling, mitigation and adaptation analysis, and risk valuation. JoAnn specializes in the convergence of technology and sustainability and has led numerous applications from conception through development to deployment.

JoAnn earned her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University where she is a guest lecturer. She is also a frequent speaker at many notable industry events and is LEED GA and ISO 14001: 2004 Auditor certified.



Paul Spiegel (Practical Energy Solutions, West Chester, PA)

Paul is President of Practical Energy Solutions of West Chester, PA, which he co-founded in March of 2006. The company works with businesses, schools, and municipalities to help the people that manage and occupy the buildings assess the energy consumption, and implement programs and strategies to reduce their energy costs and their environmental footprint. PES is a certified “founding” B-Corporation, and is a member of the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia.
Paul has nearly 30 years of experience in engineering, construction, and energy services, is a licensed professional engineer, a LEED AP, and has a degree in Economics from the University of Delaware. He is an adjunct Civil Engineering Professor at Temple University, and serves on the Westtown School Sustainability committee, the board of the Smart Energy Initiative, and on the Programs Committee for the DVGBC. He is also a senior member of the Association of Energy Engineers.



Charlie Szoradi (Independence LED, Wayne, PA)

Charlie Szoradi is the Founder and Chairman of Independence LED Lighting, LLC a leading U.S. Manufacturer of high-efficiency LED tubes and fixtures that save 50% or more in energy costs over the less efficient fluorescent tubes that dominate commercial lighting. Mr. Szoradi brings multiple decades of hands on experience to the culture of sustainability and cost-savings for property design and property retrofits. He focuses on ‘high performance’ architecture, and in the early 90s he wrote his Master of Architecture thesis on sustainable design, entitled ‘Eco-Humanism’. Mr. Szoradi is a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Accredited Professional), a Certified Building Performance Institute (BPI) Energy Auditor, and he has taken an eco-leadership role at the regional and national level. In 2009, Mr. Szoradi was elected to the Board of the Sustainable Business Network and selected as a member of the Green Economy Task Force, with direct participation on the Capitol Hill Delegation. The next year, he moved the Company’s LED tube manufacturing from China to Boyertown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Szoradi led the team, wrote the primary claims, and developed the key figures for the July 21st, 2011 Patent Filing for: LIGHT ENGINE DEVICE WITH DIRECT TO LINEAR SYSTEM DRIVER. The Patent file has 20 different claims and over 30 figures. In that same year, the Company won the Green Business of the Year Award by the Main Line Chamber of Commerce. Independence LED has since earned the trust of facility managers and engineers across the market with installations ranging from Fortune 100 clients to the U.S. Military. The Company has also provided the lights for the largest LED tube retrofit in U.S. history with over 2 miles (38 football fields) of installed energy saving tubes. Mr. Szoradi graduated from the University of Virginia and went on to earn his Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. From the cover profile of Inventors Digest Magazine to a speaker at the Made in America State of the Region panel, Mr. Szoradi has dedicated his career to innovation in clean energy technology.



Judy Wicks (White Dog Cafe, Philadelphia, PA) - Founder

Judy Wicks founded the White Dog Café on the first floor of her Philadelphia row house in 1983. As the restaurant grew, so did her notion that the strength of her business relied upon the quality of its locally grown ingredients. Envisioning how strengthening relationships among independent, community-rooted enterprises could inspire profound social change, she founded the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia in 2001, and co-founded the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies that same year. Judy also founded Fair Food, dedicated to building a local food system in the Philadelphia region. In 2009, she sold the White Dog through a unique agreement that preserves local, independent ownership and maintains sustainable business practices, including buying from local farmers, composting and using renewable energy. Judy releases her memoir, Good Morning, Beautiful Business, in March 2013.

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