WMSBF Annual Conference
Monday, March 14
12 pm to 4:30 pm
Cathedral Square Conference Center
360 South Division Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

View presentations below

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will present its fourth annual conference on Monday, March 14 at Cathedral Square Conference Center in downtown Grand Rapids from 12 pm to 4:30 pm.

The half-day West Michigan Sustainable Business Conference will bring together regional sustainability practitioners from business, government, non-profits and academia to learn about timely issues, share best practice, and network.

Keynote speakers are Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt, and Dar Baas, Director of the Kent County Board of Public Works.IMG_0159 (1)

Murray has an unrelenting drive for waste reduction, recycling, and reuse of materials. She is helping to change the carbon footprint of Detroit through revitalizing neighborhoods, finding solutions for everyday waste, and eliminating trips to the landfill. In 2010 Murray co-founded Detroit Dirt, a local composting and biomass collection company that specializes in providing compost and biomass solutions for the metro Detroit community. Detroit Dirt’s closed-loop model process was designed by Murray to help revitalize Detroit. In 2015 she founded International Dirt whose primary focus is to create programs, tools and consult on strategies that will integrate zero waste practices.

She is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab Fellow, that has received recognition from Modern Farmer magazine, Martha Stewart American Made, as one of 10 women to watch by the United Nations Foundation Global Accelerator’s Inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, as one of Food & Wine’s Most Innovative Women, and one of Newsweek’s “13 Women in Business to Bet On.”

Baas will share his call to action for making West Michigan a future zero-landfill community.

This year’s conference presented by Valley City Electronic Recycling, Herman Miller and Kent County Department of Public Works.

Exhibitor sponsorships available.  Learn more and become an exhibitor here.

Register here.

Tentative Agenda

11:30 am Registration and Exhibits Open

12 pm Lunch

12:30 pm Welcome and Introductions

12:40 pm Recycling and the Flint Water Crisis / Flint Update TBD 
Matt Flechter, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Presentation Slides (PDF)
Roger Cargill, Schupan Recycling
Kristina Johnston, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce Presentation Slides (PDF)

1:10 pm Keynote: Pashon Murray, Detroit Dirt Presentation Slides (PDF)

2 pm  Break

Track 1

2:15 pm  Michigan’s E-Waste Crisis Presentation Slides (PDF)
Steve Noble, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
Nick Carlson, Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids

3 pm  The Lowell Energy Anaerobic Digester Presentation Slides (PDF)
Greg Northrup, Sustainable Partners LLC

Track 2

2:15 pm Resilient Landscapes Through Agriculture Presentation Slides (PDF)
Levi Gardner, Urban Roots
Youssef Darwich, Grand Valley State University

3 pm  Integrating Local Food Into Your Workplace: Strategies for Connecting to, Supporting, and Growing Local Farms Presentation Slides (PDF)
Garrett Ziegler, MSU Extension

3:30 pm Break

3:45 pm Keynote: Dar Baas, Kent County Presentation Slides (PDF)

4:30 pm Adjourn