Lauren Ordway is a Senior Program Officer with the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), an international non-profit organization that works with communities, cities, industry, and NGOs to provide the tools, training, and technical assistance needed to inspire active citizenship, protect the environment, and take on climate change. Lauren leads ISC’s work providing implementation support to the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, an ongoing collaborative agreement between Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties to align local government action in building resilience to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the region. She has more than 10 years’ experience working on sustainability issues in the Florida area. She previously served as the Executive Director of Miami-based nonprofit, Dream in Green, and as the Director of the Nature Conservancy’s Climate and Clean Energy Program in Florida, where her work focused on broadening support for climate action and clean energy policies. Lauren holds both a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and where she continues to serve on the Alumni Board.
Yoca Arditi-Rocha is an international Sustainability Professional with over 15 years of management experience. A Biologist with a degree on Corporate Sustainability from the Institute of Global Sustainability at the University of Vermont currently finishing her Master's degree in Liberal Arts at Harvard University in Sustainability. Yoca is an Al Gore trained Climate Change presenter, an active member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), a mentor for new trainees at the Climate Reality Project, and a USGBC certified LEED-Green Associate. Yoca is the new Co-Executive Director and Senior Climate Advisor at The CLEO Institute where she works with the CLEO staff to drive climate action through community engagement and education.
Before joining CLEO, she was the founder and executive director of No Planeta B, a consultancy with an advocacy core, which specializes in carbon footprint inventories, climate action planning, sustainable events, climate literacy and corporate environmental capacity training in South Florida & the Latin American region. Yoca also lead an educational engagement non-profit initiative called U CLIMATICA: a free 3-day climate change training event that empowered & mentored youth to become climate leaders. She has participated in the past two United Nations climate negotiation talks, COP20 in Lima & COP21 in Paris, and serves as the sustainability advisor for several schools, colleges and organizations in the region.
Yoca is passionate about solving the climate crisis and is considered an influencer in this field frequently invited as a keynote speaker to a variety of forums from a Latin American Doctors Conference in Argentina, to PTA meetings, to TV networks like Telemundo and others.
Elizabeth Wheaton has been working with the City of Miami Beach since 2008 and over the last ten years has served in the Public Works Department, Building Department, and the Office of the Mayor and Commission. In 2015, the Environment & Sustainability Department was created and Elizabeth was appointed as the Director. The City’s Environment & Sustainability Department, focuses on climate change mitigation and adaption efforts through the lens of sustainability, environmental resources management and urban forestry.
Elizabeth has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the City’s sea level rise and climate change initiatives. In 2014, Elizabeth was selected to participate in The Miami Foundation’s Class VIII Miami Fellows Program, a prestigious leadership focused on community engagement and impact. Most recently, Elizabeth was selected to participate in the Harvard Business School’s Young American Leader’s program.
Elizabeth graduated from University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with a Masters in Marine Affairs and Policy and now serves on the RSMAS Alumni Board.
Rachel Silverstein joined Miami Waterkeeper as Executive Director & Waterkeeper in June of 2014. Prior to joining MWK, Rachel was a Knauss Sea Grant Fellow and Professional Staff for the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard in Washington, DC. She got SCUBA certified at 14 and has been an avid diver ever since.
Rachel received a Ph.D. in the Department of Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science in 2012. Her research focused on the effect of climate change on reef corals, funding in part by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, for which she used genetic methods to answer ecological questions. Rachel graduated cum laude in 2006 from Columbia University with a B.S. degree in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology.
Kokei Otosi is a Project Manager at Van Alen Institute, a 124-year-old New York City design non-profit that catalyzes positive change in cities. At Van Alen, she manages Keeping Current, a series of open design competitions inviting interdisciplinary teams to develop solutions and ideas using the lenses of economy, ecology, and equity to adapt to sea level rise. Prior to Van Alen, Kokei managed resiliency, sustainability, and smart city industry initiatives at New York City Economic Development Corporation. Kokei has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from New York University.