Zero Waste east
September 24-25, 2019
NJII Agile Center at N.J.I.T. Campus
323 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Blvd
Newark, New Jersey 07102
President & Founder
I founded Companies for Zero Waste in January 2019 seeing the struggles that my friends were facing running recycling companies in New York and New Jersey. I had a vision of catalyzing a greater pace of innovation by connecting investors, policymakers, sustainability directors and waste experts.
My thoughts were if Wall Street and policymakers could get behind this waste crisis we could drive real change. Heck we could save the environment and make a lot of money in the process, what a dream job!
Our research in January showed experienced professional in the waste industry were frustrated with the inability to achieve progress or even keep pace with the global changes in waste management when it came to permitting, regulations and new emerging technologies such as blockchain. We also found that the big investment banks and private equity funds had challenges quantifying ROI when it came to waste and energy projects. It was new to them and outside of their traditional wheelhouse.
Companies for Zero Waste is a central hub of global experts from the government, fortune 500 companies, NGOs, waste experts and investors that share valuable insight.
Our goal is to educate on policy changes, drive investments into waste technology and accelerate the shift into the circular economy. According to our research $4.5 trillion of new capital will be allocated into the circular economy by 2030. We plan on accelerating these investments.
Dave is an advisor across Regulated Industries, Government, Tourism, Manufacturing, Human and Health Services. Dave develops and implement business strategies, policy changes, sustainability practises and generative growth with enabling technologies, efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
Dave supports business modernization with emerging technologies to enable sustainability, socioeconomic outcomes and generative growth., and is known for delivering talks that combine culture, human behaviours, socio-economics, psychology, and technology with current events, personal anecdote, and historical precedent—effortlessly transliterating the complex issues of technology out of the abstract and into operations.
Robert F. Lurie
Former EVP New York Power Authority
Robert F. Lurie is the co-founder and partner of White Dog Strategies, a clean energy and marketing consulting firm based in Hopewell, New Jersey. He is an innovative leader with a unique breadth of experience leading change and growth in the energy industry, government and other industries, and as an expert in business strategy, public policy, financial strategy and public-private partnerships.
From 2012 until May of 2019, Bob was executive vice president, chief financial officer, and chief strategy officer of the New York Power Authority, a $3 billion state-owned hydropower and clean energy services company. While at NYPA, Bob led the development of three landmark clean energy strategic plans, including one focused on deep decarbonization across the economy and another focused on digital transformation across the enterprise. He led the development of NYPA’s major investment plans in EV charging infrastructure, energy storage, offshore wind, and digital products and services.
Bob is a member emeritus of the board of the Building Energy Exchange in New York City, and a member of the Transformation Advisory Council formed by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to advise them on modernizing the grid in Puerto Rico.
Prior to joining NYPA, Bob was vice president of North America business development for Ocean Power Technologies, an ocean wave energy company in New Jersey. Prior to that role, he directed the mergers and acquisitions function for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. in Pennsylvania.
Bob served as the Chief of Strategic Planning at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 2003-2007, and was treasurer and vice president of corporate development for a utility company in New Jersey. Bob’s early career was as director of public finance for the State of New Jersey, managing over $8 billion in infrastructure funding, and as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers.
Bob holds a Masters in Business Administration in finance from the State University of New York at Albany, and a Bachelors in Economics from Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Environmental Partnership Manager at Subaru of America
Denise Coogan (MA in Sustainable Development/Policy) is Environmental Partnership Manager at Subaru of America and is recognized as a leading zero landfill expert. She leads the company’s external environmental and sustainability programs, which include Subaru’s initiative to bring zero landfill to the national parks.
During her tenure at Subaru Indiana Automotive as Safety and Environmental Compliance Manager, Denise headed the plant’s zero landfill effort, which was achieved with the last waste shipment going to the landfill in May 2004. Because of her efforts, SIA is one of the most environmentally friendly auto manufacturing facilities in the world. Throughout her time at SIA, Denise advised more than 800 corporations on how to implement zero landfill best practices in their respective facilities.
Denise holds professional certifications as a Registered Environmental Manager (REM) and a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM). Her master’s thesis laid out the path a company needs to take to achieve zero landfill.
President & General Counsel, DSM North America
Mr. Hugh C. Welsh is the President & General Counsel of DSM North America a global leader in Life Sciences & Material Sciences. Traded on the Amsterdam stock exchange with 21,000 employees world wide and $12 billion in annual sales, DSM develops, manufactures and sells nutritional and food ingredients, biomedical materials, specialty plastics and resins, fibers and renewable energy. Mr. Welsh currently serves on several DSM global and regional management teams and has direct responsibilities in DSM’s nutrition and food specialties operations as well as responsibility for legal, government affairs, corporate communications, other shared services, corporate partnerships and DSM’s sustainability, inclusion and diversity initiatives in the region North America. Hugh currently serves on the Board of Directors of, Partners in Food Solutions, Chairman of the Board of the US Chamber of Commerce Citizens Center, Chairman of the Board of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, Tri-State Diversity Council, Board of Governors of Union County College, and BIO. He previously served on the board of Patheon and the American Chemistry Council. Prior to joining DSM Hugh served as Assistant General Counsel at American Standard Companies.
Dr. Serpil Guran
Director of Rutgers EcoComplex
Dr. Guran also manages the new RutgersX “EcoIgnite: Clean Energy Proof of Concept Center and Accelerator” program. She is trained on thermochemical conversion (pyrolysis and gasification) of biomass and waste materials for production of fuels and chemicals and she specializes in research, development and assessment of sustainable biofuel and recycling technologies, and life cycle analysis of clean energy systems alternative fuel production systems. Currently, her research is focused on integrating waste in to Circular Carbon Systems for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Mitigation.