Chris BaiocchiVice President of Fund Development Habitat for Humanity of Orange County
To introduce, Chris Baiocchi, CFRE serves as Vice President of Fund Development for Habitat for Humanity of Orange County where he is responsible for fundraising programs including individual giving, corporate giving, major giving, and donor stewardship and cultivation. His team at Habitat OC is also responsible for media relations, communication vehicles, and volunteer recruitment and retention.
Chris has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years in direct fundraising and communication roles, alongside organizations such as St. Joseph Hospital, Chapman University and MIND Research Institute. Chris earned a bachelor’s in English from Chapman University, and a master’s in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University. He and his family live in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.
For another fun fact, Chris is also the first SeedOC partner. SeedOC’s first project was with Chris and his team at Habitat for Humanity. We owe much of SeedOC’s start to Chris’s support since the early days of the chapter. We are excited to welcome Chris to our next board meeting because we believe his expertise can challenge how we approach our development strategy and tactics as an organization, which will be a topic of discussion.
Victoria BetancourtFounder Coneybeare Cleantech
Victoria Betancourt is the Founder of Coneybeare Cleantech, recruiting and consulting firm specializing in connecting companies with talent they need to accelerate growth, in the clean technology, renewable energy and sustainability related sectors. Betancourt has also created a unique sustainability demonstration project in Colombia, South America, which holds workshops on permaculture and sustainable architecture, and is a demonstration site for innovative renewable energy technologies. Victoria is a past executive board director for the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, a member of the US Green Building Council, Cleantech-OC, and the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE). She was a finalist judge for the 2017 Helsinki Challenge, a competition and incubator program for start-ups addressing the United Nations Sustainability Goals.
Victoria earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Master’s of Architecture degree from Columbia University in New York.
Victoria has been a great supporter of Seed since Ajay and I met her years ago in Orange County. Her passion for connecting people in the sustainability community together, along with developing people, aligns strongly with our cause. She has cultivated a wonderful collaborative of clean tech and sustainability leaders, and has hosted Seed as a featured organization in the past.
Christian JohnsonCo-founder & CEO Emeritus Seed Consulting Group
Christian Johnson, MBA, MS, is committed towards advancing the global health and wellbeing of people and planet through social entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition to serving in global strategy in TMTT at Edwards Lifesciences, Christian is co-founder and emeritus Chief Executive Officer of Seed Consulting Group, a nonprofit in which over 350 consultants have provided $4M+ in pro-bono service to 55 nonprofits. Christian has delivered a TEDx talk, been honored by Poets & Quants as 2017's 100 "Best & Brightest" MBA’s, and is a member of the Forbes Councils. Christian earned his BS at UCLA, MS in Global Medicine at USC, MBA at UCI, and an executive certificate in social entrepreneurship and innovation at Stanford.
Ajay BawaVice President Seed Consulting Group
Ajay was born and raised in Orange County, California. He studied Industrial Engineering and Conservation Resource Studies at UC Berkeley. Thereafter, Ajay moved to Los Angeles where he became Vice President of LA Gauge Company, which manufactures beryllium components used in space and defense. In addition to his job, in 2014, Ajay founded Seed Consulting Group. By 2015, Ajay stepped into the executive director role as Seed grew into a statewide organization. Now, Ajay sits on the advisory board while he pursues dual degrees in business and policy at MIT and Harvard.
Hilary FirestoneSenior Policy Advisor National Resources Defense Council
As a senior city policy expert for the City Energy Project, a collaboration between NRDC and the Institute for Market Transformation, Hilary Firestone works to advance policies and programs that cut energy waste in large buildings and make American cities healthier and more prosperous through energy efficiency. Prior to joining NRDC, Firestone was a member Mayor Eric Garcetti’s sustainability team in Los Angeles. There, she worked on a comprehensive strategy to reduce energy and water consumption in the city’s existing buildings, including the adoption of the Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance.
Prior to relocating to California, Firestone was a policy advisor in the New York City mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, where she worked on energy and green building initiatives. Firestone was instrumental in developing and implementing the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. Additionally, she served as the New York representative to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Firestone graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering and earned her master’s of public administration at Columbia University. She works out of NRDC’s Santa Monica office.
Robert FortunatoPresident ForStrategy Consulting, Inc.
As a trusted business and sustainability advisor, Robert assists clients in empowering themselves with the tools of leadership, strategy and innovation. Robert’s commitment to leadership, innovation and sustainability led to him designing and general contracting the multiple-award winning Green Idea House. Formerly a Vice President of Consulting Services with a professional services firm, his experience ranged from small start-ups to large corporations, like AT&T, Steelcase and AECOM.
Most recently, he served as Executive in Residence at the Los Angeles Cleantech incubator where he is currently an Advisor. Robert also worked internationally for two years, providing strategic development and cultural integration services to merged and acquired companies in Japan, China, Australia and Singapore. Robert’s credentials include a degree from the Wharton School of Business. Robert is a highly acclaimed TedX speaker and prominent international speaker on the topics of leadership, strategy, innovation and sustainability. For eight years Robert was Adjunct Faculty at an international innovation, social entrepreneurship and sustainability school based in Denmark and is currently a frequent guest lecturer in Pepperdine’s MBA Program.
Dr. Neil FromerExecutive Director Resnick Institute
Dr. Neil Fromer is the Executive Director of the Resnick Institute, Caltech’s endowed program for energy and sustainability. Previously, Fromer studied the interactions of light and matter, and spent more than a decade of working on solar energy technologies. His current research focuses on energy storage, clean fuel generation and use, smarter energy distribution systems, and energy efficiency. Fromer received his PhD in semiconductor physics from UC Berkeley, and his BS in Engineering/Physics from Brown University.
Dominique HargreavesExecutive Director U.S. Green Building Council
Dominique is the fearless leader of USGBC-LA and a rating system enthusiast with credentials in LEED, WELL, EcoDistricts, Envision, GPRO, and a Real Estate Salesperson License. She’s interested in the intersection of wellness, net zero design, and workforce development.
Jeanine KlimaDirector of Stewardship Office of Gift Planning at UCLA
For more than twenty years Klima has utilized her proven track record in banking and finance to successfully develop programs and raise funds in the not-for-profit sector. Klima’s expertise is in identifying, establishing and cultivating long-lasting relationships with colleagues, donors, companies and foundations. Klima currently provides annual stewardship campus wide to the UCLA Legacy Society members of the Gift Planning Department.
William HernandezExecutive Director Center for Global Leadership at UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business
William Hernández has a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University and serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Global Leadership at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. He also consults in the areas of international management, international business development, international negotiations and organizational development.
Over the past 21 years, William has worked with several multinational corporations, including: Boeing, Conexant, Fluor Daniel, Banco Santander, Wal-Mart, Dupont, MicroAge International, and McDonnell Douglas. His projects range from highly sensitive international transactional negotiations to multibillion-dollar energy projects on three continents. Hernández designs and implements turnkey international divisions for companies seeking to expand internationally. His specific areas of expertise include strategic alliances, joint ventures, international team development and overall international expansion strategy.
Hernández has taught or is presently teaching at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business and the Instituto de la Empresa (IE) School of Law in Madrid, Spain. His courses include Advanced Negotiations, International Business Negotiations, International Trade Regulation and the WTO, International Expansion and International Marketing. In addition to teaching, Hernández also was the founding Director of the Asturias Business School, a joint venture between the Spanish government and California State University, San Francisco. As a result of his efforts, a degree from ABS is recognized in the U.S. and Europe.
Recently, Hernández was named international expert by the United Nations Development Program in Cuba in the area of Foreign Investment Negotiations.