8 speakers. 8 minutes each. Bloom! is Seattle’s showcase evening of innovative speakers working in sustainability- “sustainability” as it applies socially, environmentally, and/or economically. Each Bloom, we curate a collection of lightning talks from leaders in the community, with plenty of networking opportunities and cocktails. Bloom speakers have covered the likes of nuclear power, food forests, bike sharing, reinvention of the toilet, and cupcakes. Thanks to everyone who joined us for Bloom 9, which took place on February 20th, 2014. We’ll have videos from #Bloom9 up by mid-March.

Videos of each of the past Bloom speakers are up on our YouTube channel, BloomSeattleVideos.

Do you have an interesting story at the intersection of local, sustainable, and innovation? Read here to learn more about what we’re looking for. Or, are you interested in sponsoring Bloom? We’d love to hear from you!

Joe Mele

Joe Mele, StowThat, Co-Founder & CEO

Joe Mele is the Co-Founder and CEO of StowThat, an online peer-to-peer marketplace set to disrupt the $22 billion self-storage industry. StowThat is currently in its MVP stage, operating in the Seattle-Tacoma-Everett area. Previously, Joe was with Razorfish for 14 years where his focus was on digital media and marketing, working closely with top global brands to drive their digital strategy and improve their business. As a senior executive at Razorfish, he unified the Media and Marketing team across the West Coast offices, started the social media team in the West, was Managing Director of the Seattle office, and ran US Media operations. Responsibilities included P&L management, business development, strategic account management, product and service development, budgeting and expense control, training and development, organizational strategy and goals.

Stan Gent

Stan Gent, President and CEO, Seattle Steam

Stan has extensive experience working with district energy and other energy generation systems across North America. As President and CEO of Seattle Steam, he is responsible for the overall operations and financial performance of the company. Since joining Seattle Steam in 2004, Stan has been actively involved in Seattle’s engineering, building and development communities and is a strong supporter of the city’s sustainability initiatives. Under his leadership, Seattle Steam has built a new biomass boiler that went into operation in 2010.

Yoram Bauman

Yoram Bauman, Stand-Up Economist and Author

Yoram Bauman (yur-AHM BAUW-min) makes a living as “the world’s first and only stand-up economist”, but he is also a PhD environmental economist who is part of the CarbonWA.org effort to bring a revenue-neutral carbon tax to Washington State. Yoram is the co-author of the two-volume Cartoon Introduction to Economics, the forthcoming Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, and the 1998 book Tax Shift, which was written with Alan Durning of Sightline Institute and helped inspire the revenue-neutral carbon tax in British Columbia.

Linda Irvine

Linda Irvine, Project Manager at Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (NW SEED)

Linda Irvine is a Project Manager at Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development, a small non-profit with big plans for transforming the Northwest to an economy based on clean, renewable energy with maximum community ownership. Whether helping farmers in Eastern Washington pool their resources to create a wind power co-op, or helping hundreds of homeowners in Seattle organize a “Solarize” group purchase for rooftop solar systems, Northwest SEED catalyzes communities to reclaim their clean energy future. Linda caught the renewable energy bug while growing up on the Big Island of Hawai’i surrounded by sun, wind and geothermal energy. She currently leads “Northwest Solar Communities” – a coalition of government, utility and industry partners working to create a “solar friendly corridor” from Bellingham Washington to Ashland Oregon, where solar power is simple, fast and cost-effective.

Erik Nicholson

Erik Nicholson, National Vice President of the United Farm Workers (UFW)

Erik currently serves as National Vice President of the United Farm Workers (UFW) and as co-chair of the Equitable Food Initiative, a multi-stakeholder certification initiative focused on farm labor, food safety and environmental stewardship issues. He also sits on the board of Fair Trade USA. During his almost 25 year career, he has worked with coffee pickers in Nicaragua, Thai rice farmers and Mexican workers employed on farms across the US. In his role as a member of the United Farm Workers' National Executive Board, he advises the organization on foreign guest worker issues and international affairs. Nicholson has worked extensively on pesticide issues as they affect farmworkers and their families, child labor, housing, consumer outreach and education, and legislative issues. He has served as one of two national farmworker representatives to the Environmental Protection Agency’s national pesticide advisory committee, the Pesticide Program Dialog Committee. Based in Tacoma, Nicholson has a B.A. from Duke University, and has been a featured presenter at a number of national and international conferences concerned with immigration and guestworkers.

Kristina Bindi

Kristina Bindi, Marketing and Sales Supervisor, car2go Seattle

Kristina Bindi graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Business Marketing and specialization in IMC. During her time in San Diego, she furthered her Marketing experience working at Lambesis Agency, Discover SD and Underground Elephant, while serving on the SDSU Alumni Board as the Marketing Coordinator. In 2010, she attended East China Normal University in Shanghai to study International Business and the Chinese Culture. Kristina began her career with car2go in 2011 and launched their second U.S. location, San Diego. She has since moved to the Pacific Northwest to take on the position of Marketing and Sales Supervisor of car2go Seattle.

Barry Bettinger

Barry Bettinger, Owner and CEO of Snoqualmie Ice Cream

Barry Bettinger is the owner and CEO of Snoqualmie Ice Cream. Snoqualmie Ice Cream makes the most perfect ice cream, custard, gelato and sorbet. The all-natural pints are handcrafted in small batches in the Pacific Northwest using local milk and cream and non-GMO cane sugar. Snoqualmie believes in simple ingredients without any gluten, hormones, preservatives or artificial flavors. Snoqualmie is committed to sustainability and has invested in a 1.5 acre mini-farm, pervious concrete, rain gardens, bio-swales, solar panels, rainwater collection, compost, compressor waste heat recovery and many other energy efficient systems.

Mike Stevens

Mike Stevens, Washington State Director for The Nature Conservancy

Mike Stevens has 20 years of experience in land and wildlife conservation, conservation biology, and leadership and management of conservation and business organizations. Prior to taking over leadership of the Washington chapter of The Nature Conservancy, he was the co-founder of Pioneer Mountain Group, which designs and implements land and natural resource management and conservation projects. Stevens also served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Lava Lake Land & Livestock. He has received national recognition for his work, including the Cecil D. Andrus Leadership Award for Sustainability and Conservation from Sustainable Northwest, and national conservation awards from the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. He has also worked for the Idaho and New Hampshire chapters of The Nature Conservancy.

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