Sally Cunningham – Consultant & Adviser
Sally Cunningham is a garden writer, educator and CNLP (landscape professional), well-known in Buffalo after 23 years on Channel 4 (WIVB-TV) and as a longtime columnist for the Buffalo News and Buffalo Spree magazine. She is formerly a Master Gardener and Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. She is also au
thor of “Great Garden Companions” (Rodale Books) which has sold 54,000 copies, sharing organic gardening practices and biodiverse planting for home gardeners. Sally also leads Great Garden Travel for AAA around the U.S. and Europe, teaching horticulture and eco-friendly concepts as she goes.
In recent years she has been honored by the WNY Land Conservancy, the N.Y. State Nursery and Landscape Association, Visit Buffalo Niagara and PlantWNY as Person of the Year. She is on the board of Gardens Buffalo Niagara and was instrumental in developing garden tourism in WNY, epitomized by the famed Garden Walk Buffalo – the largest garden-touring event in the U.S. As an educator, Sally’s primary focus has been on healthy gardening and soil-building practices, with a huge emphasis on composting. For that reason, she is thrilled to advocate for EcoVerde Organics and support its compost development project.
John Deibel – Consulting Agronomist
John provides business plan and technical guidance regarding the “science” of composting food and other organics across the community. A graduate of the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture in agricultural education, John has specialized in the related fields of agronomy, soil science and crop production. John has also worked extensively in organizational development, especially cooperatives and trade associations across agriculture. He brings a science-based point of view to the company as a teacher and consultant; always looking for the most practical solution to each challenge.
John is focused on building the team needed to bring EcoVerde into full production and assisting the leadership team assembled by Warren to guide the business with technical questions relating to field operations and effective product development. He is also leads EcoVerde’s Research, Demonstration and Education program.
Having been known to pick up a guitar to play and sing from time to time; John enjoys interacting with the extensive music and arts network across East Aurora and the Southtowns for enjoyment. John has three very successful adult children who he is extremely proud of, and was fortunate to have the best parents on the planet who worked side by side with him developing Deibel’s Family Farm through the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s.
Ken Dobmeier – Marketing Advisor
Ken Dobmeier is vice president of Media Pros, an advertising agency located in Orchard Park, NY. During his career, Ken has developed marketing campaigns for a full spectrum of clients – international consumer product manufacturers, financial and legal firms, retail companies, health care groups, publishers, automotive and not-for-profit organizations. He brings his experience in all forms of advertising – television, radio, print, outdoor, direct mail and digital – to the communications program for EcoVerde.
Ken is also an avid organic gardener, who enjoys being up to his elbows in compost.
Katy Duggan-Haas – Assistant Chief
Katy Duggan-Haas serves as “jack-of-all trades” to assist EcoVerde Organics achieve its mission. She has a long history of experience in the recycling and waste industry and a passion for diverting materials from landfill and incineration. As Modern Recycling’s Sustainability Coordinator & Educator she developed the Lewiston Art Festival recycling and food waste composting program, developed food waste collection and waste audit services for commercial customers, and educated thousands of people about recycling, landfill gas-to-energy and hydroponic gardening. Her educational outreach programs led to Modern receiving the NYSAR3 2015 Recycling Leadership, Private Sector award.
An avid community volunteer, Katy serves on the Town of Amherst Recycling and Waste Committee, was a founding volunteer of the Upstate Green Business Network/Green Drinks and the steering committee that developed the WNY Environmental Alliance. As a gardener who loves to dig in the dirt, she is excited to reap the benefits of her work with EcoVerde Organics in multiple ways!
Phil Elinski – Field Crew
Phil has been EcoVerde’s reliable waste collector, equipment operator and customer service professional since inception. If you see him around town when he’s not making sure our waste customers’ needs are met, you probably hear the quality music he plays in a local venue.
Warren Emblidge, Jr. – Chief
Warren is committed to making environmental and social ecosystem impact investments, with a financial return.
The Theory of Change – money invested should cause measured changes – is well described in The EcoVerde Story; the motivation to make impact investments originated in Warren’s experiences buying coffee beans from smallholder growers in third-world countries, where persistent poverty exists alongside detrimental environmental practices.
In WNY, Warren decided to implement the theory by investing in EcoVerde Organics, LLC and leading the effort to achieve measurable environmental and social ecosystem results. The company was formed on July 5, 2017 and today has a team of nine associates, who advocate for beneficial environmental and social ecosystem action, collect waste from generators, actually make the compost (not easy) and sell and distribute to retail and wholesale customers.
He began his career in banking, serving over two decades in senior management positions at Buffalo Savings/Goldome. As the bank navigated the turbulent waters of the 1980s, it became apparent that the community-oriented business model the major thrift used as its focus was no longer viable. At that point Warren and his wife, Carol, saw the need for a career change, and in 1986 he acquired McCullagh Coffee Roasters. In 2011, over 500,000 cups of McCullagh roasted coffee were consumed in more than 10,000 locations in North America and McCullagh was named “Supplier of the Year” by Walmart. Today McCullagh continues its growth by adding new and exciting coffee blends and related products, and has announced plans to expand it production and warehouse facilities.
Warren was born and raised in Western New York. He holds a BS from Cornell University, an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and an AMP from the Harvard Business School. He is an Eagle Scout, was a finalist in the 1964 Olympic sailing trials, is a cancer survivor, and occasionally plays piano in a mainstream jazz group.
He is or has been associated with the following organizations: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Trustee; Upstate Green Business Network – Founder; Barrister, Inc., Director; Grant Thornton (Vietnam) Ltd., Director; Orchard Park Central School System, Trustee; Child & Family Services, President; Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Trustee; Canada-U.S. Business Association (CUSBA), President; Buffalo Council on World Affairs, President; Bretton Woods Committee, Member; Niagara International Trade Council, Officer; Asian Coffee Conferences, Speaker; and United Way Campaign, Major & Corporate Gifts Chairman.
Stephen F. Leous – Corporate & Business Development
Steve Leous has over 25 years’ experience in a variety of industries and functional expertise in strategic marketing, finance and corporate development. Currently a strategic growth consultant, Steve previously worked at e-commerce pioneer VerticalNet, the world’s largest operator of online industry marketplaces. He launched and managed seven of them and also worked in corporate development.
Steve was a senior marketing manager with Rich Products, a $2.5 billion frozen food manufacturer, where he ran a $150M product group – the largest in the company. He also has extensive experience in international initiatives and with new product, market, concept, franchise and business development work. Steve is very seasoned working with cross-functional teams and on a project- basis across a variety of disciplines, including market research, creative and brand development, digital strategy, strategic marketing plans, business and corporate development planning and organizational structure. He has worked with start-ups to multi-billion dollar, public companies and everything in between, and has a B.A. from Williams College and an MBA from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg School of Management.
Joe Quinn – Intern
Joe is a current University at Buffalo student who brings a background in environmental design and geography, food systems planning and research, working to help EcoVerde Organics with strategic projects.