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 author 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.
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!
Hank Duwe – Compost Operations Consultant
Hank advises the EVO team with his strong technical knowledge and hands-on experience with the compost process. He leads management of compost production, overseeing the crew to ensure quality and efficiency. Hank brings diverse experience composting waste from farms, food processors, commercial cafeterias and municipal leaf and yard waste.
Hank began his career in plant engineering and wastewater treatment, then started a composting business in 1989. He worked with major food processor Cliffstar to compost cranberry and grape pomace. Later he assisted the Town of Amherst develop and operate a pilot leaf composting operation that became a permanent yard waste compost facility and he went on to work with City of Buffalo, Towns of Tonawanda and Cheektowaga. His organics experience also spans feedstock sourcing for on-farm anaerobic digesters.
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.
EcoVerde’s Field Crew is comprised of dedicated, reliable associates who are integral to the team. They collect “waste” used as a resource and use EcoVerde’s precision techniques to process it into quality compost.