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Executives to know in sports sustainability

People most likely to be named by their peers as influential in the space.

Sofi Armenakian

Director of operations and sustainability, Atlanta Hawks

Oversaw the diversion of 97% of fan-created waste at State Farm Arena during the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. The team’s 2021 playoff series was the first sporting event in the world to achieve Green Business Certification Inc.’s TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) certification, for the club’s zero-waste protocols.

 

Kristen Fulmer

Founder and CEO, Recipric

Works with teams such as the Chicago Red Stars and the Portland Sea Dogs on sustainability initiatives. Firm also partnered with Buro Happold on sustainability strategies for sports and entertainment district developments.

 

Paul Hanlon

Senior director, ballpark operations and sustainability, MLB

Manages MLB’s relationship with its 30 team-level ballpark operators and their 120 MiLB affiliates, following a decade at the Boston Red Sox as part of the group overseeing Fenway Park’s facility management and historic preservation.

 

Allen Hershkowitz

Chairman and founding director, Sport and Sustainability International

Served as a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council for 26 years before co-founding the Green Sports Alliance in 2014. He launched SandSI in 2016, became a consultant to the New York Yankees in 2018 and the NBA in January.

 

Bina Indelicato

Co-founder, Eco Evolutions

With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering from MIT, she consulted with the USTA and Philadelphia Eagles to successfully navigate the LEED certification process, and worked with MLS and the New York Yankees to develop sustainability strategies.

 

Tim Leiweke

Co-founder and CEO, Oak View Group

Is currently embarked on a global development spree, giving the company a chance to instill sustainable design and operations into new, or renewed, venues worldwide, including Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. The company is also infusing sustainability into its venue management arm, including recently acquired concessionaire, Spectra.

 

Omar Mitchell

Vice president, sustainable infrastructure and growthinitiatives, NHL

Joined the league a decade ago as its first environmental sustainability director with a background that includes an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, a Master of Architecture from Columbia, and a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Florida.

 

Julia Pallé

Sustainability director, Formula E

The France native has a degree in sustainability studies and change management and spent 2 1/2 years focusing on environmental issues at Michelin Motorsport. She has been at Formula E since it debuted in 2014, en route to being named sustainability director in 2020. She is also president of Sports and Sustainability International.

 

Claire Poole

Founder and CEO, Sport Positive

Collaborates with the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework and the International Olympic Committee to stage the annual Sport Positive Summit, one of the largest international meetings for sports organizations seeking to create a positive environmental impact.

 

Shelley Villalobos

Executive director, Council for Responsible Sport

The former Oregon softball player spent three years at the school’s office of sustainability before joining the nonprofit organization in 2013 to help develop a measurement and reporting framework for the sports event sector.

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