Susan Jennings

Susan Jennings became Executive Director of Community Solutions in 2014. She has a BA in English and Political Science from Washington and Jefferson College, and studied International Relations at the University of Keele in England. Her previous work includes six years as the Director of the Office of Campus and Community Sustainability at UMass Dartmouth, where she co-founded The Southeastern Massachusetts Time Exchange, a DOE-weatherization training center, and The Southeastern Massachusetts Council on Sustainability. Susan will be researching and writing about lifestyle changes to lower CO2 emissions. Her specific interest is in individual and community responses to the challenge of Climate Change.


Peter Bane

Peter Bane is the author of The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country, and a frequent contributor to Permaculture Design magazine (formerly Permaculture Activist). In 1994, he helped to found Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina where he built an off-grid home of natural materials. A solar energy pioneer, home remodeler, and microfarmer, Peter has provided consulting advice and design to landowners, municipalities, and universities for over 25 years. After moving to Bloomington, Indiana in 2006, he and his partner rebuilt an older home to achieve energy use reductions of 60% measured against the per capita U.S. residential average, based chiefly on the deployment of conventional building materials, passive solar design, grid-intertied photovoltaics, and changes in household practice that include rainwater collection, wastewater re-use, sustained yield harvest of wood fuel, sheet mulching with organic wastes, edible landscaping, and home food production and storage. He went on to advise the city of Bloomington on prospects for an Energy Descent future through his service on its 2008-09 Peak Oil Task Force. His teaching career has taken him from Canada to Patagonia, and among its highlights are launching permaculture education in the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago and helping to inaugurate permaculture design at the Ecovillage Training Center in Tennessee, at Indiana University, and at Paul Smiths College, New York. In 2005 his work in Media, Education, Trusteeship, and Community Development was recognized with the Diploma of Permaculture Design by the Permaculture Academy of Britain. He currently serves on the board of the Permaculture Institute of North America, and is at work on a book about biological approaches to climate cooling.


David Brandt

David Brandt farms 1,150 acres in central Ohio's Fairfield County. He began no-till farming in 1971 and has been using cover crops since 1978. David has participated in yield plots for corn, soybeans and wheat into various covers. This information has been used by seed growers as well as county agents and universities to encourage other farmers to adapt no-till practices in their farming operations. He has also been planting various blends of cover crops to find out what benefits they provide to improve soil. At present David is working with Ohio State University's Randall Reeder and Rafiq Islam on reducing input costs of fertilizers and herbicides using various cover crops, which improve soil health. He is also working with the regional Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils lab in Greensboro, N.C., on the benefits of cover crops to improve soil health. David has received numerous awards for conservation practices, including the Ohio Conservation Educator Award from the Ohio No-Till Council, Ohio State University South Center's Supporter of the Year, Ohio Agriculture's Man of the Year, the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, and Ohio NRCS Soil Conservationist Partnership and State Volunteer Awards.


Nadia Malarkey

Nadia Malarkey is a garden and landscape design professional who began her practice in 1996. She specializes in providing a comprehensive and personalized landscape design service throughout the Midwest and beyond. Her work is synonymous with creating spaces that are architecturally dynamic, aesthetically pleasing and ecologically regenerative. In developing each design Nadia considers the possibilities and limitations of each site, the architecture of the home, and the particular wishes of the client. She then develops a design where harmony, rhythm, and aesthetic integrity combine to create a unique and appealing sense of place.

Nadia's projects incorporate environmentally friendly practices to produce landscapes that enhance biodiversity and biomass while enriching our experience of the changing seasons. Many of her gardens exemplify how regenerative design, while addressing habitat fragmentation and climate change, can be elegant, uplifting and ever-evolving in surprising ways.

Nadia is a Pre-Registered Member of The Society of Garden Designers (SGD), UK; a Member of the Ecological Landscape Alliance, USA, the Yellow Springs Environmental Commission,  and the Yellow Springs Resilience Network. Nadia spearheaded the three part Environmentally Friendly Landscaping Series in Yellow Springs in collaboration with John DeWine and Michele Burns of Flying Mouse Farms, Doug and Kat Christen of Smaller Footprint Farm and ISA certified arborist, Bob Moore. She is also the founding member of the Yellow Springs Pollinator Regeneration Project.

Nadia continues to attend conferences and pursue study on the history and innovations in garden design, spatial design, ecological landscaping, soil health, environment and climate change.

In 2015, Nadia’s project entitled “Regenerating Suburbia” was selected as a Finalist in the annual SGD Awards for the category ‘Planting Design.’

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David Chal

David has been farming vegetables bio-dynamically for 8 years. He believes that human beings have an essential role to play in the evolution of the earth and, in light of this, hopes to help restore a sense of worth and purpose to people. He lives with his family on a farm outside of Cincinnati.

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Amalie Lipstreu

Amalie has more than 25 years of public and social service experience.  She received her BA  from Hiram Collage and a Masters degree in Environmental Policy from Kent State University, after which she began a career focusing on agriculture and food systems. 

Amalie conducted research and advocacy that led to the development of the Ohio Food Policy Advisory Council which she managed along with the Office of Sustainable Agriculture at the Ohio Department of Agriculture.  

She now manages the policy program for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. 

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Solomon Gamboa

Solomon Gamboa is most invested in building an Indigenous Agriculture movement to help mitigate habitat loss and habitat fragmentation caused by traditional agriculture. He specializes in deeply comprehending vegetation-soil relationships, native prairie construction, pollinator gardens, reforestation and forest associations. He's currently working towards purchasing 15 local acres for an indigenous plant farm that will grow food and herbs for food festivals to promote indigenous agriculture. On April 7th, he will release the first-ever site-specific reforestation guide for Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana.