Alumni Spotlight: Past, Present, and Future of the CRB
On November 27th, 2018, The CRB hosted a special celebratory Peterson Speaker Series in honor of the CRB’s 15th Anniversary. The event brought together past executive directors and alumni who are now leaders in the field to discuss how far we’ve come and where they see the future of responsible business going. Each individual reflected on the programs, partners, courses and activities that inspired them to lead the charge in redefining business for a responsible future.
Lynelle Cameron has over 20 years of experience helping companies capitalize on market opportunities related to sustainability and climate change. Cameron is currently Vice President of Sustainability at Autodesk and CEO of the Autodesk Foundation. She leads a team transforming the design, manufacturing and construction industries to capitalize on the business opportunities of a low-carbon economy.
Through the Autodesk Foundation, she has invested over $15 million in entrepreneurs and innovators who are designing a sustainable world for billions of people. Under her leadership, Autodesk has won numerous awards for sustainability, climate leadership and philanthropy. Cameron is proving that companies can do well by doing good – in ways that strengthen brand reputation, recruit and retain the next generation of employees, and deliver financial results to shareholders.
Lynelle was recently recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Business by the SFBT. She has an MBA from UC Berkeley, MS from U of Michigan, and a BA from Middlebury College.
Lynelle will be introduced by Interim Dean Laura Tyson, who was dean during Lynelle’s time at Haas and was instrumental in the founding of the CRB.
At Levi Strauss & Co., Kyle Rudzinski blends sustainability strategy with brand and product strategy, helping guide the company’s approach to increasing value from its social and environmental programs.
Prior to joining LS&Co. in early 2015, Mr. Rudzinski led his own consultancy with tech startup clientele in the Bay Area and Africa. He has also consulted for firms such as Tesla Motors, Ernst & Young, and Trina Solar on projects ranging from sustainability strategy to demonstrating the quantified the benefit of gender diverse teams.
During the Obama Administration, Mr. Rudzinski served at the U.S. Department of Energy where he worked in executive communications and legislative affairs before managing a multi-million portfolio for the SunShot Initiative, investing in high-risk, high-reward startups to drive down the cost of solar energy.
He earned his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where he was the second Center for Responsible Business fellow. He also holds an MEd in educational psychology and a BA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.
Kyle will be introduced by Jo Mackness, the CRB Executive Director during his time at Haas.
Nikita T. Mitchell is an infinitely curious business strategist, speaker, and writer. She is also the creator of Above the Bottom Line. Ranked as one of the best business newsletters by Fortune Magazine, Above the Bottom Line calls companies out on social and environmental issues consumers care about. GIFs and snarkiness included. Through weekly insights, Nikita helps readers rethink consumerism and hold corporations accountable — from the bottom up.
Nikita is an expert on responsible business and has written for Quartz and Be the Change and has spoken at the BSR Conference, Grace Hopper, and the UC Berkeley Center for Gender, Equity & Leadership. She is currently a senior manager at Cisco where she is responsible for strategy and planning initiatives for the company’s $20 billion Americas Sales organization.
Cited as Diversity MBA Magazine’s Top 100 Under 50 Executive & Emerging Leaders, Nikita received her M.B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, Haas School of Business where she was a Principal of the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund, a $2.5M student-led investment fund. A fierce advocate for women’s rights, Nikita serves on the Board of Trustees for Planned Parenthood Northern California and the Watermark Board of Directors.
In her free time, you can find Nikita catching up on her endless reading list, training for a half-marathon or planning her next vacation. Keep up with Nikita at www.nikitatmitchell.com.
Nikita will be introduced by Kellie McElhaney, the CRB Executive Director during Nikita’s time at Haas.
Kai discovered her passion for regenerative agriculture while working on farms and researching local food systems in Santa Barbara County. In 2011, Kai moved to Oahu to co-found a regenerative farm and educational event center in Waimanalo. She helped draft and lobby for legislation to support family farmers using natural practices as the State Secretary for the Hawaii Farmers Union.
Most recently, Kai graduated from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 2017 and joined Patagonia Provisions’ team as a Product & Sourcing Manager. Her work involves building new supply chains, developing product, strategic granting, and implementing regenerative organic standards across the Provisions line.
Kai will be introduced by Robert Strand, the CRB Executive Director during her time at Haas.