Speaker Series

Low Power Happy Hour is a new speaker series featuring local professionals who work in and around the topic of sustainability. Join us on the second Wednesday of each month for cocktails, live acoustic music, and a Q&A with that night’s speaker from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

6:30 PM: Cocktail Hour & Music Performance
7:00 PM: Speaker Presents
7:30 PM: Q&A with Speaker
7:45 PM: Music Performance

Conservancy Members: $22 | General Admission: $25

Buy November Tickets

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

 

 

 

 

Chris Coles

Speaker

Chris will sit with Conservancy Program and Arts Manager Dominic Moore-Dunson to explore the power of music and the arts as it relates to building sustainable communities.

Chris Coles is a saxophonist from Cleveland, Ohio. In 2009 Chris received his Bachelor Degree in Saxophone Performance from Youngstown State University. It was here that he studied with world-renowned saxophonist and educator Dr. James C. Umble, jazz saxophonist Dr. Kent Englehardt, and jazz bassist and composer Dr. David Morgan. In 2012, Chris received his Master Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Akron. Chris is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Akron School of Music.

Chris has performed with many local and international jazz musicians such as, Eddie Baccus Sr., Melvin Burks, Kenny Davis, Glenn Holmes, Bill Ransom, and Cecil Rucker, Grammy Award winner Slide Hampton, Ralph Lalama, and Allen Vizzutti. In 2010 Coles was accepted to perform in Italy with the Ohio Youth Jazz Orchestra. In Italy, Coles performed with Wessell Anderson, lead alto saxophonist for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Some of Chris’s recent accomplishments include being a participant at The Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative music in Alberta, Canada. Chris had the distinct honor of studying with some of the great pioneers in jazz today such as Vijay Iyer, Mark Turner, Imani Izuri, Tia Fuller, Billy Hart, Ingrid Jensen, Zakir Hussain, Somi, Vosany Terry, and Miles Okazaki to name a few. Chris also played at the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Festival in West Virginia with the Dana Saxophone quartet, performing at the International Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C., and premiering a commissioned work by John Hollenbeck at the Whitney Art Museum Composers Workshop. Coles also recorded this work on John Hollenbeck’s album Rainbow Jimmies released in 2009.In 2017, Coles was awarded a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant for the multimedia production of his suite Nine Lives which is dedicated to the victims of the Charleston Church shooting in 2015.

Jonah Ferguson

Musician

Jonah Ferguson is a guitarist and composer currently based in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He grew up in the small town of Navarre, Ohio where he began playing the guitar at age 9. It was not until his time in college at Kent State University that he became very dedicated to music and improvisation, and eventually decided to pursue it as a career. In his playing and composing, Jonah seeks to embody the spirit of his influences such as George Benson, John Coltrane, and Kenny Garrett, while also retaining his own unique voice based on his life experiences. Jonah has spent much of his life so far studying and being influenced by a wide array of musical traditions and seeks to reflect that in his work. He has had the privilege of studying and or playing with Northeast Ohio based greats such as Theron Brown, Dan Wilson, Bobby Selvaggio, Walter Barnes Jr, Chris Coles’ Gleam, and more. Jonah can be seen actively performing in various Northeast Ohio venues and also teaches private lessons to guitar students of all ages.

Past Event Speakers/Musical Performances

Dara Harper M.Ed.

Artist

Dara Harper is a creative entrepreneur and artist who has established Art Only Boutique, a company that produces original paintings in acrylics ranging from figurative to abstract compositions. She currently has public art installed in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Downtown Cuyahoga Falls and the West Side of Akron Ohio.

Dara graduated from The University of Akron with a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction. A Bachelor’s in Studio Art with emphasis in Painting and Minor in Art History. Dara Harper has developed a mobile art curriculum adaptable for all ages using various art mediums and tools. “Engaging the community and spaces through art is part of my purpose as an artist.”

She is co-founder of the Akron Black Artist Guild and winner of the 2021 Knights Arts Challenge, Public Art Commissioner with the city of Akron’s Public Art Program and most recently given the title Director of Programming with ArtsNow.

Imani Badillo

Artist

Imani Badillo is a Puerto Rican, Black, and Alaskan Native artist and writer from Cleveland, OH. A student at Oberlin College, Imani’s academic work communicates environmental justice concerns using painting, fiber art, and bookmaking. Their sole goal as an artist is to use illustrated thoughts and memories as an invitation into getting into a right relationship with human and more-than-human others.

 

 

Leila Khoury

Artist

Leila Khoury is a multidisciplinary artist based in Cleveland, Ohio. Khoury received her BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her Master of Architecture and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Khoury’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Cleveland and Columbus, OH; New York City, NY; Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; Washington, D.C.; Pittsburgh, PA; Waeukesha, WI; and Subhan, Kuwait. Between June and September 2018, two works by Khoury were featured in the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ exhibition series, Women to Watch.

 

Jonah Ferguson

Musician

Jonah Ferguson is a guitarist and composer currently based in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He grew up in the small town of Navarre, Ohio where he began playing the guitar at age 9. It was not until his time in college at Kent State University that he became very dedicated to music and improvisation, and eventually decided to pursue it as a career. In his playing and composing, Jonah seeks to embody the spirit of his influences such as George Benson, John Coltrane, and Kenny Garrett, while also retaining his own unique voice based on his life experiences. Jonah has spent much of his life so far studying and being influenced by a wide array of musical traditions and seeks to reflect that in his work. He has had the privilege of studying and or playing with Northeast Ohio based greats such as Theron Brown, Dan Wilson, Bobby Selvaggio, Walter Barnes Jr, Chris Coles’ Gleam, and more. Jonah can be seen actively performing in various Northeast Ohio venues and also teaches private lessons to guitar students of all ages.

Rachel Bisbee

Senior Manager of Sustainability and Communications at Great Lakes Cheese

Rachel Bisbee is passionate about people. Rachel approaches sustainability with a commitment to employee-centricity, affordable and accessible nutrition, and generational thinking. Her approach is rooted in an understanding of the links between our holistic wellness and our planet’s health. Rachel earned an MBA from Case Western Reserve University, a BA in International Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill, and is a certified yoga teacher. She enjoys listening to her husband’s songs and playing in the dirt with her two young sons.

Great Lakes Cheese is the country’s largest natural cheese packager and an award-winning cheese manufacturer. The company provides private label products for retailers and foodservice operators with facilities in Ohio, New York, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and two under construction in Texas and New York. Family- and employee-owned, Great Lakes Cheese celebrated their 60th year of business in 2018.

 
Dr. Timothy Held

Dr. Timothy Held

Chief Technology Officer at Echogen Power Systems

Dr. Timothy Held is the Chief Technology Officer at Echogen Power Systems in Akron, Ohio, where he is responsible for development, maturation, and transition to product of supercritical CO2 power cycles and energy storage systems. Prior to joining Echogen in 2008, Dr. Held was with GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio for 13 years, where he led the Commercial Engine Combustor Aero Design group, the Industrial Aeroderivatives Combustor Aero Design group, and was the technical leader for alternate fuels research and evaluation.

Dr. Held received his Undergraduate degree from Purdue University in 1987, and his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1993, in the area of combustion chemical kinetics. He has published several technical journal articles, including chapters in the AIAA book “Combustion Instabilities in Gas Turbine Engines” and “Power Engineering: Advances and Challenges, Part A: Thermal, Hydro and Nuclear Power”. He presently holds 46 issued U.S. patents, with several additional in process.

 

Jim Roetzel

Ohio-based Nature and Portrait Photographer

Jim is an Ohio native who has lived in the Summit County area his entire life. Growing up near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, he was inspired by his family’s love of the outdoors and learned to see and appreciate nature through his father’s eyes: “My dad had a hunter’s eye and botanist’s love of nature, and he most enjoyed sharing the things he loved with us.”

Jim has photographed all over the United States and Canada, following nature’s rhythms, migrations, and seasons. His work regularly appears in many national and local publications.

 

Ryan John Trimbath

Biologist at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Ryan Trimbath has worked at CVNP for the last seven years. Prior to working for the NPS, he got a degree in Wildlife & Conservation Biology from Ohio University, then traveled around the country working as a field biologist on various research projects. During this time, he honed his skills and pursued his interests in forest and avian ecology. Ryan returned to Northeast Ohio for graduate school and is currently completing his PhD in Integrated Biosciences.

He has the honor of being the only Ornithologist to ever hold a living Northern Parula x Cerulean Warbler hybrid which he discovered at Deep Lock Quarry in 2014, with a second bird found at Oak Hill in 2015. You can read more about this discovery in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology “Evidence for hybridization between Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) and Cerulean warbler (S. cerulea)” (Trimbath et al. 2019).

 

Ed Caner

Musician

Ed Caner spent a dozen years performing as a sideman in national touring bands and orchestras, including Page & Plant, Luciano Pavarotti, Smokey Robinson, and Natalie Cole. He was once labeled by the legendary music critic Jane Scott as “the most versatile musician on the planet”. For the past 14 years, Ed has served as an instructor of physics and innovation at Case Western Reserve University.

 

MedWish International

Panel

MedWish International is a nonprofit organization that saves lives and the environment by repurposing discarded medical supplies and equipment to provide humanitarian aid to people in need. Within this organization, there are multiple programs that help to support sustainability and humanitarian aid initiatives including International Humanitarian Aid and Medical Brigades, Local & Domestic Giving, Alternative Recycling, and Skill Building.

A panel of MedWish team members will introduce these programs and offer a discussion on how the work and mission of the organization promotes sustainability.

 

Dan Wilson

Musician

Growing up in Akron, Ohio, Dan Wilson spent the majority of his youth within the church community, where his musical path began. Wilson’s career took him on an exploratory journey into foundations laid down by the guitar/organ tradition, eventually leading to an invitation to perform with jazz great Joey DeFrancesco’s trio quartet, with which Wilson went on to earn a GRAMMY® Award nomination for DeFrancesco’s Project Freedom album (Mack Avenue Records, 2017).

From there, Wilson went on to tour with Christian McBride’s trio Tip City, eventually leading McBride to serve as producer on “Vessels of Wood and Earth” and release the album on his newly formed imprint Brother Mister Productions through Mack Avenue Music Group. The album was released on April 23, 2021.


 

Future Dates

Speakers and artists will be
announced soon for the following dates:

October 12