Founder, Advisory Council
Seth has over 25 years of experience in business and community leadership. He is the founder of Mission Wealth, a nationally recognized wealth management firm serving hundreds of high net worth clients across the U.S.
Seth is a thought-leader in conscious financial planning, helping people reframe their perspective of wealth beyond just the financial to lead more balanced, impactful, and fulfilling lives. He was recognized by Real Leaders magazine in 2015 as one of the Top 100 visionary leaders who strive to create a better world. In 2016, he was asked to speak on the TEDx stage to share his powerful message.
Seth is an engaged member of the YPO organization; serving on the local board, the executive committee of the Leadership Development Network, as the former Chair of the Financial Services Network and now as a global speaker/facilitator resource.
He has served on numerous non-profits and led various community development initiatives, including as the founding leader and subsequent judge for Fast Pitch SB, a venture-pitch model for the non-profit sector. Seth is a member of Social Venture Partners (SVP), on the advisory Council for the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, an Advisory Member for the Planned Giving Committee of the Music Academy of the West and a coach for youth sports.
Seth was raised in an environmentally aware family with his dad’s role as the Assistant Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This passion for environmental stewardship inspired him to serve on numerous environmental non-profits over a 20 year timeframe and to eventually found Sustainablefuture.org in 2016.
Celine Mol has been engaging with SustainSB since its formation and officially joined SustainableFuture as the Community Manager in early Spring of 2018. She graduated with honors from UCSB with a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistical Science and is now getting her Master’s Degree in Environmental Science & Management from UCSB’s Bren School. At Bren, she is specializing in Corporate Environmental Management and focusing on Eco-Entrepreneurship. Celine is a data science nerd with a passion for environmental entrepreneurship, and hopes to use her degree to build sustainable cities designed to thrive.
Laura Capps has spent 20 years developing strategic communications and issue advocacy campaigns for the nation’s highest profile public officials, including President Bill Clinton, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Secretary John Kerry’s presidential campaign, as well as leading non-profit organizations. She is an elected member of the Santa Barbara School Board and serves on the board of the Community Environmental Council and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Laura runs her own public affairs practice, Mission Partners, providing services in media relations, crisis communications, project management, and development strategies and focusing in five issue areas: climate, food systems, education, poverty and immigration. Laura began her career in government and public service by serving four years in the Clinton White House, working first as an aide to George Stephanopoulos and then as a speechwriter for President Clinton. She was Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s Communications Director in the U.S. Senate, serving as his primary spokesperson and developing strategic communications plans on a wide range of issues. In 2003-2004, Laura was a senior aide to John Kerry in his presidential campaign. She has built a reputation as a respected advocate for environmental, ocean conservation, and climate issues through her roles as SVP for Government Affairs and Communications at Ocean Conservancy and as Communications Director for the Alliance for Climate Protection the non-profit founded and chaired by Vice President Al Gore.
Laura has more than 25 years of experience in ocean and environmental science education and outreach, working for the National Park Service, National Marine Sanctuary System and as a teacher and environmental educator. She leads a variety of projects and programs including professional development for teachers and creating education and outreach materials for the public designed to increase ocean awareness and stewardship. Laura earned her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley in Zoology and her Masters at UC Santa Barbara in Deep Sea Biology. Laura is on the Board of Directors of the Community Environmental Council and member of the Women's Fund of Santa Barbara.
David Auston is Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Electrical & Computer Engineering, and the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California Santa Barbara. His current activities are focused on climate change mitigation & adaptation.
Prior to joining UCSB, he was the first President of the Kavli Foundation, dedicated to supporting basic scientific research in astrophysics, neuroscience, nanoscience, and theoretical physics. He has been a member of the technical staff and department head at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University, Provost of Rice University, and President of Case Western Reserve University.
David Auston has contributed to research in the fields of lasers, nonlinear optics, and solid-state materials. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Optical Society of America, and the American Physical Society.
A native of Toronto, Canada, David Auston earned bachelors and masters degrees in engineering physics and electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sigrid Wright is CEO/Executive Director of the Community Environmental Council -- a nonprofit focused on regional solutions to environmental concerns. For energy/climate related issues, she is a co-founder of the Central Coast Climate Collaborative, co-author of the Santa Barbara County Regional Energy Blueprint, editor of more than a dozen CEC policy documents, and program facilitator for the South County Energy Efficiency Partnership (SCEEP). For food system issues, she is on the executive team and advisory board of the countywide Food Action Plan and member of the national Carbon Farming Innovation Network. For more than 15 years she led the annual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival production team.
Sigrid holds a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in Communications Design from the Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts at the University of Baltimore. Prior to coming to CEC, she worked for several organizations in Washington, D.C., including the Alliance to Save Energy and the National Wildlife Federation. She is an alum of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Katherine Harvey Fellows program and the Courage to Lead program for non-profit leaders, and sits on the board of Leading From Within. She is also a commissioner for the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women. She received the 2015 Women of Achievement Award from the Association of Women in Communications, Santa Barbara.
David Fortson is LoaCom’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. Believing business is one of the most powerful tools for making a better world, and seeing tremendous opportunities to expand the power and influence of the nonprofit sector, David founded LoaTree and later co-founded LoaCom in hopes of mashing up the best assets of the private and nonprofit sectors.
David’s areas of interest and focus include business development, digital ecosystem development, strategy, and blurring the lines between nonprofit and private sector worlds. Before LoaCom, David worked for technology entertainment company Sonos, invented, manufactured and sold nationally a dog product called The Brush Buddy and was the founding Executive Director of a regional nonprofit called Santa Barbara County Action Network. David is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Ecology and Environmental Studies.
In his off hours, David spends as many hours as possible outdoors with his wife Terra and their daughters playing in the sand, sun and surf.
Dean Axelrod is the Associate Director for Partnerships & Philanthropy for Direct Relief. Direct Relief is the seventh largest charity in the United States, and it is the largest and most respected charitable, non-governmental, provider of material medical aid in the world.
Dean moved to Santa Barbara with his family in 2013 to establish a branch office for the financial services firm Edward Jones. Prior to his time as a Financial Advisor, Dean was the Division Manager for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tucson, Arizona, where he provided general management and leadership for court facilities in Tucson and Yuma Arizona during the Great Recession. For six years leading up to his time at the Bankruptcy Court, Dean owned a boutique professional services firm providing legal counsel, strategic planning, executive coaching, and marketing consulting, and established himself as a trusted advisor.
Dean earned an MBA and JD from the University of Arizona, and a BA in English from Boston University. Dean sits on the board of the Santa Barbara Rotary Club and he serves on the marketing committee of the Santa Barbara chapter of the Anti-Defamation League. He also volunteers with Partners In Education, as a guest consultant for Women’s Economic Ventures, and as a coach for the Dos Pueblos High School mock trial team.
Dean offers more than 30 years of professional experience combined with a passion to help others do better and live better.
Sharyn Main has over three decades of experience in philanthropy and the non-profit sector in Santa Barbara County. She is a strong believer in the power of the non-profit sector to drive community change. Coming to philanthropy from the non-profit sector has given her insight to working effectively with community partners to achieve their goals. Sharyn is Senior Director of Community Investments at the Santa Barbara Foundation with an emphasis on development and implementation of community initiatives. Her current focus is on the LEAF Initiative to advance regional strategies for land conservation, protection of ecosystems, and support of agriculture and food systems in Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan and the Conservation Blueprint were both developed and supported through LEAF. She also oversees the Creative Communities project, a countywide master-planning effort to build a stronger arts and culture sector.
Prior to joining the foundation, Sharyn co-developed GreenCare for Children, a program to reduce toxins in childcare centers, and helped lay the groundwork for the Alliance For Living and Dying Well and the Early Childhood & Education Collaborative. She previously worked for a family foundation focused on arts, environmental protection and historical preservation, and served as the Assistant Director of Pollution Prevention Programs at the Community Environmental Council where she co-founded and led the South Coast Watershed Alliance for over a decade. Sharyn is a fourth-generation Santa Barbara County resident and has been actively involved in the arts and environmental protection throughout her life.
Michael serves as principal at Ponvalley, a family office meets think tank that invests in positive impact companies solving important problems in the areas of environment, water, food, shelter, education and wellbeing. Michael began his career at Smith Broadcasting Group and helped sell the company to Boston Ventures in 2004. He then became a Musician (DJ'd with Kanye/Guns N Roses/Rihanna) and later Entrepreneur (The Playlist Generation: b2b streaming music service; Creative Space: Adaptive Reuse in LA/SF). He has been an active investor/advisor to over 40 companies and funds since 1998. Recent investments include Aspiration, Lyft, Pinterest, SMS Assist, Nebia & Rubicon Global.
He is a Venture Fellow with Bren School at UCSB, sits on the board of Pvblic Foundation, the Advisory Council at Salk Institute, the United Nations Media Council on Social Impact and chairs the Climate subcommittee at Blockchain For Impact. He also was cofounder of SustainSB, a precursor community environmental initiative to Sustainablefuture.org.
David Jackson was raised in New York City and after finishing graduate studies at Columbia, he began a working in philanthropy. He has previously worked in development for Little Orchestra Society in New York and helped co-found Pullum Center in Los Angeles.
David currently lives with his wife and two sons in Santa Barbara, CA, dedicating his time to researching potential grantees for Zegar Family Foundation (ZFF), and serving on the board of Pacific Pride Santa Barbara. Working from ZFF’s New York-based office, he has helped increase the number of grantees in the field of education, partnering with T.E.A.K. Fellowship among others.
David is presently leading an effort to expand his family foundation’s outreach to more organizations based in California. Recently, ZFF helped open the first children’s science museum serving California’s Central Coast, MOXI. David’s larger goal is to increase support for groups working to achieve preservation of natural resources and sustainability for the environment. He joins the outstanding efforts of Sustainable Future to pursue this critical goal.
Matt Riley co-founded Infinity Renewables in April 2008 with the goal of developing quality wind projects with a focus on landowner and community issues. Mr. Riley’s experience in the wind industry spans almost two decades, during which time the wind industry has experienced unprecedented growth. Navigating the complex issues inherent in wind project development is his core strength, which was demonstrated during the origination and execution of many operating wind farms in the U.S. Mr. Riley holds a Master of Environmental Science and Management and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Jordan benShea has over twenty years of experience in communications, strategic thinking, marketing, nonprofit development and organization.
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Jordan graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Mass Communications and Media, and an emphasis in Business Administration and Journalism. As Owner and Strategist of her strategic communications consulting company, SkyView Projects, Jordan enjoys working with authentic brands and nonprofits. With an avid appreciation for giving back, she serves on nonprofit boards, serves as an advocate for local nonprofits, and is the Executive Director of a nonprofit based in northern California helping veterinarians.
Jordan is also on the Board of Directors of Fairview Gardens, where she is the Development Committee Chair and Master Plan Committee member. She also plays a strategic role in the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser, served on the Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan working group, and has been a Coach for Fast Pitch SB, a communications training program. Jordan was chosen to participate in and completed a seven month Board Leadership Institute through the Santa Barbara Foundation, achieved certificate of completion from Philanthropy University nonprofit leadership program, is a member of the Joan Garry Nonprofit Leadership Lab, and has won the California Cox Conserves Hero award for her environmental stewardship.
Business Team Champion
For the last 22 years, Megan has worked the helm of both the social enterprise and sustainability movements as a consultant, executive, and business owner working within the private sector, non-profit sector, and inside Governmental and Non-governmental organizations including the US State Department, Conservation International, Counterpart International, Women’s Economic Ventures, Citigroup, and several start ups.
In 2008, Megan helped build Be Green Packaging from the ground up with its founders as Senior Vice President. Megan was the Chairwoman of the EcoAdvisory Board from 2009-2016. Simultaneously, Megan created a brokerage firm in 2010 to advocate for and sell what Be Green Packaging made.
In 2012, she co-founded The Adventure Capitalists, which designs, builds and operates triple bottom line companies.
In 2014, she became a founding Board Member and Executive of Ellipz Lighting USA, a vision company that manufactures innovative LED lighting worldwide.
Megan holds a Master’s degree from George Washington University’s School of Business and Public Management, and has two Bachelors degrees in Ethnobotany and Alternative Medicine.
Megan is the Executive Producer of the podcast and youtube show, “One Hour of Sunshine”, which interviews business owners and leaders ready to tell their story about how they access their intuition in business and throughout their daily navigation.
Public Sector Team
Jennifer co-leads the Sustainability Division of the County of Santa Barbara Community Services Department, where she oversees the implementation of the County’s Energy and Climate Action Plan. The plan outlines carbon-reduction activities everyone can do, such as biking and carpooling, powering our lives with renewable energy, and minimizing what we send to the landfill. She also leads the County’s exploration of community choice energy to accelerate the transition to more sustainable energy sources.
Jennifer has more than 16 years of experience in the public and private sectors championing and implementing sustainable practices, primarily related to resource conservation, renewable energy, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and improving air quality. Jennifer graduated with a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Sciences and Environmental Management from The University of Virginia. She is the Vice Chair of the City of Santa Barbara’s Transportation and Circulation Committee.
Jacob’s expertise is in positioning premiere entertainment, lifestyle, and consumer brands through high level marketing strategy. With an educational background in film and politics, Jacob seeks world changing solutions for positive and creative people. He embraces technology-driven solutions and aims to make them widely accessible. With an appreciation for nature and hope for the future of human ecology, Jacob supports forward-thinking environmental & political leaders and aims to further meld artistry and science.
In 2001, before wifi, social networks and smartphones, Jacob co-founded Oniracom as a student at UCSB. Oniracom operates based on his vision for positive and lasting change, continuously evolving digital solutions along the ever-changing tech & new media landscape. Partners such as Jack Johnson, Santa Barbara Bowl, Warner Music, Topspin, Universal, SONOS, among others, trust Oniracom to produce authentic stories that rapidly increase brand growth and awareness.
Born and raised in beautiful Alaska Zach has a deep appreciation for nature and is passionate about the pursuit of global environmental sustainability.
His career consists of 12 years of digital marketing experience holding positions at Oracle, AGIA, and AppFolio.
Zach founded Devine Digital and for the last 7 years has been helping businesses thrive with effectively crafted web design & marketing strategies.
He graduated from Montana State University with a Marketing degree with a background in Computer Science.
Zach loves being outside, staying active, spending time with family and exploring the world.
Julia Evans is a woman with a mission to empower individuals in achieving vibrant health with holistic health practices as a Health Coach. From a place of vibrant health, people have the energy and clarity to make a greater impact in our world.
Julia has joined Sustainable Future to put into action campaigns that will protect our ocean and dramatically reduce one-time use plastic consumption. She’s inspired to focus her efforts on supporting Santa Barbara in going strawless; helping reduce the 500 million straws that are used daily in the USA.
Faith Based Team Champion
Aaron Ritter joined Sustainable Future in 2018 as the faith-based organization team Champion. He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Kristen, and two children, Matthew and Michelle.
Aaron is a financial advisor passionate about making a positive impact, especially regarding environmental issues. He is firmly guided by his life mission of stewardship and his spirituality. He is in leadership at Unity of Santa Barbara and has been involved with the Environmental Defense Center, Community Environmental Council, Food From the Heart of Santa Barbara, and other organizations aligned with his vision and purpose.
Aaron is driven by an important ethical responsibility to do whatever he can to help solve the unprecedented challenge of climate change. He is a purpose-driven, committed member of SustainSB.
Joe Coito is an entrepreneur, recreational event creator and consultant. For twenty-three years, the lifelong athlete and sports enthusiast has owned and operated Santa Barbara Triathlon, Inc., which produces one of the oldest events of its kind in the country. Over the years Joe has organized countless multi-sport events and adventure travel programs, including a cross-country triathlon from the Santa Monica Pier to the steps of New York City Hall to raise money for AIDS awareness, an overland experiential expedition in Baja, Mexico for CEOs of multinational companies, and a triathlon-inspired corporate teambuilding program to benefit the Orange County Children’s Hospital. For more than a decade, Joe and his team managed the logistics for the local Summit for Danny, proceeds of which directly benefit the Daniel Bryant Youth and Family Treatment Center. In the past, Joe also produced and then consulted for the Santa Barbara Terry Fox Run, a charity event held around the world to raise money for cancer research.
Philanthropy is a critical aspect of all of Joe’s endeavors. Since adding a fundraising component to the Triathlon in 2002, the event has raised more than half a million dollars for local charities and nonprofit organizations. In his sporting event consultant capacity, Joe focuses on developing partnerships with organizations that share his passion for giving back to the community while highlighting the importance of fitness and fun.
For seven years, Joe served on the board of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table (SBART), an organization dedicated to supporting student athletes. In addition to holding the position of Chief Financial Officer, in 1999 SBART awarded Joe the Russ Hargreaves Memorial Award for his role in bringing quality sports programs to Santa Barbara. In 2014, the Santa Barbara Independent named Joe a “Local Hero” for his notable contributions to the community.
Noam Karoly leads efforts for Sustainable Procore; the grassroots, employee-run environmental advisory board at Procore Technologies. In addition to being an Implementation Manager at the company, Noam works across departments coordinating internal sustainability programs designed to educate, empower, and excite fellow Procore employees while promoting internal sustainable business practices.
After earning a degree in Environmental Studies and Technology Management from UCSB, Noam has found a way to couple environmental passion with Hi-Tech corporate management and regularly works with Procore leaders to maximize operational savings and shift the Procore culture towards one that emphasizes personal sustainability.
Notable Sustainable Procore programs include a bi-annual Bike to Work Day, reusable bamboo utensil drives, sustainable cooking course, Proper Waste Disposal education material and more.
Though sustainability efforts currently focus on improving internal business procedures, Noam intends to bring sustainable business planning to the forefront of the construction industry by empowering contractors to build efficiently and sustainably using technology solutions that promote responsible material procurement and waste-mitigation.
When he’s not working at Procore, Noam and can found hiking the beautiful mountains of Santa Barbara, joyriding down the coast and enjoying the beach with his Australian Shepard pup, Escher.
Nadra Ehrman is a Residential Community Manager with The Towbes Group in Santa Barbara, CA and has been with the company for 9 years. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara, she lived in San Diego and worked for non-profit, property management organizations, San Diego Youth and Community Services and St. Vincent de Paul. In both organizations, she worked in programs providing housing and support services to at-risk youth.
In her current Community Manager role, she displays a strong commitment to sustainable business practices. She has assisted in several green certifications of residential properties and has spearheaded many sustainability initiatives throughout the entire portfolio.
Her community involvement includes co-chairing the Partnership Council of the Community Environmental Council, being a member of the Santa Barbara Green Business Program Steering Committee, The Towbes Group, Employee Advisory Board Committee and is a Katherine Harvey Fellow alum.
Currently, she is completing a Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship at USC with an anticipated graduation of May 2018. When not working, in school, or serving on committees, she enjoys spending time with her 12-year-old daughter, participating in dance classes, running, reading, relaxing at the beach and working out at the gym.
Jacob Bider currently studies Environmental Studies with a focus on sustainable business practices at UCSB. He is involved in a number of sustainability initiatives. As the Ocean Friendly Gardens Chair of Isla Vista Surfrider, Jacob leads a team to create Isla Vista’s first community composting program in an effort to manage Isla Vista’s waste stream. Jacob is also the Sustainability Chair of his fraternity. As the Sustainability Chair of his fraternity, Jacob determines ways to make his house more sustainable, such as reducing energy and water use and improving recycling practices. After joining his fraternity and taking on the position of Sustainability Chair, Jacob discovered that the majority of greek houses were not following sustainable practices. With this issue in mind, Jacob co-founded Greeks Go Green, an organization developed to create a more environmentally friendly and sustainable greek life at UCSB.
During his free time, Jacob enjoys gardening at his plot at the UCSB Greenhouse and Garden Project. He also is very passionate about sustainable agriculture. Jacob helped his family create a small sustainable farm in their backyard in the Bay Area last year. They now manage a cow, goat, rabbits, chickens, bee hives, and a vegetable garden.