Sustainability Advisory Board

Advisory board members lend their experience and expertise to the Sustainability Council and serve as conduits to the latest corporate developments in sustainable business practices. The board assists in guiding Smeal’s sustainability agenda by helping to match the college’s strengths with the sustainability issues that the board members encounter as they lead their corporations’ sustainability efforts. The board also benchmarks Smeal’s sustainability efforts with those of other business schools, identifies essential sustainability research areas, explores collaborations with other University sustainability initiatives, and evaluates the college’s graduate and undergraduate sustainability curricula.

Members of the Smeal Sustainability Advisory Board include:

Wayne Balta
Vice President, Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety, IBM Corporation

Wayne S. Balta is the Vice President of Corporate Environmental Affairs and Product Safety at IBM Corporation.  He has global responsibility for environmental affairs, energy efficiency, and toxicology and chemical management as well as product safety and related hardware compliance functions.  He joined IBM in 1984. 

In addition to his role as IBM’s chief environmental executive he is a member of IBM’s Growth & Transformation Team, a group of IBM executives that drives growth pursuant to innovation and shifts in business and technology.  He has also served on IBM’s Global Enablement Team for Kenya and East Africa.  He is IBM’s Partnership Executive for Yale University.  He also serves as IBM’s Senior Location Executive in Pittsburgh, PA.  

Mr. Balta also plays a leadership role with a variety of additional organizations including the Environmental Law Institute (member of the Board and prior Vice Chairman) and the World Environment Center (member of the Board and prior Chairman).  He is a member and past Chairman of The Conference Board's Chief Environment, Health & Safety Officers Council.  He was named a White House Champion of Change in 2012 for his efforts to advance corporate environmental sustainability.    

Mr. Balta is a member of the President's Advisory Board for Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.  He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Engineering at Carnegie-Mellon.  He was the recipient of Carnegie Mellon’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award in 2009.  Mr. Balta is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Board for the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University.  He is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Council for the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. 

Mr. Balta received a Bachelor of Science Degree in civil engineering with University Honors from Carnegie Mellon University in 1982.  He earned a Master of Science Degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Tau Beta Pi Fellow, in 1984.

Mr. Balta is married.  He and his wife Maritza have two children.

James Gowen
Vice President, Supply Chain Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer, Verizon

James Gowen is Vice President of Supply Chain Operations and Chief Sustainability Officer for Verizon. 

Gowen has been deeply involved in the advancement of innovative and sustainable technologies and recently spearheaded the launch of Verizon’s flagship $137M green energy initiative which enabled Verizon to eliminate 20,000 metric tons of CO2.  Gowen also oversees other green initiatives being implemented across Verizon including the introduction of a carbon intensity metric, paper suppression, waste reduction and recycling, and management of end-of-life-cycle material recovery.

In his supply chain role, Gowen leads centralized operations including regional distribution centers and the global customer premises equipment program with responsibility for over $10 billion in annual through-put.

Most recently Gowen spearheaded the start-up of Verizon Services Ireland Limited in Dublin, Ireland. He was responsible for transitioning 15 billion dollars in annual spend for strategic sourcing of Verizon’s Network and IT operations. Over 70 industry professionals were hired and a state-of-the art center of excellence was built under Gowen’s leadership in less than 7 months.

Kevin McKnight
VP of Environmental Health and Safety and Chief Sustainability Officer, Alcoa

Kevin McKnight is Alcoa Vice President, Environment, Health & Safety and Chief Sustainability Officer.  He is responsible for managing the EHS function across Alcoa's global organization.  As Chief Sustainability Officer he leads the Corporation's strategic sustainability efforts. 

In his 30+-year Alcoa career, Kevin has successfully taken on assignments of increasing responsibility.  After joining Alcoa as an attorney focused on environmental and commercial litigation, he has had key management roles in product safety, environmental remediation, procurement and business services.  In 1998, he was named Vice President of Procurement, leading Alcoa’s global procurement organization.  In 2000, he was named Director of Alcoa’s European Business Support Services organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland.  In that role he brought together business services in Europe including Financial Accounting, Credit and Treasury, Procurement, EHS and People Services.  In 2004, Kevin returned to the U.S as Director, Global Business Services.  In 2006 he became Director, EHS & Sustainability before assuming his present position. 

Kevin graduated from The Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics with a major in Finance. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1982.

Carl Pfleger
Vice President, Global Operations, PepsiCo International

Carl is currently serving as the Vice-President of Global Operations for PepsiCo.  Based out of PepsiCo’s global headquarters, Carl’s teams provide globally leveraged services in multiple functional areas including: Environmental Sustainability, Agriculture, Innovation Commercialization, Quality Control, and Operations Development.

A 33 year veteran of PepsiCo, Carl began his PepsiCo career with Frito-Lay’s Headquarters Engineering group immediately after graduating from Purdue University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.  Carl relocated to Topeka, KS in 1984 where he spent six years in various manufacturing positions in a large Frito-Lay snacks manufacturing facility.  In 1990, he relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii where he assumed Operational responsibility for the newly acquired Frito-Lay of Hawaii franchise business.  Carl then moved to Guangzhou, China in 1992 where he successfully launched PepsiCo’s snack food operations for that country.  He later returned to the United States as part of PepsiCo’s Global Operations where he has served in multiple capacities.

As part of his responsibilities, Carl is the corporation’s global executive sponsor for their sustainable agriculture programs, and the Environmental Plank Leader for PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose initiatives.  He is a passionate believer in the private sector’s role to help advance societal goals through innovative, collaborative, and mutually beneficial partnerships. 

Carl lives in Ridgefield, CT with his wife Kim, of 20 years and their two daughters Britteny and Danielle.  He is an avid traveler and enjoys spending his leisure time boating, water skiing, sailing, and scuba diving.

Jon Stevens
Vice President, Sustainability and Chief Compliance Officer, SKF USA Inc.

Jon leads SKF USA Inc.'s sustainability initiatives known around the globe as SKF Care. SKF Care includes Business, Employee, Environmental, and Community dimensions, focusing on not only economic results, but also social and environmental impacts.  Actions range from factory and facility environmental and energy footprint reduction; preventing employee injuries and illnesses; customer solutions support; to product compliance.  Stevens leads integrating Sustainability in everyone's daily work:  "It's the ingredients in what we do, not icing on top of what we do."  

Jon joined SKF in 1995 and has held responsibilities in Quality, e-Business, Logistics, Marketing, Key account management, Operations, and now Sustainability and Compliance. Prior to SKF, Jon held manufacturing and quality management positions at Lockheed Martin, Martin Marietta, and GE.

Jon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1984. Jon is married to Meredith, they have three daughters.  Jon is a passionate skier, lacrosse spectator, and enjoys gourmet cooking (preparation and consumption!)

Since 2012, Jon built LEED-CI Gold certified SKF Solution Factories in Ohio and Alabama.

Francis Lutz
Retired - Chief Financial Officer, Opportunity Finance Network

Fran serves as the CFO for Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), the national leadership network for mission-centric community development financial institutions, working to align capital with justice. This network invests in opportunities that benefit low-wealth, low-income people and communities across America. As a member of OFN’s leadership team, Fran is responsible for creating and implementing OFN’s financial, capital, technology, human capital, and administrative strategies. Prior to joining OFN in 2012, Fran was the Group CFO for a private multinational group of diversified businesses operating globally in the health care, IT, real estate and manufacturing industries. In addition, Fran has 20 years of international banking, capital markets, and wealth management experience, including a decade of living abroad in developing and frontier countries. Fran has a passionate, personal commitment to social and economic justice, supported by sustainable, holistic community development. He actively serves on number of boards for charitable, religious and civic organizations. Fran received his BA in Economics from Franklin and Marshall College. Fran lives in Landenberg, PA with his wife and two children.

Lisa Conway, LEED AP ID+C
Vice President Sustainability, Americas
Interface, INC

Lisa Conway is the VP of Sustainability, Americas for Interface – the modular flooring Portrait of Lisa Conwaymanufacturer that is leading industry to love the world. As a member of a global team, she and her team are responsible for regional activation of the company’s mission: Climate Take Back. They’re also responsible for driving higher levels of transparency and carbon footprint/embodied carbon prioritization for the building industry as well as training internal associates and external stakeholders on the interconnectedness of environmental sustainability and human health.

Lisa has a BS in Interior Design from Drexel University and has been with the company for 11 years. She resides in Philadelphia, commutes to New York City, and her team is located in San Francisco.

Lori Michelin
President & CEO of the World Environment Center

Portrait of Lori Michelin.Lori Michelin has served as President & CEO of the World Environment Center (WEC) since May 2018. Ms. Michelin will oversee WEC’s world recognized programs and strategic mission to advance sustainable development and corporate sustainability in partnership with governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and other stakeholders. Ms. Michelin comes from the Colgate-Palmolive Company, where she led their global sustainability initiatives as the Vice-President of Sustainability and Environmental, Health, and Safety. 

Lori is a member of the Board of Directors of the EcoHealth Alliance and a former member of the Closed Loop Fund Advisory Board, the World Resources Institute Corporate Consultative Advisory Board, the Consumer Goods Forum Sustainability Steering Team, The Sustainability Consortium, Sustainability 50, and the Conference Board EHS Leaders Group. 

She received her Master of Science in Civil Engineering from Villanova University and holds a degree in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Former Board Members

Portrait of Diane Alwine.Diane Alwine
Retired - Director of Environmental Affairs, The Hershey Company

Diane Alwine is the former Director of Environmental Affairs for The Hershey Company.  In that role, she managed the Corporate Environmental Group and had responsibility for global environmental compliance, environmental stewardship, environmental auditing and training, M&A environmental due diligence and integration, and development and implementation of Hershey’s Environmental Management System.

In her 30+ years with The Hershey Company she served in various environmental, energy and employee safety technical and leadership capacities.  In addition to environmental stewardship and sustainability, her areas of expertise include water resource management, environmental auditing, and environmental aspects of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

Diane previously represented The Hershey Company on the Grocery Manufacturers Association Sustainability Work Group and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry Environmental Affairs Committee.

She serves on the Board of Directors and was previously President of the Pennsylvania Resource Council, a non-profit environmental organization recognized as a state and national leader in waste reduction and recycling, litter and visual blight prevention, watershed awareness, and composting.   Diane is also Vice Chairman on the Board of Directors of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to developing and sustaining the Susquehanna River Greenway (SGP) to connect communities and enrich lives through enhanced recreation, healthy living, economic prosperity and environmental stewardship; she is currently leading the SGP Strategic Plan update efforts.  Since 2014 she has served on the Sustainability Advisory Board of Smeal College of Business at The Pennsylvania State University. 

She has served as guest lecturer at Penn State Harrisburg in the Environmental Engineering program and will be serving as adjunct professor at Lebanon Valley College teaching Environmental Management and Policy during the fall 2016 semester.

Diane has a B.S. in Environmental Biology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and an M.S. in Environmental Pollution Control from The Pennsylvania State University.

Fred Bedore
Senior Director of Sustainability, Walmart

Fred Bedore is the senior director of business strategy and sustainability for Walmart Stores, Inc. He is responsible for the integration of sustainability into Walmart’s business strategies, the collaboration with the company's sustainable value networks on key sustainability goals and the incorporation of sustainability into the brand and cultureof the company.

Fred joined Walmart in 2004 as a buyer in general merchandise. In 2006 he was promoted to a senior strategy manager with the Innovation team where he held multiple roles with a special emphasis on merchandising and supply chain. In 2010, Fred was named a senior director on the corporate sustainability team. During his time at Walmart, Fred has been a part of teams who have won buyer of the year honors and been nominated for the Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Fred has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Michigan State University and an MBA with a concentration in Supply Chain from Pennsylvania State University.

Dawn Rittenhouse
Director of Sustainability, DuPont

Dawn Rittenhouse is Director, Sustainabilty for the DuPont Company.

Dawn joined DuPont in 1980 and has held positions in Technical Service, Sales, Marketing, and Product Management within the Packaging and Industrial Polymers business and Crop Protection businesses. In late 1997, she began working in the corporate organization to assist DuPont businesses in integrating sustainability strategies into their strategy and business management processes. She leads DuPont’s efforts at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the United Nations Global Compact.

She is currently is on the Sustainability Council at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, the Corporate Consultive Group Advisory Group of World Resources Institute, is on the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy of Delaware and the Board of Directors of the Delaware Nature Society.

Dawn has a double major in Chemistry and Economics from Duke University.

Dawn lives in Wilmington, Delaware. In her free time she loves sports photography and is a runner.