Fowler Center Team

Roger Saillant Roger Saillant, PhD, is a recognized authority in renewable energy and sustainability and has served as a pioneer in fuel cells, energy policy, and holistic management techniques. His extensive corporate experience includes seven years as CEO of Plug Power, a cutting-edge fuel cell company. Prior to that, he was a senior executive at Ford Motor Company and Visteon Corporation, and he has worked to open plants and operations in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Dr. Saillant teaches and speaks on sustainability issues, and recent speaking engagements have been at leading colleges and universities including the Sloan School at MIT, Fordham University, and New York University. Another of his passions is communicating sustainability concerns to mainstream society--in this vein, he has recently co-authored a novel, Vapor Trails, dealing with some of today’s hottest issues, such as climate change, carbon sequestration, and corporate control. The book has received excellent expert reviews. Dr. Saillant serves on the boards of the Academy for Systemic Change, the Society for Organizational Learning and the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education.

David Cooperrider David Cooperrider, PhD, is the Faculty Director and is the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management. Since 1991, David has served on the faculty of the Department of Organizational Behavior at Weatherhead, with a secondary appointment in International Health, the Division of General Medical Sciences, Case School of Medicine. David’s research interests include the theory and practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), organization development and change, advances in “business as an agent of world benefit,” positive organizational scholarship, and qualitative theory-building methods. He is best known for the AI methodology that he co-developed.  David’s founding theory in this area is creating a positive revolution in the leadership of change, helping companies around the world discover the power of strength-based approaches to planning and multi-stakeholder cooperation. His work is especially vital because of its ability to enable positive change in systems of very large and complex scales, for example with the US Navy, Hewlett-Packard, Parker Hannifin, Mckinsey, the United Nations, and Verizon. To contact David, please e-mail.

Ron Fry Ron Fry, PhD, is the Chair of the Department of Organizational Behavior at Weatherhead and serves as the Faculty Adviser for the Fowler Center and the Chief Editor of the BAWB Innovation Bank. His research interests include organizational change and development, functioning of the executive, group dynamics and team effectiveness, whole systems change processes, management and leadership development, and applications of Appreciative Inquiry to foster human cooperation. Ron was one of the co-creators of Appreciative Inquiry at Case and heads the Institute for Advances in Appreciative Inquiry. He also directs the Case Masters in Positive Organization Development and Change Program. To contact Ron, please e-mail.

Chris Laszlo Chris Laszlo, PhD, is an Associate Professor teaching strategy and sustainability in the MBA, MPOD and Executive Education programs at Weatherhead. He is the Faculty Research Director of the Fowler Center. In this role, he directs student teams writing teaching cases and co-edits a book collections series. His earlier books Sustainable Value (Stanford University Press, 2008) and The Sustainable Company (Island Press, 2003/ 2005) helped to launch new mainstream management approaches to sustainability for value and profit. His most recent book, Embedded Sustainability: the Next Big Competitive Advantage, was released by Stanford University Press in March, 2011. Chris is also the managing partner and co-founder of Sustainable Value Partners, a sustainability strategy consulting firm.

Lana Radl serves as the Department Administrator for the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value and Case Western Reserve University Office of Sustainability. Lana formerly served as Acting Director of Speaker Programs for the Cleveland Council on World Affairs under U.S. Ambassador Heather Hodges. Her master’s thesis involved working with the City of Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability and Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization critiquing national and local planning certifications and created a new triple-bottom line planning criteria that adds social values, prioritizes local issues, incorporates measurable indicators and includes a long-term management plan.

Lana comes from a legacy of sustainable business practices. Her father earned his MBA from Weatherhead in 1985. He founded two companies: Pegasus Technologies in 1986 and Taber International in 2006. Her mother has served as the C.F.O. for both companies. The companies’ innovations have prevented over 50 million tons of carbon to enter the environment through software optimization of power plants. Lana worked to apply for a USDA grant for Taber International in 2010 and has worked as the correspondent and research support on the innovative renewable energy and water efficient design for small and mid-sized farms. Lana seeks to continue to develop her knowledge and efforts in preserving and creating a high quality of life for all creatures in generations to come.

Lana is native to the Cleveland area. She received her Bachelors in Geography from Miami University and served as an events coordinator for Miami University and the University of Pittsburgh. She is a certified Progressive Leader through the Ohio Center of Progressive Leadership and is mother to one, to whom she takes great pride in raising with environmental and spiritual consciousness.

Maria BelloMarìa Bello is an MBA candidate at Weatherhead. She was born in Caracas, Venezuela where she obtained a degree in Translation and Interpreting from the Universidad Central de Venezuela in 2011. Before enrolling in business school Marìa worked for the United Nations University Biotechnology Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean. Through her experience with the UNU she became interested in sustainability and environmental awareness and how to apply these principles to become an agent of positive change for the world. This strong motivation is what made her to join the Fowler Center upon her arrival to campus.

Debakalpa ChattopadhyayDebakalpa Chattopadhyay is an MBA candidate at Weatherhead. He is an Electrical and Electronics engineer from Vellore Institute of Technology. He has 4 years of experience in the Energy and Utility Sector where he handled quality management for renewable projects such as Wind and Solar power and Green Field projects for Tata Power. He was also responsible for designing the centralized quality management system for Tata Power for better asset management and asset utilization, increasing the reliability of the system to 99.6% from 99.2%. He also completed the Management Development Programme on Project Management from NICMAR, Pune, India. He is a Tata Quality Management Services (TQMS) Certified external assessor for Tata Business Excellence Model (TBEM). His primary interests include solar water desalination techniques, smart grids and wind power.

Ben Cooper Ben Cooper is an MBA candidate at Weatherhead. Ben earned his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago. He spent a year as a clerk at a trading firm at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange before moving on to Fitch Ratings. In his eight years in Fitch’s Global Infrastructure & Project Finance Group, he concentrated on conducting credit analysis on power projects but was also involved in such diverse assets as toll roads, sports stadiums, airports, liquefied natural gas facilities, and other manufacturing facilities. His extensive work with green power projects contributed to his co-authorship of Fitch’s “Rating Criteria for Onshore Wind Farms Debt Instruments.” In addition, Ben worked extensively on various projects relating to the Department of Energy’s Loan Guaranty Program for New & Innovative Technology. In his spare time, Ben enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Abdellatif Ladki is a mechanical engineer with five years work experience in the fields of construction and contracting at the headquarters of "Consolidated Contractors Company" (CCC) in Athens, Greece. He grew up in Beirut, Lebanon where he earned his Bachelors of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut. During his study course, he completed an internship in the construction of a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant in Qatar. Shortly after, Abdellatif moved to Athens where his work focused on estimating costs of mechanical systems in various types of buildings and services. He was attracted to the Fowler Center and Weatherhead, where he began his MBA in 2012. Abdellatif is fluent in English, French and Arabic and enjoys sports and spending time with his family.

Brandon McFarland is an MBA candidate at Weatherhead. He has educated and consulted clients on the social, environmental, and financial impacts of green tech investing. Brandon worked for AEI, a boutique venture capital firm, where he specialized in providing expansion capital to green and disruptive technology, as well as to renewable energy start-ups. Companies in this portfolio have provided sustainable solutions to clients that include Google, Safeway, Wal-Mart, Coca-cola, Bank of America, Fed Ex and Kaiser Permanente.

Brandon has seven years of combined experience in finance that also include a leadership role at Guggenheim Investments and a highly selective and competitive internship at Morgan Stanley. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics at Michigan State University.

Anant Parikh is an MBA candidate at Weatherhead. He did his engineering at the National Institute of Technology (NIT) - Calicut, one of the premier institutes in India. Anant worked for three years at Accenture and created value in information technology for Dupont Chemicals and Virgin Media clients. He also did an internship at the Indian Institute of Technoloy (IIT) - Bombay where he did research and data deep analysis on biomass gasification. This experience motivated him to work in sustainability and renewable resources. In his spare time, Anant enjoys playing tennis.

Viswanadha Reddy is an MBA candidate at Weatherhead. He earned his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from National Institute of Technology in Karnataka, India. He worked as a performance analyst during his internship at Reva Electric Car Company where he suggested design changes to increase the battery backup by over 30 minutes. His interests in the energy field led him to a job with an oil and gas company where he worked as a design consultant for three years. He has designed internal pipelines for various oil terminals across India. At the Fowler Center, he intends to work on case studies to give sustainable solutions to conventional energy firms. Viswanadha likes running and enjoys adventure sports.

Megan Schulstad is an MBA candidate at Weatherhead. She graduated from Case Western in January 2011 with a BA in Economics and minors in French and Art History. In the winter of 2009 she travelled to Bangladesh to study micro-finance first hand as part of her senior thesis to analyze micro-finance institutions to compare techniques and outcomes. Megan spent the past two years working for New York Life Insurance Company on process improvement projects to increase efficiency, provide more easily accessible information about products, and reduce the amount of paper used at the Cleveland, Dallas and Minneapolis offices. Originally from New Jersey, Megan has lived in the Cleveland area for the past seven years. She enjoys running, cycling and is in the process or earning her 200-hour yoga instructor certification.

Abraham Weiner is an MBA candidate at Weatherhead where he concentrates on finance and sustainability. Through his work at the Fowler Center he is authoring a sustainable business case study and is working on different financing mechanisms for commercial energy efficiency. He is also a fellow with the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corp program and is working with the Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Before business school he was involved in urban agriculture, green infrastructure, and community development projects in Washington DC. He has also worked for several environmental organizations around the world in such places as New Zealand and Washington State. Abraham holds a BA in Anthropology with an emphasis on environmental studies from Eastern University.

Adam Lerner is an undergraduate management major at Case Western Reserve University. He grew up in Boulder, Colorado and believes in treating people fairly and respecting planet earth as our only home (for the moment at least). He came to Cleveland for the weather and new life experiences. Throughout high school he dedicated time to jazz piano and aspiring to take over for John Williams. He initially came to Case Western to study music and math, but was quickly smitten by the professors working in Weatherhead and switched to management. He’s very excited to be working in the Fowler Center with such a forward thinking team on projects from marketing to writing teaching case studies.

Distinguished Fellows

Ilma Barros, PhD, is an advisor to the Distinguished Fellows program at the Fowler Center.  Ilma has worked on some of the largest strategic planning summits in business and social change over the last 12 years. She is an ELIAS Fellow (Emerging Leaders for Innovation across Systems) and a member of the Presencing Institute. Most recently, Ilma facilitated the Global Forum Latin America, an encounter that gathered 1200 people to think about sustainability in a systematic manner, involving business leaders, academic researchers, the government, and the civil society. As part of her activities in Brazil, Ilma coordinated five BAW.B. (Business as an Agent of World Benefit) conferences, and was responsible for the methodology and content used at the Future 10 Parana Forum, a platform of proposals for the strategic planning of Paraná State, and the document created and officially turned in to President Lula, the Governor of Parana State, and all the cities mayors in the state of Paraná.

She worked as a senior consultant for the Federation of Industries of the State of Parana, and in that role she lead the strategic planning for the Federation and industrial segments. She also delivered, for four consecutive years, the Appreciative Inquiry Certificate Program in Brazil in partnership with Case Western Reserve University.

Ilma received her PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University and was an Assistant Professor of Business at the State University of New York and L’Moyne College.

Judy Brown, PhD is an educator, speaker, poet and writer whose work revolves around themes of leadership, change, renewal, learning, reflection, dialogue and creativity. She has served as a White House Fellow and as Vice President of the Aspen Institute. At the University of Maryland she has held posts in both the business school and the public policy school and has been affiliated with the University’s National Center for Smart Growth. A mid-westerner from the fishing village of Leland, Michigan, her heritage is that of agriculture and Cooperative Extension, giving her a commitment to the practical use of ideas, research and science. Her books include a collection of her poetry, A Leader’s Guide to Reflective Practice (2007 Trafford Publishing) and she is currently completing a book entitled The Art and Spirit of Leadership. As a Quaker, she is interested in organizational processes which incorporate reflection and inquiry. As a writer and poet, she is intrigued by the power of language and metaphor to shift our thinking and open us to new perspectives. As an executive she is interested in how leaders sustain energy and a sense of purpose and direction. And as a scientist she is interested in understanding more fully how it is that we experience openings into greater awareness, and how those experiences allow us to gather our energies in powerful ways on behalf of transcendent, as well as social and organizational purposes.

John R. Ehrenfeld, ScD, retired in 2000 as the Director of the MIT Program on Technology, Business, and Environment. He retired again in June 2009 as Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology after guiding its development since the Society was founded in 2000. His continuing research focus is on sustainability and culture change. He is the author of Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming our Consumer Culture. In June 2009, the International Society for Industrial Ecology awarded him its Society Prize. In October 1999, the World Resources Institute honored him with a lifetime achievement award. He received the Founders Award for Distinguished Service from the Academy of Management’s Organization and Natural Environment Division in August 2000. He holds a BS and ScD in Chemical Engineering from MIT, and is author or co-author of over 200 papers, and other publications.

Mary Gorham, MBA, CPCC, is a Certified Professional Coach who provides executive coaching, leadership development, and organizational consulting to leaders dedicated to socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable results. Mary holds an MBA from Yale, as well as coaching certifications from The Coaches Training Institute and the Leadership Circle, and extensive training and experience in Organizational and Relationship Systems Coaching. Over the past 30 years, Mary has played a number of coaching, consulting, and human resource development roles in the corporate, nonprofit, and education worlds. Currently she coaches sustainability executives, nonprofit leaders, energy consultants, Green tech developers, foundation executives, Biofuels executives, food policy experts, educators, and others. In addition, she provides all the coaching and leadership seminars for the Yale SEAS Advanced Graduate Leadership Program.

Dave Sherman Dave Sherman, DM is President of Dave Sherman & Co and Associate Partner, Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting. He helps executives formulate and execute breakthrough strategies that combine stakeholder-based insights with industry and company specific sources of advantage. He has been instrumental in developing Blu Skye’s approach to industry-level sustainability initiatives for the dairy and magazine industries. In 2004 Dave partnered with Jib Ellison to start Wal-Mart on its sustainability journey. He was a founding partner of Sustainable Value Partners and a Vice President at A.T. Kearney where he led an Asia-based practice. Clients include: Wal-Mart, Bunge, Cathay Pacific, Philips Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Staples and Waste Management. He earned his doctorate in management at the Weatherhead School of Management where he researched social entrepreneurship. He also holds an M.BA from UC Berkeley and a BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

Paul Werder Paul Werder founded LionHeart Consulting Inc. in 1983. He has a track record of successfully implementing organizational changes and improving the culture and financial performance of businesses and non-profit organizations. Since 2003, Paul has taught spiritual leadership at the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism after graduating in 2001. His favorite assignments involve coaching leaders of purpose driven organizations, and guiding multi-year organizational change efforts designed to improve the client’s shareholder and stakeholder performance by inspiring and actualizing a spirit of purpose and collaborative unity within the organization. Paul holds an MSW from the University of Washington in 1976 where he graduated in the top 5% of his class; he spent several years working with youth at risk and delinquent adolescents. Prior to that, he earned a BS at the State University of New York at Buffalo with a double major in Social Work and English Literature. He has authored two books: Building Unity and Mastering Effectiveness. To reach Paul please email him at


Nadya Zhexembheyeva Louis Alloro, MEd, MAPP, is a Fellow at George Mason University’s Center for Consciousness & Transformation, and owns a NYC-based consultancy which specializes in consulting services to learning organizations who want to learn how to think differently. Louis uses a unique, proprietary approach to building social, emotional, psychological, and communal capital which facilitates growth and resilience, even in the face of challenges. He partners in the SOMO (Social/Emotional+) Leadership Movement, a city-wide intervention in Cleveland, Ohio, teaching positive psychology in learning labs all across town: in businesses, schools, community groups, living rooms — and baking principles of applied positive psychology into as many existing projects and initiatives within the city system as possible. He is one of the first one hundred people in the world to hold a master of applied positive psychology (MAPP) and studied at the University of Pennsylvania with Marty Seligman, known for his work in learned helplessness and learned optimism.

Duncan Coombe, PhD, is an organizational academic and consultant focusing on various aspects of organisational life with an emphasis on the outcome of well-being, whether individual, collective or ecological. He is particularly interested in the topic of Love in organisations and how Love has the potential to elevate many different organisational research and practitioner enquiries. Working for the Fowler Center Duncan has been involved in projects related to changing the focus of management education. For example he organized an academic summit on the curriculum re-design of the Weatherhead MBA program. As part of the Aspen TIP project, multiple business schools participated in this summit that led to significant changes in the MBA design and curriculum. Duncan expresses his work as a teacher, advisor, researcher and writer. He has lived and worked in the US, Switzerland, the UK and South Africa and works as an external consultant to numerous for-profit and non-profit organizations. Duncan has a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, an MBA from IMD, an LLB (Dean’s Merit List) and a Bachelor of Social Science (majors in Psychology and Economics). In addition he is on the faculty of the Gestalt Center for Organization and Systems Development.

Sarah O'Keeffe Sarah O’Keeffe, MBA, is a special projects consultant at the Fowler Center. A recent graduate of Weatherhead, Sarah focused her MBA studies in non-profit management and sustainability. Sarah previously served on the Fowler Center’s World Inquiry Editorial Board and most recently worked as a grants administrator at the CWRU School of Medicine for five years, which included management of two NIH-funded diversity program grants and helping her office earn over $1.8 million in NIH funding. She currently sits on the board of Heights Bicycle Coalition, a non-profit that seeks to promote bicycling as a healthy and sustainable form of transportation, is a member of Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) and dedicates herself to creating sustainable value in every day life. Sarah is a former JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program instructor, has taught environmental education in the San Bernardino National Forest, and holds a BA in English and a BS in Aeronautics from Kent State University.

Linda Robson is an Advisor on Special Projects at the Fowler Center, focusing on the Distinguished Fellows program. She is a doctoral candidate in organizational behavior at Weatherhead School of Management, researching the impact language has on the success of sustainability programs. In 2005 Linda founded Case Western Reserve University’s campus sustainability program and served as the university’s first sustainability coordinator until 2010. Achievements include: the university joining the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and developing a Climate Action Plan, which will move the research-intensive university toward climate neutrality by 2050. Additionally, Linda began the first sustainability research program for undergraduate students, has taught multiple courses about the intersection of organizational change and sustainability in large systems, launched a campus-wide composting program, and developed Green Teams in each of the university’s schools. Linda speaks at conferences in the US and internationally, on the integration of sustainability in higher education.

Nadya Zhexembheyeva Nadya Zhexembayeva, PhD, is the Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development at IEDC- Bled School of Management, Slovenia, where she teaches courses in leadership, organizational behavior, design thinking, and sustainability.

Currently, Nadya’s research, teaching, and consulting centers around leadership, organizational design, change management, whole-system approaches to managing multi-stakeholder issues, and sustainability as business strategy. She authored a number of articles and book chapters, and serves as a regular columnist in business periodicals, such as Nadya also belongs to the Positive Organizational Scholarship movement, most noticeably with her work on Appreciative Inquiry, a world-renown change management and strategic planning methodology that fosters multi-stakeholder strategy design.

In 2007, Dr. Zhexembayeva joined US-based Sustainable Value Partners, one of the oldest sustainability consultancies in the world. In 2008, Nadya was elected Vice-President of the United Nations Global Compact Slovenia, an association of businesses dedicated to sustainable value creation and corporate citizenship, where she consults companies in Central and Eastern Europe on a range of sustainability and stakeholder issues. She also serves as Vice-President of Challenge:Future, a global student think tank and innovation competition.

Under Nadya’s leadership, in 2009 IEDC-Bled School of Management was named as one of the 100 Top Business Schools in the World, according to the world renown Aspen Institute’s ranking of how well schools are preparing their students for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business.

Nadya earned her Doctorate Degree in Organizational Behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, USA, where she also served as an Associate Director at the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, now Fowler Center for Sustainable Value, until 2008. She received Bachelor of Arts in Management and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hartwick College, USA. She started her career in the insurance industry, and then led Association of Young Leaders in Kazakhstan.

Nadya’s most recent book is Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage, co-authored with Chris Laszlo and to be published by Stanford University Press and Greenleaf Publishing.

Social Media
Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University

10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7235 USA