Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Eco-Salon draws environmentally-minded entrepreneurs

With summer officially here, dot-commers and non-commers alike are making their annual excursions out to such meccas as the beach, campgrounds and the countryside. Now, more than ever, we are aware of nature and all its beauty. And dovetailing with the beauty of nature, the Natural Resources Defense Council's Environmental Entrepreneurs hosted its first New York Eco-Salon on June 20 at Techspace on University Place.

Among the digerati amassed were Mark Stahlman; Starvest Partners' Jeanne Sullivan and Rachel Masters; NYC Economic Development Corporation's Jean Dellacorte; Agile Industries' Elizabeth Talerman; and's Brian Flynn. Wilson McHenry Company's Leeann Lavin; Innovest's John Cusack and's Julie Greenhouse came to check out E2 and its initiatives. "Green" entrepreneurs Green Order's Andrew Shapiro and Ecos Techonologies' Nicholas Eisenberger brought some friends. Morfeo Media Erik Akhund and City Council candidate Michelle Bouchard came to meet attendees like Tiga Technology's Zachary Bayer and NY Eco-Salon Founder John Sullivan. Techspace's Debra Larson, Bruce Bockman and Rob McQueen were the gracious hosts who donated the space and greeted guests.

After a delicious cloth-bag lunch of wrap sandwiches, terra chips and a divine pecan bar, provided by the NRDC, guests were escorted downstairs to hear the speakers. Sybase Founder, E2 Founder and NRDC Trustee Bob Epstein spoke first and provided a bit of background on this organization. He introduced NRDC President and Founder John Adams, who told us of the organization’s early days – its founding in 1970 and its early efforts, which helped produce environmental policies that are today so vital and intertwined in our society. Without further ado, John introduced the featured speaker -- NRDC Senior Attorney Bobby Kennedy.

Kennedy gave us a rousing tale of NRDC's role in the establishment of vital and groundbreaking laws for our nation and the environment. He spoke about how nations that participated in the first Earth Day in 1970 are the nations that are far more advanced ecologically. Those never having experienced an Earth Day are suffering -- Vietnam, parts of the former Soviet Union and Japan. He spoke of the importance of automobiles standards that regulate vehicles for 40 miles to the gallon, and explained how oil prices would be closer to $5 per gallon without U.S. subsidies. Kennedy waxed poetic about the beauty of our land and the importance of preserving it for our children – not allowing it to be raped by miners, loggers and other developers). He cited the importance of finding God in Nature and about all the other ways in which Nature inspires and fulfills us.

Rising Tide Studios CEO Jason Calacanis moderated questions from the audience and guests like Goldman Sachs' Larry Linden; Astrology Is, Inc.'s Yvonne Morabito; Mindarrays Tery Spataro, Masur & Associates' Steve Masur and TSX Ventures' Stephen Nordahl who received further explanations on environmental initiatives.