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Speakers

Seth Casden

 

Seth Casden 
CEO and Co-Founder, Hologenix, inventors of Celliant®

Seth Casden is an entrepreneur to his core. He is the CEO and co-founder of Hologenix, LLC, inventors of Celliant® technology, a blend of natural, thermo-reactive minerals that transforms the body's heat into infrared energy, resulting in stronger performance, faster recovery, and better sleep.

Casden's experience as a wellness entrepreneur is informed by a background in business administration, his work in private equity, his oversight of over ten clinical trials involving Celliant, and a lifetime of being an athlete. 

Tricia Carey

Tricia Carey
Director, Global Business Development Apparel, Lenzing Fibers

Tricia Carey is a well-known advocate for innovation and sustainability in the textile and apparel industry. Twenty years ago, Tricia joined Courtalds Fibers NY to develop the marketing plan for a brand new fiber called TENCEL. When Lenzing Fibers acquired Tencel Inc. in 2004, Carey became the USA Merchandising Manager for womenswear, menswear, and intimates. Today, she directs the Global Business Development team for U.S. apparel brands and retailers, with a special interest in advancing more sustainable apparel development from fiber to consumer use.

Carey holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising from FIT and certificates in Digital Marketing and Strategy from Cornell University and MIT. Her experience in fabric sales, global sourcing, and apparel business development make her an invaluable partner for brands and
retailers who want to re-evaluate their supply chains and optimize the application and benefits of Lenzing’s botanic fibers.

Carey served as the vice chair at Textile Exchange from 2014-2018, is a member of the FIT Textile Development department advisory board, and a member of the Accelerating Circularity Project. She is based in New York City and can be reached at [email protected].

Cyrill Gutsch

Cyrill Gutsch
Founder and CEOParley for the Oceans

Cyrill is an award-winning designer and brand and product developer. In 1998 he created a method called Cross Intelligence, which brings a culture of collaboration to major organizations. In 2012 he decided to focus on a new client vital to us all: the oceans. He
founded Parley as a collaboration network for creators, thinkers, and leaders to create awareness for the beauty and fragility of the oceans and to develop and implement strategies
that can end their destruction. Gutsch was named 2017 Environmentalist of the Year by the
Surf Industry Manufacturers Association for his tireless work for the oceans. In 2018, Parley
was named Environmental Organization of the Year at EARTHx and Gutsch was honored with a Special Recognition Award for Innovation by the British Fashion Council.

Jacqueline Jenkins

Jacqueline Jenkins
A
cting Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Innovation, FIT 

Jacqueline M. Jenkins is the acting executive director of Strategic Planning and Innovation. In this role, she oversees the development of FIT’s strategic plan and the fulfillment of the college’s commitment to innovation.  

Previously, Jenkins was the dean of graduate studies at LIM College, where she led the development and execution of graduate-level programs, including the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Professional Studies programs in fashion merchandising and retail management, fashion marketing, and visual merchandising.  She was the founding dean of the global fashion supply chain management degree. She co-authored a textbook, Fashion Supply Chain Management (Fairchild).    

At the Wharton School of Business, Jenkins served as the program executive for the University of Pennsylvania Energy Efficiency Buildings Hub. Before joining Wharton, she was the COO for Milligan & Co., a regional accounting firm. In both of these roles, she built relationships with local entrepreneurs and public officials to generate contracting opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses.  

In 2000, Jenkins founded Add Value Day 1, an advisory business that developed operational strategies and raised capital for early-stage companies. As a consultant, she completed extensive economic development and business strategy engagements in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Before that, she held corporate finance and supply-chain management positions with Ann Taylor, Inc., after beginning her career with the First National Bank of Boston.

Jenkins has held the following board appointments: Pennsylvania Private Investors Group (investment fund), the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Enterprise Growth Fund (microloan program); and the Philadelphia 100 (business conference). She currently serves as a board member of the supply-chain trade organization APICS New York City–Long Island Chapter.  

The Philadelphia Business Journal named her a Forty Under Forty honoree; the journal also honored her as one of its Women of Distinction. The Networking Journal recognized her as one of the most influential African-American businesswomen.

Jenkins earned her BA in economics from Spelman College and her MBA in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the founder of Sophisticated Curation, a web community for the mature fashionista.  

Jessica Kelly

Jessica Kelly
Founder and CEO, Thr3efold

Jessica has spent a decade helping hundreds of fashion & lifestyle brands grow their business through marketing, sales, and PR. She is passionate about equipping entrepreneurs to grow a successful business and transitioning established brands to profit-driven strategies for people and planet. She volunteered as a leader in a business & career development group in New York City for five years and stepped out on her own as a social entrepreneur four years ago. She has successfully crowdfunded $22,500 for THR3EFOLD and has grown her company to be a leader in the ethical fashion space.
 
ABOUT THR3EFOLD
THR3EFOLD provides brands of all sizes with access to ethical factories on our tech platform and education so they can grow for people, planet, and profit. 
Sarah Langenbach

Sarah Langenbach
FIT Hives Beekeeper and Alum

Sarah is a graduate of FIT (2017) and co-founder of FIT Hives, created with fellow alumna Shona Neary. She has continued to be involved with FIT Hives as a lead beekeeper and is also a member of the beekeeping team at the BeeVillage in Battery Park. Sarah currently develops products for the skincare company Kiehl’s, endeavoring to create sustainable and responsible formulations

Karla Magruder

Karla Magruder
Founder and President, Accelerating Circularity

Karla Magruder has been in the textile industry for more than 35 years, with global experience from fiber to finished garments. She founded Accelerating Circularity in 2019 and Fabrikology International in 2003.

Magruder specializes in sustainable textile sourcing, education, and business development; she has worked in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors in building strategic development plans, convening working groups, launching new products, and organizing tradeshow seminars and conferences. Magruder has led teams supporting the development of trade between U.S. brands and retailers and garment manufacturers from Haiti and Africa through USAID sponsored programs, developing materials for industry brands, and launching new technologies. She started and led significant industry sustainability initiatives such as the Textile Exchange rPET Working Group and the apparel launch of Ingeo fibers, the first manmade fiber created from 100% annually renewable resources.

Magruder is currently a Textile Exchange Governance Board member, UNFCCC Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action Steering Committee Member—and co-chair of its Raw Materials Working Group. She is also a Gr3n Advisory Board Member.

Suzanne McGillicuddy

Suzanne McGillicuddy
Assistant Dean of Students, FIT

Suzanne McGillicuddy spearheaded establishment of FIT's "Think Big Challenge," the campus incubator for student applications to the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U). She advises applicants to the challenge and mentors FIT Hives, campus compost projects, FIT's Natural Dye Garden, and other teams that have attended CGI U since 2014.

As a result of this involvement, McGillicuddy works closely with sustainability efforts at FIT, serving as co-chair of the President’s Sustainability Council until 2019. She is responsible for student engagement programs, integrating co-curricular and curricular experiences, and expanding efforts that promote advocacy for diverse student populations.

McGillicuddy recently finished her term as chair of the community advisory board for WFUV Public Radio, where she has been an active volunteer for many years.

McGillicuddy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Vermont and a Master of Science in College Student Personnel from the University of Rhode Island.

 Kevin Myette

Kevin Myette
Global Director of Brand Services, BlueSign 

Kevin Myette is the Director of Global Brand Services for bluesign technologies, the Swiss
based, internationally influential, product and supply chain sustainability service provider with a focus on better, safer, chemistry. Bluesign takes a systems approach to chemical integrity by stitching together key supply chainpartners such as chemical suppliers, manufacturers and brands using a positive input strategyto deliver high quality products that are also chemically conscious. In this role, Kevin oversees the implementation, optimization, and support of the bluesign system for all the bluesign brands globally. He has been in his current role for 7 years.

Kevin originally developed his product and supply chain experience while heading Product
Integrity, Product and materials research and testing and Supply Chain Sustainability for REI in Kent, WA. During his 27 years at REI, he was responsible for creating and managing the
organization’s original product sustainability and social responsibility programs. He has
extensive international business opening REI’s first international office in Shenzhen, China, as
well as supply chain, product development and information systems experience.

He is a co-founder of the effort to develop a cross industry ‘eco Index’ under the industry trade
organization Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). This work has evolved to become known as
the Higg Index under the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and has become the largest and
most influential global initiative to improve apparel and footwear product and supply chain
sustainability.

Kevin was a Director on the founding Board of the SAC as well as an original founding member of the Advisory Council to the OIA Sustainability Working Group with a strong involvement in the development of better chemical management practices.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and lives in Portland, OR.

Karen Pearson

Karen Pearson, PhD
Professor and Chair, FIT Department of Science and Mathematics
Chair, FIT Sustainability Counci

Karen Pearson is a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s award winner for Excellence in Teaching, has been noted as one of the 100 most inspiring women in STEM, and
is a recipient of the FIT’s Presidents Award for Excellence.

Pearson has extensive work in the development of interdisciplinary STEAM curricula and programming at FIT and is the recipient of multiple research/program awards, including the National Science Foundation and Nation Endowment of the Arts. Her research outside of the classroom is focused on the design, synthesis and application of new materials that have potential in low energy devices such as thin film transistors (TFT’s) and light emitting diodes (LED’s).

Lucia Rosin

Lucia Rosin
Founder, Meidea

Lucia Rosin has been working as a designer in​ ​fashion and fabrics world for 30 years, as a
consultant since 1998.​ ​She has been a sustainability supporter since the​ ​1990s; in fact, Rosin  pursues an ecological​ ​approach in every project from the beginning​ ​of her career. With this vision, she founded the​ ​MEIDEA consulting company, formed by a group​ ​of professionals who merge the creative to​ ​technical knowledge. Traveler, passionate photographer, and​ ​collector of vintage​ ​items, Rosin merges all these​ ​influences in every single project, creating unique​ ​identies and business plan for her clients.​ ​

In 2016, MEIDEA became ATELIER, a restored​ ​old factory building converted into a​ ​multifunctional space, where art installations,​ ​lectures, and workshops merge with the fashion​ ​atelier and the consulting studio.

Theanne Schiros

Theanne Schiros, PhD
Assistant Professor​, FIT Department of Science and Mathematics

Theanne Schiros, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at FIT, where she guides students to rethink textiles through technology, biology and sustainable design. Schiros is also a research scientist at Columbia University, where she investigates 2-D nanomaterials for next generation, low power electronics, and explores biofabrication of materials for sustainable textiles and biomedical applications in the MRSEC.

Schiros is engaged in international sustainable development building off- grid solar photovoltaic systems and to power schools and communities, and permaculture in zero-waste communities with organizations such as Engineers without Borders (Haiti), There is the Finca Morpho Permaculture collective (Costa Rica), and There is No Limit Foundation (West Africa), where she teaches natural dye workshops utilizing local plants and food waste.

Schiros’ work has received international recognition, including the National Geographic Chasing Genius Award (Sustainable Planet) and Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Award for development of a kelp-based bioyarn (AlgiKnit), and the H&M Foundation Global Change Award 2020 (Werewool). Werewool was also. finalist for the 2020 Ray of Hope Prize and the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Schiros has served as a United Nations ECOWAS Fellow for Sustainable Energy Engineering, a New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Fellow, and an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) Fellow researching organic photovoltaics.

Eden Spatz

Eden Spatz
Development + Production, ADAY

Eden Spatz heads Development + Production at ADAY, a fast-growing direct-to-consumer womenswear brand creating consciously designed, versatile essentials.

ADAY fuses minimalist design with technical fabrics and an eco-conscious supply chain, setting a new standard for clothing that focuses on simplicity + functionality. ADAY creates clothing that does more with less, for a community of entrepreneurs, visionaries, + change-makers who use our capsule wardrobe for travel, work + whatever life brings.

Spatz joined ADAY in April 2018, bringing her previous experience in direct-to-consumer design operations + luxury apparel development to drive the full scope of ADAY’s product lifecycle.

Isabela Varela

Isabel Varela
Public Speaker, Master Tailor, Sustainable Fashion Activist, Zero-Waste Designer, Artist

Isabel Varela is a public speaker, master tailor, sustainable fashion activist, zero-
waste fashion designer, and artist. The mission of her company is to empower
individuals to develop healthier relationships with themselves, the clothing they wear, to
build a healthier planet through art, film, and education. She was named “Change
Maker of the Year,” through the New York Fair Trade Organization for all of the work
she has contributed to the community.

Varela has presented on the importance of upcycling, overcoming fashion
addiction, and advocating positive sustainable solutions along with screening her
powerful documentary Fashion Addict at several universities around the United States
including Columbia University, New York University, Pratt University, Washington State
University, and at the Chicago Cultural Center live on their public broadcasting network,
ICAN. She strongly believes that everyone is capable of making a difference and holds
workshops that include demonstrations on simple alterations that can be used to revive
your old clothing.

With over 22 years in the fashion industry, Varela has tailored women, men, and
children all the way to celebrity clientele including The Property Brothers, Vicky Jeudy,
Ryan Seacrest, Rosie Perez, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and many more. She has
evolved her skillset into wardrobing for movies & film, designing and creating costumes
for off-Broadway shows, theatre, and commercial clients. Additionally, the seasoned
professional has managed retail, wholesale, oversaw manufacturing process
domestically and internationally, while continuing to produce various collections for
multiple companies including her own.

Andrea Venier

Andrea Venier
Managing Director, Officina+39-Italy

Andrea Venier was born 42 years ago in Biella, one of the most important textile area of Italy. He’s married and father of two children. Once he completed his studies in chemical textile, he joined the family company Techna Italia.

In 2007, Venier started Officina+39, changing the traditional company path and focusing on technology and processes for denim and fashion apparel industry. Even though in the last years he has dedicated himself more to the Company Management, he has never lost his interest for research and development.

In recent years, Venier and his team developed and patented an innovative technology called RecycromTM (dyes derived from textile waste recycling).

Tony Verutti

Tony Verutti
Head of Global Partnerships, Parley for the Oceans

Tony Verutti is the head of global partnerships at Parley for the Oceans where he leads collaborations with pace-setting companies, ngo's, and governments around the world.  

Verutti grew up in the oceans and mountains of California where he developed a deep connection to nature as a playground and sancturary. He spent the first 10 years of his career working in management consulting in Silicon Valley before receiving an MBA from SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy.

Before Parley, Verutti led partnerships and strategy for Global Citizen, a non-profit organizing the largest movement in the world to eradicate extreme poverty.  He is currently based in New York.

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