Photo by John C. Lorson

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower organizations to create positive economic, social, and environmental change by building their capacity to achieve measurable, long-lasting impact.

About Sustainable Economies Consulting

Sustainable Economies Consulting is your solution to handling small to large scale projects involving nature and communities. We know you are busy, and we can help your team avoid the stress of planning and organizing complex projects. Sustainable Economies Consulting frees you up to implement the programs that directly benefit your mission.

When you need a streamlined plan that takes into consideration important conservation goals PLUS critical economic and community goals, we can help you develop your strategies.

If you need to bring together multiple organizations that are partnering on your project, we can help you develop shared goals.

When your project centers around difficult or complex issues, we have the tools to break the planning process into bite-sized pieces. Taking things one step at a time, we can help you work through the complexity to move closer to success.

If you need measurable goals and outcomes around both nature and human well-being, we can help you quantify goals and develop metrics for tracking success.

If you need guidance with grant development and planning, we can help you diversify into new funding sources.

Sustainable Economies Consulting provides solutions to all these needs. Partnering with our experienced team will put you on the path to an organized and successful project. Ultimately, we help you achieve your sustainability goals and have greater impact on not only nature but also the quality of life for communities.

Meet The Team

Elizabeth Schuster

Environmental Economist and CEO

Kate Hammond

Program Specialist

Tiffany Leeper

Marketing and Communication Specialist

Laura Chamberlin

Strategic Communications & Founder of LC Conservation Solutions

Steve Lyon, PhD


Fatima Luna

Environmental Economist

Featured Collaborators

Michelle Klieger

Michelle Klieger

Agricultural Economist & Founder of Helianth Partners

Michelle offers a range of services that have included regenerative agricultural sourcing strategies, market analysis for new food products, comparing cost of dairy production between New England and the Midwest, advising greenhouse growers on economic sustainability, and feasibility studies. While she does feasibility studies for a wide range of activities in the agricultural space, her specialty is feasibility studies for USDA grants. She offers two levels, a smaller, “client-supported” option and a full-service option.

Helianth Partners has a mission to chart pathways to a better and more equitable future for food and agriculture. Their work focuses on the entire value chain, from farmers and producers to supply chain operators to the business and nonprofits getting food to end consumers. This work has enabled Helianth to work with nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, food companies, government agencies, and community and Tribal leaders. Michelle has 15 years of experience in the food and agriculture sector. An economist and a business strategist, she works with the global seed industry, ag tech companies, conventional and non-conventional agriculture firms, and philanthropic foundations. She is a professor of Economics at Bentley University and holds a Masters in Agriculture Economics from Purdue University and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Leander Lacy

Leander Lacy

Environmental Social Scientist & CEO of Lacy Consulting Services

Leander is well-regarded for his work in environmental social science research, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) work in conservation planning, and his JEDI Workshops using trust and transparency. Sustainable Economies and Lacy Consulting regularly collaborate on integrating JEDI into strategic planning. Because this work is dependent on talking to diverse communities, he is certified in various diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and offers his services as a diversity workshop facilitator. A full list of the workshops offered can be found on his website.

His educational background combines wildlife conservation and environmental social science; he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. His graduate degree is a Master of Science MS in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University. His graduate research looked at how to improve the quality of life of the urban poor through environmental action in Chiapas, Mexico. Previous work experience includes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, where he worked at the urban/wildlife interface to facilitate dialogue with communities that disliked “nuisance” bears in Florida. He also worked for The Nature Conservancy as a global social scientist, helping to bring social science principles to initiatives in the United States and internationally.

Debbie Mans

Debbie Mans

Political Strategist and Partner, TWENTYTWENTY public affairs

Debbie’s team helps move clients from problem statement to solution, including issue identification, development of an advocacy or public participation campaign, building partnerships, strategic communications and planning, and stakeholder engagement. Given her direct experience as a former regulator, Debbie has the ability to understand and translate complex regulatory and technical issues to help advance your organization’s goals – and communicate with your diverse stakeholders. A great example of success is with the Clean Water, Healthy Families, Good Jobs Campaign, led by TTPA. The campaign was successful in securing $300 million in funding through the most recent New Jersey State budget by securing support from a diverse coalition of labor, business, social justice and environmental organizations..

Debbie was most recently the Deputy Commissioner at the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. While there, Debbie provided leadership + direction for many of the DEP’s climate change, renewable energy and environmental justice efforts. Previously, Debbie served as Baykeeper of the NY/NJ Baykeeper and as an environmental and energy policy adviser to former Gov. Jon S. Corzine. She is the former chair of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, former Treasurer for the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, former trustee of New Jersey Future and currently serves as member of the Borough Council in Glen Ridge, NJ.

Stacy McCormack

Stacy McCormack

Political Strategist and Partner, TWENTYTWENTY public affairs

Stacy thrives in complex political environments. She sets your team up for success by helping you advance your policy priorities and identify key stakeholders, which may include local elected officials, legislative targets, the Governor’s office, various agency & department staff, business organizations and labor groups. Stacy helps you secure the meetings you need to build relationships, develop agendas, and then Powermap political landscape for opportunities. Having a trusted political strategist like Stacy will help you avoid common pitfalls and increases your likelihood of achieving policy wins.

Stacy was most recently Director of Government Relations at The Nature Conservancy – NJ, the largest environmental organization in the world. Prior to that, Stacy was a government affairs and conservation finance director with The Trust for Public Land, a national conservation group, where she secured millions in sustainable funding for parks and open space through local referendums in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Stacy is a former environmental policy advisor to the NJ Department of Health where she worked on childhood obesity prevention at the intersection of public health and the environment. Also, Stacy founded a statewide organization supporting urban agriculture and food access, now a program of Rutgers University, Agriculture and Urban Programs.

Jacob Bornstein

Jacob Bornstein

Strategist and Principal, Wellstone Collaborative Strategies

Jacob is a leader in stakeholder engagement and collaborative strategy in the public and nonprofit sectors, with a specialization in coalitions. Some of the project topics he’s led at the local, state, and national levels include affordable housing, climate, climate justice, outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, water policy, behavioral health, Medicaid, education, and firearm death and injury.

Jacob brings over twenty years of experience in strategic facilitation in Colorado and across the country, specializing in reaching consensus in collaborative initiatives around contentious topics. He is the Principal of Wellstone Collaborative Strategies, and a founding board member of the Civic Consulting Collaborative. Prior to consulting, Jacob was focused on western water for nearly a decade and half. This included being the executive director of the Colorado Watershed Network and developing and facilitating Colorado’s Water Plan for the Department of Natural Resources.

Our Partners

We are grateful to so many great partners who have collaborated on past projects with our team. Several of these partners continue to collaborate on projects today.