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.
About Elizabeth Schuster
Elizabeth Schuster founded Sustainable Economies due to her passion for helping organizations have more positive impact on communities while obtaining more funding. Elizabeth brings broad expertise to your strategic planning and applied economic research projects by leveraging her eight expert advisors, as well as partnerships with dozens of organizations and firms.
Elizabeth brings over 20 years of experience in sustainability and community economic development in the United States and internationally. Her diverse experience working in manufacturing, agriculture, non-profits, academic institutions, and government makes her well poised to build bridges across sectors. Elizabeth earned an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arizona.
Elizabeth is well-regarded for her research in the economics of sustainable agriculture, the local food economy, ecosystem service valuation, and socioeconomic metrics for nature-based solutions. Elizabeth specializes in public speaking, written communication, and facilitation. Since 2010, she has given over 80 presentations to a range of audiences. She has produced a mix of peer-reviewed publications, reports, guidebooks, brochures, newspaper articles, and pop-science blogs to communicate with diverse audiences.
Her collaborative land use planning workshop won a national award from American Farm Bureau Federation in 2020. The 2017-2019 Lost Valley Nature Park project that Elizabeth led won two awards: the 2018 Somerset County Land Development Award and the 2019 Outstanding Floodplain Management Award from the NJ Association of Floodplain Management.
Shauna R Brummet
Shauna is an experienced technical and business leader, entrepreneur and R&D scientist. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Purdue University, a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry and Doctorate in Biochemistry from The University of Akron with post-doctoral training in agricultural molecular biology at The Ohio State University Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. She is currently CEO of Brummet Life Sciences Consulting, Inc. Shauna is highly collaborative and connected to national, state, regional and local entrepreneurism and economic development organizations and companies.
Previous work experience includes biotech industry R&D leadership roles at United States Biochemical, Corps., Amersham Life Sciences, and Amersham-Pharmacia Biotech where she led scientific teams in discovery of new polymerase and other enzymes for use in DNA sequencing, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and genotyping. Shauna has also led business investment in start-up biomedical and biotech companies for the Edison Biotechnology Center, Inc., which has become BioOhio for which she serves on the Board of Trustees. An early advocate and practitioner of Open Innovation, she was vice president of Program Management for NineSigma, Inc. Shauna co-founded the biomedical start-up Fluence Therapeutics. Most recently Shauna was President and CEO of BioHio Research Park at OSU/OARDC in Wooster where she led entrepreneurial support for academic researchers in commercialization their technologies. She currently serves as a board member for LARAD, Inc., one of the OARDC spin-outs she helped to found. BioHio was a member of the JumpStart Entrepreneurial Network of Northeast Ohio. Shauna provided entrepreneurial ecosystem services to agbioscience companies throughout the region.
Debbie Mans, Partner
TWENTYTWENTY Public Afairs
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.
Debbie has certifications from the International Association for Public Participation in Foundations in Public Participation and the University of Michigan Alumni M-Pact DEI Program.
Steve Lyon was born and raised in Navarre, Ohio. He attended Purdue University and graduated with a BSc (1997-2001) in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Steve completed his MSc (2001-2003) and PhD (2003-2006) both in Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. Steve continued with postdoctoral research (2006-2008) at the University of Arizona. He joined the Department of Physical Geography at Stockholm University in 2008 promoting to Associate Professor (2011) and then Full Professor (2016). While maintaining this affiliation, Steve worked with The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey (2017-2019) as a Freshwater and Conservation Scientist, where he focused on how we can target and prioritize conservation efforts along river networks to re-connect floodplains thereby promoting ecosystem functionality and benefits for both upstream and downstream communities.
Since August 2019, Steve has joined the faculty in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University as an Associate Professor. Steve’s research centers on identifying how landscapes and water interact across scales. Unraveling these feedbacks has significant implications for the current and future sustainability of coupled terrestrial and aquatic systems – particularly those for improving water quality in working landscapes. Specifically, he has worked with in the field with hydrological tracers and water chemistry sampling and hydrometric instrumentation, measurements and sensors. He has a strong basis with geographical information systems (GIS), remote sensing products, and geostatistical approaches.
LC CONSERVATION SOLUTIONS
Laura Chamberlin, living in her home town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, is a conservation consultant with over fifteen years of experience developing conservation solutions by listening, understanding, and collaborating with communities. Experience spans a variety of conservation issues, but center to all is collaboration between diverse partners, social science, and strategic communication.
Working as Assistant Director for the Executive Office of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), Laura coordinated collaborative strategies for engaging new audiences in shorebird and horseshoe crab conservation on the Delaware Bay, including coordinating reTURN the Favor. Using experiences on the Delaware Bay and social marketing best practices, Laura created a human dimensions toolkit to aide other partners in the WHSRN Network in the development of strategic community engagement programs. Laura also managed the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative at the Alice Ferguson Foundation and co-founded the Trash Free Maryland Alliance, focusing on social marketing, policy, and enforcement solutions for litter and waste. Chamberlin has worked on public land conservation in eastern California and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa.
Laura has a Bachelor’s Degree in animal science with a minor in wildlife biology from the University of Rhode Island. Professional development training includes GIS, community-based social marketing, communication, and advocacy.
Fátima Luna was born and raised in a rural town in southern Zacatecas, Mexico. She received a B.A. in Environmental Economics and Policy from the University of California Berkeley and a M.S. in Agriculture Resource Economics from the University of Arizona. For seven years, Fátima worked at the Sonoran Institute for the Colorado River Delta Program. As the Environmental and Natural Resource Economist, her role in the program wasto analyze and evaluate the economic, environmental, social, and cultural impacts of restoration efforts in the Colorado River Delta. She currently serves as the Environmental and Sustainability Advisor to Mayor Regina Romero, City of Tucson.
Fátima lives in south Tucson, where she is an active member in her community. She serves in the board of the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. She is an advocate for human rights, especially for disenfranchised people including people of color, the LGBTQ community, women and immigrants. In her free time, Fátima enjoys weight lifting, gardening, and playing Son Jarocho. She and her husband are currently raising three children.
Non-profit management and local food expert
Tiffany Leeper grew up on a small family farm in rural Ohio. Her early experiences in agriculture and interacting with the natural world shaped her broad view of how human activities impact ecosystems. She earned a Master of Public Administration with a specialization in Environmental Management from Bowling Green State University. Her master’s thesis studied patterns in consumer beliefs and behaviors in buying local food. Throughout her life, Tiffany has developed a keen interest and knowledge of food cultivation, processing, distribution, and consumption on local, regional, and global scales.
While she values the academic approach to studying individual behaviors towards conservation and sustainable living, she has found the most satisfaction working directly with farmers, food producers, and organizations that link these entities directly to the consumer. Specifically, her work with North Union Farmers Market (a nationally-recognized series of farmers markets in Northeast Ohio) and Wooster Local Foods Cooperative (an innovative regional food coop) has given her practical insights into how local food provision and consumption can be expanded and become a significant piece of local and regional economies. Working with other nonprofits such as the United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties, Alaska Conservation Foundation, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, Tiffany also maintains a deep knowledge of nonprofit management including development/fundraising, project coordination, community outreach/marketing, and program evaluation. She appreciates the opportunity for creative problem-solving and strategic positioning that is required to work in the nonprofit realm.
CERTIFIED FLOODPLAIN MANAGER (CFM)
John Truscinski, CFM, is a community planner and certified floodplain manager with experience helping coastal and inland communities develop strategies to respond to the growing impacts of sea-level rise, coastal and riverine flooding, and climate change. He recently worked with The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey, as Coastal Resilience Manager, leading a state-wide effort to incorporate living shorelines, marsh restoration, and ecosystem-based climate adaptation strategies into coastal community planning efforts. In this role he worked directly with diverse stakeholders along the Jersey Shore, developing a grants and technical assistance program for living shorelines, building on TNC’s Coastal Resilience decision support mapping tools.
In October of 2018 John became Director of Resilience Planning at the Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) at the University of Connecticut. In this role with CIRCA, he is managing the development of a regional climate adaptation plan for Fairfield and New Haven Counties, as part of the State of Connecticut’s program through the HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition. John holds a Master’s degree in Sustainability Management from Columbia University’s Earth Institute where he focused on methods of urban coastal adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
SOCIAL SCIENTIST AND
CEO OF LACY CONSULTING SERVICES
Leander is the CEO and founder of Lacy Consulting Services. 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.
In addition to Leander’s extensive work facilitating strategic planning processes, he has worked on the ground as a qualitative social scientist conducting interviews and focus group meetings with various stakeholder groups to increase the success of dam removal, to implement nature based solutions, to improve hunting management, to collaboratively manage marine protected areas, and to design and implement urban conservation programs. Analyzing past social science research on the topic of trust, he created a practitioner’s approach to developing strategies aimed at improving and sustaining trust with stakeholders.
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.
What our partners have to say
Photo courtesy Damon Noe
Elizabeth Schuster, Environmental Economist
Elizabeth Schuster, Environmental Economist
Elizabeth Schuster, Environmental Economist
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