Climate Change and Transportation

Join us on Tuesday, March 8 from 12:00-1:00 pm

GEO is pleased to announce the fourth in our series of conversations on issues that are impacted by climate change. Transportation is a subject that affects us all everyday — how we get to work or school, run errands, and travel for business or pleasure. We are a mobile society. We take for granted the ease of our mobility and often don’t consider the consequences.

In Ohio alone, there are 4.2 million automobiles and 5.8 million private and commercial trucks registered with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Ohio has 65 public transit systems, nine airports offering commercial flights, ten waterway ports, and over 5,000 miles of active rail. Nationally, the transportation sector accounts for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions at almost 30 percent, with 63 percent of that coming from light duty vehicles.

We all have a role to play in reducing that impact. Increasingly, electric vehicles can be seen in driveways, parking lots, and dealerships. Transit systems like Laketran are investing in electric buses. Government and corporate fleet managers are purchasing EVs. Companies like Yellow Cab of Columbus are re-envisioning the role of transportation for hire.

Leading our discussion will be Michael Peters, CEO and co-founder of Cleveland-based Sway Mobility, an electric vehicle carshare platform. Our panelists are both experts in the world of EVs: Marie McConnell, Campaigns Organizer for the Electrification Coalition and Sara Daugherty, Director of Partnerships at Brite Energy Innovators.  

Michael Peters mixes a background in public policy, investment banking, and sustainability with a focus on accelerating the transition to electric vehicles and shared emobility programs. He is the CEO and co-founder of Cleveland-based Sway Mobility, an electric vehicle carshare platform. Michael boomeranged back to his hometown after two decades living and working in Chicago, New York, and London for several of the largest global financial institutions.  He received his undergraduate degree from The University of Chicago, graduate degree from New York University, and holds LEED AP, EcoDistricts AP, and Certified Passive House accreditations.  He is also a U.S. State Department Exchange Program alumnus (CBYX, Germany), and has volunteered for several non-profit boards including the Electric Vehicle Association and USGBC Ohio.

Marie McConnell is a Campaign Organizer for the Electrification Coalition, a non-partisan not-for-profit organization working to transition American transportation from foreign fossil fuels to domestic electricity. In her current role, Marie mobilizes EV stakeholders and advocates to support federal and state policy opportunities in the Midwest and MidAtlantic. Prior to joining the EC Marie was the Organizing Manager for Drive Electric Ohio. There she oversaw 6 community-based EV advocacy groups and worked with them to conduct consumer education, encourage development of EV charging, and address local and state policy. Beyond advancing EV adoption in Ohio, Marie supported Drive Electric USA, a DOE Clean Cities Coalition partnership that established similar ‘Drive Electric’ programs in 14 states.

As Director of Partnerships for BRITE, Sara Daugherty manages day-to-day operations, including business and program development, marketing and event planning, grant-writing, and acts as scrum master to keep the Team in line. Prior to BRITE, she was a program manager and long-range planner for economic development and transportation initiatives. Currently, Sara serves on community boards as the Finance Chair of the Raymond John Wean Foundation, the Secretary of both YWCA Mahoning Valley and Simply Slavic. She graduated with degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies and City & Regional Planning from Miami University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, respectively. Sara also spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Odeska Oblast, Ukraine. When Sara joined the team, she brought along her Frenchie, Kobzar, who acts as BRITE’s Chief Morale Officer.

We look forward to seeing you on March 8!