Each year, Crain’s Chicago Business rounds up nominations for their 40 under 40 list.
Congratulations to tristinstyling client, Erin Fitzgerald, for making the list this year out of over 700 nominations!
Here is a cut and paste from chicagobusiness.com:
Dairy Management Inc.
34, senior vice-president, sustainability, Dairy Management Inc., Rosemont
It may come as a surprise to many that cows rank right up there with cars and coal-fired power plants as major factors in global warming. Not to Erin Fitzgerald, who heads up environmental initiatives for the farmer-funded Rosemont non-profit that runs the American Dairy Assn. and other milk industry groups, including hers, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
Worldwide livestock production in general accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than the transportation sector, according to a 2006 United Nations study, and with milk consumption projected to rise 80% by 2050, that’s a problem the dairy industry has had to confront. Hired four years ago to promote increased consumption of milk, Ms. Fitzgerald must convince dairy farmers that their long-term growth depends on reducing their cows’ methane output.
“The dairy industry has gone from a defensive position to an offensive position,” says Doug Young, a dairy farmer from New York who serves on the industry’s Sustainability Council. “She’s been a big part of making that happen. She’s just a natural leader in terms of people wanting to work for her.”
At her urging, the dairy industry now aims for a 25% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. “We’ve done the science, and it also makes good business sense,” says Ms. Fitzgerald, who in her spare time works with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program, mentoring the pre-teen daughter of a single mom from Aurora for the past four years. Cutting emissions by a quarter is a realistic goal if at least 1,300 farms each invest $1 million or more in “digesters,” essentially mini-power plants that convert manure into biogas that can heat homes, she says. “We hope to be leaders for all of agriculture.”
HOW SHE UNWINDS: “I like the smell of food. It kind of stimulates your creativity.”
Click the image below to watch Erin’s videos (Yep! She got an EXTRA FEATURED video!) or to see a complete list of the 40 under 40 class of 2011: