Focus Session: Creating a Green Event

Creating a Green Event


Patti Lock, Tall Ship® Festival Consultant
Rachael Miller, Founder, Rozalia Project
Jill Savery, Sustainability Advisor
Kimberly Ulmer, Director of Sustainability, Sail Martha’s Vineyard

Big events have a reputation for wasting all kinds of food, energy, and materials. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Recently, the Volvo Ocean Race through 11th Hour Racing created a plastic-free event, which included water stations, sustainable food sourcing and biodegradable service ware. Learn about sustainability initiatives from Martha’s Vineyard Sail, Waste Management Phoenix Open and other big events.   Take their lessons learned and apply them to your own event. Other take aways include greening up your event without compromising revenue opportunities and perhaps create new ones.

Patti Lock

Patricia Lock is a marketing communicator. She has specialized in the promotion of tall ships since 1998 when Tall Ships America launched its first efforts to bring the tall ships into the Great Lakes.  Patti was working at Navy Pier at the time and was instrumental in the development of Tall Ships® Chicago – an event that has now happened 8 times between 1998 and 2016.  In the past 20 years promoting ships, ship programs and sail training, she has helped develop many cities desiring to host the fleet for the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE®.  These cities include Savannah, GA, Portland, ME, Jacksonville, FL, Victoria, BC, Galveston, TX, Pensacola, FL and returning series regulars such as Chicago, and Cleveland.

A former sports agent and concert producer, Patti has extensive festival and event production experience, she was TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Director for Tall Ships America from 2008 – 2014.  In 2014, Patti transitioned over to Director, Special Projects to focus on port city development and logistics and community involvement. In June 2018, she left Tall Ships America but remains in a supportive role.

A US Coast Guard Auxiliarist from 36-06 Wilmette Harbor, IL for ten years, Patti is an advocate for youth on board sail training and fresh water conservation and preservation. When she is not promoting education under sail, Patti enjoys her time as a member of the Rotary Club of Arlington Heights, IL and is a Board Director for the Metropolis Performing Arts Center, also in Arlington Heights.



Rachael Miller is the Founder of Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean and Co-Inventor/CEO of Cora Ball.  Rozalia Project is a nonprofit whose mission is to clean and protect the ocean. It launched in late 2009 and works on marine debris using the strategies of: cleanup, education, innovation and solutions-based research. She is also the Founder/CEO and part of the design team for the Cora Ball, a human-scale, consumer-based solution to microfiber pollution working to share the problem and solution with people all over the world. Rachael holds a USCG 50 ton Master’s license and captains the 60’ sailing research vessel, American Promise. Her academic background is in marine studies and underwater archaeology. She lives in Vermont and loves to ski as much as sail.

Jill Savery

Jill Savery is a sustainability advisor and consultant, public speaker, University graduate business school instructor on Corporate Social Responsibility, and author (Sustainability and Sport, 2011, one of the first books in the sustainability and sport field).  She specializes in integrating sustainability into the sports industry.

Jill was the first Head of Sustainability for the America’s Cup Event Authority for the 34th America’s Cup, where she was responsible for successfully developing and implementing the event Sustainability Plan and Program, and achieving Zero Waste and Carbon Neutral event activities.  She also led the London 2012 work program of the London-based sustainability charity Bioregional.  She served as a Co-opted Expert to the Commission for a Sustainable London 2012 – a first of its kind body that independently assured the sustainability of the London 2012 Games.  She is a member of the World Sailing Sustainability Commission and the Board of the Green Sports Alliance.

Jill is a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, 8-time World Champion and an International Swimming Hall of Fame Inductee in the sport of synchronized swimming.  She earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from Yale University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California at Berkeley.



Kimberly Ulmer  grew up in coastal Massachusetts where she developed a curiosity for the natural world and love of the ocean from an early age. She received her BA in Biology from Williams College and worked as a research biologist in the fields of genetics (UC Santa Barbara), neuroscience (Brown University), and cephalopod camouflage (Marine Biological Laboratory) for 8 years before leaving science to try her hand at teaching. Kimberly taught Biology, Aquaculture, and AP Environmental Science at Tabor Academy for three years. An avid sailor, Kimberly grew up sailing and then coached sailing throughout high school, college, and also while at Tabor Academy.

She currently works as the Director of Sustainability for Sail Martha’s Vineyard where she promotes environmental literacy on the island, teaches maritime courses in the vocational track at the MV public high school, and ensures the Vineyard Cup (Sail MV’s annual 3-day regatta) is an environmentally conscious, zero-waste event.




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