Steve Christman
Steve Christman, Executive Director, Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District
Steve Christman’s environmental science career launched 30 years ago in Indiana, making him one of the state’s first greenies. During his career, he has operated a landfill and a materials recovery facility, created environmental programs and served on a number of eco-conscious boards before becoming Executive Director of the Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District (NISWMD). NISWMD is a multi-county entity charged by the state to reduce the solid waste stream in the area by enacting waste-reduction strategies such as recycling and composting. As Christman points out, solid waste production has a direct correlation with the health of the economy, so the last few years have shown a dramatic drop-off in volume. “Municipal solid waste management is not a garbage problem,” Christman says. “Solid waste management is a materials-handling problem. It’s a matter of being able to pick material up and put it down, and do something with it in between — as efficient as possible with the least amount of cost.”

Listen to Steve Christman’s segment here.

John Ypma
John Ypma, President, Initiative Foods
John Ypma’s long history in the food business — including a stint working with Gerber — led him to creating a line of organic baby food at Initiative Foods. Ten years in, the Fresno, CA-based brand has continued to grow and expand its line. The key to the tasty selections is simple, really: a blending of the finest fruits and vegetables into flavorful finished products. Ypma says that Initiative’s success is all about the produce the company sources. He strategically started the business in Fresno to take advantage of the wonderful San Joaquin Valley produce. That’s all that ends up in the jars and bottles — no added sugars or salt, no GMOs and no pesticides. “We start from fresh fruits and vegetables,” Ypma explains. “We only cook them once; there are very few things that taste good cooked twice, and a lot of baby food is cooked twice. The way that we pasteurize leads to a lot less heat in the product, so we’re not overcooking the product. We like to keep it as natural as we can keep it.”

Listen to John Ypma’s segment here.

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