Bill Throop & Meriel Brooks
A 100-year-old photograph hanging in the home of GMC provost
Bill Throop and biology professor Meriel Brooks reveals a ridgeline
overlooking their North Hebron, N.Y. property that is almost entirely
treeless. Years ago the property was pastureland for a sheep farm Bill’s
grandfather operated. Today the ridge is mostly second growth forest,
the landscape Bill explored as a youngster. The cabin he built in the
woods is still standing, though he and Meriel now live in the home his
father constructed in 1964. They have revived the practice of raising
sheep—a manageable herd of 17 animals graze in a field between their
house and banks of Smith Pond. They raise much of their own food and
gratefully draw on the knowledge and experience of local residents
who have lived and farmed here for generations. “Being thoroughly
integrated into our natural and social communities is a joy—this version
of sustainable living, shared with neighbors and the non-human
inhabitants of this stunning landscape, is intensely rewarding.” Bill said.
The couple burns wood in the winter for heat, and about 85% of their
electricity comes from a solar array installed last year by Khanti Munro
’04. Whenever they can, they commute to GMC in a hybrid vehicle,
which further reduces their environmental impact. “We do as much for
ourselves as possible,” said Meriel, “but it’s much easier and more fulfilling
when you are part of a local community that shares its resources.”
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Gina Del Vecchio ‘08
As the supply chain vice president at Ariat International, an equestrian
footwear and clothing company based in the San Francisco Bay area, Gina
Del Vecchio oversees the complex train of events that brings products to
the market at the right time, at the right place, and at the right price. She’s
also part of the new wave of corporate managers who seek to bring the
triple bottom line approach—people, planet and profit—into standard
business practice. She joined Gymboree as senior director of international
logistics and global customs compliance shortly after enrolling in
GMC’s sustainable MBA program.“There were many schools that began
introducing sustainability out here on the west coast, but I was attracted
to GMC because of the many businesses in the northeast that were already
incorporating triple bottom line into their operations,”Gina said. As part of
her GMC capstone project she developed a plan at Gymboree to uphold
social accountability and product safety standards in every country where
the company did business. While the financial bottom line is still the most
compelling metric for CEOs and investors, Gina has seen big changes
over her 20-year corporate career.“People coming into business are really
passionate about social and environmental sustainability,”she said.“In the
end, change will be driven by consumer demand. As customers ask more
questions about how a product is produced and sold, it will drive corporate
behavior in the direction we need to go.”
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