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Furman recognizes Corporate Sustainability Fellows

|David Bereskin

Last updated May 12, 2017

By Tina Underwood

The Center for Corporate and Professional Development at Furman University recently recognized three local executives as 2017 Corporate Sustainability Fellows. They are:

David Bereskin (CEO, Greenville Water)
Ron Cotterman (Vice President of Sustainability, Sealed Air)
Jacqui DiMaggio (Vice President of Finance, Greenville Technical College)

“Our 2017 Corporate Sustainability Fellows are recognized leaders in the field who are making a difference in their organizations and have contributed significantly to the success of our postgraduate diploma by sharing their knowledge and best practices,” said Sam Tisdale, Director, Center for Corporate and Professional Development at Furman.

Corporate Sustainability Fellows also serve as guest speakers in Furman’s Postgraduate Diploma Program in Corporate Sustainability, and in the Undergraduate Day and Undergraduate Evening Studies programs. They sponsor student fellows of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability on the Furman campus, and support internships and career opportunities within their organizations. Fellows also support faculty research within Furman academic departments where there is an interest in corporate sustainability.

Said Tisdale, “Corporate sustainability is being embraced across the country, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes business sense. It lowers business costs, improves productivity and enhances reputation. Our postgraduate diploma in corporate sustainability provides the tools, techniques and strategic thinking necessary for business leaders who want to build a coherent sustainability strategy.

“Corporate Sustainability Fellows are leading-edge thought leaders who champion the definition and implementation of sustainability initiatives for their organizations. There are many sustainability type educational programs across the country, but none are as comprehensive and business focused as Furman’s program, which will be offered again in the spring of 2018,” Tisdale added.

For more information or to register, please contact Sam Tisdale, Director of the Center for Corporate and Professional Development at Furman at 864-294-2156, or visit the website at Biographical information follows for the 2017 Corporate Sustainability Fellows.

David Bereskin, CEO, Greenville Water

David Bereskin (CEO, Greenville Water)
Bereskin is a Registered Civil Engineer and a graduate of the University of Illinois. He brings over 26 years of experience in the water utility profession. He started his career with a privately owned public utility system and has worked in the regulated private sector as well as the public service sector.

In 2011, Bereskin transitioned to Greenville Water from the City of North Las Vegas, Nev., where he served as Director of Utilities. Under his watch, the utility instituted a sophisticated Automatic Meter Reading System, installed a state-of-the-art billing system, built the United States’ largest membrane bioreactor water reclamation facility, and was presented with the 2005 Gold Award from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies.

With Bereskin as CEO, Greenville Water has implemented many positive changes, such as transitioning to monthly billing, enhancing Community Relations and improving productivity of the workforce. Greenville Water has consistently been honoured as having the best tasting drinking water in the state, and was recognized as having the best tasting drinking water in North America. Greenville Water was also recognized for being among the nation’s top tasting tap water providers on the talk show “Live” with Kelly & Michael.

During Bereskin’s tenure, Greenville Water has developed a Watershed Management Plan, Facilities Master Plan, Water Resources Master Plan and completed a crucial water loss study. The adaptive and environmentally viable Water Resources Master Plan ensures a sustainable, resilient and reliable water supply for Greater Greenville into the next century.

Greenville Water guided the recent relocation of Greenville Water’s Field Operations Division into a co-located facility that not only improved efficiencies but improved the appearance of the community at West Washington Street and West Broad Street with a beautiful open space now known as Prospect Green.

Greenville Water has achieved AAA financial rating and repeatedly received awards from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States. Year after year Greenville Water wins coveted awards from the Partnership for Safe Water. Most notably, Greenville Water was presented the Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies.

Ron Cotterman, Vice President of Sustainability, Sealed Air

Ron Cotterman (Vice President of Sustainability, Sealed Air)
Cotterman is a lecturer at Furman University and a member of the advisory board of Michigan State University. He has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and over 30 years of industrial experience in technology innovation, business development and sustainability.

In his position as Vice President of Sustainability at Sealed Air, Cotterman is responsible for company-wide sustainability strategy, a position he has served in since it was created in 2006. In this global role, Cotterman leads initiatives in operational excellence, delivering customer value, and partnering across the value chain. He is responsible for key innovations in areas such as food packaging, which extends shelf life and prevents food spoilage, inflatable BubbleWrap® packaging that reduces transport and protects products from damage during transit, and highly efficient cleaning products that reduce water and energy consumption.

Cotterman is driving progress toward 2020 Sustainability Goals that demonstrate Sealed Air’s vision to create a better way of life. His efforts have been recognized by Climate Savers and Fortune’s “Most Admired.” Ron actively collaborates with a range of organizations including the World Wildlife Fund, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Doctors without Borders, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Ameripen, and Europen.

Selected accomplishments in the field of corporate sustainability for Cotterman include:

• Building partnerships with leading NGOs including World Wildlife Fund, Doctors without Borders and Ellen MacArthur Foundation to drive programs that create both business and societal benefits.
• Serving as a frequent speaker on global food waste impacts and how to implement solutions for prevention of food waste.
• Founding member of a new trade organization (AMERIPEN) dedicated to addressing needs surrounding packaging and the environment.
• Working with teenage Boy Scouts to appreciate the environment through high adventure treks; instructor for Sustainability Merit Badge.

Jacqui DiMaggio, Vice President for Finance, Greenville Technical College

Jacqui DiMaggio (Vice President for Finance, Greenville Technical College)
DiMaggio is Vice President for Finance at Greenville Technical College. Her areas of responsibility are diverse and include the Business Office, Purchasing, Financial Aid, Construction Services, Facility Resources, Auxiliary Services and Campus Police departments. In this role, she is responsible for all aspects of the college’s financial operations including budgeting, general accounting, grant accounting, and financial reporting and analysis.

She oversees the financial stability the college, which has a fixed asset base of over $150 million, an annual operating budget of $85 million, and an annual cash flow greater than $150 million. She is also responsible for construction projects, coordinating with the State Engineer, the State Board for Technical Education, the Commission on Higher Education, the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority to secure approval for new building projects, renovations and leases.

DiMaggio holds an MBA from Syracuse University, and earned a graduate certificate in Higher Education Leadership from the University of South Carolina. DiMaggio is active in the community, participating in several programs designed to benefit the Upstate. She was part of the Diversity Leaders Initiative through the Riley Institute at Furman University, a program which encourages community leaders to serve as champions and supporters of dialogue and collaboration around diversity issues. She is a graduate of Furman’s inaugural Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Sustainability and the Women’s Leadership Institute.

DiMaggio has also participated in Leadership Greenville through the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, a 10-month program designed to grow Greenville’s leadership through an intense focus on the issues most directly relevant to the community. She serves on the Board and is currently the Chair of the Board for Goodwill Industries of the Upstate/Midlands South Carolina.

Selected sustainability accomplishments for DiMaggio at Greenville Technical College include:

• Influenced decisions in construction of Center for Manufacturing Innovation: added clerestory for daylighting benefits and strategically located windows for daylighting as well as heating and cooling benefits; life cycle analyses guided HVAC equipment selection; counseled on recycling of solid waste, metals and other materials.
• Included 10,000-gallon rainwater harvesting system for site tree irrigation for Institutional Effectiveness/Logistics facility; implemented plan for redundant water source for building chilled water system; included “Living Wall” in design.
• Received the Energy Reduction Milestone Award for reducing energy usage by 20 percent or more prior to the 2020 deadline.
• Routinely incorporates concepts such as life cycle costs in selecting building systems.
• Used information from Post Graduate Diploma in Corporate Sustainability to update existing Continuing Education curriculum.
• Established a “Sustainability Team” composed primarily of class graduates.
• Concepts from the Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Sustainability program helped Greenville Tech decide against initiating solar and green roof projects under consideration as the “business case” did not support implementing them.
• Supported use of sidewalk grinding process to eliminate trip hazards instead of removing/replacing sidewalks.

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