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Roe Elam

Roe Elam is the executive director of the Heart of Scottsville, a National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street community located in Scottsville, Kentucky.  He is working to revitalize the community’s historic downtown.  Prior to starting this current project, Roe received a Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia.  As a graduate student, Roe was formally introduced to William McDonough and the concept of sustainability.  McDonough, the former Dean of the Architecture School, helped refocus the program toward a curriculum that was based on promoting sustainable community planning.

In 2006, Roe helped found the Tennessee Fund for Sustainability. He feels that "design, how we make things – cars, buildings, products, communities -  will be one of the most critical issues of this century.  It is our hope that, through the Tennessee Fund for Sustainability, we can help promote responsible and effective design principles that provide the underpinnings for a high quality of life in the Middle Tennessee region fifty years from now."

Roe was born and raised in Nashville.  He graduated from the University of the South with a B.A. in history.  He lives in Nashville with his wife, Anne Tolly, and their one child, Oscar.  He is a member of the Nashville Civic Design Center, the American Planning Association, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a founding board member of the Friends of Dumont Hill Park.

Jonathan Harwell

Jonathan Harwell committed to the sustainability movement after reading William McDonough's book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. Cradle to Cradle crystallized for Jonathan the idea that industries, products and processes designed with their entire life cycle in mind lead to more competitive businesses, greener communities, and healthier societies. Jonathan helped found The Tennessee Fund for Sustainability to foster awareness of these ideas.

"My goal for the TN Fund is to create a dialogue which will lead to smarter growth for my community and my state. I want Tennesseans to benefit from the same sustainable design ideas that are showing great benefits in other parts of the country and world. In fact, I want us to lead the charge."

Jonathan is Major Gifts Officer at Nashville Public Television and serves as the producer of A Word on Words with John Seigenthaler and One on One with John Seigenthaler as well. Jonathan also writes essays and humor pieces, contributing regularly to the Nashville Scene and Nfocus. He is a native Nashvillian.

Tom Harwell

Tom Harwell, a partner of Eakin Partners, a full-service commercial real estate firm, found the subject of sustainability through a life-long interest in the outdoors, open space preservation, and natural resource conservation.  As an educator, Tom focused on bringing environmental issues to the classroom, and his students to the environment.  After receiving a Master's degree in landscape architecture, Tom transitioned into the real estate business and the field of leasing and development where he continues to investigate and promote applications of sustainable design.

"We formed the TN Fund to elevate the conversation regarding sustainability in Nashville.  We want to bring the concepts to our collective conscious and the applications to those who can implement them."

Tom is a Nashville native and graduate of Washington and Lee University with a B.A. in English, and the University of Georgia with a Master of Landscape Architecture.  He is a member of the Nashville Exchange Club, the Nashville Civic Design Center, the Advisory Board St. Augustine's Episcopal Chapel, and past chairman of the Board of Directors of the McNeilly Center for Children.  He and is wife Clark have three children, Caroline, Thomas, and Will.

John Wallace

A native Nashvillian, John Wallace grew up fishing the streams and lakes of Middle Tennessee, and from an early age took a keen interest in preserving our natural environment.  His interest in conservation, however, had always been tempered by a concern over its impact on economic productivity.  In the Spring of 2002, John had the opportunity to attend a lecture by William McDonough on the campus of the University of Virginia. McDonough's work with industry leaders such as Ford, Nike, and Frito-Lay opened John's eyes to the powerful synergies that can be created between businesses and the environment when their interests are aligned together.

"What excites me about the concept of sustainability is how it has taken the long-held perception that economic growth and environmental stewardship are mutually exclusive of one another and thrown it out the window.  We are committed to breaking down the barriers between business and environmental interests and to promoting the exploration and implementation of sustainable practices by our governments, businesses, communities, and citizens"

John is Vice President of Production for StudioNow, a Nashville-based Internet media production company.  He is a member of Grace Community Church, Montgomery Bell Academy's Young Alumni Board, Ensworth School's Alumni Council, and the Grassroots Society of The Land Trust for Tennessee.  He and his wife, Anne Lacy, graduated from The University of the South and have a son named Jack.

Laura Billings Key

Laura is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her father is a Nashville native and she grew up spending time in the Cumberland Region. She and her husband, Garrett, both attended Vanderbilt University. Laura graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy and is currently getting her Masters in Liberal Arts with a focus in ethics at Vanderbilt University. She enjoys hiking with their dog, Ninja.
Laura hopes the Tennessee Fund for Sustainability will serve as a catalyst for businesses to become more socially conscious. Laura realized that being environmentally conscious should accompany good business sense. Through reading, Paul Hawken’s book, Natural Capitalism, Laura realized how near we are to the tipping point of resource exploitation. She hopes with increased awareness and advocacy we can acknowledge the relationship between business and nature and make a positive impact on sustaining our green planet.

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