Emily Kahn - President & Founder
Emily Kahn is founder of Green Fern Events (GFE) — Texas’ leading producer of zero-waste conferences and events. She is respected as an expert in her field with a combined 15 years of experience in event management, clean energy and sustainable business. She develops forward-thinking strategies that are rooted in the fundamentals of environmental stewardship and economic sense, and she produces events with proven outcomes that demonstrate significant benefits of sustainable efforts.
A native of Roanoke, Virginia, Emily’s formative years were spent exploring the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She earned a bachelor’s degree in cross-cultural communications at Lynchburg College and a master’s degree in sustainable destination management/event management at George Washington University.
She further broadened her horizons while studying and traveling abroad. She saw firsthand the devastating results of man’s unchecked impact on the environment, and it was during this time that she realized “going green” isn’t an option — it’s an imperative. It was a clarion call for Emily, which came at a time when sustainability was barely a whisper on the wind of public debate.
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Such pressing global concerns merit a comprehensive, collective and intelligent response. With that in mind, Emily launched her career in event management. One of her first roles was as a conference manager for the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Conference – the largest in North America. She went on to play key roles in the production of five major conferences in the emerging fuel cell movement and marketplace.
Emily founded Green Fern Events in 2009 with the goal of developing a holistic model for successful and sustainable events. The company is compliant with ISO20121 Standards for Event Sustainability, APEX/ASTM Environmental Sustainable Meeting Standards as well as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) for event organizers.
As principal of Green Fern Events and a subject-matter expert, Emily is often invited to speak at conferences and seminars nationwide. At work, she enthusiastically devotes her time and (human) energy to producing zero-waste events, but she always leaves something behind at the close of a project: Knowledge. The ideas and principles she demonstrates in her work with clients are sustainable in and of themselves, and she hopes that the enthusiasm she generates will carry on long after the last guest has left the event…and help usher in an era of change for the greener and greater good.
She’s earned a reputation among peers and clients for her ideas that challenge convention and events that redefine the status quo. Her proven methods are supported by rich data and confirmed by an in-depth, post-event analysis. She has been able to demonstrate, consistently, that protecting the environment does not mean sacrificing either quality or profit margins.
Emily’s work has taken her around the globe, but she is most at home in Austin, Texas, where she is active in her community, passionate about local environmental initiatives, and at peace with her three boys: husband Ari and sons Alex and Harrison.
Tiffany Harelik – Event Manager, Director - Marketing & Communications
Tiffany has a wide breathe of experience in event management, event production, writing and communications. Since GFE’s launch in 2009, Tiffany has worked alongside Emily and the team towards the production of numerous zero-waste conferences and events. Her first event with GFE was a 1,500-person clean tech conference held in Washington, DC in 2010. Tiffany has also provided logistical support for four national association conferences for GFE. In addition to her contract work with GFE, Tiffany has worked with iconic events such as ACL music festival in Austin, Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, as well as her own Gypsy Picnic in Austin.
Tiffany holds a MA in Health Psychology and has over 13 years of experience in the event planning industry. She is committed to the production of sustainable conferences and events, and loves to “tweet” about it.
Irene Dooling - Account Manager, Director of Finance
Irene has thirteen years in financial management, program management, and event delivery. Since 2013, Irene has assisted GFE in the production of numerous zero-waste events as well as business operations for the company.
As VP of Finance for DC based nonprofit, Partners for Livable Communities, Irene managed all vendor and customer relationships, including all Accounts Payable/Receivables, contracts, maintenance and follow-up. She maintained an effective and efficient fiscal management system that ensured the availability of financial resources to meet program, general operating, and development objectives. In addition, she prepared and monitored cash flow, annual budget, and financial reports for approval by the Board, standardized budget preparation for all project proposals and approved all program budgets. Prior to her position in finance at Partners, Irene was Director of Public Programs where she coordinated all conferences, award programs, and small meetings including content, production, logistics coordination, liaising with speakers and attendees, on-site management, and post event follow-up.
Irene holds a BA, in Economics (Focus on Small Business) from Colorado College.
Janis Bookout - Branding & Marketing Consultant
As a branding and marketing consultant, Janis focuses on strategic opportunities for local marketing, integrating networking, content marketing, and social media engagement. She has a diverse background in art, education, professional writing, stakeholder development and event planning. She only works with companies that she believes are up to having a real impact for social and/or environmental improvement. She loves building the connections between local brands and the people they serve.
Katrina Godinez - Operations Manager/Executive Assistant
A native Austin-ite, Katrina has more than 10 years experience in the food and beverage industry, event planning, and vendor relations. She is also an efficiency expert with stellar organizational skills.
Responsible for spearheading the extremely successful demonstration program at Central Market, Austin TX, Katrina has real-world knowledge of how a business should be run efficiently and effectively. As a certified organic vegetable gardener through Urban Harvest, Houston TX, Katrina is able to combine her gift of organizational efficiency and people skills together to help Green Fern Events produce sustainable events and run a successful business.
Katrina is a graduate of Mansfield Business School, Le Chef Culinary Academy, and is looking forward to continued education at Austin Community College. Katrina’s personable nature and tenacious work ethic makes her a perfect fit for GFE.