2021 Trailblazer Awardees Announced!

Trailblazer Awardees Announced at NZ21 Gala

Verdical Group announced their 2021 cohort of Trailblazer Awardees at the annual Trailblazer Awards Gala on September 16, 2021. The in-person event was held in Downtown Los Angeles at the Terrace at L.A. LIVE, a rooftop space above the GRAMMY Museum. 

The Trailblazer Awards celebrate leaders who are building a net zero future through their work in net zero, decarbonization, and climate resilience. This year’s slate includes changemakers from across industries who are making an impact.

In lieu of presenting a physical award this year, awardees chose a charity of their choice for Verdical Group to present with a donation in their honor.

The 2021 Trailblazer Awardees include:

Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

With a relentless dedication to improving the lives of others, Nichol Whiteman is the Chief Executive Officer of the award-winning Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF). Under Nichol’s leadership, LADF tackles the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles with a mission to improve education, health care, homelessness, and social justice for all Angelenos. During Nichol’s tenure, LADF launched incredibly impactful programming including Dodgers RBI, a youth development initiative serving more than 10,000 youth today. 

Nichol is a member of Women in Sports and Entertainment and LA Community Leaders and holds positions on the advisory and regional boards of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Covington Capital Management, the Women’s Leadership Council, A Better Chance, Inc., New Teacher Center, Davinci Schools Board Fund, the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Positive Results Corporation, and Portal Schools board of trustees. Additionally, she sits on the board of the Los Angeles chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance and serves on the YMCA of Metro LA’s Sports and Impact Panel.

Attracting attention from acclaimed journalists, she has been featured in outlets including Forbes Magazine, NBC’s CA Live, and the LA Times.

Charity of Choice: Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation

CMO + Head of Sustainability, Dole Food Company

Xavier Roussel has worked in fresh produce for the past 27 years. He joined Dole in 1997 and has held various operational positions in Europe before moving to marketing and sustainability 13 years ago.

In 2015, he took leadership of the marketing and sustainability department at Dole Food Company, with a focus on strengthening the Dole brand equity while defining a path for Dole to operate more sustainably and delivering on their commitment to do the right thing.

Charity of Choice: No Kids Hungry

Head of Sustainability, Imperfect Foods

Madeline Rotman is the Head of Sustainability at Imperfect Foods, the online grocer on a mission to eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone.

With 10+ years of experience in the grocery sector, Madeline has been a champion of food access and the need to build more equitable and regenerative food systems. In this role, she is helping the company reduce waste even further across their operational practices and food supply system at large.

Charity of Choice: Food Rescue US

Chief Impact Officer and Head of Sustainable Impact, HP

Ellen Jackowski is the Chief Impact Officer and Head of Sustainable Impact at HP. In this role, Ellen leads a global team that oversees the HP Sustainable Impact strategy and programs that focus on the most defining and urgent issues of our time where HP can have the greatest impact as a brand and that support Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) industry imperatives: Climate Action, Human Rights, and Digital Equity.

Ellen and her team were instrumental in embedding Sustainable Impact at the core of HP’s 2030 vision and strategy and in setting, measuring, and reporting some of the most comprehensive goals in the technology industry. Ellen heads the HP Sustainable Impact Program Management Office, responsible for creating and implementing an integrated operating structure to drive progress against HP’s aggressive 2030 agenda.

Under Ellen’s leadership, HP was named America’s Most Responsible Company by Newsweek for the second consecutive year, was the first and only technology company in the world in to receive a quadruple A rating for Climate, Forest, Water and Supplier Engagement Leader from CDP, and topped 3BL Media’s Best Corporate Citizen’s List. Amid the global pandemic and working virtually in one of the most challenging countries in the world, Ellen and her team helped deliver on HP’s commitment to install and commission a $2 million plastic bottle washing facility in Haiti.

Ellen brings more than 10 years of HP experience in a variety of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability roles, including serving as Global Head of Sustainability Strategy and Innovation where she played a critical role in defining and aligning the company around a unified Sustainable Impact strategy. In 2021, GreenBiz named Ellen one of the Top 25 Badass Women of Climate Action.

Charity of Choice: WORK

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, American Realty Advisors

Stanley Iezman is ARA’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, responsible for the strategic planning and direction of ARA’s investing and operational activities. ARA is a private equity real estate firm with over $10.5 billion of assets under management in equity, debt and preferred equity investments throughout the United States. Stanley is also a member of the firm’s Investment and Management Committees. In 2020, Stanley, along with the ARA team, launched Tomorrow’s Real Estate Leaders, a program designed to provide students underrepresented in the commercial real estate industry an opportunity to accelerate their careers. The program offers students hands-on experience, practical educational sessions, and exposure to senior executives.

Stanley is a noted speaker on real estate investment and has authored numerous articles on related issues for real estate, pension, and legal industry publications. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, where he teaches real estate asset management in the Master of Real Estate Development Program and is a member of the Executive Committee of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Thrive Scholars. He serves as a member of the Investment Committee and as a trustee for the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation in Santa Monica, California, which provides leadership to the Saint John’s Health Center and the John Wayne Cancer Institute. He also is a member of the Planning Committee for the USC Real Estate Law and Business Forum and serves on The Center Theatre Group’s Board of Directors which is part of the Los Angeles Music Center. Stanley is actively involved in The Urban Land Institute, where he sits on the Board of Governors for the ULI Foundation and participates in the Industrial and Office Park Development Council. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Los Angeles Chapter of ULI. He is a member of AFIRE, the Urban Land Institute (ULI), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC); the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers (NAREIM); the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA); the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP); the Los Angeles County Bar Association; the Real Estate Roundtable; the American Bar Association and was the Chair of the NYU Real Estate Institute’s Annual Conference on Pension Fund Investment in Real Estate for ten years.

Charity of Choice: USGBC-LA Green Building Corp

Chief Operating Officer, Dynamhex

Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Patrick Hosty is the COO of Dynamhex and has been helping with its organization and early growth since its founding in 2018.

Prior to Dynamhex, Patrick gained 18 years of advisory, finance, and investment banking experience. This experience centered around municipal finance, including serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Compliance Officer of a startup technology company and investment banking broker-dealer.

Patrick’s operational knowledge and responsibilities have included the daily management and supervision of investment management, underwriting, sales, private offerings, and trading efforts at the broker-dealer. Patrick has an undergraduate degree in Business Management and Environmental Science from Kansas University and an MBA in finance and accounting from Rockhurst University. He has a variety of philanthropic pursuits including serving on the board of AbilityKC. 

Charity of Choice: USGBC-LA Net Zero Accelerator