Meet the team

We have assembled an experienced core team, supported with a pool of expert associates in Europe, North America and UK – offering a unique fusion of business, commercial, technical, sustainability, transformation and educational capabilities – to deliver the greatest impact for you and your organisation. All our people are known as much for their enthusiasm and motivation as for their skills and experience, sharing a passion and drive to make a real difference. They're also great people to work with!

Mike Townsend

Founder & CEO

Mike is an influential business and economic transformation leader, board member, speaker, teacher, and writer – with thirty-five years of experience in business, supply chain, consultancy, education & training, and engineering.

Mike is passionate about sharing knowledge and skills in support of the transition towards a sustainable economy. He has worked with a wide range of organisations, large and small, in all sectors in UK, Europe, North America and Japan, including: Aviva plc, BAA, Barclays Bank plc, Birmingham Business School, British Airways, Copenhagen Business School, DIS-Copenhagen, eBay, Environment Agency, EY, Home Office, IKEA, Life Technologies, LoyaltyOne, Mace Group, Lund University, Norsk Ombruk, Northeastern University, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water plc, Triodos Bank, and many others, including Paul Polman at Unilever.

In addition to running Earthshine Group, Mike serves on an advisory board with University of Oslo, teaches courses on Sustainable Development, Sustainable Business Strategy, and The Business of Change. He also delivers inspirational keynote speeches.

Mike is author of The Quiet Revolution (Routledge, forthcoming), Editor of Reframing the Game (2015), Lead author of A Journey in Search of Capitalism 2.0 (2013). He is a regular contributor for Huffington Post, 2-Degrees,, The Guardian, Medium, Sustainable Brands, and others. He has also published extensively in the field of strategic procurement and supply chain management.

Mike holds an MBA from the University of Birmingham Business School (UK), a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering Management from the University of Wolverhampton (UK). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), and Member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (UK).

Martina Zahradnikova

PA & Head of International Relations

Martina is an educationalist and qualified teacher, with teaching and child development experience in Denmark, UK and Slovakia. She also has a strong ability in European languages, speaking Slovak (native), English (fluent), Danish (fluent), Russian (intermediate), and Italian (intermediate). In her continued desire for life-long-learning, she has also taken courses in Environmental Studies through the Open University in UK – and is currently studying Reflexology, Anatomy and Physiology in Denmark.

For the last ten years, Martina has worked in support of the development of Earthshine in roles in marketing, research and administration support. Key assignments include background research for company studies, arranging meetings and logistics for the CEO, marketing research and communications, international document translations, and support in developing training materials. Martina is a real team player – and great at planning, organising and getting things done.

Jae Mather

Senior Vice President (North America)

Jae Mather is an executive who influences senior leaders to move beyond theory to the practical application through innovating new technologies, training, and services. He designs and implements renewable energy, efficiency and climate change strategies. He is a clean-tech growth strategist, global macro trend specialist and a champion of the low carbon economy.

For 20+ years he has been instrumental in shaping the sustainability agenda across Europe including running the UK Eco-Enterprise project, which was the first EU-funded environmental technology support programme in the UK. He shapes policy and strategy for local governments and for companies such as Finger Food Studios, Heitman, ARM, and Footlocker. He is the Co-founder of the Carbon Free Group; has been the Executive Director of the Clean Energy Association of British Columbia, and the International Business Development & Sustainability Strategist for David Richardson’s group of companies.

Jae speaks as keynote at 20+ events a year and has delivered over 100+ events reaching 10K+ attendees. He is a guest lecturer on the University of British Columbia & University of Birmingham MBA programs and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership programme.

He is a Board member of the Board of Change (Vancouver) is a member of the editorial board of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) Transform Magazine.

Jae is an IEMA and an RSA Fellow, a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), and is GRI G4 Certified. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Decision Making from The Open University in the UK as well as a BA in Geography from Simon Fraser University in Canada.

Kevin Jones

Strategic Projects Director (North America)

Kevin is a sustainability business executive with 32 years of extensive experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Prior to his association with the Earthshine Group, Kevin was President & CEO for The Bloom Centre for Sustainability (BLOOM) – the trusted, go-to authority on sustainable practices that connected social responsibility with business success, creating vibrant and thriving industry sectors and communities across Ontario, Canada.

He has acted as a change agent and provided the leadership on several award-winning initiatives in the energy, water, clean technology, resource management, agri-food and Brownfield/property redevelopment sectors.

He thrives in the design, management and successful execution of multi-stakeholder collaborative initiatives that deliver tangible economic, environmental and social benefits, and measurable results.

His current interest and passion is in the development of sustainable sector growth models, and how an innovation ecosystems approach (based on circular economy principles) can support broader market adoption of clean energy, water and resource management solutions.

Kevin holds an MBA from Athabasca University (Canada), a MSc Pl in Environmental Planning from the University of Toronto (Canada), and an Honours bachelor degree in arts from McMaster University (Canada).

Lisa Annabel Ellis

Project Director (ESG)

Lisa is a solution-focused sustainability professional, specialising in assessment, design and integration of sustainability within business strategies.

With 20+ years of experience in developing business and operational strategies – within several sectors, including Energy, Healthcare, Banking, Insurance and Financial Services – Lisa has a proven track record of leading award-winning transformation initiatives for companies of all sizes across North America.

Drawing on her well-rounded science and financial sector expertise, Lisa helps clients advance their sustainability practices for the benefit of all stakeholders across the value chain. Lisa also places a strong emphasis on transparency and good governance, collaborating with clients to understand their ESG risks and opportunities to generate superior long-term performance and value.

Lisa also brings extensive knowledge on energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable finance and workplace safety expertise to her clients.

Lisa is passionate about climate action, and is engaged with a number of initiatives to drive change: she is currently directing a community climate action project in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada; Lisa is also developing the next generation of sustainability leaders by teaching an ESG focused project management course at Georgian College, Ontario; and she is a Board member at the Toronto Botanical Gardens where she is supporting the integration of green initiatives into their 35-acre expansion plan.

Lisa holds an Honours Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University. She is also a certified Project Manager Professional (PMP) with a Six Sigma Green Belt, and a Fundamentals of Sustainable Accounting (FSA) Level II Candidate.

Richard Brennan

Director Earthshine Group (Ireland)

Richard is a director with responsibility for business development across Ireland. A successful business leader and consultant with 18 years’ experience in the Automotive, Insurance Claims and recycling industries, he is also a qualified Black Belt in Lean Six sigma. In recent years, Richard has successfully transformed businesses, specialising in diversification, growth, and culture change, through effective processes, systems and empowerment of people — reducing waste in all areas of the business — focusing on circular economy opportunities, which impact positively on the bottom line.

Richard holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in International Business Management. He is also accredited in Carbon Literacy, providing training to SMEs and Government agencies. Richard believes: “With every challenge comes an opportunity, and behavioural change amongst a focused team can create and produce the biggest impact for the business growth and carbon footprint”.

Chris McCormick

Projects Director

Chris comes from a multi-disciplinary background that embraces leadership, urban development and interpersonal communication. He has worked in cities across the globe including London, Jakarta, Moscow and since 2004 Oslo.

His most recent work is connected to the development of smart and sustainable communities, developing innovation programmes that are driving new business models and sustainable change.

With 16 years’ experience as a project manager in the property industry, and 10 years working as a facilitator and process leader in communication, Chris has a unique approach to leading projects that finely balance the need for structure and flexibility for change.

Great solutions tend to emerge through well thought-through processes, in multi-disciplinary teams that are able to communicate clearly with each other. Facilitating such processes is very much at the core of Chris’s approach.

Chris holds a bachelor degree in Building Management from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle (UK).

George May

Project Leader/Senior Consultant

George is an experienced business transformation consultant with experience in energy, transport, automotive and retail sectors. With an outcome focused approach, he leverages a variety of disciplines to create value, including process design, effective communications and capability development – paving the way for successful transition towards a new vision.

Most recently, George has developed a sustainability impacts and benefits model, providing insight into embedded carbon and material flows within the UK automotive value chain. This work reveals directional shifts among the sector’s key actors, along with further opportunities to increase circularity, deliver radical shifts in sustainability performance, while generating new business opportunities.

George graduated from Loughborough University (UK) with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a postgraduate master’s in Finance and Management. An alumnus of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) – he now returns as an Assessor for their Business Sustainability Management course. He is also studying Systems Thinking with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In his spare time, George is a devoted surfer, keen cook, avid reader, and enthusiastic snowboarder – having achieved multiple instructing qualifications in the latter, whilst living for a brief spell on New Zealand’s mountainous South Island.

Katie Whalen

Circular Economy Leader

Katie is an international leader in the circular economy – involved in research, writing, teaching and consulting on all business aspects of this important discipline.

She is involved in education at Lund University, teaching courses on eco-design to undergraduate and master’s students. Katie is also an entrepreneur, having created and marketed ‘In the Loop’, a serious game for systems thinking and circular economy awareness. Universities and companies around the world have used ‘In the Loop’ to learn about the importance of systems thinking in material supply chains. She also hosts ‘Getting In the Loop’ (, a weekly podcast that enables experts to stay connected to what’s happening in the field of circular economy. Katie previously worked at Circle Economy, a non-profit, circular economy-focused organisation based in Amsterdam where she led the Circular Design Program.

Katie holds an MSc in Integrated Product Design from TU Delft, and is PhD Candidate at The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University.

Shyaam Ramkumar

Circular Economy Leader

Shyaam is a circular economy innovation expert with experience in Europe and the United States. He is currently a finishing his PhD in Economic Sociology at the University of Milan researching the accelerated adoption of circular innovation by companies using sociology and social network theories.
Shyaam has over 10 years of experience in sustainability and circular economy and has previously worked as the Knowledge and Innovation Manager at Circle Economy in Amsterdam, has interned with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and was a sustainability consultant with Accenture’s Chicago office in the United States. He is also the Founder of aRoundTable, a global circular economy initiative to help local communities develop circular projects and a member of Tondo, an association for advancing the Circular Economy in Italy.

Shyaam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Northwestern University and an MSc in Industrial Ecology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Inger Kærgaard

Senior Trainer & Ecology Consultant

Inger is trained as a biologist, and works in teaching, training, consultancy, and as a nature guide and ecologist. Inger has a passion for sharing her knowledge and opening our minds to the natural world – enabling us to find new possibilities in our businesses, our economies and society.

Inger has been teaching a number of key semester-based courses in Copenhagen, including: Sustainable Development – exploring the divergent goals and complex processes associated with sustainable development from a European perspective, and Urban Ecology – developing understanding on the interaction and complex interconnectedness between humans and the urban environment. Inger also teaches courses in Biological Conservation and Biodiversity – and loves to give lectures about the vital contribution of forests.

Inger also has many years of experience involved in forest conservation – including forest restoration projects in Thailand and forest protection in Indonesia. She has also produced a major photography exhibition about the forest situation in Borneo, Indonesia – shown in six locations across Denmark. Inger organised a Forest Festival in the centre of Copenhagen attracting 25,000 visitors. More recently, Inger has been providing analysis on bat conservation for Copenhagen Municipality. She also enjoys giving public tours exploring bat and natural habitats.

Inger has also worked as project manager at the University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, working on government and EU funded projects, including a design for environmental education, and a Swiss government project involving sustainable income generating activities for organic farmers in the Swiss Alps.

Inger holds a MSc in biology from the University of Copenhagen. In her spare time, Inger is a keen gardener and beekeeper.

Doris Wimmer

Project Analyst

Doris is a project analyst with experience in hydrology, water engineering, sustainability and management – with a broad knowledge in environmental sciences. She is passionate about sustainable development, the environment, and development cooperation.

Doris originally studied Environmental Engineering and Water Management in Vienna with the aims of improving people’s lives and livelihoods, and preserving natural ecosystems. With the increasing awareness of the effects of anthropogenic activities on natural ecosystem, Doris saw the need to complement this knowledge with a further degree in business – not only to observe and assess the effects of land degradation and pollution, but also to counteract unsustainable resource consumption.

Doris has a keen interest in learning from other cultures, and has travelled to many places around the world, including a three-month project in the Kenya-Uganda Border Region, working under a project for the Austrian Development Agency.

Doris is enthusiastic about linking together different fields, in order to manage resources more sustainably. She has engaged with key topics such as corporate responsibility and the circular economy within her master’s degree in Management at Cranfield University – along with her thesis on business models in the circular economy. More recently, Doris has also started to engage and participate within the European start-up scene, seeking to drive and accelerate proactive sustainability solutions in a commercial environment.