Jessy Servi Ortiz

What does WSBC do?

Jessy Servi Ortiz: “The council really is the go-to spot for business in the state of Wisconsin around sustainability. We are a resource. We have a Green Masters program, which is a free tool for businesses to asses where they are on the sustainability spectrum … we offer consulting, we do awards for businesses. We really like to see ourselves as the go-to resource for leadership in the state of Wisconsin around sustainability.”

Changing from a single organization to statewide focus?

“For me, that’s the most exciting part about taking this role, because when I decided to get my MBA my goal was to consult businesses on sustainability. I really see the potential inside the business community to make a tremendous impact on their communities, on their workforce, on the environment.”

Where did sustainability passion come from?

“I grew up camping and connecting to the plentiful resources we have in this beautiful state and across the country … so I’ve always had a heart connection to nature and caring for it. … I (also) grew up inside a house of entrepreneurs, both of my parents are business owners and my sister as well, and so I always spoke business language, I grew up at the dinner table talking shop. I knew I could be a bridge between caretaking the land and the communities with businesses.”

What do we get wrong about sustainability?

“There’s a notion that it’s a tree hugger thing or it doesn’t make business sense. I think resource efficiency equates to reduced costs, which also relates to increased profit. There is a tremendous business case for managing your resources more efficiently.”

Jessy Servi Ortiz

Managing director

Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council 

Age: 39

Hometown: Brookfield    

Education: University of Minnesota, BS, interior design; Alverno College, MBA, sustainable business

Previous position: Sustainability manager, Outpost Natural Foods Cooperative

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