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Running USA 2020 to Include Session on Climate Change and Its Impact on Sports

10 Dec, 2019


Climate change is impacting events across the nation, from heat waves creating health risks for both participants and spectators to heavy rainfall and violent storms damaging buildings and other infrastructure. A general session panel discussion at the 2020 Running USA Industry Conference will focus on this important but intimidating topic.

“Climate Leadership in a Changing World: A Call to Action,” will include two representatives from Chicago Event Management (CEM), the producers of the Chicago Marathon known for their commitment to sustainability. Cat Morris, CEM’s Sustainability Manager, will be a panelist and Michael Nishi, the company’s Executive Vice President, will chair the conversation.

“What are the responsibilities of events to combat climate change? How do we begin setting realistic goals to reduce our emissions? Where are the opportunities to engage stakeholders and partners to join the challenge? These questions and more will provide what promises to be a lively and engaging discussion on what an event’s roles and responsibilities are in setting and achieving climate action goals,” Morris said.

Also participating in the panel discussion will be Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport (Council). The Council is known for its pioneering efforts to measure the impact of running events on the environment and promote and recognize ways to reduce those impacts.

The fourth panelist, Natalie Casey, is vice president of communications for Orlando-based race production company Track Shack. Producing events of all sizes from small to large in Florida, a state with heavy climate impacts, Track Shack has a unique perspective on what events can do to face rapidly changing times.

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