Rally Speakers

Paul Douglas

Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with over 40 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist and Founder of Media Logic Group. Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for various media and corporate interests at Praedictix. Developers and engineers create unique streams of weather data, imagery and API’s via AerisWeather. He files print and online updates for Star Tribune and co-hosts a radio program with Jordana Green weekdays from 3-6 PM on WCCO Radio. Douglas is on the board of EEN, the Evangelical Environmental Network, focused stewardship and Creation Care. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. He has two sons; Paul and his wife of 34 years live in the western suburbs of Minneapolis.

Karen Diver

Karen Diver's record of accomplishments includes serving in the Obama White House from November 2015 to January 2017 as Special Assistant to the President in Native Affairs. As a member of the Domestic Policy Council staff, she advised President Obama on issues impacting Indian Country. She was the first woman to serve as Chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, spending eight years in that role. She also served as Vice President of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe; a member of the Board of Directors for the Corporation for Support of Housing; a two-term Chair of the Boards of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Women's Foundation of Minnesota; and as a Presidential appointee to the State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resiliency, co-chairing the Natural Resources Committee.



Christopher Pennell, PhD

Christopher Pennell is the associate Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Masonic Cancer Center of the University of Minnesota. A nationally recognized leader in cancer research, Dr. Pennell specializes in the development of novel strategies for cancer treatment - focusing on a personalized approach using each patient's own unique immune system for treating cancer. He is recipient of numerous awards and the 'Leaders for A Cure' accolade from the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.

J. Drake Hamilton

J. Drake Hamilton is Fresh Energy’s science policy director. An expert in climate and energy policy at the state and national levels, her responsibilities include scientific analysis and policy development of clean energy solutions to global warming that will maximize economic opportunities. J. represents Fresh Energy at the global climate summits, and witnessed the historic 2015 Paris Agreement; she showcased Minnesota’s nation-leading deep carbon reductions at the 2017 Bonn Climate Summit.  She gives more than 50 invited presentations each year to businesses and civic organizations. Her recent business audiences have included 3M, Allina Health, and Medtronic. J.’s frequent media appearances include television, Minnesota Public Radio, and business press as well as the Washington Post and New York Times. J. earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in physical geography from Dartmouth College and the University of Minnesota, with an emphasis on climatology and water resources, and was formerly assistant professor at The George Washington University. She ranks among the top 12 climate communicators internationally. Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine named Hamilton “one of Minnesota’s 100 influential people who make things happen.” J. also grows organic peaches, pears, apples, and plums that have won blue ribbons at the Minnesota State Fair.


Betty McCollum

Betty McCollum represents the families of Minnesota’s Fourth District in the United States House of Representatives. In 2000, Congresswoman McCollum made history as only the second Minnesota woman elected to serve in Congress since statehood in 1858. McCollum represents the residents of Minnesota's capital cit...y, St. Paul, as well as all of Ramsey County and most of Washington County. Throughout her career in public service, Congresswoman McCollum has been a champion for excellence in education, protecting the environment, expanding health care access, fiscal responsibility, and robust international engagement that prioritizes diplomacy, development, along with a strong national defense. Protecting clean air and water, wild lands, and our nation’s natural treasures for future generations are among McCollum’s top priorities as she leads the Interior-Subcommittee.







The Rubies

Ava Kian, Rachel Springer, and Izzy Mack are members of the Rubies, a student robotics team of six girls based in Minneapolis.   The Rubies have been around for six years, and this year will be participating in the FIRST Tech Challenge for the third time, and heading to the world championships for the second time.   The Rubies' mission is to create equal access to STEM education for all students regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic background while establishing a strong, sustainable FIRST community by recruiting more volunteers, starting new robotics teams and STEM programs, and mentoring teams to ensure future self-sufficiency.

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Andrew Totz

Andrew Totz is a junior at Avalon School where he co-leads the Green Team. He is a member of YEA! MN, a network of youth taking action on climate change, and a program of Climate Generation. Andrew has an uncanny knowledge of 80s one-hit wonders, lives for the power of people,  and his biggest inspiration is Clint Malarchuk, a former NHL goalie from the 80s spoke out about his struggles with mental health.


Eric Dayton

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Eric Dayton and his brother co-founded Askov Finlayson in 2011, an outdoor clothing company inspired by year-round exploration with the mission to Keep the North Cold. The company measures its own carbon footprint and then gives away 110% of that amount annually to support leading-edge climate change solutions. Askov Finlayson has committed $1 million over the next five years to fund some of the world’s most innovative climate action organizations.

Eric and his brother also own North First Hospitality, which includes The Bachelor Farmer, named one of Bon Appetit’s top ten new restaurants, and Marvel Bar, a three-time James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Bar Program in America.


Eric is the co-founder and board president of The Great Northern, an annual 10-day winter festival that celebrates Minnesota's signature season. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and their two sons.