About Us

The New York Sustainable Business Council (NYSBC) works directly with business leaders, regional business networks, and allied organizations to advance a vibrant, just, and sustainable economic future throughout New York. NYSBC was founded in 2013 by forward-thinking business leaders and local business network organizers across New York State who recognized the need for a unified voice advocating for a more equitable and sustainable economy. As the state-level affiliate of the American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN), NYSBC also works in collaboration with ASBN on federal policy and multi-state efforts.

The vast majority of businesses in New York State are small, independent, and local — yet they are governed by regulations that are heavily influenced—if not blatantly written—by national and multinational corporations. NYSBC offers the underserved small, independent, and local business leaders access to learn about and provide input on key state and federal policies that directly impact them and the success of their businesses. As local and BIPOC-owned businesses have been disproportionately hurt by the COVID pandemic, it is critical that we work together to ensure that such businesses get the support they need and a voice in Albany and Washington.

Our Team

The ongoing activities and long term evolution of this organization has been driven by countless business leaders across the state.  We are grateful for everyone who has joined us by video or marched with us to Albany. You are a critical part of this team as well.   Please contact us to learn more about how to get involved.

Board of Directors

Braden Crooks

President <br>

Braden is a founding partner at Designing the We, a social impact design studio operating in community-driven social and economic development. The DtW team designs programs, policies and enterprises that grow local communities and global networks dealing with deep crises,...

Chris Burger

Treasurer <br>

Chris is the president/owner of Horizon Enterprises, a 26-year-old resource management company engaged in computer programming. He has degrees in Chemical Engineering, Social Psychology, Public Administration, and Economics. He currently chairs the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition (BRSC). A former County...
Christine Appah profile pic

Christine Appah


Christine Appah is an attorney and consultant who specializes in environmental justice and sustainability. In addition to her work, Christine teaches environmental justice as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Her background includes...
Gladys Brangman

Gladys Brangman


Gladys Brangman is at her best when serving others and has set out to make the small business world more profitable by offering support services and networking opportunities. Her most recent venture is Business Leaders of Colors (BLOC). She believes...
Kathleen Curtis

Kathleen Curtis, LPN


Kathleen Curtis, LPN is the former Executive Director and current Senior Policy Advisor of Clean and Healthy NY (CHNY). Kathy has 30 years of experience in the environmental health movement and is a widely recognized national leader whose policy expertise...

Jan Rhodes Norman


A serial entrepreneur and mother of six, Jan started her first business, Silk Oak, in 1977. Now 45 years later, Silk Oak continues to produce brightly colored, hand-silkscreened clothes for men, women, and children. Meanwhile, Jan has founded several other...


Miaojun Pang

CRM & Communications <br>

Miaojun has an interdisciplinary background in marketing, computer science, and sustainability. Her experience includes research and consulting for a law firm, NGOs, and  research institutes. She is broadly interested in environmental and energy policy, and renewable resources storage. Miaojun holds...
Katie Ellman

Katie Ellman

Communications Coordinator<br>

Katie Ellman has an extensive background working at the intersection of the arts, culture, community organizing and civic engagement. A member of the Producers Guild of America, Katie has produced projects ranging from documentaries to television series and podcasts, with...
Bob Rossi

Bob Rossi

Executive Director <br>

When leading NYSBC efforts, Bob draws from his diverse experience in sustainable business, nonprofit development, community organizing, and activism. Bob has been instrumental in several sustainable business startups including a skateboard manufacturer, bio-composite manufacturer, green building worker-owned cooperative, a web...
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Camille Cannistraci

Deputy Director <br>

Camille has a passion for the reduction of environmental factors contributing to the rise of chronic disease, including transformation to a safer chemicals economy. She earned a professional certificate in sustainability with the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) and...
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Aaron Fumarola

Grant Writer <br>

Born and raised in the Finger Lakes town of Homer, NY, Aaron is a 2007 graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he studied political science and philosophy. In 2010, he completed a Masters of Professional...