About Us

The New York Sustainable Business Council (NYSBC), the state-level affiliate of the American Sustainable Business Institute (ASBI), 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 a group of forward-thinking local businesses and business networks across New York who realized they needed a unified voice advocating for a more equitable and sustainable economy. 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 small, independent, and local businesses access to learn about and provide input on key state and federal policies. As local and BIPOC-owned businesses were disproportionately impacted 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.

Bob Rossi, Executive Director
Bob is passionate about building community and supporting business that supports rather than exploits our communities and natural environment. He has managed or partnered on startups in software, manufacturing, building, and nonprofit sectors. Bob also co-founded and served as Director of the Sustainable Enterprise & Entrepreneur Network, a “triple bottom line” business network in the Ithaca area.

Braden Crooks, President
Braden is a co-founder and partner of Designing the We, a for-benefit design studio positioned within the fields of social innovation and community driven social, cultural and economic development. He founded Groundswell PA, an organization that passed the first popular vote to ban fracking using an Environmental Bill of Rights. Braden earned his Master of Science with departmental honors from Parsons in New York, where he hones his praxis developing forms of horizontal organizing within solidarity economies.
Jan Norman, Secretary
A serial entrepreneur and mother of six, Jan started her first business, Silk Oak, in 1977. Now 30 years later, Silk Oak continues to produce brightly colored,hand silkscreened clothes for men, women, and children. Meanwhile, Jan has founded several other business, most recently Ithacamade — a gift shop that serves as a hub for bringing locally made goods to the Ithaca community and visitors. Jan is a cofounder of Local First Ithaca, a network of locally owned businesses & services, farmers, non-profits and community members.

Chris Burger, Treasurer
Chris is the president/owner of Horizon Enterprises, a resource management company engaged in computer programming. He has degrees in Chemical Engineering, Social Psychology, Public Administration, and Economics. Chris is a former County Legislator and has served on boards for Southern Tier East Regional Planning and Development Board, the Broome County Energy Commission, the Broome County Soil and Water Board, and Cornell University’s Eco-Justice Project. He also serves on the Center for Civic Engagement, NY State Council of Churches Public Policy Committee, Environmental Management Council, and National Sierra Club’s Committee on Zero Waste.