SENFC Newsletter

July 2021

"Our past presidents did an outstanding job of creating the vision and foundation for our necessary and noble work within our beloved events industry.  With the global need to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, we have much work to do in order to make sure our industry does its part.  While the SENFC mission is to “lead the meetings and events industry in the advancement of sustainable practices in Florida and the Caribbean”, I believe that we are also bonded by our shared passion for igniting awareness and action through education as we fight the good fight with like-minded individuals."

Welcoming Joanna Berens, SENFC President

Joanna founded Joanna Berens Hospitality, Inc. in 2006. JBH specializes in hotel site selection and contract negotiations, working with meeting organizers with programs taking place anywhere in the world. Joanna has major market experience including Washington DC, New York City and Miami. Before creating JBH she executed on-property sales for the Sheraton Bal Harbour Beach Resort and rounded out her expertise as a Global Account Director for Starwood & Resorts representing over 750 properties worldwide. 
Joanna Berens Hospitality, Inc.'s Current Client Roster includes national and local trade associations, Fortune 500 corporations, non-profit entities and social clientele. Currently accredited by IATAN.

Find Joanna Online:

Plastic Free July!

This month, SENFC and our partners are celebrating Plastic Free July and saying NO to single-use plastics. 

Modifying food purchasing habits can go a long way in reducing plastic. Most products we come across in the grocery store rely on plastic in some way — whether that be for transport or packaging. By bringing your own grocery and produce bags, your family has reduced the amount of plastic you use each week.

Even with making plastic-free switches for shopping, so much food is still wasted at home. Composting is a great way to grow closer to becoming entirely waste free. Composting can reduce the amount of food waste that your household contributes to landfills on a daily basis and create nutrient-dense compost that can be used for gardening. 

Other plastic-free group activities include cleaning and storage of shared groceries. A number of companies have created plastic-free alternatives to cleaning products, including window cleaner, dishwasher tablets and washing machine tablets. All of these products can reduce your family’s plastic footprint.

It’s important to remember that while living sustainably and plastic free is beneficial to the planet, previously purchased products should still be used instead of thrown away.

For more tips and tricks on how to reduce your overall plastic consumption sign up for EARTHDAY.ORG’s End Plastic Pollution campaign. Become a member to support our work against plastic and to join a growing community of environmental advocates working to protect the planet we all rely on. Support the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act to transform waste and recycling management in the United States.

Check Out this Blog by our Member at D'light Events:

Eco-Friendly Weddings

"We are proud to be a member of the Sustainable Events Network, Florida & Caribbean which is a sustainability resource for individuals, associations, corporations, event planners, and event venues in Florida and the Caribbean but we are available to guide you to environmentally conscious decisions where ever you are located. It can be overwhelming to find out the vendors and all important information, so outsourcing this part or at least asking for a supportive hand can save you a lot of time and stress."

Our Partner Spotlights:

If you’re like most business owners you want to build a sustainable, profitable company. You care about your community, your employees and others who depend on you, and you want to protect the natural beauty that makes the Florida & Caribbean lifestyle so special. This month our North Florida Director, Vickie Corder spoke to the NFGCC members about SENFC's Zero Food Waste and Recycling initiatives.  

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) focuses on helping their members achieve these goals, and more. As a member, you establish that you are a leader by making a statement to others that your employees, our planet and profitability are all important to your success and legacy. This is the triple bottom line advantage

Environmentally friendly changes are profitable in so many ways and getting more so every day.  But it’s not always easy, and it helps to know where to turn for guidance and support.  NFGCC offers competitive advantages that make your business more sustainable including:

  • Access to education, toolkits, resources and sustainable products & services
  • Recognition of your sustainability efforts and leadership
  • Advocacy of business-friendly policies and legislation to further our mission

In North Florida, the group hosts member events, focusing their advocacy on improving advantages for businesses and consumers in Nassau, Duval, Saint Johns, Flagler, Baker, Clay, Putnam, Union, Bradford and Alachua counties.  Globally, their close relationship with USGCC - United States Green Chamber of Commerce, gives them a direct pulse on the latest sustainable business trends, best practices and green innovation around the world. 

For more information click here or visit NFGCC on social media:


Right here in Florida is the world's leading "green" hospitality industry publication, Green Lodging News. Green Lodging News, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, consists of a website, weekly e-newsletter, and weekly Green Supplier e-blasts. Green Lodging News covers topics ranging from wellness to energy conservation to the elimination of plastics. Green Lodging News offers exposure opportunities for suppliers through both editorial and advertising.

Email Green Lodging News

or call (813) 510-3868 for more information.

SENFC Donates to BEST in Honor of Former President, Francis Purvey

To commemorate the year and a half that Francis Purvey led this motley crew of sustainability enthusiasts, we have donated to an organization based on his home island of Bermuda. BEST or Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Task Force, works to preserve and enhance the quality of life in Bermuda for present and future generations by engaging with the community to advocate for sustainable management and development of the physical, social and economic environments. Francis led this network through a global pandemic: growing membership, outreach and our digital footprint.  Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do for our organization.

Jobs in Sustainability!

Click on these current job opportunities in the sustainability field to learn more:

SENFC 2021 - 2022 Board of Officers and Directors:

President and Chief Zero Waste Enthusiast

Joanna Berens


Joanna Berens Hospitality, Inc.

Immediate Past President / Treasurer

Francis W. Purvey

Executive Vice President

Sunlark Associates


Vickie Corder, CMP

Senior Director, Global Accounts


Director - Chief Recycling Enthusiast

Sue Flak

Recycling Education and Marketing Coordinator

Indian River County, Florida

Director - Chief Membership Enthusiast, Chief Communications Enthusiast

Lisa Pickersgill


Remote Hospitality Team

Director - Founding Past President

Steven Pollock, CMP

Manager, Global Accounts


Director - Chief Education Enthusiast 

Marianne Schmidhofer

Sustainability Managing Director

Whats Your Purpose

SENFC 2021 College Interns:

Public Relations and Communications Intern

Emma Stroka

Public Relations Major, Sustainability Studies Minor

Hofstra University

Digital Marketing and Social Media Intern

Ashley Thompson

Hospitality Management Major, General Business Minor

James Madison University

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