Openlands 2016 Annual Luncheon

October 13, 2016 | Networking Reception: 10:30 am, Luncheon and Program: noon - 1:30pm

Conservation Leadership Award Recipient: Sophia Shaw, Former President & CEO, Chicago Botanic Garden

Keynote Speaker: Audrey Peterman, President, Earthwise Productions, Inc.

Host Committee Co-Chairs of the Openlands 2016 Annual Luncheon:  
Dominic Kempson
Jeanine McNally

Hilton Chicago | 720 S. Michigan Avenue

Patron Ticket | $250, your name will be listed in the program booklet.
Individual Ticket | $150

To become an event sponsor please contact or call 312-863-6261.

Who is it that experiences nature?

Who benefits from the enchanting nearby trail that provides freedom to run and explore? Who ventures out to the vast expanses of land, only a train stop away, that echo how nature flourished thousands of years ago? And who finds respite in peaceful gardens among the cityscape, green havens that heal minds and encourage hope?

The rare and restored natural landscapes, verdant gardens, inviting parks, and open waterfronts that give us clean air to breathe and rejuvenate our souls are not for a select group of people, but for everyone.

The 2016 Annual Luncheon will unite the conservation community around the goal of inviting people to explore the special natural places throughout our urban region. Openlands believes that people protect the places they love and that it is vital to the future health of our communities to bring even greater awareness to these essential places.


2016 Keynote Speaker

Openlands can think of no one better to speak to the experience of connecting diverse audiences to nearby natural areas than Audrey Peterman.

Audrey Peterman is a nationally recognized leader in the movement to make America’s public lands relevant to every demographic group in our population and to show these places as the glue that holds us together.

Since 1995 Mrs. Peterman and her husband Frank have been traveling the national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and open spaces, and so are eminently familiar with the effects of our changing climate. Together, they co-founded Earthwise Productions, Inc., an environmental consulting and publishing firm focused on connecting the public lands system and the American public. Today Mrs. Peterman weaves the themes of relevance, inclusiveness, natural resource protection and climate resilience into spellbinding presentations that bring the importance of connecting people to nature into sharp focus.

On touring the national parks, Audrey says, “Traveling through the park system, I get a bigger picture of what America really is. It is so much more inclusive of all the races. Everybody has contributed to the greatness of this country.”


2016 Conservation Leadership Award Recipient

Openlands is thrilled to honor Sophia Shaw, and we greatly admire her work to bring new audiences to the treasure that is the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Sophia Shaw

After ten years of outstanding service at the Chicago Botanic GardenSophia Shaw retired as President and CEO earlier this year, leaving an international legacy of public engagement and leadership.

Under Ms. Shaw’s guidance, the Chicago Botanic Garden generated an almost 50 percent increase in attendance. Ms. Shaw helped to expand the audiences of the Garden, establishing it not only as one of the great public gardens of the world, but also as a global model for conservation, urban agriculture, and horticulture jobs training and education, emphasizing programs for diverse and underserved communities in partnership with a wide variety of corporations, schools, healthcare centers, organizations, and government agencies.

Beyond the important role that she has played in building urban agriculture, horticultural therapy, and science programs at the Garden and her role in the Chicago community, she has been an active leader and spokesperson for plant conservation nationally and globally.


Openlands 2016 Annual Luncheon Corporate Sponsors
As of September 26, 2016

Emerald Sponsors

The Negaunee Foundation

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors
Bartlett Tree Experts
BMO Harris Bank

Christy Webber Landscapes
Living Habitats
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
U.S. Bank
West Monroe Partners
University of Chicago, Office of Civic Engagement


Silver Sponsors

BNSF Railway


To learn more about sponsorship opportunities please contact or call 312-863-6273.

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