Hubbard Sustainability Series


The Claire M. Hubbard Foundation Sustainability Series is a quarterly event at MCC at Do Space that allows speakers to inform the public about the importance of sustainability on a local, regional and national level. These speakers will show that the sustainability problems and their solutions can begin locally, but need everyone’s attention to help keep the community, the country and even the planet operating smoothly. The topic and its experts change every quarter. This quarter is focused on sustainable solutions for food waste.

In addition to attending our speakers' presentations, guests will also be able to visit a community sustainability showcase, during break and at the conclusion of the main event, with tables from local companies. Light refreshments will be provided by No More Empty Pots. 

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
WHERE: MCC at Do Space | 7205 Dodge Street (second floor)
This event is FREE and open to the public. Registration is encouraged but not required.

Event Speakers:

Gary Oppenheimer
Founder/executive director,

Gary OppenheimerAware of the increasing hunger problem in America and, in 2009, after seeing the amount of wasted food in the community garden as well as other gardens around the country, Oppenheimer created – a nationwide program enabling America’s 42 million home and community gardeners to donate their excess bounty to thousands of food pantries nationwide.
Named CNN Hero a year later, he was introduced on "Larry King Live" which was followed by a live interview with CNN anchor Ali Velshi. Because works closely with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, he had the opportunity to meet the President and First Lady and she subsequently highlighted in a speech in early 2012.
Oppenheimer resides in the mountains of northern New Jersey. He is a master gardener, Rutgers Environmental Steward, former community garden director, environmental commissioner in northern New Jersey, an avid gardener and long distance cyclist. He also enjoys boating, hiking, farming (chickens for eggs and vegetables) and attacking challenges of all sorts. He is a firm believer in the notion that to do the impossible, you must first believe it isn’t.

  • Named CNN Hero in 2010
  • World Food Prize nominee
  • Points of Light winner
  • Huff Post “2011 Game Changer” and “Greatest Person of the Day“
  • James Beard Foundation Food Waste Advisory Board member
  • Winner of the Russell Berrie Foundation’s “Making A Difference” award
  • Glynwood’s “Wave of the Future” award
  • Elfenworks “In Harmony With Hope” award
  • Purpose Prize Fellow
  • Echoing Green semifinalist

Beth Ostdiek Smith
Founder/CEO/president, Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue

Beth Ostdiek SmithBeth Ostdiek Smith is a skilled leader in business management, marketing, fundraising, donor development and public speaking. As an accomplished professional with more than 30 years in leadership roles in local business and the past 15 years in non-profit business. Ostdiek Smith is an articulate communicator and has proven ability to leverage relationships with diverse levels of management, staff and community leaders. She has built her skills and leadership abilities in her past roles where she served as director of Community and Donor Relations with Partnership 4 Kids, president of Winners Circle Educational Program and general manager/vice president of Travel Faire/American Express.
Ostdiek Smith has demonstrated success with her entrepreneur spirit in building two non-profit businesses that provide charitable services to the community. This has done with sound business management, fundraising, team building and volunteer recruitment in our corporate community. Working with Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha Public Power District, Mutual of Omaha, Lozier Manufacturing and others.
Since creating Saving Grace in 2013, Ostdiek Smith has been awarded the 2013 SCORE “Sam Epstein” Entrepreneur Award. Saving Grace received the Greater Omaha Chamber 2016 “Excellence Award for Innovation”, 2018 Food Day and 2019 Earth Day, Non-Profit of the Year Awards. In May 2019, it received the FBI Director Community Leadership Award in Washington D.C. 
Ostdiek Smith has traveled the world and loves learning about other cultures. She has volunteered as a mentor for inner city kids, helping those in need through the St. Vincent DePaul Society and visiting the homebound and elderly. She is a past member of Executive Women International and is currently a Nebraska representative with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.
Ostdiek Smith’s life passion is to collaborate with others in our community to bring together a brighter future. She strives to inspire those she meets to use their unique gifts and to acknowledge that we all have a purpose. She is now expanding her focus through Saving Grace to help the food desert community’s nutritional needs while saving our landfills. 


Past Events:

July 11, 2019 - Renewable Energy
Click the photo for the recording of the event
July 11, 2019 - Renewable Energy

March 20, 2019 - Wellness and the Built Environment
Click the photo for a recording of the event
March 20, 2019 — Wellness and the Built Environment speakers

Nov. 4, 2018 - Water
HUBBARD SUSTAINABILITY SERIES: WATER speakers sitting on green couch with moderator standing to their left.

July 14, 2018 - Climate Change
July 14, 2018 Climate Change speakers

March 28, 2018 - Trees
Hubbard Sustainability Series speakers sitting on a green couch at Do Space - March 28, 2018

November 30, 2017
Hubbard Sustainability Series - November 30, 2017 speakers sitting on a green couch with spectators visible in foreground.