32nd Annual Summer Gala



Dr. “Indy” Burke is the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. An acclaimed international leader, she is an ecosystem ecologist whose work has focused on carbon and nitrogen cycling in semi-arid rangeland ecosystems and the effects of land management and climate variability on these systems.  A respected educator and intellectual leader in the U.S. and internationally,  Indy is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  The Yale Forestry and Environmental Studies produces cutting-edge environmental research in the natural and social sciences and is committed to serving global to local communities by helping them address critical environmental challenges such as climate change, green infrastructure development, affordable renewable energy, conservation, and sustainable management.

Michael B. Gerrard is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia Law School, teaches courses on environmental law, climate change law, and energy regulation, and founded and directs the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law. He also chaired the faculty of Columbia University’s Earth Institute from 2015 to 2018.  A prolific writer in environmental law and climate change, Gerrard twice received the Association of American Publishers’ Best Law Book award for works on environmental law and brownfields. He has written or edited thirteen books, including Global Climate Change and U.S. Law, the leading work in its field. His most recent book is Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (2019, co-edited with John Dernbach).

Greg and Kim Lippmann and family are avid environmentalists and long-time friends of SOFO.  Their organic farm in Sagaponack reflects their commitment to our community, to conservation and sustainability. After working as global head of asset-backed securities trading for Deutsche Bank, Lippmann co-founded LibreMax Capital Partners, and is its Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager.  He is a SOFO Board Trustee.  Kim is a psychologist and conservationist.  The Lippmann children are members of SOFO’s YES! Young Environmentalists Society. The family exemplifies SOFO's mission and commitment to be active stewards of our planet.

Chef Kerry Heffernan is currently Chef at Grand Banks, a historic cod fishing schooner moored at Pier 25 New York Manhattan.  Earlier in his career Heffernan honed his skills at such highly regarded restaurants as Montrachet, Le Régence, Restaurant Bouley and Mondrian with Tom Colicchio. He remains active outside the kitchen in philanthropy, serving on the City Harvest Food Council and cooking for Share Our Strength, Project by Project, and both the Central Park and Madison Square Park Conservancies and as an advisor to several nonprofit agencies charged with seafood sustainability and conservation.

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli is a world renowned chef, who began her international culinary journey at Michelin three-star restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris. After great success in France, she returned stateside joining Daniel Boulud at his restaurant, Daniel. In 2003, Guarnaschelli was given the opportunity to expand her repertoire and become the executive chef at Butter. Guarnaschelli is a recurring judge on the popular Food Network series Chopped and in 2012, she bested nine rival chefs to win The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, earning the coveted title of Iron Chef. She has also been featured as a guest co-host on Food Network's Beat Bobby Flay. Guarnaschelli is also the author of the cookbooks Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook (2013), The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart (2017) and 150 Recipes for the Home Cook (2020).


Previous Gala Videos 


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