Climate Leadership Focus of Sustainability Panel Discussion at Running USA 2020


Events can and must do more to reduce impacts on the environment. This compelling general session with discuss sustainability strategies, goals and more


DETROIT (Sept. 26, 2019) – Climate change is impacting events across the nation, from heat waves creating health risks for both participants and spectators to heavy rainfall and violent storms damaging buildings and other infrastructure. A general session panel discussion at the 2020 Running USA Industry Conference will focus on this important but intimidating topic.

“Climate Leadership in a Changing World: A Call to Action,” will include two representatives from Chicago Event Management (CEM), the producers of the Chicago Marathon known for their commitment to sustainability. Cat Morris, CEM’s Sustainability Manager, will be a panelist and Michael Nishi, the company’s Executive Vice President, will chair the conversation.

What are the responsibilities of events to combat climate change? How do we begin setting realistic goals to reduce our emissions? Where are the opportunities to engage stakeholders and partners to join the challenge? These questions and more will provide what promises to be a lively and engaging discussion on what an event’s roles and responsibilities are in setting and achieving climate action goals,” Morris said.

Also participating in the panel discussion will be Shelley Villalobos, Managing Director of the Council for Responsible Sport (Council). The Council is known for its pioneering efforts to measure the impact of running events on the environment and promote and recognize ways to reduce those impacts.

The fourth panelist, Natalie Casey, is Vice President of Communications for Orlando-based race production company Track Shack. Producing events of all sizes from small to large in Florida, a state with heavy climate impacts, Track Shack has a unique perspective on what events can do to face rapidly changing times.

Come ready to ask compelling questions and get hard facts about how the running industry is being impacted by climate change and what we can do collectively to reduce event impacts, including from procurement, materials management and participant travel.

Not registered for the world’s business-to-business event focused solely on the running industry? Get signed up here.


About the Industry Conference

Since its origins as a small gathering of Running USA’s founders in Southern California in 2004, the Running USA annual conference has grown to becoming the best-attended, most esteemed gathering of running industry professionals from around the USA and the world. Now moving locations each year, the conference has been held in Los Angeles, San Diego, Savannah, Houston, San Antonio, Orlando, New Orleans, San Juan, Puerto Rico and now Las Vegas, Nevada.  Register here.

About Running USA

Running USA is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization devoted to improving the status and experience of distance running and racing in the United States through collective marketing and promotions, information and communications within the industry and to the national media, services to events and industry members, and the development of American world class stars. It seeks the advancement of the sport and the provision of value to each of its members' events and businesses. For more information, visit