As we present our annual Business 100 list, a celebration of the best and the brightest Irish-American executives and their standout achievements in the corporate world, we remain committed to highlighting progressive and innovative examples of business and industry. The following companies and executives are pioneers in using ecological thinking to fuel successful business. From electric cars and green energy production to sustainable cleaning products and free-range fish farming, this year’s Irish greens represent Irish Americans on the cutting edge of eco-friendly development.
Brian O’Hanlon, President, Founder and Board Member, Open Blue Sea Farms
Open Blue Sea Farms’s mission is to feed the growing premium fish market with all natural, healthy, delicious branded seafood, through environmentally safe and sustainable free-range open-ocean farming methods. Their fish are cultivated in native waters far offshore in the open ocean and raised in a strong flow of pristine waters that have not been impacted or influenced by land. Further, their sustainable methods can satiate growing appetites without poisoning the environment, our oceans, sea life and us.
Brian O’Hanlon is an open-ocean aquaculture veteran who has had multiple milestone successes in culturing and farming species of fish. Through his first venture, Snapperfarm, Inc., he was one of the first to move fish farming into the open sea. His fascination with the sea is no surprise, coming from a family that has for three generations worked in the seafood industry, beginning with his grandfather John, who spent his professional life at New York’s famous Fulton Fish Market. As a youngster, Brian became aware that our oceans would no longer be able to supply enough food for the world, and his passion focused on fish farming as the best way to alleviate the condition of our emptying seas.
Brian, with plans to significantly expand his proven seafood cultivation technology and market acceptance under the Open Blue Sea Farms banner, is actively pursuing investment for Open Blue’s deep open-ocean aquaculture launch of branded, upscale and gourmet seafood products. He calls it “The Open Blue Revolution,” cultivating seafood far from shore into the open ocean where strong currents and deep water support biomass without damaging sensitive ecosystems. This translates to environmental and social impacts reduced or eliminated, stakeholder impacts being avoided, reduced energy consumption and improved coastal conditions in addition to creating a reliable, year round and sustainable supply of nutritious, healthy, safe, and delicious seafood.
O’Hanlon is a founding board member of the Ocean Stewards Institute and is on the Steering Committee of the World Wildlife Fund’s Cobia Standards Dialogue. He is a fourth-generation Irish American with roots in Kerry, Clare, Louth, Limerick and Galway.
The Green Mr. Clean
Adam Lowry, Chief Greenskeeper and CEO, Method Products, Inc.
Method Products, Inc. combines the efficacy of powerful cleaning products with the safety of naturally derived, non-toxic ingredients. Their entire line of home and personal care products is biodegradable and safe for people and the environment. They offset carbon emissions by planting forests and by buying electricity from renewable sources like solar and wind energy.
Adam Lowry believes that business is our greatest vehicle for positive social and environmental change. First and foremost an entrepreneur and change agent, Adam has a proven track record of innovation across multiple categories and consumer segments.
Prior to founding Method, Adam worked as a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Science, developing software products for the study of global climate change. As CEO and chief greenskeeper of Method Products, Adam’s focus is bringing sustainable innovations to the business. He also directs the sustainability aspects of product design, sourcing, and production, and provides strategic input for consumer marketing and the press.
A third-generation Irish American whose great-grandfather Thomas Kirkpatrick Lowry was born in 1889 in Cork, Adam says that his Irish heritage means “you go after the things you believe in and make sure to enjoy yourself while you’re in the fight.” Adam holds a BS in chemical engineering from Stanford University, and resides in San Francisco with his wife, Mara, and daughter, Kenning.
Charisse McAuliffe, Founder and CEO, GenGreen LLC
The goal of GenGreen LLC is to be the most comprehensive and diverse resource available for people looking to live a locally focused, environmentally conscious lifestyle. This is accomplished through GenGreenLife.com, the largest database of accredited green businesses and organizations in North America, where over 60,000 listings in the GenGreen network form a multi-faceted platform for communication, education and connection, from green news headlines, job listings and events, to tips helping consumers live a sustainable life. GenGreen is one of the preeminent aggregators and distributors of environmental content online.