Going Green: Irish America Honors Environmental Executives


Born in Atlanta and a graduate of the College of Charleston in South Carolina with a degree in mass media communications, Charisse McAuliffe began her career working as a segment producer and field producer for Warner Brothers/Telepictures and as a production manager for ASAG Productions. Following a position as a broadcast producer, she got her real estate license and began brokering commercial real estate projects. Starting with green building practices, Charisse explored other areas of the sustainable lifestyle, and in 2006 moved to Colorado, where she began to pursue her environmental calling. She made it her life’s mission to make it easier for people in Colorado, the U.S., and hopefully one day the world to live sustainably.

Charisse was named one of the top 40 business leaders under 40 for 2008 by the Northern Colorado Business Report and one of the “Hottest CEOs of Cool Green Companies” by TreeHugger.com in 2009. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association and Northern Colorado USGBC. She has two daughters, Kylah and Abigail. A fourth-generation Irish American with ancestry in Cork, Charisse says, “Raised by my mostly Irish parents, I was brought up believing that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. I have often given credit for my passionate attitude towards life to my Irish roots. We put our hearts and soul into all that we do, we take great pride in our heritage, and consider it of the utmost importance to carry the message of where we came from to the generations that come after us.”


Where Coffee Goes Green
R. Scott McCreary, COO,
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

Since 1981, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. has been roasting the finest Arabica beans from coffee-growing communities around the world, creating award-winning blends. Their goal is to provide consumers with an extraordinary coffee experience that’s environmentally sound, socially just, and delicious. They work to achieve this goal by integrating their values with their business operations and allocating 5% of pre-tax earnings to social and environmental causes.

Through their business, Green Mountain hopes to inspire others to view business as a partner, and positive change agent, in the global effort to create long-term solutions and sustainability for people and ecosystems worldwide. They have developed programs around energy use and solid waste and funded grants related to jobs programs that merge environmental stewardship with poverty relief; the development of creative economies in rural areas; raising awareness and building capacities related to organic farming and fair trade as well as supporting an annual effort to clean up our nation’s rivers, among other causes.

Scott has served as chief operating officer of GMCR’s Specialty Coffee Business Unit since  2004. From 1993 until joining GMCR, Scott was employed by Unilever North American and its subsidiaries. His experiences include positions with Kraft General Foods, M&M Mars and Pillsbury.

Scott holds an MBA in marketing from the University of Minnesota and a BS in engineering. He is a fourth-generation Irish American with roots in County Down.

Setting an Example
Patrick Lynch, Senior Vice President and CFO, Interface, Inc.

In 1994, Ray Anderson, founder of Interface, Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet, awakened to the urgent need to set a new course toward sustainability. Interface committed to become the first name in industrial ecology worldwide, setting a course to total sustainability and a promise to eliminate any negative impact Interface might have on the environment by 2020. Seven of its manufacturing facilities currently operate with 100 percent renewable electricity, and more than 27 percent of Interface’s global energy consumption is derived from renewable sources. 

The company, which has a subsidiary in Craigavon, County Armagh, also began a program in 1995 to identify, measure and eliminate waste in manufacturing processes, and has successfully achieved a 50 percent reduction in waste cost per unit, resulting in $372 million saved to date. In 2007, Interface became the first carpet manufacturer to implement a process for “clean separation,” allowing for a maximum amount of post-consumer material to be recycled into new products.

Patrick C. Lynch joined Interface in 1996 and became vice president and CFO in 2001. He was promoted to senior vice president in 2007. Patrick graduated from The Citadel in Charleston with a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1992. He then went on to earn both a juris doctor degree in law and a master of business administration degree from Georgia State. A fourth-generation Irish American with roots in Cork, Patrick says that his Irish heritage provides him with “shining examples of faith and perseverance when faced with difficult circumstances.” Patrick resides in Atlanta with his wife Erica and their two daughters, Emily and Molly.