Terry Gips is a nationally recognized sustainability leader, business consultant, author, ecologist, agricultural economist, Natural Step instructor and speaker with more than 50 years of experience in global environmental leadership, policy, sustainable development, business management and consulting. He volunteers as President of the Alliance for Sustainability, which he co-founded in 1983. He serves as head of its S.H.E. Kindness Campaign (Sustainability, Health, Equity and Kindness). He is CEO of Sustainability Associates, which works with business, government and nonprofits to save money, improve performance and become sustainability leaders.
Previously, he was Aveda Corporation Director of Ecological Affairs and Sustainability, where he was responsible for assuring the soundness of all aspects of Aveda operations. Earlier, Gips was co-founder and President of the International Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture. He helped develop the concept of sustainability and worked to have it become widely accepted around the world through publications, speaking and policy, from the toughest organic standards in the US and grants and loans for farmers to go organic to bans on hazardous pesticides and the adoption of sustainable agriculture by all 179 countries at the 1992 UN Earth Summit.
Gips was White House aide to President Carter, Congressional Legislative Assistant to US Representative John Krebs, aide to US Representative Abner Mikva. Assistant to the Chief Economist at Cargill and Grain Merchant,
Minneapolis College of Art & Design Adjunct Faculty, U of MN Center for Spirituality and Healing Collaborator, Co-founder/Director of Cooperative Extension’s Sacramento Community Garden Program, and Wall Street brokerage assistant with Neuberger & Berman. He has been a British assembly line worker, Boston Checker Cab Driver, restaurant server/cook, CMC Resident Assistant, teenage gang social worker and gas station attendant (first job).
He wrote the widely-acclaimed Breaking the Pesticide Habit, co-authored The Humane Consumer and Producer Guide, contributed to Sustainable Graphic Design and Packaging Sustainability, edited Manna, and wrote about organic agriculture based on his work in 45 countries. He was selected to serve on the MN Pollution Control Agency’s Waste Pesticide Task Force, MN Department of Agriculture Organic Advisory Committee, Minneapolis Public Library Blue Ribbon Task Force, and MN Environmental Quality Board’s Ground Water Advisory Committee, which helped develop and pass landmark ground water legislation in MN.
Gips has been a leader of diverse organizations, including Chair of the City of St. Louis Park Environment and Sustainability Commission, Co-Chair of Business for Social Responsibility–Upper Midwest, Founding Vice-Chair of Congregations Caring for Creation (Now MN Power & Light), leader of the Twin Cities Jewish Renewal Community, head of EarthSave MN, Co-founder of the Living Green Expo and President of the Wedge Coop. He has received a Konrad Adenauer Foundation Fellowship and the Giraffe Award for risks he has taken to protect the environment.
He was a founding board member of CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) and the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life. Gips served as the North American representative for IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) and as a board member for the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, Pesticide Action Network of North America, Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, University of MN Hillel, Skiers Ending Hunger and Rancho La Puerta Spa & Resort. He is a long-time member of the American Sustainable Business Network (formerly, Social Venture Network).
Gips grew up in Highland Park, IL where he was President of the Highland Park High School Student Council. He graduated cum laude from Claremont McKenna College in Public Affairs. He completed graduate work at the University of California, Davis (MS, Agricultural and Applied Economics) and the Yale School of Management (MBA/Masters of Public and Private Management). He is a graduate of the first US Natural Step Framework Instructor Program, which provides proven, win-win-win sustainability solutions. He lives in St. Louis Park, MN where is the father of four wonderful children and one happy dog.