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Zachary Damato
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I have spent most of my career working/consulting on environmental issues ranging from food waste to food start-ups to river conservation. In 2009, I and two friends founded a specialty & organic food distribution company (www.normandistribution.com). Afterward, I spent two years doing internships in different industries (i.e. sous chef & start-up consulting). I am currently the Chief Operations Officer of Niwa (www.getniwa.com), a company that designs smart hydroponic hardware that is software enabled. Additionally, in 2016, I co-founded Urban Rivers (www.urbanriv.org) which focuses on turning urban riverways into wildlife sanctuaries and we’re spearheading a mile-long park, known as the Wild Mile in the Chicago River. I really enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, basketball, and exploring new cultures. I hold a B.S. in Organizational Management and a certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Purdue University and Tsinghua University.

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