AN UNLIKELY PARTNERSHIP BEGAN WHEN MICHELLE ALFANDARI “LIT UP” AFTER HEARING DOUG TALLAMY SPEAK. THEREAFTER, THE TWO MET VIRTUALLY MANY TIMES, TRYING TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER’S “LINGUA FRANCA” (HIS- SCIENTIFIC; HERS - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT/MARKETING). THEY FOUND COMMON GROUND IN WANTING TO SCALE DOUG’S BOTTOM-UP CALL-TO-ACTION FOR PLANTING NATIVE PLANTS AND RESTORING BIODIVERSITY.
Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 106 research publications and has taught insect-related courses for 41 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book Bringing Nature Home was published by Timber Press in 2007, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was published in 2014; Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times bestseller, was released in February 2020, and his latest book, The Nature of Oaks, was released in March 2021. His awards include recognition from The Garden Writer’s Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, Western Carolina University, The Garden Club of America, and The American Horticultural Association. Doug lives with his wife, Cindy, on their restored property in Oxford, PA.
“... what if each American landowner converted half of his or her yard to productive native plant communities? Even moderate success could collectively restore some semblance of ecosystem function to more than 20 million acres of what is now ecological wasteland. ”
Michelle is a business owner, entrepreneur, and business development strategist, now focused on Start a New Habitat® and Homegrown National Park®.
BACKGROUND: Founder and CEO of MODA Licensing, a pioneer global licensing and marketing agency established in 1988. Michelle developed, executed and managed innovative brand extension strategies that resulted in new businesses for corporate and not-for-profit clients including: The New York Times, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Victoria & Albert Museum, Champion Athleticwear, LYCRA/DuPont, Tour de France, Ritz Hotel- Paris, Mack Trucks, Snap-on Tools, Meredith Corporation, America’s VetDogs, Bushnell, The Henry Ford, UNIPAL International Corp, and UNICEF.
In 2008 Michelle founded Retimement®, a digital platform “about time” for baby boomers who “retime" rather than retire.
Michelle and her husband, artist Tom Goldenberg, are ex-pat New Yorkers now living full-time in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut.
“We want to make it as easy as possible, to have a great deal of fun in the process, and to celebrate the creation of new ecological networks.”
We are using the firefly aka lightning bug as our logo firefly because….truthfully?... Michelle loves fireflies…but then again..who doesn’t? Doug agreed it was an appropriate icon for the call to action because:
1. Individuals who plant native will light themselves up, delight and may enlighten others…like fireflies.
2. Fireflies, like many insects are facing extinction.