The MarinSEL Business Leaders Breakfast

I arrived at the Embassy Suites at 7:00 am on March 12, 2014. There were many well-dressed adults and MSEL students walking around the large event room with white table clothed tables and many projects and posters relating to MarinSEL. As I walked around the room, introducing myself to different adults throughout the room and discussing different aspects of MarinSEL, there was only one thought on my mind: Where is the food?! I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet and it was called the Business Leaders Breakfast,ย so my hopes were set pretty high. Eventually, after it felt like I had made small talk with everyone in the room, plates began to appear around the room with fruit, eggs, ham, muffins and potatoes. I sat down at my assigned table, began to eat, and talked to some of the adults at my table. Breakfast had been served, Bon Appetit!

3D Printed Wind Turbine

As I was eating, Cyane Dandridge of Strategic Energy Innovations and lead MSEL teacher Mr. Madsen presented the overview of the MarinSEL program and presented the student-selected Vision in Action award to Dawn Weisz. Dawn is the executive officer of Marin Clean Energy which is a company that provides renewable energy to homes in Marin. After the preliminary presentations were over, the keynote speaker began his presentation.

When breakfast was served I dug in and thought “Bon Appetit.” Fidele Bauccio was the speaker and CEO/Cofounder of the food management company appropriately named Bon Appetit. His presentation has left me speechless and inspired. His company has been committed to sustainable and socially responsible practices since the 1980s, and has become highly successful economically and in making positive changes to the current agricultural system. Fidele’s passion for good food and moral practices was clearly evident in his presentation and the actions he has done with his company show this.

Although Fidele’s presentation left me speechless, I had to get myself together since, well, I came to this Business Breakfast as a speaker… Out of all the MarinSEL students who attended the Breakfast, there was 5 student speakers who gave speeches at the event and 20 student ambassadors who led table conversations. Different speakers spoke about different aspects of MarinSEL like the LEAD projects, tight-knit and accepting students, the responsibility and leadership needed, and the environmental lessons. In my speech, I talked about a specific project that the MSEL Juniors have been working on this year, the Wind Turbine project. There are many other blog posts relating to this project so I won’t go into massive detail, but basically the project was a result of a partnership with Energy Recovery, Autodesk software, student ingenuity, and our engineering teacher Ms. Oropallo. As of now, we have 3D printed models of the turbine we created and designed after months of experimentation.

Bon Appetit

After all of the student speakers spoke (nice alliteration huh?), we answered questions from adults and business leaders who attended the event. After many questions and muffins later, it was time to say our goodbyes and head back to school. Overall, the event was interesting and ran smoothly. I was able to hear about the amazing work that is going on in the world and also the horrible problems that need to be fixed, such as the lack of farmworkers’ rights in the agriculture sector. I was able to present my speech professionally to a huge room full of accomplished adults without losing my cool or stumbling on my words.

Thanks MarinSEL, for the opportunity to attend an event like this and practice my leadership and public speaking skills. Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear a bag of carrots calling my name. I will leave you with this: Remember that every choice you make as a consumer is like a vote, and make sure that the companies you support in the supermarket are also companies that you support outside of the store.



I am a junior in the inaugural class of the Marin School of Environmental Leadership. I love engineering and Ms. Orropallo and also I am part of a separate sustainable business initiative, Reclaimed Designs. We create handcrafted furniture from reclaimed wood. Visit our facebook page ( Thanks for reading, now lets get building!

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22 Responses

  1. chiaracameron says:

    Awesome Claire! It was great to hear about the event since we couldn’t all make it. I am so glad you spoke about our projects there as well!

  2. JTooms911 says:

    Haha, nice blog Claire! I liked the correlation between MSEL and food!

  3. RuizSofia RuizSofia says:

    Reading your blog made me want to go to the Breakfast next year. Not soley for the food (which you made sound delicious), but for the wonderful experience you described of listening to all of the speaches. Awesome job having the courage to speak at the event, and a job well done on the blog.

    Ps Alliteration, eh? Looks like somebody is ready for her AP English exam ๐Ÿ™‚ good luck on that!

  4. KingLouis KingLouis says:

    Awesome experience Claire! I want to go to one of these soon…

  5. nivie nivie says:

    Haha Claire I can definitely relate to your excitement for the yummy food ๐Ÿ™‚ I enjoyed reading this, especially because I have always wondered what the Business Leaders Breakfast was like! Thank you for sharing your experience!

  6. ethanking123 ethanking123 says:

    Nice blog Claire. You hooked us in with your hunger for breakfast and ended the blog with a point that the reader could reflect on. I liked the tie-in with Bon Appetit. If you hear carrots talking you might want to have that checked out…

  7. Natalia Natalia says:

    Ahaha yes food! I love how you talked about the business breakfast, especially since I have never been. It was cool to hear how you experience was with it. It sounds like you had fun! Great Job!

  8. KaylaHope says:

    Claire! I liked hearing about your experience at the breakfast and I always love your jokes! Im also glad you gave the speech about our classes wind turbine project. Great job!

  9. Dorian Stocking Dorian Stocking says:

    Great blog Claire! I love the little english joke you have at the end!

  10. Casey says:

    I really loved your blog Claire! It was really informative especially because I’ve never been to the Business Leaders Breakfast event, and it sounds like it was a valuable experience to grow in some of your leadership skills -which is awesome. Also it was very well written and funny.

  11. Sophi Sophi says:

    Awesome blog Claire! I really loved your summary of the event. It sounds like it was a lot of fun and I’m glad that you were so inspired by the main speaker.
    P.S. I hope the carrots were good.

  12. sydneygilmandye says:

    Wonderful blog Claire! It was great to read about the business breakfast, and your consistent connection to food.

  13. Joanmarie Joanmarie says:

    Claire, you’re blog was very entertaining to read! I loved reading about what happened at the event as well as you’re passion to eat ๐Ÿ™‚ keep it up !

  14. kiera kiera says:

    Great blog Claire! It was nice to read about your experience at the business breakfast since I have yet to attend one myself. Your conclusion is well written and reflects the perfect morals of a consumer. Keep up the great work!!

  15. Alyssa Ceccanti-Harris Alyssa Ceccanti-Harris says:

    Haha! Nice blog, Claire. You and food…oh boy. I really like how you wrote about the business breakfast considering not all of us were there and don’t really know how it went! Thanks for informing us!

  16. Ani Pirinjian Ani Pirinjian says:

    Great blog, Claire! It informed me about the business breakfast and was funny! I love it ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Dylan Adler Dylan Adler says:

    Great blog Claire! I love how you talked about the Business Leaders’ Breakfast. You must’ve been hungry!

  18. Sami McLaughlin Sami McLaughlin says:

    I loved hearing about what goes on at those business breakfasts because I’ve never been, and it seems like such a great experience. I am so proud of you for being brave and representing our amazing school. I look up to you and your perfection, keep it up! By the way Mr. Madsen came up to my dad and was like it was good to see you at the breakfast, its been a whileโ€ฆ.and he wasn’t even thereโ€ฆ. It was super funny! Bye, talk to you super soooon!

  19. maria2015 maria2015 says:

    Great job Cluurrr!!! The business leader breakfast was a great opportunity for us to practice our leadership and communication skills. It was a great experience. So glad I was lucky enough to be a part of it. I am actually starting to sorry about your carrot addiction…

  20. cheyenne.biel cheyenne.biel says:

    Fantastic blog! You painted such a great picture if the business leader breakfast, I felt like I was really there! Well done, keep up the good work! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Ember Ember says:

    I’ve never been to a Business Leaders Breakfast before because it seems so stressful. I really admire and respect you for being able to get up there and present to all of those professional adults. Bauccio and his company Bon Appetit sound awesome, I wish that I was there to hear his keynote. Good job with the blog!

  22. Meredith100 says:

    I had a lot of fun at the business leader breakfast too! And it was great to be in a room full of adults who loved to hear about all the events we’ve hosted and projects we’ve done! And the food was pretty good too! Great blog:)

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