Rev. Michael Pergola, MA, MBA, JD
Rev. Michael Pergola MA, MBA, JD is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for reGenerative Ecology, Education & Enterprise Development (CREEED). He stepped off the “Carousel of Conventional Life” over a decade ago, after meeting an 80-year-old man named John McMillin.
In 1945 John went with his scientist parents to eastern Europe. There he helped feed life-giving food to people being liberated from the concentration camps. He went on to build regenerative agricultural economies in many areas under threat of famine, most notably in the 80’s in Ethiopia. John inspired Michael to reconnect with his love of food and to begin learning about soil, human health, and the health of the earth. As his understanding of climate change grew, Michael felt compelled to design an approach that would make a difference, providing an opportunity to take practical action, in addition to programs and protests. It became clear to Michael that the human species was at a crossroad and that tangible action was necessary. He saw that local agriculture and healthy soil were vital for a thriving planet, healthy people, and a more reGenerative economy. Then he became primary steward of a 200-year-old Shaker Grist Mill that was once a stop on the “Underground Railway” and is now a retreat center and Inn. He began a Market Garden and periodic Soil to Soul dining experiences, taking inspiration from the wisdom of his ancestors that healthy and delicious food was a way to bring people together around a shared table in ways that can open hearts and minds.
He recently launched the Center for Ecology, Education & Enterprise Development (CREEED) to pursue the more inclusive vision of launching a network of cooperative enterprises across the food supply chain. A thoughtful and experienced team has assembled. They are excited by the important work around the soil sponge and the gut biome. They see this understanding as one key to the wellbeing of the earth and the health of the human species. They expect to put that understanding into tangible know-how and to spread the word.
CREEED’s vision is to offer an alternative to the short-term focus of global capitalism. The skilled team is pursuing that vision in a way that: (1) provides a life and a living for worker-owners; (2) builds a sustainable network of entrepreneurial cooperatives across the supply chain of the food system in the spirit of the European cooperatives; and, most close to Michael’s heart, (3) builds healthy soil that re-sequesters carbon in ways that embody the phrase of Teilhard de Chardin that inspired Michael in high school, “the Age of Nations is past... the task before us now if we would not perish, is to Build the Earth”.
Michael has experience in law, banking, nonprofits, and hospitality. He is an ordained interfaith minister, taught high school, worked in software, served as a community organizer, ran a small energy company, studied the Enneagram, and was a member of the Society for Organizational Learning. Michael received degrees from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Rev Michael Pergola MA, MBA, JD
Michael Pergola is the Founder and Executive Director of CREEED, and has decades of experience working in law, nonprofits, and hospitality. He is an ordained interfaith minister, taught high school, founded two software companies, served as a community organizer, ran a small energy company and was a member of the Society for Organizational Learning. Michael received his JD and MBA from Cornell University and a Masters in Organizational Dynamics and Individual Development from the University of Pennsylvania.