Aurora Dawn Benton

Founder, Astrapto

In this business, we get to travel a lot. I have a “work hard, play hard’ motto and try my best to take advantage of the fun experiences, local food, and unique vistas each place has to offer. When it comes to impact, though, there’s no monkeying around. I am deeply passionate about changing hearts, minds, behaviors, and systems to be sustainable. Those who see me speak and teach on this subject have no doubt that I live to do this. This is my jam and I look forward to an opportunity to share my enthusiasm, knowledge, and ideas with you.

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

  • Home Grown: Beat the Competition with Local F&B at HX (The Hotel Experience) in New York on November 11th. Learn more here.

  • PCMA Convening Leaders in January 2020 - more info coming soon.

Recent Speaking Engagements

Aurora on a panel at the SETE Sustainable Tourism Conference in Athens, Greece.

Aurora on a panel at the SETE Sustainable Tourism Conference in Athens, Greece.

  • MPI Northern California Chapter Corks & Forks event in San Francisco on November 5th. Topic: Buy Local 2.0.

  • MPI Michigan Chapter in Grand Rapids, MI on October 22nd, Topic: Creatively Addressing Food Waste in Events.

  • Healthy Green Hotels: The Sustainability, Human Health Connection at Climate of Action, hosted by the Napa Valley Democrats on October 12, 2019.

  • PCMA Webinar Busting the Myth and Moving the Needle on Food Donations - October 9th.. Read about it and link to a playback here.

  • MeetingsToday webinar Successful CSR Activities: Meetings Today Planner Think Tank on August 21, 2019 (click here to listen)

  • Global Business Travel Association in Chicago on August 6, moderate a fireside chat with Yum! Brands Travel Manager, Lisa Young: Explore the Full Potential of Travel in Your Company’s Sustainability Program.

  • VenueConnect (International Association of Venue Managers) in Chicago on July 23, on a panel: A Case Study for Food Waste Reduction in Venues. This panel showcased the work Astrapto did with The Baltimore Convention Center and Centerplate. See a video about this project here.

  • Sustainable Event Professional Certificate sessions at Sustainable Brands-Detroit (June 2019) and Hosts Global Forum in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (June 2019)

  • Traveling Towards the SDGs: Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into Travel and Meetings Programs at IMEX Frankfurt (May 2018 and May 2019) and IMEX America (October 2018)

  • 2019 Trends: Sustainability on the GBTA Podcast (January 2019 (click here to listen)

  • Moving Food Up the Recovery Hierarchy at the Baltimore Convention Center on Maryland Recyclers Network webinar (April 2019) (click here to listen)

  • Fighting Food Waste: A Triple Win for People, Planet and Prosperity at CMP Conclave (November 2018)

  • Changing a Venue’s Narrative through Food Conservation at Baltimore Hospitality Industry Event (July 2018) and as panelist at World Wildlife Fund Food Waste Reduction Strategies Workshop and the Mid-Atlantic Food Recovery Summit (October 2018) (click here for a video interview)

  • Careers in Sustainable Tourism on the International Society of Sustainability Professionals webinar and at the Virginia Green Travel Conference (March 2018)

  • Sustainability: From Add-on to Imperative on Global Business Travel Association webinar (November 2017 and October 2018) and at San Diego Chapter meeting (February 2018) and Spokane Chapter meeting (May 2019)

  • Sustainability in Hospitality at SETE (Greek Tourism Federation) Annual Conference: part of “vision and realities” panel, and presented a workshop on introducing sustainability into operations (October 2017)

  • Incubate a ‘Buy Local’ Strategy at Cornell Hospitality Research Conference (October 2017) (click here to listen to a webinar version of this speech)

  • Practical Hospitality Sustainability on the Lodging Leaders podcast (click here to listen)