With a focus on diversity and thought leadership, our Abstract Review Committee evaluates the multitude of abstracts received in order to select the highest quality educational programming for each year’s Net Zero Conference. The committee is composed of 12 nationally leading subject-matter experts in carbon, climate, equity, ESG, net zero, and resilience.
First up is Perry Bradley, Director of Media Relations at GE Aviation. The world leader in providing aircraft engines, systems and avionics, GE Aviation is developing the next-generation of technologies to achieve greater fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions for the future of flight.
Thelma Briseño, Senior Director of Energy and Water Programs at Climate Resolve, is a scientist and advocate working on green building, carbon credit, and energy efficiency projects at schools and private developments. In 2014, Thelma graduated with a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Toledo, where she helped the City of Toledo perform a comprehensive life cycle analysis of the municipal water system. Through her position at Climate Resolve, Thelma continues to bridge the gap between the ‘man’-made world of engineering and environmental sustainability.
Diana Chen is an Environmental Sustainability Administrator at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory with over 10 years of experience in the architecture and sustainability industry. Chen provides analysis on utility, mechanical, cafeterias, R&D facilities, electric vehicle/photovoltaic systems, rideshare, acquisition, and waste programs related to improving environmental opportunities. Prior to working at NASA JPL, Chen worked as a sustainability consultant on achieving green building certifications for commercial buildings, schools, multi-family housing, and health centers. She has also worked with large corporate companies across the nation to help achieve their CSR and ESG goals.
Edward Faustin, is Co-Founder and Managing Principal at Area Probe, a research and advisory firm focused on housing and commercial real estate development in urban communities. Faustin leverages his experience to provide a myriad of consulting service solutions, including market and feasibility studies, as well as assistance with raising capital for acquisitions, refinancing, and construction projects. Faustin manages relationships with third-party advisory firms, lenders, economic development and government entities, private equity firms, proptech and fintech accelerators, real estate developers, and investors. Prior to Area Probe, Faustin worked as Vice President in the Strategic Investments Group at the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), where he focused on providing debt and equity solutions for commercial estate and business ventures.
Courtney Galatioto joined the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) in 2019 as Chief of Staff and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships. Galatioto serves as an advisor to the President & CEO and is the principal liaison for SEPA’s Board of Directors and strategic partnerships. She came to SEPA with a decade of experience in the energy industry and previously served as the Vice President for Stakeholder Relations at the Alliance to Save Energy, where she oversaw business development and corporate relations. She also previously served as a policy fellow for the state of North Carolina.
Allison Gander is a Project Manager at House & Robertson Architects, Inc. Gander has taken on a lead role at House & Robertson to usher projects toward LEED and WELL certifications through close collaboration with Sustainability Consultants, Engineering Consultants and Owners. As a licensed architect in California, Allison holds membership with the American Institute of Architects as well as the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards and serves as a volunteer Hands On Art Docent for the Redondo Beach Unified School District.
At the Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC), Lawrence Garber supports the local government team through capacity building and education. Prior to joining BDC, Lawrence worked with the Sustainability Program at the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments. He has served as an environmental science educator in Yosemite National Park, a high school teacher in Austin, Texas, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone and Namibia. He holds a Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Belinda Li is Director of Corporate Engineering and Sustainability at Hudson Pacific Properties, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust focused on owning, operating and developing office and studio properties along the West Coast. Li supports the company’s engineering operations and sustainability program throughout the portfolio, nearly 20 million square feet.
Kristina Owyoung Vinson is a Senior Manager of REWS Internal Communications at Salesforce. Owyoung Vinson has been named among ENR’s Top Young Professionals and Bisnow’s Power Women. She was awarded the Rising Rockstar Award from ELEVATE: Honoring Diversity & Women Leadership in the Bay Area and a Rising Star Award from Northern California Real Estate Women of Influence. As a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW SF), Kristina has devoted herself to the organization’s mission of changing business’ gender trends and closing the parity gap by giving women in real estate the support, resources and opportunities they need to connect, influence, and lead. Previously, she was Senior Director of People Operations at Pankow Builders. Owyoung Vinson has championed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Sustainability initiatives across her career.
Avinash Rajagopal is the editor-in-chief of Metropolis Magazine. He is an expert on product and interior design in the digital age, and a historian of contemporary design. Rajagopal is the author of Hacking Design (Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2013) and has contributed to numerous volumes on architecture and design, including Adhocracy (Istanbul Design Biennial, 2012), Making Africa (Vitra Design Museum, 2015) and Atlas of Furniture Design (Vitra Design Museum, forthcoming). He has lectured on design history and writing at the School of Visual Arts, New York; the University of Texas at Austin; and the National Institute of Design, India.
Shelley Salehzadeh is Director of Growth and Client Solutions at Verdical Group, responsible for business development and consulting on sustainability strategies for an array of national companies. In her most recent position as a National Team Leader at Knoll, Salehzadeh drove global sales, workplace strategy, and led a multidisciplinary sales and project management team to implement her clients’ brand, culture, and workplace standards including sustainability across all office locations.
Ruby Rose Yepez is a Senior Advisor with Southern California Edison supporting developers and new construction customers on energy efficiency and decarbonization. Yepez holds several certifications including LEED AP BD+C, Certified Energy Analyst and a Homes Green Rater, having certified over 30 affordable housing developments. She continues to support the effort of building sustainable buildings by promoting programs that influence high performing buildings, minimizing the carbon footprint of the built environment.
Are you a leader in sustainability with expertise in carbon, climate, equity, ESG, net zero, or resilience? Submit an abstract to speak at this year’s Net Zero Conference by Wednesday, May 11th.
2021’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report reinforced and accentuated the challenge that we face and the urgency that is necessary concerning the climate crisis. Over the last nine years, the Net Zero Conference has brought together those who understand it takes all of us to overcome climate change. Attend the ninth annual Net Zero Conference on September 14+15, 2022.