LEAD THE CONVERSATION Submit an Abstract
LEAD THE CONVERSATION Submit an Abstract
Are you an expert in your field at the intersection of carbon, climate, equity, ESG, net zero, or resilience? Submit an abstract by May 11, 2022 to speak at NZ22. There’s never been a more crucial time to lead the conversation on climate action towards a #NetZeroFuture.
MEET OUR Keynote Speakers
CEO, 1% for the Planet
Kate Williams is CEO of 1% for the Planet, a global movement that inspires action and commitment so that our planet and future generations thrive. 1% for the Planet’s global network of thousands of businesses and individuals have donated $100s of millions to environmental partners to date. Kate has led significant growth in the community’s scale and impact, as well as deep work on best practices for implementing high impact giving strategies, growing a network brand, and operating as a thriving workplace with an incredible staff team. Kate earned a BA at Princeton University and an MS at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and has served on a variety of Boards throughout her career. Kate is a Mom, a trail runner and hiker with her dog, and a kitchen gardener.
MEET OUR Conference Speakers
CEO & Co-founder, cove.tool
Sandeep Ahuja is the CEO and Co-Founder of cove.tool, the end-to-end building performance and data app. Most recently, Sandeep presented at the UN environment assembly, with 1500 global delegates, on the impact of buildings on climate change, showcased at the Tedx Atlanta and won the Forbes 30 under 30.
With her desire to bring automation into the AEC world, she is pioneering the integration of data driven thinking into the design and construction process by developing intelligent software.
Associate Director of O&M, Energy, and Commissioning, VCA Green
Wayne Alldredge has 30+ years in building controls, facility operations, new and existing building commissioning, and energy auditing & conservation with a strong passion for making things work better. He guides clients with Title 24 Energy Code compliance and executing energy management strategies to reduce site and building energy usage and cost. Wayne also works closely with owners and design teams to provide due diligence code and best practices in energy design, evaluate energy functionality through construction and deliver continuous improvement into operations & maintenance. Wayne is experienced in Six Sigma Kaizen processes to help owners reduce operating costs and wear & tear from pre-design through construction. He is also a firm believer in developing a culture of waste reduction.
CEO, 9 Foundations, Inc.
Dr. Joseph G. Allen is CEO of 9 Foundations, Inc., an associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings Program. He’s also the coauthor of a landmark book, Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity, which was recognized as a ‘Best Book of the Year’ for two consecutive years in Fortune Magazine and the New York Times. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Allen has served as Commissioner of The Lancet Covid-19 Commission and Chair of its ‘Safe Work, Safe Schools and Safe Travel’ Task Force.
An internationally renowned expert and sought-after advisor, Dr. Allen’s work fuses the fields of health science, building science and business science to improve the health of indoor spaces and propel business performance. At 9 Foundations, Inc., Dr. Allen and his team drive cutting-edge research into practice with customized, strategic healthy buildings solutions and support to senior executives across major sectors of the economy.
Dr. Allen has authored over eighty peer-reviewed scientific papers—including in such journals as JAMA, Science, and The Lancet—and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic. His television appearances include several shows across every major network: CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, CBS, NBC, ABC.
Senior Project Architect, HDR
Yunnan is an architect with 16 years of experience. She has led very large (1 million square feet) projects, as well as detailed “jewel-box” projects like Salk Institute's new building. She has experiences in healthcare, education, civic, science & technology, workplace, commercial, and sports arena. In addition to being architects, she's been digital practice leader (BIM, VR, scripting), studied and performed energy modeling and acoustical simulations, led material research. These wide-ranging experiences make her nimble and ready to tackle diverse architectural challenges. She has lectured at USC on diverse topics and has been a panel speaker at DBIA events.
Director of Commissioning, Verdical Group
Bobby is the Director of Commissioning at Verdical Group, where he heads up all commissioning and energy auditing efforts. He is a Professional Engineer (PE), Certified Building Commissioning Professional (CBCP), and Certified Energy Manager (CEM). Bobby is an expert in optimizing HVAC controls to minimize energy use without compromising user comfort or ongoing maintenance needs.
At Verdical Group, Bobby brings a sustainability mindset to the commissioning process, complementing our project management services. Prior to joining Verdical Group, Bobby provided commissioning and energy services at other green building consulting firms. Bobby has provided commissioning services on over $2 billion worth of projects, based on total development cost.
Bobby earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California and volunteers for the USGBC-LA Long Beach Branch.
Sustainability Coordinator, Professor of Geology and Oceanography, Mt. San Antonio College
As the Sustainability Coordinator for Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC), Tania is excited to lead the way supporting faculty with embedding sustainability into their curriculum. She regularly offers faculty professional development opportunities and has the dream of seeing sustainability taught across all divisions and disciplines of the campus. Her hope is that Mt. SAC will be able to offer a Sustainability Program for students in the near future.
Tania has shown a professional interest in our planet’s past, present, and future for over 25 years. For her graduate studies she researched isotopic signals of marine micro-organisms and the stories they tell about climate change on Earth. Like many others, in her lifetime she has observed changes on our planet. Population numbers have more than doubled. She has seen the ice coverage over Greenland shrink from both above and on the ground. Through education she helps increasing awareness for a sustainable future and hopes that Earth will remain a wonderful home for many generations to come.
Executive Director, Commission on Voluntary Service & Action
Susan Angus has served as Executive Director of Commission on Voluntary Service &Action (CVSA) since 1984; is also the Production Manager of INVEST YOURSELF: A Guide to Action, the most comprehensive catalogue of volunteer opportunities with nongovernmental organizations throughout US and internationally. Previously she was on the staff of United Methodist Voluntary Service, and worked as a volunteer organizer for a decade with associations of the lowest paid workers in the U.S.
In 2016 Susan launched CVSA’s Community Education Campaign for the Implementation of the 2030 SDGs in the U.S. to mobilize action and partnerships for the 2030 SDGs.
Principal Planner, City of Tustin
Minoo is Principal Planner for the City of Tustin, Cali., and has previously worked with the City Planning departments of Costa Mesa and Anaheim. She is a member of AIA Orange County’s Board of Directors. She earned her Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University – Paloma with a master thesis on Historic Preservation. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from the University of Oklahoma.
Director of Sustainability, Mt. San Antonio College
As Director of Sustainability at Mt. SAC, Eera is on a mission to decrease the College’s carbon footprint, with a larger goal of getting zero by 2050 through the implementation the College’s Climate Action Plan. She works across the campus with faculty, staff and students to implement meaningful sustainability measures. She is currently engaged in implementing a campus-wide organics collection program, identifying incentives for the addition of more electric vehicle charging stations on the north side of campus, and initiating a decarbonization plan so that the college can come off of its reliance on fossil fuels. She is also co-chair of the U.S. Green Building Council Inland Empire, where she facilitates sustainability workshops for schools, and a Board Member of the Designing Futures Foundation, where she seeks to support community projects with a sustainable focus.
Emerging Technology Integration - Research Engineer, Ford Motor Company
Hannah Bailey is an experienced engineer and analyst with a passion for leveraging ethnographic research, design thinking & human-centered design, project management, and business model development to help technology improve the lives of individuals worldwide. She enjoys solving complex problems at all scales through enterprise-wide and finds deep satisfaction in seeing the results of collaborative efforts. Across her engineering career, Hannah has improved products, improved production efficiency, reduced carbon emissions, and translated customer demand into a whole-of-business strategy. Building on he accomplished career, Hannah is leading a major car manufacturer’s efforts to support electrified vehicle fleets.
Director of Sustainability, cove.tool
Nilesh is the Director of Sustainability at cove.tool. His primary focus is on product development, supporting research efforts and guiding the AEC industry in defining their organizational strategy for adopting sustainability as a key parameter to help them move towards data driven empirical design decision making. Nilesh strives to democratize Building Sciences for the masses, having a true impact in our fight against climate change. He also has a Master of Science Degree in Building Performance and Diagnostics from Carnegie Mellon and has served as a Sustainability Specialist on several large commercial projects.
Vice President & Principal, P2S Inc.
Aravind Batra has helped make P2S into one of the nation’s top 10 higher education design firms. He brings an in-depth knowledge of electrical systems and their requirements, to numerous needs assessments, systems upgrades, renovations and new building projects. Aravind has managed over 400 education projects and designed sustainability master plans, electrical standards and award-winning LEED Certified buildings for the higher education, K-12, municipal, commercial and industrial sectors. He is widely recognized as a leader in the sustainable design and zero net energy (ZNE) building communities, and is a regular presenter at conferences.
Project Executive, Lendlease
Monica Beall brings over 20 years of construction and real estate experience to her role as Director of Sustainability. She leads implementation and embedment of environmental and socially focused processes, programs, and initiatives on the company's projects and investments, guided by Lendlease’s ambitious Sustainability Targets - Lendlease is a 1.5°C aligned company targeting Net Zero Carbon Scope 1&2 by 2025 and Absolute Zero Carbon by 2040, and providing $250M of social value by 2025. She previously led sustainability efforts for Lendlease’s Construction business, focusing on embodied carbon, on-site carbon emissions, and waste reduction, and achieving net zero for on-site operations.
Vice President, Education Market Sector Lead, Mechanical Engineer, Glumac
Kameron is Glumac’s Education Sector Leader, a Vice President at Glumac, and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. Kameron has designed a wide range of education projects from lab facilities, student unions, libraries, recreation centers, heavy infrastructre replacement projects, student/faculty housing, advanced manufacturing buildings, performing arts buildings, data centers, culinary arts/cafeterias, lecture and flex classroom buildings, K12 campuses, and more. Kameron has experience working on multiple projects that have achieved or pursued LEED Platinum, WELL Platinum, Living Building Challenge, FitWel, and CHPS, and he has been involved in several net zero energy and decarbonization projects and studies. Kameron is also a LEED AP BD+C, a WELL AP, and a DBIA Professional, and he is an adjunct faculty at New School of Architecture and Oregon Institute of Technology.
Vice President - Communities, U.S. Green Building Council
Dr. Vatsal Bhatt works with the U.S. Green Building Council as the Vice President of Communities, where he helps conceptualize and make operational the LEED for Cities and Communities rating system. For more than 20 years, he has worked as an energy economist on energy-water-climate change systems analysis for urban, regional, national and world energy planning and policies. As a senior energy policy analyst at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Dr. Bhatt has worked on various national and international assignments for energy systems analysis and low-carbon development for the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, universities, foundations, and international governments. Since June 2016, he has helped the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority on the New York State Climate Act Integration Analysis Technical Advisory Group, NYS Pathways Report, 100% Renewables Study and EPRI project on NYS Electric System Climate Resiliency. He has worked on developing “IoT Enabled Smart Cities Frameworks,” led by the National Institute for Standards and Technology. Dr. Bhatt serves on the technical advisory group for the ISO’s technical committee 268 for sustainable cities, has peer reviewed the Future of Housing Roadmap for XPRIZE, has served on the Board of Advisors for the Wellbeing City Award at New Cities Foundation and Planning 2050 and participates on APA Divisions Council on Smart Cities. Dr. Bhatt is a lead author of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s first-ever assessment of the “Effects of Climate Change on Energy Production and Use in the United States."
Sustainability Lead: Americas, Powerledger
Elena Bondareva is a versatile executive, strategist, and a seasoned transformation leader with a solid international track record of systems change at project, organization, industry, and topic level; the focus of her consulting practice, Vivit Group Worldwide. Elena has held public, private, teaching and Board roles in Australia, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, India, and the US, and helped establish nearly 20 for- and non-profit ventures (incl. 4 GBCs and ILFI Australia) around the world advancing a regenerative future.
Elena serves on the Board of Pollinate Group, an award-winning social enterprise, as an advisor to Powerledger.io, a ground-breaking blockchain-enabled software platform that accelerates the proliferation of clean-energy systems.
Senior Architectural Professional, SOM
Amanda is an Architect in San Francisco, working as a Senior Architectural Professional at SOM and a Lecturer at Berkeley and Stanford. She is a Board member of the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco, as well as an active member of NOMA and the NAACP’s Committee for Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector. She earned a BA in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard, and an MArch from Yale School of Architecture.
Senior Vice President, SCS Global Services
Linda Brown is co-founder and Senior Vice President of SCS Global Services, and an advisor to the SCS Global Registry. For four decades, she has actively participated in development of SCS’ strategic initiatives and certification programs, serving in a multitude of capacities as well as on the company Board of Directors. She has been involved in environmental and sustainability standards development activities on a company, national and international basis, and worked extensively with the SCS climate team. Linda has also served as a member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Science Advisory Panel's liaison team to ISO TC 207/SC7/WG13.
Principal, ZGF Architects
For Shara Castillo, Principal at ZGF, fundamentals are the building blocks of fun. Knowing the difference between a good decision and a bad one, sticking tightly to a project schedule, and never leaving an assumption unchecked are the cornerstones of Shara’s principled leadership style. With architectural projects across the country, Shara draws inspiration from many different locales, such as Los Angeles–a melting pot of ideas, cultures, topographies, and architectural styles. Thriving on the magic variety brings, Shara welcomes a final product that successfully integrates disparate pieces, while optimizing the local climate. This enables Shara to create high-impact sustainable design solutions that provide operational savings for her clients and help preserve the environment for years to come. Shara served as a USGBC-LA board member from 2015-2018 and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Architecture.
Founder & Chief Scientist, SeOS; Founder & Director, Destination SPACE Inc.
After earning a PhD. in Earth Science from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, in 2000, Dr. Cecil went on to serve as Chief Scientist of the Applied Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters and as Senior Science Advisor at NASA Langley's Systems Engineering Office, as the Lead Applications Scientist at the USGS 's Global Change Research Program, and as the first-ever Western Region Climate Services Director at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Dr. Cecil has over 80 professional science publications including journal articles, books, and book chapters and he works in climate science applications and research, aerospace science and engineering, program management, and STEM.
Director of Sustainability, HMTX
As Director of Sustainability & Impact for HMTX Industries, Arthur plays a key role in developing and executing the company's sustainability and transparency strategy across its various divisions, which include Halstead, Metroflor Corporation, HMTX-Commercial, and HMTX-Global. Arthur leads the company's efforts for such programs as Declare, Health Product Declaration Open Standard, Just, Cradle to Cradle, FloorScore, and ASSURE, and for such platforms as the mindful MATERIALS Library and Ecomedes. Arthur also works with several industry collaboratives to advocate for the advancement of transparent and healthy materials in the built environment, including: mindful MATERIALS, where he serves as Treasurer of the Board, as well as Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee; Health Product Declaration Collaborative, where he serves as Co-Chair of the Social Equity Technical Sub-Group; and Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, where he serves as a member of the North American Built Environment User Group.
Sustainability Director, San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Erin is San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) first Sustainability Director where she is responsible for creating, implementing, and reporting on the Airport’s Strategic, Sustainability, Zero Waste, Resilience and Decarbonization Plans. By brokering and implementing high-impact emissions reduction investments within SFO’s $7.8 billion capital program, the airport has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 41%, operationalized its first zero net energy building, banned plastic food ware and water bottles, and has become a global leader in Sustainable Aviation Fuel deliveries. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure and the ACI World Environment Standing Committee. Erin previously served the City of Cupertino as its Deputy City Manager and helped launch a countywide community choice aggregation program (Silicon Valley Clean Energy). She is a LEED AP, holds a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University, and the proud mama of Izzy and Graham.
VP, Fleet and Product Support, Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.
Brad is a Fleet Manager with over 25 years in the construction equipment rental industry. He is continually focused on fleet and process improvement, which has included the use of technology to increase fleet and operational efficiencies. Brad is experienced with implementations of equipment life-cycle analysis and rental industry technology and integrations. His career highlights include the development of lifecycle fleet strategies built upon Cost of Ownership, uptime, and full life performance.
Director of Energy & Environmental Programs, WRCOG
Casey Dailey currently serves as the Director of Energy & Environmental Programs at Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG). Throughout his career that spans over 15 years, Casey has developed and refined his skills in all areas of public sector work, has overseen large, high-profile programs, and has always met the highest in performance goals. Previously, Casey was Director of Government Affairs for the Building Industry Association (Baldy View Chapter), Transit Analyst for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, Assistant to the Mayor at the City of San Bernardino, and Management Analyst for the City of Calimesa, among others.
Sustainability Engineer, AECOM
Kaustav graduated from Cornell University in 2019 with a Master's in Design and Environmental Analysis. He worked as a mechanical design engineer for 2 years in Philadelphia, where he gained experience in energy modeling. He joined AECOM's High-Performance Buildings and Communities team as an Energy Modeler in 2021, and is responsible for advanced energy simulation, building design assistance on HVAC systems, and sustainability consulting for diverse building types, including LEED and Net-Zero energy projects.
President and founder of ClearTech, Christina De Bono has 25 years experience in the commercial AV industry, with extensive background in handling high profile videoconferencing and AV projects with corporations and higher education institutions. Christina is leading her industry in getting serious about pollution and emissions from tech production and waste, and building partnerships with community organizations towards the 2030 SDGs.
Director of Sustainability, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Jeff is a Senior Sustainability Manager with ATLNEXT at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), integrating the Planning and Development Sustainability Program on all projects within ATL's multibillion capital improvement program. Over the last eight years, he has worked on a number of sustainability programs in the commercial and residential industries spanning the public and private sectors throughout the United States. He spearheaded the efforts to make ATL the first Airport in the world to be certified under the LEED for Communities rating system and is currently developing the ATL 2035 Sustainable Management Plan. Jeff has served on the LEED for Airports and WELL for Airports Working Groups and the LEED for Communities Working Group, as well as several other local boards.
Project Manager & Energy Analyst, Verdical Group
Ritika is an Energy Analyst and Project Manager at Verdical Group. She performs energy modeling, daylight modeling, and analysis for projects that are aiming to achieve certification across various rating systems including LEED, WELL, Living Building Challenge, etc. She is also currently managing commercial and residential green building projects to provide suggestions for energy efficiency, high performance, wellness, and sustainability in general. In addition to her LEED AP BD+C designation, Ritika holds a Living Future Accreditation (LFA) and is certified as a Fitwel Ambassador.
Ritika holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Maharishi Dayanand University and a Masters in Built Environment with a concentration in the energy performance of buildings and climate-responsive architecture from Arizona State University.
Manager, R&D Projects, Association for Energy Affordability
Meghan Duff is a Manager with a focus on R&D Projects at the Association for Energy Affordability. She specializes in energy efficiency technical assistance, and both construction and research project management. At AEA, Meghan both manages and contributes to several CEC EPIC-funded research studies, all of which are evaluating pathways to scale decarbonization retrofits of multifamily buildings. Meghan is also a member of the ABC Collaborative Team under DOE’s Advanced Building Construction Initiative. She is a certified Passive House Consultant, GreenPoint Rater, and BPI Building Analyst. Through her work, Meghan strives to transform the built environment to combat climate change.
Integrated Design Director, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Jason spent the first fifteen years of his career as a structural engineer designing various structures with a strong focus on sustainability in USGBC's early years. During that time period, the growth of collaborative delivery methods drove him to ultimately seek out a construction company where he could embrace the Master Builder approach with designers to deliver design-build projects with industry leading sustainable features.
Principal, VCA Green
Moe Fakih is responsible for overseeing and managing a team of highly skilled project managers offering services that include green building code, building commissioning, LEED, energy modeling and sustainability programs. He utilizes general contracting experience (licensed general contractor) and deep code knowledge to help project teams navigate unforeseen challenges and highlight key opportunities. Moe is also a Certified Passive House Tradesperson. As an accomplished speaker and presenter, he hosts educational events to inform architects & developers on recent changes to energy codes and trends in sustainability. Moe holds a master’s degree in urban design with an emphasis in sustainability from San Diego State University.
Director, Facilities Planning, Emergency Management & Construction, San Bernardino Community College District
Farrah Farzaneh is the Director, Facilities Planning & Construction for San Bernardino Community College District. Some of her primary duties include driving sustainability initiatives across the campuses, working with consultants to continue updating and implementing the district energy conservation plan, identifying renewable energy and energy efficiencies initiatives, and working as a liaison with local utility companies. Farrah has over 12 years of program management, project management, and construction management experience in all phases of the project life cycle from inception to execution and closeout. She is currently managing SBCCD’s Prop 39 ZNE Schools Pilot program.
Associate, David Baker Architects
As an architect focused on urban communities, Erin believes design has the potential to enhance sustainability and livability, offering comfort and dignity to city inhabitants. She is a member of the CEC's REALIZE CA energy retrofit research initiative and was a member of the All Bay Collective for the Bay Area: Resilient By Design Challenge. Erin holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington and has a background in international sustainability research, exhibit curation and design, and nonprofit leadership. Erin is an active driver of DBA’s sustainability initiatives—such as building electrification and resilience.
Principal Economist, Autocase
Simon Fowell is Principal Economist at Autocase based in California. He has dedicated the last nine years of his career to building a business case for environmental sustainability. Previously a researcher at the UK's leading environmental economic practice, and a consultant at Kungra, he has worked on projects to estimate sea level rise damage in Miami, FL; value the multiple benefits of stormwater infrastructure in Los Angeles, and quantify the financial, social, and environmental impact of green building design for airports, hospitals, schools, and offices throughout the U.S.
Director of Sustainability, CannonDesign
Eric Corey Freed is an award-winning architect, author, and global speaker. As Principal and Director of Sustainability for CannonDesign, he leads the healthcare, education, and commercial teams toward better and higher performing buildings for over 30 million square feet a year. For two decades, he was Founding Principal of organicARCHITECT, a visionary design leader in biophilic and regenerative design.
His past roles include Vice President of the International Living Future Institute and Chief Community Officer of EcoDistricts, both nonprofits pushing innovative new paradigms for deep green buildings and communities.
Eric is the author of 12 books, including "Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies” and "Circular Economy for Dummies." In 2012, he was named one of the 25 "Best Green Architecture Firms" in the US, and one of the "Top 10 Most Influential Green Architects." In 2017, he was named one of Build's American Architecture Top 25. He holds a prestigious LEED Fellow award from the US Green Building Council.
Associate Principal, STUDIOS Architecture
Justin has long been fascinated by the impact of design on our environment and our lives. A passionate advocate for responsible architecture, he is dedicated to the advancement of materials and building techniques that reduce carbon emissions and improve performance. He is particularly interested in new and innovative approaches to building facades, and recently co-wrote a technical paper on specifying electrochromic glass.
As the lead for STUDIOS’ West Coast Division Climate Action committee and co-chair of our firmwide Sustainability Council, Justin provides ongoing education to his colleagues and clients, and oversees the firm’s efforts for the 2030 Commitment, which seeks to achieve carbon neutral building within the next decade. He has led a number of large-scale commercial and cultural developments in the United States and China, as well as workplace interiors for technology, R&D, and other client types.
Associate Principal & Sustainable Design Leader, ZGF Architects
Avideh Haghighi is a Registered Architect with a passion for transforming the built environment towards a net positive impact. She has a decade of experience and a diverse portfolio of work spanning public and private sectors, such as public schools, large mixed-use developments and institutional projects, including the State’s largest Net Zero Carbon building currently under construction. Recently she has turned her attention to the single family housing market, recognizing the need for resources and innovation to decarbonize the existing housing stock. She is applying her knowledge from designing and constructing zero energy commercial buildings to the all-electric deep green retrofit of a 99 year old house dubbed 'Zerohouz'.
Principal Account Manager, Institutional Partnerships, Southern California Edison
Lisa Hannaman is a Principal Account Manager with Southern California Edison’s Business Customer Division and liaison for the CCC-IOU Energy Efficiency Partnership which advocates, promotes and supports energy efficiency in the California Community College system by leveraging contributions from the four California Investor Owned Utilities, the Community College Chancellors Office, and individual Community College Districts. This unique Partnership results in achieving common goals for energy use reduction, cost savings, and fostering a more sustainable future.
Jessica Henson is a Partner at OLIN where she leads planning and design projects that seek to create socially and environmentally resilient infrastructure including the Los Angeles County LA River Master Plan and the Rio Hondo Confluence Area Project. Her other significant projects include Chicago’s Vista Tower, a residential precinct at the University of Washington in Seattle, the new U.S. Embassies in London and Brasilia, the O’Hare Global Terminal, and the SELA Cultural Center. Jessica is the co-author of the book Fresh Water: Design Research for Inland Water Territories and teaches at the University of Southern California.
Environmental Educator & Founder of QueerBrownVegan
Isaias Hernandez is an Environmental Educator & the Founder of QueerBrownVegan, an environmental media platform that seeks to provide introductory forms of environmentalism through video and imagery. He seeks to advance the discourse around the climate crisis by aiming to provide sustainable literacy to his community, working with a series of organizations, brands, and institutions.
Senior Vice President of Sustainable Development, Saint Paul Port Authority & President, Port Consulting
Monte Hilleman joined the Saint Paul Port Authority team in 2005 after several years of local community development and state level environmental work. His peers named him the inaugural Person of the Year for Brownfield Renewal Magazine and a Forty Under 40 by the Twin Cities Business Journal. He helps lead the Port Authority’s Development Team and is the President of Port Consulting, the Port’s statewide distressed real estate consulting business. He is largely responsible for, and speaks nationally about, the Port’s sustainable development mission and projects. He currently leads The Heights, a 112-acre mixed used redevelopment of a contaminated golf course with net zero goals. Hilleman is the past chair and current board member of the US Green Building Council’s Market Leader Advisory Board for Minnesota. He is a licensed Minnesota Real Estate Broker.
VP, LEED Marketing, U.S. Green Building Council
For over 13 years, Selina Holmes has used her ability to authentically connect with people from all walks of life to champion LEED, the most widely used green building program in the world. A deep believer in sustainability and in the power of connecting people and telling their stories, Selina works every day to articulate the story of LEED and the impact it has on people and industries all over the world. As Vice President of LEED Marketing at the U.S. Green Building Council, Selina has served as the marketing architect of the LEED rating system, driving the organization’s strategy to increase awareness, engagement, and adoption of LEED and its associated products and initiatives. Selina ensures consistency and accuracy in how USGBC communicates about the rating system in 182 countries and territories throughout the world. In recent years, Selina has championed new approaches to connecting people to the foundations of the rating system—covering sustainability, health and wellness, equity, and resilience—and has been a strong advocate for building a broader tent for USGBC’s global movement by ensuring the promises and potential of LEED and sustainability reaches those who need it most.
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications and Advocacy, U.S. Green Building Council
Taryn has been with USGBC since 2002 when the organization was in its infancy and green building was just beginning to take off. Since joining USGBC, Taryn has helped LEED grow into the world’s most widely used green building program in the world. USGBC, through its marketing and communications efforts, has helped more than 100,000 LEED projects and 220,000 LEED professionals further the green building movement globally and ensure a thriving sustainability workforce.
A skilled communicator and brand strategist with more than 20 years of experience in building global brands, Taryn is highly organized and independent, with proven ability to lead large scale projects. Her core areas of expertise include strategic communications planning, crisis communications, messaging development, media relations, product and brand management, project management, team leadership and business development.
Taryn holds a Masters in Liberal Studies, Social & Public Policy, from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York College at Geneseo. She has been a LEED AP since 2004 and Green Classroom Professional. Prior to joining USGBC, Taryn worked at the National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI) overseeing an EPA grant as part of the Clean Air Act. She also was with the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) handling member relations.
Building Science Engineer, RDH Building Science Inc.
Michael Hsueh has been with RDH Building Science for 4 years as a building science engineer consulting with consultant to architects, contractors, and owners. He works on enclosure-related challenges in design, construction, and for existing buildings. Prior to joining RDH, Michael worked at Integral Group for 5½ years as an energy modeler and mechanical design engineer. Michael’s approach to buildings centers around optimizing the enclosure to draw out the full potential of the mechanical system. He lives in San Diego where he spends his free time cooking with family and surfing with friends.
Managing Partner, ZGF Architects
Ted Hyman is a cyclist in every sense of the word. From measuring an architectural project’s performance over its lifecycle to commuting daily from Long Beach to Los Angeles via bicycle, Ted continually strives to reduce carbon emissions in the atmosphere. As ZGF’s Managing Partner, he leads with this essential question: How can we accelerate the evolution of the sustainably built environment? Ted’s passion for architecture is met with an acute awareness that it is also one of the largest sources of operational and embodied carbon. A fierce advocate for halting climate change in its tracks, Ted works across all project typologies to ensure that architects heal rather than damage our earth. In 2016, Ted was one of a handful of U.S. architects invited to participate in a historic forum to address China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and establish net-zero carbon as an achievable standard in the built environment. Ted earned his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Founder, Climate Positive Consulting
David Jaber is the Founder of Climate Positive Consulting, a firm that analyzes carbon footprint, crafts climate strategy, and drives greenhouse gas reduction. Over the last 20 years, David has worked with over 150 companies to help them advance environmental excellence. He is the author of "Climate Positive Business! How You and Your Company Hit Bold Climate Goals and Go Net Zero," is a Project Drawdown Fellow and holds engineering degrees from Rice University and University of California-Berkeley.
Associate Principal, Multistudio
Teresa approaches each project with curiosity and a deep care for community, nature, and their existing—and potential—interconnections. She is a leader on regenerative design, biophilia, health and wellness and climate justice. She's active within AIA San Francisco's Committee on the Environment (COTE) and the Living Building Collaborative, and speaks frequently on the power of induction cooking as a culinary vehicle toward a decarbonized future.
She’s recently served as a content leader for The Building Decarbonization Practice Guide, A Zero Carbon Future for the Built Environment and as a speaker about equity design engagement at California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing Conference (CASH).
Manager, REALIZE-CA, Rocky Mountain Institute
Nick Jiles is an intellectual nomad whose travels brought him to RMI. As program manager for the REALIZE-CA initiative, his team aims to unlock US retrofit markets by driving market transformation across four strategic pillars: standardized retrofit technology development, demand generation, streamlined financing, and policy enablement. Prior to RMI, Nick spent chapters serving labor, Senate leadership and the California Community College system, as well as consulting for affordable housing developers and nonprofits. Nick holds a Master’s in Environmental Policy from Denver University and is a member of Humboldt Baykeeper.
Senior Project Manager, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting
Meghana is a strong proponent of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Justice in the architecture profession. She works to increase minority representation in architecture through her roles with SoCal NOMA (Director of Outreach and Recruitment for Project Pipeline), AIA Orange County’s Board of Directors and ULI’s Urban Plan program. Meghana established AIA Orange County’s Women in Architecture Committee to help firms improve professional conditions for women in architecture. She founded the EDI+J Committee and “Project Amplify” to mentor minority architects and magnify their voices. At Little, she is an active member of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force.
Landscape Architect, Associate Principal, SWA Group
Jeremy Klemic is a Registered Landscape Architect with over 20 years of experience and an Associate Principal at SWA Los Angeles. At SWA, Mr. Klemic has been responsible for a number of award-winning projects. Additionally, multiple projects under his leadership have achieved LEED certification, ranging from silver to platinum. Jeremy also led the City of Thousand Oaks Urban Forestry Master Plan project, updating the City’s design standards towards today’s climate conditions and sustainability standards. Jeremy has been engaged to speak on the topics of Urban Forestry and Wildfire Resilience at a variety of past venues including the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Urban Land Institute. His construction experience and scheduling expertise ensure that complex public projects are thoughtfully planned and brought to fruition.
Co-president, Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design; Partner & Design Principal, GGA+
With over 25 years of experience as an award-winning architect, landscape architect, educator, and author, Greg Kochanowski brings a wealth of knowledge and a holistic design philosophy to the practice. He currently serves as the Co-President of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, and is an active researcher focusing on resilient environments that create synergies between natural systems, culture, infrastructure, and development. His unique perspective at the intersection of urban design, landscape, and infrastructure has been instrumental in a variety of projects reshaping the cultural and environmental fabric of Los Angeles. Greg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Structural Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Temple University, and Master’s of Architecture degree from UCLA.
Landscape Architecture Practice Builder, Kimley-Horn
Gary Lai is a thought leader in sustainability, resiliency and conservation with over thirty years’ experience in landscape architectural design and planning. His interest in drawing and environmentalism as a child led him to a field that he describes as the ‘architecture of living things’ with an immense potential to impact quality of life for future generations. His commitment to environmental advocacy is reflected in his teaching and speaking engagements, as well as his active involvement as a Vice-Chair for USGBC-Los Angeles. Gary is currently a Landscape Architecture Practice Builder for Kimley-Horn in Los Angeles, California.
Architectural Researcher, cove.tool
Sara Laudeman is an architecture researcher at cove.tool. She holds a Master of Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as degrees from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in architecture (B.A.) and mathematics (B.S.). At cove.tool, she works on the research, design, and development of features, as well as supporting users and developing resources to support sustainable design and analysis. She is passionate about using the intersection of design and computation to advance sustainable design goals in the AEC industry.
Director of Sustainability, HGA
Ariane Laxo, CID, IIDA, Assoc AIA, LEED AP ID+C, EDAC is Director of Sustainability at HGA. She leads HGA’s resilience planning services, including collaborating with climate scientists to understand how climate projection models can be downscaled and used to inform architecture and engineering workflows. Ariane is an adjunct professor at Kent State University, serves on the AIA Resilience & Adaptation Advisory Group and the Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota’s Climate Adaptation Partnership. In 2022, Ariane and her co-presenters authored Projected climate data for building design: barriers to use, a peer-reviewed paper published in Buildings & Cities.
Vice President, ESG Investing, Aligned Climate Capital
Eric Lee is a Vice President with Aligned Climate Capital, an asset manager that invests exclusively in the companies and real assets that are decarbonizing the global economy and its infrastructure. In this role, Eric leads Aligned’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) analysis of climate infrastructure and venture capital investment opportunities.
Previously, Eric was an investment professional at TriLinc Global, a global impact investing fund manager based in Los Angeles, CA. At TriLinc, Eric led the firm’s ESG & Impact efforts across all portfolios and served as a member of TriLinc’s Credit Committee and Sustainability & Impact Committee. Prior to TriLinc, Mr. Lee worked at Sustainable Insight Capital Management, an ESG public equities fund based in New York, NY.
Mr. Lee holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a M.S. in Sustainability Management with a concentration in Sustainable Finance from Columbia University.
Manager of Codes and Sustainability Programs, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
As Manager of Codes and Sustainability Programs for the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Matthew provides support for members and manages sustainability certification programs including Environmental Product Declarations, Responsible Sourcing, and Material Ingredient Disclosure. He also works with NRMCA’s codes and standards team and state affiliate organizations to track state and local legislation and regulations, and provide support for state and local advocacy. Matthew is a graduate of DePaul University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in sociology.
Professor, Landscape Architecture, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Claire Latané, MLA, ASLA, SITES AP, is a Professor in Landscape Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) with 15 years of practical experience. Her work applies landscape architecture and neuroscience research with nature-based design strategies that support public health, equity, and climate resilience. In 2017, Claire was selected as an inaugural Fellow in Innovation and Leadership by the Landscape Architecture Foundation to explore school design strategies to support mental health and well-being. Her award-winning book, Schools That Heal: Design with Mental Health in Mind, provides background research, design strategies, and communication methods for making school environments that nurture a sense of belonging, provide nature-filled places, and inspire awe.
Executive Editor, Metropolis Magazine
Sam Lubell is Executive Editor of Metropolis Magazine. He has written more than ten books about architecture for Phaidon, Rizzoli, The Monacelli Press, Metropolis Books, and Oro Editions. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Architectural Digest, Wallpaper, Dwell, Wired, National Geographic, The Atlantic, Architectural Record, The Architect’s Newspaper, Architect Magazine, and other publications. Lubell co-curated the exhibitions Never Built New York at the Queens Museum; Never Built Los Angeles at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum; Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum; and Sacred Spaces, a traveling exhibition created the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University School of Architecture and Columbia University GSAPP.
Senior Sustainability Analyst, HDR
With eleven years of experience, Charlene brings to the team collaboration and sustainability with early integrated and parametric analysis tools, allowing for sustainability measures to play a timely role in the design process. This includes a focus on the building facade and the health and wellness of occupants through analysis of daylight, glare, thermal comfort, and other metrics for interior environments. She further contributes to later project phases by implementing detailed environmental analyses, energy modeling, and verification with sustainable benchmarking certification. Charlene believes as sustainable specialists it is a priority to be educators to facilitate growth of sustainable and regenerative measures into professional practice and the greater community.
CEO, Clean Energy Credit Union
Terri Mickelsen has more than 25 years of credit union operations experience, including over 10 years focused on customer service via branches, phone centers, and online/mobile devices. Prior to her new role at Clean Energy Federal Credit Union, Terri served as COO and VP of Internal Operations at two credit unions, each with over $500M in assets. During her 11 years as an executive team member she was recognized for her ability to incorporate innovations that resulted in significant improvements in the quality of service and cost savings to the organization. Terri has extensive experience in electronic payments systems and is an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP). As a community member, she has over 20 years of volunteer service including United Way Community Fund Panel Chair and Quality New Mexico Examiner. Terri earned her Bachelors in Business Administration at the College of Santa Fe.
Director of Engineering, Orange County Sanitation District
Kathleen (Kathy) Millea is the director of Engineering for the Orange County Sanitation District (OC San). Kathy managed OC San’s 20 year CIP Master Plan which totaled $5 billion. Among her achievements is the project management of a new $200 million secondary treatment plant – an EPA Consent Decree project, successfully completed ahead of schedule and on budget. At the time it was the largest facility of its kind in the United States and second in the world. Kathy has been with OC San since 1995. Previously she worked for the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Sanitation.
Project Manager, Swinerton Builders
Jason is a Project Manager for Swinerton Builders. His project experience includes Aviation, Commercial, Higher Education, Retail and Public works projects ranging from $15 to $500 million. Jason has served in the construction industry for over 15 years after graduating from California Polytechnic University Pomona with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology. He has spent most of his career serving his clients in the greater Los Angeles area and is responsible for managing all aspects and phases of a project from start to finish while consulting with clients and architects to assure overall client and team satisfaction.
Senior Sustainability Engineer, AECOM
Sandy Mukherjee is a Senior Sustainability Engineer at AECOM. She has an international background in architecture and a specialization in building science. Sandy has strong experience working with various municipal, government and state level agencies as well as utility companies, providing sustainable solutions for infrastructure and resilience projects as well as high performance buildings. She is also a Sustainability Consultant for LEED and Envision project certifications. Sandy demonstrates a strong passion in supporting Clients with achieving their sustainability and resilience goals in a cost effective manner across a full range of commercial, institutional and mixed-use developments.
Director of Sustainability, ASSA ABLOY
Amy Musanti is the Director of Sustainability for ASSA ABLOY in New Haven, Connecticut. Amy joined ASSA ABLOY in 2007 and has held a variety of positions across numerous divisions in customer service, marketing, sales, and sustainability. She is responsible for ’greening’ the group’s products and processes, by supporting business opportunities for ASSA ABLOY solutions that contribute to energy efficiency and wellness in the commercial and institutional construction industry.
Amy has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a minor in Information Technology from Monmouth University in NJ and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University in CT.
Design Principal, HMC Architects
Brian has more than 19 years of experience in various educational facilities, including visual and performing arts centers, libraries, and classrooms. He serves as a visionary, mentor, and motivator to the design team, advancing concepts, providing direction, and offering the latest technology. As a design principal in HMC's Los Angeles studio, Brian oversees projects. He ensures the design intention continues from inception through construction while remaining within the parameters of the scope, schedule, and budget. Brian is also a member of the South Pasadena Design Review Board.
Principal, MJMA Architecture & Design
Jeanne Ng is a Principal at MJMA Architecture & Design. She has been instrumental in furthering MJMA’s architecture and community engagement goals since 1997. She has taken a leading role in many of the firm’s most notable community-focused projects that foster social cohesion, such as the Regent Park (Pam McConnell) Aquatic Centre, Ajax Audley Recreation Centre & Library, and the Wellesley Community Centre and St. James Town Library. She is currently the Project Principal for the Western North York Community Centre, which is on target to be Canada’s first Net-Zero aquatic-based community centre.
Director of Sustainability, Gensler
Stacey Olson is a Director of Sustainability, a Southwest Regional Design Resilience Leader, and Gensler’s Global Resilience Leader for the Wellness Practice Area. She brings a deep bench of specialized knowledge and strategic thinking, with hands on leadership and advocacy for resilience and wellness within Gensler’s diverse Practice Areas. Named in Building Design + Construction Magazine’s 2019 class of 40-Under-40 for her transformative leadership in the AEC industry, she’s also a LEED Fellow, certified interior designer, and an EcoDistricts and Fitwel accredited professional.
Director of Sustainability, Browning Day; Assistant Professor of Architecture, Ball State University
Daniel Overbey, AIA, NCARB, LEED Fellow, LEED AP (BD+C, ID+C, O+M), WELL AP, EcoDistricts AP is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Ball State University R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning and the Director of Sustainability for Browning Day in Indianapolis. His work focuses on high-performance building design and construction, environmental systems research, green building certification services, energy/ life-cycle assessment modeling, and resilient design. Daniel has offered sustainable design leadership on a number of high-profile green building projects including the first certified zero net energy (ZNE) building in Indiana, the largest corporate LEED Platinum project in Indiana, and the only dual LEED and SITES certified project in Indiana.
Chairman, HNO International
Donald Owens is a leading expert in Hydrogen Combustion Technology which aims to reduce engine emissions and improve performance.
Mr. Owens has dedicated the last decade to creating a customized hydrogen solution that would become broadly applicable- the LeefH2, securing 19 patents. He has personally tested and verified his technology in laboratories approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Previously, Mr. Owens’ was CEO of Business Internet Systems (BIS). In the late ’00s, he launched a first-of-a-kind online platform that serviced the major business card printing needs of the US Congress, Branches of The Executive Office, and The Department of State. He also spearheaded early web and networked database optimization for massive clients such as the US Census Bureau.
He began his career as a patent attorney for Western Electric and Bell Labs after attaining his law degree from Georgetown University. Prior to that, he received an engineering degree at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University).
Director of Facilities, San Bernardino City Unified School District
Mr. Pace is a hands-on, results driven leader with in-depth experience and demonstrated success in managing multimillion dollar commercial, public works, multi-family, and residential construction projects. Proven track record of maximizing resources, streamlining production and delivering highly complex projects on time and within budget. Reputable for increasing productivity and slashing operational expenditures through strategic allocation of human and material resources. Proactive strategic planner with thorough knowledge of all phases of project and program management with demonstrated attention to client and organizational goals.
CEO, Prescriptive Data
Sonu Panda is the CEO of Prescriptive Data, a privately-held SaaS company focused on the intersection of the Internet of Things, big data, and machine learning as applied to built environments of all types. Sonu develops and executes Prescriptive Data’s business and technology strategy, and oversees all functions within the company, including sales, business development, marketing, customer on-boarding and success, engineering, talent management, finance and administrative operations. Prior to Prescriptive Data, Panda most recently served as the co-founder and COO of H.Bloom, a B2B marketplace company, where he developed the company’s operational model, established both product/technology development and process engineering efforts, and managed day-to- day business operations.
Research Scientist, Communities and Urban Science, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Gokul is currently a research engineer with the communities and urban science research group (CUSRG) at NREL. He has over 6 years of experience in the buildings industry, 4 of which have been in the industry as an energy modeler for a consulting firm, and 2 as a researcher at NREL. His industry experience has focused on energy modeling for code and above code programs in the greater Denver area, and for certifications including but not limited to LEED, Green Globes, Living Building Challenge, and others. At NREL, he has been working on a number of topics related to energy justice and advising on equitable distribution of technologies in different regions. He also works with modeling emerging technologies with NREL’s stock modeling tools, and has experience in modeling novel materials and HVAC systems. His mechanical engineering education background has also led him to experimentally investigate heat exchangers, heat pumps, and simultaneous heating and cooling devices. When he’s not working, Gokul is trying to choose a trail to run on or a book to get immersed in.
Sustainability & Energy Manager, San Bernardino Community College District
Yash works as a Sustainability & Energy Manager for the San Bernardino Community College District (SBCCD). He works closely with students, faculties, and staff to build sustainable campus. He works closely with facilities team on construction projects. Yash has 8+ years of experience in energy management, facilities planning and construction. Yash earned his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Long Beach with an emphasis on energy system.
Sustainability Consultant, Stok
Rooted in a passion for sustainability, Jess delivers strategic solutions at Stok that consider social, environmental, and economic impacts in every project. She has experience working on sustainable building projects while in sustainability roles across industries including real estate development, natural products, and K-12 education. Jess approaches work with an open mind and attention to client interests, finding the best way to turn ideas into tangible sustainability projects. She has experience managing and tracking waste, water, and energy use in real estate portfolios, as well as creating waste diversion programs, developing sustainability communication plans, and leading carbon accounting projects. Jess also has experience in integrated design processes, which she helped implement when working on the first commercial NZE project in Boulder, CO: Boulder Commons.
Membership Coordinator, Commission on Voluntary Service & Action
A graduate of University of California, Santa Cruz in Earth Sciences, Jennifer both helps run a family business and volunteer with Commission on Voluntary Service & Action coordinating all communications and training with member organizations across the country.
Senior Associate & Director of Sustainable Design, Gensler
Maria Perez is a Senior Associate and Director of Sustainable Design for Gensler, a global architecture and design firm. In this role, she serves as one of the firm’s leading sustainability ambassadors and promoters, engaging staff, clients, and the public on innovative and sustainable design, construction, and operational thinking.
She is an accomplished educator with dynamic and practical insights that have been inspiring audiences since she established the first sustainability class for Gensler in 2003. A recognized expert in LEED standards and sustainability rating systems, Maria is a leading advocate for performance-based design.
Maria plays a pivotal role in the development of sustainable tools and is now actively involved in the development and implementation of new standards and guidelines for LEEDv4, which is leading to greater sustainability performance in every project in the region.
Maria is a licensed architect. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico and a Master of Science in Architecture from the University of Houston. In 2015, she was named a LEED Fellow for her exemplary leadership, impactful commitment, service, and advocacy in green building and sustainability. She is a LEED AP+ ( BD+C, ID+C, O+M, and ND).
Maria has worked with USGBC National in the GREENBUILD Special Programs Working Group as well as the LEED v4 test development program. Currently she is actively participating in the GBCI LEED credentialing committee and is currently serving as Vice President of the USGBC Texas Gulf Coast Chapter. Finally, as Gensler’s Regional Sustainable Design Director, she helps designers and architects discover how they can design more energy-efficient buildings with lower building and operating costs.
Executive Director, SCS Global Registry
Dana Pillai is Executive Director of SCS Global Registry. Previously, he was head of R&D at Delos, where he led the creation of the WELL Building Standard. He was also Executive Director of the Well Living Lab, exploring the relationship between building operations with occupant health. Earlier, he was at the Earth Institute where he worked on the Millennium Villages Project – a proof of concept to implement projects directed at the Millennium Development Goals, precursor to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He has a master’s degree in international affairs from the School of International and Public Policy at Columbia University.
Design Director, NAC Architecture
Michael has 29 years of experience in designing public facilities, primarily on California education campuses. As Design Director at NAC, Michael leads design with a strong emphasis on community engagement, believing that real and pragmatic concerns inform his best work. An energetic designer, Michael has led projects to over 30 design awards in his career. He is a frequent lecturer and writer focused understanding the role of design in addressing social justice and equity. In addition to his roles in practice, Michael has been held teaching positions at Woodbury University, Art Center College of Design, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture.
Director of Sustainability Initiatives, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
As Director of Sustainability Initiatives of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), Katie provides technical support to NRMCA members and state affiliates regarding green building standards including LEED, Green Globes and the International Green Construction Code among others. She also manages education and certification programs for members such as Environmental Product Declarations, Responsible Sourcing, Corporate Social Responsibility and Material Ingredient Disclosure. Katie is a graduate of the Concrete Industry Management program at Middle Tennessee State University where she earned a bachelor's degree with a concentration in Concrete Contracting. Prior to joining NRMCA, she worked for Turner Construction as Sustainability Program Manager for their Technology division, with a primary focus on embodied carbon reduction, waste management, and LEED project management. She currently serves on Nashville Mayor Cooper’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and is a founder of the Carbon Leadership Forum Nashville Hub.
Director of Electrification, Southern California Edison
Carter Prescott is currently responsible for eMobility and Building Electrification at SCE, one of the nation's largest electric utilities. The organization includes SCE's vehicle and building electrification programs and services, with a planned budget of over $1.6 billion. The team's mission is to help California electrify 75% of transportation, which translates to getting 26 million passenger EVs on the road and converting 70% of space and water heating in buildings by 2045.
Senior Vice President, Product, Arc Skoru, Inc.
Chris Pyke, Ph.D. is the Senior Vice President for Product for ArcSkoru, Inc. Prior to joining Arc, he was the Chief Strategy Officer for Aclima, Inc., Chief Operating Officer for GRESB, B.V., Vice President for Research at the US Green Building Council, and a physical scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is a principal investigator for the Green Health Partnership, a long-term research initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Pyke has served in a number of advisory roles, including as a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, chair of the US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, and co-chair of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Interagency Working Group on Human Contributions and Responses to Climate Change. Dr. Pyke is on the faculty of the Urban and Regional Planning Program at Georgetown University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.S. from the College of William and Mary.
Health Scientist, Project Manager, 9 Foundations, Inc.
Marissa Rainbolt, MPH, is a health scientist with experience in public health risk mitigation, regulatory compliance, worker safety, and climate change resilience. Prior to 9F, she was a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. There, she co-developed Harvard’s Health Co-Benefits of the Built Environment Tool, which quantifies the health and climate impacts of building-related energy decisions. Because of this cutting-edge research, she was invited to contribute to Harvard Business School’s course on climate adaptation.
Marissa currently serves on the Secretariat for The Lancet COVID-19 Commission’s ‘Safe Work, Safe School, and Safe Travel’ Task Force, and is lead author of the Task Force’s final report on necessary global actions for future pandemic resilience. Throughout the pandemic, she has advised leading organizations on risk mitigation and led the development and execution of risk mitigation strategies, public health education and training programs, building operations guidelines, and outbreak response.
As a public health regulatory authority and worker safety specialist in Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), Marissa received a recognition award for digital innovation. In this role, Marissa gained interdisciplinary experience across multiple EH&S programs, including food safety, water quality, physical safety, planning and administration, indoor air quality, fire/life safety, and radiation safety. Marissa has a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Environmental and Occupational Health from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Washington State University with an emphasis on forestry and sustainability.
Computational Designer, cove.tool
Twisha is a Computational Designer with the research team at cove.tool. The focus of her design and research is trifold - Design Computation, Sustainability, and User Experience as they relate to the AEC industry. She strives to integrate smart workflows for designers by automating monotonous design workflows to make them more efficient and sustainable, which is exactly what she gets to work on at cove.tool. She recently graduated with a masters in Advanced Architectural Design from Carnegie Mellon University. She is also a licensed architect in India. She believes that if every design decision is data-backed, designers will inherently work towards fighting climate change. Technology is the way forward!
Director of Projects, Verdical Group
Rebecca is the Director of Projects at Verdical Group. She oversees a variety of high-performance buildings and material transparency projects, working with teams from schematic design through construction completion to achieve each client's unique sustainability goals. Rebecca joined Verdical Group from the general contracting industry where she gained valuable experience as a project engineer, project manager, and estimator. These roles enhanced her managing skills for project schedules and budgets, field-work, and communication, all with the highest level of quality and attention to detail. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola Marymount University where she studied Natural Science and Civil Engineering.
Rebecca is the recipient of the 2021 UGSBC-LA Emerging Professional Award, enjoys mentoring at her alma mater Loyola Marymount University, and volunteering with the USGBC-LA Chapter. She has spoken at USGBC Live National, the Net Zero Conference, and at the Living Future unConference. Her embodied carbon article, "How Low Can You Go," was featured in Real Leaders magazine. Rebecca is confident in a regenerative future where cities thrive in harmony with nature!
Research Scientist - Commercial Real Estate Products, arbnco
Parag is a building scientist with a background in civil engineering and 10 years’ experience in research and development. He joined arbnco after working and studying at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and RIKEN Center for Advanced Intelligence Project, Japan. At arbnco he supports the product development teams with research on building decarbonisation, health and wellbeing, IoT-based controls, integrating climate risk analysis into building performance evaluation and planning, and the use of machine learning and data science in software and hardware for buildings. Parag is also a visiting instructor at CEPT University, Ahmedabad.
Managing Principal, Integral Group
Andy is Managing Principal at Integral Group’s Los Angeles Office, and has more than 17 years of sustainable consulting engineering experience. His expertise in sustainable architecture and green buildings includes building designs for passive, low energy systems such as natural and mixed-mode ventilation, displacement ventilation, radiant heating and cooling, and building integrated renewable energy systems. Some of Andy’s notable high-performance projects include the UCLA Pauley Pavilion (LEED Gold), UC Berkeley Student Community Center (LEED Gold), Long Beach Airport Terminals (LEED Certified Level), and Soka University Performing Arts Center (LEED Gold).
Energy Engineer & Project Leader, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Rachel Romero, PE, is an energy engineer and project leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Rachel obtained her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Hope College and then received her master’s degree in Building Systems Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her PE in 2014. Rachel is an active member of ASHRAE, currently service on the Residential Buildings Committee.
At NREL, Rachel is the competition manager for the U.S Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design Challenge, which has inspired over 5000 collegiate students in 8 years to be the next generation to design net zero buildings. Also, she provides technical assistance to the to the Department of Energy’s Smart Labs program, which provides technical assistance to university and national laboratory partners across the US. She was a main author of the Smart Labs Toolkit, which describes a systematic process to achieve safe, efficient, and sustainable laboratories.
Construction Project Manager, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)
Lisa graduated with a BS in Construction Engineering Management from CSULB. Before joining the CSULB Design and Construction team, she worked in residential construction before transitioning into commercial construction. During her time working in the private sector, she worked on variety of K-12 education projects, and also the renovation of the science building at Cal Poly Pomona. In 2008, Lisa started with CSULB as an Assistant Construction Manager on the construction of their new Hall of Science building. Since then she has been the Construction Manager on several major capital projects on campus including, the new CPIE (College of Professional and International Education) building, which was CSULB’s first NZE and LEED Platinum classroom building. Most recently she project and construction managed the new Parkside North student dormitories , LEED Platinum, NZE, and LBC Energy, Place and Beauty Petal, which was concurrently built with the new Housing and Residential Life Administrative Office, also LEED Platinum, NZE, and the first Living Building Challenge fully certified office building for the CSU system.
Project Executive, Turner Construction Company
Bryan has worked with Turner for 13 years, six of which have been for the Facebook/Meta program. Prior to his Turner career, Bryan studied Construction Engineering at Iowa State University where he first developed an understanding of construction's impact on the environment. He learned how emerging programs like LEED and the role of contractors could bend the industry and impact the environment in a massive way. His passion for sustainability innovation has only grown during his career at Turner. Bryan has spent most of his career as a Superintendent progressing to General Superintendent and now Project Executive on Facebook/Meta projects. He has been blessed to work with a client whose sustainability goals align so well with Turner’s and his own, and knows this partnership has led to piloting much new industry technology and equipment that will forever change the carbon footprint of construction.
Senior Energy Engineer & Project Manager, Verdical Group
Frank Schwamborn is a Senior Energy Engineer & Project Manager at Verdical Group. He specializes in building energy performance, greenhouse gas emissions, and grid harmonization. He develops energy models and reviews building system designs to reduce the energy and carbon impact of buildings. He has worked on several building types ranging from refrigerated warehouses to university buildings to pharmaceutical laboratories. Frank is currently pursuing a Master’s in Energy Policy and Climate at John Hopkins University to become a leading expert on building electrification and carbon pricing mechanisms.
Associate Professor of Botany, Post Graduate Government College for Girls
Sharma, Vishal, PhD, is Associate Professor of Botany in the Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Secror-11, Chandigarh (India). He is the recipient of “International Best Scientist Award in Plant Biotechnology,” awarded by a Malaysia-based research organization accredited by US-based World Research Council (WRC) and United Medical Council (UMC). He was awarded “Scientist of the Year 2019” at the 10th International Conference on Agriculture, Horticulture and Food Sciences (ICAHFS) held in New Delhi and organized by “The Society of Tropical Agriculture.”
Dr Sharma has also been conferred the “66 Skoch Award (2020; Merit of Semi-finalists) in Solid Waste Management (Windrow Composting), which recognizes projects that go the extra mile to make India a better nation. Dr Sharma was awarded the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action award in the Individual category and was recognized with the 26th International Congress of IFHE-International Award 2020 in Italy. The project was also awarded as Innovative Environment Project by CII; 2021 (8th edition) of National Awards and in Business World (BW) “Recycling for Greener Tomorrow Conclave Awards 2022, for their Carbon foot print benefits. Dr Sharma's project is shortlisted as one of the finalists of the United Nations Green Gown International Awards 2022, a pioneer project from India. Recently, on Environment Day, the National Environmental Science Academy, New Delhi conferred ‘Green Technology Innovative Awards-2022' to Dr. Vishal Sharma at the International Conference on Agriculture Science and at ICAR-IGFRI, Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, for his contribution in the field of mitigation of Carbon footprints and Green awards for Innovation & Environment Awareness at World Environment Expo (Pragati Maidan, New Delhi).
Founder & CEO, Verdical Group
Drew is a social entrepreneur and environmentalist. He is Founder & CEO of Verdical Group, a nationally leading sustainability consulting firm specializing in: green building certifications, engineering services, strategy, and events. Verdical Group is a certified B Corporation and 1% for the Planet member company working on some of the highest profile green building projects in the world with visionary institutions like NASA, Google, Johnson & Johnson, LAX, and GE. He is also founder of the world’s largest annual net zero event — the Net Zero Conference and Trailblazer Awards.
Shula is one of just six individuals who have been honored as both a LEED Fellow and Living Future Hero. He frequently speaks about the building industry's impact on the climate crisis and net zero building design. He has been featured as a speaker at high-profile events such as the Greenbuild International Conference, Metropolis Magazine DesignTV, Living Future unConference, Cornell University, and the AIA 1.5 Degrees Celsius Symposium on Climate Change. Drew sits on several Advisory Boards, including USGBC-LA (where he is a past Board member), Woodbury University School of Architecture, Living Future LA Collaborative (where he was a member of the Founding Steering Committee), and Environmental Charter High School. Drew has been featured or published in USA Today, Forbes, USGBC+ Magazine, and the International Living Future Institute's Trim Tab. He holds a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.
Senior Project Designer, HMC Architects
Simon Solis, Architect, brings over 20 years of design expertise to SBVC. Simon has designed extensively within the higher education realm and strives to design buildings that are high performance, enduring and a source of pride for his clients. Simon worked side by side with San Bernardino Valley College to develop the design of the Automotive Technology Building. Simon partnered with faculty, facilities and administrative stakeholders to design a building that would become a demonstrative, net zero teaching facility.
Program Manager, WRCOG
Daniel Soltero is a Program Manager at Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG). He is currently managing the $200,000 California Resilience Challenge grant WRCOG received to develop the Western Riverside County Energy Resilience Plan. He is also responsible for the development and implementation of various planning efforts within the County. He monitors state and legislative activities related to WRCOG’s Energy programs and streetlight program priorities and works collaboratively with local government staff, capital providers, IOU staff, contractors and consultants on energy and streetlight-related work.
Sustainability Consultant, AECOM
Leila is a Sustainability Consultant for AECOM’s High Performance Buildings team in Orange, California. She graduated with a master's degree in Building Performance and Diagnostics from Carnegie Mellon University and has 4 years of experience in the Architecture and Sustainability industry. Her work focuses on energy modeling, built sustainability and code compliance for a wide range of building typologies. Prior to her work as a Sustainability Consultant, Leila worked as an Architect in Bangalore, India.
Sustainability Program Manager, Meta
Amruta is a Sustainability Program Manager at Meta. She leads Meta's Net Zero Strategy for data center construction. She has over a decade of experience in climate change mitigation and adaptation. She has leveraged her background in urban planning and environmental engineering to do greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, set targets, and develop climate mitigation plans for numerous public and private institutions. She has extensive experience in developing quantitative decision support tools and dashboards that track baseline emissions and quantify the reduction impacts of specific actions based on a robust set of assumptions. In addition to technical expertise in the areas of operational and embodied carbon reduction, Amruta also has a wealth of experience in consensus building and stakeholder engagement to generate widespread support for the adoption of ambitious GHG reduction strategies. Prior to joining Facebook, Amruta worked as a sustainability planner at AECOM and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.
Senior Energy Planner, AECOM
Kenneth Teeter is a Senior Energy Planner at AECOM who focuses on strategic planning of energy systems at the building, campus and community scales. Kenneth applies an engineering background toward innovative and cost-effective energy solutions developed to meet and exceed clients’ sustainability and resilience goals. Kenneth takes a stakeholder-first approach to energy resilience and sustainability planning, focusing on the community priorities for long-term energy goals and building up energy strategies and implementation plans around those core needs. Kenneth has served in technical and planning roles for numerous client types across North America, including municipalities, military installations and university campuses.
Zulhumar is a passionate designer who whole-heartedly believes that good design should always be driven by its programmatic needs and be informed by its context. She sees every new project as an opportunity to engage with and learn from a wide spectrum of people and a possibility for positively impacting their interactions with both natural and built environment. Through her recent focus on educational space design, she has realized the power of the built environment to influence teaching & learning outcomes. She is committed to integrating biophilic design and universal design for learning environments into her work to create a more equitable learning experience.
Design Integration Manager, DPR Construction
Jamila Valero is a Design Integration Manager at one of Los Angeles County’s leading self-performing general contractors, DPR Construction. She focuses on the integration of multiple disciplines and trades to achieve efficient and thorough project coordination primarily within the Healthcare, Higher Education and Life Sciences markets.
As a certified Design-Build Professional (DBIA), Valero believes collaboration is critical. She pushes for the effective integration of design and construction services to ensure success for owners and project teams. Valero has also established herself as a subject matter expert in sustainability and technical building. She is LEED AP BD+C accredited by the US Green Building Council and is one of the DPR SoCal business unit’s Environmental Advocates, a role in which she offers an even more holistic approach to Design Integration. Bringing more than 15 years of experience working on both new and renovation projects, Valero began her career as a Registered Architect and has collaborated on all phases of design and construction at one of the leading global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firms. As Design Integration Manager, Valero bridges the gap between design and construction and excels at interfacing with project teams to develop and monitor expectations and execution for schedule, quality and cost during the design and documentation process at DPR Construction.
Director of New Products and Services, Lincus, Inc.
As Director of New Products and Services, Sabarish Vinod leads Lincus’ expansion into new markets and in the design of new offerings. His focus is on driving development of solutions that break down barriers to customer participation in energy-efficiency programs. He supports utility, industrial and commercial clients meet their energy efficiency goals by conducting emerging and advanced technology research, providing technical assistance, and implementing energy efficiency programs.
Sabarish has a patent on a remote pump monitoring device for oil and water pumps. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Calicut in India and a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Associate Principal, NAC Architecture
Esmeralda directs project sustainability efforts for the Los Angeles office. With every project, she works to develop holistic strategies that support sustainability and wellness. Her contributions towards broadening firmwide agendas have been catalytic in the public education sector. She works closely with design teams to implement projects with an ecosystem mindset.
Building Science Engineer, CMTA, Inc.
Kiersten Washle, LEED Green Associate, EcoDistricts AP, CEM is a Building Science Engineer with CMTA’s Boston Office. Ms. Washle has a B.S. in Systems Engineering & Sustainability, an M.S. in Engineering Management, and an MBA. She collaborates with building owners, utility companies, and third parties to benchmark, analyze, and design both new and retrofitted high performance buildings. She has been featured at national conferences, most recently the 2022 ASHRAE Winter Conference, where she has spoken on sustainable design topics like Zero Energy and Decarbonization. She was recently named Emerging Change Agent of the Year by Built Environment Plus. She has always loved the natural world so her life goal is to continuously bring the built and natural environments into greater harmony.
Partner, MJMA Architecture & Design
Ted Watson is a Partner at MJMA Architecture & Design, who focusses on the design of comprehensive public space, collaboratively leading the design of many of the studio’s most challenging and ambitious projects. He brings 25 years of community recreation design to MJMA’s municipal and academic projects. Framing design solutions around social, technical, and environmental challenges, Ted strives to advance the architecture of community and campus recreation projects as critical infrastructure for collective human engagement, one that ‘Elevates the Civic Experience’ and has impacts beyond their site.
Sustainability Manager, AECOM
With an international background in mechanical engineering, building science and energy simulation, Victoria is passionate about performance-based design underpinned by inter-disciplinary collaboration and informed decision making. Victoria leads AECOM's High-Performance Buildings teams in California and is responsible for sustainability consulting, high-performance building design, and energy simulation. She is an experienced people manager, technical lead and project manager working on High Performance Building projects with specialties including include advanced energy simulation, code compliance, ZNE design, facade optimization and sustainable certifications. She has over 15 years experience in high performance building design working on projects in both North America and Europe and is an expert in applying specialist 3D modeling software in dynamic thermal modeling and system simulation. Her project portfolio includes several LEED Platinum and Net Zero projects with projects in a wide array of sectors including but not limited to hospitals, laboratories, offices, arenas, hotels, mixed-use, emergency response, transportation, prisons, public buildings, hangars and water treatment plants. Recent projects include the Golden 1 Center, home to the Sacramento Kings which was the worlds first LEED Platinum certified indoor sports venue and the first 100% solar-powered professional sports venue and the Intuit Dome, soon to be home to the Clippers, which will be fully electric through batteries and solar power with enough on-site energy storage to power a basketball game or concert and have no net new greenhouse gas emissions.
High-Performance Sustainability Engineer, CMTA, Inc.
Anya Welch, LEED Green Associate, WELL AP, is a High-Performance Sustainability Engineer based at CMTA’s DC Office. Ms. Welch earned a M.S. in Engineering Management and B.S. in Systems Engineering from the George Washington University. As a high-performance sustainability engineer, Anya is versed in energy modeling, daylighting analysis, energy tracking, and occupant well-being analysis. Anya’s passion for the building industry’s sustainability goals has led her to a second feature at the NZ conference, seek further LEED certifications and connect with like-minded professionals to broaden her network and foster CMTA’s goal of delivering exceptional value to all clients and partners.
Sustainability Manager, Development, Lendlease
As Sustainability Manager, Natalie manages sustainability goals for operational assets and projects under development in the Lendlease Americas portfolio. Demonstrating ongoing leadership in sustainability, and a value proposition to development teams, Natalie focuses on embedding environmental and social sustainability across urban regeneration projects in Lendlease Americas’ gateway cities, from origination to project delivery. She carries extensive experience in embodied carbon footprint reporting of construction materials, and executing deep “green” integration among stakeholders from project inception through building operations. Lendlease, a leading international property and infrastructure group, is a 1.5 C Degree aligned company with global environmental sustainability targets to be Net Zero Carbon Scope 1&2 by 2025 and Absolute Zero Carbon by 2040.
VP, ESG and Investing for Health, International WELL Building Institute (IWBI)
Kelly Worden, MPH, is VP of ESG and Investing for Health at the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Kelly leads development of resources to help organizations place people at the center of their ESG (environmental, social, governance) strategy and investment.
Kelly has focused her career on working upstream to promote population health and social equity. Prior to joining IWBI, Kelly worked with both USGBC and GRESB to develop real estate processes and industry standards to benefit people and society. This includes the LEED Integrative Process for Health Promotion for use by green building practitioners and the GRESB Health & Well-being Module for use by real estate companies and investors.
Kelly also has experience working in global health advocacy at the World Heart Federation in Geneva, Switzerland. Kelly holds a Master of Public Health from George Washington University and a B.S. in Human Biology from the University of Texas in Austin.
MEET OUR Abstract Review Committee
Director, GE Aviation
Mr. Bradley is a dynamic communications leader with a knack for building, contemporizing and driving constructive change in communications. He is currently the executive in charge of external communications at GE Aviation. For more than 10 years, his leadership at GE Aviation had driven effective team engagement and his leadership has been recognized by peers across GE.
Prior to joining GE Aviation, Mr. Bradley led sales for Ohio-based news services where he and his team managed client relationships for on-air sponsorships, events and digital advertising with 91.7 WVXU, 90.9 WGUC and 88.5 WMUB.
His publishing experience also extends into domain-specific expertise as he oversaw sales, marketing, circulation and production for the leading trade publisher of news and information for business aviation professionals, Aviation International News. He also led all editorial operations as the Editor-in-Chief for Business and Commercial Aviation, a trade publication within McGraw-Hill's Aviation Week Group.
Senior Director, Energy and Water Programs, Climate Resolve
Thelma Briseño is an environmental engineer from Northwest Ohio. For over a decade, she’s been a scientist and advocate working in the environmental health and community development space. 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. Subsequently Thelma has worked on green building, carbon credit, and energy efficiency projects at schools and private developments. Through her position as Senior Director of Energy and Water Programs at Climate Resolve, Thelma continues to bridge the gap between the ‘man’-made world of engineering and environmental sustainability.
Environmental Sustainability Administrator, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Ms. Chen is an Environmental Sustainability Administrator at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) with over 10 years of experience in the architecture and sustainability industry. She does analysis on utility, mechanical, cafeterias, R&D facilities, electric vehicle/photovoltaic systems, rideshare, acquisition, and waste programs related to improving environmental opportunities. She collects and validates data from multiple sources in relation to sustainability initiative. She provides strategies and reporting to her peers, management, and NASA HQ. She develops, implements, and monitors JPL’s organizational strategies. She also communicates, collaborates, and coordinates with other NASA centers and engineers to review, update, and develop facilities procedures, standards, and practices.
Prior to working at NASA JPL, Ms. Chen was Sustainability Consultant where she worked with clients to achieve green building certifications such as LEED, GreenPoint Rated, Green Globes, and NGBS. Ms. Chen has helped clients obtain green certification for commercial buildings, schools, multi-family building and health centers. She has worked to achieve clients’ goals for CTCAC funding, LA County CDC Funding, USDA, AHSC, and HUD Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) program. She has also worked with large corporate companies across the nation targeting near zero waste management solutions to help achieve their CSR and ESG goals.
Co-Founder / Managing Principal, AreaProbe
Edward Faustin has over 16 years of professional experience in commercial real estate finance, market research, economic development, and strategic advisory services. Edward is cofounder and managing principal of AreaProbe LLC, a techenabled real estate advisory company focused on housing, retail, hospitality, and healthcare. Mr. Faustin leverages his diverse experiences to provide a myriad of consulting service solutions for AreaProbe clients, including market and feasibility studies, as well as assistance with raising capital for acquisitions, refinancings, and construction projects. Mr. Faustin also plays an active role in the development of the company's emerging tech products and tools. Mr. 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.
Mr. Faustin joined AreaProbe on a full-time basis after leaving his position as a 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. Prior to NYCEDC, Mr. Faustin was an underwriter and asset manager for PNC Real Estate where he underwrote debt financings for commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions, as well as construction financing and refinancings for real estate developers, limited partnerships, real estate funds, and REITS.
Mr. Faustin was also Vice President of Fund Originations and Fund Management of LIHTC tax credit equity with Centerline Capital Group (now the Hunt Companies), conduit real estate finance consulting for Blackheath Financial (now Zenta, an Accenture company), and market research and valuation of commercial real estate for Cushman and Wakefield.
Mr. Faustin received his BBA from the University of Notre Dame and a joint Masters in City & Regional Planning and a Masters Urban Spatial Analytics from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Faustin is member of several industry affinity groups, including the Urban Land Institute, International Downtown Association, the Avant Garde Network, and the Council for Urban Real Estate (CURE).
Edward serves as Co-Chair on the Board of Directors for Hope on a String, a non-profit that provides music and performing arts education to children in Corail, Haiti. He is also the Notre Dame Club of New York City’s Liaison to the Black Alumni Board.
Chief of Staff & Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Smart Electric Power Alliance
Courtney V. Galatioto joined the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) in 2019. As the Chief of Staff and Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, she works to align SEPA’s mission and goals with high-quality execution, fosters inclusive and productive relationships throughout the organization and externally, evaluates and manages risks, and facilitates timely decision-making to ensure a productive balance between short-term execution and long-term priorities. She 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. Courtney has a master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University with a focus on energy, climate change, and security.
Project Architect, House & Robertson Architects
Allison Gander, AIA is a Project Manager at House & Robertson Architects, Inc. and has completed a range of projects where coordinating with design teams and maintaining the team’s unity were critical to success. Her professional experience has required attention to detail, clear communication, adherence to strict timelines, understanding of codes and procedures, and overall technical expertise. The broad range of experience between conceptual design to construction administration, with an emphasis on the contract documentation phase, adds to the level of detail Allison can provide to any team and any project. Allison 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. When not working on architectural projects, Allison enjoys adventuring with her three young children and running at the beach.
Program Associate, Building Decarbonization Coalition
At the Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC), Lawrence 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 and a BS from the University of Michigan. He currently lives in Irvine, CA.
Director, Corporate Engineering and Sustainability, Hudson Pacific Properties
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. In this role, she supports the company’s engineering operations and sustainability program throughout the portfolio, nearly 20 million square feet.
Senior Manager, REWS Internal Communications, Salesforce
Kristina is a 16 year communications professional, lifetime learner and culture champion. She is committed to making an outstanding contribution and positive impact in today’s real estate industry and beyond. As a Certified Professional Coach, Kristina establishes and implements talent and leadership development programs for clients and partners in the AEC industry.
Kristina 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.
Kristina is a storyteller for how Salesforce culture comes to life through Real Estate and Workplace Services (REWS), this includes the Future of the Workplace — Success From Anywhere and investing in the global campus and reimagining spaces as a destination for collaborating and connecting. Salesforce looks at real estate as a physical expression of culture and values, and is igniting the next chapter of culture through Trailblazer Ranch and Salesforces’ commitment to Sustainability.
Previously, as the Senior Director of People Operations at Pankow Builders, Kristina served as a change agent for the organization and largely influenced the cultural transformation over a decade. She was a trusted advisor and executive partner to the company’s senior leaders, functioning as the expert on people and organizational issues. She brought a passion for communication and development to strategically lead the Functional Areas within the People Operations Team: Lean and Learning, People (Human Resources), Coaching and Development, Culture, Communications and Marketing. She also championed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Sustainability initiatives.
Kristina is a fourth generation, Bay Area native and lives on the Peninsula with her husband Todd and their little kids, Kayla and Kai.
Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine
Avinash Rajagopal is the editor-in-chief of Metropolis magazine. He is an expert on product and interior design in the digital age, as a historian of contemporary design as well as a frequent speaker at key industry events. He 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.
Director, Growth & Client Solutions, Verdical Group
Shelley Salehzadeh is Director, Growth and Client Solutions at Verdical Group. She is responsible for business development and specializes in helping clients focus on desired sustainability strategies and achieving their goals. She is passionate about the Fitwel rating system, materials transparency and Declare labels, and ESG.
In her most recent position as a National Team Leader at Knoll based out of San Francisco, she 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.
With 15 years of sales experience in San Francisco/Silicon Valley and Southern California, her consultative approach and exceptional client relations skills have helped her to manage national and global contracts with clients such as Google, Apple, Survey Monkey, Verifone, Oracle, Tesla, Palo Alto Networks, and more. She graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in Design Studies.
New Construction Senior Advisor, Southern California Edison
Ruby Rose is a seasoned building industry professional with 15+ years experience specializing in building science and sustainability. She is a Senior Advisor with Southern California Edison supporting developers and new construction customers. She is a Cal Poly Pomona Alumn with a Bachelor of Architecture. Her experience ranges from working at an architecture firm, general contractor, sustainability consultant and now as a utility employee supporting energy efficiency and decarbonization.
Ruby Rose holds several certifications including LEED AP BD+C, Certified Energy Analyst and a Homes Green Rater. She certified over 30 affordable housing developments as LEED or GreenPoint Rated. 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.
Ruby Rose has served her local and industry communities in a variety of roles including Planning Commissioner, Board member for USGBC LA, California Association of Building Energy Consultant, Building Industry Association - Baldy View Chapter, Professional Women in Building, Latino Professional Alumni Chapter for Cal Poly Pomona and SCE’s Business Resource Groups. She is passionate about serving those around her offering free yoga to her community members to create unity amongst them as well as PTO President.