About Our Speakers
Sahar Abbaszadeh is an associate in the energy sector of Cadmus, with expertise in zero net energy buildings, energy efficiency program evaluations, and market assessment studies. Most recently, she has been responsible for multi-state impact evaluation of PacifiCorp’s Home Energy Savings and Duke Energy’s SmartSaver commercial programs. She updated the lighting solutions workbook and developed strategy briefs for the California statewide Lighting Market Transformation program in 2013. Ms. Abbaszadeh has served as a project manager for numerous successful LEED certification applications for commercial, multifamily residential, and educational buildings, and contributed as a consultant and volunteer to the development of LEED version 4. She has performed post-occupancy evaluation research for the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at the University of California, Berkeley to benchmark commercial building performance. Ms. Abbaszadeh is a licensed Architect, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a member of the American Institute of Architects. Sahar holds a Master of Science in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Tehran in Iran.
Lori Hernandez has been Principal of Juliet Morris Elementary School in Cypress for five years. Juliet Morris was recognized in 2016 as a California Green Ribbon School, Silver Level, for demonstrated excellence in whole school sustainability. Green Ribbon Schools are recognized for reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff, and providing effective environmental and sustainability literacy. In 2017, Cypress School District was recognized as a California Green Ribbon District, Bronze Level.
Principal at Kimbark Elementary in San Bernardino California. Kimbark is an environmental and technology magnet school. Kimbark has been recognized as a California Good Ribbon School, Title I achievement school and Bronze level California Green Ribbon School.
Jeff Rivero has taught at YHS for 23 years and is the recipient of the 2015 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Education. He is the Green Team Advisor, Central California Continuation League Director, YHS Athletic Director, U S History and Current Events instructor.
Lesley Taylor is a Field Representative at the California Department of Education, School Facilities and Transportation Services Division, providing planning services to school districts in 17 Northern California counties. In addition, she is program lead for California Green Ribbon Schools. Lesley is the recipient of the 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director’s Award for her work to advance green schools in her state. She is an active member of California’s Environmental Literacy Steering Committee and CEEIN. Lesley’s environmental literacy work emphasizes education for sustainability and opportunities to use school buildings, grounds, and surrounding neighborhoods for place-based learning.
Martin Howell has over 20 years’ experience with Arup and is an industry leader in applying low energy and environmentally responsible techniques to meet the needs of his clients for new and existing buildings as well as master planning studies. Martin is currently working with the City of Santa Monica on the Epic Grant Microgrid project. He has also worked with Los Angeles Community College District as a key member of their energy team providing technical advice ranging from renewable energy, retro-commissioning, central utility plants and utility incentives. He is also working with San Bernardino Community College District, developing their sustainable construction program. Martin has written corporate sustainability standards for a number of clients including Procter & Gamble and has developed low carbon approaches for projects such as the Treasure Island Master Plan in San Francisco and an 184-acre resort in Aqaba. Martin has also lectured on, sustainability, LEED and biomimicry at UCLA, SCIARC, ASHRAE and the USGBC Greenbuild National Conference. “Practical applications of energy harvesting and storage in the built environment,” and a Keynote presentation, on Energy Harvesting and Storage.
Mr. Roper has 25 years of experience in the solar and distributed energy industry. He served as CEO of Sovereign Modular, a company focused on developing low-cost applications of PV for CA public schools, which was acquired by Alta Energy in 2016. He has held executive leadership roles at distributed energy storage provider CODA Energy, solar PPA provider Tioga Energy, solar power systems developer Turner Renewable Energy, and photovoltaic manufacturer SCHOTT Solar. Early in his career, Mr. Roper managed residential business lines for PV manufacturer AstroPower, and headed up renewable energy programs for the State of Colorado’s energy office. Mr. Roper holds an MS Civil Engineering, a BSc in Engineering Physics, and a BA in Music from the University of Colorado.
Stephen Kelley is the Senior Vice President at Green Charge, an ENGIE company. Stephen brings more than 25 years of domain experience, specializing in the renewable energy and high-tech sectors. Prior to Green Charge, he spent six years in the solar industry in leadership roles for SoCore Energy, DRI Energy, and SunPower. Steve’s prior sales management experience includes management positions at Solectron, Oracle, Visa, and IBM. Stephen received his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.
Celia King-Scott is a Senior Engineer (PE, LEED AP, BEMP) with DNV GL’s Sustainable Buildings and Communities group. Her current role as a senior engineer involves being a technical consultant to Southern California Edison on the Prop 39 Pilot Program. Celia has developed whole building energy performance, detailed thermal comfort analysis, daylighting modeling and computational fluid dynamic modeling on residential and commercial projects to inform design decisions on zero net energy and high performing buildings and communities. Celia has presented on high performance design and zero net energy design subject matter for architects and engineers design community, utility clients and education industry across the county. She continues to work as a technical consultant on the development and implementation of zero net energy programs for singular school buildings to communities and districts.
Kathryn Kocarnik is co-Executive Director of Garden School Foundation, where she began as Lead Garden Educator at Grandview Elementary. A graduate of Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, she is a certified health and fitness educator, she is a Master Gardener with a background Environmental Education in the forests of Oregon. She completed 66 hours of intensive classroom horticulture instruction and utilized the program’s 66 hour volunteer work component to teach community garden workshops. She is certified ESL teacher and completed Food Preservation and Cottage Arts Certificate Program, as well as the Huntington Ranch Urban Agroecology Intensive Course, studying fruit tree care, pruning, soil amendments, integrated pest management, propagation and garden design. She is a recipient of the 2017 Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award from the Garden Club of America. Kathryn is passionate about connecting people to nature, whether it is by taking a hike, digging in the soil, or cooking a meal from the garden.
Melanie is a Program Manager leading Education & Training initiatives at The Energy Coalition. She has over ten years of diverse experience working with nonprofits, state and local government, public agencies and residents all working towards a healthy environmental future. Melanie specializes in training and curriculum development, stakeholder engagement and marketing and social media in the areas of energy, urban greening, waste reduction and litter abatement. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Cal State University Fullerton and graduate work in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans.
Audrey Knox is a Project Manager with almost seven years of experience leading education and training programming for educators; as well as leading the development of relationships and facilitation of collaborations with cross-sector partners to support programming initiatives. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from West Chester University. She is also a community member of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Climate Education Steward Program.
Nicol is a Project Manager with three years of experience leading engagement of public agencies, including schools and local governments, for energy project programs at The Energy Coalition. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Cal State University Long Beach. Nicol is also a proud Orange County chapter member of the US Green Building Council and the Association of Women in Water, Energy & Environment.
Tu Anh Tran serves as Director of Business Development for Sunworks, a renewable energy business aims at fulfilling commercial and public renewable energy projects. She facilitates project development by targeting various businesses and industries in different emerging markets and lead the development of responses to RFPs and proposal writing. Previously, Tu Anh directed technical and business development efforts for Sol-Up USA, a residential and commercial solar energy company in Southern Nevada. She also engaged in regulatory affair and advocacy efforts for the solar industry in Nevada. Prior to Sol-Up, Tu Anh worked at at Auxier and Associates, a health physics consulting company. She provided the team with technical and scientific knowledge to set up and run its radiation detection operations. During her time at University of Nevada Las Vegas, Tu Anh carried out research in several engineering and physics specialties. She also participated in collaboration projects between UNLV Engineering Department and the Nevada National Security Site. In her spare time, she enjoys participating in philanthropy work at nonprofit and private organizations and attending social events in her home city – Las Vegas, NV.
Niels Hauksson works with SEI’s Energize Schools, Energize Colleges, and Climate Corps in Southern California. He supports the teachers, faculty, interns, and fellows with our partner schools and programs. Niels obtained a master’s degree in chemistry and a teaching credential from UC Irvine and a bachelor’s in biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to joining SEI, Niels worked as a chemistry and physics teacher in Huntington Beach and conducted research in organic chemistry at UC Santa Cruz. He joined SEI to follow his passion of bringing hands-on sustainability education to California students.
Liz works on SEI’s high school, college, and career programs as a project coordinator and technical education specialist. She directly supports high school and college students, teachers, faculty, interns, and recent grads to create leaders in the new green energy workforce. Liz received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Connecticut. She is a registered Engineer in Training (EIT) and has worked for environmental consulting and remediation design firms. Before joining SEI, Liz worked as a project engineer at GEO, Inc. where she specialized in initial project design and reporting for gas thermal remediation projects internationally. Liz traveled in Southeast Asia after working for GEO, Inc. and spent time volunteering with Save Elephant Foundation where she taught local children about sustainable practices and truly realized her passion for environmental education.
Appointed director of the California Conservation Corps by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2015, Bruce Saito’s career with the CCC goes back to 1977 and the Corps’ earliest days. After graduating from San Francisco State University, he spent nearly a decade as a CCC supervisor/instructor at the Bret Harte Training Academy in Calaveras County, then moving to the Santa Clara (Agnews) Center. Bruce worked at the San Gabriel Center before moving on to the CCC’s Los Angeles Urban Center as director of the first nonresidential center. After the Camarillo Center, Bruce helped co-found the Los Angeles Conservation Corps in 1986. Bruce became LACC executive director in 1995, and devoted nearly 30 years to the program.
In 2014, the LACC’s Adult Corps High School was renamed in honor of Bruce, as Saito High School. Also active in the corps movement nationally, Bruce was president of the Corps Network’s board of directors, receiving their 2014 Corps Legacy Achievement Award. He has served as president of the California Association of Local Conservation Corps representing 13 local conservation corps. Currently Bruce sits as a board member of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation and the Los Angeles County Beaches Commission.
Elizabeth Shirakh is the program lead for the Proposition 39 K-12 Program at the California Energy Commission. For nearly 16 years, Ms. Shirakh has work to promote energy efficiency in K-12 schools. Various roles have included program manager of the Bright Schools Program and the Commission’s alternative Board Member representative to the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).
Nancee Trombley is the Chief Deputy Executive Director for the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) where she oversees the day-to-day operations of IBank programs and administration. Trombley began at IBank in 2014 as the Deputy Director of Compliance and Chief Compliance Officer, as well as lead for IBank’s Small Business Finance Center. Trombley came to IBank with a wealth of knowledge and experience from the private sector and the State Treasurer’s Office. Trombley spent more than 30 years in the banking industry at a variety of financial institutions. Most recently, she was the Senior Credit Supervisor and Primary Underwriting Trainer for Fireside Bank in Pleasanton, California. Trombley earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from California State University Sacramento and an Executive Masters in Business Administration from California State University Monterey Bay.
Principal, Hartman Energy Strategies, LLC. Devon Hartman, recipient of the 2015 Wigington Visionary Leadership Award from the national Home Performance Coalition, is focusing his 35 years of experience in architecture, construction, and business organization on the fields of Strategic Business Consulting, Community Organizing and Energy Efficiency Education. He is an expert in strategic business systems development, organization management, and sustainability consulting. Now retired from his decades-long role as Co-Founder and CEO of HartmanBaldwin Design/Build, Inc., he has created CHERP Inc. to educate cities, organizations, contractors, manufacturers, and realtors, and building owners the myriad benefits of energy efficiency, and the reduction of fossil fuel use in buildings throughout California and beyond. He is the Founder and Executive Director of CHERP Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. A non-profit, volunteer, social enterprise focusing on training counties, cities, community organizations, home owners, businesses, contractors, and Realtors in the benefits of energy efficiency and forming public/private partnerships in the pursuit of massive reductions in green-house gasses and the use of fossil fuels. Supported by the Governor’s office, Energy Upgrade California, the California Energy Commission, the County of Los Angeles Office of Sustainability, County of Santa Barbara, Edison, So Cal Gas, and many local city governments.
Bill Hereth has over 24 years of experience working in the NPDES program regulating discharges to Waters of the U.S., both for Wastewater and Stormwater. Bill graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara. He was the primary author of the MS4 permit for Caltrans requiring the capture and treatment of storm water from the State’s highway system. He is currently the program manager for the Phase II MS4 permit.
Jeff Hutchins has nearly three decades of experience as a landscape architect. Jeff’s aspirations are exemplifed in his development of green infrastructure on every project that comes in the door. By emphasizing “One Water,” the comprehensive approach of managing water in an environmentally, economically and socially benefcial manner, he strives to create self-sustaining landscapes. He oversaw the construction of some of the firm’s most visible projects, including Vista Hermosa Park, Los Angeles River Greenway Trail, Ishihara Park, and several stormwater projects funded by local ballot measures, including the LA Zoo parking lot, Westside Rainwater Park, and South LA Wetlands. The City of Los
Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, the AIA-LA, ASLA-SCC, and APA-CA recognized Jeff for his leadership in stormwater design at PALAPA, an annual assembly of stormwater professionals. Additionally, Jeff is integral to StudioMLA’s schoolyards initiative and has worked extensively with the Los Angeles and San Jacinto districts to provide students of all agees with access to nature to support learning as well as social, mental and physical health.
Christine is the Managing Director of Energy and Sustainability for Cumming and currently oversees the delivery of Prop 39 Energy Services for Cumming and currently provides Prop 39 services to over 34 K-12 School Districts. She is an electrical engineer and a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) with extensive experience developing and managing projects in the sustainability areas of energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Christine has over 29 years of experience managing large capital public works and school bond construction programs and 11 years of experience in electric utility design and construction. Her professional experience includes eleven years as the Director of Policies for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) $29 Billion Bond Construction Program developing construction policies and implementing CM training programs, performing construction management and program management tasks, and internal compliance audits. Prior experience also includes fifteen years as an Electrical Engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and the Department of Building and Safety, City of Los Angeles. Ms. Marez gained experience as a design engineer for electrical power distribution systems and equipment and as a Project Manager heading project teams for general facility projects ranging from $5 to $15 million. Ms. Marez received her Electrical Engineering degree for California State University, Los Angeles in 1988. She previously attended New Mexico State University majoring in civil and electrical engineering. Ms. Marez is an Electrical Engineer; a Certified Inspector General (CIG) of the Association of Inspectors General (AIG), and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Accredited Professional (LEED AP).
Tom Erb is the National Field Organizer for the Put A Price On It Campaign, the Project Manager for the CHERP 50 Home Challenge, and is based out of Claremont, CA. He is a Senior at Pomona College and studies Public Policy Analysis and Politics. Prior to joining the campaign, Erb was the Congressional Liaison for the #4Billion4Us campaign, a communications intern for Congressman Eric Swalwell, a climate intern for United States Senator Brian Schatz and the Co-President of a carbon pricing campaign at the Claremont Colleges. He has spoken on behalf of climate activism in the National Geographic Documentary Series, Years of Living Dangerously, at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and at the World Bank Digital Media Zone. In April of 2017, he was the Youth Spokesman at the World Bank’s Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition’s High Level Assembly. He is from San Diego, CA. Tom can be reached at email@example.com.
Classic Rock and 70’s music fan who likes spreadsheets and geeking out on kilowatts, John Borges has worn several hats in his 7 years with Sacramento City Unified School District. John began his career with the District as an HVAC engineer and then transitioned to sustainability when the district launched Project Green. In this capacity he served as project manager to develop and implement green projects that students developed. John also had a role in developing the building automation department where he was a building automation and HVAC systems technician prior to his current role as Energy Manager. John has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Economics from St Mary’s College of CA. Additionally he has successfully completed the Certified Energy Manager’s examination and has an Energy Manager in Training (EMIT) certificate.
Mr. Villasenor currently works at Southern California Edison as a Mechanical Engineer and is involved with the implementation of the Prop 39 ZNE Pilot Projects, review/facilitation of Custom project applications for energy savings incentives for compliance with CPUC requirements. His prior work experiences include building mechanical designs for commercial, government and institutional projects, full time site construction administration, facility engineering and evaluation/application of energy efficiency measures in existing and new buildings.
Dr. Tony Knight is superintendent of the Oak Park Unified School District in Ventura County and Adjunct Professor of Education at the USC Rossier School of Education and has served as a public school teacher and administrator for 38 years. The Oak Park School District, under his leadership, was named the first U.S. Green Ribbon School District in California and one of a handful in the nation based on a commitment to environmental education and sustainable practices. Tony is a scuba diver and sailor and holds a PADI Master Diver certification. He is an underwater photographer and has an active interest in ocean conservation issues and serves on the NOAA Channel Islands National Martine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Dr. Knight is an environmentalist and animal welfare advocate. He and his wife, Nancy, enjoy traveling and exploring the world, especially areas set aside for protection and conservation.
Dr. Mason is the Technical Director at the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), working to ensure that every child has the best possible learning environment with the smallest impact on the planet. Dr. Mason has participated in research and standards development related to IAQ, ventilation and sustainability for organizations such as ASTM, ASHRAE, and USGBC. Her prior experience includes Vice-President for Product Testing at Eurofins Air Toxics, Principal Scientist at UL Environment and research faculty member at GA Tech. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University.
Michael C. Sharp is the CEO and Director of Training for Hazard Management Services, Inc., and has conducted hazardous materials inspections, provided risk assessments, and designed and monitored manage-in-place and abatement projects with that firm since 1984. HMS, Inc. was founded in response to the need to help school districts handle the asbestos contained in their buildings. As the company has expanded to serve universities, community colleges, hospitals, public utilities, oil refineries, and private building owners, school districts have remained a key proportion of its clientele. Mr. Sharp began teaching with UC Berkeley’s Lead and Asbestos training program in the 1990s, and substantially expanded the training division of HMS, Inc. beginning in 2001. He served as Director of UC Berkeley’s asbestos and lead training programs in 2015 and 2016. In training, he emphasizes addressing real world problems with practical approaches developed from years of experience. Expect genuine case studies, audience participation, a little humor, and an awareness that regulations and best practices are not always perfectly aligned.
Bill Browning, BED Colorado University, MSRED MIT, Hon. AIA, LEED AP., is one of the green building and real estate industry’s foremost thinkers and strategists, and an advocate for sustainable design solutions at all levels of business, government, and civil society. Early in his career, Bill built Buckminster Fuller’s last experimental structure. In 2006, he cofounded Terrapin Bright Green, an environmental strategies research and consulting firm. Browning’s clients include Disney, New Songdo City, Lucasfilm, Google, Bank of America, the White House, and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Village. Browning is a founding board member of the USGBC. In addition to consulting, Bill writes and lectures widely on sustainable design and building practices. He is a co-author of Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate; A Primer on Sustainable Building; Greening the Building and the Bottom Line; Biophilic Design; The Economics of Biophilia; Midcentury (un)Modern; and 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design.
Aimée Lee is a communications specialist who is passionate about people and deeply devoted to this amazing planet. With an extensive background in property management, she is skilled in both business management and customer care. This has happily led to her role as Director of National Accounts with Recycle Across America. Lee resides in Minneapolis with her loving husband. They share a passion for music and great food, and are devoted to their two adorable granddaughters and their own fur-baby, “Gertie, the Earth Dog”.
Terry Waldo has spent over 25 years in the Water Treatment Industry. He entered the industry directly after receiving his Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He has spent time leading Engineering and Technical Teams, Service Groups and Organizations, Recruiting and Training Departments, and Business Development Teams. After 20 years with an International Chemical Water Treatment company he joined Dynamic Water as Executive Vice President in 2017.
Nate Allen joined the U.S. Department of Energy in August of 2017 as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow. He brings a decade of experience working at the intersection of public policy, sustainability, and education to this role. Most recently, Nate collaborated with the City of Pittsburgh on a project analyzing policy implications of urban mobility innovations through a role at the American Architectural Foundation. Prior to that, Nate spent seven years at the U.S. Green Building Council overseeing public policy and advocacy for the Center for Green Schools. In this capacity, Nate worked extensively with elected officials, government leaders, and national organizations in the health, environment, and education sectors to advance green schools. Nate began his career as a history teacher at Winchester College in the U.K. He received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and is pursuing an MBA from the Darden School of Business at UVA.
Carey is the Chief Operations Officer with the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District where he oversees Facility Improvements, Maintenance & Operations, Facility Use and Transportation. Though his journey to supervising school facilities might seem unconventional, his extensive experiences have led to a passion for engaging learning environments. Carey has directed, designed, produced, and stage managed over 400 theater productions at major regional theaters. He was an Artist in Residence as part of the award winning Shakespeare & Company arts education program. Carey was a Lecturer at University of Maryland, College Park where he co-directed the Whole Actor Research Project that combined the arts, humanities, social sciences, and physical science to develop new practices of understanding human learning and teaching acting. Carey’s writing can be found on his blog: Creating the 21st Century.
Sean O’Donnell is the practice area leader for Perkins Eastman’s international K12 practice. During his over 20 years of experience designing great learning environments, on projects ranging from the development of a program, the evaluation of an existing building, to the design of new campuses, he has worked to ensure that the learning environment is fully supportive of all of the users’ physical, intellectual, social/emotional, organizational and technological needs. A recognized leader in educational facility planning and design, he founded the AIA/DC Committee on Architecture for Education, has served as a juror for numerous school design competitions, authored articles and presented internationally on innovations in educational facility design and his projects have won more than 30 design awards. Deeply committed to sustainable school design, he currently serves on the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and as Co-Chair of the National Technical Advisory Committee for the Collaborative for High Performance Schools.
Nik Kaestner is the first Director of Sustainability at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), where he has collaborated with teachers, students, and staff to develop a nationally-recognized sustainable schools program. His staff of five keep busy promoting energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, green schoolyards, and low-carbon transportation at the District’s 180 sites. Since Nik’s hire in 2008, SFUSD’s energy use has dropped by 22%, water usage is down 29%, and waste diversion has doubled to 66%. SFUSD has been recognized as a Green Ribbon district by the US Dep’t of Education and received the Green California Summit’s Leadership Award, the Green Culture Leadership Award at the CA Green Schools Summit, and the “Best of Green Schools” award for industry transformation from the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools.
Project Analyst, New Buildings Institute. Reilly supports the project management team on various projects including the Prop 39 Zero Net Energy School Retrofit work in California, as well as other K-12 schools related work. The program’s focus is on drastic energy reduction via zero net energy retrofits and vigorous occupant engagement programs. Reilly also designs and develops NBI workshops, public engagement materials, and other technical and market transformation resources. Prior to joining NBI she worked for the Integrated Design Lab and Washington Green Schools doing research and energy analysis, developing and maintaining databases, as well as designing energy focused curriculum for K-12 schools. Reilly also has a background in finance and lending as a result of her work as a sustainability consultant for a Real Estate Investment Trust in Los Angeles, CA where she was the USGBC-LA Green Schools Co-Chair for all of Los Angeles County. She has a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Geophysics, Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of Washington and holds certifications and licenses in Real Estate, ArcGIS, LEED and is a Green Classroom Professional (GCP).
Amy Cortese is an Associate Director for New Buildings Institute. Amy has been involved in sustainable design consulting and implementation of energy efficiency market transformation approaches for over 20 years. Amy is responsible for managing implementation teams covering all aspects of NBI’s work. Her work has covered a broad range of technical topics, including lighting and daylighting, natural ventilation, advanced building controls, site design, stormwater management, water efficiency, sustainable materials and others. This work has included research projects ranging from a summary report of all net zero energy buildings and districts across North America, proof-of-concept studies for advanced lighting controls, technical analyses to assist portfolio owners in prioritizing energy efficiency improvements, and a cost analysis for net zero energy, water and Living Buildings. Amy also has extensive experience with the USGBC’s LEED program and the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge and Net Zero Certification programs. Amy has served as Vice President of the Portland Planning Commission, the Green Building Certification Inc. Accreditation Committee and as a volunteered on more than a dozen Cycle Oregon rides. Amy is a LEED BD&C and holds degrees in engineering and law.
As a founding principal at Argento/Graham, Duke directs all commissioning and energy related services. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California, a Certified Building Commissioning Professional, and a certified HERS rater. Prior to co-founding Argento/Graham, Duke led the energy department at Gaia, where he successfully oversaw a team of engineers and commissioned a large portfolio of projects, including office buildings and tenant improvements, retail, medical office buildings, industrial facilities and multifamily residential projects. He has commissioned projects for companies such as Google, Eataly, Steelcase, and Universal Music Group, as well as dozens of speculative developments slated for office, retail, warehousing and logistics. Duke works closely with owners, design teams, and contractors to optimize building design and prioritize and protect investments in strategies that will have the greatest effect on building energy use and cost. He holds a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at San Diego. Duke is a member of the Green Schools Committee at USGBC Los Angeles.
Gary Lai, RLA, LEED AP BD + C, has over 25 years of experience in the landscape industry. Building upon practical and professional experience through maintenance gardening, landscape construction, landscape architecture and urban design, his knowledge encompasses the many diverse aspects of this profession. He has extensive experience in site sustainability issues particularly in water-related sustainable design, which includes low-flow and recycled water irrigation systems as well as watershed and stormwater runoff issues. He is currently providing “Net Zero Water” expertise on several projects, most notably the Santa Monica City Services Building and Earvin “Magic” Johnson park in Willowbrook. Gary is heavily involved in the local professional sustainability community, serving as the Co-Facilitator for the Los Angeles Collaborative of the Living Building Challenge, as a member of the Water Conservation Professional Practice Network, California Congress for the Living Futures Institute, and United States Green Building Council (USGBC), Los Angeles Chapter. His recent speaking engagements have included the Dwell on Design Conference in June 2016 for the USGBC and as moderator for the “Net Zero Water” presentation for the Living Building Challenge in March 2017. He is a graduate of UC Davis and is a Senior Associate at AHBE Landscape Architects.
Katharine Rudnyk is an urban horticulturalist at AHBE Landscape Architects exploring sustainability, resiliency, and evolution of urban landscapes. A third generation horticultural professional, Katharine worked at Monrovia Nursery Company for over 20 years in various marketing and sales positions throughout the U.S. and Canada. As an urban horticulturalist Katharine addresses issues of design performance, life span, wayfinding and culture through plant palette selection. She provides expertise in landscape enhancement – offering guidance to companies on the longevity of their landscape design and reviewing maintenance challenges and opportunities. She is a champion for the appropriate use of drought resistant plant material. Katharine has a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Tulane University and an Associate’s Degree in Horticulture from Mt. San Antonio College. Additionally, Katharine sits on the Landscape Architecture Department Advisory Council at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, is a member of the UCLA Landscape Architecture Advisory Board and is a member of the Urban Agricultural Working Group, a subgroup of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. She is leading a field session, “Back to the Future: Seeking Sustainable Ideas at the Huntington Botanical Gardens” for the ASLA National Conference in Los Angeles on October 20.
I am the Grounds Maintenance Supervisor for the Rialto Unified School District.I have been associated with the landscape industry for 35 years. I have been with the district for 27 years, 20 of those years as the Supervisor. I over see the care and maintenance of 29 school sites and 4 support facilities within the district. I have spent the last 2 years installing 16 citrus grove and garden areas at our elementary school sites, and continue to add other agricultural areas to our district.
André Villaseñor was born amongst the maple trees of Vermont and grew up amidst the palm trees of Southern CA. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara (founded in 1944), including his junior abroad at the Universidad Complutense Madrid (founded in 1293!), he simultaneously completed an M.S. Environmental Science at SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry (home of the Oakie), and an M.A. International Environmental Policy at Syracuse University (home of Otto the Orange). Subsequently, he did a one-year stint in Washington D.C.’s Bank Information Center, conducting research on the socio-economic impacts of multilateral development bank-funded projects in Latin America. In the late 90s, Mr. Villaseñor put his Latin America environmental knowledge to work in Chile where he coordinated environmental impact studies for mining remediation, airport expansion projects, and oil pipelines.During the turn of the century he served as an environmental compliance specialist for the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. From 2003-05, he was a habitat conservation specialist in Ecuador for the U.S. Peace Corps. For the last dozen years, Mr. Villaseñor has been fulfilling the U.S. EPA’s mission (protect human health and the environment). He resides in Los Angeles.
Olaf Zwickau is President of Air Solutions & Balancing, LLC. We are one of the largest certified Testing, Adjusting and Balancing (TAB) firms in the U.S. We are also the exclusive nationwide distributor for the EcoAzur – Intellinox Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation product with full turnkey installation capabilities. Over two decades of commercial kitchen ventilation experience in all aspects of the industry including design, sales, installation, construction management, consulting, extensive project management with daily involvement of the testing, adjusting & balancing industry. Extensive involvement with both the mechanical/general contractor industry as well as the food service industry.
Rick Gibson is a Partner in Sustainability Partners LLC, joined as a Venture Partner and was one of its original Business Partners. His focus is to find, qualify and close new business. Currently Rick manages the sales team, nurtures key customers and creates marketing multipliers to grow the business. Rick has had a 40-year career building businesses, founded and co-founded several successful technology companies and advised over (75) others. Since 1999, as Managing Director of HOTventures, a “mentor capital fund” investing and advising in fast-growth companies and involved with several companies that’ve had liquidity events. Rick’s been a key player in several “mentor-driven accelerators” including Idealab, world’s leading tech incubator in the 1990’s. Rick was an early shareholder in Bill Gross’ Idealab, founded one of its first companies and participated in strategic planning with its ten original CEOs. Rick is a judge for AZ Commerce Authority’s ‘Innovation Challenge’ and for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. He co-founded Knowledge Adventure with Bill Gross which became the world’s largest CD-ROM edutainment company as part of Universal Studios.
Mona Field, Professor Emeritus and Trustee Emeritus, has helped shape educational policy in the community college arena since 1985. She has served four terms as a member of the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees and oversaw the nation’s first large public sustainable building program. She taught at Glendale Community College, served as President of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2276, and is author of a widely used college text, California Government and Politics Today (Pearson, 14th ed.). She is currently 1st Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles, and a member of several boards, including the Foundation for the Los Angeles Community Colleges and the Los Angeles Leadership Academy. She is also a consultant for the Executive Service Corps, which offers organizational development guidance to nonprofits in Southern California.
Hon. Howard A. Goldstein, Esq., is a trial and appellate attorney, with over 25 years of experience in class action litigation. Mr. Goldstein directs an environmental sustainability-consulting firm that provided analysis, strategy, and implementation services. Mr. Goldstein, is currently a governing Board Member of the Beverly Hills Unified School District, and speaks regularly on corporate and public sector sustainability and other implementation topics.
Woodrow Clark II, PhD is an internationally recognized and respected expert, author, lecturer, public speaker and consultant on global, national, regional and local solutions to climate change. His core advocacies are for green development” with technologies, economics, buildings, transportation and their infrastructures needed for smart green healthy communities. He has over 70 peer reviewed paper published and at the end of 2017, 13 books including his PhD Thesis updated on “Violence in Schools, Colleges and Universities” (NOVA Press, Nov 2017) Most of his current work is on the solutions to climate change.
John Zinner, LEED Fellow, is the principal of Zinner Consultants, a firm specializing in green building, LEED and CHPS certification and sustainable development. He is a member of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools Board of Directors (CHPS) and co-chair of its National Technical Committee; is a former Board member of the US Green Building Council Los Angeles Chapter and Chair of its Green Schools Committee; and is Vice President of the Santa Monica Conservancy. Beginning in 2002, John developed Los Angeles Unified School District’s CHPS Program, the first in the country, resulting in the development of 100 high performing schools. He also worked with the San Diego and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School Districts, and manages the certification of CHPS and LEED for Schools projects. He was instrumental in developing the CHPS National Core Criteria and High Performance Products Database, as well as other CHPS tools. John is the former chair of both the Santa Monica Planning and Housing Commissions, and served as energy coordinator for the Office of the Mayor, City of Los Angeles. He has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Southern California, and a BA in Political Science from The Colorado College.
Lisa Silverman was appointed as Executive Officer (EO) of the OPSC in March 2012 and acting from January 2010 to appointment. She serves as Chief Policy advisor for all fiscal, policy and administrative matters for the School Facilities Program. During her tenure, Lisa has emphasized building strong relationships with school districts/interested stakeholders and strives to deliver strong customer service to ensure that the districts are successful in accessing the School Facility Program. Lisa also served as Deputy EO, Fiscal Services Chief and Fiscal Services Manager in OPSC. Prior to joining OPSC in 2006, she held positions with the Board of Equalization and the Franchise Tax Board and has over 32 years of state service. Lisa attended California State University, Sacramento, Cosumnes River College, and Leadership for Government Executives at California State University; and received awards and recognition for her commitment to public service.