About Our Speakers
Neil Steiner’s, PE, LEED AP, passion for regenerative design motivates him to be a Collaborative Co-Founder, championing Living Buildings in the Sacramento region. As an Associate at Glumac, he actively engages in energy analysis, project management, and mechanical engineering, to create sustainable solutions across a variety of building types, both new and existing, with an emphasis on higher education and community-based learning facilities. Neil recognizes that high-performance buildings can best be realized by interdisciplinary project teams and transparent communication. He is an active listener, hearing client’s needs, hopes, and desires with careful consideration of their budget and schedule, and encouraging conversation about how to make these ideas a reality.
Neil was a key contributor to Sacramento’s Arch | Nexus office, which achieved the first Living Building Certification in California, is Zero Net Energy and Zero Net Water, and also happens to be the first-ever adaptive reuse LBC project. Currently, Neil is leading the energy efforts that will steer the Department of General Services Clifford L. Allenby Building to achieve Zero Net Energy and meet its sustainability goals.
Vivek Mittal, PMP, LEED AP, has more than 26 years of experience in energy efficiency, commissioning, and smart building solutions. As the Director of Enovity’s Sacramento office, Vivek oversees a team that delivers turnkey energy efficiency retrofit and building optimization services for clients that include state and local government agencies, K-12 schools, and higher education institutions. His team’s recent projects include energy services performance contracts (ESPC) at the San Diego State Office Building, the California Office of Emergency Services Headquarters in Mather, the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento, and High Desert State Prison in Susanville, along with commissioning of the newly renovated Sacramento Valley Station. He is also supporting the State of California’s Department of General Services with rollout of a smart metering and analytics platform for tracking energy consumption at more than 60 facilities across the State.
Vivek holds three Master’s degrees (in Business Administration, Building Energy Systems, and Information Systems, all from Arizona State University) as well as a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the Delhi School of Architecture in India. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and LEED AP with specialty in Building Design + Construction.
Chris Chatto, Associate AIA, LEED AP® BD+C, is a high-performance building specialist at ZGF Architects in Portland, Oregon, with a depth of expertise on projects for both public and private sector clients. His work focuses on optimizing building performance through energy and daylighting studies in early project development and delivering building efficiencies in completed projects, contributing to numerous projects achieving LEED Gold and Platinum certifications as well as net zero energy use. Chris works closely with project teams throughout all phases of a project to explore and integrate sustainable design components and to optimize building efficiencies. He has developed and taught courses focusing on sustainable, climate-responsive and energy-efficient design at the University of Washington and the University of Oregon; was founding chair of the Seattle Emerging Green Builders; and is active on educational and advocacy issues for both the Seattle and Portland AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE). He holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon, a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from the University of Pennsylvania.
As a Partner at ZGF Architects in Seattle, Washington, Todd Stine, AIA, LEED AP® BD+C, DBIA, brings more than three decades of experience in integrated, sustainable and technical design on a wide range of public and private sector projects. His passion for architecture is evidenced by his micro to macro approach to considering each aspect of a project, from integrating design teams to optimizing building systems at every level. Todd’s project oversight reveals his aptitude for responding to the evolution of project delivery methods while ensuring the highest-value solution unique to each client and project. Career highlights span design for clients including Beacon Capital, Boeing, Hines, Microsoft, Urban Visions and the U.S. General Services Administration, among others. His project work has received international attention and award recognition, including a 2018 AIA Seattle Honor Award for Energy in Design for the State of Washington, Helen Sommers Building, and a 2013 AIA Top Ten Green Award for the U.S. General Services Administration, Federal Center South Building. Todd holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati.
As a Principal and Chairman of the Board at Lionakis in Sacramento, California, Nicholas (Nick) Docous, AIA, LEED AP® BD+C, NCARB, has been an invested leader and mentor at the firm for over 30 years. Nick is a hands-on principal who stays actively involved in his projects, and especially in his role as head of the Civic Studio Team. He also oversees the firm’s Project Management Training, is involved in the mentorship of its Emerging Professionals Program as well as strategic planning for the firm’s Design Technology Program. His unique ability to develop overall goals and a singular project vision within a collaborative team environment involves an acute understanding of the critical elements that go into the development of both projects and people. His commitment to the importance of design and architecture on the built environment is further demonstrated through his active involvement in the AIA, the California Conservations Corps and other community organizations. He previously served as President for the AIA Central Valley Chapter. Nick holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from the University of Colorado and a Master of Architecture and Business degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jared Blumenfeld is California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection. Appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom in January, he is one of America’s most innovative environmental leaders, with more than 25 years of environmental policy and management experience at the local, national and international levels. From 2009 to 2016, he served under former President Barack Obama as Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the Pacific Southwest region. From 2001 to 2009, he was Director of San Francisco’s Department of Environment, where he worked with then Mayor Newsom to make San Francisco “the most sustainable city in the nation.” Prior to government service, Jared led international campaigns for nongovernmental organizations, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Natural Resource Defense Council. A graduate of the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology, he holds law degrees from the University of London and the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Prior to joining the Newsom administration, Jared founded a private consulting firm to advise clean-tech companies on strategic planning and market development. He also hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile route that stretches from Mexico to Canada, and started an award-winning podcast on environmental topics, called Podship Earth, which he continues to host.
Michael Rochman is the Managing Director of the School Project for Utility Rate Reduction (SPURR), a California joint powers authority.
SPURR is a cooperative buying group for public school districts, community colleges, county offices of education, universities, municipalities, and other eligible public and non-profit institutions. Mr. Rochman is responsible for overall operation and management of SPURR, including the following programs:
• The Renewable Energy Aggregated Procurement (REAP) Program competitively procures statewide master contracts that may be accessed by eligible entities throughout California.
• The electricity demand response program and LED lights programs competitively procure statewide master contracts that may be accessed by eligible entities throughout California.
• The natural gas procurement program provides core and noncore commodity supply to hundreds of organizations at thousands of facilities in PG&E natural gas service territory.
• The telecommunications and internal networking procurement program competitively procures statewide master contracts that may be accessed by eligible entities throughout California.
Mr. Rochman also directs SPURR’s participation in utility proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission, and in hearings before the California Legislature.
Mr. Rochman holds an AB with High Distinction from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Alan Glass is the Energy Supervisor and Special Projects Accountant for Pittsburg Unified School District. Alan’s role with the “greening” of PUSD began doing data management of utilities for the District. With the onset of Prop 39, Alan’s role expanded to managing the District’s $2.7M in energy efficiency projects, and that evolved to overseeing the Sustainability and Energy Conservation efforts of the District. His efforts have brought wind generation to the District’s Corporate Yard, new beta solar panels which allow vegetation to grow successfully under the panels, EV charging for vehicles and buses, and more. Pittsburg Unified is a California Green Ribbon School District with Gold Distinction, and winners of the CSBA Golden Bell Award for their school gardens. Alan received his BA from UC Berkeley and a teaching credential from Cal State Hayward (now East Bay).
Amy Cortese is the Program Director at New Buildings Institute (NBI). Throughout her career, Amy has been involved sustainable design, green building and energy efficiency market transformation. At NBI, Amy is responsible for managing project implementation teams covering all aspects NBI’s work including advanced new and existing buildings, code and policy innovation and zero energy market development and leadership.
Dan Burgoyne is the Sustainability Manager for California’s Department of General Services (DGS), where he develops and helps implement policies improving California’s sustainable buildings, energy, water and resource efficiency. Dan is an architect, project director and LEED Fellow, with over 26 years of experience in the design and construction industry, and green building policy.
Dan led the development of California Governor Jerry Brown’s green building Executive Order B-18-12 and multiple policies, and helps lead their implementation through California’s Sustainable Building Working Group. These state initiatives push California toward Zero Net Energy buildings, LEED certified new and existing buildings, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved water efficiency, and sustainable building operations. He has trained and advises state agencies on California’s LEED certification program, with over 22 million square feet of new, leased and existing buildings certified, and over 235 LEED certified buildings. Dan has served as a green building advisor to the California Green Building Code (CalGREEN), GSA, and California’s High Speed Rail Authority.
Dan served on the USGBC Board of Directors, as well as Government and LEED MR TAG committees, and the USGBC’s Advisory Council. Dan is an advisor and instructor for the University of California, Davis Extension.
Nancee Robles is the Acting Executive Director and former Chief Deputy Executive Director and Chief Compliance Officer for the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) a division of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. In this role, Nancee oversees IBank’s direct lending Infrastructure State Revolving Fund, Bond transactions, and the Small Business Finance Center. Prior to joining IBank, Nancee worked for the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), and the State Treasurer’s Office. Prior to her State service Nancee spent over 30 years in the private sector banking industry. Nancee earned a Bachelor of Science from California State University at Sacramento and an Executive MBA from California State University at Monterey Bay.
Dr. Rick Brown founded TerraVerde Energy in 2009. Since then, he has been deeply involved in California legislation and regulation regarding clean energy, including crafting legislation guiding development of California’s Prop 39 Clean Energy Jobs Act. He has continued to work closely with the Prop 39 Citizen Oversight Board and California Energy Commission Staff to refine and improve the Prop 39 program guidelines. He was involved in the passage of SB 585 in 2012, legislation that filled a $400 Million gap in solar rebate funding. He also led the effort to have the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) select TerraVerde as its energy strategic partner in 2013. More recently, he has been invited by the CPUC to provide testimony at numerous proceedings, including: net metering, battery storage rebate programs and serving disadvantaged communities.
Nancy Ander is the Deputy Director of the Office of Sustainability at the Department of General Services (DGS). She is responsible for greening state facilities. Her responsibilities include the development of sustainability policies in areas such as Zero Net Energy buildings and implementation of sustainability programs such as energy efficiency retrofits, solar and wind installations, electric vehicle infrastructure development, recycling and other programs for state facilities.
Prior to this role, Nancy was a Manager at Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the state’s four major investor owned utilities. At SCE, Nancy led the policy group responsible for planning SCE’s energy efficiency and demand response portfolio. Additionally, Nancy oversaw the development of efficiency and climate action plans at local governments and large institutions.
Before coming to SCE, Nancy supported public policy at the California Energy Commission (CEC). At the CEC she supported Title 24 development and managed research to develop innovative technologies in Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Most notably, Nancy developed and managed the first Public Interest Research program for energy efficiency at the CEC and helped to lead the program to national prominence.
Nancy has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and is a registered CA engineer.
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).
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.
Bharat Patel is a principal at Harley Ellis Devereaux and has over 30 years of design & construction experience in helping to deliver the best most sustainable built environment. HED is an innovative architectural/engineering company at the forefront of offering integrated building design and net zero energy performance solutions. Patel attended the University of Salford in Manchester, UK where he studied Mechanical Engineering BSc (Hons). Patel earned a Building Services Engineering MSc with a full scholarship at London University, UK. He is a registered Mechanical Engineer in USA and Europe. Patel is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), LEED® accredited professional and is past chair of the Los Angeles chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). He is also registered Fire Protection Engineer in numerous states. Patel has worked on building projects throughout Europe, Asia and America and has worked with a number of world renowned architectural firms some of whom include: Sir Norman Foster, Sir Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. His unique experience allows him to examine and provide unique solutions that balance competing concerns in design such as energy, environmental sensitivities, security and costs.Bharat has presented at numerous conferences locally, nationally and around the world including at the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia. Patel is a past member of the Community Advisory Board at the Union Bank of California focusing on funding green developments. He is also a past advisor for the Apollo Alliance an organization focused on creating green jobs in America. He served on corporate board of Entertainment Media Association leveraging the power of the entertainment community to educate people about environmental issues. In his spare time he teaches at USC, UCLA and is past faculty of USGBC.
Evan Speer serves as the Chief of the California Department of General Services (DGS) Office of Fleet and Asset Management (OFAM). In addition to managing its own fleet of approximately 4,500 vehicles that are leased out to customer agencies, OFAM also functions as the policy body and control agency for all 50,000 of the State of California’s fleet assets. Prior to stepping into his current role, Evan worked for DGS’ Interagency Support Division on special projects such as the state fleet’s renewable diesel purchasing mandate and a multi-agency effort to establish a nationwide aggregated zero-emission vehicle purchasing program. Evan holds a BA in International Relations and an MPA from the University of Southern California.
Mike received his B.S. degree in Architectural Engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1979 and was involved in the practice of structural engineering for a number of San Diego based firms for over 37 years. His experience includes design, contract plan checking, peer review and forensic investigations for various types of projects utilizing all types of building materials. Mike has had articles published in Structural Engineer and San Diego Constructor magazines, he has served as an SEAOSD Director and was also a member of the SEAOC Code Streamlining Committee. Mike is a licensed Structural Engineer in the State of California and is now a Regional Director for WoodWorks.
Steve Oliver, P.E. manages SMUD’s large commercial energy efficiency and retrocommissioning programs. He is also responsible for commercial green pricing (Greenergy), commercial community solar (SolarShares), and the new All-Electric Smart Home program. In addition to twelve years of commercial energy efficiency experience, Steve’s background includes key account management and industrial equipment sales.
A licensed mechanical engineer in California, Steve received a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from U.C. Santa Barbara in 1991. He can be reached at Stephen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave Fujino has served for more than 10 years as the director of the California Center for Urban Horticulture (CCUH), Co-Director of the UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance at UC Davis and Chair of the Saratoga Horticultural Research Endowment. He earned his B.S. in Plant Science at UC Riverside, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from UC Davis in Environmental Horticulture and Plant Physiology. Fujino’s experience includes over 17 years in senior level management with a large wholesale horticultural company. His expertise includes organizational development, operations improvement, information technology, strategic planning, marketing, research and development, training, fund raising, and other areas. In 2017, he was inducted into the Green Industry “Hall of Fame” for having a positive impact in the horticulture industry.
Fujino has served as past chair, vice chair and grower member director of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers and Vice President of the Nursery Growers Association. He has also chaired the CA Department of Food & Agriculture’s Nursery Pest Advisory Task Force and just completed a 3-year term on the Department of Water Resources’ Technical Advisory Panel. He currently serves on the SacTree Technical Advisory Committee, SmartFarm Steering Committee and Davis Tree Commission.
Commissioner J. Andrew McAllister was appointed to the California Energy Commission by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in May 2012 and reappointed in January 2017. Commissioner McAllister has been working on energy deployment and policy since the early 1990s. He has worked across the world to implement clean, cost-effective energy solutions with counterparts ranging from tiny remote communities to the largest of utilities. Commissioner McAllister administered two of California’s signature renewable energy programs (California Solar Initiative and Self-Generation Incentive Program), developed and operated energy efficiency programs for utilities, and performed a broad range of policy-related research for California and the U.S. government. He is chair of the board of directors of the National Association of State Energy Officials and serves on the board of the Alliance to Save Energy. Commissioner McAllister’s deep grounding in technology, policy, and the marketplace provides him with uncommon insight on the accelerating changes taking place in California’s energy sector.
Before joining the Energy Commission, Commissioner McAllister was managing director at the California Center for Sustainable Energy. He worked with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association International, Ltd. in countries in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa on various renewable generation, load management, utility planning, and remote power projects. He was a project manager at an energy-consulting firm and worked as an energy efficiency analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Commissioner McAllister holds a master of science and a Ph.D. for the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. Commissioner McAllister served as a Peace Corps volunteer.