VP, Head of Environmental, Social, and Governance, CIM Group
Melissa Gutierrez-Sullivan serves as a Vice President, Head of Environmental, Social, and Governance at CIM Group®. In this position she is responsible for creating and maintaining a comprehensive ESG plan for CIM, setting related goals for the organization and managing ESG reporting and communication.
Prior to joining CIM, Ms. Gutierrez-Sullivan served as a Vice President of Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Occupier Services Sustainability and Wellness Practice, where she led the Southern California region and collaborated on a wide range of sustainability related programs. She also co-founded the Los Angeles-based Women in Green networking group.
Ms. Gutierrez-Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Culture from University of California, Los Angeles. She is a LEED Accredited Professional, WELL Faculty, WELL Accredited Professional and a Fitwel Ambassador.
Practice Builder-Site Sustainability, Green Infrastructure, Environmental Equity, Kimley-Horn
Gary Lai is an accomplished landscape architect and thought leader in sustainability, resiliency and conservation. Gary leverages three decades of design and planning experience to steer large, complex projects to successful completion. His interest in drawing and environmentalism 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. Gary is dedicated to transforming public landscapes in any setting—civic to commercial, healthcare to housing, park to plaza, road to river—to enhance the social and ecological health of cities. He has extensive expertise in sustainable design and water issues that enable him to focus and maximize the creative energies of project collaborators toward innovative, yet practical solutions. His commitment to environmental advocacy is reflected in his teaching and speaking engagements, as well as his active involvement in the local professional sustainability community.
CEO, Howard Building Corporation
As Executive Vice President of Howard Building Corporation (HBC), Mark is responsible for the operations of the organization. He works closely with clients and industry partners to deliver high-end tenant improvements throughout Los Angeles county. In addition to being a LEED Accredited Professional (AP), he has extensive experience overseeing the completion of several LEED certified projects. Mark is passionate about utilizing sustainable building practices and strategic business management to create lasting change within the greater community.
Director of Sustainability, Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company
Jessie Buckmaster is Sustainability Manager at Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company with 10 years of experience in commercial construction and green building across California. She provides sustainability expertise and consultation for Hathaway Dinwiddie’s projects from preconstruction through certification. Jessie has worked on numerous LEED projects, and recently completed a project pursuing Living Building Challenge certification. Her specialty is in evaluating healthy building materials and is an advocate for environmental justice and intersectionality. She loves providing training and sustainability education. She is an active member of USGBC and ILFI.
Director of Sustainable Projects, Los Angeles Dept of Water and Power
Steve Baule is the Director of Sustainable Projects at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Currently he manages LADWP’s La Kretz Innovation Campus that promotes innovation in cleantech, energy efficiency and water conservation policies and programs in the City of Los Angeles. Steve is also currently on the steering committee for the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability (LARC). Prior to joining LADWP, Steve worked as a Community Development Coordinator in Los Angeles.
Construction and Engineering Sustainability Program, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Rick Duarte advocates, implements and manages the Small Business program for the Metropolitan Water District’s (MWD) Business Outreach Program. MWD Capital Investment Planning (CIP) budget is $600 Million (bi-annual) and Rick analyzes every CIP Construction and Engineering contract over $100,000, and establishes MWD’s
Small Business Requirement (SBR).
Rick has over 27 years of water engineering, construction and design experience. He has a Masters in Sustainability Leadership (MSL) from Arizona State University (ASU). He earned his B.S. in Business from the University of Redlands, where he was also inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society. While working for MWD’s Rick has developed an admiration for water and the valuable resource MWD provides to its 19 Million customers in the Southern California region.
Sustainable business practices is at the root of his business model. Rick assisted in developing MWD’s first Climate Action Planning (CAP) Program and worked with other interest groups and utility groups such as Metro’s, Moving Beyond Sustainability (MBS). He is a active member of LASER (Los Angeles Sustainability Executive Roundtable) and the chair DE&I Committee for the US Green Building Council LA Chapter (USGBC-LA). In addition, he is the current President of MWD’s Hispanic Employees Association (HEA), which is an Employee Resource Group (ERG)
which is based on providing support, enhancing career development, and contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion awareness in the work environment.
Civic Design Director/Design Principal, HDR, Inc.
Founder, CEO, GreenWealth Energy Solutions
General Counsel, Rincon Consultants, Inc.
Jennifer Guenther serves as General Counsel at Rincon Consultants, Inc. in a newly created role where she provides general and specialized legal support for a variety of functions, ranging from contract review to legal research to litigation support. Jennifer also has a strong background in CEQA, NEPA, ESA/CESA, and mitigation and regulatory project work, with experience in most areas of environmental law, and can assist with document QC and project strategy. She also assists the Board of Directors, executive team, and Rincon’s Business Operations team on a wide variety of legal matters.
Jennifer’s background includes 13 years with a law firm, where her focus was on environmental law, land use, and litigation, followed by over seven years as general counsel for an environmental/business process outsourcing group of companies, where she led a small legal team and provided an across-the-board level of support in corporate, HR, environment, mergers and acquisitions, contract management, privacy law, and other related areas. She also teaches environmental law and policy, and environmental impact assessment classes at the University of California Riverside while serving on the Board of Directors for USGBC-LA.
Senior Sustainability Engineer, BuroHappold Engineers
Kathleen Hetrick is a sustainability engineer at BuroHappold Engineering and a LEED AP BD+C, EcoDistricts AP and WELL AP. As part of BuroHappold’s sustainability and physics team, Kathleen combines her passion for human-focused sustainable design with a technical background in mechanical engineering. She has experience in a wide range of cutting-edge projects across all scales of work including multiple LEED platinum projects, Living Building Challenge projects, historical adaptive reuse, LEED Neighborhood Developments, and city and campus sustainability plans. Her most recent project work includes coordinating the Living Building Challenge process for the Santa Monica City Services Building, as well as leading the LEED v4 and WELL v1 certification of one of the largest mixed-use redevelopments in downtown Detroit.
Kathleen recently led the WELL certification process for the BuroHappold Los Angeles Office, following the LEED v4 Gold Certification of the office space through her role as the BuroHappold West Coast Environmental Coordinator. Her experience with the Living Building Challenge Material Red List requirements has prompted her to spark a firm-wide effort to identify and reduce the most harmful chemicals within the MEP scope of work, and fuels her passion for improving the health aspects of sustainable materials on all of her projects. She is also the current Co-Facilitator of BuroHappold’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum, spearheading outreach initiatives to encourage local K-12 students to pursue sustainability- focused careers in STEAM through mentoring, design competitions and paid high school internships.
Kathleen’s recent speaking experience includes: Los Angeles Collective Impact Speaker Series: Creating a More Sustainable, Equitable Industry through Engineering Outreach (2018), GreenerBuilder SF: Deploying Onsite Water Reuse in California and Nationwide (2019), Municipal Green Building Conference: Beyond the Red List: Healthy Materials and the Construction Industry’s Impact on our Communities (2019).
Associate Principal, Sustainable Design Leader, ZGF
Avideh Haghighi is an Associate Principal and Licensed Architect at ZGF where she dedicates herself to designing a regenerative built environment. As a firm-wide sustainability leader, she guides ZGF teams in discovering synergies between building, social, and ecological processes. Avideh has a diverse body of leading edge high performance projects spanning public and private sectors, such as schools, large mixed-use developments and institutional projects, including California’s largest Net Zero Energy, LEED Platinum building currently under construction. With a career equally rooted in design and advocacy, Avideh’s long list of affiliations in the AEC community include former Living Future Los Angeles co-facilitator, former AIA|LA COTE co-chair, current AIA California Climate Change Action Committee member, and current USGBC-LA Board member.
Senior Vice President, Director of Client and Community Partnerships; CRA Officer, Beneficial State Bank
Monique Johnson, an executive banker in the industry for over thirty-five years, is Beneficial State Bank’s Senior Vice President, Director of Client and Community Partnerships in addition to the Bank’s CRA Officer. Ms. Johnson was initially hired as the Head of Retail Banking in California in 2016. Monique has been on executive management teams for the past 20 years. Before joining Beneficial State Bank, her previous position was Chief Operating Officer of SunPac, LLC, a banking investment vehicle with the strategy of starting up a new bank in Los Angeles. Prior to that role, Monique was Director of Relationship Management and Marketing in addition to serving as CRA Officer and Co-Chair of the enterprise-wide company giving program at Wedbush Bank in Los Angeles, California. Her
extensive background includes working in every type of banking department from de novo banks to those with $15 billion in assets including the former Imperial Bank. Ms. Johnson has been an anchor in Southern California for almost thirty years with private, community and commercial banks overseeing regional banking offices while instrumental in managing the entire sales and client relationships in addition to all marketing and branding initiatives, operational processes and efficiencies, high touch service, technological advances within systems and products, positive compliance and training cultures, facility management and community, corporate and investor relations.
Ms. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance with a specialization in commercial loan management from Iowa State University. In addition to her new board role at USGBC-LA, she is a board trustee, treasurer and secretary at AltaSea, an organization bringing together leaders in science, business and education to generate innovative solutions to global challenges of human and environmental sustainability. From feeding the earth’s growing population to providing long-term employment and ocean-related careers, AltaSea is a unique model at the Port of Los Angeles. She is also an advocate, board member, volunteer and on the education committee of Junior Achievement of Southern California reaching from Bakersfield to Orange County. Junior Achievement’s mission is to empower young people to own their economic success and stay in school through financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness programs. She was a founding committee member and remains active in Community Resource Exchange (CREX) which develops introductions and new initiatives
between CRA-qualified, community-based organizations and banks in the Greater Los Angeles area. In 2015, she was honored by the California “got milk” Foundation with the Better Future Moms – Los Angeles award for her role as a professional, community advocate and mother. She has been involved in other community organizations over the past few decades including Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation and Culver City Chamber of Commerce.
Monique lives in Hermosa Beach, California, with husband and two daughters who are focused on global environmental sustainability and green commercial architecture.
ESG Director, Leading Edge Consulting Services, LLC
As Leading Edge’s ESG Director, Sara drives ESG and GRESB corporate sustainability reporting in addition to guiding property and facility managers through various sustainability and health focused building certifications. Her passion lies in the intertwining of building performance, environmental responsibility and leveraging the private finance market. Sara is known to be a key resource and driver for changing the way we think about design and facilities management. It is her goal to introduce integrative, cost effective, responsible ways of managing businesses and their operations.
Sara proudly serves on USGBC-Los Angeles Chapter’s Board of Directors.
Erik has been involved in the building and development of projects, businesses, and manufactured products on a global scope. A serial entrepreneur for 40+ years in design/manufacturing, crisis turnaround, and corporate/small business operating with expertise in Cleantech, Built Environment, Manufacturing, Retail and Mobility sectors. He is CEO/Owner of GRENEKER [Custom Build] a 90+ year-old Los Angeles-based visual display & custom-build manufacturer, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GRENITE Sustainable Solutions, a producer of patented GRENITE®, Zero Waste, Pre-Fabricated, Recycled engineered-stone countertop systems with operations in US and Asia. Erik also serves as an Executive-in-Residence at the LOS ANGELES CLEANTECH INCUBATOR (LACI) and co-teaches “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship” program at ArtCenter College of Design.
Principal Project Planner, Capital Planning and Finance, Capital Programs, UCLA Capital Programs, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design
Senior Manager, Building Electrification and Codes & Standards, Southern California Edison
As the Senior Manager of Building Electrification, New Construction Strategy, and Codes & Standards at Southern California Edison, Karen Klepack is responsible for decarbonizing the building sector in California. She oversees programs that drive cost-effective building decarbonization through building codes and appliance standards, helps cities and counties to go further than minimum standards in order to achieve their Climate Action Plan goals, and educates designers and installers about the latest and most efficient electrification technologies to replace fossil gas. Karen loves the outdoors and is passionate about our fully-electrified Clean Energy Future!
Managing Partner, Tatami
Vice President, Sustainability and ESG, Cumming Group
Christine E. Marez is Vice President of the Cumming Group leading its Sustainability division. Christine is an electrical engineer and a LEED Accredited Professional (AP), Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP), and a Certified Inspector General (CIG) with extensive experience developing and managing large capital projects and public agency programs.
Christine has over 30 years of experience managing large capital public works programs and commercial projects, and 11 years of experience in electric utility design and construction. She oversees a team of professional engineers, certified energy managers, energy auditors, sustainability managers, and climate experts and manages Cumming’s portfolio of energy and sustainability services including energy efficiency, renewable energy, water, solid waste, climate mitigation, resiliency, and healthy buildings. Christine has delivered Sustainability and ESG services for projects in transportation, education, commercial, industrial, healthcare, retail, and hospitality sectors.
Christine is supported by her daughters, Alexandra, who works and lives in Seattle, WA, and Isabella, who is in Grad school at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Christine travels frequently for work but always finds time to travel the world for fun with with family and friends.
Development Manager, Primestor LLC
Architecture Professor, LACCD/LATTC
LATTC is a public community college, one of nine in the L.A. Community College District, which is the largest community college district in the nation. Seventy-five percent of LATTC’s courses are in Career Technical Education (CTE) and the largest of the nine pathways is the School of Construction, Maintenance and Utilities (CMU). Professor Marcela Oliva is leading the development and accreditation of the CDLA curriculum at LATTC. Marcela Oliva is a Professor of Architecture and Environmental Design at LATTC and founder of UCLA Extension Courses: Transforming Community and Design for Social Justice. Professor Oliva was the Professional Expert for the nine Community College Sustainability Building Program for 10 years and implemented the largest Virtualization BIM/GIS System in the nation following National Intelligence Standards. She has received multiple Federal grants on Geospatial and recently the EPA Social Justice Grant. She has a Bachelor’s of Architecture from USC and a Masters of Architecture and Building Science from Columbia University City of New York.
Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Kilroy Realty
Vaishali Sampat is Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. She joined Kilroy Realty in 2013 in property management where she worked closely with the sustainability team to identify and implement efficiency projects and achieve building certifications for the West LA/Santa Monica portfolio. In 2018, she transitioned to sustainability full time and is responsible for managing environmental and building health certifications, sourcing and implementing energy, water, and waste efficiency programs, and overseeing Scope 3 emissions reductions portfolio-wide. She is a Fitwel Ambassador and LEED AP: EBOM accredited. She currently serves as Co-chair of BOMA GLA’s Sustainability Committee and on the Board of Directors for USGBC-LA.
West Region Team Leader, Sustainability, Climate and Resilience, Arup
As a Senior Sustainability Consultant for Arup, Seth brings together a broad range of design, operations, planning and public policy expertise to deliver high performance buildings and city-scale sustainability projects. He partners with a diversity of municipal, commercial, hospitality, multifamily, institutional and healthcare clients to develop goals, assessments and implementation strategies around sustainability in the built environment. Always at the forefront of the industry, Seth has extensive experience managing green building certification projects, including LEED, WELL, Living Building Challenge, ENERGY STAR, and others, as well as providing Project Management for MEP engineering projects.
He believes that effective communication is critical to achieving successful project delivery. Seth takes an interdisciplinary approach to facilitating collaboration between all project stakeholders to optimize the environmental performance of building projects. He is an active participant in the local, national and international green building communities, including serving as Chair of the Existing Buildings Committee of USGBC-LA. He has written and presented extensively about sustainability, public policy, social and environmental justice and public health.
VP, ESG, LivCor, a Blackstone Company
Ryan has over a decade of experience working in sustainability in the built environment. He currently works at Hudson Pacific Properties as a Senior Director in Engineering and Environmental Sustainability. He oversees the firm’s green building certification and reporting efforts, including LEED, Energy Star, Fitwel and GRESB submissions, and drives more efficient operations through implementation of energy, water, waste and carbon reduction processes and technologies throughout Hudson’s existing building and development portfolio.
Director of Sustainability & ESG, IQHQ
Jenny Whitson is Director of Sustainability & ESG for IQHQ, a premier life sciences real estate development company. She has over 15 years of sustainability experience focused on the built environment for projects in the private and public sector including commercial, transportation, aviation, mission critical, themed entertainment, municipal buildings, water treatment facilities, and K-12 markets. She is responsible for the corporate sustainability and ESG efforts across IQHQ’s portfolio.
President, Co-Founder, FormLA Landscaping, Inc.
Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA® Landscaping, is an accredited designer in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program and former board president of the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants. Aoyagi aims to transform even L.A.’s urban spaces into vibrantly beautiful, optimally sustainable, places to connect with nature.
Principal, Argento / Graham
Annie is a co-founder and principal at Argento / Graham where she brings over 13 years of experience in the green building industry leading project teams to develop high performance buildings. Annie founded the Los Angeles Women in Green speaker series, a quarterly event that bring together leaders in the field of sustainability to network, mentor and inspire.
Founder & Principal, All About Waste
Denise is the founder and Principal of All About Waste, an international sustainability consulting and project management firm. She is a LEED and WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador, LBC Ambassador, ENV SP and a TRUE Advisor. She has over 15 years of experience with sustainable building construction and waste management in Brazil and the United States– certifying over 120 LEED projects. She is dedicated to corporate social responsibility and innovative solid waste solutions through cost reduction and creative solutions.
Director of Sustainable Design, Gensler
A registered Architect and strategist focused on managing the design performance of Gensler’s vast portfolio of buildings and interiors totaling nearly 1 billion square feet annually. Anthony’s personal drivers are steeped in community, education, and the business & management side of sustainability as drivers for impactful change.
Vice President, Sustainability, Skanska USA Commercial Development
Heidi Creighton is FAIA, LEED Fellow, WELL Faculty and Fitwel Ambassador with over 20 years of experience in green building. At Skanska, an international construction and development firm, she leads the USA Commercial Development’s strategic sustainable initiatives across the US portfolio. Furthering the company’s ESG strategy, she will be responsible for identifying solutions that improve asset performance, energy management, community engagement and user experience to create the most sustainable and impactful projects in each market.
Professor, Renewable Energies, Santa Monica College
Stuart Cooley is Professor of Renewable Energies at Santa Monica College and the lead faculty of the Sustainable Technologies Program, where he teaches courses in solar energy and storage, energy efficiency, lighting, and sustainability. He has 30+ years of experience in consulting engineering, utility management, and municipal programs, before academia. He has a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii, with a Certificate in Renewable Energy Engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in Physical Science from the University of Maryland-College Park.
Former Senior Sustainability Planner, City of West Hollywood
Robyn is a fun-loving, challenge-seeking professional who strives for excellence in the profession, while enjoying the diversity of people, places, and things that makes the built environment so fascinating and unique. She had advised, facilitated, and supported the creation of district-scale communities of choice that demonstrate excellence in sustainability, resilience, and social equity.
Executive Director, Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council
specific timetables for all required infrastructure permitting reviews and authorizations for FAST-41 covered infrastructure projects, advancing the administration’s infrastructure agenda to rebuild the economy.Harada brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in the public and private sectors to the Permitting Council. Harada was most recently the Vice President for Government Affairs at Heliogen, a California-based renewable energy technology company. Previously, she served as the President of i(x) investments, a company focused on impact-driven investments in critical areas such as renewable energy, green real estate development, and accessible smart and
sustainable housing. She was a Partner with Ridge-Lane Limited Partners, an advisory firm of experts in private sector innovation, investment capital, and government policy that works with companies pursuing social and environmental impact, along with financial performance.As the former Federal Chief Sustainability Officer under President Barack Obama, Harada oversaw all federal sustainability-related initiatives in energy, vehicle fleets, and acquisitions. She also served as the Acting Chief of Staff, the Associate Administrator of Government-wide Policy, and Chief Acquisition Officer at the U.S. General Services Administration.
Director, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, American Realty Advisors
Dominique is former Executive Director of USGBC-LA with credentials in LEED, WELL, EcoDistricts, Envision, GPRO, and a Real Estate Salesperson License. She’s interested in the intersection of wellness, net zero design, and workforce development.
Sustainability & ESG Lead
Holly has 15 years’ experience in the environmental and sustainability arena and is a LEED and WELL Accredited Professional. Holly is currently the Senior Sustainability Program Manager at Southern California Edison, where she is responsible for their sustainability programs.
Founder & CEO, Verdani Partners
Daniele Horton is an AIA, LEED Fellow & CEM. She brings over 19 years of experience in sustainable real estate. She is the Founder and President of Verdani Partners where her and the Verdani team manage sustainability programs for large real estate portfolios. Daniele served on our board for 7 years and chaired our Existing Buildings committee for 9 years.
Senior Advisor, Codes and Standards, Southern California Edison
Dave is a California Licensed Architect, and manages the Savings By Design and Field Engineering groups for Southern California Edison’s northern territory. His previous design and project management experience includes a broad range of commercial, residential, and institutional buildings.
Director of Environmental and Public Affairs, Interior Removal Specialist, Inc.
Richard is responsible for complying with California’s heavily regulated solid waste ordinances and coordinates the extensive efforts involved for the recycling of the various construction debris obtained from tenant improvement demolition projects, including E-Waste, Acoustic Ceiling Tiles, carpeting, and over 22,000,000 pounds of drywall. Richard also sits on the Board of Directors for the Construction and Demolition Recycling Association.
Regional Transactional Counsel, Lennar Homes
Head of ESG, Lendlease
Sara Neff is the Head of ESG at Lendlease where she provides leadership and management oversight in developing, implementing, and driving Lendlease’s corporate sustainability framework in the Americas region. Previously, Sara was the Senior Vice President, Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation and took Kilroy from having no sustainability program to being named the #1 publicly traded real estate company on sustainability in North America by GRESB. Under her leadership, the company recently committed to becoming the first carbon neutral real estate company in North America by the end of 2020.
At Kilroy, she oversaw all sustainability initiatives such as solar and battery dealmaking, the implementation of energy and water efficiency initiatives throughout the existing and development portfolios, the integration of sustainability standards into annual financial reports, the launch of the Kilroy Innovation Lab, and the award-winning green lease program. She holds a BS from Stanford and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Founder, Zero Waste Company
Sofia Ratcovich is a sustainability expert focused on helping clients create socially responsible events. She founded Zero Waste Company (Zero Waste Co) a small woman-owned consulting firm in 2012 and is an official endorser of the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge which promotes the sustainable management of food.
Associate Principal | Resilience, Arup
Heather Rosenberg is the founder of the Building Resilience Network, which helps businesses and their surrounding communities on the path toward physical, social and economic resilience through strategic planning, capacity building and implementation. She is currently working with the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) to develop a Resilience Module for real estate investment companies and funds. In partnership with community-based organizations and the City of Los Angeles, she is developing a network of neighborhood resilience hubs that can support local communities in times of disasters. Ms. Rosenberg is a USGBC Ginsberg Fellow and founder of USGBC-LA’s Building Resilience-LA program that brings resilience to the building scale. She developed the Building Resilience-LA: A Primer for Facilities, a resource for businesses and building owners to integrate resilience into their core operations. With more than 15 years working on the leading edge of green building and sustainability, she is co-author of the USGBC report “Social Equity in the Built Environment,” co-authored the core curriculum for USGBC’s Green Building and LEED Core Concepts Guide and writes and blogs extensively on issues of sustainability and resilience. An ecologist by training, Heather formerly served as a principal at CTG Energetics, where she led sustainability projects at the local, regional and national scale. She was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to serve on the City of LA’s Innovation and Performance Commission and serves on the City’s Resilience Steering Committee. She served on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Resilience Panel, and currently serves on the State of California Clean Energy Jobs Act Citizens Oversight Board, the American Society of Civil Engineers Resilient Infrastructure SPEED Committee and the USGBC Social Equity Working Group.
Founder & CEO, Verdical Group
Drew Shula is a social entrepreneur and environmentalist. He is Founder & CEO of Verdical Group (www.verdicalgroup.com), a sustainability consulting firm that has developed a nationally known brand and industry leading reputation since the company was founded in 2012. The firm specializes in: green building certification project management, engineering services, strategy, and events. Verdical Group is a Benefit Corporation, as well as a certified B Corporation, and a 1% for the Planet member company. VG has completed some of the highest profile green building projects in the world with visionary institutions like NASA, Google, Johnson & Johnson, LAX, and GE. Drew is also Founder of the world’s largest annual net zero event — the Net Zero Conference (www.netzeroconference.com) and associated 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 on the building industry’s impact on the climate crisis, and net zero and zero carbon building design, 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, Metropolis Magazine, Bisnow, USGBC+ Magazine, the International Living Future Institute’s Trim Tab, and many others. He holds a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.
Environmental Specialist | Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, LA Metro
Stacy Sinclair is an environmental scientist and author. She partners with USGBC-LA to raise awareness about the issues related to sustainability and resilience facing decision-makers.
President, Okapi Architecture Inc.
A trailblazer, she was actively involved and responsible for the impressive market growth of LEED and CHPS (Collaborative for High Performance Schools). Believing energy efficiency is the solution to energy crisis and climate changes; she has implemented Savings By Design program, from 2003, for all her projects as as architects, later on as owner’s representative.
Partner / Senior Advisor, Director of Environmental & Mitigation Programs, ZC Sustainability
John founded Zinner Consultants in 1990. For his contributions to the field of green building, he was recognized by the USGBC as a LEED Fellow in 2012 and is a member of various industry Boards and Advisory committees. Prior to founding ZC, John served as both Energy Coordinator and Planning Advisor for the City of Los Angeles Office of the Mayor.