GBC Speakers

15th Annual New York State Green Building Conference


Ted Benson

Since 1973, author and Bensonwood founder, Tedd Benson has championed high-performance, sustainable home and public buildings with an emphasis on innovation and craftsmanship. Bensonwood’s search for a new and better way to build resulted in the founding of a new company, Unity Homes, focused on making healthy, high-performance homes more affordable. Unity Homes was honored as one of Building Green’s “Top 10 Products for 2016.” A frequent presenter, Tedd spoke at the 2015 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Washington DC, with a talk entitled, “Making Sustainable Homes the New Normal.”


Thomas Knittel

Thomas Knittel is the design partner of McLennan Design, an architectural, planning and consulting practiced focused on net-zero, low carbon and living buildings. His past projects in the U.S, Asia, Brazil, Middle East and Haiti explore connections between people, place and ecology. He has used biomimicry—the ‘technology transfer’ of natural systems to solve human problems—to inspire and inform the design process. Knittel holds a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, is a certified biomimicry professional, studied at SCI-Arc, and has received over 30 design awards across a broad range of building types. He donates his time as the design leader for The William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center in Port au Prince (currently under construction), a new family learning center and orphanage funded by the USGBC designed to LEED Platinum and net-zero standards, a project he began at HOK and continues in his new firm. He is a registered architect in multiple states and a member of NCARB.


Jeff Speck

Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors' Institute on City Design and created the Governors' Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at DPZ & Co., the principal firm behind the New Urbanism movement. Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates, a boutique planning firm that specializes in making American downtowns thrive. With Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Mr. Speck is the co-author of The SmartGrowth Manual and the "modern classic" Suburban Nation, which the Wall Street Journal calls "the urbanist's bible." His latest book, Walkable City–which the Christian Science Monitor calls "timely and important, a delightful, insightful, irreverent work" –was the best selling city-planning book of 2013-15.

Rick Alfandre

Rick Alfandre has been specializing in the field of environmentally responsive planning, sustainable design, and energy and resource efficient building for over 30 years. He is the founder and President of Alfandre Architecture, he is expert in the design of maximally energy-efficient, climactically responsive buildings that are solar-ready, and that include state of the art construction systems that maximize the health and well-being of their occupants. He launched EcoBuilders Inc. in 2009 to provide full design and build services to his clients.

Co-Presenting with Ian Shapiro.

Jodi Smits Anderson

Jodi believes the path to greater comfort and performance in buildings will come with greater collaboration, sharing of lessons learned, and a commitment ot continual improvement. An approachable speaker, she helps peopel to see thier own insights and build upon them. She works extensively on greening NYS government operations, advising and contributing to climate and resiliency policies, and greening building projects.

Susanne Angarano

Susanne Angarano, NCIDQ has extensive experience designing sustainable interiors with a focus on College & University and K-12 design and a passion for materials research.

Co-Presenting with Matthew Broderick and Lisa Carey Moore.

Erik Backus

Erik C. Backus, PE, LEED AP, FMP, is the Howard E. Lechler Endowed Director of the Construction Engineering Management program at Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY. Erik teaches courses and executes research/work in an array of topics related to the built environment including: sustainability, resilience, and life-cycle thinking of infrastructure and buildings. He serves on the University Sustainability Committee and is an affiliate faculty in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment. Erik, who was a past-member of the Faith Based Community Action Team for the US Green Building Council (USGBC), continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve, was recently appointed to the APPA Informatics Working Group, and is a member of the Steering Committee for Lutherans Restoring Creation.

Jason Benedict

Jason Benedict is one of the Partners-In-Charge of King + King Architects' K-12 Educational Design Studio. He has +15 years in the educational market. He manages and administers all project phases from inception through construction and was the Project Manager of the Pine Grove Middle School project.

Co-Presenting with Matthew Finn and Amanda Thomas.

Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C is a Principal at Ashley McGraw Architects. In his22 years at the firm Matt has worked on many sustainable, aspiration projects, including multiple LEED Gold buildings and currently a Living Building.

Lisa Carey Moore

Lisa Carey Moore, LEED AP, BD+C, is a Healthy Materials Specialist at Integrated Eco Strategy, LLC. Lisa has engaged manufacturers to obtain documentation for three Living Building Challenge Projects that are pursuing full “Living” designation, and has worked with numerous stakeholders to help them understand how to navigate the materials research process.

Co-Presenting with Matthew Broderick and Susanne Angarano.

David Cutter

David Cutter ASLA, University Landscape Architect for Cornell,  is involved in most aspects of planning, design, construction and stewardship of the landscape on the historic Ithaca campus. He embraces the premise of the campus landscape as a living classroom and collaborates regularly with instructors and researchers to incorporate real sites, issues and questions into the student experience such as achieving SITES certification for a student-designed landscape on campus.

Co-Presenting with Michelle Palmer.

Jim D'Aloisio

Jim is passionate about a team approach to creation of high-quality buildings. He seeks to bridge the traditional siloes that exist in the design and construction realm, to inform projects and improve energy efficiency and performance. He is a trained presenter and has published and presented on the role of structural engineer in addressing embodied carbon and thermal performance.

Matthew Finn

Matthew Finn has over 8 years of professional experience in architectural design.  His talents include his ability to foster and manage a multi-faceted and collaborative approach to design.  As each project is unique with its own set of challenges, Matthew strives to ‘think differently’ by finding design approaches and solutions that best suite the needs of each client, project, budget, site and circumstance. His broad experience ranges in everything from K-12 and higher education, to commercial and healthcare work.  In addition, Matthew is an adjunct professor at Syracuse University where he is committed to teaching design studios and theory seminars focusing on the practice of art and design.  He holds a graduate degree in Architecture with Distinction from Cornell University.

Co-Presenting with Jason Benedict and Amanda Thomas.

Esther Greenhouse

Esther Greenhouse is unique professional--an environmental gerontologist and designer.  Her professional purpose is to create a paradigm shift whereby society harnesses the power of the built environment to enable all people across both the age- and ability-continua to thrive.  She is a nationally recognized expert on Universal Design and Aging in Place.  A catalyst for change, Ms. Greenhouse applies the Enabling Design Approach in her work with communities as they evolve to meet the needs of both seniors and younger generations, to create successful age-friendly and multigenerational places.  An award-winning and enthusiastic instructor and speaker, Esther leads dynamic and engaging workshops and trainings.  She served on the American Planning Association’s Aging in Community Policy Guide Task Force, co-authoring the Housing, Zoning, and Transportation sections, has written portions of the Livable NY Resource Manual, and teaches the NAHB/AARP Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) courses (for which she was awarded CAPS of the Year).  Her innovative perspective has resulted in invitations to contribute to the book Independent for Life, the 4-part PBS series “Design for a Lifetime”, and the design of the nation’s first elder-focused emergency department and is an Industry Scholar in the new Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures.

Tim Hughes

Tim brings over 32 years' experience in the project management, design and construction support of capital projects. Current emphasis is toward business management, client/government relations and leadership of corporate sustainability strategic initiatives including cultural and business transformation. Provide project leadership on strategic projects. Design expertise in HVAC, energy, sustainability, plumbing & fire protection disciplines.

Co-Presenting with Paul Murray and Chris Piche.

Thomas King

Tom is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology and held a leading role on the 2015 Decathlon team. Previously, he studied architecture at Roger Williams University, and composite manufacturing technologies at the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS). Through his experiences in the world of lightweight, high strength materials, Tom spearheaded the research, design and fabrication of flood proofing prototypes on the SURE House. Tom is now a designer at King and King Architects exploring high performance buildings, renewable energy resources and leading architectural detailing to reduce energy consumption and increase occupant comfort in buildings.

Maureen Mahle

Maureen McGeary Mahle is an engineer, building scientist, and green building consultant with Steven Winter Associates, Inc. As Director of Sustainable Housing Services, she supports project teams seeking green building certifications including LEED, National Green Building Standard, Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, and ENERGY STAR. To date, she has certified more than 12,000 green dwellings in 10 states, with over 9,000 more homes in progress. She works to tie human health to energy efficiency in green building, and her projects have been early adopters of the Active Design Guidelines and the WELL Building Standard.

Paul Murray

Paul Murray is vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs at Shaw Industries, Inc., where he is responsible for sustainability and product stewardship. Murray joined Shaw, a leading provider of commercial and residential flooring worldwide, in February 2011 after more than 20 years at furniture manufacturer Herman Miller. A LEED accredited professional, Murray holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and a Master's degree in management from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Co-Presenting with Tim Hughes and Chris Piche.

Michele Palmer

Michele Palmer PLA, a practicing landscape architect for over twenty years, is owner of Templeton Landscape Architects. Well versed in green infrastructure and site design, she is LEED accredited and as an educator, taught site engineering at Cornell University for six years.  As Vice President of the Upstate New York Chapter of ASLA she has planned professional learning events.

Co-Presenting with David Cutter.

Chris Piche

Chris brings a broad understanding of high performance systems to each project. His approach is rooted in the philosophy that environmentally responsible design must constantly evolve to suit the technology available in balance with the client's goals and objectives. Chris provides leadership for Elementa Engineering's Performance Engineering Group - a team explicitly trained and specializing in building optimization.

Co-Presenting with Paul Murray and Tim Hughes.

Tad Radzinksi

With over 30 years of practical experience, Tad Radzinski is a leading expert in corporate responsibility and environmental management. Tad, co-founder and Certification Officer of GreenCircle Certified, LLC, provides third-party verification of environmental claims, ensuring transparency in the green marketplace. Tad is additionally President of Sustainable Solutions Corporation, delivering consultative services to companies in a wide range of global industries. Tad is an adjunct professor at Villanova University, teaching graduate classes such as Sustainable Buildings and Operations and Advanced Life Cycle Assessment. Formerly the EPA's Waste Minimization Program National Expert, Tad has been a trusted advisor for Fortune 500 companies including ASSA ABLOY, Unilever, Merck, Stanley Black & Decker, Saint-Gobain, Kohler and Florida Crystals.

Edward Riley

Edward M. Riley has 40 years of experience in design, construction, real estate development and hotel operations.   In August of 2014, Mr. Riley resigned from Pyramid Hotel Group as their Sr. Vice President for Design, Construction and Real Estate to focus on the Hotel Syracuse rehabilitation. Prior to joining Pyramid, Mr. Riley was Vice President of Resort Development at Intrawest Placemaking in Reno/Tahoe. Mr. Riley was also Director of Development for Marriott Resorts in Hawaii, involved in several properties with budgets totaling 1.1 billion dollars. As a founding partner in Waterford Development, Mr. Riley was an owner/partner in Marriott Courtyard and Springhill Suites properties in Northern New Jersey and Philadelphia areas. He also was Architect of record and co-developer of several historic restoration projects in Armory Square area of downtown Syracuse, securing the historic rehabilitation tax credits for Bentley-Settle, Piper-Phillips, the McArthur, Worth & Cooney buildings.  In 2014, Mr. Riley formed Hotel Syracuse Restoration LLC.  The focus was the restoration and renovation of the 92 year old Hotel Syracuse, which opened in August of 2016 as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.   Mr. Riley attended architectural school at Onondaga Community College and Syracuse University, is a licensed Architect in New York State, and actively maintains his registration.

Ian Shapiro

Ian Shapiro founded Taitem Engineering in 1989. He has led several applied energy conservation research projects, has led many design and energy projects, and has delivered workshops in the areas of energy and ventilation. Prior to starting Taitem Engineering, he worked for seven years at Carrier Corporation where he designed heat pumps and air conditioning equipment, and holds eight patents from this work. He is the co-author of the books Green Building Illustrated (2014) and Energy Audits and Improvements for Commercial Buildings (2016. He has been a visiting lecturer at Cornell University, Tompkins Cortland Community College, SUNY Cortland, and Syracuse University. Ian was honored as Green Building Advocate of the Year during the 2016 New York State Green Building Conference

Co-Presenting with Rick Alfandre.

Patrick Thibaudeau

Patrick is vice president of HGA's sustainable design practice, and is part of a national group of large architecture firms that supports the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) 2030 Goals for carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030. He also serves on the 2010 Editorial Advisory Board for Eco-Structure.

Amanda Thomas

Amanda Thomas has over 11 years of professional experience that is focused in the K-12 Education market. With a focus on design, she channels her creativity through a collaborative design process and leads with excellent communication and problem solving. She is dedicated to keeping up on issues and trends within the K-12 market and designs spaces that are stylish and contemporary yet timeless. Amanda is National Council for Interior Design Qualified (NCIDQ) in 2008 and completed her higher education at Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelors of Fine Arts/Interior Design in 2004.

Co-Presenting with Jason Benedict and Matthew Finn.


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