e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

GBC Speakers

Maureen Leddy

Keynote

Maureen Leddy, Director, Office of Climate Change, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Maureen Leddy is the Director of the Office of Climate Change at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Office of Climate Change works to advance strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in NYS through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, promote climate change adaptation and resiliency planning through the Community Risk and Resiliency Act, and support community action through the Climate Smart Communities Program. Maureen’s major focus is on developing policies across all economic sectors that achieve the emissions reduction and equity requirements of the Climate Act. Prior to joining the DEC, Maureen worked in the Large-Scale Renewables program at NYSERDA supporting the development and implementation of New York’s Clean Energy Standard. Maureen has a background in carbon finance for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and in environmental consulting on regulatory compliance matters. Maureen holds a graduate degree in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Planning from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and an undergraduate degree from SUNY Geneseo.


Yewande Abraham

Yewande Abraham, Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Abraham is an assistant professor in the Civil Engineering Technology program at RIT. Abraham is a LEED Accredited Professional in building operations and maintenance. Her research focuses on building energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and indoor environmental quality.


Jennifer Ahrens

Jennifer Ahrens, Principal Architect, Bero Architecture

Jennifer Ahrens is a principal architect with Bero Architecture in Rochester, NY. She holds a Bachelor in Architecture degree from Syracuse University and is LEED accredited. Jennifer is drawn to preservation of the built and natural environment and uses her skills to explore how buildings and their landscapes create a spirit of place and help to define and sustain the community. She firmly subscribes to the idea that the "greenest building is the one that is already built”.

jahrens@beroarchitecture.com


Nana Yaw Andoh

Nana Yaw Andoh, Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

Professor Andoh is an assistant professor in the Master of Architecture program at RIT with a background in sustainable architecture and urbanism. His research involves how traditional building methods can be assessed and compared to current trends and inform the design of future buildings.


Erik Backus

Erik Backus, Construction Engineering Management, Clarkson University/APPA

Erik C. Backus is a Member of the APPA Total Cost of Ownership Working Group and Co-Chair of the APPA Facilities Informatics Working Group in addition to being a Professor of Practice and the Howard E. Lechler Endowed Director of the Construction Engineering Management program at Clarkson University. Erik also was the Volunteer Chair of the New York Upstate Community Market Advisory Leadership Board (MLAB) of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for both 2018 and 2019. As part of the NY Upstate MLAB (covering the entirety of New York State except for Long Island and the immediate area around NYC), Erik lead efforts across the full spectrum of sustainable design, construction and operations, including the use of such products as LEED, inclusive of a signature achievement of LEED Gold Certification for the New York Olympic Region in 2019. At Clarkson, Professor Backus teaches courses and executes research/work in an array of topics related to the built environment. Chief among these topics are sustainability, resilience, and life-cycle thinking of infrastructure and buildings.


Bill Bishop

Bill Bishop, PE, CEM, LEED AP, BEMP, BEAP


Christopher Bland

Christopher Bland, Program Coordinator at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital

Born in Paterson, NJ, Christopher is a Program Coordinator at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He has earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from The State University of New York at Geneseo and a MPH in epidemiology from the University of Georgia. While at the University of Georgia, Christopher taught courses on Global Health, served as the president of the Public Health Association and became a member of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health. Christopher’s research interest includes the intersections of mental health and HIV/AIDS, the physiological/psychological effects of volatile compounds in the air of urban housing and environmental justice. Christopher has been a consultant to prominent health organizations such as GILEAD Sciences, PEPFAR, Ryan White, Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. Christopher’s current work at Sinai includes building and managing a virtual home visit program for pediatric asthma patients. Now residing in Manhattan, Christopher’s future goals are to implement grass-roots initiatives throughout NYC that task shift interventions to respected community leaders and health workers to teach health education in their community and include integrative wellness for underserved populations.


Michael Boller

Michael Boller


Gabrielle Brainard

Gabrielle Brainard, Professor of Architecture & Building Science, Pratt Institute

Gabrielle Brainard, AIA, CHPD, teaches architecture and building science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Columbia GSAPP, and Pratt Institute. Her teaching and research focuses on the building science of enclosure systems, high-R-value envelopes, facade retrofits, and hands-on teaching methods in building science. Previously, she was an enclosure consultant at Heintges and a senior technical architect at SHoP Architects, where she concentrated on the design and execution of custom facades for large-scale commercial and residential buildings.


Christopher Brandt

Christopher Brandt, Project Architect, Bero Architecture

Chris is a project architect with Bero Architecture in Rochester, NY. He received his Bachelor in Architecture degree from SUNY Buffalo and his Master of Architecture and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia. He serves as the Education and Advocacy Coordinator for the Young Urban Preservationists, as a trustee of The Landmark Society of Western New York, and as a member of the Town of Irondequoit Historic Preservation Commission.

cbrandt@beroarchitecture.com


Alan Burchell

Alan Burchell, Founder/Principal, Urbanstrong, LLC

Principal of the award-winning firm Urbanstrong, Alan is a professional engineer, LEED-AP, and Green Roof Professional. He helps building owners/operators/developers and municipal governments mitigate energy and water management issues to reduce costs and boost property values. Alan has spoken at the United Nations, appeared on MSNBC, and provided technical expert testimony.


Lisa Chase

Lisa Chase, Research and Communications Principal, Two Willows Consulting, LLC

Lisa Chase has published extensively on sustainability and design in the built environment, including in Stanford Social Innovation Review, Harvard Business Review and Harvard Business School Working Knowledge. Lisa's credentials include formal education in international relations and environmental studies, as well as extensive nonprofit, corporate and entrepreneurial communications expertise. Clients include Harvard Graduate School of Design, Harvard University's Real Estate Academic Initiative and Harvard Business School. She leads research and communications at Two Willows Consulting, LLC.


Daniel Ciarcia

Daniel Ciarcia, Two Willows Consulting, LLC

Daniel Ciarcia, founded Two Willows Consulting, a sustainability consulting firm focused on creating a more environmentally friendly urban design and mobility infrastructure. He led the development of GE's Electric Vehicle charging product line, Mueller System's Mi.Hub Smart Grid suite, and led the launch of the US Green Building Council's Parksmart Certification. Dan has presented to numerous audiences on sustainable energy, including the Harvard University Energy Symposium, MIT Energy Conference, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, GE EV Experience Tour and the German Trans-Atlantic E-Mobility Conference in Washington DC.


Tabitha Sprau Coulter

Tabitha Sprau Coulter, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, King's College

Tabitha L. Sprau Coulter earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in architectural engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and completed her undergraduate studies at Lafayette College. Dr. Sprau Coulter is an assistant professor of civil engineering at King's College, where she is working with undergraduate research students and the campus sustainability coordinator to identify and implement sustainability initiatives on campus. She previously worked as an energy modeler for Reese Engineering and as a mechanical engineer for KlingStubbins. While pursuing her Ph.D., she was an NSF Grant recipient, and was involved with the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI).


Marilyn Dare

Marilyn Dare, Senior Project Manager, NYSERDA

Marilyn Dare has worked at NYSERDA for 20 years promoting market transformation and energy efficiency in the commercial and industrial sectors. As a Senior Project Manager in the Codes team, Marilyn's responsibilities include program design and activities to encourage and facilitate the adoption of stretch energy and stretch-to-zero codes. Marilyn's past responsibilities included program development and project management in the Commercial New Construction Program, and advising NYSERDA program managers on lighting technologies while managing and developing Market Development programs including the ACEEE-award winning Commercial Lighting Business Partner Program. Marilyn also helped develop and manage the Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Financing Program, which worked with lenders to offer low-interest rate financing to small businesses and not-for-profits.


Tom Eisele

Tom Eisele, Eisele Architects

Tom Eisele is the founder of Eisele Architects, a design and consulting firm in New York City. He is an urban planner, licensed architect, LEED Accredited Professional, Certified Passive House Designer, member of the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Adaptation Professionals. He has over 37 years of professional experience on projects around the world.

Since 2010, Tom has been a senior policy advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability (MOS) and the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency (MOR) working on a number of projects to reduce the city's risk of negative impacts from weather and other climate related events.


Patrick Fitzgerald

Patrick Fitzgerald, NYSERDA

Patrick joined NYSERDA in 2002 and is currently responsible for program development and project management of NYSERDA’s housing-focused New Construction Programs, as well as the Buildings of Excellence Competition. These programs offer technical support and financial incentives intended to encourage the new construction or gut rehabilitation of exceptionally high-performance, low-carbon single-family and multifamily housing.


Nicholas Genzel

Nicholas Genzel, Energy Analyst, Frontier Energy

Nick focuses on sustainable building operations monitoring and verification through analysis and data collection. In his past 3 years at Frontier Energy, Nick has been deeply engaged in ground-source and air-source heat pump design reviews, inspections, monitoring, and performance validation analysis.


Lisa Greenwood,

Lisa Greenwood, Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Greenwood is an assistant professor in the Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety program at RIT. She has over 20 years of industry experience with environmental management and risk-based management system design, certification, and implementation in enterprise. Her research foci include environmental, health, safety, and sustainability management systems; sustainable system design and implementation; and private/voluntary environmental governance standards.


Alexander Hartwell

Alexander Hartwell, PhD Student, Syracuse University

Alexander Hartwell is a PhD student at Syracuse University and a member of the combustion and energy research lab (COMER lab) at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In 2018 he graduated from the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering with dual bachelor's degrees in nanoscale engineering and applied mathematics. For over 5 years he has been working in university level academic research on topics including solid oxide fuel cells, ceramics manufacturing, microscale/nanoscale biomaterial and bio-compatible systems, and microscale/nanoscale manufacturing techniques. He also chief technical officer of FirePower, a startup out of the COMER lab working on developing a resilient combined heat and power system using a fully integrated fuel cell generator.


Lauren Hildebrand

Lauren Hildebrand, Sustainability Director, Steven Winter Associates, Inc.

Lauren Hildebrand is a Sustainability Director at SWA. Her work focuses on sustainable and high performance residential and commercial building design, construction, renovation, and operation. Ms. Hildebrand’s expertise includes: sustainable design integration; indoor air quality and energy performance testing; and implementing project certification for both commercial and residential programs, such as LEED®, ENERGY STAR®, NYSERDA, NJ Clean Energy, and Enterprise Green Communities. Awards presented to her clients include the 2013 USGBC NJ Urban Green Project Award.

Ms. Hildebrand works as a LEED® for Homes Green Rater and verifies implementation of the LEED® for Homes criteria. She is an integral part of the initial strategic planning sessions and workshops with builders, architects, and homeowners based on the LEED for Homes program. She also partners with and implements criteria for Enterprise Green Communities (EGCC), NYSERDA’s Multi-Family Performance Program, and the ENERGY STAR® Multi-Family High-Rise Program Certification. Ms. Hildebrand also has experience with a variety of commercial and mixed use projects, including LEED® for New Construction, Commercial Interior, Core and Shell, and Schools.

In addition to her project experience and program guidance, Ms. Hildebrand manages classroom training and curriculum development for architects, owners, developers and building management staff on green and high performance building design strategies, cost effective building system operation, and energy-saving maintenance practices.


Rachel Jacobson

Rachel Jacobson, Deputy Director, American Society of Adaptation Professionals

Rachel Jacobson is a cross-sector collaborator with over a decade of experience in the climate adaptation, resilience, and environmental fields. As Senior Program Manager at the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), she leads the development, implementation and continuous improvement of all of ASAP’s member programs. She also directly oversees the Adaptation Careers and ASAP Serves programs, which provide peer-to-peer learning opportunities and advance consistency and effectiveness in the field, and leads the organization’s monitoring and evaluation program. Previously, Rachel was a contractor and a Fellow at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she implemented two strategic initiatives: Resilience AmeriCorps and The Department of Commerce Natural Capital Business Roundtables. Rachel lives in Syracuse, NY.


Philip LaRocque

Philip LaRocque, President, LaRocque Business Management Services, LLC

Philip LoRocque obtained his Masters in Public Administration from Rockefeller College at SUNY Albany. He has been an NGBS Master Verifier on over 2,000 housing units since 2010 for New England and Mid-Atlantic states, as well as serving as a member of the 2020 NGBS Consensus Committee’s Task Force on the NGBS Chapters dealing with Water Efficiency and Owner/Building Management/Tenant Green Building Education and Maintenance Manual.


Autumn Lennon

Autumn Lennon, Undergraduate Researcher, Clarkson University, C3G

Autumn Lennon is originally from Beacon, New York, and is a sophomore Civil Engineering student at Clarkson University.


Chonghui Liu

Chonghui Liu (CL), Popli Design Group

Chonghui Liu (CL) is Team Leader, Energy Services with Popli Design Group. He has over 10 years of experience in mechanical/HVAC design, energy assessment/planning, and commissioning.


Ricky McLain

Ricky McLain, Senior Technical Director - Tall Wood, WoodWorks - Wood Products Council

Ricky is WoodWorks’ in-house expert on tall wood buildings, providing analysis and guidance on architectural, fire and life safety, and structural design topics related to tall mass timber projects. He supports the AEC community both directly and collaboratively with WoodWorks Regional Directors, and guides the development of education and resources related to tall wood buildings in the U.S. Prior to this emphasis, Ricky’s role encompassed all building types and wood systems. He also has extensive experience in lead engineer roles related to structural design, project management and construction administration. Ricky is very active as a member of numerous committees and councils related to building design and is the Executive Director of the Structural Engineers Association of Vermont.


Elham Mohammadrezaei

Elham Mohammadrezaei, Student, Iowa State University

I'm 3rd year grad architecture student at Iowa state university, Originally from Tehran, Iran. I'm interested in sustainability and have worked on couple of projects over 8 years of my studies and practice in architecture and am pursuing my professional practice in sustainable architecture and design.


James Moriarty

James Moriarty, Vice President, Sustainable Comfort, Inc.

James Moriarty has been a practicing Energy Engineer and green building consultant for 9+ years. James consults with architects and developers on energy efficient design strategies and performs verification of energy performance for new construction and renovations for programs such as, Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), Enterprise Green Communities, ENERGY STAR™ and LEED® for Homes. James leads the quality assurance and oversight efforts of all verification programs. He has experience in high performance building design, design facilitation, and building energy modeling for large multifamily residential facilities.


Robert Neimeier

Robert Neimeier, Client Director, Energy Efficiency & Planning, Ramboll

Rob Neimeier 28 years of environmental and energy consulting experience with OBG, a Ramboll Company. As Director, Energy Efficiency and Planning, Rob provides program and project management to public and private institutions with energy reduction and climate action goals under NYS and NYC Executive Orders, voluntary commitments, and the NYSERDA REV Campus Challenge. His technical experience includes facilitated stakeholder engagement, energy efficiency audit management, climate action planning, and energy master planning.


Carina Paton

Carina Paton, Managing Analyst, Frontier Energy

Carina is an energy performance validation and data visualization expert with a decade of global experience in multiple renewable and distributed energy technologies. She leads several of Frontier Energy’s endeavors related to air- and ground-source heat pumps, including analyzing and quantifying energy performance of air-source heat pumps and providing quality assurance for ground-source heat pumps in residential and commercial buildings.


Minh Pham

Minh Pham, Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Pham is an assistant professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences at RIT with a background in Operations Research and Statistics. His research focus involves data analytics and data mining techniques in healthcare, brain imaging, and cancer research, machine learning, and high performance computing.


Anna Poe

Anna Poe


John Pumilio

John Pumilio, Director of Sustainability, Colgate University

Over the past 10 years, John Pumilio has led Colgate’s sustainability program and effort to achieve carbon neutrality by 2019. Since 2009, the university has reduced its campus carbon footprint by 46 percent and this year became the first college or university in New York State to achieve carbon neutrality. Efforts to date include a reduction in energy, water, and paper consumption while increasing renewable energy, recycling, and overall awareness of sustainability on campus. John is a LEED Green Associate through the United States Green Building Council and a Certified Energy Manager through the Association of Energy Engineers.


Nicholas B. Rajkovich

Nicholas B. Rajkovich, PhD, AIA

Nicholas B. Rajkovich, PhD, AIA is an Associate Professor at the University at Buffalo. His research investigates the intersection of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and adaptation to climate change in the built environment. Prior to earning a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Michigan, he was a Senior Program Engineer at the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company Customer Energy Efficiency Department. At PG&E, he was responsible for designing a $25 million Zero Net Energy Pilot Program. He was also chair of the San Francisco American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment.


Jennifer Schneider

Jennifer Schneider, Eugene H. Fram Cha of Applied Critical Thinking in Academic Affairs, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr. Schneider founded and leads the Collaboratory for Resiliency & Recovery @ RIT, which specializes in the community data to decision pipeline. She has over 25 years of university and industrial practice experience and has been honored for her contributions. She was appointed by Governor Cuomo to the NYS Respond Commission after Hurricane Sandy.


Nina Sharifi

Nina Sharifi, Assistant Professor of Architectural Technology, Syracuse University

Dr. Nina Sharifi is an inventor, designer, and educator conducting building technologies and infrastructure research in her lab at Syracuse University. Her work ranges from microgrid and distributed energy for community resilience, to active building environmental controls systems, to deep energy retrofit and assemblies for rapidly deployable structures. Her work has been funded most recently by NYSERDA and the American Institute of Architects, and in the past by state and federal governmental agencies.


Peter Siegrist

Peter Siegrist, Sustainability Consultant, Architect and Planner, Peter Siegrist, AIA

Peter Siegrist, AIA has practiced architecture and planning for 35 years, and is a former preservation planner for the City of Rochester and preservation director for the Landmark Society of Western New York. As an energy and environment nerd, he calls for architects and planners change their practices to lower the carbon emissions of construction.


Jodi Smits Anderson

Jodi Smits Anderson, Director of Sustainability Programs, DASNY

Jodi is the Director of Sustainability Programs at DASNY, a lifetime member of NESEA, past regional and national U.S. Green Building Council committee member, wife, mom, hiker, kayaker, knitter, and storyteller. She is the 2018 recipient of the NYSGBC Green Building Advocate award.


Chris Straile, Director of Operations, Sustainable Comfort, Inc.

Chris Straile has been a practicing green building consultant for 8+ years. Chris specializes in on-site verification of high-performance programs, including whole building blower door testing. Chris consults with architects and developers on energy efficient design strategies and performs verification of energy performance for new construction and renovations for programs such as Passive House (PHIUS), ENERGY STAR® and LEED® for Homes. He holds a BS in Biology from SUNY Cortland, with experience working with the Syracuse Center of Excellence as a Home Energy Technical Advisor.


Michelle Tinner

Michelle Tinner, Senior Project Manager, Sustainable Comfort, Inc.

Michelle has worked as a part of various programs, including as a home performance contractor for NYSERDA’s EmPower New York Program and as senior technical analyst managing the implementation of NYSERDA’s Low-rise Residential New Construction program. She is a HERS Rater, Certified Passive House Consultant, and a BPI certified Building Analyst, Envelope, Heating, as well as AC/Heat Pump professional. Michelle holds an MS in Sustainable Construction Management from SUNY ESF and is the current president of the Hudson Valley Passive House Alliance.


Paul Torcellini

Paul Torcellini, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Paul Torcellini is a Principal Engineer for Commercial Buildings Research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and he is on the faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University. Paul has authored more than 50 papers and is a key contributor in the development of the Advanced Energy Design Guides (ASHRAE/AIA/IES/USGBC) including chairing several of the technical committees that produced the guides. Paul is a registered Professional Engineer and an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer.


Adam Walburger

Adam Walburger, Vice President, Frontier Energy

Adam leads Frontier Energy activities with NYSERDA’s Performance-Based Programs, verifying technical compliance with program rules and monitoring the performance of projects for the Industrial Process and Efficiency (IPE) program and the On-site Power CHP and ADG programs. Adam has over 20 years of experience in building energy audits, industrial energy efficiency, remote site monitoring, energy data analysis, building systems modeling, and computer system configuration and programming.


Ryan Wallace

Ryan Wallace, CEO, Solar Home Factory

Ryan is a housing and energy geek. He installed his first solar array at the age of 15 and started his first construction company at age 25. Starting in 2007, Ryan started building and renovating small homes, including some of the first net zero energy homes in the country. Ryan is a NABCEP Certified Installer having installed over 400 solar arrays in 16 states. Ryan’s wife and business partner Tracey Wallace owns and manages the first community solar farm in New York state. Started in 2013, Wallace Solar Farm is 1.5MW and sells energy to 27 local businesses. Ryan and Tracey have two boys and spend their free time along Seneca Lake in Downtown Geneva.


Cindy Wasser

Cindy Wasser, Senior Manager, Green Building Programs, Home Innovation Research Labs

Cindy Wasser is the Senior Manager of Green Building Programs at Home Innovation Research Labs. In this role, she manages day-to-day aspects of the NGBS Green Certification program, based on the ICC/ASHRAE-700 National Green Building Standard.

Previously, Cindy was a consultant with ICF where she supported the implementation of the U.S. EPA’s residential labeling programs, namely ENERGY STAR, Indoor airPLUS, and WaterSense. In earlier roles, Cindy provided sustainability technical assistance at the National Association of Counties (NACo) and engaged communities for long-range planning within the City Planning Department of Montpelier, Vermont. Cindy holds an MBA in Sustainability from Bard College and a B.S. in U.S. Environmental Policy and from Rutgers University.

Cindy has presented at various national conferences, including the International Builders’ Show; Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Annual Conference; North American Passive House Conference (NAPHC); and the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) Housing Credit Connect and Annual conferences. She has also presented to smaller groups, including architect firms and local government audiences.


Jaimee Wilson

Jaimee Wilson, Senior Energy Engineer/Associate, Pathfinder Engineers & Architects

Jaimee Wilson, PhD, PE, LEED AP, BEAP, BEMP, is a Senior Energy Engineer and Associate at Pathfinder Engineers & Architects. She is responsible for providing energy modeling, comprehensive energy audits, energy calculations, and developing and implementing energy conservation measures (ECMs) across a variety of client sectors and facility types. She also provides technical analysis for the NYSERDA New Construction Program as a primary energy consultant. Dr. Wilson is a member of ASHRAE and the Association of Energy Engineers.