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

Hilari varnadore smiling

Keynote

Hilari Varnadore, Vice President for Cities, U.S. Green Building Council

Hilari brings more than two decades of experience in public administration and nonprofit leadership to her role as VP, LEED for Cities. Currently, she supports local governments engaged in the LEED for Cities certification program. She also liaises to the LEED Cities and Communities Working Group.

Previously Hilari led STAR Communities as its executive/founding director. In that capacity, she deployed the first framework and certification program for local sustainability in the US, the STAR Community Rating System. She has served as a chief sustainability officer and principal planner in local government and has led two nonprofit organizations as CEO.

Hilari is invested in helping cities, towns and counties use data to drive decision-making, investments and community improvements that are more equitable and resilient. Her approach to sustainability is holistic and rooted in the triple bottom line. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, facilitation, program development and administration, policy development, governance, stakeholder engagement, fundraising, marketing and communications.

She holds a Master's of Arts degree from Northern Arizona University in Geography with an emphasis in Community Planning and a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Unity College of Maine in Environmental Policy.

Hilari represents USGBC on the board's of the Emerald Cities Collaborative; Golden Triangle Business Improvement District; and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government's Climate, Energy Policy Committee. She is a 13-generation Marylander who serves locally on the Frederick County Roads Board and is a Girl Scout troop leader for high school age girls.


Greg Hale headshot. He is wearing a blue shirt red tie and black jacket.

Keynote

Greg Hale, Senior Advisor for Energy Efficient Markets, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

In his position as Senior Advisor for Energy Efficiency Markets & Finance at NYSERDA, Greg is leading NYSERDA's creation of a policy roadmap to achieve a statewide carbon neutral building stock. This work includes strategic co-leadership for RetrofitNY, an initiative aimed at developing scalable retrofit solutions that achieve or approach net zero energy for New York’s multifamily housing stock. Greg also provides oversight of NYS policy related to energy efficiency financing, including an ongoing role as strategic advisor to NY Green Bank.

Prior to NYSERDA, Greg was Senior Advisor to NY's Chairman of Energy & Finance, focused on development and execution of Governor Cuomo’s signature energy policy—Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Greg oversaw the establishment of the $1 billion NY Green Bank, and was the lead author of NY's 2015 State Energy Plan.

Panelists:

Tom Goodfellow, President, Goodfellow Construction Management Ltd

Nina Sharifi, Assistant Professor, Syracuse University

Ryan Wallace, Partner, Geneva Solar Village


Melissa Abramson, National Field Manager, Brand Engagement and Impact Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)

Melissa Abramson is the Senior Manager of Local Brand Engagement and Impact for REI, the country's largest consumer cooperative. Forming strong partnerships with local non-profits, government, and land agencies has been the cornerstone of her work, in an effort to promote conservation and equitable access to nature for all, both in the greater New York area along with the nation.

As an avid outdoor enthusiast, she has dedicated her life, both personal and professional to adventure, exploration, education and stewardship. She has worked in Brazil, Costa Rica and the Pacific Northwest, designing adventure-based Leadership Education programs for both youth and adults. After receiving her master’s degree in economics and Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics, she planted roots in New York City to create a direct pathway for urban dwellers to access nature and ultimately taking a vested interest in protecting and preserving public green spaces.

Most recently, she has founded the New York Outdoor Recreation Coalition, providing a unified voice of outdoor enthusiasts for New York’s diverse user groups across the industry.


Anbthony Aebi wearing a black turtle neck. There is a green hill in the background and a few houses.

Anthony Aebi, ZeroNetNow

Anthony has been a builder since 1990. In 2007 built the first DOE-Rated Net-Carbon-neutral Home. Since then, he has built more than 30 additional "Carbon-neutral" homes that have been designed and constructed for a life cycle of at least seven generations.


Rick Alfandre wearing a red shirt and smiling. The background is blue.

Rick Alfandre, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, President and Principal, Alfandre Architecture

Rick Alfandre, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, President and Principal, Alfandre Architecture

Rick Alfandre, AIA, LEED AP BD+C over the past 30 years has designed and built hundreds of projects. Recently completed projects include government buildings, churches and synagogues, spaces, multiple dwellings, restaurants, hotels, manufacturing facilities and custom residences. The founder and President of Alfandre Architecture, he is expert in the design of healthy and productive places to live and work. Alfandre Architecture's offices are in their LEED Platinum (2015 and 2019), and Net Positive Energy, office building on Main Street, New Paltz, NY in the heart of the beautiful Hudson Valley.

Mr. Alfandre manages a youthful and motivated work force with a diversity of skills, training and interests. A leader in the green building movement in upstate New York, Mr. Alfandre has worked closely with the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to grow the USGBC New York Upstate region. Alfandre has spoken extensively on green buildings and sustainability. Alfandre is devoted to creating spaces and places of lasting beauty, working closely with clients to plan for efficient, resilient and cost-efficient projects.

He launched EcoBuilders Inc. in 2009 to provide full design and build services to his clients. Alfandre is a past Chair of the US Green Building Council NY Upstate Chapter, is a past member of the SUNY New Paltz School of Business Advisory Council and is a 2013 Business School Hall of Fame Inductee.


Headshot of Nara Almeida. She is smiling. Her black hair is parted side ways. She is wearing a black top and gold earings.

Nara Almeida, Dr., Lafayette College

Nara Almeida has a vast experience both professionally and in academia. These include eight years of working on architectural and civil engineering construction projects, and about seven years of academic practices, both as a Professor and as a Research and Teaching Assistant. As a LEED Accredited Professional, Nara applies many of the LEED concepts professionally, and in her classes. Some examples of courses are: "Sustainable Building Design", "Sustainability: Green Engineering", "Intro to Environmental Engineering", "Life Cycle Assessment", and "Green Buildings". Furthermore, Nara has also participated in conferences, and has recently organized an international live virtual event, bringing John Elkington to speak with the Lafayette College community.


Headshot of Jodi Anderson. She is wearing a balck shirt, her grey hair is parted sideways and is wearing blue glasses.

Jodi Smits Anderson, Director Sustainability Programs, DASNY

Jodi Smits Anderson is a change agent focused on highlighting the multi-solving capabilities in every project, program, and process. We need to work with Natures' systems, in mutual support to build a successful, healthy, and vibrant future. Carbon Literacy is a must.


Headshot of Erik Backus smiling. He is wearing a blue shirt and black jacket. His tie has blue, white and black stipes.

Erik Backus, Director, Construction Engineering Management, Clarkson University

Erik C. Backus, PE, is a Professor of Practice at Clarkson University with a bevy of expertise, experience, and knowledge to/in the facilities decision making space. Erik is a USGBC Faculty (LEED AP BD+C) and Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) who both practices and teaches facilities resilience planning, project design, and project/program delivery through and with undergraduate and graduate students. He is also a former FEMA liaison officer for the US Army and was the engineering, infrastructure, and resilience planner for one of the largest higher education institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prof. Backus, therefore, brings extensive knowledge and experience to projects and learning related to the built environment (inc. building/campus development, LEED certification at all scales), energy (inc. utility planning and contingency planning/execution), and transportation (inc. planning and implementation of EV, active transportation, transit, etc.) sectors.


Headshot of Christopher Bland. He is wearing a light blue shirt and smiling. The background is blurred.

Christopher Bland, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital

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. Communities to measure the social, environmental and economic benefits of Biophilic design.


A black and white headshot of Alan Burchell smiling against a background of blue hue. He is wearing a polo. He is bald but has short hair on the back of his head and has a beard and mustach.

Alan Burchell, Founding Principal, Urbanstrong

Principal of award-winning firm Urbanstrong, Alan Burchell is a professional engineer, LEED-AP, and Green Roof Professional. Urbanstrong works with developers, property managers, and building owners looking to boost property values, reduce energy expenditures, improve occupant health and wellness, reinvest in their building assets, reduce their environmental footprint, and green their brand. Urbanstrong offers consulting, financing, and design-build-maintenance services for living walls and several rooftop development solutions including green, blue, solar, amenity or farming.

As a specialist on green infrastructure, Alan co-founded the non-profit "The NYC Agriculture Collective," provides regular training for architects, has spoken at the United Nations, appeared on MSNBC, consulted for corporations, nonprofits and municipal governments, and provided expert testimony in court.


Chris Carrick wearing red stripped tie, blue shirt and black jacket. He is wearing glasses.

Chris Carrick, Energy Program Manager, Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board

Chris Carrick is the Energy Program Manager for the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, a public agency that serves Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties. In that capacity, he directs the HeatSmart CNY program, one of more than a dozen similar efforts across the state supported by NYSERDA which educates and helps customers to install clean heating and cooling systems including heat pumps.


Headshot of Jim D'Aloisio smiling. He has white hair. He is wearing a dark blue shirt and a greyish black jacket.

Jim D'Aloisio, Principal, Klepper, Hahn and Hyatt

Jim is a principal with Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt, a structural engineering, landscape architecture, and building envelope services firm in East Syracuse, New York. His 30-plus years’ experience as a consulting structural engineer has primarily involved the design of new building structures, additions, and modifications, and analyses, assessments, and investigations of structures and facades, including ensuring the thermal performance of buildings. He's been an Energy Code trainer for about five years, presenting over 30 day-long live and virtual training sessions, as well as hundreds of other presentations.


Greg Downing, Sustainable Comfort, Inc.


Sue Fassler smiling. She is wearing a yellow shirt and jeans. She is standing infront of a stone brick wall.

Sue Fassler, Sustainable Facilities Manager, SUNY ESF

Sue Fassler serves as the Sustainable Facilities Manager at SUNY ESF. In this role, she oversees a number of the College’s operational areas: custodial, grounds, fleet garage, mailroom and shipping & receiving. She is also an active member of the Sustainability Division and leads ESF's zero/low waste programs. Sue holds a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a M.P.S. in Environmental Science (Environmental Policy and Democratic Processes) from SUNY ESF and a Master of Public Administration (Social Policy) from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


Headshot of Nicholas Genzel wearing black shirt.

Nicholas Genzel, Energy Analyst, Frontier Energy

Nicholas Genzel leads monitoring and verification field installations on emerging energy technologies for Frontier Energy’s Cazenovia office. His project teams install measurement and data logging equipment, and use collected data to evaluate and summarize energy performance and savings. Key technologies of deep expertise include ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, variable refrigerant flow units, energy storage, solar photovoltaic, combined heat and power, fuel cells, and anaerobic digester-to-gas systems.


Headshot of Nick Goldsmith smiling. The are leaves of a tree in the background. He is wearing a blue shirt and dark blue zipper jacket. He has curly salt and pepper hair.

Nick Goldsmith, Sustainability Planner, Town of Ithaca

Nick Goldsmith, Sustainability Planner for the Town of Ithaca, New York, implements the Green New Deal, which aims for an equitable transition to carbon neutrality community-wide by 2030. Nick led the development of the Ithaca Energy Code Supplement, requirements for net-zero new construction that emphasize electrification and affordability. Nick holds an M.S. in Energy Management from New York Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Mathematics from Brown University. Before joining the sustainability field, Nick worked for a decade as a juggler and acrobat. Nick currently plays basketball on a weekly basis.


Jorge Gonzalez looking at the camera and smiling. He is siting on a chair behind a desk. the background is cream colored wall. Jorge has curly short salt and pepper hair. He is wearing white shirt, black v-neck sweater and grey jacket. He has round black glasses and is wearing a watch with brown band on his left wrist.

Jorge E. Gonzalez, Presidential Professor, The City Univeristy of New York

Prof. Gonzalez is the CCNY Presidential Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the City College of New York. He conducts research and teaches in urban climate, urban energy sustainability, and coastal-urban environmental processes. Professor Gonzalez holds a Ph.D. degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is an ASME Fellow; Team Lead Coast-Urban Environmental Research Group; Director of NSF IUCRC on Buildings Energy Smart Technologies; and Joint Appointee Brookhaven National Lab.


Tom Goodfellow, President, Goodfellow Construction Management, Ltd

Tom Goodfellow, developer in Syracuse—was inspired to develop a vacant building near train station into high efficiency mixed-use commercial and multifamily in Syracuse.


David Gordon standing in the middle of a street. The background is blurred but tall buildings are silhouetted. Dave is earing a light blue shirt and black jacket. There is a handkerchief in his pocket. He has white hair and is wearing glasses.

David Gordon, President, Green Building Partners, LLC

David has over 25 years of experience in the building industry with a focus on HVAC system improvements. With a penchant for applying innovative technologies, his firm has managed over 2,500 projects, working with owners, subcontractors, and /or engineering firms to assure optimized HVAC performance and indoor air quality assurance. Over the past 10 years he has implemented a dozen or so projects where both IAQ and energy efficiency have been optimized through deployment of environmental sensors. In critical environments, such as laboratories, energy reductions have ranged between 45 and 55%. (see Project profiles: https://greenbldgpartners.com/projects/). He is a graduate of the school of business administration at the University of Vermont.


Brendan Hall smiling. The background is white. Brendan is wearing light blue shirt, a greyish blue tie with a tie pin and a blue jacket.

Brendan Hall, PE, BEMP, Senior Engineer, CHA Consulting

Brendan Hall, PE, BEMP, is a Senior Engineer and General Mechanical Section Manager and has eleven years of mechanical engineering and project management experience. He has led the design, layout and control of high performance HVAC systems for commercial, manufacturing, higher-ed and K-12 facilities throughout the Northeast. Brendan is currently the technical lead for the three community heat pump projects awarded to CHA by NYSERDA.


Headshot of Nicolette Havrish smiling. She is wearing a black jacket and gold chain. She has curly shoulder length reddish copper hair. She is wearing black eye glasses.

Nicolette Havrish, Architect & Interior Designer

Nicolette Havrish, AIA, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C is a Registered Architect and Interior Designer with over 10 years of experience ranging from design to construction period services. She is well-versed in a wide range of facility types and has developed spaces that meet her clients’ needs while also meeting sustainability goals. Nicolette is knowledgeable about NYSERDA incentives, NY-CHPS, Enterprise Green Communities, and multiple versions of the LEED® Rating system. She has worked on projects achieving all levels of LEED Certification, including Net Zero Energy projects within New York State.


Headshot of Lauren Hildebrand. She is wearing a black t-shirt. She has blond hair and is smiling.

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.


Headshot of Leigh Jacobsen. She is smiling. She has shoulder length hair and is wearing black glasses. She is wearing white shirt and black jacket.

Leigh Jacobsen, Lafayette College


Headshot of Maureen Leddy wearing a red t-shirt. She has blond hair and she is smiling.

Maureen Leddy, Director, NYSDEC Office of Climate Change

Maureen Leddy is the Director of the NYS DEC Office of Climate Change, where she leads the development of programs and policies that mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and helps New York adapt to climate change. Maureen leads DEC implementation of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, in partnership with NYSERDA. Implementation includes supporting the New York State Climate Action Council’s development of a Scoping Plan to achieve the emissions reductions requirements of the Act, as well as issuing the annual emissions inventory, Value of Carbon guidance for state agencies, and regulations to ensure achievement of the statutory emissions limits. She was formerly a project manager in the Large Scale Renewables program at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). At NYSERDA Maureen’s role involved developing strategies for smart siting of large scale renewable energy projects, supporting the development and implementation of New York’s Clean Energy Standard, and program administration of the New York Generation Attribute Tracking System. She has prior experience in program design and policy development for distributed scale solar under NYSERDA’s NY-Sun Program. Maureen also has worked in carbon finance, quantifying the greenhouse gas reduction potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Maureen holds a master’s in natural resource management and environmental planning from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.


Anthony Mayer, CEO of Hanging Gardens


Headshot of James Moriarty. he is wearing a blue shirt and dark blue jacket. He has short black hair and is wearing glasses. The background is blurred but trees are visible.

James Moriarty, Vice President, Sustainable Comfort, Inc.

James has been a practicing green building consultant for 10 years. James consults with architects and developers on energy efficient design strategies and performs verification of green building and energy efficiency programs with an emphasis on low carbon projects in affordable housing.


headshot of Douglas O'Neill

Douglas O'Neill, Senior Director, Building Innovations, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

Doug O'Neill is a concrete/cement industry veteran with over 29 years of experience educating the marketplace on all things concrete including applications, design methodology and its sustainable attributes. As a LEED AP, Doug has been involved with helping the concrete industry better understand its products and providing the design community with a better understand of the uses of concrete and where concrete fits within our environmentally conscience marketplace. Based outside of Buffalo, NY, Doug is a member of the Structures & Sustainability team at NRMCA and is responsible for communicating "Build with Strength" throughout the Northeastern region of the US.


Headshot of Arnold Sapenter

Arnold Sapenter, LEED Green Associate, MBA, Consultant, Arnold Sapenter Consulting

Arnold Sapenter is a highly energetic consultant with over 30 years of professional experience in cultural diversity, environmental planning and sustainability, as well as, organization training, project development and management. He is an adept communicator and analytical thinker with proven ability to develop and lead cross-functional teams. An expert presenter, negotiator, and facilitator he is able to forge solid relationships between government and community partners and across multiple organization levels.

Arnold serves as a board member and volunteer for a number of non-profit organizations including the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Fenway Health Center, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators Boston Chapter and the Shirley Eustis House in Roxbury. After retiring from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Director of Sustainability and previously serving as the Director of Diversity and Program Monitoring; Arnold decided to use his program development, project management, training skills and experience to assist business, and non-profit organizations in achieving their missions and strategic goals related to cultural diversity, social justice and environmental sustainability.


Headshot of Nina Sharifi.

Nina Sharifi, Assistant Professor, Syracuse University

Nina Sharifi, is an Assistant Professor at the Syracuse University School of Architecture and Faculty Research Fellow at the Syracuse Center of Excellence with over 15 years of experience in high-performance building technologies research and design. Dr. Sharifi’s laboratory develops low-carbon active enclosure systems, building retrofit approaches and design optimization techniques, and decentralized bioconstruction for semi-rural closed loop built ecologies. With a background in sustainable architecture and technology development, Sharifi now maintains interdisciplinary research and design collaborations across architecture, engineering, information science, biotechnology, and materials science. She is currently Principal Investigator on multi-year retrofit projects, including the Syracuse University Net Zero Living Lab, a replicable model for affordable multifamily housing in cold climates.


Ian Shapiro leaning against a round pillar. He is bald with white beard. He is wearing a blue shirt.

Ian Shapiro, Senior Engineer, Taitem Engineering

Ian Shapiro founded Taitem Engineering in Ithaca, NY in 1989. He is the author of the books Green Building Illustrated (2014) and Energy Audits and Improvements for Commercial Buildings (2016), both published by Wiley. He has been a visiting lecturer at Cornell University, Tompkins Cortland Community College, and Syracuse University. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, from McGill and Columbia. Ian is also a juggler, has studied juggling with Nick, and guards Nick in basketball each week.


Headshot of Richard Sobelsohn. He has salt and pepper hair and mustach. He is wearing a white shirt, green tie and black jacket. There is a building in the background.

Richard J. Sobelsohn, Adjunct Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

Richard Sobelsohn has practiced real estate law for 22 years with a sub-specialty in sustainable building law. He has worked as a solo practitioner, General Counsel to a real estate developer, in the law firms Stroock, Stroock & Lavan, Kaye Scholer, Moses & Singer and is currently Vice President, Legal, at Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation. Richard is a Professor of Practice at Brooklyn Law School, and an adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn, Columbia, Cardozo, and Fordham Law Schools; is a Green Globes Professional, LEED A.P., a member of The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, and a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.


Headshot of Chris Straile. He is smiling. He has short black hair and beard. He is wearing a stripped blue shirt and cream colored jacket. There are trees in the background.

Chris Straile, Senior Manager, Sustainable Comfort, Inc.

Chris has been involved in green building programs as a verifier for over 10 years consulting on energy efficiency and green building programs for multifamily housing projects throughout New York State. Chris has verified Passive House projects throughout construction, and through design assistance on new PHIUS projects.


Headshot of Pasquale Strocchia wearing white shirt. He has short black hair and salt and pepper beard. The background is white.

Pasquale Strocchia, Building Performance Consultant, Integral Building + Design

Pasquale has over twenty-five years' experience in the housing sector and has been dedicated to High Performance Building since 2004. As a Building Performance Professional and Energy Rater, he has consulted on numerous projects including buildings designed for zero-energy performance.

Anthony has been a builder since 1990. In 2007 built the first DOE-Rated Net-Carbon-neutral Home. Since then, he has built more than 30 additional "Carbon-neutral" homes that have been designed and constructed for a life cycle of at least seven generations.


Selfie of Edward Stubwer. There are different houses with orange roofs in the background.

Edward Stubwer, CIH, ROH, Subject Matter Expert, SGS North America DBA SGS Galson

Edward Stuber has over 30 years of experience in industrial hygiene laboratory operations and is responsible for business development of industrial hygiene laboratory clientele, both in the US and abroad and technical consultation for industrial hygiene sampling and analysis projects.


Headshot of Adam Ugliuzza. He is smiling. He is wearing a white shirt, black tie and dark blue jacket.

Adam Ugliuzza, Professional Engineer, Regional Manager, Intertek, Building Science Solutions

With over 14 years of engineering experience, Adam Ugliuzza focuses has been in building enclosure consulting and commissioning, working across the United States and abroad providing professional building enclosure consultation in both commercial and residential construction. Adam is also active in many industry associations including Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA), Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), Building Commissioning Association (BCxA), and more. Through this industry work, Adam has co-authored numerous technical papers, guidelines and standards such as the ABAA, Standard Method for Building Enclosure Airtightness Compliance Testing. Additionally, Adam manages the Mid Atlantic team of Intertek’s Building Science Solutions group, where they strive to continue as industry leaders in building enclosure design consultation and testing.


Headshot of Vanessa Ulmer. She is wearing a blue top and grey jacket. She has shoulder length black hair and is smiling. She has a topaz square pendant on a silver chain.

Vanessa Ulmer, Policy Development Team Lead, NYSERDA

Vanessa Ulmer leads the Policy Development team at NYSERDA, which works to ensure that New York State policymakers and stakeholders have a solid foundation of objective information and data upon which to make decisions. She is leading the development of the Building Electrification Roadmap, and on the staff working group of the New York State Climate Action Council.


Selfie of Ken Visser smiling infront of a windmill. He is wearing black sunglasses and black plaid shirt. The sky is blue and there is snow in the ground.

Ken Visser, Associate Professor, Clarkson University / Ducted Wind Turbines Inc.

Ken Visser is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at Clarkson University. Professional experiences include NASA Langley, Boeing and the German research institute DLR in Braunschweig. Additional past activities invovled helping to design the keel for the America's Cup Team 2000 and working with Fairchild Dornier Aircraft. Present responsibilities include teaching aircraft design and performance courses at Clarkson and being the AIAA faculty student advisor. His research interests focus on applied aerodynamics and renewable energy concepts. Details can be found at https://people.clarkson.edu/~kvisser/ In 2016 Ken founded Ducted Wind Turbines Inc. to commercialize technology developed at Clarkson (ducted wind.com).


Adam Walburger, Vice President, Building Research and Energy Consulting, Frontier Energy

Adam Walburger, is Frontier Energy's Vice President of Building Research and Energy Consulting (BREC), where he leads a staff of over 40 energy professionals to deliver data-backed technology-agnostic energy efficiency services in the areas of applied technology demonstration, codes and standards support, and commercial food service technologies. Frontier’s BREC division has deep knowledge in the emerging electrification sector, with current research projects involving heat pump based clean heating and cooling systems, heat pump water heaters, advanced envelopes and phase change material, energy storage and induction cooking technologies. Adam has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of applied technology evaluation, including emerging technologies performance evaluations, building energy audits, industrial energy efficiency, remote site monitoring, data analysis, and system integration. Adam holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University and is a LEED™ accredited professional.


Selfie of Ryan Wallace smiling. He is bald and wearing a grey shirt and black jacket. There is a green field and trees in the background.

Ryan Wallace, Partner, Geneva Solar Village

Ryan Wallace, is a housing and energy geek, installing his first solar array at the age of 15 and started his first construction company at 25.

Since then he built some of the first net zero energy homes in the country and installed over 500 solar arrays in 16 states. In 2018, Ryan and his partners built the first Net-Zero modular housing factory on the east coast and constructed an 18-home Net-Zero modular housing development on the shores of Seneca Lake in Geneva, NY.

The company is now expanding their factory operations to deliver thousands of net zero multifamily units across New York and the northeast.

Ryan is a NABCEP Certified Solar Installer.