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NYS Green Building Conference
GBC Speakers


Information coming


Concurrent Session Speakers

Christina Aβmann

christina abmann leading against a wall. She is wearing a black topChristina Aßmann is an architect and building scientist with 20 years of professional experience working on various project types. Her work embraces design, sustainability, regenerative design, carbon reduction, social justice and the synergy of different high-performance building standards. Christina is passionate about incorporating her sustainability research into her role as an educator and Energy Code Trainer through NYSERDA’s initiative to educate building professionals. She also serves on the advisory board for NY Stretch 2023 Energy Code Development and Advancement. Her interest in sustainability strategies stems from her upbringing in Germany where her parents instilled her with a focus on environmental stewardship. 

Erik C. Backus

Erik C. Backus is a Professor of Practice and the Howard E. Lechler Endowed Director of the Construction Engineering Management program at Clarkson University. At Clarkson, Prof. Backus teaches courses and executes research/projects in an array of topics including sustainability, resilience, and life cycle thinking related to infrastructure and building facilities. As a past USGBC local chair, Erik is well-known for leading a team of students and fellow faculty researchers in attaining LEED for Communities Gold certification for the New York Olympic Region, site of the famed 1980 Miracle on Ice in Lake Placid. He is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel, last serving as the Battalion Commander for the 479th Engineer Battalion (US Army Reserve). Dr. Backus is an active member in his local Lutheran Church and works nationally as part of the sustainability focused grassroots effort called Lutherans Restoring Creation. 

Jeff Benavides

headshot of Jeff Benavides. He is smiling. He is wearing a brown shirt, grey tie, and a black jacketJeff is a 2nd generation Colombian-American and was formerly Chief Sustainability & Resilience Officer and senior advisor to the Mayor for Orange County Florida. He has built an agile and unique 17-year career as including a co-founder of 4 women led sustainability and energy startups, sustainability advisor Fortune 200 companies, and a Board President for a UN accredited NGO, and Professor. Jeff brings dynamic skills in infrastructure, public policy, net-zero building design, and finance to his current role leading Portfolios and Performance at Scale across U.S. Green Building Council's global footprint.

Mark Bremer

headshot of bremer against a greyish black background. He is wearing black tshirtMark Bremer is a Lead Product Developer for Grid Services at National Grid focused on increasing the value of customer-owned distributed energy resources across NY and MA to provide targeted distribution grid services, enabling our clean energy future. Mark was formerly a sciences lecturer and campus sustainability leader at SUNY Polytechnic Institute where he spearheaded the Green Building Experiential Learning Collaborative, which utilized student-led certification projects of new and existing campus buildings as learning tools for individual credential development.

Matt Brubaker

Matt Brubaker is an Architect and Energy Manager with 24-years of experience in building systems design and energy efficiency planning and implementation.  Matt has served as the Campus Energy Manager at SUNY Cortland for nine years. Most recently, Matt has been instrumental in leading SUNY Cortland’s Energy Master Plan efforts towards a goal of 85% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2033.

Jim D'Alosio

headshot of Jim D'Alosio Jim D’Aloisio, P.E., LEED AP is a Principal with Klepper, Hahn & Hyatt located in East Syracuse, NY. He’s a structural engineer and building envelope professional with over 30 years of consulting practice. Interests include detailing to minimize thermal bridging, frost-protected shallow foundations, energy code compliance and training, forensic engineering, building condition assessments, designing to reduce embodied carbon from building structures, writing and presenting. He was honored to receive the David C. Ashley Green Building Advocate of the Year award in 2023. As of this writing he has presented 463 times.


Nate Goodell

headshot of Nate GoodellNate has been with Taitem since 2007 and commissioning buildings (his area of expertise) since 2008. In 2020 Nate was recognized as one of the top 20 young commissioning agents in the US by the Building Commissioning Association. Although his primary focus is Commissioning, Nate began at Taitem in the Design department and continues to support design with reviews, and the occasional design. He has extensive energy modeling experience, performed numerous energy audits, conducted energy audit trainings, and has performed quality assurance site inspections and energy reduction plan reviews. Nate is also involved in many of Taitem’s measurement and verification projects, including verification of savings from novel new technologies such as air-to-water heat pumps and packaged through wall high efficiency heat pump PTAC replacements. In addition to his Professional Engineering License, Nate currently holds certifications as a Certified Commissioning Professional and an Existing Building Commissioning Professional. He holds a BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University.

Mikhail Haramati

headshot of mikhail haramati. She is wearing a black scarf and smiling with dimples on her left cheekMikhail leads policy development on embodied carbon at NYSERDA. She is the co-author of the Executive Order 22 guidance on embodied carbon for NY state procurement, and the Buy Clean Concrete guidelines for the use and innovation of low embodied carbon concrete. 



Nicolette Havrish

headshot of Nicole Havrish. Nicolette Havrish, AIA, NCARB, NCIDQ, LEED AP BD+C, is deeply passionate about environmental sustainability.  She grew up on a family farm in the Catskills where she developed a deep love for nature and animals that brought her to her passion for sustainability.  Nicolette brings that dedication to her work by designing for occupant health and wellness (for all species).  She is pursuing her WELL AP and Fear Free Certifications and is also CalOES Safety Assessment Program Certified.  Nicolette is the CEO and Founding Architect & Interior Designer for Nourish Architecture, DPC in Syracuse, NY.  Nicolette has experience in a broad array of architectural typologies from Education (K-12 and Higher Ed), Military, NYS Parks, Commercial, Veterinary, and Residential design.  

Ilka Cassidy

Ilka Cassidy in black top leaning against a wall. Her arms are folded and she is smilingIlka Cassidy, Dipl. Ing. Architecture, CPHC, Co-founder of Holzraum System, is passionate about Passive House envelope design and building science, focusing on the benefits of natural building materials. She grew up in Germany and received her Diploma of Engineering/ Architecture degree from the RWTH Aachen.

In her work with pre-manufactured systems, she connects architectural concepts and design seamlessly with construction and engineering, incorporating sustainability goals and occupants’ health in every aspect of the design process.

She has worked on multiple projects as a Certified Passive House Consultant and is an active member of Green Building United in Philadelphia and a podcast host for the Passive House Accelerator.

Mariane Jang

headshot of Mariane JangMariane Jang leads the Division of Resiliency & Sustainability team’s work on reducing embodied carbon, and mitigating climate risks to the state’s capital assets. She most recently co-developed two sets of guidelines related to embodied carbon: to track the embodied carbon used in state projects and create a baseline to inform reduction strategies, and to set a framework for procurement of lower embodied carbon concrete on state projects. 

Mikhail leads policy development on embodied carbon at NYSERDA. She is the co-author of the Executive Order 22 guidance on embodied carbon for NY state procurement, and the Buy Clean Concrete guidelines for the use and innovation of low embodied carbon concrete.

Michael Kingsley

headshot of Michael KingsleyDr. Kingsley’s 32 years of engineering experience includes two graduate degrees in mechanical engineering. Areas of expertise include most aspects of energy efficiency, including energy analysis and auditing, energy simulation modeling, energy master planning, decarbonization, commissioning, measurement and verification (M&V), and technology assessment. 



Ben Larsen

Ben Larsen. He is wearing a white shirt, tie and black jacketBen has spent his career specializing in building envelope forensics and remediation. With a focus on optimizing existing structures and designing for our ever-changing future environment, Ben has worked across several sectors including K-12, higher education, civic, and private construction. His passion for efficient, sustainable, and resilient building envelopes has driven his contributions to the architectural field.




Rachel Nicely

headshot of Rachel Nicely. She is wearing a blue top. Rachel Nicely is a Director of Sustainable Programs at Sustainable BuildingPartners (SBP), a full-service energy efficiency and sustainable consulting firm serving the commercial and residential markets. Rachel has been in the sustainable consulting business for fifteen years. Rachel also manages the Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment service within the Sustainable ProgramsDepartment establishing building assessment protocol and currently oversees this activity. She currently serves on the USGBC Water Efficiency Technical Advisory Group, International WELL Building Council Water Advisory Group, ILFI Water Technical Advisory Group and theWashington DC Carbon Leadership Forum Hub Chair.


Rodolfo Perez

headshot of Rodolfo PerezRodolfo Perez is part of the Standard Development team at the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), where he leads the Materials and Water concepts. Before joining IWBI, he conducted Legionella, drinking water and lead in water surveillance at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, after a career in startups bringing nanoparticle-based technologies from the lab to prototypes. 



Melissa O'Mara

headshot of Melissa O'MaraMelissa's personal mission is to maximize institutional and cultural response to environmental and economic challenges through activating teams and communities of purpose, accelerating public/private collaboration and innovation, and enabling collective leadership.




Katie Poss

headshot of Katie PossKatie Poss is the Program Manager of Procurement and Policy at Building Transparency. In this role, Katie supports the nonprofit’s core mission of providing the open access data and tools necessary to enable broad and swift action across the building industry in addressing embodied carbon's role in climate change. Prior to joining Building Transparency, Katie served as Director of Sustainability Initiatives at the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) and as Sustainability Program Manager at Turner Construction for its data center portfolio. She currently serves on Nashville Mayor Cooper’s Sustainability Advisory Committee and is the co-chair of the Carbon Leadership Forum Nashville Hub.

Remy Moorhead

headshot of Remy Moorhead. She is wearing a green top. Remy Moorhead is a Certified Passive House Designer, Architect, and building science aficionado, Remy has been a part of the Buck Moorhead Architect team since 2017. 

Before joining Buck Moorhead Architect, Remy worked with two large-scale Architecture and Real Estate Development firms, focusing primarily on the design and development of new construction in New York City. She also has experience in the environmental non-profit industry, where she worked to bridge the gap between the sciences and the arts to make issues of sustainability more intelligible through artist-initiated public works projects. 

Remy achieved her Passive House Designer certification shortly after joining BMA in 2018. Her career focus is high performance, net zero carbon, and net zero energy building design.

Remy graduated from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, with a concentration in Design-Thinking. This distinguished degree explores a design discipline which puts research and human experience at its center. The result is a more holistic approach to design, in which simple solutions are built to address and execute across the entire ecosystem of complex design problems.

Jacob Deva Racusin

headshot of Jacob Deva RacusinJacob Deva Racusin is Director of Building Science and Sustainability with New Frameworks, Vermont-based worker-owned cooperative. As a consultant, designer, and educator, Jacob merges his passions for ecological stewardship, relationship to place, and social justice. Jacob is an Embodied Carbon Analyst and BEAM Trainer and Co-Developer with Builders For Climate Action. Jacob has authored two books and numerous articles, and instructs and consults on topics of building science and climate impact. An active member of the Carbon Leadership Forum, Jacob is engaged in code and policy development, professional training, and other initiatives supporting the transition to a more just industry. 

Shefali Sanghvi

headshot of Shefali Sanghvi. She is wearing a red top and black jacket.Shefali Sanghvi has over 15 years of experience working in sustainable projects, with an emphasis on resiliency, occupant health and comfort, and energy efficiency. An expert on urban Passive House projects, she is dedicated to designing buildings that are socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable. As the firm’s Director of Sustainability, Shefali serves as a thought leader across Dattner Architects’ studios, and beyond, championing sustainability as integral to architecture. She establishes the direction of our research and leads the exploration and application of sustainability in-house by facilitating knowledge sharing amongst project teams, firm leadership, and our professional development groups.

Nicole Schuster

headshot of nicole schuster. She is wearing a purple top and smilingNicole is an Architect and Sustainability Consultant with over 16 years' experience bringing sustainability to a wide variety of project types and sizes. She recently founded her company, Positive Trace, to focus on bringing sustainability and building science expertise to Architects and project teams.



Jodi Smits-Anderson

Jodi Smits Anderson is a Fellow of the AIA, Well-AP, LEED AP BD+C, and Regenerative Practitioner who seeks to discover and work toward potential in all things. She is experienced in policy development and implementations, collaborative team building, and general instigations and inspirations to make the changes ahead. She is a speaker focused on learning from Nature and identifying full-spectrum sustainability, which includes health, DEI, embodied carbon reductions, economic resilience, energy, water, waste, food systems, personal fulfillment, joy, beauty, and systems thinking. Her goal is to learn and share what she is learning with people interested in the conversations and interested in teaching her in the process. 

Stephanie Taylor

headshot of Stephanie Taylor

Dr. Stephanie Taylor graduated from Harvard Medical School and practiced pediatric oncology while for the next several decades. Realizing the powerful impact of indoor air quality on patient outcomes, but knowing little about buildings and IAQ management, she obtained a Master’s degree in architecture and designed hospitals for several years. 

In 2019 Dr. Taylor founded Building4Health, Inc. to scale the powerful yet underutilized management of IAQ from a medical perspective to truly support occupant health. 

Dr. Taylor writes articles for Engineered Systems Magazine, is an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer, member of the ASHRAE Standards Committee and the USGBC technical advisory board on Indoor Air Quality.