Associate Professor of Medicine and SociologySee Bio..
Adam Perzynski Associate Professor of Medicine and Sociology
Dr. Adam Perzynski is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Center for Health Care Research and Policy at MetroHealth and Case Western Reserve University. He is also the Founding Director of the Patient Centered Media Lab. His doctoral degree is in sociology and his current research interests include: novel strategies to eliminate health disparities, outcomes measurement over the life course and mixed methods research. His methodologic expertise spans the continuum from focus groups and ethnography to psychometrics and structural equation modelling. His publications span many disciplines and stand out against the backdrop of a career long effort to infuse the study of biomedical scientific problems with the knowledge, theories and methods of social science.
Senior Project ManagerSee Bio..
Anna Rosenblum Senior Project Manager
Anna thrives in the space where creativity in design, stakeholder engagement, and technical precision converge. As senior project manager at evolveEA, her contributions to design and consulting projects have drawn from her diverse skill set and thorough knowledge, developed through a remarkable mix of project experience and academic research. Anna’s design work, while grounded in the practical application of sustainability principles and best practices, employs a creative approach to imagining a variety of possible futures for built environments. Her work specializes in sustainability consulting for existing buildings, stakeholder engagement design and urban design, including high-performing communities such as Ecodistricts. Several projects for which Anna served as project manager have won planning and design awards, such as the Millvale Pivot Ecodistrict Plan, Hill District Centre Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Plan, and Breathe Easy Air Quality Plan. Anna has facilitated workshops and presented about her work at the Greenbuild International Conference, EcoDistricts Summit and annual conference of the International Living Futures Institute. Anna earned her Master of Science in Sustainable Design from Carnegie Mellon University, where her thesis focused on community strategies for sustainability. Anna also has a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon, is a LEED Accredited Professional, is certified in building performance benchmarking, is SEED Accredited (Social, Economic, and Environmental Design), is Living Futures Accredited (ILFI), and is also an EcoDistricts Accredited Professional.
Sustainability Design Leader, AssociateSee Bio..
Blake Jackson Sustainability Design Leader, Associate
Blake Jackson, AIA is an Associate and the Northeast Regional Sustainability Design Leader (US and Canada) with Stantec Architecture & Engineering in Boston, MA. His work focuses on the nexus between sustainability, wellness, and resiliency, and he serves as a company-wide resource for projects, particularly those seeking third-party certification/s. He has over seventeen years’ international experience in planning, retail, hospitality, labs, healthcare, commercial, higher-education, workplace and multifamily projects. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Kennesaw State University in Marietta, GA and his Master of Architecture in Sustainable Environmental Design from the AA Graduate School in London, UK. Blake is a prolific author, speaker and educator, and he recently served as Co-chair of the BSA COTE (2015-2018) and as BSA Vice President for Advocacy (2016-2018). In 2015, he was named a national “40 Under 40” built environment professional by Building Design + Construction Magazine. In his spare time, he enjoys distance running, volunteering with animals in need at the MSPCA shelter in Jamaica Plain, and international travel.
Executive DirectorSee Bio..
Brionté McCorkle Executive Director
Brionté believes in a healthier, more vibrant future for all people and the planet. She helps people self organize and builds strategic partnerships to protect the environment, advance racial equity, and grow civic engagement. Brionté earned a B.S. in Public Policy from Georgia State University and minored in Spanish. In 2014, she led the Georgia Sierra Club's involvement in the successful effort to expand MARTA to Clayton County. Brionté now serves as the Director of the Georgia Conservation Voters. There she works to elect pro-environment candidates and hold elected officials accountable for their actions and votes. She also serves as an advisor and consultant to government, private, and nonprofit entities on advancing equity and conducting environmental issue campaigns. She is always looking for opportunities to continue to influence public policy for a more sustainable and equitable future.
Catherine Reid Day
Founder, Storyslices LLC; Co-Founder, Creative Enterprise ZoneSee Bio..
Catherine Reid Day Founder, Storyslices LLC; Co-Founder, Creative Enterprise Zone
Catherine Reid Day is founder of Storyslices LLC, an award winning strategic communications and coaching company working at the intersection of story and purpose. Storyslices assists people and business grow into the future they want. Catherine writes, speaks, and teaches her story-based method to people and organizations internationally. A community organizer at heart, she also holds an EcoDistricts AP certificate. As founder and board chair of St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone, a community based nonprofit and district, she works to advance creative, economic, and cultural development with a vision that more people will make a living through their creative capacities. She also serves on the executive committee and Board of Towerside Innovation District.
Chardaé Jones Mayor
Chardaé Jones is from Braddock, PA and grew in up in The Braddock Library where she received her library card before she could scribble her name. In 2011, she received her BA in Professional Writing from Carlow University where she discovered her passion for serving her community. While there, she raised awareness about homelessness, coordinated toy drives, and mentored local Carrick students through Carlow's Youth Media Advocacy Program. She's currently the mayor of Braddock leading her community in initiatives to innovate and reinvent Braddock's identity.
Christina Mitchell Grace
CEO Foodprint GroupSee Bio..
Christina Mitchell Grace CEO Foodprint Group
Christina Grace is a leader in sustainable food systems planning and zero waste. She is CEO of Foodprint Group, a services business that helps food and hospitality groups design for zero waste through better purchasing, site infrastructure and integrated training. Leading companies such as Google, Eataly, Dig Inn, Restaurant Associates, and Related Companies work with Foodprint to achieve environmental, economic and social goals through sustainable waste management. Christina is co-author of the NYC Zero Waste Design Guidelines, an advocate for sustainable food and waste policies and a trained cook based in Brooklyn. She is also a Certified TRUE Zero Waste Advisor.
Christine Mondor Principal
Christine is an eternal optimist regarding the power of design in shaping a sustainable environment. She has been active in shaping places, processes and organizations nationally and internationally for twenty-five years through her work as an architect, educator, and activist. Her diverse experience enables her to note trends and bring benefit across project types, from design of buildings, ecodistricts, and landscapes to educational efforts, to sustainability planning. As strategic Principal of evolveEA and a registered architect, Christine brings creative solutions to projects like the award winning Millvale, Pennsylvania Ecodistrict Pivot Plan, and the Rain Check 2.0 Green Infrastructure Plan for Buffalo, New York. Christine teaches architecture, landscape design and sustainability concepts at Carnegie Mellon University and supports organizations that promote design and the environment. She currently serves as Chair of the Pittsburgh City Planning Commission, is former President of the Green Building Alliance Board of Directors, and member of the Ecodistricts Protocol Advisory Committee. Christine received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University and studied architecture and sustainable design in Scandinavia. She is also a registered architect and LEED Accredited Professional, and a 2019 AIA Fellow.
Cindy TrivisonnoSee Bio..
Cindy Trivisonno is an urban designer and project coordinator at Portland-based firm, Crandall Arambula. She is also a bike advocate with a background in architecture which has inspired her design approach that results in joyful urban spaces for everyone. Cindy engages communities across the country to reimagine the land use and transportation frameworks of their downtowns and neighborhoods. Cindy’s most recent master planning projects in the Phoenix Metro Area have generated momentum and excitement for growing communities, helping them to establish a foothold in a region undergoing rapid population growth and a threatening climate trajectory.
Principal ThinkWovenSee Bio..
Clare Miflin Principal ThinkWoven
Clare is an architect and systems thinker with over 25 years of experience designing buildings to the highest environmental standards. Her work bridges the gap between rigorous metrics and inspiring vision, realizing both sides are necessary for humanity to thrive. Clare led the collaborative multidisciplinary process to develop NYC's Zero Waste Design Guidelines, which serve as a resource for architects and developers to help cities reach Zero Waste Goals. She is working to disseminate and implement the Guidelines widely, and has founded a consultancy – ThinkWoven – to develop strategies to weave urban systems into ecosystems. Clare is Co-chair of the AIANY’s Committee on the Environment; a member of NYC’s Living Building Collaborative and Sustainability Coordinator for her local food cooperative.
Deb GuentherSee Bio..
Deb Guenther is a partner and landscape architect at Mithun, an integrated design firm with offices in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Her 30+-year body of work reflects her commitment to connecting people with their natural surroundings and each other, resulting in award-winning designs that are visually compelling and sustainable. She has elevated public realm design and landscape performance through her participation with organizations such as Ecodistricts, Urban Land Institute, International Living Future Institute and USGBC. She is a board member emeritus with the Landscape Architecture Foundation and a fellow of the Cascadia Green Building Council. She is a regular contributor to conversations on equity, resilience and climate change and is nationally recognized for her leadership on green infrastructure and ecosystem service issues. In 2010 she was awarded the American Society of Landscape Architects' President's Medal.
Strategic DirectorSee Bio..
Debra Erenberg Strategic Director
Debra joined CFEN in January 2018, bringing more than twenty-five years of experience in strategic collaborations, movement building, campaigns, and organizing. Her recent work includes consulting on network best practices; developing a coalition-building guide to combat anti-Semitism and hate crimes for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE); serving as National Field Coordinator for the 2017 Peoples Climate March; and designing a strategy for an environmental health approach to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. As Director of State Affairs at Justice at Stake, she oversaw advocacy for fair and impartial state courts and to promote diversity on the bench. As Midwest Regional Director for Amnesty International USA, Debra led human rights efforts in 13 states, representing the organization on successful collaborative campaigns to abolish the death penalty in Illinois and shut down a notorious Supermax prison. She has also worked as Organizing Director for Rainforest Action Network and Director of Affiliate Development for NARAL Pro-Choice America. She holds a J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center and a Master’s degree in Public Policy (M.P.P.) and Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Senior Program Manager of Corridor RevitalizationSee Bio..
Demi Kolke Senior Program Manager of Corridor Revitalization
Demi Kolke joined Neighborhood Allies in May of 2019 to serve as the Senior Program Manager of Corridor Revitalization. In this role, Demi works to enhance Homewood’s neighborhood business district through small business support, physical improvements, marketing and events. She works alongside community-based organizations to achieve equitable economic growth for the neighborhood. Demi also serves as an advisory member to the Homewood-Brushton Business Association and is the Founder and Owner of Kenny’s, an outdoor community and cultural celebration space in Homewood. She has served the neighborhood of Homewood for 10 years, first at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA, then several years at Operation Better Block, Inc., and most recently, as a Senior Planner for the City of Pittsburgh. Demi has a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from North Dakota State University.
Dhiru A. ThadaniSee Bio..
Dhiru A. Thadani
Dhiru A. Thadani, AIA, APA, FCNU, ISOCARP is an architect and urbanist who has been in practice since 1980. He has worked to disseminate principles and techniques of traditional town planning in all five continents, by sharing research, lecturing, mentorship, and working on projects. He has been principal designer of new towns and cities, urban regeneration, neighborhood revitalization, academic campuses, and infill densification projects. Dhiru was born in Bombay, India and moved to Washington, D.C., in 1972 to study architecture. During his forty-seven years in Washington, D.C. he has taught, practiced, and has strived to place architecture and traditional urbanism in the public eye. Since its formation in 1993, Dhiru has been a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU), and served as Task Force Chair and Board Member from 1997 to 2013. He is the recipient of seven CNU Charter Awards for master plans that he has been lead designer. In 2016 he was elected to be Vice President of Membership and Treasurer for the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP). In 2015 he was appointed to the inaugural CNU College of Fellows, and received ISOCARP’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the recipient of the 2011 Seaside Prize, and was a Knight Foundation Community Builder Fellow in 2001. Dhiru is the author of The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary, published by Rizzoli in 2010, and co-editor of Leon Krier: The Architecture of Community published by Island Press in 2009. Thadani’s latest endeavor, Visions of Seaside: Foundations / Evolution / Imagination / Built & Unbuilt Architecture, was published by Rizzoli in September 2013.
CEO of Justice & Sustainability AssociatesSee Bio..
Don Edwards CEO of Justice & Sustainability Associates
Mencer Donahue “Don” Edwards is considered one of the deftest facilitator-mediator-negotiators and civic engagement designers working today in the field of land use and development by international, federal, state and local planning, transportation, parks and economic development agencies, universities, and community-based organizations. He is the founder. CEO and a principal of Justice and Sustainability Associates (JSA), a for-profit management consulting firm in Washington, DC. He served as executive director of the Panos Institute-Americas, co-founded the U.S. Citizens Network for the UN Conference on Environment and Development, and represented the “CitNet” as a member of the U.S. delegation to the "Earth Summit" in 1992. Don served as chair of the Environmental Justice Working Group of the Sustainable Communities Task Force of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, the Clinton Administration’s post-Rio national sustainable development process. He also served on the board of EcoDistricts as its inaugural treasurer. As a 31-year resident of the District of Columbia, Don has facilitated/mediated some of its most complex development projects.
COO of Justice & Sustainability AssociatesSee Bio..
Donzell Robinson COO of Justice & Sustainability Associates
Donzell Robinson has established a distinguished career as a nationally- recognized ADR professional. Donzell has designed, convened, and facilitated multi-party problem-solving interactions to resolve public policy problems of mutual interest. Donzell has served as President, of the Association of Conflict Resolution, the leading organization for professionals in dispute resolution field. With this experience, Donzell brings an encyclopedic knowledge of international best practices in mediation, facilitation and community engagement. In addition to his role as COO, in which Donzell provides day-to-day leadership and management of JSA’s daily operations he also designs and facilitates many of JSA’s most complex projects. As a principal of JSA Donzell’s areas of focus include engagement and governance, sustainable development, and transportation and infrastructure.
Dr. Howard Slaughter
President & Chief Executive OfficerSee Bio..
Dr. Howard Slaughter President & Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr. is President & Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh and author of Addicted to Debt: Get Out and Stay Out. Some of the positions he held were Vice President of Community Development at Dollar Bank, Regional Director of Fannie Mae’s Pittsburgh Business Center, President & CEO of Landmarks Community Capital Corporation, and President & CEO of Christian Management Enterprises, LLC. Dr. Slaughter serves on the boards of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, the Mount Ararat Community Activity Center, the Howard Hanna Free Care Fund Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority. He served on the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and is a member of the Operational Committee of the Pennsylvania Community Development Bank. Dr. Slaughter holds an Associates degree from Community College of Allegheny County, a Bachelor of Arts from Carlow University, an MBA from Point Park University, a Master’s degree in Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz, III School of Public Management and a Doctor of Science degree in Information Systems and Communications from Robert Morris University. Dr. Slaughter is also a Veteran and was selected to work in the Department of Defense in the Defense Intelligence Agency, Pentagon, Washington, DC and he has two honorable discharges.
Dr. Steven WhitmanSee Bio..
Dr. Steven Whitman
Dr. Steven Whitman is a professional planner and educator who has been working in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors in New England for over twenty years. For the past fifteen years he has successfully partnered with others to create dynamic consulting teams tailored to the client’s specific project needs. Steve is also a certified permaculture designer and teacher, and works on ecological design projects and courses here in the US and internationally. Steve established Resilience Planning & Design to assist communities on comprehensive planning initiatives and on implementation actions that reinforce their vision and future land use plans. His work includes comprehensive planning projects in small towns and large cities, and regional and watershed scale natural resource planning. He is also actively researching municipal green infrastructure planning initiatives in the United States. Steve is a part-time faculty member at Plymouth State University and an alternate on the Plymouth, NH Planning Board.
Project Coordinator with Justice & Sustainability AssociatesSee Bio..
Emily McKenzie Project Coordinator with Justice & Sustainability Associates
Emily McKenzie graduated from Penn State in May 2018 and shortly after joined JSA in June 2018. She has supported the work of the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge Project, the Malcolm X Interchange Project, EcoDistricts, and the Georgetown Community Partnership. She is a passionate environmentalist, and hopes to do more wildlife and nature conservation work in the future, which will come through community engagement and mediation. She envisions conservation work as a community effort that will come through collaboration and teamwork, which is why she is with JSA today.
President & CEOSee Bio..
Fred Brown President & CEO
Fred Brown is President & CEO of The Forbes Funds, a supporting organization of The Pittsburgh Foundation, and a philanthropic organization focused on strengthening the management capacity and impact of community nonprofits in the Pittsburgh area. Mr. Brown previously served as the President & CEO of the Homewood Children's Village, a non-profit that takes a multi-generational approach to improving quality of life in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood; and previously worked at the Kingsley Association developing green/sustainable communities through holistic visioning, resident capacity building, community empowerment, micro/macro planning and sustainable redevelopment implementation. Mr. Brown has helped to rewrite public policy through the Transportation Equity Network (WIN) that revised federal guidelines regarding public participation and transportation equity and recently helped designed a web-based environmental/energy reduction tool that teaches community residents how to strategically and pragmatically reduce their energy use through weatherization efforts, retrofits, alternative energy practices and monitoring energy use; creating models for green sustainable communities-via the Imagine Larimer Software and the use of SMART Board technology. A frequent speaker, trainer, coach, mentor, and consultant; Mr. Brown has a BS in Education from Indiana University of PA, MSW from the University of Pittsburgh, and was a doctoral candidate working on a PhD in SW and a MPH from the University of Pittsburgh.
Chief Resilience OfficerSee Bio..
Grant Ervin Chief Resilience Officer
Grant Ervin serves as the Chief Resilience Officer and Assistant Director for the Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh. Grant oversees the integration of sustainability and resilience into City of Pittsburgh’s services, programs and policy. He works to make the City of Pittsburgh a smart, sustainable and resilient city by fostering partnerships, leveraging assets and finding creative ways to solve problems. Prior to joining the City of Pittsburgh, Grant served as the Regional Director for 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide sustainable development policy organization where he focused on land use, transportation finance and infrastructure policy; and as Public Policy Manager for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG). Mr. Ervin serves as an integrator by working across departments, agencies and sectors to formulate sustainable and resilient solutions. He brings deep experience, intersecting the worlds of environmental, energy, technology, community & economic development and infrastructure policy to create innovative and sustainable solutions for the public, private and non-governmental sectors. Mr. Ervin has helped lead the development of a variety of innovative programs including: Pittsburgh’s ONEPGH Resilience Strategy, Pittsburgh Climate Plan, Pittsburgh’s inclusion in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative; Bloomberg Philanthropies – American Cities Climate Challenge, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the United States Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge, the creation of the Uptown Eco-Innovation District, District Energy Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh and Neighborhood Community Information System and the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative. Mr. Ervin has senior management experience in energy portfolio management, the evaluation and deployment of clean technologies and renewable and district scale power procurement. Mr. Ervin speaks frequently on topics ranging from urbanism, urban resilience, organizational sustainability strategies, smart cities and climate change and cities. Mr. Ervin is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College and the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs and the University of Pittsburgh. He serves on the board of directors of Sustainable Pittsburgh, Eco Districts, Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal (PACT) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). Mr. Ervin resides in the Morningside neighborhood of Pittsburgh with his wife and two daughters.
Director of Research at HDRSee Bio..
Jeri Brittin Director of Research at HDR
Director of Research at HDR, Dr. Brittin trained as a public health scientist and has a design and business background as well. Jeri believes that design can and should be leveraged to achieve outcomes that matter to people and their communities. Jeri’s portfolio focuses on wellness and behavioral outcomes in environments ranging from workplaces to community settings. Her team’s evaluation research activities have received numerous awards and recognitions. Jeri maintains an active national and international collaboration network, and engages in national and local service around design and health. Compelled to bring science and design together, Dr. Brittin works to address the inherent tensions and believes that each has much to offer the other.
M.Arch., EcoDistricts AP | Project Director, Sustainability & Energy, WSPSee Bio..
Juhee Oh M.Arch., EcoDistricts AP | Project Director, Sustainability & Energy, WSP
With a background in architecture and urban planning, Juhee Oh has worked on Sustainability and Energy projects with various design teams and municipalities for the past 15 years. Since joining WSP in 2009, Juhee has been involved with over 70 sustainability projects of various types. She has project experience across the full spectrum of building life cycle – from masterplanning to building design and operation. She has led multi-disciplinary teams to create Carbon Neutral and High performance buildings and communities. Her focus is in bridging the conversation between the government, designers, operators and other key stakeholders to create implementable sustainability visions. Juhee is currently serving as the Sustainability Specialist for the City of Toronto’s Design Review Panel.
Co-Founder ClosedLoopsSee Bio..
Juliette Spertus Co-Founder ClosedLoops
Juliette Spertus trained as an architect and is a consultant on waste systems. She organized the 2010 exhibit Fast Trash: Roosevelt Island’s Pneumatic Tubes and the Future of Cities, which investigates the planned community’s system of trash collection. She is also co-founder of ClosedLoops—a planning firm developed with planning and policy researcher Benjamin Miller—to develop innovative waste and freight infrastructure projects. ClosedLoops co-authored New York City’s Zero Waste Design Guidelines with architect and project lead, Clare Miflin of ThinkWoven, and Christina Grace of Foodprint Group.
Kathy Blaha Consulting, LLCSee Bio..
Kathy Blaha Kathy Blaha Consulting, LLC
Kathy Blaha is a parks and public lands planner with expertise in local and regional engagement, and planning and governance solutions that support public project development and implementation. Kathy Blaha Consulting, LLC assists nonprofits, grant-making organizations and public agencies with creating and implementing projects for parks and public land use plans. Drawing on more than 30 years of experience helping private, public sector and not-for-profit organizations implement program initiatives Ms. Blaha’s services include researching and launching new initiatives, honing existing programs, project development, learning/training, and partnership creation. Well-known for her facilitation and communication skills she has helped clients move toward project implementation. She is skilled in building partnerships and creating the right foundation for collaborative endeavors and is quick to understand the dynamics and potential of client organizations.
Keisha Mary González Robert
Program Officer for Community Revitalization and EngagementSee Bio..
Keisha Mary González Robert Program Officer for Community Revitalization and Engagement
Keisha Mary González Robert joined the Cleveland Foundation in June 2018 as the Program Officer for Community Revitalization and Engagement. Keisha brings 6 years of dynamic place preservation experience to Cleveland’s philanthropic sector. Prior to joining the Foundation, Keisha served Cleveland’s Stockyard, Clark-Fulton, and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods as the Managing Director for Metro West Community Development Organization. In this capacity, she implemented the organization’s strategic plan, management of programs and operations, and cultivated productive relationships in the public, private and civic sector. Driven to serve the Latinx community that formed her, Keisha began her non-profit career as a community organizer advocating for bi-lingual network weaving and the deconstruction of traditional block club infrastructure. Raised in the densest Latinx community in the state of Ohio, Keisha learned early on the value of informal economies, systems of reciprocity, and complex nature of the social services sector. Inspired by the hustle that raised her and her own challenges as a single mother, Keisha has dedicated her career to challenging Cleveland’s non-profit ecosystem to exercise cultural competency and turn to the communities they serve for solutions.
Senior Vice President & General CouncilSee Bio..
Kevin Acklin Senior Vice President & General Council
Kevin Acklin serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel with the Penguins. He provides strategic advice to the senior executive team and serves as point on the development on the former Civic Arena site. Kevin Acklin previously served as Chief of Staff to Mayor William Peduto, overseeing all day-to-day operations of the City of Pittsburgh. A native of the South Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Kevin graduated from Central Catholic High School, earned his undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard University and his law degree from Georgetown University. Beginning his law career in Boston, Kevin returned to Pittsburgh and was most recently a partner in the law firm Saul Ewing LLP and General Counsel at Peoples Natural Gas Company. He specialized in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions. Kevin also handled various matters for pro bono clients, with a focus on representing community groups and victims of domestic violence. After leading his hockey team at Central Catholic in penalty minutes, Kevin has reformed and now helps coach teams for his two sons and daughter, all three ice hockey players.
Professor of Landscape Architecture, North Carolina State University, College of DesignSee Bio..
Kofi Boone Professor of Landscape Architecture, North Carolina State University, College of Design
Kofi Boone, ASLA is Professor of Landscape Architecture at NC State University in the College of Design. Kofi is a Detroit native and a graduate of the University of Michigan (BSNR 1992, MLA 1995). His work is in landscape architecture and environmental justice with a focus on democratic design and cultural landscapes. He is a University Faculty Scholar and a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers. His teaching and professional work has earned student and professional ASLA awards. Kofi is Vice President of Education and a Board Director of The Landscape Architecture Foundation, is a founding member of the ASLA Environmental Justice Professional Practice Network and serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for Landscape Architecture Magazine. He is active in multidisciplinary activities ranging from the National Endowment for the Arts Designing Equity Forum to the AIA Design Justice Summit and other related efforts. Kofi has disseminated his work broadly including in Landscape Architecture Magazine, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, PUBLIC: A Journal of Imagining America, and most recently in work in the award-winning book Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity.
Founder and Principal of Studio OSee Bio..
Liz Ogbu Founder and Principal of Studio O
From designing shelters for immigrant day laborers in the U.S. to a water and health social enterprise for low-income Kenyans to leading a design workshop at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, Liz has a long history of working on and advocating for issues of social and spatial justice. Her work blends empathy and human-centered research methodologies, creative engagement practices, architecture and equitable development principles, cross-disciplinary design thinking framework, and social and spatial justice agendas. Liz lectures often on issues of social and spatial justice. Previous appearances include TED Women, Aspen Ideas Festival, and Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum. She has also written for and been profiled in publications such as the New York Times, Atlantic’s City Lab, Next City, Places Journal, and the Journal of Urban Design. Her work has also been widely exhibited, including at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and Rotterdam Biennale. Among her honors include 2009 Holcim Global Innovation Prize, Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, and YBCA 100. Liz earned her Bachelor of Arts in architecture from Wellesley College and Master of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
President and CEO of the Hill Community Development CorporationSee Bio..
Marimba Milliones President and CEO of the Hill Community Development Corporation
Marimba Milliones is president and CEO of the Hill Community Development Corporation (Hill CDC) in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania's historic Hill District neighborhood. She is a practitioner of and thought leader in equitable development. Her work is focused on assuring equity in urban-core redevelopment involving low-moderate income residents, communities of color and cities. Milliones advocates for and utilizes intentional planning and development practices that honor people, place, culture and the market. She believes in win-win models. To this end, Milliones led negotiations of a community benefits agreement with the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins to assure equitable development for a historic tract of land in the heart of fast-growing Pittsburgh. The establishment of a city-wide affordable housing task force, and the largest tax financing district in the history of the City of Pittsburgh were sealed as a part of the negotiations. Milliones’ policy advocacy over the years has resulted in a more equitable approach to development throughout the City. She has designed processes that assure that marginalized communities can be self-determinative in real estate development including community-level review and approval of projects requiring public subsidy. Her organization has pipelined and is preparing over 200 renters for homeownership; and recently launched a residential and commercial community land trust. Most notable is Milliones’ work towards building a Black cultural and commercial neighborhood district anchored by the restoration of the historic New Granada Theater, new office space and storefronts, and 40 units of artist-preference affordable housing. The $55M+ mixed-use development effort will be an iconic example of how culture is a surefire economic development tool. Milliones has received numerous recognitions and has served on numerous boards including the transition team for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Department of Community and Economic Development. She is a member of Leadership Pittsburgh Class XXXI and LeadNow Pgh II. Milliones is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and brings a strengths-based approach to organizational and community development. She has been recognized by the New Pittsburgh Courier, YMCA, Onyx Woman, Talk Magazine and others. In 2015, she was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine as one of Pittsburgh’s 15 Future Powerbrokers.
PE, Director, 2020 ENGINEERINGSee Bio..
Mark Buehrer PE, Director, 2020 ENGINEERING
Mark is the founder and director of 2020 ENGINEERING located in Bellingham, Washington. He is a registered professional civil engineer, author, and inventor. Mark is a recognized authority on Sustainable Water Resource Management and Low Impact Development (LID) techniques. Mark conceived and developed the concept of Wholistic Engineering, which provides an integrated “problem solving” approach that considers all issues and possible conditions related to the development of a project, such as: laws & regulations, social concerns, politics, special interests, economic & environmental issues, technology, and resources. 2020’s sustainable and low impact designs include porous pavements and raingardens, rainwater harvesting systems, vacuum flush toilet and greywater systems, ecologically based wastewater treatment & water reuse systems (i.e., Living Machines and constructed wetlands), urban agriculture, and material recycling and composting facilities. For almost 25 years, 2020 ENGINEERING has provided master planning, engineering design, and/or construction management assistance on hundreds of LEED, LID, Net Zero and Living Building Challenge (LBC) projects, in many parts of North America and other countries. Mark is a frequent author for various publications and a speaker at sustainable and LID conferences and workshops.
Assistant Director of Public Sector InnovationSee Bio..
Marlon Williams Assistant Director of Public Sector Innovation
Marlon Williams joined Living Cities in February 2017 as the Assistant Director of Public Sector Innovation. Marlon’s career has focused on improving the economic, social and physical wellbeing of all urban residents with particular emphasis on increasing access and opportunity for low income families and communities of color. Marlon previously served as Director of Cross Agency Partnership for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where he worked with City agencies to identify opportunities for various City programs, policies and planning processes to maximize the potential to improve the health of local residents. His previous work has created impact through the creation of innovative new programs and policies including the Jobs-Plus workforce development program for public housing residents for the City of New York and financial empowerment programs and policies for the United Way of NYC. He also served as a Policy Adviser for the Deputy Mayor of New York City focused on housing, economic empowerment and aging.
Cultural Resilience Program Director at Enterprise Community PartnersSee Bio..
Meghan Venable-Thomas Cultural Resilience Program Director at Enterprise Community Partners
Meghan is the Cultural Resilience Program Director at Enterprise Community Partners supporting community development organizations across the country in integrating culturally based practices and principles for improved resilience outcomes. She graduated with her Doctorate in Public Health from Harvard University, centering her dissertation on creative and cultural practices for increasing community resilience. She has a background in public health focused on health equity, community based participatory research, and tools for advancing creativity and culture. With over 10 years of military experience developing and implementing strategies, building programs, and leading teams, she is now focusing on ways to improve social determinants of health in the United States and abroad. She maintains her military service as a Major in the Massachusetts Army National Guard providing Sexual Assault Prevention Coordination, directing programs, training, and victim advocacy around Sexual Assault prevention. Meghan has worked for companies such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia Innovation Lab, the Atlanta Beltline Partnership, and The Just City Lab. Meghan holds a master’s degree in Public Health Management from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy (USMA).
Melanie Nutter Principal
Melanie Nutter is the Principal of Nutter Consulting and provides urban sustainability and smart cities strategy for cities, foundations, nonprofits and companies. Nutter is the former Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment and served for Mayor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Edwin Lee from 2010 through 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Northwestern University in Communications and Environmental Studies and is a graduate of Green Corps. Melanie lives in San Francisco, CA with her family.
Michael B. Marks
Ph.D. Associate: Groundswell Research AssociatesSee Bio..
Michael B. Marks Ph.D. Associate: Groundswell Research Associates
Michael B. Marks, Ph.D. is an associate with Groundswell Research Associates, a partnership of researchers and practitioners involved in studying and promoting social innovations as a cornerstone of building a preventive infrastructure in communities. He also works part-time as a senior researcher at American Institutes for Research conducting qualitative and case study research, implementation and fidelity studies, analyzing ways to foster authentic consumer engagement and furthering organizational knowledge translation/dissemination practices. Prior to earning his doctorate, Dr. Marks worked over 30 years in a variety of policy, administrative and direct service positions serving proven risk young people involved in the justice and child welfare systems. He served as Chief Development Officer and National Director for Research with Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., (YAP). YAP is the largest multi-State organization in the nation whose sole mission is providing community alternatives to residential, detention, corrections and psychiatric hospitalization services for high risk and proven risk young people and their families.
Michaella WittmannSee Bio..
Michaella has more than 20 years of experience focused on integrating the right sustainable solutions for a multitude of project types. She has worked for a broad range of clients—from Federal agencies, to state agencies, to universities, healthcare organizations, private companies and developers. She leads HDR’s Office of Sustainability, focusing on adding value to projects through sustainability, and overseeing the firm’s emissions reduction initiative. Michaella is a Fitwel Ambassador, LEED Fellow and Envision Sustainability Professional. She chairs the Envision Review Board for the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI)—the primary decision-making body for the Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System and is also a member of the Fitwel Advisory Council. Michaella has worked on over 20 LEED projects, written sustainable guidelines for government agencies and organizations, trained over 3,500 people in various aspects of sustainability, and integrated sustainability into multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, many of which as verified as Envision Sustainable Infrastructure Rating System projects. She is also a Fitwel Health & Wellness Ambassador and is responsible for overseeing the integration of Fitwel criteria into HDR’s own offices. She is currently focusing on the address the integration of sustainability, resiliency and health & wellness issues into medium to large-scale infrastructure projects. As a strong proponent of matching sustainable strategies to the goals and characteristics of each project, she has worked closely with a multitude of clients to balance environmental, economic, and social equity goals. Her aptitude for leadership, innovation, and integration have led clients in all industry sectors to the successful completion of projects that have benefits such as reduced environmental impact, increased productivity, improved quality and reduced operations and maintenance expenditures.
Senior Program Director at Enterprise Community PartnersSee Bio..
Nella Young Senior Program Director at Enterprise Community Partners
Nella Young is a Senior Program Director at Enterprise Community Partners, where she brings insights into how to build the cultural fabric of our communities – especially those struggling with disinvestment – and how creativity can be harnessed as a force for greater social cohesion, resilience, and equity. Nella holds a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University where she majored in studio arts. After graduate school, Nella spent a year as a German Chancellor fellow, studying asset-based planning strategies focused on local art and culture. She is a 2019 Practices for Change Fellow at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Art and Design.
General Manager, Buffalo Sewer AuthoritySee Bio..
Oluwole McFoy General Manager, Buffalo Sewer Authority
Oluwole A. (OJ) McFoy was appointed in 2015 to serve as the Buffalo Sewer Authority’s General Manager. A Native of Buffalo, NY, McFoy was educated in the Buffalo Public School system, and is a 1993 graduate of Hutchinson Central Technical High School. McFoy is a graduate of Clarkson University with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of New York, bringing over 20 years of executive leadership, program management, and infrastructure design experience to regional water quality initiatives. Joining the Buffalo Sewer Authority as Chief Operating Officer in 2006, McFoy has also held positions of Chief Engineer, responsible for executing the 20 year commitment to minimize the effects of combined sewer overflows on local waterways, and Chief Financial Officer, charged with managing the Authority’s bonds, investments and annual budget. In 2007, McFoy was appointed Chairman of the Buffalo Water Board by Mayor Byron W. Brown, and continues to serve in this role. As Chairman, he led the 2010 management team transition, negotiating a $55 Million, ten year public/private agreement with Veolia Water, to provide reliable and professional delivery of drinking water for the city. In efforts to promote the value of water, McFoy serves as the New York Water and Environment Association’s representative to the Water Environment Federation House of Delegates, on the US Water Alliance’s Water Equity Taskforce, and was recently elected to the Board of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. Recognizing the opportunities afforded him, McFoy enjoys bringing engineering into the classroom; he frequently presents to elementary, middle, and high school students. As a FIRST Lego League Jr. technical advisor for TEAM 2713, McFoy is most proud of introducing 1 st and 2 nd graders to anaerobic digestion during the Waste Wise challenge, receiving regional awards for the Teams Lego facility model and presentation board. McFoy is a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan and believes THIS season is the time for another Super Bowl charge. He resides in Buffalo’s Willert Park neighborhood with his wife Monika and three daughters.
Practice Leader at BiohabitatsSee Bio..
Pete Munoz Practice Leader at Biohabitats
Pete Munoz is a practice leader at Biohabitats. He is a licensed engineer who has been involved in hundreds of infrastructure projects involving wastewater treatment, stormwater management, rain harvesting, environmental remediation, and watershed restoration. Pete’s specialty is keeping a holistic perspective when solving water-related questions. As an ecological engineer, water conservation, water reuse, and workable landscapes (edible and regenerative) guide his practice. Pete’s design philosophy prioritizes integrating infrastructure with the landscape, food systems, and recreational areas and to reconnect the community with it. This connectivity allows for greater awareness, educational opportunities, robust systems, and cross pollination. He has completed dozens of sustainability audits for community organizations, learning institutions, and industrial clients, always focusing on water infrastructure and balancing the nexus of water, energy, food, and ecology. Pete’s expertise includes SITES, LEED, and Living Building Challenge projects at all scales. The International Living Future Institute named Pete a Living Building Hero in 2017, and he frequently collaborates on technical sessions, LBC integration, and Water Petal criteria. Pete speaks internationally on green infrastructure, regenerative design, constructed wetlands, and climate change adaptation. He is a partner in the Alliance for Regeneration, an EcoDistricts faculty, and has taught at Yestermorrow Design/Build School and the Omega Institute.
Allegheny County ExecutiveSee Bio..
Rich Fitzgerald Allegheny County Executive
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald took office on January 3, 2012, and he’s currently in his second term. After more than 19 years in public service, he still relishes his role working with others to make the county a great place to live, work, and play. Under Rich’s leadership, the county has concentrated on economic development and job creation to great effect. It boasts an abundance of high-quality jobs, a diverse and growing economy, low cost of living, and an excellent quality of life. The county’s bond rating is at its highest level since 1983, and seven straight budgets have passed with no millage increases. More than 1.2 million residents also are seeing significant improvements thanks to innovative approaches to public health, recreation, and transportation. Born and raised in the City of Pittsburgh, Rich graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He and his wife, Cathy, live in Squirrel Hill. They have eight children.
Architect, Urbanist + Development ManagerSee Bio..
Shaakira Chohan Architect, Urbanist + Development Manager
Shaakira is a Professional Architect and Urbanist who uses her qualifications and experience to bring excellence in design back to City and local government projects. Through her work at the Johannesburg Development Agency, she has changed the way the City interacts and engages with its communities. By introducing new participatory models and co-producing solutions with the communities that she works in, she is committed to advancing spatial justice through equitable urban design and development. She has introduced new practices of city-making to ensure that communities are empowered through their direct contribution and participation in their spaces. Based on her leadership within her field, Shaakira is a Mandela Washington Fellow as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative and TEDx speaker. She has also been nominated for the Pioneer in Innovation for Women in Construction Award and the Standard Bank Rising Star Award.
Founder of STUDIOGRUBERSee Bio..
Stefan Gruber Founder of STUDIOGRUBER
Stefan Gruber is founder of STUDIOGRUBER and an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Architecture, where he directs the Master of Urban Design program. His work focuses on design in citizen-led transformations of cities and public space, with a particular interest in practices of commoning and prosperity beyond growth. Most recently he co-curated and guest-edited the exhibition and publication An Atlas of Commoning (ARCH+, 2018), as well as Spaces of Commoning (Sternberg, 2016).
EcoDistricts APSee Bio..
Stephen Klimek EcoDistricts AP
Stephen is a designer focused on building thriving neighborhoods. His experience spans neighborhood-scale development and urban infrastructure systems, along with public programming, placemaking and community engagement. He is currently Towerside Innovation District's Project Manager and works across every aspect of the organization. Stephen served as an Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow and has garnered an array of experience working between a number of private, nonprofit, and academic organizations advancing community-based development at multiple scales. He holds a Master of Architecture and a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University along with a dual major in Public Policy through the Maxwell School of Citizenship. Stephen is an EcoDistricts AP and also serves on the Board of the Association for Community Design.
Steven BaumgartnerSee Bio..
Steven Baumgartner is an engineer, planner and urban systems strategist widely recognized for delivering creative, value-led district, campus and city solutions for an ever-changing world. He is a principal at SmithGroup in Pittsburgh. In his role he connects the technical world of complex urban systems with people-based solutions. He specializes in integrated infrastructure planning, energy and water strategy, and sustainability and resiliency framework development and implementation. With a background in mechanical and energy engineering, he offers expertise in of energy analysis, climate action planning and sustainable system design through a number of projects in various stages of project planning, design and construction. Steven is a member of both ULI’s Sustainable Development Council and Van Alen Institute’s Climate Council.
Founder & PublisherSee Bio..
Tracy Certo Founder & Publisher
Tracy Certo is founder and publisher of NEXTpittsburgh, the go-to online publication about the people advancing Pittsburgh and the innovative and cool things happening in the region. Launched in early 2014, NEXTpittsburgh helps readers get more engaged with and better navigate our city. Prior to founding NEXT, Tracy was publisher and editor of Pop City and editor of Columns, AIA Pittsburgh’s magazine. A writer and photographer at heart, she travels frequently and is an advocate for healthy, vibrant and sustainable cities, especially Pittsburgh. She has led or participated in seven international Habitat for Humanity trips, including Chile, Mozambique and Thailand. She was named a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Western PA for her work in the arts in Pittsburgh, and a Woman of Achievement by Cribs for Kids. She has received numerous writing awards and most recently was featured on C-SPAN in an hour-long segment interviewing author Ted Dintersmith.
Uwe BrandesSee Bio..
Uwe S. Brandes, M.Arch, is faculty director and professor of practice of the Urban & Regional Planning program and affiliated faculty in the Science, Technology, and International Affairs program at the Walsh School of Foreign Service. He is faculty director of the university-wide Georgetown Global Cities Initiative. With over 25 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of new buildings, infrastructure, and the urban landscape. Brandes advises cities around the world on sustainable urban development strategies, administrative practices and the public-private partnerships necessary to turn urban planning strategies into reality. His research explores the strategic significance of city-building in a changing context of demographics, natural environments and globalized capital markets. Brandes lectures widely on urban design and the public realm. He has testified before Congress and has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, China People’s Daily and Wired. He serves on advisory boards for the World Economic Forum, the Urban Land Institute and United States Green Building Council. Brandes served as senior vice president at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) where he managed global programs on climate change and sustainable urban development. Prior to ULI, Brandes was vice president at the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation and Associate Director of the District of Columbia Office of Planning, where he managed the creation of the award-winning Anacostia Waterfront Initiative which catalyzed billions of dollars of investment into once underserved neighborhoods in our Nation’s Capital. Brandes holds a Master of Architecture from the Harvard University School of Design, Fulbright Scholar at the Technical University Dortmund Institute of Spatial Planning, Paul Sun Fellowship at the Tsinghua University School of Architecture, and A.B. from the Dartmouth College Thayer School of Engineering.
Workforce Development & Equity Program Consultant Jacobs EngineeringSee Bio..
Victoria Johnson Workforce Development & Equity Program Consultant Jacobs Engineering
Victoria Johnson is a Program Consultant with Jacobs Engineering providing strategic consulting on workforce development, diversity and inclusion and equity initiatives to public sector clients nationwide. With 15 years of experience in the infrastructure sector, she leads program development and implementation for public agencies developing workforce development, economic inclusion, and supplier diversity programs to maximize investments in infrastructure to benefit diverse communities. She works with utilities such as Louisville MSD, the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, as well as other agencies with equity initiatives in conjunction with billion-dollar capital improvement programs. Victoria provides leadership and consulting in the development of workforce development and equity programs including procurement policy development, legislation advocacy, maximizing supplier diversity engagement, strategic partnerships with community-based organizations, apprenticeship and training opportunities, as well as STEM education and youth engagement in infrastructure. Victoria works directly with infrastructure leaders to strategize, develop and implement equity-focused programs to illustrate both Jacobs’ and utilities’ commitment to being good community and environmental stewards.
President & CEOSee Bio..
Walter Lewis President & CEO
Walter Lewis is the President & CEO of Homewood Children’s Village, where he oversees HCV’s work and partnerships across the cradle to career pipeline. Walter began his journey at HCV as a volunteer. Over the past six years he has served at every level of the organization, from part-time after school work, to program management and later as a director. He received his BS from Cheyney University in computer science and his MS from Carnegie Mellon University in computational biology. Walter currently resides in the Homewood community with his wife and their four children.