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.
Co-founder & COO, StreetwyzeSee Bio..
Aekta Shah Co-founder & COO, Streetwyze
For over 15 years, Aekta has studied, taught, and worked to engage communities in authentic ways that lead to real community transformation. Her work has taken her from Bayview/Hunters Point in San Francisco, to the Roxbury/Dorchester neighborhoods in Boston, to Ahmedabad, India, Detroit, Denver, Chicago, Austin and beyond. Aekta’s areas of expertise include research and development on issues of participatory technology, GIS mapping, and equitable community development. Aekta is the co-founder and COO of Streetwyze: a mobile, mapping, and SMS platform that uses the power of local knowledge to help residents find goods and services, take action on important issues,and serves as a connection hub for community transformation. Streetwyze has recently been recognized by the Obama Administration, Rockefeller Foundation, Knight News Challenge, Echoing Green, the Root, Atlantic Citylab and beyond.. Aekta also serves as the Director of Technology and Community Engagement at the Social Innovation Lab (SOUL Lab). The first joint lab between UCSF and San Francisco State University which utilizes new technologies that mobilize local knowledge from marginalized communities to improve opportunity, inform policy, and generate shared wealth. Aekta is currently pursuing her Ph.D in Participatory Technology Design at Stanford University and is the recipient of the prestigious Stanford Graduate Fellowship. At Stanford her research and work range from running Design-thinking workshops at the Stanford d.School to developing new social impact technology start-up ideas at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has been recognized for her leadership by organizations such as the Aspen Institute, EcoDistricts, Green for All and Bioneers, and has presented for the UN internationally on issues of equitable development. In 2005, Aekta founded the Big Green Bus project, a cross-country, waste vegetable oil-fueled journey across the U.S. to promote awareness of Climate Change. Aekta holds Masters from Harvard and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
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.
Ecological Engineer/Principal, Ethos CollaborativeSee Bio..
Barton Kirk Ecological Engineer/Principal, Ethos Collaborative
Barton is an ecological engineer whose core expertise lies at the nexus of energy, water, climate, and community. Barton is a veteran green infrastructure thought and practice leader. For more than a decade he has helped communities develop durable decisions about their built and natural infrastructure utilizing research, analysis, and design. Through applied ecological economics and life-cycle systems analysis, Barton's work offers holistic insight into the long-term economic and environmental costs and benefits of site-level infrastructure, institutional operations, and regional community patterns. He currently co-leads Ethos Collaborative (www.ethoscollaborative.com), a Pittsburgh-based resilient design strategies firm.
Mayor, City of PittsburghSee Bio..
Bill Peduto Mayor, City of Pittsburgh
William Peduto was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh in the General Election on November 5, 2013, and took office as Pittsburgh’s 60th Mayor in January of 2014. Prior to taking office, he worked for 19 years on Pittsburgh City Council - seven years as a staffer then twelve years as a Member of Council. As a Councilman, Bill Peduto wrote the most comprehensive package of government reform legislation in Pittsburgh’s history. He strengthened the Ethics Code, created the city’s first Campaign Finance Limits, established Lobbyist Disclosure and Lobbyist Registration and ended No-Bid Contracts. As Mayor, Peduto continues to champion the protection and enhancement of Pittsburgh’s new reputation - maintaining fiscal responsibility, establishing community based development plans, embracing innovative solutions and becoming a leader in green initiatives. The Peduto administration is committed to modernizing city government and implementing leading practices to provide taxpayers with an efficient, effective, transparent, and a more accountable government. Under Peduto’s leadership, the City of Pittsburgh has experienced a complete transformation of the city’s procurement process; the reorganization of the Department of Permits, Licenses & Inspections; a commitment to developing a long-term maintenance and investment plan for the city’s assets; the creation of the ONEPGH Resilience Strategy, and technological upgrades including a GPS based Snow Plow Tracker website, 311 Response Center mobile app, an interactive street paving website and several digital tools built with public information in a new open data portal. Setting priorities around strengthening Pittsburgh's 90 communities, Peduto established the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment to promote the city's role in housing, small business, and education; led the development of the city's land bank; and championed the creation of a neighborhood-strengthening Rental Registration program. Since taking office, Mayor Peduto has lead a collaborative effort to make Pittsburgh a leading 21st Century city. The Peduto administration haspartnered with the White House on numerous initiatives, resulting in direct access to federal support related to affordable housing, education, economic development, energy efficiency, immigration, manufacturing, community policing, workforce development, technology and transportation. Under Peduto’s leadership the City of Pittsburgh has played an active role in National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Pennsylvania Municipal League initiatives. Pittsburgh was recently selected to join the Rockefeller Foundation network’s 100 Resilient Cities, which provides resources to improve city resilience in the face of climate change, globalization and urbanization trends. In 2015 Mayor Peduto signed a unique agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy to make the city a world leader in district energy production and Pittsburgh joined the UN's Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of climate leaders committed to local action and global impact. Recently Mayor Peduto joined with mayors across the world to reaffirm Pittsburgh's commitment to the Paris Agreement and efforts to combat climate change.Mayor Peduto is also a founding member of the MetroLab Network, a national alliance of cities and universities committed to providing analytically-based solutions to improve urban infrastructure, services and other public sector priorities. The Peduto administration is working to ensure that everyone benefits from Pittsburgh’s transformation and growth because, “If it’s not for all, it’s not for us.”
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.
Civil EngineerSee Bio..
Chad Davis Civil Engineer
EXPERTISE: Dam and Levee Engineering, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering EDUCATION: MS, Civil Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University & BS, Civil Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University REGISTRATIONS: Professional Engineer in PA, OH, CO, VA, WV YEARS EXPERIENCE: 18 years total, 2 years HDR AFFILIATIONS: Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania Society of Military Engineers, Pittsburgh Post CERTIFICATIONS: USACE Construction Quality Management for Contractors AWARDS: Rising Stars in Civil + Structural Engineering - Civil+Structural Engineer Magazine, Engineering News Record - Top 20 under 40 – Mid Atlantic Region Young Engineer of the Year, Beaver County Society of Professional Engineers
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.
VP, Strategy & Team DevelopmentSee Bio..
Chelsea Burket VP, Strategy & Team Development
Chelsea helps Fourth Economy grow its expertise in emerging issues such as equitable development and resilience so that we can better serve communities. She excels at organizing ideas and information and loves putting that to use with clients who need help tackling tough challenges. Chelsea has worked with clients ranging from community-based organizations to state economic development agencies, and on issues ranging from maintaining vacant land to building an edtech ecosystem. She has been a part of the 100 Resilient Cities network through Fourth Economy’s work as a Platform Partner. Chelsea has her Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from Penn State University.
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.
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.
Managing PrincipalSee Bio..
Connie Chung Managing Principal
Connie is a Principal and practice leader in open space economics at HR&A Advisors, an economic and real estate consultancy with four decades of experience contributing to planning and development of urban open spaces. With a background in planning, economic development, and downtown revitalization, Connie is inspired by the ability of public space and civic investments to create public-private partnerships and strengthen communities. Connie holds a Master in City Planning from MIT and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School - University of Pennsylvania. Connie serves as the Managing Principal of the Los Angeles office of HR&A.
CEO, InvolveMINTSee Bio..
Daniel Little CEO, InvolveMINT
Holding a Presidential Service Award, Congressional Medal of Service, and serving with AmeriCorps NCCC and VISTA alum, Daniel is well versed in the nonprofit sector, strategy and client relations. In 2015, Daniel pitched involveMINT in Start Up Weekend Civic (2015), and subsequently won the competition. Daniel has also served a number of local nonprofits experience as an intern with Green Building Alliance; Database for Sustainable and High Performance Architecture (DASH), and with Riverlife PGH. More recently Daniel has turned interest in using technology to create innovative systems that build community wealth.
Senior Director of Real Estate, Hazelwood InitiativeSee Bio..
Dave Brewton Senior Director of Real Estate, Hazelwood Initiative
David R. Brewton, a native Pittsburgher, has enjoyed a career in a variety of community-based non-profits serving the Pittsburgh region. From 1981 through 1996, Dave was a founder and the first Executive Director of Breachmenders, Inc., a faith-based community development corporation in Pittsburgh’s West Oakland neighborhood, where Dave and his wife Barb have lived and raised four children. He is currently Senior Director of Real Estate for Hazelwood Initiative, a CDC committed to building a stronger Hazelwood through inclusive community development. Dave believes that Hazelwood can be the first Pittsburgh neighborhood to get the gentrification equation right.
Vice President of Sustainability, Concert PropertiesSee Bio..
Dave Ramslie Vice President of Sustainability, Concert Properties
Dave Ramslie is the Vice President of Sustainability for Concert Properties, responsible for the ongoing development and implementation of Concert’s Sustainability Framework. Prior to joining Concert, Dave worked extensively on climate and sustainability issues in both the private and public sectors for clients all over the world. Dave is member of Canada’s Clean 50, and his work has won awards from the World Green Building Council, the Canadian Green Building Council and the Canadian Institute of Planners. In 2014 Dave was recognized by the Natural Resources Defense Council as one of nine global champions fighting climate change in cities.
Co-Founder & President, American Sustainable Business CouncilSee Bio..
David Levine Co-Founder & President, American Sustainable Business Council
David Levine is the co-founder and CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, a growing coalition of business organizations and companies, collectively representing over 250,000 businesses, committed to advancing market shifts and public policies that support a vibrant, just and sustainable economy. He has worked as a social entrepreneur for over 30 years focusing on the development of whole systems solutions for a more sustainable society through building strategic partnerships and broad stakeholders initiatives. Previously, he was the Founding Director of Continuing Education & Public Programs at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. From 1984-1997, David was Founder and executive director of the Learning Alliance, an independent popular education organization.
Executive Director, Pittsburgh Food Policy CouncilSee Bio..
Dawn Plummer Executive Director, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
Dawn has extensive experience serving as director, co-founder and coordinator of local, national and international networks, researcher, coalition builder, community organizer, fundraiser, event and program developer. For the last 20 years, Dawn has worked for 19 years alongside community leaders most impacted by critical issues of food, food systems, as well as economic, social and racial inequality. Since 2014, Dawn has worked with her team to strengthen the Council as a regional mechanism for food systems, embarking on Allegheny County's first Food Action Plan. Dawn has an MA from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
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 Director, Cancer Free Economy NetworkSee Bio..
Debra Erenberg Strategic Director, Cancer Free Economy Network
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.
Senior Planner, Department of City Planning PittsburghSee Bio..
Derek Dauphin Senior Planner, Department of City Planning Pittsburgh
Derek is a Senior Planner at the Department of City Planning and is responsible for management and coordination for City projects in Downtown, Uptown, the Hill District and Oakland such as neighborhood plans, rezonings, and other City-led initiatives. Prior to his work for the City of Pittsburgh, Derek was a planner for the City of Portland, Oregon.
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.
Urban Planning and Design PrincipalSee Bio..
Doug Bisson Urban Planning and Design Principal
Mr. Bisson serves as HDR’s Central Region Urban Planning and Design Principal and has expertise in urban design and redevelopment. He is an expert in bringing together key city leaders, business owners, and residents to stimulate economic development and neighborhood revitalization through the use of environmentally friendly, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development practices. He was the Project Manager for several notable initiatives within the region, including Aksarben Village, Destination Midtown, the Downtown Omaha 2030 Master Plan, the Downtown Iowa City / Riverfront Crossings Master Plan, the University Village Master Plan, the River’s Edge Master Plan, the Flatwater Crossing Master plan, and the Des Moines Market District Master Plan. In addition, Doug serves on numerous community-based boards.
Dr. Howard Slaughter
President & Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater PittsburghSee Bio..
Dr. Howard Slaughter President & Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh
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 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 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.
Senior Project Manager, EcoDistricts AP, evolveEASee Bio..
Elijah Hughes Senior Project Manager, EcoDistricts AP, evolveEA
Through the lenses of mobility, water, stormwater, land use policy, and community engagement, Elijah looks for solutions at the micro-scale that can have a big impact on the broader network. He enjoys the intersection of policy, infrastructure, and community capacity and works with developers, advocates, agencies, and elected officials to tackle complex problems in innovative ways. Elijah frequently works across disciplines in diverse teams and is excited to unpack complicated design and coordination challenges to achieve clearly defined project outcomes. Elijah received a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and was previously a researcher at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History where he published on the evolution of the mammalian brain and ear.
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.
Programs and Policy Manager, Hill Community Development CorporationSee Bio..
Felicity Williams Programs and Policy Manager, Hill Community Development Corporation
Felicity Ansonia Williams is a racial and economic justice advocate in the City of Pittsburgh. She currently works for the Hill Community Development Corporation as their Programs and Policy Manager and Special Assistant to the President and CEO. In her role, Felicity oversees the policy work of the organization, such as land use in the Hill District, including large scale developments, a commercial redevelopment task force, and the neighborhood’s community review process; as well as tracking, researching, and commenting on legislation that impacts community and economic development. Felicity also manages all small business support and homeownership preparation programs for the organization. Prior to working at the Hill CDC, Felicity served as an intern in Representative Wheatley’s 19 th District Legislative Office working on the Peace and Justice Initiative with the Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition. Felicity holds a B.A. from Washington and Jefferson College where she double-majored in Economics and International Studies with a Concentration in East Asia, and minored in French, as well as a J.D. from William & Mary School of Law. While at William & Mary, Felicity focused her legal studies on corporations, election, finance, and other government related areas of the law. Immediately following law school, Felicity worked as a consultant in the Washington, D.C. metro area for several Department of Defense government contractors, an investment fund, and a valuations firm. In her spare time, Felicity works with various grass roots organizations and coalitions advocating for issues around equitable public education, criminal justice reform, and political organizing. Felicity is passionate about politics and community equity, and was recognized as the Incline’s Who’s Next in Politics class of 2018.
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, Economic and Community Development, MetroHealthSee Bio..
Greg Zucca Director, Economic and Community Development, MetroHealth
Greg Zucca is the Director of Economic and Community Transformation for The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Ohio. Greg is responsible for neighborhood revitalization as part of MetroHealth’s $1 billion Campus Transformation initiative. In conjunction with the campus transformation, Greg is overseeing a $60 million development project which includes affordable housing and mixed-use workforce housing adjacent to MetroHealth’s Campus. To support this work, Greg partners with multiple stakeholders and is leading efforts to enhance broadband internet access and develop workforce development programs that serve the Clark Fulton neighborhood and the Near Westside of Cleveland. Greg is a certified Development Finance Professional with over 17 years of economic development experience and a unique understanding for place-based development. Greg holds a Master's Degree in Urban Planning, Design and Development from the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University where he also received his undergraduate degree. Greg is a resident of the Near Westside with his wife and three children. Greg serves on the board of Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation, is a member of the Cleveland Neighborhood Placemaking Committee and volunteers as a coach in the Near West Recreation youth athletic league.
Principal, Henderson & CompanySee Bio..
Irvin Henderson Principal, Henderson & Company
Irvin M. Henderson is the principal of Henderson and Company, a consulting and development firm specializing in community development finance and capital structure; project design and management; preservation development; and urban infill, residential and enterprise development. He has designed and presented trainings for community nonprofit executives, bankers, government executives and grassroots leadership throughout the United States, from the Bank of America Leadership Academy to the National Main Street Conference in Atlanta 2015. His development career began in 1984 with the development of 24 duplexes in Port Royal, South Carolina. His first commercial development project was the rehabilitation of a downtown block in Henderson, NC featuring the adaptive reuse of a J.C. Penney department store in Henderson’s Main Street revitalization area. He is currently developing and restoring the Hotel Hinton in Edenton, North Carolina’s Main Street community, The New Granada Theater in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, the A. G. Gaston Motel National Monument in Birmingham, Alabama and is restoring the historic ICA GreenRise Building in the Uptown community in Chicago. Irvin is a recipient of the Fannie Mae Maxwell Affordable Housing Award and the National Economic Justice Award. He has authored and/or performed trainings at national and international gatherings including the European Community Reinvestment Annual Meeting, The White House, United States Congress, the French Cabinet, Rainbow Push Wall Street Conference, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation Annual Meeting, Enterprise Foundation, NY Funders Alliance, Neighborhood Funders Group, the National Council of Foundations and the National Tax Credit Conference. As Chair of the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, he has championed the set-aside of $4 Million in New Market Tax Credits exclusively for Main Street projects and the Former Small Deal Fund is now known, thanks to the wishes of his colleagues as the Irvin M. Henderson Community Revitalization Fund. Building Community is his passion.
Executive Director, Grow PittsburghSee Bio..
Jake Seltman Executive Director, Grow Pittsburgh
Jake Seltman has over fifteen years of experience in nonprofit leadership with a focus on education, social justice and environmental sustainability. In his role as Executive Director of the urban agriculture nonprofit Grow Pittsburgh (www.growpittsburgh.org), he is honored to guide the organization towards its mission to teach people how to grow food and to promote the benefits that gardens bring to our neighborhoods. He believes strongly that growing food is one of the keys to supporting healthy communities and can be a catalyst towards significant and positive social, economic and environmental change.
Jamil Bey, Ph. D.
Founder and president of the UrbanKind InstituteSee Bio..
Jamil Bey, Ph. D. Founder and president of the UrbanKind Institute
Jamil Bey, Ph.D. is the founder and president of the UrbanKind Institute, a think-and-do consultancy committed to providing direction to improve policies, programs, and practices that are kind to urban people and environments; the root of sustainability. Under Dr. Bey’s leadership and direction, the UrbanKind Institute has become one of the region’s premier public policy consultancies. Prized for our ability to do the complicated tasks of bringing people from all sectors and with often competing interests together to create actionable solutions. Jamil is a human geographer with 8 years of post-doctoral research and analysis of policy and practices that improve efficiency and outcomes in human experiences. As a researcher, analyst, and consultant he specializes in challenging common assumptions about ordinary concerns while bringing alternative perspectives for consideration. Trained as both a professional geographer and as an educator, Dr. Bey excels in spatial analysis and synthesis, pedagogy, and instruction. His primary focus is on spatial, and location analysis. His integrated-systems view of the world provides highly contextualized conclusions, and recommendations that consider the interconnectivity of economics, politics, history, culture, health, social movements, and the environment in his analyses.
President, 3R SustainabilitySee Bio..
Jana Lake President, 3R Sustainability
Jana Lake is the President of 3R Sustainability and Chief Sustainability Officer of SRI Quality System Registrar. Jana helps clients realize the value of sustainability in their organization by defining the right strategy, goals and metrics, combined with the best action plan to achieve them. As CSO for SRI, Jana led the work to become a B Corporation, for which the company was recognized as a Best For The World honoree for its positive impact on its employees. Jana has spent more than 25 years in consulting, several with Accenture leading its global internal change team and aligning its people, processes, and tools to achieve the company's strategy. Jana is passionate about the role businesses need to play in achieving the UN SDGs, and is involved in a project to write corporate guidebooks for the SDGs. Jana is a proud mother of five and she loves to exercise, forest-bathe, and travel.
General Counsel, RIDCSee Bio..
Jason Hobbes General Counsel, RIDC
Jason Hobbes serves as General Counsel for Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Jason advises RIDC on a wide variety of legal matters, including leasing, real estate development, financing, and litigation. Prior to joining RIDC, Jason served as Senior Counsel for the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Jason advised the Authority on all financing, development, litigation, local legislation, employment matters, among others. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Jason practiced law with the firm of Fox Rothschild LLP, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At Fox Rothschild, Jason handled commercial litigation for clients across the Mid-Atlantic region. Jason received a juris doctor degree from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Principal, Resilient Cities CatalystSee Bio..
Jeb Brugmann Principal, Resilient Cities Catalyst
Jeb has a 35-year career working with municipalities to establish new practices for local sustainability, social equity and justice. In the 1980s, he led the establishment of the Sanctuary Cities movement in the United States. In 1989/90, he founded ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, which today engages and supports nearly 2,000 local government members worldwide across an extensive range of sustainability practice areas. As ICLEI Secretary General from 1990-2000, Jeb built the worldwide organization and established the worldwide Local Agenda 21 (i.e., urban sustainability planning) initiative, which by the year 2000 had involved more than 6,400 communities in 113 countries. He also co-founded ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection campaign, which by year 2000 had engaged more than 500 cities in climate mitigation planning. As an economist and market analyst, in 2004 Jeb co-founded The Next Practice Ltd. business innovation consultancy with Prof. C.K. Prahalad, developing a range of ‘base of the pyramid products and business lines for corporate clients in Africa and Asia. In 2017 Jeb joined the team at 100 Resilient Cities as Vice President, Solutions Development. Jeb is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Cambridge University and author of Welcome to the Urban Revolution: How Cities Are Changing the World.
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.
Executive DirectorSee Bio..
Jerome Jackson Executive Director
Jerome M. Jackson is Executive Director of Operation Better Block, Inc. (OBB). Using decades of experience in community consensus building, grass roots outreach and community economic development, Jerome leads OBB in its mission to prevent the spread of blight and neighborhood deterioration and to further a sense of responsibility and civic pride. OBB carries out its mission by mobilizing residents, elected officials and through partnership with community agencies that focus on education, community safety, green initiatives and youth development. Jerome also has extensive experience and expertise in the areas of program management, mediation, training, community organizing and youth development.
Associate, MSR DesignSee Bio..
Jeryl Aman Associate, MSR Design
An architect and associate with MSR Design, Jeryl has over 15 years’ experience integrating the complex interests that go into making a built environment evolve from a set of collective values and aspirations. After spending 12 years in New York adapting existing building stock for new uses and programs, he now works on MSR project teams toward the firm’s strategic goal to lead a generative architectural practice. As project architect, he has shepherded the client’s vision for Mill 19 to transform a noble monument of the 20th-century steel industry into a facility focused on sustainable, ecological growth, which has become the vanguard project for the emerging Hazelwood Green neighborhood district. Jeryl practices architecture holistically to provide meaningful spaces that contribute positively to the environment. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Pratt Institute School of Architecture.
Jessica Florez AICP, AP ND, RELi AP
Urban Designer, Perkins and WillSee Bio..
Jessica Florez AICP, AP ND, RELi AP Urban Designer, Perkins and Will
Jessica is an emerging leader in resilient design at Perkins and Will. She is currently the co-lead of the firm’s Resilience Lab and has been a key player in delivering city-wide resilience strategies in Louisville, Toronto, and Minneapolis. Jessica is an urban designer with 15 years of experience who brings a vast knowledge of community engagement and urban revitalization strategies in distressed neighborhoods. Her career approach bridges design, social justice, and data-driven analysis in order to build resilient communities from the ground up. Jessica worked for 7 years as the founder and director of a non-profit organization aimed at helping underserved Hispanic women in Atlanta, including victims of domestic abuse and trafficking. This experience, paired with her work in multiple affordable housing planning initiatives in the southeast region of the United States, has equipped her to provide in-depth knowledge concerning the complex dynamics that are at play in sensitive contexts. Jessica is committed to innovation and sustainable design practices as natural expressions of social justice and good urban design. She has experience on projects of various scales such as neighborhood revitalization plans, affordable housing master plans, innovation districts, strategic plans, brownfield redevelopment plans, and urban agriculture projects, among others.
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Van Alen InstituteSee Bio..
Jessica Lax Director of Strategic Initiatives, Van Alen Institute
Jessica Lax is an urbanist driving social equity and inclusion through systems thinking, participatory design, and social justice. Jessica has led over a dozen competitions at Van Alen Institute, including a project recently adopted by Mayor Bill De Blasio to Close Rikers Island - a notorious jail complex in New York City, and Memorials for the Future a project with the National Park Service and National Capital Planning Commission to rethink our future memorial Landscape. Prior to joining Van Alen Institute, Jessica worked at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where she launched NYC’s first vacant lot activation projects and low-income entrepreneurship incubator. She also worked for the NYC Department of Transportation, where she implemented Queens’ first neighborhood bicycle network and initiated in the redesign of Queens Blvd, previously one of the most dangerous boulevards in the world. Jessica received her Master of Urban Planning with honors from Hunter College and her Bachelors in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan.
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.
Special Projects Manager, Remake GroupSee Bio..
Katrina Flora Special Projects Manager, Remake Group
As a Special Projects Manager and certified planner, Katrina serves as a jill-of-all-trades, bringing to projects a variety of planning and technical skills. In her current position at ReMake Group, Katrina is managing a variety of facets of the Hazelwood Green development. Highlights include: design and construction of the new public Plaza, the development and implementation of the Preliminary Land Development Plan, the Long-Range Transportation Plan and mobility strategy, and community and stakeholder relations. Prior to joining ReMake Group, Katrina worked as a Planner at O2 Planning + Design in Calgary, Alberta, providing support to municipal plans, growth strategies, and park system planning efforts. With professional experience ranging from urban design to policy to hazard mitigation planning, Katrina has a capacity to approach complex problems by effectively collaborating across disciplines. Katrina holds a Bachelors of Environment Studies and Political Science from the University of Washington, and a Masters of City Planning with an Urban Design certificate from the University of Pennsylvania.
Program Director, EcoDistrictsSee Bio..
Katy Ricchiuto Program Director, EcoDistricts
Katy has extensive experience in the intersection of environmental and urban policy and equitable community development. Her areas of expertise include sustainable urban development, community engagement and governance, energy and climate policy, and regulatory policy. As EcoDistricts’ Program Manager, Katy oversees the implementation of the EcoDistricts Institute and Certified programs. She works with developers, municipalities, community development corporations, and community groups to support project execution for 17 national and international sustainable urban planning projects. She also design and implements the annual curriculum for 200 Accredited Professionals, including national and international trainings, webinars, and an annual three-day team training workshop. Katy also provides consulting to projects in areas including project implementation planning, performance monitoring, community engagement, and long-term project governance. Katy holds a Bachelor of the Arts with Honors in English, Spanish and Economics from The Ohio State University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, with a specialization in Environmental Policy. Katy is proud to be from Cleveland, OH and currently calls Seattle, WA home. Outside of work, she can be found enjoying outdoor activities with her dog, Jazz, volunteering with the Seattle Aquarium, traveling, or working on her wooden bowl-turning and clay throwing skills.
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.
Director of Land RecyclingSee Bio..
Kendall Pelling Director of Land Recycling
Over the past 17 years Kendall has led the planning and implementation of a comprehensive residential development strategy for the distressed urban neighborhood of East Liberty. This process has included the acquisition of all vacant abandoned properties and interventions in the foreclosure markets and substandard rental housing market. Large Scale development of affordable and market rate housing is now underway. Over a third of all the rental housing in the neighborhood has been protected as long term affordable housing. The real estate based crime strategy has reduced crime by 49%, eliminating major urban crime hotspots and transforming public safety. These interventions have caused home values to rise dramatically. Low income homeowners now have equity in their homes and real generational wealth. Kendall is an expert in public and nonprofit systems to recycle vacant and abandoned properties, and has served on numerous taskforces at the local and state levels. Kendall has degrees in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California and Carnegie Mellon University and is a graduate of the Coro Fellows program in Public Affairs. He is an elder at Valley View Presbyterian church and lives in the urban neighborhood of Garfield.
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.
Vice PresidentSee Bio..
Lynn Colosi Vice President
From service planning to Transit Oriented Development ( to project funding, Lynn Colosi understands transit system development and all its related elements For nearly 15 years, she worked at Port Authority of Allegheny County in the areas of operations, planning, and real estate development There was no better training ground than Port Authority, a system that incorporated nearly every mode of public transportation bus rapid transit, light rail transit, subway, streetcars, buses, neighborhood circulators, inclines, and paratransit Understanding various modes and issues related to integrating transit operations appropriately and seamlessly into land use strategies is Lynn’s area of expertise Her transit experience led Lynn and her partners to launch Clear View Strategies in 2004 For nine years, Clear View, a boutique public transportation consulting firm, provided transit planning, operations, and development services to transit agencies, planning organizations, municipalities, and other public agencies In 2013 Lynn merged her company and clients with Delta Development Group to offer clients full service transportation and economic development solutions Because of her knowledge of the Federal Transit Administration’s Joint Development Policy and experience cobbling together public funding sources to complete projects, Lynn has become a valuable member of any team looking to undertake TOD This experience coupled with Lynn’s understanding of how to integrate transit and alternative transportation modes physically and functionally into high density developments resulted in her role in one of Pennsylvania’s premier projects East Liberty Transit Center and TOD Lynn has also been recognized for her work on Transit Revitalization Investment District (projects, including the Commonwealth’s first ever TRID study in Rochester Borough She has been sought after by officials to provide advice on how to improve the TRID program and undertake projects utilizing TRID funding strategies, and to advance public transportation projects that incorporate smart growth and sustainable principles
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.
Associate Director of Infrastructure Delivery, Sidewalk LabsSee Bio..
Mark Luckhardt Associate Director of Infrastructure Delivery, Sidewalk Labs
Prior to joining Sidewalk Labs, Mark worked for FivePoint Communities in San Francisco, where he managed land development programs on large, mixed-use master developments and developed a passion for applying emerging technologies to large-scale infrastructure systems. Mark’s background in urban infrastructure development covers the spectrum from planning and entitlement through construction and operations. Before working in land development, Mark worked in civil construction where he had many experiences including building water harvesting systems in rural Guatemala, imploding high rise buildings in New Zealand, and managing large federal infrastructure projects in the United States. Mark is originally from Minnesota but spent five years in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two sons. He has a BCE in Civil Engineering with a minor in Construction Management from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and continues to learn every day. When not on the project site or chasing his two sons, you will find Mark exploring the local microbreweries, backpacking in the summer, or snowboarding in the winter.
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.
Mary Ellen Solomon
Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President, Duquesne UniversitySee Bio..
Mary Ellen Solomon Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President, Duquesne University
Mary Ellen Solomon serves as Chief of Staff to Duquesne University President Ken Gormley. As a member of President Gormley’s senior leadership team, Solomon advances key initiatives and priorities of the President, while managing the strategic, administrative and communications operations of the Office of the President. In addition to her duties as Chief of Staff, Solomon serves as the Chair of the Uptown Task Force, a partnership of organizations, property owners, residents and public agencies focused on implementing the Uptown EcoInnovation District Plan to improve and enhance the Uptown neighborhood.
Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Bridgeway CapitalSee Bio..
Matt Madia Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Bridgeway Capital
Matt Madia is the Chief Strategy and Development Officer at Bridgeway Capital. Matt is responsible for capital development at Bridgeway, as well as outcome measurement and reporting and new program development. Matt also oversees strategic planning, working with senior management and board to set and review goals and tactics and implementing change throughout the organization. At Bridgeway, he has raised more than $65 million in grant and debt capital to support loan programs. He has 13 years of experience with investor relations, data and financial analysis, and strategic communication in the nonprofit environment. He received a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Landscape Contracting from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA in Sustainability from Duquesne University.
Executive DirectorSee Bio..
Matthew Mehalik Executive Director
Matt serves as Executive Director of the Breathe Project, a coalition of local residents, environmental advocates, public health professionals and academics advocating for healthier air for the Pittsburgh region. From 2007 – 2016, he served as Program Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh, where he created, Champions for Sustainability. Matt teaches environmental policy and community resiliency courses at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University since 2008. He has written multiple peer-reviewed publications in sustainability, design, and education and has co-authored Ethical and Environmental Challenges to Engineering with Michael E. Gorman and Patricia Werhane. Matt’s Ph.D. is in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Vice President of Planning and Policy, Green Building AllianceSee Bio..
Megan Zeigler Vice President of Planning and Policy, Green Building Alliance
Megan Zeigler is the Vice President of Planning and Policy for the Green Building Alliance where she focuses on sustainable community development in the region. Megan has worked in academia, local government, and non-profit sectors in her career is as well a small business owner. This cross section of experience enables her to see the integral collaboration needed to create and implement impactful policy change. She holds a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia and a BA in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College.
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.
Analytics StrategistSee Bio..
Mickey McGlasson Analytics Strategist
Mickey believes in the potential of community. Through his work at Fourth Economy, he helps people come together to solve problems that are worth solving. Mickey specializes in complex data analysis, design and visualization, and strategy development. He has experience working in a variety of areas, including: land-use planning, energy and environmental systems, architectural design, and public policy. Mickey holds an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from CMU and a B.S. in Architecture from Ball State University.
Assistant DirectorSee Bio..
Mike Hiller Assistant Director
Mike Hiller is passionate about co-developing equitable regenerative communities. He currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, a small urban watershed in Pittsburgh's east end. This work is embedded within some of the region's most diverse neighborhoods and requires addressing water issues through an environmental justice lens. Since 2015 he has overseen a multi-million dollar green stormwater infrastructure project in the Homewood neighborhood that engages multiple community partners around clean water.
Pittsburgh Action Strategist, IOBY PittsburghSee Bio..
Miriam Parson Pittsburgh Action Strategist, IOBY Pittsburgh
Miriam Parson, is a Pittsburgher who has worked in community development and sustainability for over a decade in Central and Western Pennsylvania. Miriam brings strengths in motivating and training teams to launch new projects, analyzing and adapting strategy, and bridging divided resources to grow new partnerships. She holds a Masters in Sustainability from Chatham University, LEED AP Operations & Maintenance, and is an EcoDistricts AP.
Senior Research Associate/Project Manager, Lowell Center for Sustainable ProductionSee Bio..
Molly Jacobs Senior Research Associate/Project Manager, Lowell Center for Sustainable Production
Molly Jacobs is a Senior Research Associate and Project Manager at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production with over 20 years of experience in public health research and practice. Her work focuses on: (a) understanding the links between environmental and occupational exposures that contribute to illness, and (b) engaging policy, program, and business decision makers in advancing health protective solutions. She has authored numerous research translation papers, book chapters and reports synthesizing the state of the science linking environmental and occupational exposures and with chronic diseases, including cancer and asthma, as well as health risks associated with emerging technologies and materials, such as wood biomass energy and engineered nanomaterials. Molly works closely with the Lowell Center’s Chemicals Science and Policy Initiative to advance the methods and practice of alternatives assessment as a critical disease prevention strategy.
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.
Ramona Lisa Alexander
Director of Programs, Dudley Street Neighborhood InitiativeSee Bio..
Ramona Lisa Alexander Director of Programs, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Ramona Lisa Alexander is currently the Director of Programs for Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) and the Fairmount Cultural Corridor (a creative place-making initiative). In 2017 she was the Co-Chair for Boston Creates, a citywide cultural planning process, under Boston’s Chief of Arts and Culture. She has also supported DSNI’s role in the strategic planning process to form the Upham’s Arts and Innovation District with the City of Boston and Boston Planning and Redevelopment Authority. Prior to joining DSNI & FCC team she worked as the Manager of Performance Programs in the Education Department at the Boch Performing Arts Center in Boston. Early in her career, Alexander worked as the Regional Youth Worker/Organizer overseeing multiple community sites for the Boston Center for Youth and Families. She has worked with various organizations, integrating the therapeutic aspects of theater, performance, movement, and writing with a focus on civic engagement and social justice. Alexander holds an artist certification from the City of Boston, as well as a certificate from Brioxy in the Arts & Philanthropy Executive Director Training program. She sits on the board of Circus Up and received her MFA from Brandeis University, studied Caribbean Folk Dance at the Edna Manly School of Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, and participated in the Guthrie Theatre Experience Training Program in Minneapolis. She also holds a certificate with the BEST Initiative’s Youth Worker Training program.
Executive Director, Black Urban FarmersSee Bio..
Raqueeb Bey Executive Director, Black Urban Farmers
Raqueeb Bey is an urban agriculturlist, community activist and mother of six phenomenal children. She is the Garden Resource Coordinator for Grow Pittsburgh Garden Resource Center, a tool lending library in Pittsburgh's East End. In 2011, Raqueeb founded Mama Africa's Green Scouts, a youth program that teaches community gardening, green sustainability, African-centered culture and community leadership skills. She also founded the Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-Op (BUGS FPC) in June of 2015, where she is the Executive Director Raqueeb also volunteers for Landslide Community Farms. She is a steering committee member for the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, A steering committee member for PaWagn and a steering committee member for the Homewood Collaborative and chairs the Homewood Sustainability Action Team.Raqueeb is on the subcommittee for the eco innovation district for Uptown Partners. Raqueeb also is an advisory committee member for The University of Pittsburgh Community Engagement Center for The Greater Hill District and to address food justice issues in the Homewood community of Pittsburgh, she started he Homewood Food Access Working Group. In addition, Raqueeb is also initiated the Hill District Food Access Working Group.
Ray Gastil AICP LEED AP ND
Director, Remaking Cities Institute, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon UniversitySee Bio..
Ray Gastil AICP LEED AP ND Director, Remaking Cities Institute, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
Ray Gastil, Director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, has worked in urban design and planning for cities, districts, and neighborhoods, with a focus on the relationship of communities to major institutions and city- or region-wide systems, from universities to light rail. Initiatives during his tenure as City Planning Director in Pittsburgh ranged from complete streets to riverfront and neighborhood planning, open space and adaptive reuse, and affordable housing. Drawing on his background in transit-oriented design and development and including planning director responsibilities in New York City, Seattle, and smaller cities and towns, he works to identify and address challenges and opportunities for data, engagement, urban design and architecture, and more broadly--learning from where you live--can help model sustainable and inclusive urban futures.
Managing Director - Arts and Culture, Kresge FoundationSee Bio..
Regina Smith Managing Director - Arts and Culture, Kresge Foundation
Regina R. Smith is managing director of The Kresge Foundation’s Arts & Culture Program. She leads efforts to identify prospects for national funding opportunities and partnerships in the arts and culture field. Regina has been with the Foundation since 2008 as a program officer and senior program officer, working to advance the deliberate integration of arts and culture into community development through creative placemaking. Previously, Regina worked at the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte, N.C., where, as vice president of grants and services, she managed a $12 million grants portfolio. She served as programs and services director at Culture Works in Dayton, Ohio, from 1994 to 1999 and, earlier, managed a nationally recognized program for the Indiana Arts Commission. In 1989, while on a nine-month Arts Administration Fellowship, Regina was in residence with three arts organizations: the Madison Art Center, COMPAS in St. Paul, Minn., and Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs. She began her career as a museum educator at the Cleveland Children’s Museum and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Regina studied art history at the University of Pittsburgh and received a master’s degree in arts administration from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.
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.
Founder & CEO, EcoDistrictsSee Bio..
Rob Bennett Founder & CEO, EcoDistricts
Rob is the founding CEO of EcoDistricts. He is a recognized leader in the sustainable cities movement with nearly 20 years of experience shaping municipal sustainable development projects and policy at the intersection of city planning, real estate development, economic development and environmental policy. Prior to launching EcoDistricts, Rob was the Executive Director of the Portland Sustainability Institute, a nonprofit founded by Mayor Sam Adams to accelerate sustainability policy and project innovation in Portland and worked for the Clinton Foundation supporting climate action in cities throughout North America. Between 1998-2005, Rob worked for the cities of Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Canada developing green development market transformation initiatives including catalytic development projects such as Lloyd Crossing (now the Lloyd Ecodistrict in Portland), Brewery Blocks (Portland), South Waterfront (Portland), and the 2010 Olympic Village (Vancouver). Rob was a founding board member of the Cascadia Green Building Council and was a board member of REACH Community Development, one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest and most innovative nonprofit affordable housing providers. Rob has presented throughout the United States and abroad on topics such as green economic development, sustainable municipal innovation and green building policy. Rob holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst School of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.
Director of Community Development and Innovation, University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate AdvisorsSee Bio..
Sam Rockwell Director of Community Development and Innovation, University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors
Sam Rockwell is Director of Community Development and Innovation at the U of M Foundation Real Estate Advisors. Sam has led at the intersection of sustainable land use and transportation policy and organizing through work on local to international levels with the Center for Prevention, the New York City Council, Columbia University’s Earth Institute, the World Wildlife Fund, Transportation Alternatives, and the Environmental Tax Policy Institute. Sam earned a JD, magna cum laude, from Vermont Law School and is President of the Minneapolis Planning Commission.
Associate Director, Business Development and Special Initiatives, Van Alen InstituteSee Bio..
Stacey Anderson Associate Director, Business Development and Special Initiatives, Van Alen Institute
Stacey Anderson has built her career around her passion for fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, unlocking capacity, and effecting meaningful change in cities. Prior to joining Van Alen, Stacey served as Director of Programs at the leading civic advocacy organization, The Municipal Art Society (MAS). She is also co-founder of award-winning urban design project THE TANKS at Bushwick Inlet Park (formerly Maker Park), which leverages the expertise of a pro-bono team including Arup, Ken Smith Workshop, and Pentagram Design, among others. Stacey was a participant in Coro Leadership New York (LNY29) and holds her Master’s degree in Urban Social Policy from the University of Amsterdam. Her thesis research examined the effects of gentrification in post-reunified Berlin, Germany.
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.
Founder and Principal, Resilience Planning and Design, LLCSee Bio..
Steve Whitman Founder and Principal, Resilience Planning and Design, LLC
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.
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.
Sales & Marketing Manager, Clearway EnergySee Bio..
Torey Barr Sales & Marketing Manager, Clearway Energy
Torey Barr is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Clearway Energy in Pittsburgh, PA. Clearway Energy owns and operates 3 plants in the Pittsburgh area – North Shore, Uptown, and -- earlier in 2019 -- acquired Duquesne University’s Tri-Generation facility. Torey is responsible for customer outreach, customer retention, and the local marketing efforts. Prior to Clearway Energy, Torey worked for Arizona Public Service in Phoenix, AZ as a Key Accounts Manager and spent five years as an energy trader for Arizona Public Service and American Electric Power in Columbus, OH. He graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Torey lives in Gibsonia with his wife Carly and their dog Penny.
Executive Director, Wilkinsburg CDCSee Bio..
Tracey Evans Executive Director, Wilkinsburg CDC
Tracey Evans, Executive Director and co-founder of the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation, has been deeply involved in giving back to her community for nearly twenty years. A former two-term member of the Wilkinsburg borough council, Evans helped to create the WCDC in 2008 and was named its Executive Director in 2010. Under her leadership, the organization has raised more than $8 million in government, foundation, and corporate support for Wilkinsburg’s revitalization; earned recognition as part of the prestigious National and Statewide Main Street program (one of just four in Allegheny County); successfully campaigned to allow liquor licenses in the borough for the first time since 1935 — a key to attracting business; and spearheaded the $6.5 million restoration of the landmark Wilkinsburg Railroad Station for commercial development. Additionally, Evans’s tenure has resulted in the sale of 74 business district properties, the renovation of 28 building facades, and the filling of 25 formerly vacant storefronts. Almost 62 new businesses have moved to Wilkinsburg. In addition to her work with the WCDC, Evans is a mentor at the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public & International Affairs and serves as Executive Director of the WCDC Holding Co. and Wilkinsburg Railroad Station LLC.
Tracey McCants Lewis
Board Member, August Wilson CenterSee Bio..
Tracey McCants Lewis Board Member, August Wilson Center
Tracey McCants Lewis is Deputy General Counsel and Director of Human Resources at the Pittsburgh Penguins. She is the immediate past Director of the Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education at Duquesne University School of Law and tenured Associate Professor of Law. Ms. McCants Lewis taught the Civil Rights Clinic and Unemployment Compensation Clinic and coordinated the law school’s pro bono program. She is currently an adjunct professor of clinical legal education at Duquesne Law School. A member of the Pennsylvania State Bar, Ms. McCants Lewis was appointed to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 2013 and served until 2018. She is a former associate of K&L Gates LLP and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Max Baer of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Ms. McCants Lewis earned her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law and B.A. degree from Gannon University in political science. She has served on many community and non-profit boards in the Greater Pittsburgh Region, including the Allegheny County Courts Administration Vision Team Committee, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, the Mt. Ararat Community Activity Center, and the Allegheny County Government Review Commission. She currently serves as a Commissioner for the City of Pittsburgh Equal Opportunity Review Commission and is the Vice-Chair of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. She is the recipient of varied community awards including the 2016 Duquesne University School of Law, Alumni Association Outstanding Achievement Award, the NAACP Pittsburgh - Homer S. Brown Award for Legal Service, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh Racial Justice Award, the 2017 Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh’s Ron H. Brown Community Leadership Award, the Mt. Ararat Community Activity Center Community Recognition Award, and the 2019 Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania Award for Law.
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.
Chief Executive Officer, Greater Tygerberg PartnershipSee Bio..
Warren Hewitt Chief Executive Officer, Greater Tygerberg Partnership
Warren Hewitt is the CEO of the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) in Cape Town. He is responsible for the success of the GTP and for facilitating the transition of Bellville from a neglected urban centre to a leading African city. He is a Chartered Accountant who spent seven years in the hospitality sector, three years in the retail sector and nine years in senior leadership positions in the logistics industry – first as CEO of Laser Logistics and then as Strategic Business Development Executive at the Laser Group; a leading logistics corporation in South Africa. His biggest priorities are to turn the GTP into a sustainable, well- funded organisation that adds real value to all residents, businesses and investors in the area.