Elizabeth Bagley, PhD | Director of Programs, SEI
Elizabeth Bagley is a Program Director at SEI where she builds sustainability leaders through partnerships with higher education institutions. Elizabeth's interdisciplinary background spans academia, business, and the nonprofit sector. Before joining SEI, Elizabeth led Drawdown Learn at Project Drawdown, directed sustainability efforts at the California Academy of Sciences, and designed the science content for video games at LeapFrog. An experienced environmental educator, Elizabeth worked as a naturalist in Glacier National Park, taught middle and high school science in Louisiana, developed K-12 professional development for teachers, and designed a science communication course for graduate students. ▾
Elizabeth holds joint PhDs in Environment & Resources and Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where she studied how video games can encourage systems thinking about complex environmental topics.
Dr. Maria Ballesteros–Sola | Chair of Membership, B Academics and Assistant Professor of Management, MVS School of Business & Economics, CSUCI.
After a career in financial services and management consulting on both sides of the Atlantic, Dr. Ballesteros-Sola joined California State University Channel Islands as a lecturer in 2007 and later as an Assistant Professor of Management, where she teaches Social Business, Management and Marketing among other courses. Apart from her teaching responsibilities, Dr. Ballesteros-Sola serves on the boards of the Case Research Foundation, The Case Centre US, and Start-Up Kids, a local non-profit that she also co-founded. Maria is also one of the co-founder of B Academics and from this platform has been advocating for business as a force for good for many years. Maria's research focuses on social enterprises, hybrid organizations, and B Corps. ▾
She has published in the Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, International Journal of Social Business, Entrepreneurship Education & Pedagogy, Case Research Journal, and the Journal of Social Business. She serves on several editorial review boards, is the chair of the Social Impact track for North America Case Research Association (NACRA), co-chair of Social Entrepreneurship SIG at the US Association Small Business Entrepreneurship (USASBE) and the co-editor of the SAGE Publishing Social Impact Case Collection. Dr. Ballesteros-Sola is also a strong advocate for the use of experiential and service-learning, international experiences, and humanizing technology in higher education. When she is not teaching, researching, or servicing, you can find her doing yoga, Zumba, or enjoying some tacos.
Navera Ahmed | Environmental Intern II, King County Solid Waste Division
A third-year student at the University of Washington, Navera is studying Environmental Science and Resource Management. She has been working for the King County since May 2021 and has been working on projects such as; compiling a list of WA County Interest in EPR, assisting with the Take It Back Network, and researching fire incidents caused by lithium battery fires for a battery stewardship bill.
Jonathan Arakawa | Co-Vice President, National Congress of American Indians Youth Commission
Jonathan Arakawa is an enrolled member of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. Mr. Arakawa is the Co-Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians Youth Commission (NCAI-YC). Outside of NCAI, Vice President Arakawa is a student at The Evergreen State College and Peninsula College, studying for both his Bachelor of Arts in Tribal Governance and Master's in Teaching. Vice President Arakawa was recently appointed/elected Secretary and Northwest Regional Representative of the National UNITY Council Executive Committee. He is also a Klallam Language Teacher and serves as Minister of the Lower Elwha 1910 Indian Shaker Church. Since birth, Vice President Arakawa's family has instilled leadership qualities, cultural values, and traditional teachings into Mr. Arakawa. These qualities, values, and teachings lead Vice President Arakawa in pursuit of his work and advocacy for Indian Country. ▾
One of Vice President Arakawa's tireless advocacy efforts and strong platforms in his NCAI-YC Vice Presidency is for Native American History to be taught from the Native Perspective in Washington State public schools, and public schools throughout the United States, while assuring an equitable and inclusive educational system for Native American students. These advocacy efforts have led him to work in the Port Angeles School District (PASD) as a Native American Specialist for the PASD AmeriCorps Program working alongside strong Native American educators. Vice President Arakawa looks forward to working with our local, regional, state, and federal counterparts to address issues that affect Native youth and Indian Country while bringing all Tribal Nations together to further amplify the strength of our ancestors that run through Indian Country's veins and unleash our multi-generational strength, wisdom, and resiliency to be that generation of leaders our ancestors prayed for. Vice President Arakawa believes everyone has a place, every single person is a leader, and when we come together as a Native America, our collective strength is incalculable.
Athena Bertolino | Future Rivers Program Manager, EarthLab, University of Washington
Athena Bertolino has more than twenty years of experience in the environmental field. Prior to becoming Project Manager for the Future Rivers graduate training program at the University of Washington's EarthLab, she spent 14 years at Ross Strategic - a small consulting firm based in Seattle - where her work focused on a wide range of multi-stakeholder processes working to address regional watershed and land use planning; climate concerns related to drinking water, groundwater, and energy use; and the nexus between the environment and public health. Athena holds a Master's degree in International Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Conservation Biology Policy from the University of Washington, as well as a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude with Honors, in Environmental Science with a Minor in Cultural Studies from the University of Arizona. She is also a 2017 graduate of the Fourth Quadrant Partners Emergent Learning Certification Program.
John Calavitta-Dos Santos | South Seattle College
John Paul Calavitta-Dos Santos earned his MFA in creative writing and his PhD in English and Literature from the University of Washington. While at the UW he took an interdisciplinary turn, studying climate change fiction, Arctic studies, Spanish, and American literature and eco-poetry. His current book draws upon Yelp and Trip Advisor Reviews to critique histories of disaster tourism and cultural heritage sites rooted in privilege, power, class, and colonialism.
Nori Catabay | Program Manager, King County Internal Green Building Team
Nori Catabay leads the internal King County Green Building Team. She provides green building technical assistance and training to County capital projects and manages the King County Sustainable Infrastructure Scorecard. She helped develop new equity and social justice credits that are now applicable to all capital projects for a more holistic triple bottom line approach. She leads implementation of the County's Green Building Ordinance requiring Platinum for LEED and Sustainable Infrastructure Scorecard projects, or the use of other green building rating systems such as Living Building Challenge and Salmon Safe. She co-manages the Green Building Chapter of the County Strategic Climate Action Plan, which includes progressive green building performance measures and priority actions. ▾
One of those efforts is for County-owned new construction projects to be carbon neutral by 2030. She is currently coordinating the County's commitment of identifying 20 Zero Energy or Living Building Challenge Projects by 2025. Nori has 25 years of experience in government, implementing public policies on a local and state level. She has a degree in American Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in Asian American Studies from the University of Washington. Her early career included social justice advocacy, community organizing, political empowerment and civic engagement. She is second generation Filipino American, born in Seattle, WA and grew up in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. She enjoys culinary adventures, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Stephan Classen | Assistant Director of Sustainable Practices, Cascadia College
Stephan is the Assistant Director of Sustainable Practices at Cascadia College, where he manages the sustainability bachelor’s program, grants on stormwater and native plants, lab activities for students, and sustainability outreach events. He was the Aquaculture Education Specialist for the Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center (PACRC) at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, and a Biological Technician for two national parks. He received his B.S. in Environmental Science Land and Water at the University of Arizona, and his Masters of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science with a focus in aquaculture at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo. Stephan’s goal is to help students find interconnectivity, tying their education at Cascadia to relationships in industry, organizations, and sustainability research, and a focus on sustainable food systems.
Serena Dressel | Coordinator, Student Sustainability Center, Portland State University
Serena Dressel (she/her) has been supporting the Student Sustainability Center at PSU in an interim role since March 2020. As a former student leader, Serena became involved with PSU SSC when she obtained her Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Studies with a minor in Indigenous Nations Studies. As a current Master's in Public Administration student with a focus in Global Leadership and Management, Serena's work outside of PSU SSC has centered on promoting supporting regional connections to global movements through the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN). Serena currently is co-leading the planning process for the second annual Portland Youth Climate Summit through GPSEN's Portland Youth Climate Collective.
Lauren Cole | Environmental Programs Managing Supervisor, King County Solid Waste Division
Lauren is a supervisor in the Recycling and Environmental Services Section of King County Solid Waste Division. She works on policy issues with an emphasis on Product Stewardship/Extended Producer Responsibility and has experience building equity into hiring practices, contracting and project management. Her goal is to make King County a place where all employees are welcomed and have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Toren Elste | Program Specialist, University of Washington Sustainability
Toren's passion for the environment began at an early age with her love for the outdoors, which turned into degrees in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Science and became even stronger when she lived in Kona, Hawaii, working with dolphins. "I'm interested in everything from green offices, to paper reduction and green event resources," she says. "Representing the University of Washington's commitment to sustainability makes me excited to go to work each day."
D'Andre Fisher, M.Ed. | Associate Vice President, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, North Seattle College
D'Andre Fisher (he/him/his/beloved) earned a M.A. in Adult & Higher Education and B.A. in Human Relations & Social Justice all from Oklahoma University in Norman, OK. Recently, he earned a certification in Mindful Facilitation from StirFry Seminars & Consulting. Currently, D'Andre serves as associate vice president of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for North Seattle Colleges and one of the diversity and equity officers for the Seattle Colleges District. Prior to this role, D'Andre served as the Special Assistant to the Vice President and Director of Operations, formally the Office of University Community at the University of Oklahoma. In these positions, D'Andre serves as a liaison, steward and voice for students, faculty and staff while guiding the institutions to lead with racial equity, commit to continued development and adoption of common understanding of equity as racial equity, diversity, and inclusion, and create institutional actions necessary to dismantle inequities within the system. D'Andre has a passion for working with college BIPOC students, faculty and staff and believes that institutional success is measured by the success of students who face the greatest systemic barriers to completion.
Kelsey Foster | Founder, PotentiaLi
Kelsey participated in the 2021 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (EIC) as founder of PotentiaLi Energy, a business idea for solar-powered electric bicycle charging stations which won the Clean Energy Prize at the competition. PotentiaLi has partnered with UW Solar and UW Transportation to install a charging network on the University of Washington campus with support from the UW Campus Sustainability Fund. Kelsey is an electrical engineering master's student at the University of Washington. Her goal is to make a positive environmental impact through innovations in the clean technology industry. She has held several leadership roles in energy-related student organizations at both her undergraduate institution and at UW, and has experience in the electrified transportation sector from internships and projects. Kelsey is currently completing a master's thesis regarding electrification of the UW Transportation vehicle fleet.
Elizabeth Fountain, Ph.D. | FlexIT Program Coordinator, Central Washington University
Liz’s experience as a manager and leader spans over twenty years. After a dozen years as a mental health counselor, she shifted her career to higher education, as a faculty member, Dean, Director, and Associate Provost. She returned to teaching and writing in 2011. Since 2014, she has combined her love of learning with her passion for teaching as a Senior Lecture, and coordinates the FlexIT/Pro competency-based learning modality for the IT Management Department at CWU. She is also a creative writer, with two comic novels published in 2013 and 2014. Liz loves to read, eat, listen to music, travel, hang out with dogs, and learn!
Stephania Fregosi | Sustainability Analyst, Portland Community College
Stephania Fregosi (she/her(s)), got into sustainability as a result of childhood experiences that included resource conservation, a love of all marine creatures, international travel, a high school semester at a farm in Vermont, and a concern for human rights. As the Portland Community College Sustainability Analyst, Stephania Fregosi maintains the utility database, completes the greenhouse gas inventories, and the STARS report. Stephania conducts policy and program research and provides other program support. Stephania earned her Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from the Vermont Law School and her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College. She recently contributed to the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Anthology on Racial Equity and Social Justice, an educational resource on the interconnections between environmental sustainability, justice, diversity, equity and inclusion.
Desiree Gabriel | Programs Manager, Embark Sustainability
Desiree Gabriel (she/hers) is a Filipina-settler, who was born and raised on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Kwantlen, and Tsawwassen nations, near what is currently called Vancouver, BC. Desiree is extremely interested in community-led initiatives that center those who have been historically other-ed. Her experiences as a foody, working with food justice groups, and her education in environmental geography and urban studies led to her passion for environmental/climate justice and food sovereignty. As the Programs Manager at Embark Sustainability, she is lucky enough to work through these causes with students attending Simon Fraser University. When not at work, you can find Desiree playing spikeball and volleyball in the summer, or snowboarding and hiking in the winter. Year round, you can catch her at rallies supporting the liberation of all peoples, watching anime, and playing piano.
Michael Geffel | Professor of Practice, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon
Michael Geffel (terrestrial practice) is a registered landscape architect, Professor of Practice at the University of Oregon, and Lab Director of the Fuller Center for Productive Landscapes. With research broadly focused on experimental landscapes, Michael's temporary installations explore the generative capacity of maintenance in the construction of novel ecosystems. He has been published in Landscape Journal, LA+, Kerb, and Scenario Journal, and his field experiments have been featured in Landscape Architecture Magazine, Places Journal, and the Ambiguous Territory Symposium.
Abigail Gravatt | Student Climate Organizer, University of Oregon
I am a junior at the University of Oregon studying Environmental Studies and minoring in Food Studies and Planning, Public Policy and Management. I hold many leadership positions on campus including participating in the new Environmental Justice Fellowship, chair of the Student Sustainability Network, co-campaign director for the Fossil Free UO campaign with the Climate Justice League club, student chair on the Climate Action Plan board, and president of the Operation Period club. I am passionate about food justice and food security and work this into many aspects of my academic and personal life. I am very thankful for the opportunity to get to speak at the WOHESC conference.
Dr. Gordon Holtgrieve | Associate Professor, University of Washington and Director of Future Rivers
Gordon Holtgrieve is an aquatic ecosystem ecologist and fisheries scientist with over 20 years of experience in scientific research and education. Gordon holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Stanford University in Earth System Science (1999 & 2001) and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Washington (2009). He is currently the H. Mason Keeler Associate Professor in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington and the Director of Future Rivers, a new UW graduate training program in freshwater science. Gordon and his colleagues have published over 40 scientific papers and one book chapter on topics ranging from the ecosystem response of Alaska streams to spawning salmon to anthropogenic nitrogen deposition in otherwise pristine environments. Research in the Holtgrieve Ecosystem Ecology Lab spans the Pacific Rim from the Puget Sound to Alaska to the Mekong River in SE Asia. When not doing science, Gordon can typically be found with his family on the banks of the Methow River.
Rebecca Watts Hull | Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist, Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain, Georgia Institute of Technology
Rebecca Watts Hull is a service learning and partnerships specialist with the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain and has an adjunct appointment in the School of History and Sociology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) is the Institute’s campus-wide academic initiative preparing students to use their disciplinary expertise to create sustainable communities in partnership with community, nonprofit, business, and academic stakeholders. Rebecca’s responsibilities include faculty professional development in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and fostering long-term university/community partnerships in community-based teaching and research. She also leads collaborative, multi-institutional ESD initiatives through the RCE Greater Atlanta and serves on the STARS Steering Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). ▾
Dr. Watts Hull’s research and teaching have focused on environmental history and governance, sustainability, campus-based organizing and advocacy, and social movements. Her professional experience includes environment and sustainability education/outreach, project management, curriculum design, and environmental advocacy in the public and nonprofit sectors. Rebecca’s work outside academia has included leadership of an Atlanta-based clean air advocacy nonprofit group, science and environmental curriculum design, and environmental education with the U.S. Peace Corps in East Africa.
Moji Igun | Founder, Blue Daisi Consulting
An international keynote speaker and certified TRUE Zero Waste Advisor, Moji Igun founded Blue Daisi Consulting to help small businesses intertwine their desires to care for the planet and to have a successful business. After obtaining a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of Michigan, Moji created efficient systems as a quality engineer in the construction industry. Taking these skills and the deep knowledge she's gained from her personal zero waste journey, Moji helps businesses push past the frustrations and overwhelm of getting started. Realizing that many of those frustrations stem from systemic issues, Moji ensures her clients understand the bigger picture of sustainability. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Zero Waste Washington.
Susan Kaspari | Professor, Department of Geological Sciences and Provost Faculty Fellow for Sustainability, Central Washington University
Susan Kaspari has worked on sustainability related projects since she was in high school. Most recently her efforts have focussed on enhancing sustainability at Central Washington University (CWU) and in the Greater Ellensburg, WA community. Susan teaches in the Environmental Studies program, mentors students completing projects through CWU's Sustainability Certificate, and teaches a course called Campus Sustainability. She is currently working to expand sustainability in the curriculum at CWU, and is developing a new Sustainability Living Learning Community.
Kathleen Klaniecki | Sustainability Coordinator, Central Washington University
Kathleen is Central Washington University's Sustainability Coordinator. She joined CWU in January 2020 and is tasked with fostering a culture of sustainability and developing a sustainability action plan to guide campus efforts. Kathleen holds a PhD in Sustainability Science, a MSc in Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and has experience advancing sustainability initiatives at institutions of higher education, municipalities, and K-12 schools. Kathleen is passionate about behavior change for sustainability, the UN SDGs as a uniting framework, sustainability innovation labs, and cross-sectoral collaboration and partnerships.
Kaarin Knudson | Founding Director, Better Housing Together / Principal and Partner, Larco Knudson/ Design Studio Instructor, University of Oregon
Kaarin Knudson, AIA, is an architect, urban designer, educator, and organizational leader with more than 20 years' experience working to advance sustainable design, equity, and community-led solutions. She is principal and partner of Larco Knudson Sustainable Urban Design and founding director of Better Housing Together, a multi-sector housing advocacy organization created in 2017. In the decade prior, Kaarin led award-winning urban design, planning, and architectural projects in Oregon, and her work has been honored by the American Institute of Architects at the urban, campus, building, and interior scales. ▾
Most recently, Kaarin has advocated for and advised on the implementation of Oregon's landmark laws to eliminate exclusionary zoning and re-legalize traditional housing types. She authored Lane County's first Affordable Housing Action Plan in 2020 and helped to negotiate the creation of Eugene's first Affordable Housing Trust Fund in 2018. Since 2008, Kaarin has taught advanced design studio and urban design in the University of Oregon's Architecture and Planning departments, and she speaks at regional and national conferences on sustainability, housing policy, community change, and community engagement. She is co-author of The Sustainable Urban Design Handbook, which will be published under Routledge in 2022.
Irena Lambrou | Professor, Whatcom Community College
Irena has been facilitating courses in Sustainability at Whatcom Community College since 2016, and is currently the Sustainability Program Coordinator. Her graduate work in Anthropology looked at the food waste stream and opened the door to thinking critically about sustainable practices and waste reduction.
Andrew Lemberg | Resource Conservation Manager, Community Colleges of Spokane
Andrew Lemberg is the Community Colleges of Spokane Resource Conservation Manager. He focuses on providing the District extensive cost-benefit analyses on utility costs, greenhouse gas emission reductions and process improvement. He is also a strong advocate for cleaner and greener campuses that in turn help to build resiliency against the complications climate change brings. Andrew also acts as a liaison between Facilities, faculty and students in finding creative solutions to sustainably and energy management.
Robert Lupton | Chair, Information Technology and Administrative Management Department, Central Washington University
Dr. Robert A. Lupton is a professor of Retail Management Technology and Department Chair of the Information Technology Management Department at Central Washington University. His industry experience includes work with Honeywell, Inc. and Warner-Lambert Company. He has taught business and worked in Central Europe, Europe and throughout the United States. His research areas include International Business, Retail Technology, IT Agile Leadership, Social Media Feedback Loops and music digital downloads.
Serving as a sustainability liaison to communities around western Washington, Lindsey connects public needs, knowledge, and ideas with faculty and student energy and expertise. She also teaches Western's Campus Sustainability Planning Studio and Sustainability Literacy I, and assists in advancing Curriculum for the Bioregion. Lindsey is passionate about supporting students and faculty in engaging in community-based sustainability work and service toward positive change in their communities. She holds a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan, and has been working in sustainability in higher education for ten years. Her research has focused on leadership for sustainability, and sustainable food initiatives in higher education.
Maiya Martinez | Spokane Tribe, Earth Ambassador, United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY)
Maiya Martinez is a twenty-year-old member of the Spokane Tribe in Northeastern Washington. She is a 3rd year student at Fort Lewis College studying Cellular and Molecular Biology and minoring ins Psychology. She aspires to get into medical and specialize in Family Medicine with the intent to return to her reservation. She is a dog mom and enjoys playing sports and outdoor adventures. She is passionate about supporting and helping dating and domestic abuse survivors as well as spreading awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. ▾
She currently serves as one of the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Boards Youth Delegates representing the 43 federally recognized tribes in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Together they developed social media initiatives addressing depression, anxiety, suicide, dating violence and other difficult topics that effect Native youth. She also worked with WE R Native to bring awareness to build coping skills and decision making to empower our youth. In addition, she serves as an Earth Ambassador for the United Nation Indian Tribal Youth community. This opportunity is to help implement positive environmental changes and learn how to make a positive impact. These positions have given Maiya experiences and growth to help build our Native youth. She strives to be a resource and advocate to our youth to seek out opportunities as well as continue their education in all forms. Lemlmts (Thank You)
Jenny McNamara | Campus Sustainability Director, Portland State University
Jenny is the Campus Sustainability Director for Portland State University, a role she's been in for over 8 years. She has a long background in campus sustainability planning. Before joining PSU, she was the Sustainability Manager at the University of North Carolina Greensboro where she facilitated broad-spectrum programming and cross campus collaboration. Prior to that, she worked at North Carolina State University where she helped conduct and write the first sustainability assessment for that university. Jenny has also served as an independent environmental consultant in both technical and educational capacities.
Eloise Navarro | Student Climate Organizer, University of Oregon
Eloise Navarro is a third-year student at the University of Oregon studying International Studies (with a concentration in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution) and Romance Language and pursuing minors in Environmental Studies and Latin American Studies. She is a campaign coordinator for Climate Justice League's Fossil Free UO Campaign and an Environmental Justice Fellow with UO's Emerging Leadership Program. In addition to campus organizing, she is involved in community organizations such as Fossil Free Eugene and the Lane Climate Equity and Resilience Task Force. Eloise is passionate about the intersection of environmental justice, culture, language, and community-building.
Aaron Olsen | Landscape Planning Associate, University of Oregon
Aaron Olsen is a Landscape Planning Associate at the University of Oregon devoted to making meaningful contributions to the campus environment. The Oregon campus is an extraordinary place and Olsen is a strong advocate for high quality open spaces which support the mission of the university and provide for a memorable campus experience. Prior to joining the university, he worked as a Landscape Architect consultant for over 13 years on a wide variety of projects with a focus on education, parks and recreation, and athletics, which afforded him many opportunities to create places where people live, work, and play.
Jazmine Patten | Environmental Intern II, King County Solid Waste Division
Jazmine Patten works with King County in the Recycling and Environmental Services Section. She provides support to the Green Schools program, Green Building efforts, and is leading a project partnership between the Solid Waste Division and a non-profit organization to provide young adults with environmental education and training in South King County. She is a fourth-year student at Seattle University, majoring in Environmental Science, with minors in Biology and Data Science. She is interested in water quality and management issues, and how equity and social justice play a role in the future of water resource management.
Makerusa "Mak" Porotesano, M.Ed | Multicultural Center Coordinator, Portland Community College - Sylvania Campus
Makerusa Porotesano is a higher education professional and a Council of Elder Member for youth-led grassroots network 350 Pacific Climate Warriors as the diaspora representative. As a second-generation American Samoan, Mak spent most of his childhood in the United States and has organized & Programmed for climate and social justice for over a decade. He has strong roots in his Pacific Islander heritage and founded the Pacific Islander Student Alliance (PISA) in 2007, which celebrates its 15th anniversary and 10th PISA Conference this coming April. Mak remembers his time living in American Samoa where experienced the constant threat of a storm each year. He fights for climate change and wants to give his daughter, Matafele-Peinam, a chance to return home to Samoa and the Marshall Islands without the fear of their home submerging. In 2021, Mak was part of the Pacific Delegation at COP26 in Glasgow, UK.
Susan Rivera, Ph.D. | Information Technology and Administrative Management, Central Washington University Dr. Sue Rivera is a knowledgeable science and technology manager with more than 20 years of experience in sustainable product development and team-building across diverse skill sets. She has worked in academic, industry, government, international policy, and non-profit sectors. Rivera currently teaches applied IT sustainability, IT management and sustainability decision-making courses. Her current interests are in cross-sectoral collaboration and partnerships that enhance sustainable IT and circular management of electronics.
Briar Schoon | Sustainability Manager, Portland Community College
Briar Schoon (she/her) is the college's Sustainability Manager, with the focus of mainstreaming sustainability throughout all college practices district-wide. She has taught sustainability courses at PCC and sat on the Board of Directors for the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network for seven years. She holds a Master's Degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University, as well as a B.A. in Sustainability and a B.S. in Justice Studies. She received her LEED Green Associate and Master Gardener certification in 2016. Briar has represented the college at the local, national and international-level, including at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany. Prior to her role as the Sustainability Manager, she worked as the Sustainability Analyst for PCC, completing the college's greenhouse gas inventories and STARS reports. She likes to spend her free time crafting, gardening, and playing with her kitty.
Nataleigh Steffens | Senior Student, Cascadia College
Hailing from the Windy City (Chicago), Nataleigh moved to Seattle in the Spring of 2012. The draw of the greenery, fresh salty air, and snow-capped mountains lured her in. She's incredibly passionate about biology and sustainability, which is what brought her to Cascadia College in Bothell, Washington, to pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Sustainable Practices. Nataleigh is graduating in the Spring of 2022. Until then, she will be busy working on her Senior Capstone Project which is creating a business proposal for potential investors for an Ecocentric, off-grid, sustainable homesteading community cooperative and retreat center. Leveraging what she has learned in the BAASP program and her professional experience of over 20 combined years of business management, facilities maintenance, and business operations. to create her Senior Capstone Project. When not working hard on her Senior Capstone Project or working full time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, and camping. Also loves making home-cooked vegan dishes to share with others.
Monica J. Stenzel | Director of Sustainability Center, History Instructor, Spokane Falls Community College
Monica Stenzel is a historian and the founding director of the new Sustainability Center at Spokane Falls Community College. She has advanced degrees in history and musicology, and researches historical models of sustainability, material culture, and witchcraft.
Sarah Stoeckl, PhD | Director, Office of Sustainability, University of Oregon
Sarah Stoeckl, PhD, is program manager in the Office of Sustainability at the University of Oregon. Her work at the UO focuses on campus and community outreach, including support for sustainability in research, curriculum, co-curricular activities and student programming, and community engagements. She also supports the office's communications strategy and content creation that tells the university's sustainability story, and development of sustainability policy and plans. Before starting this position in 2018, she worked in technology and education. Sarah earned her PhD in literature from the UO in 2012.
After earning a degree in environmental science and working in OSU's Government Relations office, Brandon helped create the Sustainability Officer position in 2005. His primary duties include setting OSU's strategic sustainability direction; tracking and reporting institutional progress toward sustainability; fostering student, academic and community engagement; and scoping, funding and implementing infrastructure projects. Brandon chairs OSU's Transportation Committee and Sustainability Advisory Council, and volunteers extensively with several government and community organizations. In 2010, Brandon was recognized by 1000 Friends of Oregon as one of the state's 35 Innovators Under 35.
Joao Vilca Soto | CEO, Ruta Verde
Joao, a Native Peruvian of Incan descent, is the founder and CEO of Ruta Verde, a non-profit organization that works on sustainable projects in Washington State and in Peru. Ruta Verde started as a capstone project while Joao was a student at Cascadia College studying Sustainable Practices. Apart from his college education, Joao has worked in the field doing research in environments like the Amazon rainforest, Iceland, and worked with various organizations throughout the western United States. Today, Joao helps to lead Ruta Verde in its mission to help create a more sustainable world, focusing on strengthening Indigenous communities; while also helping lead the Sustainability and Indigenous Employee Groups at BECU.
Watson Whitford | Chippewa Cree Nations, Earth Ambassador, United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY)
Watson Warren Whitford "Wahpahnahtahk" (Morning Star) is the son of Dustin and Winter Whitford and is from the Diné (Navajo) and Chippewa Cree Nations. Watson lives on the Rocky Boy Reservation and attends the Navajo Preparatory School as a Junior (Grade 11) in Farmington, New Mexico. Watson is an Earth Ambassador for the UNITY Native youth organization and is working on environmental friendly projects. Watson uses indigenous ways of thinking when coming up with projects for the environment. Watson uses both his indigenous ways of thinking and Western way of thinking in his everyday life. He wants to balance both of those ways of education and encourages many other indigenous youth to do the same.
Ruthie Yow | Service Learning & Partnerships Specialist, Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ruthie Yow joined the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain in 2017. In her role as Service Learning and Partnerships Specialist, her work focuses on deepening the capacity of faculty and students to understand and act on equity as central to the creation of sustainable communities. Specifically, she supports course, program, and project development around themes such as social innovation and community engagement. She is a graduate of the inaugural Transformation Alliance Academy which trained participants to organize stakeholders around equitable transit-oriented development. Before coming to Serve-Learn-Sustain, her research and teaching focused on equity and justice at the intersection of race, power, and education in the American South.Her book, Students of the Dream: Resegregation in a Southern City, documents the erosion of educational opportunity in metro Atlanta schools and how to address that deepening crisis; it was published by Harvard University Press in 2017 and won the 2019 Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize. Her volunteer work around equity includes service as the Secretary of the Board of Marietta YELLS (Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading, and Serving) and volunteer activities with Common Good Atlanta. Ruthie has a PhD in American Studies and African American Studies from Yale University.
Steve Abercrombie | Faculty Coordinator, South Seattle College
Steve Abercrombie the Faculty Coordinator for the Sustainable Building Science Technology Bachelor of Applied Science program and the MOET Multi-Occupation in Engineering & Technology Accelerated Associate Degree Program at South Seattle College. Steve is an educator and consultant with a focus on technology and sustainability in building design, construction and operations. Steve's passion is working with adult learners to grow their skillsets to help develop the sustainable workforce of the future. Steve has more than fifteen years' experience working on sustainable building projects worldwide as a consultant and commissioning agent including commercial office, retail, hospitality, and multifamily. Steve has consulted on hundreds of buildings, and served as a third-party LEED Reviewer for the US Green Building Council for hundreds more. ▾
Prior to becoming the Faculty Coordinator Steve previously served as a project manager for the Smart Buildings Center where he was responsible for a range of areas including strategy, management, analysis, and relationships across several state and federal government agencies. Steve has been a consultant for almost a decade, working in Fortune 500, government agencies, real estate developers and REITs, and non-profits to organize and lead complicated programs to successful outcomes. Steve is a former regional Vice President of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild. Prior to working in sustainable buildings, Steve has a background in technology and environmental informatics. When not immersed in sustainability he is often hiking, mountain biking, or skiing, with his family in the mountains of western Washington.
Andy Clinch, AIA, LEED AP® BD+C | Principal, Perkins&Will
Andy is a Principal with 20 years of experience with a focus on higher education and science and technology projects. He has extensive experience leading complex projects of all sizes and types through programming, design and construction administration. His leadership and management skills aid in guiding a successful. An accredited LEED AP® Building Design + Construction Professional, Andy has extensively brought notable higher education and science and technology buildings to life in Seattle and Washington state, building upon previous work leading the construction of science and technology-centered designs through the midwestern United States and even internationally.
Mark Deschenes | Detailing Operations Manager, PMP at McKinstry
Mark Deschenes brings over 30 years of military service and engineering to McKinstry’s Manufacturing Division as the Detailing Operations Manager. With strategic detail planning and implementation, Mark and his diverse group of 60+ detailers across the PNW address the affordability crisis in the construction industry by delivering better resource management and accelerating the incorporation of new, potentially more sustainable and clean energy building technologies. Detailing allows for the coordination of a constructable building model in virtual 3D. This facilitates refined estimating, purchasing strategies, build planning, prefabrication opportunities and material handling resulting in reduced waste, increase safety and quicker, more efficient installation. Much like the broader skilled labor market, there is high demand for these critical skills and detailing is always looking for individuals motivated to take their skills to a higher level. Besides mentoring, Mark enjoys his time with his family and is a fitness-outdoor recreation enthusiast.
Rick Hermanson | CEO, Hermanson Company
Rick Hermanson started his career at Hermanson Company as a 4th-year sheet metal apprentice and is currently the company's CEO. He has lead the Hermanson for the last 23 years through its transition from a leading HVAC Contractor to its current position as one of the region's largest and most respected Mechanical Contractors, employing upwards of 700 union craft workers and non-union staff. Hermanson offers full mechanical, design-build /assist preconstruction & design engineering, construction, specialty metal, and service/maintenance capabilities for premiere healthcare, education, tech campus, public works, and commercial development clients across Oregon and Washington. ▾
Hermanson Company was started in 1979, by Rick's father, Jerry Hermanson, who is credited as a visionary and early industry adopter of plasma metal pattern cutting technology. Jerry is now putting his visionary effort into supporting workforce development through the Hermanson Sustainable Building Science Technology Center at South Seattle Community College. The Bachelor of Science program trains industry professionals the smart building technology skills needed to maintain optimal occupant comfort and energy savings. Rick continues his father's legacy, and this summer piloted a six-week-long career exploration program for high school students interested in apprenticeship opportunities in the building trades.
Devin Kleiner, AIA, LEED AP®BD+C | Senior Project Architect, Associate Principal, Perkins&Will
Devin is an Associate Principal and leads the Sustainable Design Initiative for the Seattle office. He has worked on numerous sustainable projects, receiving awards including the AIA COTE Top 10 Award, AIA Seattle Energy in Design Award, AIA Washington Civic Design Awards, the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), and the Living Building Challenge competition. In addition to leading the "Living Design Team," Devin is involved in numerous community organizations outside of the office including the Seattle 2030 District. He has also led community training workshops including the "Integrated Design Process" for developers, contractors, city officials, and design professionals.
Brad Liljequist | Director of Zero Carbon Solutions
Brad Liljequist is Director of Zero Carbon Solutions at McKinstry, where he leads deep carbonization of existing buildings for public and institutional clients. He managed the zero energy and carbon elements for the Catalyst project, and many other zero energy/carbon projects for McKinstry. Previously, he directed the energy, carbon and community programs for the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), where he created the first international Zero Carbon building certification. He developed the first certified multifamily Zero Energy project in the United States, zHome, as well as Issaquah Fire Station 72, winner of the national ASHRAE Technology award. Brad is the author of The Power of Zero: Learning from the World’s Leading Zero Energy Buildings. His work has been covered by The New York Times, the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, national NPR, The Seattle Times, Engineering News Record, Architectural Review, GreenBiz, and many other media. He was educated at Georgetown University, the University of St. Andrews, the University of Washington Evans School, and Seattle Central College.
Sarah Moore | Director of Engineering, PE
Sarah Moore brings 18 years of experience to her role as Director of Engineering at McKinstry – a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings. Her experience as a project manager and design lead in consulting, prime and integrated deliver projects brings perspective and thought-leadership tuned to discovering collaborative solutions to complex issues. She seeks intelligent win-win solutions that serve the needs of each customer while leading toward a sustainable, equitable, and healthy future.
Ashley Ruiz | National Director of Corporate Social Impact
Ashley Ruiz serves as the national Director of Corporate Social Impact at McKinstry – a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings. Ashley is responsible for all corporate initiatives focused around social and environmental responsibility. Ashley oversees community partnerships and philanthropic giving; diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy and programs; and sustainability and carbon reduction initiatives for McKinstry. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women’s Studies and International Studies from the University of Denver, a Master of Science in Project and Program Management from Brandeis University, a certificate in Strategic Social Responsibility from Pepperdine, and is an accredited Project Management Professional (PMP). A lifelong advocate and activist for sustainability and social justice, Ashley is deeply passionate about engaging the corporate sector in driving impactful and positive change. In her personal time, Ashley loves to travel, learn new skills, read, work on house projects, and spend time in nature with her dog.
LeAnn Vargo Scalzo | Higher Education Senior Account Executive, Energy Services
LeAnn Vargo Scalzo leads McKinstry’s efforts to save energy, reduce carbon/greenhouse gases and deliver efficiency and sustainability in the built environment for higher education clients in Western Washington – a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings.. Since arriving at McKinstry’s Seattle office in 2017, she brings over 20 years of experience in providing innovative energy and sustainability solutions on local, national, international and research projects and stresses the importance to create customer-focused solutions. She is passionate about the health of the built environment and creating customer focused strategies towards climate solutions while advancing the learning environment. With her expertise in integrated energy and carbon-neutral solutions, she works to utilize energy related grants and funding to make a holistic impact toward lasting utility and operational savings. ▾
LeAnn earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Idaho and completed her graduate studies in Environmental Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Outside of McKinstry, she serves on various committees to promote climate solutions, STEM and EDI programs, and cancer awareness support organizations. Advisory Board roles includes Washington State University Carson College of Business National Board of Advisors and International Committee; and other Clean Energy related associations.
Deborah Sigler | Program Coordinator, UW Center for Integrated Design
Deborah Sigler, is a Program Coordinator at the UW Center for Integrated Design. In this role, Deborah has spent over 8 years leading 10s of thousands of visitors - public, professional, local and international individuals - through the Bullitt Center, a model for true sustainability. She knows firsthand the impact touring the Bullitt Center has, stating "showcasing a building that's designed and operates like a living organism, harnessing all the energy it needs from the sun, using only the water that falls on its roof, producing no waste, and using locally sourced materials that are toxic free, is transformative."
Maria Spiliotopoulou | Manager, Student Learning and Leadership, SFU Sustainability, Simon Fraser University
Maria Spiliotopoulou is the Manager of Student Learning and Leadership at SFU’s Sustainability Office. She grew up in a small island in Greece, obtained several degrees in Greek and in French universities, and graduated with her Ph.D. at SFU's School of Resource and Environmental Management in 2021. Her research and practice aim to help communities increase and maximize the performance of all their assets and shift urban development to a logic of reducing extraction and regenerating urban resources. Maria has also taught in SFU’s Sustainable Development Program and has extensive work experience as an environmental consultant in Europe. In her current role, Maria advances the education, preparation, and development of the next generation of sustainability leaders and changemakers, and promotes the integration of sustainability across the full spectrum of curriculum and co-curriculum.
Rebecca Walker | Sustainability Manager, Southern Oregon University
Becs Walker moved to Ashland from Scotland in 2019 and took up the position of Sustainability Manager at Southern Oregon University. Prior to SOU and her move to the United States, Becs was Head of Waste and Materials at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. She spent 15 years at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency managing teams implementing regulations across Scotland and working closely with the Scottish Government on ground breaking climate change policy and circular economy policy. Becs also helps run a new non profit, Rogue To Go; serves on Ashland’s Conservation and Climate Outreach Commission; and Mt Ashland’s Environment and Sustainability Committee. Becs is an avid mountain biker and enjoys skiing, running and being outdoors.