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Accelerating Transition to EVs
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Keynote: Joan Fitzgerald

“Given the failure of nations to engage the climate crisis at the speed that physics demands, we’re going to need to rely on city governments for a lot of heavy lifting. Joan Fitzgerald shows precisely how to harvest beyond the low-hanging fruit: this is a smart book, filled with enough detail to help any planner, and enough vision to inspire any citizen.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human

Game Begun to Play Itself Out? and founder of


Accelerating the Transition to EVs


Michael Peters Sway Mobility

Michael Peters is the CEO and co-founder of Sway Mobility where he partners with cities, non-profits, and real estate developers on electric vehicle carshare networks.  He is a board member of the Electric Auto Association, Drive Electric Northeast Ohio, and the Northeast Ohio Local Leadership Team for USGBC Ohio.


Dr. Shelley Francis 
EVNoire Mobility Intelligence Consulting Group

Dr. Shelley Francis is a public health executive, entrepreneur and transportation disruptor. She is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of EVNoire Mobility Intelligence Consulting Group (EVNoire) and EVHybridNoire. She is passionate about educating a wider community about the health, financial and other benefits of clean transportation and EVs.


Dominic Matthew Fund for Our Economic Future

Dominic Mathew is an architect-planner addressing mobility and job-access challenges in Northeast Ohio with an economic development collaborative, the Fund for Our Economic Future. He manages an open mobility competition, the Paradox Prize, investing $1 million in pilots that are solving the spatial mismatch in the region.


Linda Arbogast City of Oberlin

Linda Arbogast is the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Oberlin. She oversees the development and implementation of the city’s Climate Action Plan, which is supported through a Strategic Reserve Fund. In this role she championed the Oberlin EV Carshare program.


Andrew Conley Clean Fuels Ohio

Andrew Conley is Chief Program Officer of Clean Fuels Ohio, responsible for services and programs that serve fleet stakeholders. This includes fleet analysis and planning, securing incentive funding, infrastructure development, training, and education. He also directs Ohio Green Fleets, a program that evaluates, assists and certifies fleets based on sustainability metrics.

Good Food Belongs to the People

Good Food Belongs to the People of Greater Cincinnati


Julie Shifman Last Mile Food Rescue

Julie is committed to our Cincinnati community both professionally and as a volunteer leader. She is the Executive Director of Last Mile, which she co-founded with Tom Fernandez, and was previously the Executive Director of Adopt A Class. In her volunteer capacity, she served as the Chair of the Board of Talbert House and as a board member of the YWCA, the American Jewish Committee, United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Ballet Company. She also created and led CINCYinNYC, a collaboration of Cincinnati’s major arts groups performing together one week in NYC. 


Moxie John Last Mile Food Rescue

Moxie is the Dispatch Manager at Last Mile Food Rescue. Moxie’s passion lies in building capacity to provide equitable opportunities and access to all communities. She has a background in non-profit work with Teach For America & The Freestore Foodbank. Moxie leverages her passion for equity and her background in food insecurity and non-profit operations as the Food Dispatcher for Last Mile.


Kai Stoudemire-Williams Naturally Homegrown

Kai is the founder of Naturally Homegrown Co. She is a Cincinnati transplant and graduate from the University of Cincinnati. She's intentional about living her life more abundantly and using her gifts to serve others! Her current motto is "Simplify."


Thomas Federl Castellini Company

Thomas works in the Executive Office at Castellini Company. Through partnership between Last Mile and Castellini, over 84,000 pounds of fresh produce have been rescued and delivered to local non-profits since October. Thomas’ dedication to improving the food rescue process has been instrumental in growing the food rescue movement in Cincinnati.

Communties of Fait as Seedbeds
Our Health Our Buildings Connected

Communities of Faith as Seedbeds of Transformation

Pat Timm Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church 

Dr. Pat Timm is a civic leader and nonprofit consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1982 Pat has been a faith leader at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church where she convenes the Earth Care Leadership Team. The Team is leading their congregation in Green Faith, Green Learning, Green Living, and Green Justice. During her career as a Public Policy Mediator and Consensus Facilitator, Pat was the Director of the Ohio River Way, the Licking River Greenway, the Metropolitan Growth Alliance, and the Hamilton County Environmental Priorities Project. The Green Umbrella was founded by HCEPP. Pat lives in the Madisonville community of Cincinnati where she has served on the boards of the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation and the John P. Parker Local School Decision-Making Committee.

Rev. Stacey Midge Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church

The Rev. Stacey Midge serves as the Pastor and Head of Staff of Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has been an ordained minister since 2003 when she earned her Master of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary. She preaches, teaches, and writes on practical theology, community engagement, and the collective work of justice as a spiritual practice. In her free time she's a hobby musician, food and drink nerd, hockey fan, and loves hiking, kayaking, and swimming with her lively black Lab, Valkyrie.  

John E. Hancock Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church

John E. Hancock taught architectural history, theory, and design at the University of Cincinnati from 1978 to 2017. His essays on architectural interpretation have been published internationally; his media productions on ancient architecture (especially Ohio’s earthworks) have been honored widely; his former students have assumed leadership positions in architectural practice and education throughout the world. Since the early 2000s, he has co-designed two LEED-Platinum buildings -- the Fernald Preserve Visitors Center, and his and his wife’s own home, supporting a carbon-neutral way of life.

Eric Burgman Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church

Eric Burgmann, retired as licensed professional aerospace engineer after a 40-year career at GE Aviation.  Working in advanced technology, preliminary design and computer aided engineering to optimize complex multivariate aircraft/engine integrated designs.  In the last 30 years, in various capacities, he has supervised the maintenance and renovations of Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, a historic urban church first build in 1869. 

Our Health, Our Buildings - Connected

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Elizabeth Rojas Green Umbrella

As Director of the Cincinnati 2030 District, an initiative of Green Umbrella, Elizabeth is responsible for leading the District in in reducing its energy, water, and transportation related emissions 50% by 2030. In addition, she oversees the first 2030 District-wide healthy building model to be launched in Cincinnati. Elizabeth brings a wealth of experience to this role, including more than 25 years in the building design and construction realm. She spent more than a decade as a design director for a national engineering/architectural firm. More recently, she was founder and president of Rojas Design. She has been a Board member with BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association). As an early adopter of sustainability and healthy building strategies, she became LEED Accredited in 2004, is NCIDQ certified, and a former co-chair of the AIA Committee on the Environment. Elizabeth enjoys energizing thought leaders to help coalesce around sustainability strategies.


Yasha Ogg Emersion Design

Yasha Ogg is an interior designer, speaker, and advocate for healthy and sustainable building design, both interior, and exterior. He leads the movement to improve health and well-being in buildings and communities worldwide. Using his expertise in WELL, Fitwel, LEED, and Living Building, along with industry research, Yasha strives to create healthy, productive environments for building occupants through the design of sustainable human-centric spaces. With a background in higher education campuses, laboratory facilities, multi-family housing, and medical office buildings, Yasha understands that the well-being of employees directly impacts the bottom line of businesses.


Dr. Lauren Bartoszek The Health Collaborative

Dr. Lauren Bartoszek is the Manager of Population Health Strategies at The Health Collaborative. She works with the Generation Health (Gen-H) team on the regions health agenda utilizing the Community Health Needs Assessment data to drive policy, systems, and environmental strategies addressing health equity through a collaborative approach. In her time with THC she has been involved in other ongoing projects with Gen-H including addressing food insecurity in a partnership with Green Umbrella’s Food Policy Council and transportation in partnership with the Council on Aging. Prior to her work at THC, she was an Assistant Professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she taught undergraduates in the Health Promotion program and helped start the Health Education National Honorary Chapter Eta Sigma Gamma. Dr. Bartoszek holds a PhD in Health Education from the University of Cincinnati, is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), and has published over 10 peer-reviewed papers on topics including substance abuse prevention and adolescent health. She and her husband also became parents to a little girl, Beatrice, in April of 2020.

Dr. Lauren Bartoszek is the Manager of Population Health Strategies at The Health Collaborative. She works with the Generation Health (Gen-H) team on the regions health agenda utilizing the Community Health Needs Assessment data to drive policy, systems, and environmental strategies addressing health equity through a collaborative approach. In her time with THC she has been involved in other ongoing projects with Gen-H including addressing food insecurity in a partnership with Green Umbrella’s Food Policy Council and transportation in partnership with the Council on Aging. Prior to her work at THC, she was an Assistant Professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she taught undergraduates in the Health Promotion program and helped start the Health Education National Honorary Chapter Eta Sigma Gamma. Dr. Bartoszek holds a PhD in Health Education from the University of Cincinnati, is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), and has published over 10 peer-reviewed papers on topics including substance abuse prevention and adolescent health. She and her husband also became parents to a little girl, Beatrice, in April of 2020.


Anton Harfmann UC DAAP

Anton Harfmann is a licensed architect and builder who teaches Building Information Modeling, construction/structures, and studio courses in both Architecture and Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He was the lead faculty member for the University’s participation in the 2007 Solar Decathlon competition and has taught net-zero design studios on several occasions since. His research interests include net-zero architectural design as well as Building Information Modeling (BIM) at the component level and he has published many papers on this approach since the early 1990s. He is an early adopter of computing in practice and education and was recognized by Apple who inducted him into the Apple Distinguished Educator program in 2004. His commitment to teaching has also been recognized by the American Institute of Architects who named him one of the top ten educators in architecture in 2009. Currently, Professor Harfmann is the Director of Technology and Facilities in the College of DAAP and is the Program Director of the Architectural Engineering degree program that is jointly delivered by the colleges of DAAP and CEAS at the University of Cincinnati.

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Dawn Schwartzman Enriching Spaces

Dawn Schwartzman provides leadership and strategic management for Enriching Spaces, a nationwide provider of contract furnishings, interior design, project management, and installation services.  Enriching Spaces partners with the most respected global leaders in developing sustainable human-centered solutions, including Herman Miller, OFS Brands, and Interface Flooring. Her interests include the study of environmental psychology, sustainable native landscaping, WELL Building, Biomimicry, Biophilia, Feng Shui, Vastu, Sacred Geometry, and other forms of Nature Inspired Design.

Partnerin to Create Climate Safe hoods

Partnering to Create Climate Safe Neighborhoods

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Tionna Jordan Groundwork ORV

Tionna is a Junior at Mount Saint Joseph University and is pursuing a degree in Biology. She has a history in Water Quality and is a certified level 2 water analyst by the Ohio EPA. Tionna is very interested in change in communities as she is a part of South Cumminsville’s board- she is passionate about the health of our communities now and in the future. 


Savannah Sullivan Green Umbrella

Savannah Sullivan is the Climate Policy Lead at Green Umbrella, where she is launching and leading the organization's policy work with local governments. Previously she was the Climate and Community Resilience Analyst for the City of Cincinnati, where she led climate, equity, and community engagement efforts. Savannah also worked with Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute, Rural Action, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, US EPA, and City of Oberlin to lead sustainability programs in urban-to-rural and local-to-international settings. She is a proud alum of Public Allies Cincinnati and AmeriCorps VISTA-Ohio. She received her Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science in Environmental Science from Indiana University's O'Neill School for Public and Environmental Affairs, and Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College.


Ollie Kroner City of Cincinnati

Oliver Kroner is the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Cincinnati. His work focuses on climate science and urban policy, including energy, transportation, waste, and food systems. He leads collaboration of government and community partners to advance and track the sustainability, equity, and resilience strategies of the Green Cincinnati Plan.

He is a published researcher, and has presented at over 100 conferences, events, and keynotes, including the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, ICLEI World Congress, National League of Cities, Project Drawdown, International Congress on Sustainability Science & Engineering, GreenBuild, and more. He has served on numerous non-profit boards focused on sustainability and community development, including the Green Partnership for Greater Cincinnati, Mill Creek Alliance, Cincinnati 2030 District Working Group, Northside Community Council (President), Fuel Cincinnati, and PAR Projects. He is a graduate of Miami University and Northeastern University, and a proud AmeriCorps alum.


Marisha Davis LPH Community Council

Marisha Davis has been a resident of Lower Price Hill for 5 years, becoming integrated into the community. She is a member of the Neighborhood Action team, the Community Matters Board, the Neighborhood Alliance Team, and the Yourstore Collective. As Marisha has gotten older, she has been developing her communication skills so that she can speak for Lower Price Hill on issues that she has seen going on in the city for years. Her goal is to learn and understand how lower income communities are perceived so that she can give the city the gift of words that, as a community, Lower Price Hill will take care themselves. 

The Case forthe Green Innovation

The Case for the Green Innovation Ecosystem in the Midwest


Pete Blackshaw Cintrifuse

Pete Blackshaw is CEO of Cintrifuse, a syndicate “fund of funds” and startup incubator created by P&G, Kroger, Western & Southern and other major entities in the Greater Cincinnati region. He’s dedicated to developing a world-class innovation ecosystem to fuel economic growth, local attractiveness, jobs and big company innovation. He recently served as VP of Digital Innovation and Service Models, and earlier Global Head of Digital Marketing. & Social Media, at Nestle, S.A.s global headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. Pete pioneered Nestle’s industry-recognized Digital Acceleration Team (DAT), the Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost (SVIO). 


Antony Seppi HCDC Business Center

Antony Seppi is Director of the Hamilton County Business Center (a Top 10 Business Incubator) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is responsible for coaching, strategy, partnership, programming, operations, and outreach within the "startupcincy" community. Prior to that he was co-founder of an award winning incubator and water-tech accelerator program in Hamilton, OH. His background is in urban planning, specializing in economic development, small business, and collaborating across multiple organizations to leverage the assets of communities to transform them into places where small businesses thrive and grow.


Irina Filippova Electrada

Irina is a Chief Operating Officer of Electrada, a clean mobility company focused on delivering turnkey electric vehicle charging solutions across the region in both public and private sectors. Irina has been an advocate for sustainability since launching BP’s high-profile Helios House in Los Angeles in 2007. She brings more than 20 years of experience driving transformational change in the energy sector across corporate and entrepreneurial settings as a strategic and operational leader.


Naashom Marx CVG Airport

Naashom Marx is Senior Manager of Strategic Innovation at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), a top 10 cargo airport in North America and Skytrax’s Best Regional Airport in North America for 2020. Her innovation role focuses on four pillars: Clean, Transport, Secure and Connect. In this role, she helps lead change at the airport, working with colleagues and business partners to reinvent the airport experience.


Oleg Kaganovich Cintrifuse Syndicate Fund

Oleg Kaganovich is a founder, operator, startup advisor and former investor with DFJ Frontier, DFJ Aurora, SUN Microsystem’s strategic investment group, and sustainability-focused merchant bank Black Emerald Capital. He has built businesses and teams in the U.S., Asia, and Saudi Arabia, where he was the founding Director of the seed fund and national entrepreneurship center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Prior to this, Oleg was the founding CEO of the Sacramento Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA), where he built an economic development startup & innovation hub to help entrepreneurs in California’s undercapitalized Central Valley grow their businesses.  When not working with founders, Oleg can be found neck-deep in studying Python for data science, learning to play bass guitar, as well as experimenting with sous vide cooking.


Emily Williams Michelman

Emily is the Global Growth Platform Leader, Circular Economy in the Printing and Packaging group at Michelman – a Cincinnati, OH-headquartered global manufacturer of specialty waterborne coatings and additives for a wide range of packaging applications. Michelman has a 70 year history of producing solutions for Circular Economy applications. Emily began her career as a product development engineer for functional paper coatings and in her current role helps Michelman refine their strategic focus on sustainable solutions in packaging. Michelman participates in a selection of related organizations to keep tabs on changes in the market and in global regulations that impact the industry such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Emily specifically is an active member of the ASTM committee for compostable plastics, the standards committee for the Biodegradable Plastics Institute; as well as both the Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastic Recovery Group of the Food Service Packaging Institute. In 2022 Emily will be the chair of the Coating & Graphics Art committee within TAPPI. Her expertise is in the development and testing of compostable coatings for packaging applications on which she has been a conference presenter numerous times and has participated in multiple panels on a number of other topics that pertain to sustainable packaging.

Heating & Cooling

Community Solar, District Heating and Cooling Systems


Chuck Lohre Contemporary Arts Center

In 2003, my lifelong interest in architecture was rekindled after purchasing the Frank Lloyd Wright home in Clifton. Just five years later, I studied and received LEED AP credentials and have taught green and sustainable construction courses with Cincinnati State College and Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy. Green Cincinnati is a sustainable marketing and services brand I founded in 2009 (our office earned LEED Platinum in 2011). In addition to leading tours of local green buildings for the benefit of the general public, I actively volunteer with the Ohio Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council promoting Cincinnati LEED-certified homes by way of home tours, and also serve on the board of the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition which produces Earth Day at Summit Park. 

In October 2018 I joined the CAC board to help with the building and organization’s sustainability efforts. These efforts began with the USGBC’s ARC Carbon Footprint Measuring System followed by progress toward achieving LEED Certification. I joined the CAC Facility Committee this year to help with the maintenance and architectural preservation of the Zaha Hadid designed building at 6th and Walnut Sts. We are currently reviewing the “Walk-Through Energy Audit” 2030 District did March 15. Our 2030 District goal of cutting our energy use in half by 2030 is very challenging but can be achieved with energy and humidity recovery systems. Going Zero-carbon will require transitioning to renewable electric energy district heating and cooling systems.

I'm also a glider pilot and member of the Caesar Creek Soaring Club. My wife, Janet Groeber, and I now live in Clifton at The Windings (yes, we're the home with the solar array). If I ever really retire, I hope to practice falconry again.


Tim Heinemann CoolCo

Tim Heineman is the General Manager of CoolCo, the district chilled water system in Cincinnati, Ohio where he oversees energy production and distribution as well as system operation and maintenance. He joined CoolCo in 2010 and has helped grow the system while maintaining a 99.999% reliability rate and improving overall system efficiency. Tim has 33 years of experience in the power plant and chiller business. He started his career with Cryogenic in the US Navy and continued at Hillshire Farm Power Plant, Pepsi Bottling company, and Baerlocher Chemical processing plant. Tim has a BS in business from Indiana Wesleyan University. He is a certified project manager and a licensed stationary engineer in the state of Ohio and the city of Los Angeles, CA.


Jeremy Chapman Melink

Jeremy Chapman has 20 years of Business Development experience, with 14 years in the solar PV/clean energy space.  Jeremy holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration, with a major in Marketing and a minor in International Business. 

Currently, Jeremy is developing over 200 MW worth of solar PV and solar + storage projects, with a number of the projects being Community Solar projects. The project locations include Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. Jeremy’s focus during the development cycle is to secure sites through lease/purchase options, help usher the projects through the electric utility interconnection process, secure non-ministerial permits and on some of the projects, find the energy offtakers.


Stephen Hamstra is a registered professional engineer, an AEE Fellow & Certified GeoExchange Designer/CGD, an ASHRAE High Performance Building Design Professional and he also serves as the Chair of ASHRAE’s Technical Committee TC 6.8 Geothermal Heat Pumps and Energy Recovery Applications.

Steve grew up in an HVAC-contractor family and obtained his mechanical engineering degree from Michigan State University and has been active in the application and engineering of earth-coupled HVAC and energy recovery systems for 40+ years, designing systems from 2 to 1,000+ tons in the USA and Globally.  He has served as Director of Engineer for two AE firms, the largest having more than 200 professionals on staff.
Steve has been active in the development of new technology for the design and control of geothermal heat pump applications and is currently the lead engineer on a DOE-funded research project at Melink Solar & Geo that is focused on reducing the first cost of geothermal heat pump applications.  

In addition to his work at Melink, Steve is a member of The GreyEdge Group, a collection of very experienced geothermal practitioners that also have a depth of experience in the design and optimization of Thermal Districts.    

Steve Hamstra Melink

Building Green Collar Ecomony

Tomorrow Transformed: How to Build an Authentic Sustainability Brand


Susan Heinking Pepper Construction

A licensed architect and LEED Fellow, Susan has more than 15 years of experience designing and managing sustainability programs and initiatives within the built environment. In addition to leading all of Pepper's sustainable projects in progress, she is expanding the company's sustainability efforts to fully embrace the High Performance aspects of both building performance and human performance. Her vision includes enhancing existing efforts with energy modeling, ROI analysis and local utility incentives as well as building on Pepper's "Nothing Hits the Floor" program and promoting the use of healthy materials.


Susan designed and led the implementation of Pepper's Net Zero jobsite trailer, which was unveiled at Greenbuild 2018 and is now transforming the construction industry. Susan also led the development of Pepper's Building Performance Tool application, which combines best practices from architecture, construction and the bio-sciences to analyze the ROI of design and constructability approaches within seconds.


An active advocate for sustainability in the Chicago area and other regional markets, Susan's many initiatives include Chicago's Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, the AIA2030 Chicago Working Group, co-chairing Chicago's AIA COTE knowledge group, participating in RETROFIT Chicago and working with the Chicago Biomimicry Group. In addition, she served multiple terms on the USGBC Illinois Board of Directors and currently is serving on the Associated General Contractors of America Environmental Steering Committee.


Susan holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon and is an active presenter at multiple national sustainable conventions.

Tomorrow Transformed

At Fifth Third, Elevated Sustainable Design = Design for People


Daniel Lessing BHDP Architecture

Daniel Lessing, LEED AP BD+C, CEM, is a Client Leader on the Workplace team at BHDP Architecture. He has over 17 years of experience in plant and environmental engineering, project planning, and construction management. As a global-minded professional, he is well versed in the creation of highly technical and sustainable buildings. Daniel is an experienced sustainability leader who leads the 2030 Energy Impact Team with Green Umbrella and Cincinnati 2030 District, the regional sustainability alliance of Greater Cincinnati.


Jeremy Faust Fifth Third Bank

Jeremy Faust brings a passion for sustainability and wellness to his role as Environmental Sustainability Leader with Fifth Third Bank. He leads Fifth Third’s efforts to implement a set of environmental sustainability goals and works to infuse sustainability into the Bank’s internal culture. Jeremy is highly skilled in sustainable business, energy finance, and governmental affairs, and he helped launch Solarize Cincinnati, Energize Kentucky, and the Cincinnati 2030 District.

at 5/3

Planting the Seeds of Tomorrow: Utilizing Public/Private Partnerships to Revitalize Vacant Lots


Brandon Saurber City of Hamilton, OH

Brandon Saurber is the Director of Neighborhoods at the City of Hamilton, Ohio. In this role, he supports neighborhood organizing efforts through the 17 Strong neighborhoods advisory board. Saurber also oversees Hamilton’s 311 resident service request system and public communications efforts. 


A proud, lifelong, seventh-generation Hamiltonian, Saurber received his B.A. from Miami University in Oxford and his M.A. from Antioch University in Yellow Springs. Saurber has worked for the City of Hamilton since early 2011 in a variety of roles. He currently resides in Hamilton's German Village with his wife and two children. 


Jeff Gambrell Butler County Connect

An avid environmentalist, Jeff Gambrell has years of experience in volunteering and educating others on topics regarding conservation. While serving three consecutive terms on the City of Hamilton’s Ordinance Review Commission from 2017 - 2020, he spear-headed legislation that lifted a ban on beekeeping in an effort to address the global crisis of Colony Collapse Disorder. As a certified Environmental Educator, he has consulted with local organizations on native habitat restoration and actively promotes sustainable living as a Co-Moderator for “Go Green Hamilton”, a Facebook page supporting environmental change within the City of Hamilton. Jeff currently serves on leadership boards for community organizations including Hamilton Young People Empowered (HYPE) and Renewing the North End From Within (RENEW). He is a seasoned journalist for Butler County Connect covering community news such as his most recent project of restoring a 9,000 sq ft vacant lot into a Pollinator Park. 


Alfred Hall City of Hamilton, OH

Since Alfred’s return to his hometown of Hamilton, OH in 2009 he has actively served on numerous committees and boards committed to making the city of Hamilton, Ohio a better place to live, learn, work and play.

Mr. Hall has received numerous awards for the contributions he has made to Hamilton including: a Hamilton City Council proclamation for his efforts in revitalizing the Hamilton Historic Farmers Market, community partner awards from both Butler Technological Institute and Miami University Regionals, and most recently was awarded the Hamilton Volunteer of the Year Award.

Since 2012, as a co-founder of the non-profit 501c3 Hamilton Urban Garden Systems (HUGS) Organization, he has been growing, processing, and distributing organic locally grown food; educating the citizens of Butler County on the health benefits of a sustainable Local Food System; providing community garden plots to Hamilton City residents; and donating fresh produce to local Food Pantries and Community Meal Centers.


After retiring from the HUGS Organization in 2020 he began growing organic produce for New Life Mission (NLM), a local community meal center and food pantry.  In the Spring of this year, he will expand the produce garden at NLM and co-lead a Public Private Partnership initiative that is installing a 9,000 square foot pollinator garden on City owned vacant lots on South 4th Street in Hamilton, Ohio.

Mr. Hall is a certified square foot gardener, a practicing urban farmer and a much sought-after guest speaker at gardening, and arts and cultural events throughout Butler County, Ohio.


Before returning home to Hamilton, he spent three years in the US Army, eight years doing management consulting throughout North America, Mexico, and Europe, and retired from a thirty-year career as a Quality Assurance Director at various Fortune 50 High Tech Electronics and Military Industrial Manufacturing Companies.


Felix Russo New Life Mission

Felix Russo and his wife Kim have both worked in inner-city ministry for over 10 years.  He has served as Director/Pastor of New Life Mission in Hamilton, Ohio since 2016.  New Life Mission serves over 100 daily hot meals, provides groceries to 20-50 families daily and assists with resources to individuals impacted by poverty in Butler County Ohio.    

Planting the Seeds of Tomorrow

Growing Local Knowledge and Social Ties through Sustainable Stormwater Management: Partnerships in Design and Planning

Janet Broughton-Murray Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners

Cincinnati-based landscape architect Janet Broughton-Murray’s practice revolves around the optimization of a space to meet the complex needs of urban environments—with particular attention to delivering environmental services concurrent with diverse human experiences. With a background in soil science, Janet is a champion for evidence-based design solutions and the power of design to support native ecologies. She has led the Starr Whitehouse team on large-scale, interdisciplinary efforts such as The Battery Playscape, a new state-of-the-art ecological play area for children in Lower Manhattan, and Hoboken's Southwest Park, the first "resilience park" in the State of New Jersey.

Jacob Lange Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners

Director of Starr Whitehouse's Atlanta Office, landscape architect Jacob Lange has over a decade of design and project management experience on a range of public park, multi-family residential, and mixed-use waterfront development projects. Under Jacob’s direction, Starr Whitehouse has begun work on two of the City of Atlanta’s Green Infrastructure Design Challenge projects, integrating stormwater management facilities into model resilient spaces that act as educational and economic engines for underserved communities. Jacob also leads the implementation of a new riverfront park for the City of Roswell, GA that will extend native habitat, reinforce shoreline resilience, and expand waterfront access along the Chattahoochee River.

Michael Haggerty Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners

Architectural designer and planner Michael Haggerty is a Senior Associate and Director of Urban Design and Planning at Starr Whitehouse, where he leads design and planning projects related to parks, housing, waterfronts, and resilience. Recently, Michael led the Starr Whitehouse consultant team on NYC Parks's A Vision for a Resilient East Harlem. A climate resilience plan for two miles of waterfront areas in upper Manhattan, the plan combines coastal and upland resilience solutions with interventions designed to strengthen the social bonds critical to a community's recovery from natural disaster. Michael is currently implementing portions of the plan as part of the NYC Economic Development Corporation's extension of the Harlem River Greenway.

Stephen Whitehouse Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners

Founding Partner Stephen Whitehouse is a landscape architect and urban planner whose diverse pursuits share a concern for the environmental quality and social vitality of places. He formerly served as Chief of Planning for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, where he managed the expansion of the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows and launched the City’s Greenway system. Since co-founding Starr Whitehouse with Laura Starr, he has worked with public and private clients to create dynamic urban districts and engaging landscapes that connect people to nature. Stephen led Starr Whitehouse's consultant team on the design and implementation of Hoboken's Southwest Park, the first "resilience park" in the State of New Jersey and a key phase of implementation in New Jersey's Rebuild By Design strategy.

Growing Local Knowledge

Sustainable Zoning/Legalize Sustainable Housing for Growth


Nolan Nicaise ZoneCo

Driven by a mission to address the great challenge of environmental justice, Nolan Nicaise serves as the Urban and Environmental Planner at ZoneCo, a Cincinnati-based land use zoning firm.  Prior to ZoneCo, Nolan contributed to this mission as an environmental scientist for Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, and Parsons Corporation; an environmental programs administrator for the Tufts Institute of the Environment; and a planner at Planning and Development Services of Kenton County.   He holds a BS in Biology from the University of Dayton and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.


Mark Samaan Legalize Housing

Mark Samaan is a community planner working in transit and housing.  Raised in Cincinnati, he is passionate about creating cities that are livable for all people and addressing the root causes of urban issues.  Mark received his Master’s Degree in Community Planning and a certificate in GIS from UC’s DAAP and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Tufts University and has worked in Cincinnati planning since then.


Nick Keeling Legalize Housing

Nick Keeling is a professional urban planner, performing artist and hobbyist. He contributes to a cooperatively run Instagram account, Legalize Housing, which promotes conversations around missing middle housing in Cincinnati and beyond. He also runs 52bump on Instagram, which combines photos of Cincinnati neighborhoods with music. Nick serves his neighborhood as a board member on the West Price Hill Community Council.


Jonathan Rosenbloom Vermont Law School

Jonathan Rosenbloom has been a Professor of Law at Vermont Law School (VLS) since 2020 and was the Dwight D. Opperman Distinguished Professor of Law at Drake University Law School. He is the author of numerous articles on local sustainability, author of the book Remarkable Cities and the Fight Against Climate Change: 43 Recommendations to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and the Communities That Adopted Them, co-author of two textbooks Resilience & Sustainability: From Theory to Practice (Aspen 2018) and Land Use and Sustainable Development Law: Cases and Materials (9th ed. West 2017), and co-editor of Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons (Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group 2018) and Beyond Zero-Sum Environmentalism (ELI 2019). He received his Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design, JD from New York Law School, and LLM from Harvard Law School.

Sustainable Zoning

All Hands On Deck: How Local Governments Build Regional Resilience


Savannah Sullivan Green Umbrella

Savannah Sullivan is the Climate Policy Lead at Green Umbrella, where she is launching and leading the organization's policy work with local governments. Previously she was the Climate and Community Resilience Analyst for the City of Cincinnati, where she led climate, equity, and community engagement efforts. Savannah also worked with Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute, Rural Action, ACS Green Chemistry Institute, US EPA, and City of Oberlin to lead sustainability programs in urban-to-rural and local-to-international settings. She is a proud alum of Public Allies Cincinnati and AmeriCorps VISTA-Ohio. She received her Master of Public Affairs and Master of Science in Environmental Science from Indiana University's O'Neill School for Public and Environmental Affairs, and Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College.


Tom Carroll Village of Silverton

Tom Carroll is an experienced city manager with 25 years of experience in public sector management. His career includes managing economic development, public utilities, budgeting, construction management, private development regulation, policy analysis, labor negotiations, housing, intergovernmental relations, and citizen engagement. 

Mr. Carroll is most comfortable operating at the intersections of complex legal, financial, political, intergovernmental, and interpersonal challenges. He uses an interdisciplinary approach to tackle organizational and community issues. The organizations he has managed have won awards for innovation, citizen engagement, intergovernmental cooperation, and benchmarking. Tom was also one of four inaugural ICMA research fellows, studying how challenged Midwestern inner-ring suburbs can reverse depopulation, disinvestment, and general decline.  

Prior to becoming Silverton, Ohio’s Village Manager, Tom served in various local government positions in Loveland, Ohio; Savannah, Georgia; Laramie, Wyoming; and Longmont, Colorado. Mr. Carroll earned his master’s degrees in sociology and public affairs from Indiana University.  He is an alumnus of the University of Virginia where he earned his degree in history. In his free time, Tom works wood, reads history, and swims for distance.  


Andrea Webster 

Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute

Andrea Webster is the implementation manager at Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute. She works closely with Indiana mayors, county officials, and their staff to guide local climate action. Andrea has developed and launched several resources for Indiana’s local governments, including the Environmental Resilience Institute Toolkit (ERIT) – an online platform designed for Midwestern communities, the Hoosier Resilience Index – a tool that helps local governments in Indiana evaluate their community's preparedness for climate risks, and the Resilience Cohort – a program that has supported the completion of 16 community-wide greenhouse gas inventories and 11 local climate action plans. From 2013 to 2017, Andrea worked for Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Sustainability, where she implemented carbon reduction projects in the City’s sustainability plan. She received a Master of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.


Rhonda Ritzi Kenton County Parks & Recreation

Rhonda Ritzi is the Recreation Programs Coordinator at Kenton County Parks and Recreation. For the past 5 years, Rhonda has planned and implemented high-quality, diverse recreational programs, while enhancing her community by building partnerships throughout Northern Kentucky. Rhonda is the Chair of Reforest NKY, which hosts an event that is responsible for planting thousands of trees in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties, while providing public education and awareness about the importance of trees in our region. Rhonda's passion for recreation can be traced back to Girl Scouts, having over 30 years of experience in outdoor programming, membership recruitment, leadership training and project management. Rhonda graduated from Morehead State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation with a minor in Health. She is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Park Association. She is a board member with the Kenton Conservancy and the Northern Kentucky Urban & Community Forestry Council.


Geoff Milz Colerain Township

Geoff Milz is a navigator and community builder trained in urban planning and economic development.  He is passionate about the development and execution of innovative policies and projects that make places better for people.  Driven by a desire to forge new pathways in the provision of service by local government he aspires to serve as thought leader, innovator and passionate cheerleader for creating and maintaining special places.  He currently serves as the Township Administrator for Colerain Township, Hamilton County’s second-largest community.

Prior professional experience includes service to Colerain Township as the Planning Director and as the Assistant Township Administrator.  He has served the City of Covington as the City’s Development Manager and in Cayuga County, New York as Senior Planner.  He serves on a number of volunteer boards including the American Planning Association’s Ohio Chapter Board of Trustees, Colerain Township Chamber of Commerce, Colerain Township Community Improvement Corporation, OKI Regional Council of Governments, Urban Land Institute, Hamilton County Communications Center Board of Advisors, and Hamilton County Community Development Advisory Commission.

Geoff is happily married with three young children and Sojourner the dog.


Sheila Fields City of Covington

Sheila Fields is the Solid Waste Coordinator for the City of Covington. She manages the franchised waste and recycling collection services between the City of Covington and Rumpke. She works to improve and develop a waste system that promotes and maintains a high level of public health and safety, and which protects the natural and human environment of the City of Covington, Ky. Sheila’s focus areas are waste stream reduction, recycling, and landfill diversion and she educates the public about proper waste and recycling management and enforces sanitation and health ordinances. 

All Hans on Deck

Creative Solutions for Community Solar in Ohio


Cathy Cowan Becker Simply Living

Cathy Cowan Becker chairs the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 in Columbus and Ohio. So far almost 200 cities, including Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Lakewood in Ohio, have committed to 100% renewable energy. In addition, Columbus and Grove City recently enacted Community Choice Aggregation for 100% renewable energy. Cathy leads the statewide campaign supporting Ready for 100 efforts in Dayton, Toledo, and more. She is a trained Climate Reality leader (Iowa 2015, Denver 2017, Atlanta 2019), works with the Sunrise Movement, and started the Columbus chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. In her professional life, Cathy has a 25-year career in journalism, communications, and public relations. She recently earned a master’s in public administration and environment and natural resources from The Ohio State University.


Samuel Dickerson II, M.A. BC Block Club

Sam Dickerson is a member of the BC Block Club, a resident-owned community solar project in the Hough community in Cleveland. As a Cleveland native, Sam is a reflection of the resiliency and dedication of that great city. He is a passionate community servant with the ability to motivate and inspire individuals to maximize their awareness and fulfill their highest purpose in life. He takes pride in engaging in a grassroots approach to community building. Sam has made a lifelong commitment to service based on personal and professional experiences. With this personal mission to give, he has promoted significant, positive change for developing individuals to uplift their communities through advocacy, empowered by compassion. He is persistent through strife based on a strong foundation built on educational values -- a voice to the voiceless and a beacon of hope to the hopeless.


David Dwyer American Renewable

After 25 years in the construction industry as a designer/builder, David Dwyer entered the renewable energy field in 2003, training in solar electric, solar thermal, and geothermal technologies. Dwyer was the AEE Chicago Energy Executive of the Year in 2009. Dwyer is a LEED AP, NABCEP certified PV Professional, Licensed Commercial General Contractor, Electrician and Electrical Contractor in Ohio and Illinois. Dwyer has completed Geothermal, CHP and Solar Thermal and Solar PV projects of utility, commercial and residential scale. From 2010 to 2019, Dwyer has been leading large scale solar power projects for villages and school districts in Ohio, with over 25 MW of installed capacity across the state. With Csejtey, Dwyer was instrumental in achieving the SEPA Utility of the Year award for the Minster project, and the nationally acclaimed IREC Innovation Award, both in 2016.


Tristan Rader Solar United Neighbors

Tristan Rader is the program director of Solar United Neighbors of Ohio, a nonprofit focused on rebuilding our energy system with rooftop solar as a cornerstone. He also serves on Lakewood City Council, leading the city's efforts to a sustainable future.


Jonathan Welle Cleveland Owns

Jonathan Welle (he / him) is an organizer at Cleveland Owns, a nonprofit that incubates cooperative enterprises to grow a humane, democratic economy. Two of those enterprises, The Cleveland Solar Cooperative and The BC, promote energy democracy through community ownership of solar arrays. Jonathan grew up in the Cleveland suburbs and in 2015 boomeranged back to the city, where he now lives with his partner.

Creative Solutions for Solar
Accelerating Regional Climate Action

Building the Green Collar Economy through Education & Inclusion


Geoff Greenfield Third Sun Solar

Geoff is a clean-tech entrepreneur that uses the power of business as a force for good. He is the CEO of B-Corp Third Sun Solar, an award-winning solar installation firm serving commercial, institutional, government and residential clients throughout the Midwest that he founded in 2000. He also founded New Resource Solutions, a solar financing software company that accelerates transactions while reducing cost. He hosts the weekly podcast Solar For All, focused on the intersection of clean energy and social

justice and inclusion issues. He is a member-owner and former board member of the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a $750 million member-owned procurement group of values driven solar installation companies. In 2003 Greenfield became a NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional, and has served on the NABCEP Board of Directors since 2012. Geoff graduated from Miami University (BA Political Science) and Ohio University (Masters in International Affairs) and served in the Peace Corps constructing water projects in Congo/Zaire Africa. Prior to his solar career Geoff developed affordable housing for a regional non-profit. Geoff lives in a net-zero solar home with his wife and business partner Michelle, and is the proud father of two young men.

Accelerating Regional Climate Action through Public/Private Partnership


Zach McGuire Clean Technology Solutions, Columbus Partnership

A Columbus Native, Zach McGuire managed electric vehicle and smart mobility adoption for the Smart Columbus program. In this prior role, he was responsible for reaching bold electrification goals by engaging OEMs, local dealers, policymakers and corporate partners across the EV consumer journey.


In Zach’s current role at the Columbus Partnership, he has led the development and creation of Smart Columbus Energy, a clean energy advisory for Central Ohio organizations. Zach is responsible for the strategy and growth of solution offerings to clients, along with primary business development that generates new opportunities for the organization.


Zach also leads regional clean energy market development where he works with clean energy developers, economic developers, regional leaders and policy makers to grow the clean energy industry. Zach focuses on creating lasting and impactful relationships with regional and national partners to accelerate the clean energy transition in Central Ohio.


Jenna Tipaldi Climate Advisor, City of Columbus

Jenna Tipaldi is the Climate Advisor for the City of Columbus through the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. After joining the Climate Challenge in early 2019, she worked diligently with City staff to pass Ohio’s first benchmarking and transparency policy in the City of Columbus. She is passionate about advancing equitable climate policy that improves our environment and brings the benefits to those impacted first and worst by climate change.

Art and Artists Accelerating Change


Robert Alan Wight Christ College of Nursing

R. Alan Wight, Ph.D., is on faculty at The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences, where he runs their Service Learning Program and leads the Mt. Auburn Gardens Initiative & Collaborative (MAGIC).  He is also the School and Community Forest Garden Liaison for the University of Cincinnati, and teaches Fruit and Nut Production for Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.  He works with schools and communities to create maps of their food related assets and plant edible forest gardens.  Alan’s maps have been featured in Tracing the Ground and are available through The Central Ohio River Valley Food Guide. His current project, Edible City: An Art Atlas, showcases Cincinnati’s food over the past, present, and future. Curated exhibitions include: Huxy: Modes of Masculinity, Acquisition: Art & Capital, and Edible City – An Art Atlas as part of Camp Street Corner.  Email:


Arynn McCandles Cincinnati Museum Center

Arynn McCandless blends art and science in her work creating enriching and inspiring experiences at Cincinnati Museum Center. As Manager of Labs & Makerspaces, Arynn manages an imagination-fueled creative play lab, a STEM Lab, and National Science Foundation-funded work that explores food as a gateway for STEM Learning. In addition, Arynn is deeply involved in the community, including as an artist and contributor to The Edible City project. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and Art Education from the University of Cincinnati.


Prince Lang Walnut Hills Community

My name is Prince Lang, and I am an artist. I live in the beautiful city of Cincinnati and serve the Walnut Hill's Community. I am a person of faith and this year God spoke to me about well-being. What we put into our body is a major part of becoming well, specifically food. Miraculously, while on this journey, I had the opportunity to help in community gardens managed by Walnut Hill Redevelopment Foundation. This opportunity led to another opportunity to help manage and co-create a garden that hadn't been utilized for two years. Artswave supported the idea with capital to bring along partners like Green Living by Design, La Soup, and a neighboring middle school Christian academy. We are currently in the process of making it beautiful and usable. For me the most powerful thing is to bring creatively everywhere I go. I love to design the world around me to be a better place for all people and especially for African Americans.  This spring and summer, I plan to connect people to the sacred land of the earth, help the elderly reclaim their health, and discover the art of growing food with the youth. 


Calcagno Cullen Wave Pool Arts Center

Calcagno Cullen is a social practice artist, arts educator, and curator. She is founder and Executive Director of Wave Pool Arts Center, a gallery, studio space, and socially-engaged arts activator in Cincinnati, United States, and the co-founder of The Welcome Project, a social-enterprise and makerspace for and by Cincinnati’s refugees and immigrants. She has previously worked in the education department of SFMOMA, the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, California and was the Director of Adobe Books Backroom Gallery in San Francisco. She is a member of the women’s art collective The FemFour, and collaboratively organizes the traveling exhibition and catalog of Women’s March posters entitled ‘Still They Persist.’ She has also curated and organized a multitude of exhibitions including ‘Dial Collect’ in 2013 at SOMArts in San Francisco, ‘Social Medium’ at Wave Pool, a segment of ‘Bay Area NOW 7’ at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Survival Adaptations at Adobe Books Backroom Gallery. She has been artist in residence at The Center for Great Neighborhoods in Covington, KY, Lo Studio dei Nipoti in Calabria, Italy, Teple Misto in Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine, and in Sardegna, Italy. Her work has been shown in shows throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her personal mission is to “create empathy and social change through contemporary art”.

Art and Artists
Youth Advocacy Students

Youth Advocacy Now: Students Sparking Sustainability


Zach Newton Eco Earth Friends

Zach co-founded Eco Earth Friends as a sustainability research project in 2017.
Since then he has had an opportunity to educate hundreds of youth about environmental issues
including water pollution, food insecurity, and clean energy. Zach has also advocated before city and county councils and one-on-one with legislators.


Levi Grimm JEE Foods

Levi Grimm is a high school senior working in both the food rescue and food pantry scenes. Growing up in a rural farming community, Levi understands the value of food and doesn't want it to go to waste. With a passion for changing the view of food,  Levi became the assistant director of JEE Foods, a student-powered food rescue organization in Hamilton, Ohio. JEE Foods is striving to end both hunger and poverty while reducing food waste and encouraging systemic sustainability. Under Levi's leadership, JEE Foods has implemented multiple community sustainability projects and distributed over three million pounds of food.


Gus LaValle JEE Foods

Gus LaValle is currently a high school sophomore and a member of the Marketing Department at JEE Foods. Gus is deeply dedicated to his volunteer position at JEE Foods, despite only being a member for a little over a year. By living in a food desert such as his extremely rural hometown in Ohio, Mr. LaValle is able to witness firsthand the effects of food insecurity, while also being exposed to viable opportunities to amend these obstacles of food scarcity and waste through his work with JEE Foods. It has become a personal passion of his to make a long-lasting difference in his community, and through JEE Foods, Mr. LaValle has found an outlet that allows him to volunteer his time to really make the world a better place, one piece of food at a time.


Mallika Shah The Tomorrow Project

Mallika Shah is a high school senior from Seattle, WA and is the National Outreach Co-Director for The Tomorrow Project. As an advocate for sustainable habits and education, she and the outreach team host national environmental workshops, collaborate with environmental leaders, write articles for local newspapers, and more. Through The Tomorrow Project, she has learned the value each person has on the environment, and hopes to continue sharing actionable steps that everyone can take to ultimately lead to a more sustainable future!


Alie McDougal The Tomorrow Project

My name is Alie and I am a high school junior from Washington state. I am a Senior Director at the Tomorrow Project - a national, youth-led nonprofit working to inspire sustainable habits in future generations through environmental education and experiential learning.


Jack Galloway Youth Climate Action Coalition

Jack Galloway is a Senior at Del Oro High School near Sacramento, California. He enjoys fishing, biking, and exploring the outdoors. An avid traveler, he has been to all 50 states, experiencing the vast beauties in the United States. Jack has seen firsthand the effects of climate change on places he has grown up in: creeks drying up, destructive wildfires, and harmful air pollution. He is excited to push for change through YCAC.

Using Existing Data to Make Smart Investments

Using Existing Data to Make Smart Investments


Gregory Raffio Go Sustainable Energy

Greg oversees business development and client relations for Go Sustainable Energy. His energy engineering experience enables him to more effectively work with current and prospective clients to develop technically and economically feasible solutions to their needs. Greg manages Go’s Strategic Energy Management projects, helping clients navigate both the technical and non-technical ways of interacting with the complex world of energy and energy efficiency. As a project team member, Greg most regularly participates in commissioning, energy simulation, energy auditing, and portfolio-scale utility data analysis projects. He received his BS (2005) and MS (2007) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton.


Chris Wagner Go Sustainable Energy

Chris is an engineer that conducts industrial and commercial energy audits, performs utility measurement & verification, and is a team member on commissioning projects. His experience in analyzing industrial systems and controls is an asset both on site and back at the office when performing complicated data analysis of achieved or potential energy savings. Chris spent a few years performing energy audits in the manufacturing sector, focusing on compressed air, ammonia refrigeration, HVAC, lighting, process heating, and process cooling for around 50 customers. During this time, he also completed “Compressed Air Challenge” Level 2 training. Chris graduated from University of Dayton in 2015 and 2017 with his BS and MS in mechanical engineering with a focus in Renewable and Clean Energy.


Peter Kleinhenz Go Sustainable Energy

Peter is one of Go Sustainable Energy’s industrial energy specialists with extensive experience in HVAC, compressed air, process cooling, and heating systems. He is technical lead for commissioning and energy auditing services, having audited or commissioned hundreds of industrial and commercial sites. He is also skilled in energy simulation, measurement & verification (M&V), utility data regression, and performing custom tool creation for complex projects. Peter has instructed numerous trainings on energy auditing and M&V techniques. Peter received his Bachelor’s (2006) and Master’s (2008) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton (UD) and is a Professional Engineer.

Creating a Climate Friendly Place with Citizen Science Informed Design

Creating a Climate Friendly Place with Citizen Science Informed Design


Dana Boll Keep Norwood Cool

Dana Boll is a graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and the Cincinnati Leadership Institute. She is a designer, life-long environmentalist and creative director of learning materials, spaces, wayfinding and merchandising. She has volunteered with Millcreek Restoration Project and Millcreek Council of Communities on regional watershed projects, as well as volunteering with Taking Root 2020, Woven Oak, the Norwood Tree Board, Women in Aviation International, The LAM Foundation and Over the Rhine Community Housing. Witnessing Norwood's canopy crisis, increased traffic and increasing heat impacts, she chose to focus on projects close to home by removing barriers to communication within nonprofits, city administration and schools. The CCTST’s Cincinnati Leadership Institute was the catalyst for defining Keep Norwood Cool and harnessing an evidence-based approach. For Participatory Mapping to Keep Norwood Cool, Dana acts as project manager and public information professional and enjoys working in a multi-disciplinary team.


Melinda Butsch Kovacic

University of Cincinnati College of Allied Health Sciences

Melinda Butsch Kovacic, MPH, PhD is a Professor and Associate Dean of Research for University of Cincinnati’s College of Allied Health Sciences. In 2011, she partnered with Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, a community center in Cincinnati’s West End to engage residents in citizen science and health programming. The partnership led to development of the institutionally-supported West End Community Research Advisory Board in 2016 and continues today. Currently she has a 5-year NIGMS/ NIH Science Education Program Award led by a 15+ member interdisciplinary academic-community partnership with Seven Hills. The resulting program, We Engage 4 Health, co-creates comic-style stories with community members to engage pre-teens to adults to use citizen science to study and ultimately actively work to improve their health. In 2020, Dr Butsch Kovacic began her partnership with Dana Boll to study heat islands in Norwood via their UC/CCTST Community Health Grant-funded Participatory Mapping to Keep Norwood Cool Study.


Pravin Bhiwapurkar, Ph.D

University of Cincinnati College of Allied Health Sciences

Pravin Bhiwapurkar, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of architecture in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati. His research focuses on the urban heat island (UHI) effect, particularly the role of urban development, which modifies outdoor and indoor thermal environments. Using empirical and simulation methods, his research examines the UHI relationship with outdoor and indoor overheating and building energy needs. His community-engaged research and design work focus on providing evidence to support resident-led changes to mitigate negative environmental impacts and preparedness for extreme heat events.


Patrick Ryan

UC College of Medicine / Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Pat Ryan is a Professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Health at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.  He is the Associate Director for Research in the Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Co-Director of the Clinical & Translational Research Graduate Education Program. His research focuses on the role of indoor and outdoor environmental toxicants on pediatric health, with a specific focus on the impact of air pollutants on respiratory and neurobehavioral development. In addition to the development and application of spatial models of air pollution to study pediatric allergic disease, respiratory development, and neurobehavioral outcomes, his research also includes the use of personal air monitors and health sensors in epidemiologic studies.


Victor Ronis-Tobin, PhD. is a teaching professor, and the interim director of the Xavier Center for Population Health (CPH). He is a clinical health psychologist by training. His research is on development of innovative approaches to health prevention, with emphasis on population level interventions for mental health and youth suicide prevention. His most recent work was to help Hamilton County decision makers identify patterns of COVID-19 vaccine resistance to improve adherence to vaccination, and testing of a COVID-19 symptoms detection smartphone app.

Victor Ronis-Tobin Xavier University

From Soil to Sustenance and Back Again: Regenerative Food Service Sustainability

From Soil to Sustenance and Back Again: Regenerative Food Service Sustainability


Sandra Gross Sleepy Bee Cafe

Sandra Gross is an artist and educator who comes from a family of artists, gardeners and business entrepreneurs. She became aware of the plight of honey bees in 2009 and has never stopped searching for answers. Sleepy Bee is an amalgamation of her passions and history.


Frances Kroner Sleepy Bee Cafe

Frances Kroner is a chef turned restaurateur dedicated to challenging restaurants to do more for the community, the planet and of course, pollinators.


Larry Fradkin Future Enviroassets, LLC

Larry Fradkin, M.S. Environmental Engineering, is President of Future Enviroassets, LLC, and is a national expert/specialist in food waste management and recycling for the food and beverage industry. Mr. Fradkin provides innovative, cost-effective technology solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of major manufacturing/producer facilities. Mr. Fradkin has recently introduced Harp Digesters to the US, an on-site food scrap technology to divert food wastes from the landfill where no practical and economical alternative solution/infrastructure exists.

Recalibrating Our Cities and Suburbs for Tomorrow

Recalibrating Our Cities and Suburbs for Tomorrow


Andy Knight MKSK Studios

Andy Knight, PLA, ASLA is a Principal and Director of the Cincinnati & Louisville Studios of MKSK (a Planning, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture firm with eight studios throughout the Midwest and Mid-South). As a lead design Principal, Andy understands how thought-provoking design adds value to the public realm, and this understanding is incorporated into a team-wide approach toward the design of evocative public space. Andy is acutely entrenched in the design and implementation of each project and emphasizes the importance of detail in realizing great design. His work collectively includes public realm revitalization initiatives, dynamic and productive landscapes, and vibrant public spaces that promote a diversity of social uses and cultural traditions. Andy has developed plans, design guidelines, and built works for cities and neighborhoods including Louisville, Lexington, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Blue Ash, with MKSK. He has also served as teacher in the Landscape Architecture programs at The Ohio State University and the University of Kentucky. Andy is a Licensed Landscape Architect. He has a Master of Landscape Architecture from The Ohio State University and a Bachelors in Landscape Design from the University of



Chris Hermann MKSK Studios

Chris Hermann, AICP is a Principal with MKSK and leads the firm’s planning studio. As a certified city and regional planner with over 28 years of professional practice in both public and private sector projects, Chris has a deep understanding of the complex issues facing communities and successful strategies for addressing them. Highly acclaimed for creating plans that are implemented, Chris is skilled at helping communities create a unique, compelling vision and translating that vision into strategic steps that improve and transform cities and places. Chris has been a collaborator and leader on downtown and district plans, suburban redevelopment, and community-wide plans throughout the region in cities including Columbus, Cincinnati. Cleveland, Toledo, Louisville, Nashville, and Greenville. Chris is a Certified Planner (American Planning Association). He is on the City and Regional Planning Advisory Committee at The Ohio State University Knowlton School of Architecture, and a Board Member of Transit Columbus in Central Ohio. He has a Master of City and Regional Planning from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Political Science from Miami University.


Andrew Overbeck MKSK Studios

Andrew Overbeck, AICP is a Principal at MKSK and leads the Columbus Planning Studio. Andrew takes a collaborative approach to developing effective plans that address complex urban issues and identify catalytic projects. Andrew has completed transformational municipal planning, long-range planning, urban design, streetscape, alternative transportation, urban parks, and campus master plan projects. He has worked in cities throughout the region on downtown plans and public realm improvements with a focus on urban revitalization, sustainability, and connectivity. Matching his strong background in research, writing and graphic design with his ability to facilitate public discussion and discourse, Andrew is able to effectively communicate and build consensus for solutions that enhance and invigorate cities and neighborhoods. Andrew is a Certified Planner (American Planning Association). He has a Master of City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University and a B.A in Politics from Earlham College.


Eric Lucas MKSK Studios

Eric Lucas, PLA, ASLA is a Principal and Director of the Indianapolis and West Lafayette Studios of MKSK. Eric is experienced in all facets of project design, management, and construction on a wide variety of public and private projects. His current work focuses on small-and large-scale urban planning projects across the State of Indiana, including district and neighborhood plans, growth strategy plans, comprehensive plans, downtown plans, and corridor plans. He has also worked on numerous public parks and streetscapes projects throughout the country, many of which integrate green infrastructure best practices. He has managed 30+ college and university planning and capital improvement projects on campuses throughout the U.S. and abroad. Some of his clients include Purdue University, Purdue Research Foundation, the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette, among many other communities and agencies throughout the state of Indiana. Eric is a Registered Landscape Architect. He has a Master of Landscape Architecture from Ball State University and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Purdue University.

Lunchtime Plenary 1

Lunchtime Plenary 1


Sonia Aggarwal Senior Advisor for Climate Policy & Innovation at the White House

Sonia Aggarwal is the Senior Advisor for Climate Policy and Innovation at the White House. Previously, she was a cofounder and the vice president of Energy Innovation. While at Energy Innovation, she acted as founding executive director of the Climate Imperative project; led America’s Power Plan, bringing together 200 electricity policy experts; and directed the team that developed the Energy Policy Simulator to analyze the environmental, economic, and public health impacts of climate and energy policies. Prior, Aggarwal managed global research at ClimateWorks Foundation, where she worked on the McKinsey carbon abatement cost curves and led research for the American Energy Innovation Council. Raised in Ohio, Aggarwal graduated from Haverford College in astronomy and physics, and earned a masters at Stanford University in civil engineering.


Sanya Carley O’Neill Professor, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University

Dr. Sanya Carley is a Paul H. O’Neill Professor and Director of the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) programs at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Dr. Carley has devoted her professional career to researching energy policies that promote low-carbon and efficient solutions, proposing improvements to the design of these policies, and building a case for why justice should be a core objective in energy decision-making. She publishes widely on these topics, and presents them to a variety of audiences, including public officials, policymakers, academics, and practitioners. Her most recent body of work focuses on the justice and equity implications of the energy transition, and the lived experiences of those living on the so-called “frontlines” of the energy transition. As professor and director of the O’Neill MPA program, Dr. Carley also trains the next generation of public affairs and energy professionals and teaches them the analytic skills that will be necessary to work in such a complex professional domain. Dr. Carley has extensive consulting experience with the World Bank, RTI International, and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others. She received her Ph.D. in public policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and bachelor’s degrees in economics and sustainable development from Swarthmore College.


Tom Croft Executive Director, Steel Valley Authority

Thomas Croft is the Executive Director of the Steel Valley Authority, a regional development authority based in Pittsburgh with offices across Pennsylvania. Tom is also Managing Director of Heartland Capital Strategies, a working group of responsible pension investment advocates in the U.S.  He is a national expert on “jobs-oriented” state policies to revitalize the economy and innovative capital strategies.

The SVA’s Strategic Early Warning Network (SEWN), which Mr. Croft originally designed, is considered one of the most effective jobs retention programs in the nation. Tom was lead author of the U.S. Department of Labor Layoff Aversion Guidebook, which provides guidance for states and communities in addressing economic transition and alternatives to job loss. 

Mr. Croft has contributed to a number of nationally-known books, journals, articles and studies on alternative pension investment and the economy.  He most recently co-authored The Responsible Investor Handbook, a featured selection of the Responsible Investor series from Routledge Publishing. 

For more than 30 years, Tom has initiated innovative strategic development projects for the U.S. government, states, cities, labor unions and national foundations, and has testified in Congressional and state hearings and proceedings that have succeeded in the establishment of economic and investment policies including the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).


Cate Mingoya Capacity Building Director, Groundwork USA 

Cate Mingoya serves as Groundwork USA’s Director of Capacity Building. Originally from Queens, New York, Cate earned her B.A. in Biology from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and returned east to teach middle school science at traditional public and charter schools in The Bronx and in Brownsville, Brooklyn. She went on to earn a Master of City Planning from MIT and has served as the Director of Policy and Program Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Division of Public Housing and Rental Assistance. In her current role, Cate provides equitable development technical assistance for those looking to transform brownfields into community assets. Cate also leads Groundwork USA’s Climate Safe Neighborhoods partnership, a five-city partnership, to reduce heat and flooding related risks in neighborhoods with histories of institutional, race-based housing discrimination. She lives with her husband, daughter, and cat in Massachusetts and loves coffee, bike riding, canoe trips, and travel.

plenary 2

Lunchtime Plenary 2


Michael Forrester City of Cincinnati

Michael Forrester is the Director for Cincinnati’s Office of Environment and Sustainability (OES). OES is responsible for the curbside Cincinnati recycling program, brownfield remediation, and the
implementation of the Green Cincinnati Plan (GCP). The GCP is Cincinnati’s road map towards a cleaner and greener future and lays out 80 recommendations to move the City forward. Previously Michael was Cincinnati’s Energy Manager and was responsible for the development of the largest municipality lead solar array in the country that will serve both City government and residents through the Cincinnati electric aggregation program. Before coming to Cincinnati, Michael worked for Ohio’s State Energy Office administering programs for the installation of wind, solar, and anaerobic digesters throughout Ohio. Michael has a master’s degree from Indiana University and an undergraduate from Miami University.


Andy Holzhauser Donovan Energy

Andy Holzhauser is a Partner at Donovan Energy with extensive experience in the private and non-profit sectors as an entrepreneur and at large corporations. In 2009 Andy founded the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance (GCEA) where he served as CEO until July 2016 before joining Donovan Energy.  Donovan Energy is a clean energy project development firm that assists clients with LED lighting upgrades, electric vehicle charging stations, whole-building energy roadmaps and PACE financing. Andy is also a co-founder of Electrada serves as President of the Board of
Green Umbrella and Treasurer of the OTR Foundation and lives in Over- the-Rhine with his wife Janice and 3 children.


Jesse Kharbanda Hoosier Environmental Council

Jesse Kharbanda is the Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana’s largest environmental policy organization. Jesse has spearheaded focusing HEC’s efforts on three key pillars: environmental health & justice, land & water protection, and the sustainable, zero-carbon economy. Jesse has made it a priority of HEC to build bridges with groups that may not have been as engaged with the organization in the past, such as public health organizations, the business community, and faith-based groups. Jesse’s leadership honors include being named to the “Forty Under 40″ list by the Indianapolis Business Journal, being recognized as the sole Indianapolis-based community leader in 2010 named to Delta Omega, the national public health honorary, winning the 2015 Hulman Health Achievement Award for Public Policy Advocacy, and being awarded with an honorary degree by DePauw University.  Jesse has graduate degrees from Oxford University and undergraduate degrees from the University of Chicago.

A Look at How Companies and Universities are Charting a Path to Net Zero

A Look at How Companies and Universities are Charting a Path to Net Zero


Katherine Neebe Duke Energy Foundation

Katherine Neebe serves as vice president of national engagement and strategy and chief  sustainability officer for Duke Energy. She also serves as president of the Duke Energy Foundation.  In these capacities, she leads Duke Energy’s stakeholder engagement efforts to develop solutions  to meet customer needs for continued reliable and affordable energy – while simultaneously  working to achieve the company’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.  

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities  where Duke Energy customers live and work.  


Jack McAneny Procter & Gamble

Jack McAneny, Vice President of Global Sustainability, has been with P&G for 25 years. During that time he has had a variety of assignments in the Health, Safety & Environment and Technical External Relations functions. In his current role, he coordinates P&G’s Environmental Sustainability efforts. Prior to joining P&G, Jack worked for theFederal Occupational Safety & Health Administration as an Industrial Hygiene Compliance Officer.

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Chris Roe Amazon

Dean Jeff Bauer - Headshot January 2019
Sustainability Leadership in Midwestern Schools

Sustainability Leadership in Midwestern Schools


Chad Edwards Emersion DESIGN

There are no more excuses.  The cost associated with sustainable, resilient, and regenerative design is no longer a primary obstacle. Chad is on his 4th decade of debunking the myth that high levels of sustainability must cost more. His research and proven track record in architecture, planning and sustainability consultation has led to regional, national, and global leadership for his clients and the people whom they serve. His more recent work of the past decade is dedicated to healing the world in which we live, including the world’s 1st LEED Platinum and Net Positive Energy police station, the Midwest’s 1st WELL Platinum building, and the Midwest’s 1st LEED Platinum (pending) and Net Positive Energy school. His expertise and active sustainability engagement have led to invitations to speaking with US Congress, instructing other leaders at GreenBuild and the International Education Summit, and leadership roles in the Region’s top sustainability organizations – including the co-creation of Cincinnati 2030 District. Chad, a principal with emersion DESIGN, sets the direction of the firm which is dedicated to a more resilient and regenerative future by Advancing Clients who Advance Society.

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Stephanie Crockett Elevar Design Group

Stephanie Crockett holds a professional degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a certified LEED professional. She works as an architectural designer with Elevar Design Group and also maintains licenses in real estate. She commits her time advocating for equitable design and sustainability by serving on numerous boards and committees throughout Cincinnati.


Christie Boron Emersion DESIGN

65% of our current kindergarteners will have a career that currently does not exist. Designing learning environments that challenge our children be problem solvers, creative thinkers, empathetic humans, and innovative creators will ensure the continued advancement of our society.  This is where Christie’s passion and 25 years of educational facility design experience lies. Christie is a regional leader in utilizing architecture to guide the transformation of learning. She focuses on the mental health of our students and how the built environment helps or hinders positive psychological wellbeing. Through strategic relationships with mental health providers like Linder Center of Hope, Christie has worked side-by-side with clinicians to understand how the nuances of what and how we design our buildings effect the wellness of their inhabitants.  Christie, a principal of emersion DESIGN,  manages complex, multi-phased projects ranging from small renovation projects to $130 million/ 550,000 sf educational facilities. Her emphasis on understanding the clients' mission, education model and culture, as well as their vision, results in long term relationships based on mutual trust and thoughtful communication.

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Ayesha Crockett Chicago Public Schools

Originally from Cincinnati, OH, Ayesha Crockett attended the University of Chicago for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She found a home in Chicago Public Schools as a biology teacher.  Currently, Ayesha is a candidate in the Master in School Leadership program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  Ayesha hopes to further increase youth awareness on the career pathways available in the STEM disciplines.

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Sophie Revis Groundwork Ohio River Valley

Sophie Revis is the Program Manager at Groundwork Ohio River Valley, where she leads the Green Team, a youth employment program that integrates green job training, traditional environmental education, and environmental justice education. She also leads the Climate Safe Neighborhoods partnership, a national initiative that pairs scientific environmental data and historic policies to find neighborhoods that are more vulnerable to climate change and organize those neighborhoods to advocate for resources. Sophie is a recent graduate of the University of Cincinnati Environmental Studies and is a proud alum of AmeriCorps NCCC.

How 2030 Districts and Local Utilities are Leveraging Software to

Reduce Energy Use and Emissions

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Oliver Davis Buildee

Oliver Davis is CEO and Founder of buildee, a software as a service platform that uses data to accelerate commercial energy projects from origination to ongoing measurement. As CEO, Oliver leads all activities from product proof of concept through commercialization, corporate financing, and day to day operations. In addition to private capital financing, Oliver pitched and won over $3 million in competitive government awards including SunShot during the prototyping stage of the company. Over the past four years Oliver has led buildee’s engagement with New York City, several utilities, and implementers and has unique insights on the impact of climate legislation and policy across the United States. Prior to founding and running start-up companies, Oliver held executive product positions at Fortune 100 companies, and was a lead product manager for a successful IPO and two successful exits via acquisition.

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Connie Lillee Detroit 2030 District

Connie Lilley is the Executive Director for the Detroit 2030 District, a free program for building owners & managers that assists with reducing energy and water consumption in commercial buildings and vehicle emissions from transportation. Connie was one of the main forces in bringing a 2030 District to Detroit and has signed on 35 million square feet of commercial space into the program, as well as 40 Community Stakeholders and 40 local businesses which created a comprehensive movement towards a high-performance building district and a carbon-free future for the city of Detroit.

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Kenneth Randazzo has held various engineering and management positions at DTE Energy.  He is currently Manager of its Energy Waste Reduction (EWR) Commercial & Industrial (C&I) Programs and Energy Partnership (EP).  As manager of EWR, Ken oversees all aspects of DTE’s electric and natural gas C&I energy efficiency portfolio.  As manager of EP, he leads four teams of energy managers that assists business customers in developing and implementing their energy efficient plans and projects. He also is responsible for managing DTE Energy’s annual Michigan Energy Conference. He is a Board member of the Detroit 2030 District. 

How 2030 Districts and Local Utilities are Leveraging Software to Reduce Energy Use and Emissions
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