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Steering Committee

Bill McDonnell
Senior Resource Specialist, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD)

Bill McDonnell leads MWD's water conservation efforts in the commercial and industrial sectors and represents MWD in various forums on matters concerning the interrelationships of California's water and energy resources and infrastructure.  He also manages a variety of programs, including MWD's Innovative Conservation Program that awards grants to developers of new water savings appliances and measures.

Bridgett Luther
Bridgett Luther
President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, Inc.

Bridgett Luther works with the Institute to promote the exchange of ideas, innovation and solutions that will grow a new global economy. The Institute works with manufacturers to move their products and practices to a more sustainable, healthy, socially responsible, and economically advantageous approach grounded in the Cradle to Cradle® methodology, principles and values. 

Previously Bridgett has served Governor Schwarzenegger as California’s Director of the Department of Conservation, overseeing a budget of $1.4 billion and 700 employees in 14 offices around California. She directed the oversight of oil, natural gas, mining and geothermal industries, the beverage container recycling and farmland protection programs. Prior to moving to California, she ran land conservation programs and sold real estate. Her first job was as a sales rep for Procter & Gamble. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Business.

Read Bridgett Luther's Advisor Spotlight to learn more about her accomplishments and commitment to sustainability.

Cynthia J. Truelove, Ph.D.
Director/Visiting Scholar, Water-Energy Policy Research Initiative, Program for Water in the West, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

Dr. Truelove leads the Water-Energy Initiative at Stanford University Wood’s Institute for the Environment Water in the West Program. Prior to joining Stanford University, Dr. Truelove was the Senior Water Policy Analyst in the Division of Policy and Planning of the California Public Utilities Commission. She was responsible for building the CPUC’s Water Policy Program across the arenas of water conservation and water use efficiency; the water-energy nexus; water and climate change. She also serves on the State’s Climate Action Team Water and Energy Team, among other initiatives addressing water use efficiency, the economic analysis of water recycling, and regional water resource planning.

Daniel Feitelberg
Daniel Feitelberg
Executive Director, Tax Exempt Capital Markets, J.P. Morgan

Daniel Feitelberg has worked with numerous public sector clients to implement capital credit structures to finance more than $100 billion of government operations, buildings, transportation, energy, water, education and healthcare projects throughout the U.S. In April 2009, he served as a senior banker for nearly $7 billion of Build America Bonds issued by the State of California as part of its General Obligation Bond program.

Mr. Feitelberg also served as a senior banker on the California Department of Water Resources finance team, which supplied a $4.3 billion interim loan and underwrote $11.3 billion of power supply revenue bonds to help California stabilize its energy markets in 2001 and 2002. He was also senior banker on the team that developed the Infrastructure State Revolving Fund Program, which provides low-cost financing to public agencies for local infrastructure projects. Mr. Feitelberg also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Foundation for the Economy and the Environment.

Daniele Horton
Head of Sustainability, Thomas Properties Group

Daniele Horton is the Sustainability Manager for Thomas Properties Group, where she administers the LEED for Existing Buildings (EB) Certification for the firm’s nationwide portfolio of 34 office buildings. Her responsibilities span entitlement, design, construction and operations. A LEED AP with a Professional Certification in Construction Management and a California Real Estate License, she sits on the USGBC-LA Board of Directors and Chairs its LEED-EB Committee. Previously, Ms. Horton worked as an architect and planner in Brazil and the US. She earned her Master's in Sustainable Development from Harvard University and her Bachelor's in Architecture & Urban Planning from Catholic University of Goias in Brazil.

Read Ms. Horton's Advisor Spotlight to learn more about her accomplishments and commitment to sustainability.

Diane Vrkic
President, Waypoint Building Group

Diane Vrkic, President, Waypoint Building Group- Building on over 10 years of experience in the real estate, energy & sustainability and process reengineering sectors, Diane founded Waypoint Building Group as the next generation real estate services firm focused on delivering deep energy efficiency retrofits for commercial buildings.  Most recently, Diane was Global Chief Operating Officer of Energy and Sustainability Services (ESS) at Jones Lang LaSalle.  Prior to ESS, Diane was head of Product Strategy & Practice Development for the firm’s Strategic Consulting business unit.  Diane is currently the sitting Chair of the Department of Energy’s Commercial Real Estate Energy Efficiency Alliance Existing Building.  She is active in advancing investor sustainability principles and is a current member of the Urban Land Institutes Responsible Property Investing Council.  Diane holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.S. in Chemistry and Economics, Summa Cum Laude, from Fordham University.

Dimitris Klapsis
Principal of STUDIO dnk

Dimitris Klapsis,the principal of STUDIO dnk, is a licensed Architect in California and the European Union, aLEED Accredited Professional, and a Certified Green Building Professional.  Mr. Klapsis’ twenty-year plus project experience includes a diverse set of architectural solutions from single-family home additions to large commercial and public buildings. His dedication to sustainable design solutions has been vital to such projects as the Robert Redford Building for the Natural Resources Defense Council, LEED Platinum rated, and the Taylor Yard Parcel “C” Master Plan, a 24-acre mixed-use LEED for Neighborhood Development project in Los Angeles., and the Goodwill of Southern California Sustainability Initiative.  He received his Master's degree in architecture from the University of Southern California. Dimitris is a director of the board for USGBC – Los Angeles Chapter.

Gary Gero
Gary Gero
President, California Climate Action Reserve

Gary Gero ensures that the Reserve meets the highest standards for integrity, transparency and quality. He leads the organization’s efforts to support local government greenhouse gas emission reduction programs. Previously, Mr. Gero worked in local government for nearly 20 years, primarily in Los Angeles where he served as Air Quality Director and Assistant General Manager for the Environmental Affairs Department. Recently, he managed the Green LA programs at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. There he redesigned the LADWP Solar Program, expanded energy efficiency programs, and supervised tree planting, distributed generation, advanced transportation, and Green Power programs.

Jack Simes
Planning Officer, Bureau of Reclamation’s Southern California Area Office

Jack Simes is the Planning Officer for the Bureau of Reclamation’s Southern California Area Office, located in Temecula, California. The Southern California Area Office has responsibility for water and related resources planning, conservation programs, Native American Affairs, and environmental work in nine Southern California counties. Jack has been employed by the Federal civil service system for the past twenty eight years. He has been with the Bureau of Reclamation since June 2000 and prior to that Jack worked for U.S. Army as a civilian with assignments in Arizona and Germany; and before that with the Marriott Hotels outside Baltimore. Jack completed undergraduate work in two disciplines at the University of Maryland, College Park. While there, he served as Co-Captain of the Fencing Team. Since then, he completed two graduate degrees, one from the University of Baltimore and another from Troy State University. Jack is also a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army Management Staff College. He is married to the former Karen Campbell of Pensacola, Florida; and they have a son, Brandon, who is a Civil Engineering major at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

James Finlay
Vice President and Senior Commercial Appraisal Manager, Wells Fargo

In addition to managing and reviewing appraisals and a wide variety of commercial property types, he is also the primary appraisal manager for LEED designed and high performance real estate collateral. These valuations can also include solar photovoltaic arrays and other types of on-site distributed power systems. Since early 2006 he has been the appraisal/valuation representative of the bank’s Environmental Initiative Team. To date Wells Fargo has extended over $3.25 billion to high performance / “green” real estate. Prior to being an appraiser he was a commercial leasing and sales agent based in Santa Monica for a total more than 20 years in commercial real estate. He currently chairs the USGBC LA Chapter’s Commercial Real Estate & Finance subcommittee and holds a B.A in Mechanical Engineering and Economics at the University of Kentucky, is a General Certified Appraiser, and has a CA Real Estate Sales license.

Jeff Stevens
Jeff Stevens
Director of Planning, Danielian Associates

Mr. Stevens’ interest in sustainable design ranges from the site to the community scale. He designed the rainwater collection system for the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies and authored the Green Development Program for Centennial, which at 23,000 homes is the largest development project proposed in Los Angeles County history. Mr. Stevens serves on the Corresponding Committee for the development of the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED-ND program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Developments). He is a LEED Accredited Professional and belongs to The American Society of Landscape Architects, the Urban Land Institute, and the American Planning Association.

Kamyar Guivetchi
P.E., Manager, Statewide Water Planning, Department of Water Resources (DWR)

During his 29 years with DWR, Mr. Guivetchi has worked on numerous projects with the Central District, the Bay-Delta Office, the Division of Environmental Services, and the Division of Planning and Local Assistance. In his current assignment, he managed the DWR staff work and the public comment process for the California Water Plan, Update 2005. He is also working on the 2009 update to the water plan, the Delta Vision initiative to develop a vision and strategic plan for sustainable management of the Delta and Suisun, and the FloodSafe initiative to develop a sustainable flood management system and reduce flood risk.

Laurie Park
Senior Consultant, GEI Consultants

Laurie Park, a member of the California Sustainability Alliance’s Steering Committee, is a senior consultant with GEI Consultants and has more than 25 years of experience in the planning and management of energy and water resources and infrastructure. Prior to joining GEI, Laurie led several sustainability initiatives as a Director with Navigant Consulting. A recognized leader in the emerging area of water-energy, Laurie previously managed San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy Water and Power division. Laurie is also President of the Founding Board of the Association of Women in Water, Energy and Environment.

Lisa Michelle Galley
Managing Principal, Galley Eco Capital

Ms. Galley has more than 23 years of commercial real estate finance experience in US and European markets, having financed more than $4 billion in transactions. She is Treasurer of the US Green Building Council’s Northern California Chapter through 2011 and oversees Galley Eco Capital, which consults on green finance and investment programs around the world. Under Ms. Galley’s leadership, Galley Eco Capital received recognition from Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, for designing unique funding mechanisms that not only supported the development of a proposed carbon neutral district, but would also help transform Finland to a low carbon economy.

Mike Bacich
Mike Bacich
Assistant General Manager/Customer Relations, City of Riverside Public Utilities Department and Sustainability Officer, City of Riverside

Mike Bacich is responsible for the Division’s coordination of all media and public communications, as well as water and energy conservation programs, grants, rebates, and educational outreach. As the City’s Sustainability Officer, Mike is in charge of directing and overseeing the implementation of the City’s progressive Green Action Plan. It is a thirty eight point plan divided into seven vital areas of urban living aimed at improving the livability of communities by fostering the implementation of sustainable practices and operations. In his years at the utility, Mike has managed many key projects that have increased the use of renewables including several photovoltaic installations. In addition, he administered many multi‐year grants both public and private that promote critical research in the area of renewable technologies.

Nehemiah Stone
Energy Consultant at the Benningfield Group

Nehemiah Stone is an Energy Consultant at the Benningfield Group, with primary interests in multifamily and affordable housing, efficiency program design, building performance research, energy policy, economics, and codes and standards.  After tenures in the private sector and the California Energy Commission, Nehemiah entered the consulting world in 1998 where he designed, launched and ran California’s first utility-funded multifamily new construction energy efficiency program.  He has consulted on multifamily issues with most of California’s larger utilities, the CEC, the CPUC, and the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee for over ten years, including leading efforts to establish virtual net metering for PV on multifamily buildings. 

He manages Benningfield Group’s contract to assist TCAC with training and quality control on CUAC analyses for LIHTC projects.  He leads the IOUs’ Compliance Improvement Advisory Group, and has led the project to improve the exam and certification process for CABEC’s Certified Energy Analyst.  He is also the lead contractor to the CEC on the state’s efforts to improve energy efficiency in the existing residential sector – AB 758.

 

Patrick Stoner
Patrick Stoner
Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator, Local Government Commission

Patrick Stoner has been a member of the Local Government Commission staff since 1993 and currently serves as the Statewide Local Government Energy Efficiency Best Practices Coordinator. The position is part of the California Public Utilities Commission’s September 2009 decision on 2010-12 statewide energy efficiency programs. Patrick develops and distributes best practice case stories on energy efficiency policies and programs that help local governments implement their climate action plans, tracks progress toward meeting the local government goals of California’s Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, and serves as a resource to help local government energy programs achieve success.

Read Mr. Stoner's Advisor Spotlight to learn more about his accomplishments and commitment to sustainability.

Rob Hammon, Ph.D.
Principal, Consol, Inc.

Dr. Hammon oversees ConSol’s consulting department, which specializes in new residential construction research and development. In 2006, he became co-chair of the New Solar Homes Partnership Advisory Committee, which advises the California Energy Commission on ways to encourage solar technology in new home construction. For a landmark research project launched in 2004, Dr. Hammon secured funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to build and test marketable prototypes that are 40% to 70% more energy efficient than typical new homes. In addition, he integrated two teams working on separate Commission-funded projects to design and build “zero energy” homes with production homebuilders and to develop methods for making such communities sustainable.

Robert Wilkinson, Ph.D.
Robert Wilkinson
Director, Water Policy Program, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Robert C. Wilkinson, Director of the Water Policy Program at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, focuses on water, climate change, and environmental policy issues.  Dr. Wilkinson advises the California Energy Commission, US DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the US EPA, and other state and federal agencies on water and climate research.  Recently, he coordinated the climate impacts assessment of the California Region for the US Global Change Research Program and the White House Office of Science and Technology.  Dr. Wilkinson also served on the public advisory committee for California's 2005 State Water Plan and the Governor's Task Force on Desalination.

Sean Ivery
Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield

Sean focuses on corporate advisory and tenant representation work.  He has over 15 years of real estate consulting and brokerage experience with both owners and users of real estate. He has previously held senior positions at the real estate practices of Ernst & Young and Navigant Consulting. Sean has proven expertise with transaction advisory work including buy side and sell side due diligence, leasing transactions, and capital market transactions. He has significant experience in project management assignments ranging from fee based development, site selection, and portfolio optimization (including sustainability and energy efficiency). His clients have included public and private real estate companies, developers, brokerage firms, private equity investors and major corporations.

Stephen G. Bushnell
Stephen Bushnell
Senior Director, Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.

Mr. Bushnell develops innovative new products, services, and information for commercial real estate customers. He has more than 30 years of underwriting, marketing, and management experience in the insurance industry, and has spoken on the unique risks of green buildings at a number of high-profile conferences. Recently, he developed the industry’s first green building insurance coverage program. Mr. Bushnell also contributed to a report that gained national media attention, "From Risk to Opportunity: How Insurers Can Proactively and Profitably Manage Climate Change", and was featured in the “Turning the Ship” series from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, which dealt with the environmental transformation of the U.S. economy.

Read Mr. Bushnell's Advisor Spotlight to learn more