May Forum: Sustainability Leaders Pecha Kucha

April 22, 2011

In May, we’ll welcome a panel of sustainability leaders to talk about the top three issues on their minds right now. The presentation will be Pecha Kucha format, where each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds – giving six minutes and forty seconds of high-speed mindmeld before the next presenter is up!

This session is part of GreenHomeNYC’s continuing focus on Green Career Transitions, and grew out of last year’s Women of Green forum.

Our speakers will include:

  • Bea de la Torre, Assistant Commissioner for Planning, Marketing and Sustainability for New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development
  • Bill Bobenhausen, President of Sustainable Design Collaborative LLC
  • Chris Benedict, Architect
  • Erin Barnes, Co-founder and Executive Director of ioby
  • Frank Hebbert, Director of Civic Works, OpenPlans
  • Holly Leicht, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks
  • Les Bluestone, Blue Sea Development Company
  • Omar Freilla, Founder of Green Worker Cooperatives
  • Pasqualina Azzarello, Executive Director of Recycle-A-Bicycle
  • Rebecca Craft, Director of Energy Efficiency Programs at Con Edison

The Green Building Forum is held on the third Wednesday of each month (except December) at 6:30 PM and features presentations by green building practitioners followed by discussion. The events are always free and open to the general public.

Click through for event details, speaker bios and to RSVP!

Event Details:

  • Wednesday, May 18, 6:30 – 8:00 PM Please arrive early – We will start promptly at 6:30!
  • New York City Accelerator for a Clean and Renewable Economy160 Varick Street (between Charlton and Vandam)
  • Seating is limited – please RSVP below!

The Green Building Forum is held on the third Wednesday of each month (except December) at 6:30 PM and features presentations by green building practitioners followed by discussion. The events are always free and open to the general public.

The Speakers

Beatriz de la Torre is the Assistant Commissioner for Planning, Marketing and Sustainability for New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). In her current role, she oversees the implementation of HPD’s green building policy and education initiatives. Additionally, she is responsible for identifying sites for affordable housing development, coordinating the pipeline of public sites and overseeing the marketing process through which New Yorkers find out about available affordable residential units. Beatriz received a Masters in Urban Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Bill Bobenhausen, FAIA, CCS, LEED AP is President of Sustainable Design Collaborative LLC based in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. He has been an environmental architect/author/educator for more than 30 years. He has been a consultant on more than 400 high performance buildings – about 50 of them LEED including five Gold within last 16 months (Columbia University, YMCA, General Electric, Jacob Burns Media Arts Center, Colgate-Palmolive). He has been a long-time Adjunct Professor at CCNY, Pratt, and NJIT. Bill’s books include: American Building: The Environmental Forces That Shape It (with James Marston Fitch), Simplified Design of HVAC Systems, and The Solar Workbook.

Chris Benedict is an architect in New York City. Her firm, Chris Benedict, R.A. specializes in the design of energy efficient, durable, healthy housing projects that are built for the same price as typical construction. Chris Benedict has rehabilitated eighty-one apartment buildings in New York City. Eighteen of these buildings were the first sustainable and energy efficient gut rehabilitation projects in New York City (1997). The project was awarded Environmental Project of the Year by The New York Chapter of The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and Chris was awarded Environmental Professional of the Year in 1999 by AEE International. Chris’ ground breaking strategies for gut rehabilitation in New York City have become the basis for The City of New York’s new guidelines for construction. Four new construction residential buildings with 104 apartments designed by Chris are complete. These new buildings each use 15% of the energy of a typical building of the same size for heat and hot water, and 50% of the electricity but cost the same to build as typical residential buildings.

Erin Barnes is Co-founder and Executive Director of ioby, a nonprofit that connects donors and volunteers to environmental projects in their neighborhoods to inspire new environmental knowledge and action in New York City. Erin is an environmental writer with a background in water management. Erin worked as the environmental editor at Men’s Journal and wrote about climate change and other pressing environmental issues for high-level U.S. elected officials and before coming to ioby full time. From 2003-2005, she worked as a community organizer and public information officer at the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition in Portland, Oregon. While completing her Master of Environmental Management in water science, economics, and policy at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, she did field research on socio-economic values of water in Goyena, Nicaragua, and the Bolivian and Brazilian Amazon. Erin holds a B.A. in English and American Studies from the University of Virginia. She has lived in Prospect Heights since 2008, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Manhattan Land Trust since 2010.

Rebecca Craft is Director of Energy Efficiency Programs at Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., where she is responsible for the development, implementation and management of energy efficiency and demand response programs for the Company’s electric and gas systems. Rebecca also manages the Company’s account executives and market research. Prior to her current position, Rebecca was Assistant to the Chairman of Consolidated Edison, Inc. and worked on special projects and prepared research and briefing materials for internal meetings, industry conferences and other external events. Before becoming the Chairman’s assistant, she was the Director of the Energy Markets Policy Group and developed Company policy regarding the wholesale electric and gas markets.
Before joining Con Edison, Rebecca spent over 11 years at Prudential Financial in a variety of positions in various investment organizations and strategic planning and as an Assistant General Counsel, where she served as counsel for energy project financings and other transactions.
Rebecca serves on the New York Investment Fund CleanTech Advisory Committee, and the board of Green Light New York. She graduated from Wellesley College and Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington and is a resident of New York City.

Frank Hebbert leads the talented Civic Works team at OpenPlans, exploring how technology, planning, citizens, and government come together. He thinks we can make better places and beat climate change with the winning combo of planning, technology and public participation. He blogs intermittently on open source planning, tweets slightly more frequently, and is one half of Holobiont. He co-organizes Planning Corps, a network of volunteer planners providing assistance to non-profits.

Holly Leicht is the Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks, a citywide not-for-profit championing quality parks for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods. Until March of this year, she served as Deputy Commissioner for Development at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Prior to joining HPD in 2004, she was Director of Planning for offsite projects at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. She spent five years at the Municipal Art Society, first as in-house counsel and then as Director of Design, Planning and Advocacy. During her tenure at MAS, Holly directed Imagine New York, which engaged thousands of people in thinking about and discussing the future of the World Trade Center site and New York’s neighborhoods in the aftermath of September 11th. She began her legal career as a Real Estate Finance associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She graduated magna cum laude from Yale College and cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law.

Les Bluestone is the co-founder of Blue Sea Development Company, LLC, and has been involved in the real estate development and construction industries for over 30 years. In addition to the first Energy Star and first LEED affordable homes in NYC, Les has developed and constructed a wide range of market-rate and affordable housing units throughout the New York City metropolitan area under a variety of programs. His firm’s most recent development in the Bronx includes a 10,000 sf hydroponic rooftop farm that will grow fresh healthy produce for distribution to the community. Les is a former Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity NYC, a member of the Housing First! advocacy group, a board member of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, a trustee of the Citizen’s Budget Commission and was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg in 2009 to the NYC Workforce Investment Board where he is on the executive board.

Raised in the South Bronx, where he continues to live, Omar Freilla is passionate about creating a green and democratic economy. He is a nationally recognized leading voice for worker ownership, green jobs, and environmental justice. Omar is the founder and coordinator of Green Worker Cooperatives, an organization dedicated to incubating green and worker-owned businesses in the South Bronx. He also developed Green Worker Cooperatives’ first business, ReBuilders Source, an 18,000 square foot retail store for salvaged home improvement supplies and also launched the organization’s cooperative entrepreneurship training program, the Coop Academy. Omar is also a trainer for the Cooperative Development Institute and a guest curator for an upcoming environmental-themed exhibit commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum. His writings have appeared in numerous books, blogs, and articles and he has been featured in several documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental documentary “The 11th Hour”. Additionally, he has received numerous awards for his work, including the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal for New Ideas and Activism. He holds a Masters degree in Environmental Science from Miami University of Ohio and a B.S. from Morehouse College, where he founded the organization Black Men for the Eradication of Sexism.

Pasqualina Azzarello is the Executive Director of Recycle-A-Bicycle and is a painter, public muralist, and educator. For the past fifteen years, Pasqualina has engaged local communities to create public art that calls attention to the human experience of urban development and neighborhood change. She has worked closely with neighborhood residents, real estate developers, local businesses, community-based organizations, and government agencies to facilitate public art installations and youth education programs. In 2001, Pasqualina was introduced to Recycle-A-Bicycle as an artist and educator and became the executive director in 2009. She has continued to cultivate partnerships and create new opportunities for communities to work together in creative, innovative, and meaningful ways. She organized the first annual Youth Bike Summit which took place at The New School in New York, NY. Her projects have been featured in The New York Times, New York Press, and Artforum. She holds a BFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

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Posted by bomee in Blog, Monthly Forum