Emerge: Leadership for a Sustainable Society

Kathleen O’Brien, LEED AP and CSBA, is a long-time leader in the sustainable building field, working as author, educator, writer, strategic planner, and project consultant for 30+plus years. As President of O’Brien & Company, the oldest consultancy dedicated to green building in the Seattle area, Kathleen was instrumental in developing programs, plans, and policies that supported sustainable development initiatives by government agencies, industry trade groups, and non-profit environmental groups. The impact of these initiatives has been wide ranging and multi-faceted, touching every aspect of the built environment, from educational facilities, civic buildings, commercial enterprises, infrastructure facilities to affordable and market rate residential developments. Kathleen has won several regional leadership awards including Kitsap County YWCA Woman of Achievement (2001), Sustainable Seattle’s Outstanding Leadership Award (2006), Kitsap County Earth Day Award for Environmental Leadership (2007), and recognition by the Cascadia Region Green Building Council as a Cascadia Fellow (2008). In 2008, Kathleen co-authored “The Northwest Green Home Primer” with Kathleen Smith. It’s sold 1000s of copies. When Kathleen stepped down from her role at O’Brien & Company in 2011, local, state, and national public leaders officially acknowledged her lifetime achievements as a green building champion, including naming a day after her! Since her “retirement” she directs The EMERGE Leadership Project, a charitable non-profit dedicated to “energizing the emergent leadership capabilities of green building professionals and advocates through training, mentoring, community engagement, and other support, with the ultimate goal of fostering a thriving and life-sustaining environment.” Kathleen earned an MA Environment & Community at Antioch University-Seattle where she was recognized as Distinguished Alumna in 2009, and now sits as a Board Trustee. Kathleen’s newest book “EMERGE: A Strategic Leadership Model for the Sustainable Building Community” was launched at the 2016 Living Future Conference.

Rick Van Diepen, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP has been passionate about sustainable design since he graduated from UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, nearly 20 years ago.  With his partners at Greenview Global, a full-servicRickVanDiepene sustainability and green building consulting firm headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, he is instrumental in providing EMERGE training finely tuned to the issues and experiences of professionals and advocates in Nevada and the surrounding Southwest region.  Prior to joining Greenview Global Rick had a lengthy career providing leadership in both the private and public sector.  Most recently he was the Executive Director for GreenChips, a regional non-profit organization with a mission of building community and promoting sustainability in the public-private arena, where Rick helped develop and co-facilitate leadership trainings with a focus on sustainability.  And prior to that Rick had a successful career in several highly respected design firms, including his most recent position as Associate Principal and firm-wide Sustainability Manager for PGAL Architects’ nine offices in the U.S. and Mexico.  In his practice, Rick emphasized integrated design and sustainability.

Daniel Huard, LFA, PMP, CET, LEED AP O&M & BD+C is a long time leader in the field of sustainability and design.  In addition to providing leadership to USGBC Nevada, USGBC Western Regional Council and USGBC National, he founded the Las Vegas Valley Living Building Challenge Collaborative serving as Nevada’s Ambassador to the International Living Future Institute. As a League of Indian Nations of North America Ambassador to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Daniel focused on international sustainability programs, social and educational programs, and native rights recognition and advocacy. His mentorship was instrumental in the success of the University of Nevada’s DesertSol team in the U.S. DOE Solar Decathlon in 2013 and the University of Buffalo’s GRoW Home team in the 2015 Decathlon. Both teams took 2nd place in this highly competitive event.  As principal and restorative development expert with Greenview Global and Humann Building Solutions, Daniel actively consults on diverse specialty purpose facility projects to program, plan, design, construct and deliver facilities and infrastructure as well as to provide facility and infrastructure legacy improvements that restore and improve these for improved operability, efficiency and sustainability. His global project expertise includes office facilities, resort and hospitality facilities, government agency facilities, cultural – museum facilities, educational facilities, sustainable improvements to historical restorations, National Register facilities rehabilitation, Landmark facilities rehabilitation, as well as utility infrastructure operational facilities. With his partners at Greenview Global, he is instrumental in providing EMERGE training to professionals and advocates in Nevada and the surrounding Southwest region.

DaveRayDave Ray, LEED AP O+M is a long time entrepreneur taken by the philosophy of servant leadership from a young age (although he didn’t have the name for it then!) During his professional life spanning 20 plus years, Dave has managed a team of financial planners, led a successful franchise sales and training operation, and founded and grew a green cleaning service that would eventually employ 135 people.  During his tenure at this most recent venture, he developed green cleaning protocols for the United States Marine Corps. Most recently he has joined the team at Greenview Global as a principal. Concurrently with these business ventures, Dave has and continues to contribute to the success of several nonprofit initiatives, the most recent being the NSEC (Nevada Sustainable Coalition’s advocacy to pass AB 33 (Tax Abatement for LEED Existing Buildings). As EMERGE faculty, Dave is enjoying the opportunity to continue to help individuals and organizations improve themselves while improving the community.With his partners at Greenview Global, he is instrumental in providing EMERGE training to professionals and advocates in Nevada and the surrounding Southwest region.



Winning the Hearts and Minds of Code Officials

David Eisenberg co-founded and leads the non-profit Development Center for Appropriate Technology (DCAT) in Tucson, Arizona. His over three decades of building experience ranges from troubleshooting construction of the spaceframe and glazing systems enclosing Biosphere2, to building a $2 million structural concrete house, a hypoallergenic structural steel house, and masonry, wood, adobe, rammed earth, and straw bale structures.

Since 1995 David has led the effort to create a sustainable context for building regulation. A former two-term member of the U.S. Green Building Council Board of Directors, he founded and chairs the USGBC Code Committee. He recently served on the International Code Council committee creating the first draft of the ICC ‘s International Green Construction Code (IGCC). DCAT is currently working under an USEPA contract to support the development of tribal green building codes. David was principal investigator and author for the 2009 report, “Code, Regulatory and Systemic Barriers Affecting Living Building Projects” for the Cascadia Green Building Council, and is a prolific writer. He co-authored The Straw Bale House book, and has written dozens of published articles, forewords, book chapters and papers. David and DCAT received the 2007 International Code Council Affiliate of the Year Award and a 2007 USGBC Leadership Award.

Leadership & Integrated Project Delivery: The Connection

Ann EdminsterAnn V. Edminster is a long time green building expert consulting with design firms, builders, developers, public agencies, utilities, homeowners, and investors on high performance residential projects, including production, affordable multi-family, and custom single-family homes. Respected organizations such as BuildingGreen.com, Bayer, KB Home, Canada Green Building Council, Green Building Advisor, LivingHomes, and Serious Energy have sought out Ann’s advice.

During her 15+ years as a leader in the field, Ann has observed a consistent correlation between success in leadership and “conversion” experiences designers, builders, and owners go through when they decide to prioritize sustainability in their projects.  It’s not that mysterious, but it doesn’t just happen either. For Emerge participants, Ann describes the ingredients in these successful examples, while sharing her own leadership story. Ann speaks and writes for national and international audiences; her most recent book, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, has enjoyed rave reviews from those in the know.  www.annedminster.com

Practices of Participatory Leadership

Alli Kingfisher is a Building Materials and Sustainability Specialist with the Washington State Department of Ecology. She has a MSc in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden and a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Environmental Science and Geography. She is a certified charrette planner, graphic facilitator and Art of Hosting practitioner.

In 2010 she was recognized by Building Design + Construction Magazine as a recipient of their Top 40 Under 40 Award for being a leader in the construction industry. A former Peace Corps Volunteer, she has worked for the Jamaica 4-H Clubs as well as having been a faculty member of the Technical University of Liberec in the Czech Republic. In 2009, Alli worked on earthquake resistant sustainable demonstration homes in the earthquake-devastated region surrounding Chengdu, China. She has travelled independently through more than forty countries ranging from Bolivia and Laos to Mauritania and South Africa.

Alli passionately believes that our best ideas for moving toward a sustainable future will come when we share food and good times as we build community.

Kelly Lerner  is co-author of Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House and principal architect of One World Design Architecture in Spokane, WA. Natural Home Magazine named her one of the top 10 eco-architects in the United States and in 2005 she received the United Nations World Habitat Award for spearheading a project that introduced straw-bale construction to China and built over 600 sustainable homes.

She has committed her practice to the design of healthy, beautiful, net-zero energy homes throughout the northwest and has adopted the Architecture2030 Challenge. Her ecological design work and writing have been published in Metropolis, Dwell, Natural Home magazine, Design of Strawbale Buildings, The New Straw Bale House, and Green by Design.

Kelly is a certified Sustainable Building Advisor, a member of the Northwest Eco-Building Guild, and teaches green building classes for Spokane Community Colleges. In 2009 she returned to China to build a straw-bale demonstration home in the earthquake ravaged region near Cheng Du. In 2011 she was awarded a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation to study energy efficient buildings in Sweden and Denmark.

Kelly is passionate about discovering new ways of bringing people together. When she is not dreaming of architecture she can be found backpacking across the Pacific Northwest and overseas.

When an Introverted Techie Decides
to Transform the Market

Richard (Rick) Chitwood, BSME, founder and principal of Chitwood Energy Management in Mount Shasta, California, is an expert in energy-efficient residential building construction, diagnostic testing, and performance evaluation.  Rick began practicing home performance contracting in the mid-80’s, years before the term “Home Performance Contracting” began to be used.

He has extensive hands-on experience working with builders to improve the energy efficiency of new homes and with homeowners and remodelers to improve the thermal comfort and energy performance of existing homes.
Rick is a leader in the building science-based house-as-a-system approach to green home energy design and retrofits.  As lead trainer for the California Building Performance Contractors Association (Efficiency First/CBPCA.org), he develops curriculum and has taught hundreds of residential building professionals how to achieve energy efficient, comfortable and safe homes. Because of his work, more than two dozen contracting businesses have “taken the leap” and chosen a performance-based approach to their work.

Rick has participated in research projects involving extensive field-testing and data collection.  This work was used to guide the revisions to the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards in 2001, 2005, 2008, and 2013.  He also drafted the High Quality Insulation Installation (QII) Procedures for the Standards.  These procedures outline the proper techniques for installing insulation so that it performs near the laboratory test levels.  Through this work, California was the first State to incorporate insulation installation quality into energy compliance and energy modeling.

He is also the author of several articles including the “New Construction Report Card” series in Home Energy Magazine.  In 2012 Mr. Chitwood co-authored a guide to best practices for home energy retrofits in California, Measured Home Performance.  Most recently, Mr. Chitwood was inducted into the Building Performance Industry Hall of Fame.

Leadership Opportunities: Marketing the Value of Green

Fiona Douglas-Hamilton brings over 20 years as a project manager of commercial and residential construction projects in England and the Northwest as well as training in real estate investment to her current role as founder of SEEC LLC, an education and consulting firm focused on the accurate valuation of green and energy efficient homes. Fiona is President of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild and co-founded and chaired the Green Building Value Initiative, which investigated whether third-party certification adds value to residential and commercial real estate projects. Her work as Sustainability Director of Apple, where all projects were 100% Energy Star, 5-Star Built Green, exemplifies her drive to build value in the market for high performance buildings.


Emergent Leadership Through Practical Demonstration

Steve LokenPhotoSteve Loken is well-known for his work as the founder of the Center for Resource Building Technology in 1990 (now a program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology/DOE) which serves as both catalyst and facilitator in encouraging building technologies that realize a sustainable and efficient use of resources. Over the last 30 years, Steve has presented, published, trained and consulted on resource efficient construction, super-insulated energy-efficient construction methods, and industrial ecology in the U.S. and elsewhere, notably in Japan, Denmark, Finland, and Australia. His historic contributions to demonstration projects around the country and elsewhere have been a major factor in raising awareness and increased application of resource conservation in design, material selection, and construction. His “fingerprints” on the movement are everywhere. 1000 Urban Nature Centers for Conservation Advocacy, for example, have been built demonstrating green building principles through his work as Green Building Director at National Audubon’s Vision 2020 Program. While advocating for appropriate technology internationally, however, Steve has ever remained a placed-based practitioner, currently designing and building homes in his beloved Missoula as Loken Builders.
Steve is actively involved with Climate Change Initiatives in Montana at the State, County, and City level, and is currently working on a practical response to Climate Change with a New Urbanism Project — the Dakota Greens. This multi-family housing project located on a major Missoula Bike/Pedestrian trail exemplifies resource efficient housing while integrating transportation alternatives.
Steve has received industry recognition for his work, as well as awards from groups advocating energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable development, historic preservation. Steve and Kathleen met in the late 80s when she was working with the New England Solar Energy Association (now NESEA); she often credits him with instigating the first green building conference (Building With Value) to be held in the Northwest, and perhaps in the country, when he dared her to consider it.

Leading with Integrity and Consistency

John Cunningham brings a long history of applying mutual gains bargaining principles in his over 30 years experience negotiating labor agreements and representing members of his union, IBEW Local 77, one of the largest electrical locals in the country. A former elected and appointed official for an Idaho municipality, John served as President of the Association of Idaho Cities. He earned his B.A. in Labor Studies from Antioch University, a Servant Leadership Graduate Certificate from Gonzaga University, and is currently, at the age of 65, completing his Masters in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga. He is certified in mediation with King County’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.