Jessica Loeper is the Vice President at Verdani Partners, a full-service sustainability consulting firm managing sustainable programs, corporate Environmental Social Governance (ESG) management, green building certifications and engineering services for real estate portfolios to minimize risk and create long-term value.
Jessica is also the Director of Sustainability for CommonWealth Partners, a real estate investment, development, and management organization for Class A office properties across the United States. She is instrumental in working with employees of each property to elevate sustainability efforts of their core business, enabling them to achieve their goals and position them to be an industry leader in sustainability. Under her management, the portfolio achieved their 10-year target of 20% energy and emission reduction three years early!
Jessica also assists with property specific annual ENERGY STAR Labels, LEED & Fitwel Certifications, in addition to portfolio-wide reporting through CDP on carbon management, CSR, GRI & GRESB environmental performance reporting, ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year, Green Lease Leader, and annual sustainability reporting. She also supports newsletters, corporate employee and customer outreach stakeholder engagement as well as other sustainability practice programs.
Kelly Stemcosky is a communications specialist for sustainability at Corning Incorporated, based in Corning, New York. In her role, she creates strategies, develops content, and designs materials to tell Corning’s sustainability story, including social, environmental, and governance related practices, both inside and outside the company.
Previously, Kelly served as communications specialist for Corning’s Global Energy Management program. In that role, she was responsible for creating Corning’s ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year award application, which the company has achieved every year since 2014. She also planned events celebrating ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry achievements at Corning facilities.
Before her time at Corning, Kelly was managing editor for the Potter Leader-Enterprise in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, as well as a reporter for the Wellsboro Gazette in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Susquehanna University.
Bill Knight has been in the HVAC industry for 38 years specializing in large building HVAC systems and the analysis of building energy systems. He has been involved at the local and national level of ASHRAE serving on many Technical Committees, Local Chapter and Regional committees, teaching continuing education seminars, and has been awarded several ASHRAE Regional Technology Awards.
He is currently a consultant and Director of Energy Management at Greenville County Schools. These duties currently include the oversight of over $16M in utility accounts and the placement of over $2B in construction.
Bill is a Registered Professional Engineer in 7 states, a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Accredited Professional. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University.
Ryan Tonnsen is a Professional Engineer & Certified Energy Manager, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina. Prior to Greenville County Schools, he worked with an ESCO providing Measurement & Verification and Project Development services for Performance Contracts. At Greenville County Schools, he is an Energy Management Engineer who manages on-going & one-time energy saving projects, provides review & feedback for capital projects, and interfaces with maintenance & school personnel to assure optimal operation of District facilities.
Tim Berklich is a training and organization development professional, certified educator, and an Accredited Commercial Energy Manager by the South Carolina Energy Office. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from California University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Teaching from Clemson University, a master’s degree in Human Resource Development from Clemson University and is currently earning a doctorate in Learning, Leadership and Organization Development from the University of Georgia. Tim serves Greenville County Schools as the performance improvement manager in the Energy Management Department. Tim designs and applies numerous developmental, instructional and lean management systems to ensure the efficient utilization of district facilities. During his tenure with Greenville County Schools, Tim has been awarded the South Carolina Energy Manager of the year and has served as Chairman of the Association of South Carolina Energy Managers.
Michael Gaal serves as Executive Vice President of Operations at Cenergistic where he leads a 250-strong engineering, measurement and verification, consulting services and energy specialist team responsible for services and operations. He an accomplished leader who has more than 30 years of experience in senior leadership roles including: managing Cenergistic’s largest customer implementations, administrator in our nation’s largest urban school districts, and an officer in the U.S. Air Force.
He began his career with Cenergistic in 2018 as Senior Vice President, Large K-12 Client Operations. Before joining Cenergistic, he held senior leadership roles in several urban school districts, including: District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington D.C.; Oakland Unified School District, Oakland, California; and the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, Detroit, Michigan.
Michael served 25 years in the U.S. Air Force with over 4000 flight hours in a variety of aircraft. As Deputy Director of Policy, International Affairs he led a 150-member staff responsible to the Secretary of the Air Force to formulate policy and develop positions regarding international training and education, security assistance, space and cyber, and foreign disclosure.
He is a Broad Center Alumni. Michael earned a Master of Science in National Security Policy Studies from the National Defense University, Washington, D.C.; a Master of Engineering in Space Operations from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Kimberly Joseph has been with Bullitt County Public Schools for over seven years as their Energy Manager. She previously worked with the University of Louisville's Kentucky Energy Efficiency Program for Schools, where she supported 30 public school districts, helping them develop energy management programs. She has 18 years of experience working with public institutions and grant projects. Kimberly has a BS in Environmental Sciences from the University of Louisville, and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Louisville.
Dr. Al Scaramelli is based in Boston and oversees Beacon’s energy and sustainability initiatives, capital projects and building operations, and certain tenant marketing and leasing initiatives. Through his efforts, Beacon has been awarded the EPA’s Partner of the Year in Energy Management for the past eight years, including six years at Sustained Excellence, and has LEED Certified over 48 million square feet of commercial office buildings. As a member of the Boston Green Ribbon Commission, City of Boston Energy Benchmarking Task Force, and Real Estate Roundtable, Mr. Scaramelli brings a wide range of experience for better building performance through innovative capital projects and operational improvements.
Prior to joining Beacon Capital Partners, Dr. Scaramelli was President of H2O Applied Technologies, a company that designed, installed, and financed a wide range of energy and water conservation solutions in healthcare, higher education, and government facilities throughout the U.S. Prior to joining H2O Applied Technologies, Dr. Scaramelli was a Vice President of Development at Old State Management Corp. and Wheelabrator Technologies Inc., where he was responsible for development of $1 billion in privately owned and operated cogeneration facilities and other energy power plants that used solid waste, coal, natural gas, and wood waste as fuels.
Dr. Scaramelli received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts. He is also a registered Professional Engineer.
Gregg Fischer is the Director of Energy Systems under the Design + Construction Sustainability and Utilities division of Tishman Speyer. He manages both supply contracts and demand side energy usage for more than 55,000,000 square feet of class A commercial property including buildings like Rockefeller Center (New York), The Metlife Building (New York), The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and The Franklin (Chicago). His central focus is to improve existing building operational ease, energy strategies, and technology systems to ensure the portfolio remains high performing and competitive in a difficult real estate environment. Some of the systems he manages include building automation, HVAC and central plant, energy management, demand response, fire alarm, lighting, tenant billing, security and access.
Gregg’s previous career endeavors included project management, development and executive positions at The Trane Company Turnkey & Energy Services Group and Schneider Electric/Andover Controls. He is a New York State professional engineer and graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and Stony Brook University with a Master’s in Global Engineering Management.
Rachel Schiftan joined Cushman & Wakefield in June of 2018 as a Sustainability Project Manager. Rachel provides end-to-end sustainability and project management solutions to clients, including assisting teams set and achieve superior sustainability goals as well earn LEED, TRUE, Fitwel, and ENERGY STAR certification. She is committed to creating tangible solutions that meet the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit for all parties.
Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Rachel worked at United States Green Building Council/Green Business Certification Inc. where she served as a Certification Support Specialist. In this role, she was a key member in GBCI’s acquisition of GRESB, and participated in and led GRESB validation. Rachel also supported the timely execution of EDGE projects by performing a variety of duties such as tracking, corresponding, and reporting with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). While in graduate school, Rachel interned at the Council on Environmental Quality at The White House and supported the development of the Guiding Principles for Federal Sustainable Buildings. Before focusing on sustainability, Rachel worked as a Financial Analyst at Bank of America in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Sara Neff is Senior Vice President, Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation. Sara took Kilroy from having no sustainability program to being named the #1 publicly traded real estate company on sustainability in North America by GRESB and a 3-time ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained excellence winner. Under her leadership the company recently committed to becoming the first carbon neutral real estate company in North America by the end of 2020. At Kilroy, she oversees all sustainability initiatives such as solar and battery dealmaking, the implementation of energy and water efficiency initiatives throughout the existing and development portfolios, the integration of sustainability standards into annual financial reports, the launch of the Kilroy Innovation Lab, and the award-winning green leasing program. She holds a BS from Stanford and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Jennifer Leitsch is Vice President, Corporate Responsibility at CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm. Jennifer leads CBRE’s sustainability strategy and reporting, including the development of the company’s annual Corporate Responsibility Report and responses to stakeholder inquiries regarding CBRE’s environmental, social and governance practices. She is on the leadership team for CBRE Cares, the company’s charitable giving and volunteering program.
Jennifer has an MBA and MS in Marketing from the University of Colorado Denver and a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Iowa. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting Credential holder.
Jennifer chairs the Advisory Council for the Managing for Sustainability program at the University of Colorado Denver Business School. She is a member of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Stakeholder Council, representing business enterprise while advising the GRI Board of Directors on strategic issues, and the GRI Nominating Committee, which manages the annual nomination processes for the GRI Board. She is also a member of the SASB Standards Advisory Group. Jennifer was named to the Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 in 2014 and is a graduate of the Leadership Denver Class of 2015. In 2019, she was named to the Environment + Energy Leader 100.
Michael Roberts has over 20 years of experience working directly for healthcare systems in a variety of facility management leadership roles. He is currently working with Atrium Health as Director, Infrastructure Support/Facilities Management responsible for Energy Services, Central Energy Plants, corporate contracts and is the Plant Operations representative on the Strategic Master Facility Plan project teams. Mr. Roberts earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and is a registered Professional Engineer, SASHE, Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager and Certified Hospital Engineer. Michael is an active member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) and sits on the ASHE Board as the Region 3 Representative. He is a NCHEA Past President and past NCHEA Sustainability Liaison to ASHE.
Leslie Adebayo (PRONOUNCED: ah-day-bio) is the Corporate Sustainability Manager for Bimbo Bakeries USA. Leslie has been actively involved for the last 3 years in the company’s efforts to bake sustainably. After spending more than a decade working in the world of energy efficiency, Leslie has taken his knowledge and worked to apply those learnings to drive BBU towards a sustainable way of producing baked goods.
Leslie has worked to guide more than 30 buildings through the USGBC’s LEED Ratings systems achieving certification as high as Gold, provided over one million dollars of rebates back to consumers, and has guided 17 of BBU’s facilities successfully through ENERGY STAR Challenge and Certification helping to lead BBU towards ENERGY STAR PARTNER of the year in 2018 & 2019. In addition to his work in sustainability and energy efficiency, Leslie has helped to manage projects relating to waste water and bio gas regeneration.
Leslie holds a BS in Biology, is a LEED Accredited Professional, and is a member of the USGBC’s Atlanta Chapter, the American Society of Heating Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and an EPA ENERGY STAR Partner.
Sean Shropshire is an Energy Engineer for Retail Business Services (RBS) and has an Electrical Engineering degree. He has worked for RBS’ parent company, Ahold Delhaize, for 15 years. Over the last 5 year he responsibilities have grown from supporting one brand to managing efforts across five brands. As a member of the RBS Energy Management team he and his colleagues are responsible for project management of energy efficiency rollouts, investigating new innovative energy solutions, utility budgeting, and portfolio wide energy and sustainability analysis. Sean has specifically lead the rollout to over 200 stores for LED conversions in 2019 and over 300 more in the past several years. He also manages Food Lion’s Energy Star portfolio and associated programs.
Retail Business Services, an internal shared service company within Ahold Delhaize is responsible for energy management five supermarket brands. The more than 2,000 sites of Food Lion, Giant Food, Giant/Martin’s, Hannaford, and Stop & Shop stretch from Georgia to Maine. The largest of these banners, Food Lion has over 1,000 locations and has been an Energy Star partner since 2000. Over the last 19 years, Food Lion has seen its energy intensity decrease by over 25 percent and has won Energy Star Partner of the Year 18 consecutive years including 16 years at Sustained Excellence.
Crystal Frost, Sustainable Behaviors and Conservation Program Leader at The Boeing Company, leads the development and execution of a companywide strategy to engage employees to adopt sustainable behaviors and replicate conservation best practices. In this role she works with leadership, management and employees across the company, in all levels and functions, to identify and break down barriers that may prevent change in the workplace. Prior to joining Boeing in 2014, Crystal worked in corporate sustainability and environmental education for more than 20 years. She has led a variety of behavior-change campaigns, including ones with focus on energy, water and solid waste. Crystal has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and a Master’s in Sustainability Leadership.
Jim Soutter is Vice President, Engineering of Hudson Pacific Properties (NYSE: HPP), a Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust focused on owning, operating and developing office and studio properties along the West Coast. In this role, he oversees the company’s engineering operations throughout the portfolio, totaling more than 17 million square feet.
Prior to Hudson Pacific, Soutter was the Director of Engineering for Equity Office’s Northern California portfolio. He has also held several management positions with General Electric.
Soutter received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Following his graduation, Soutter sailed as a Third Assistant Engineer in the United States Merchant Marine.
Michelle German is the Director of Operations and Sustainability at LBA Realty, overseeing corporate operations and sustainability. She joined LBA in 2011 and has over 10 years’ experience in the commercial real estate industry. Michelle is an integral part of the corporate operations team and continuously works to improve and create company processes and procedures that increase efficiency and streamline work flow for the operations, sustainability, construction and engineering group. Through innovation and forward-thinking, she creates process improvements that benefit the organization. Michelle provides fundamental support for LBA’s portfolio from acquisitions to dispositions and oversees the sustainability program for the company. Prior to joining LBA, Michelle was a Property Manager for PacificWest Asset Management where she worked in operations, as well as managed retail and multi-tenant office properties throughout the Orange County and San Diego area. She holds her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Northridge.
Cathy Kerr is a Senior Operations Manager at Principal Real Estate Investors. She is responsible for managing the administrative and operations functions within the asset management teams, including property operations, lease and construction administration, commercial management reporting and property management compliance and oversight. Cathy also assists with the Responsible Property Investing Initiative. Cathy joined the firm in 1996. She received a bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University and is on the Board of Directors of CREW Iowa.
Mr. Christopher Cayten is a Principal at CodeGreen Solutions, a leading sustainability and energy efficiency consulting firm based in New York City. Mr. Cayten has more than 20 years of experience in sustainability consulting, architecture and development in commercial real estate. Mr. Cayten works with private and public sector leaders to improve the sustainability of the built environment while delivering positive value to building owners, occupiers and investors. Chris has extensive experience developing and implementing strategic energy efficiency and sustainability programs for more than 300 million sf of commercial property around the country. Mr. Cayten has worked closely with the NYC Mayor's Office since 2009 supporting their voluntary and mandatory energy efficiency programs for new and existing buildings to help the city reach its ambitious 80% carbon reduction goal by 2050. Mr. Cayten holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Architecture and has spoken domestically and internationally about sustainable real estate and energy efficiency policy. He sits on the Advisory Council to the New York City Climate Museum, Fitwel Advisory Council, and is an active member of GRESB, USGBC, Urban Green Council, and serves on the sustainability committees of BOMA-NY and REBNY.
Daniel Egan is Senior VP of Sustainability and Utilities for Vornado Realty Trust. Dan’s program combines environmental, fiscal and social responsibility for Vornado’s national real estate portfolio of over 30 million square feet.
Energy efficiency and energy management are pillars of Vornado’s sustainability strategy. Dan’s team put forth a goal for Vornado to reduce its consumption 35 percent by 2026 below a 2009 baseline, which has reached over 22 percent as of 2018. Dan works to curate effective relationships with Vornado’s tenants, communicating energy goals with them and discovering best practices that can be repeated in tenant spaces.
Another part of Dan’s role focuses on Vornado’s response to emerging trends in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) trends in real estate, which include occupant health and indoor environmental quality, securing corporate debt in the form of green bonds, and the growing interest from investors in the management of Vornado’s carbon footprint.
Dan serves on the boards of the Building Energy Exchange, the REBNY Sustainability Committee, and is co-President of the New York Energy Consumers Council in NYC. He is also a member of the GRESB Benchmark Committee and is the Vice Chair of the Real Estate Roundtable’s Sustainable Policy Advisory Committee.
Cindy Jacobs is a Senior Advisor in the Commercial and Industrial Buildings Branch, Climate Protection Partnerships Division, US EPA Office of Air and Radiation. Cindy has been with EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation for over 25 years. As both a manager and senior advisor for ENERGY STAR, Cindy has played a key role in the development and growth of the program. Prior to her work with ENERGY STAR, Cindy created and led EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program and Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership. Cindy holds an MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Craig Haglund is a Program Manager with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Commercial Buildings Program. In this role, he oversees outreach to commercial real estate and multifamily sectors, and works with partners to help them improve energy management practices and reduce energy consumption in commercial and multi-family buildings. Prior to joining the EPA, he worked for over 7 years as a project manager for D+R International, an energy efficiency consulting firm, leading a variety of projects in both public and private sectors to help develop and enable the market for energy efficient technologies. Mr. Haglund holds a M.B.A. and B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.