Eric Arnold, Residential Energy Efficiency Program Implementation Manager
Eric Arnold is the Residential Energy Efficiency Program Implementation Manager at Georgia Power. His responsibilities are to lead the Company’s strategic objective of implementing the energy efficiency programs as certified by the Georgia Public Service Commission as demand-side management resources. Eric has worked for Georgia Power for close to 30 years. He served in the U.S. Navy and holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Business from Mercer University. He is a member of ASHRAE, AEE and served as Atlanta Chapter President and Southeast Regional Director of the American Association of Black in Energy (AABE). Eric is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and Certified Energy Auditor (CEA).
Shan Arora, Program Manager, Policy
Shan is part of Southface’s Policy Team. He leads the “Solar for Georgia’s Underserved Markets” program, through which Southface assists nonprofits and low-income multifamily developers to go solar. He is the Project Manager for www.GeorgiaEnergyData.org, Southface’s initiative to allow users to easily understand Georgia’s energy consumption, electricity generation, and solar assets. Shan also manages Southface’s Clean Energy Industry Census project (www.CleanEnergyIndustry.org) to quantify the economic benefits of Georgia’s clean energy sector. He works with partners across the state to increase the amount of clean electricity generated in Georgia, as well as expand Georgia’s clean energy workforce. Prior to Southface, Shan worked in the international trade / international tax field for a decade, first with a software company in Washington, DC and then with Deloitte Tax in Atlanta. He received his Bachelors and Law degrees from Emory University.
Dana Bartolomei, Housing & Energy Efficiency Policy Associate
National Housing Trust
Dana Bartolomei works with partners across the country to advance Energy Efficiency for All’s (EEFA) mission to make multifamily homes healthy and affordable through energy efficiency. Since 2015, Dana has worked with a dedicated coalition of housing, energy and equity organizations in Atlanta to promote effective utility energy efficiency programs for the affordable multifamily housing sector to keep housing affordable and reduce the high energy burden faced by low-income families. Dana holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, and a M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Iowa.
Rob Bennett, CEO
Rob Bennett is the founding CEO of EcoDistricts. He is a recognized leader in the sustainable cities movement with nearly 20 years of experience shaping municipal sustainable development projects and policy at the intersection of city planning, real estate development, economic development and environmental policy. Prior to launching EcoDistricts, Rob was the Executive Director of the Portland Sustainability Institute, a nonprofit founded by Mayor Sam Adams to accelerate sustainability policy and project innovation in Portland and worked for the Clinton Foundation supporting climate action in cities throughout North America. Rob was a founding board member of the Cascadia Green Building Council and was a board member of REACH Community Development, one of the Pacific Northwest’s largest and most innovative nonprofit affordable housing providers. Rob has presented throughout the United States and abroad on topics such as green economic development, sustainable municipal innovation and green building policy. Rob holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst School of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.
Berneta L. Haynes, Director of Equity and Access
Berneta L. Haynes is the Director of Equity and Access at Georgia Watch, where she works to make quality healthcare, financial literacy, energy programs and civil justice more equitable and accessible for all. Prior to joining the Georgia Watch team, Berneta spent years working on issues from diesel pollution reduction and energy efficiency to solar energy access. Berneta recently worked at Southern Environmental Law Center where she engaged in policy work around expanding access to solar energy and energy efficiency to low-to-moderate income families and communities of color. Since graduating from law school, she has engaged in environmental justice and energy equity work as an attorney in Chicago at Environmental Law and Policy Center and worked on consumer energy issues at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. Berneta also brings to Georgia Watch significant writing and editing experience, as a published author and editor of a nonprofit website. Berneta received a J.D. from University of Iowa College of Law, a B.A. in English, Psychology, and Writing from Drury University, and a Master’s in English from University of Iowa.
Jennifer Hirsch, Director the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain
Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. Jennifer Hirsch is an applied anthropologist specializing in sustainability, cultural diversity, collaborative governance, community development, networks and experiential education. She is recognized nationally for fostering grassroots participation in sustainability and climate action, using methods from anthropology, popular education, asset-based community development, participatory facilitation and museum education. Since August 2015, she has been the inaugural Director of the Center for Serve-Learn-Sustain at the Georgia Institute of Technology, creating a culture of collaboration in which students, faculty and staff collaborate with community, municipal and industry partners to build sustainable communities. Dr. Hirsch holds Fellow appointments with The Institute of Cultural Affairs, USA and The Field Museum’s Science Action Center and serves on the faculty of The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University.
Jenny Hoffner, Vice President for Conservation Strategies
Jenny Hoffner serves as Vice President for Conservation Strategies leading American Rivers conservation practice work to protect wild rivers, restore damaged rivers and conserve clean water for people and nature. She oversees program areas including river restoration, clean water supply, blue trails, hydropower, and science and economics. Prior to joining American Rivers in 2007, Jenny organized an award-winning, multi-stakeholder effort to transform the Bronx River from dumping ground to healthy urban waterway and served as Director of Partnerships for Parks, a network of over 55,000 people and 4,000 park stewardship groups working with 28,000 acres of New York City parks. She currently serves on the American Water Works Association’s Water Loss and Rates & Charges Committees. Jenny received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University and her master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from University of Georgia.
Danny Johnson, Manager
Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
Danny Johnson is a water resources engineer serving as manager of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District coordinating the water resource management planning for the 15 county metro Atlanta region. Mr. Johnson has also served as an engineering consultant on water, wastewater and reuse infrastructure design projects for public utilities across Georgia. Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the University Of Georgia College of Engineering.
Na’Taki Osborne Jelks, Co-founder
West Atlanta Watershed Alliance
Dr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks co-founded the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA), an urban, community-based organization of Proctor, Utoy and Sandy Creek Watershed residents in Northwest and Southwest Atlanta, GA who are overburdened with environmental stressors and pollution, but often underrepresented at environmental decision-making tables. WAWA was established as a result of community efforts to halt discriminatory wastewater treatment practices in West Atlanta, and the organization has grown to become an impactful force in community-centered sustainable development. Under Dr. Jelks’ leadership, WAWA has worked with West Atlanta residents to lead community efforts for more than a decade to clean up, protect and restore Proctor Creek, one of Metro Atlanta’s most impaired waterways. Dr. Jelks was also heavily involved in WAWA’s co-founding of the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council (PCSC), a grassroots organization that engages Proctor Creek residents in community-driven, collaborative problem solving processes, along with government, academia and other stakeholders, to identify innovative, community-engaged approaches that advance environmental justice and environmental restoration of the watershed. Jelks serves as Co-Chair for the PCSC.
Robert Reed, Director of Community and Residential Sustainability Services
Robert E. Reed, III, Director of Community and Residential Sustainability Services at Southface, a non-profit advocating for sustainable homes, workplaces, and communities for more than 37 years. Robert leads Southface’s Urban Sustainability Practice working with teams developing sustainability initiatives in the cities around the region. Most recently Community Sustainability Services developed a Sustainability Action Plan for Atlanta Beltline Inc. and led development of Greenprint Midtown, an Eco-District overlay for Midtown Atlanta. Robert represents Southface with the TransFormation Alliance promoting Equitable Transit Oriented Development. Since graduating from Georgia Tech in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science from the College of Architecture, Robert has been at the forefront of sustainability planning in the Southeast region. He co-led the community interaction and architectural guidelines process for the award winning Chattahoochee Hill Country Land Use Plan, a groundbreaking Transfer of Development Rights plan recognized by the Atlanta Regional Commission and the American Society of Landscape Architects for its public participatory process and visionary planning.
Sydney Roberts, Ph D, Senior Research Engineer, Commercial Sustainability Services
Sydney Roberts directs research, quality assurance and residential training and technical services at Southface. She is the Principal Investigator for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building America and Advanced Commercial Building Initiative research programs, as well as the Director of the Southeast Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Training (SWEET) Center. Sydney is active in national energy efficiency program and policy development, serving in leadership positions on boards and committees.
Bob Salvatelli, Director of Sales
Sustainable Water Consultants
Bob Salvatelli is the Director of Sales for Sustainable Water Consultants. During his time at Sustainable Water, he has championed water conservation and water reuse opportunities across the United States in diverse market sectors such as: higher education, food and beverage, automotive manufacturing, governmental and airports. Prior to joining Sustainable Water, Bob was an executive in both the building products and construction industries, serving the institutional, industrial and commercial spaces. Bob has extensive experience in all phases of construction including estimation, preconstruction, procurement, project management and commissioning. Bob received his Bachelors of Science in Management from Providence College.
Stanton Stafford, Managing Principal
Integral Consulting Engineering
Stanton Stafford is the Managing Principal of Integral Consulting Engineering, the Atlanta, Georgia Studio of Integral Group. Recognized as a green building and sustainability expert, Stanton brings over 15 years of experience designing, modeling and commissioning mechanical systems for higher education, healthcare, science & technology, government and commercial facilities. Nationally, Stanton is Chair-elect of ASHRAE Technical Committee 2.8 – Building Environmental Impacts and Sustainability where he is currently co-authoring the Fourth Edition of ASHRAE’s Green Guide.Locally, he serves as Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Lifecycle Building Center of Greater Atlanta, an entrepreneurial non-profit focused on building material salvage and reuse. Stanton is also a Charter Member of the University of Georgia’s Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board and has been recognized as a member of Engineering News Record Southeast’s Top 20 Under 40 (2015), the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 (2015) and Georgia Trend Magazine’s 40 Under 40 (2016).
Bill Strang, President of Operations and Ecommerce
Bill is President, TOTO Americas – Operations Group and Chairman of TOTO Mexico; he has responsibility for all Operations, including Supply Chain, Quality, Environmental Sustainability and management of the five TOTO North America plants: Morrow, GA; Lakewood, GA; Fairburn, GA; and Ontario, CA, Monterrey Mexico with 1.8 million sq ft under roof. Under Bill’s leadership, TOTO has received awards for 5S Lean Manufacturing implementation, US EPA Water Efficiency Leadership Award, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s Water Conservation Leadership Award, the Argon Award, the City of Atlanta Phoenix Award, and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Sustainability Award. TOTO is the largest percentage user (at 50 percent) of Green Energy from Georgia Power.
Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, Chief Resilience Officer
City of Atlanta
Stephanie Stuckey Benfield received both her undergraduate and law degree from the University of Georgia. She graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1992. After law school, she served as a public defender and then went into private practice before being elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1999. Stephanie served as a State Representative from the Decatur area for 14 years, during which time she was a member of the Judiciary and Natural Resources Committees. She then went on to serve as Executive Director of GreenLaw, an Atlanta-based public interest law firm dedicated to giving Georgia’s environment its day in court. In May 2015, she was appointed by Mayor Kasim Reed to be Director of Sustainability for the City of Atlanta. In November 2016, Stephanie was named the Chief Resilience Officer for Atlanta, working in conjunction with the Rockefeller Foundation’s “100 Resilient Cities.” Stephanie’s legal expertise was recognized in 2011 when she was given the Outstanding Lawyer in Public Service Award by the Atlanta Bar Association. Stephanie serves on the Boards for the Green Chamber of the South, EarthShare of Georgia, and the Olmsted Linear Parks Association. She is a member of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership Class of 2013.
Alex Trachtenberg, Associate, Community Sustainability Services
Alex provides support for the Policy and Sustainable Communities teams. He performs research, collects and formats data, performs analysis and writes reports/summaries for the Georgia Energy Data Analysis project, Clean Energy Industries Census and related projects. Alex assists in the coordination and organization of design charrettes and project deliverables with partners, including the Atlanta Regional Commission, MARTA and developers. He also develops and delivers white papers and other project materials.
Katherine Zitsch, Manager, Natural Resources Division
Atlanta Regional Commission
Katherine Zitsch serves as Manager of the Natural Resources Division at the Atlanta Regional Commission. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the work of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, the 15-county water planning agency for Metropolitan Atlanta. Katherine also coordinates ARC’s work on water litigation issues, oversees ARC’s Green Communities program and oversees implementation of the Metropolitan River Protection Act. Prior to working for the Atlanta Regional Commission, Katherine was a Vice President with CDM Smith, an environmental engineering consulting firm. In that role, she completed a broad spectrum of water planning and engineering projects, including working with Georgia EPD to develop regional water plans for the Altamaha, Coastal Georgia and Suwannee-Satilla Regional Water Planning Councils. Katherine holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Systems Engineering, both from Clemson University. She is a registered Professional Engineer, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer through the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and was a 2015 graduate of the Institute of Georgia Environmental Leadership.