Debra Sachs, Executive Director, MS in Natural Resource Planning. Deb has managed non-profits and consulted on numerous planning and sustainability projects for governments, NGO’s and businesses for more than 25 years. In the mid 90’s, Deb pioneered climate action planning, and has provided science-based technical assistance since. In 2010, Deb co-founded Community Climate Action, Inc., a 501c3 whose focus was on education, outreach and public engagement to mitigate the threat of global climate change. Today she continues to share experiences as co-founder of Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network. To help meet today’s need to accelerate net zero strategies, Community Climate Action was renamed to Net Zero Vermont in 2016. Deb also oversees a small consulting firm, EcoStrategies, providing clients with technical assistance in sustainability practices, transportation efficiency and renewable energy development. Deb serves on the boards of Community Resilience Organizations and Vermont Rail Action Network.
Barbara D. Conrey, AIA, Montpelier, VT is an award-winning architect and professor at Vermont Technical College (VTC) where she taught sustainable design for 18 years. She recently led student teams to develop a plan to repurpose downtown parking lots to Net Zero buildings, which was presented to city officials.
Barbara is past president of the New England and Vermont chapters of the American Institute of Architects, and served on the Architectural Licensing Board for the State of Vermont. Presently, Barbara, serves on the Montpelier Planning Commission and on the Energy Advisory Committee. She is contributing her architectural sustainable design knowledge, experience and professional network to advance the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition.
Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director, Institute for Human-Centered Design, Boston, MA(www.humancentereddesign.org). As Executive Director of the Institute for Human Centered Design, Ms. Fletcher has helped build a global non-profit founded in 1978. Her company is committed to advancing the role of excellence in design, expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages, abilities and cultures. Fletcher has a Master’s in Ethics and Public Policy from Harvard University.
Valerie is contributing her expertise in human-centered design, recruiting national architectural talent and providing guidance to the project team.
Peter Plumeau, Vice President, Economic Development Research Group, Inc., and leads the firm’s metropolitan planning, policy, and strategy practice. With over 20 years’ experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors, he focuses on developing strategies, policies, and approaches for harmonizing transportation system plans with community design and economic development. His experience includes helping planners integrate multi-modal mobility needs, including goods movement and non-motorized modes, into complete streets plans and advising policy-makers on the relationship of transportation efficiency to community economic vitality. Peter has led development of multimodal transportation studies, plans, and strategies for MPOs, state DOTS, municipalities, and authorities across the US, Canada, Europe, and China. He has also authored or co-authored numerous research reports and guidebooks on transportation planning, policy analysis, and goods movement for the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Canadian Trucking Association, the American Planning Association, and Transport Canada. In addition, Peter is a sought-after speaker on transportation planning topics and has presented to audiences around the world on metropolitan planning, urban freight movement and sustainability, and megaregion impacts on transportation investment needs.
In addition to metropolitan planning, Peter is part of EDR Group’s management team and plays a lead role in the firm’s overall business development and client relations. Prior to joining EDR Group, Peter’s career included positions as Senior Director with RSG, Inc., Executive Director of the Chittenden County MPO (now merged with Chittenden County RPC), state legislative staff, and staff to the U.S. Congress. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the University at Albany and a BA from the University of Vermont. He is a member of several TRB standing committees, the APA Transportation Planning Division, and the Urban Land Institute. Peter’s volunteer activities include serving on the Far Post Soccer Club board of directors and as a past member of the Burlington (VT) International Airport Board of Commissioners.
Liz Vogel Connecting the dots between people and the information they need is not only Liz’s passion, but her purpose in life, as well. In every role she has been in, from Human Resources ad Talent Management, to Higher Education, to over 20 years as a business consultant in the tech industry, to an entrepreneur inventing new products for an aging population, the core of her work is ensuring people and communities have the information and tools they needed to be successful. In her current role as CEO of Dots Inc., she is again connecting the dots with the multi-generational workforce, assisting organizations, individuals, and communities with work transitions and developing new structures to leverage experience and capture knowledge across the generations.
Liz has a MEd in Counseling and Psychology with a focus in Adult Development and Learning, a BA in Organizational Communication and Development, is ICF certified as a Retirement Lifestyle Coach, is certified in Career Placement, is PMP certified, and certified as a teacher in Power Tools for Caregivers, as well as an Associate Member of The Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM].
Richard Madrak, Board Chair, and President of Waste Resource Recovery, Inc., a Connecticut B corporation, implementing, researching and consulting on novel waste to energy projects and demonstrations in CT and RI municipalities. Rich works with pioneering inventors, universities, National Labs, and businesses to commercialize products and technologies. In 2014, Rich researched three decades of state-commissioned studies on the viability of light passenger rail service in VT. He concluded that a near carbon neutral passenger rail service could be successful.
Rich is committed to stimulating economic development, connecting people, commerce and communities; expanded mobility, service industries, and infrastructure to improve convenient connectivity.
David Blittersdorf, Treasurer/Secretary, is President/CEO, AllEarth Renewables. David is an entrepreneur and engineer with three decades of experience in the renewable energy industry, seeking to help prepare humanity for future energy constraints. His first company–NRG Systems, became a global leader in wind measurement technology. Since 2004, he has been President/CEO AllEarth Renewables, and has built two utility-scale solar farms and a 10 MW wind farm that supplies nearly 10% of Burlington, Vermont’s power. David serves on the boards of the Post Carbon Institute, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and Renewable Energy Vermont; he also chairs the board of advisors for UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and is a member of the advisory board for the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Ken Jones is Economic Research Analyst at the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development, continuing a career in public policy and decision-making. He is a founding director of Montpelier’s Energy Advisory Committee and is a long-time resident of Montpelier. Ken is an experienced Policy Analyst in state government and the nonprofit sectors. Ken received university degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Public Policy. He also serves on the Montpelier School Board and is working towards guiding Montpelier to a Net Zero future.
Donna Rizzo, Director, is a faculty member in the School of Engineering at the University of Vermont. Her research focuses on the development of new computational tools to improve the understanding of human-induced changes on natural systems and the way decisions are made about natural resources.
In 1995, Donna co-founded a small Vermont business to help speed the diffusion of research and new technologies in environmental practice. Since joining UVM in the fall of 2002, she has advanced numerous computational approaches to address multi-scale environmental problems including predicting local disease risk, watershed classification, and soils capacity.
Paul Comey, Director, is retired VP of Environmental Affairs for Keurig Green Mountain. Paul ensured the company’s sites were in environmental compliance and contributed to the company’s environmental, financial and social bottom lines. Paul works to integrate environmental management systems (EMS), which lower corporate carbon emissions.
Paul founded and continues to manage Baseline Solutions, a consulting company recommending bottom line improvements in manufacturing operations, pollution compliance; and equipment design and process layout. Paul graduated from Boston State College with a major in sociology and a minor in education. After teaching for four years he was awarded a fellowship to Fitchburg State College, earning a Masters in Engineering.