STAFF

Debra Sachs

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.

ADVISORS

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

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.

Robert Farnham, aka Bob the Green Guy, is a consultant and experienced in designing narrowcast social media campaigns public engagement media strategies. Bob will be responsible for assisting in implementing a public engagement and social media campaign to foster and build public commitment for Net Zero Montpelier.
Peter Plumeau photo

Peter Plumeau, founder and principal of LogisCity, LLC, specializes in providing transportation and logistics solutions for sustainable communities. With over 20 years’ experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Based in Chittenden County, Peter focuses on developing strategies, policies, and plans for harmonizing goods movement, community design and economic development, including helping planners integrate freight considerations into complete streets plans and advising policy-makers on the relationship of logistics efficiency to community economic vitality. Peter has led development of multimodal transportation studies, plans, and strategies for state DOTs, MPOs, and municipalities across the US and Canada. He has also authored or co-authored numerous research reports and guidebooks on goods movement, transportation planning, and policy analysis 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 across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and China. Peter was previously 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.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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

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.

Donna Rizzo

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

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.

Board & Staff