Sam Adams has worked as a mayor, city commissioner, mayoral chief of staff, nonprofit leader, entrepreneur, and consultant. He has more than 35 years of hands-on experience leading and collaborating with diverse teams to create, develop and implement policies, plans and strategies that have helped Portland, Oregon be one of the best cities (Bloomberg Businessweek 2012) and the most sustainable large city (Mother Nature Network 2009) in the nation. Since leaving the Mayor’s office, Adams was the founding director of the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) US program, expanding WRI’s work with American states and cities, and creating new research partnerships with think tanks in Mexico, Canada, and the United States. He served the Executive Director of the 100-year-old civic improvement nonprofit, the City Club of Portland. Adams now works as a consultant and columnist on similar issues on a national basis.
As a Portland elected leader, Adams expanded the City’s urban watershed restoration programs; boosted construction of green streets; co-founded the City’s Office of Equity gained Council approval for the City’s first climate and equity centered strategic plan, called the Portland Plan.
Sara Axelrod currently leads sustainability initiatives in North and Central America for Ball Packaging, where she is focused on creating and promoting a commercial and regulatory environment in which the company can support its customers’ sustainability goals, drive efforts around real recycling and the circular economy at scale, and ultimately utilize its market position to create systemic change to improve the recycling system. Sara previously led marketing and innovation for the sustainability team at Land O’Lakes Inc. and was a founding member of the Food & Agriculture team at the Glover Park Group, a leading public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. In addition to her work at Ball, she serves on the Board and Executive Committee of The Recycling Partnership. She holds an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts from The George Washington University.
Raj Basi is POWDR’s Vice President of Sustainability. He brings over 30 years of experience working on environmental monitoring, law and policy issues, including for Native American tribes, NGOs, and public and private companies of all size. He is passionate about the environment and has spent his career engaging with stakeholders of various perspective to help build more inclusive, collaborative and sustainable economies. He has a bachelor’s degree in natural resources management and a Juris Doctor with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. As an attorney, he specialized on energy, environmental, and ESG issues nationwide and has been a vocal proponent of sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility.
At POWDR, Raj is primarily responsible for advancing the company’s sustainability goals and strategies, including charitable giving, educational and stakeholder engagement programs, and collaborative advocacy to further enhance POWDR’s “Play Forever” community pillar and support our employees, customers, and communities.
Erin Beddingfield is the Associate Director of Codes and Policy at the New Buildings Institute. In this capacity, she serves as the organization’s primary liaison for local, state and national governments on the adoption and implementation of codes, standards and policies to support building decarbonization. Based in Washington, D.C., Erin has over a dozen years of experience supporting climate change mitigation policies and programs in the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. In previous roles, she has led building decarbonization efforts at the U.S. Climate Alliance Secretariat at the United Nations Foundation, managed programs to support cities’ building performance programming and policies at the Institute for Market Transformation, and spent several years in private sector consulting supporting greenhouse gas mitigation strategies for clients at all levels of government.
Andy is a native of Ohio but spent his summers in the West developing an early appreciation for grand landscapes. In 1991, he graduated from Miami (of Ohio) University and headed to Alaska to instruct for the National Outdoor Leadership School. Eventually, he set up basecamp in Park City meeting his wife Thea Leonard and investing in a struggling hotel called Treasure Mountain Inn. Over a decade of renovations, they transformed the hotel into a modern, eco-tique and one of the first net-zero hotels in North America. This earned them the ‘Park City Environmental Hero award’ and inspired Andy’s deeper involvement as a climate advocate, president of the downtown business alliance, City Councilor, then Mayor. While in office he spearheaded the preservation of 3000+ acres of land, the electrification of Park City’s fleet, committed to community-wide net-zero by 2030, and changes to State law (HB411) allowing the rapid conversion to 100% clean renewables. In 2019 Andy helped to create Mountain Towns 2030 (MT2030) to promote collective action and encourage other communities to set climate goals. Recently retired, Andy is appreciating the slower pace, learning to surf, and contemplating new avenues for climate activism.
Jessica Burley is a Council Member for the Town of Frisco and serves as the Sustainability and Parking Manager for neighboring Town of Breckenridge. A sustainability professional and instructor for over a decade, Jessica promotes an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving and creative thinking. Since 2018, Jessica has been responsible for implementing the SustainableBreck program including the pathway to 100% renewable electricity, transportation electrification, water conservation, and materials management. Jessica helped lead both the towns of Breckenridge and Frisco in phasing out plastic bags in 2021 and is an advocate at the state for programs like producer responsibility. She served one term on the board of Recycle Colorado and was the Policy Committee Chair. She helped pave the way for Breckenridge’s global recognition as a Mountain IDEAL sustainable destination and is a Sustainability Excellence Associate.
Luke Cartin is the Environmental Sustainability Manager for Park City, Utah and MT2030 co-founder. He oversees Park City’s goals of achieving net-zero carbon and 100% renewable electricity for city operations by 2022, and community-wide 2030. These goals are the most ambitious in North America for any municipality, and one of the most aspiring world-wide. Previous to coming to the city, he worked in ski resort sustainability and land planning for 15 years. His work has been featured in the New York Times, BBC, Outside Magazine, Powder, Newsweek, and other international outlets. He lives with his wife, three kids, and many animals just outside Park City.
As the founding president and principal engineer of Brendle Group, Judy is a pioneering engineer, entrepreneur, and sustainability business leader with 26 years of executive expertise in innovation, strategy, and risk management. Judy has led the completion of more than 300 sustainability projects for over 150 clients across 30 states, including a market-leading portfolio of projects focused on ski areas, ski towns and sustainable tourism. Many of these projects pioneered new frontiers in sustainability, prior to national standards and certifications, in areas such as green building, greenhouse gas management and accounting, net zero energy, and climate resilience. Judy has also advised numerous business leaders and public policy makers on managing the risks and opportunities posed by climate change, energy system transitions, and other socioeconomic challenges. Judy is the recipient of numerous industry awards including the NSAA 2016 Ski Industry Impact Award and is featured in the Smithsonian Institute’s Places of Innovation exhibit. She is also a U.S. C3E Ambassador, a group of distinguished senior leaders who serve as role models and advocates for women in clean energy
Dominique Giroux joined Vail Resorts in 2021 as the Sustainability Manager for Breckenridge and Keystone Ski Resorts and is responsible for implementing waste reduction/diversion programs and executing energy efficiency improvements to help meet the company’s Commitment to Zero goal of a zero net operating impact by 2030. Before joining Vail Resorts, Dominique worked in the sustainability field for four years at an environmental non-profit in Summit County, CO where she supported local waste, energy, and climate action programs.
Jeff Grasser is Copper Mountain Resort’s Senior Sustainability Manager and has been in an environmental leadership role for the past eight years. Growing up skiing in Colorado shaped his perspective and desire to help ensure that future generations have the same incredible outdoor recreation opportunities we have today. A bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolution and technical training in Botany have given Jeff advanced skills to understand the environmental impacts of outdoor recreation, including skiing. A master’s degree in Conservation Leadership provides him with a deep understanding of the human dimension of sustainability and conservation. This combination of academic and real word experience has allowed Jeff to innovate and operationalize many new conservation ideas at Copper Mountain Resort and beyond.
Geoff Grimmer graduated from the Carlson School of Management (BSB, Finance) with a semester of Economics at Leiden University in the Netherlands. After college Geoff worked as a finance and law assistant at the Sierra Club National Headquarters. After two years of international travel and work, he married McKinley Albert (who he met in middle school) and joined the faculty at Tohatchi High School as a mathematics instructor, eventually becoming their department chair while coaching chess for five years.
The Grimmer family moved to Colorado in 2006 where Geoff designed and launched the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy as its founding headmaster. In 2017 Geoff founded Zealous Schools in Eagle Colorado, a non-profit microschool community. He currently serves as a councilmember of the Town of Eagle and Chairman of the Adam Palmer Sustainability Fund. Geoff is passionate about climate action through the lens of finance, along with trail running, jazz, and being a dad.
Tom provides policy & technical assistance to ICLEI USA’s 350+ local government members specializing in low-emissions development, circular development, and nature-based development.
Tom joined ICLEI USA after 10 years working for the City & County of Denver’s Climate Action Team. Tom has over 20 years of experience working in local, state, tribal, and federal environmental programs, including 5 years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General. Tom received his bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from the University of Nebraska, and a master’s degree in Environmental Policy & Management from the University of Denver. Tom also completed doctoral research in Aquatic Resources at Texas State University.
Tom’s other interests include applying wetland restoration and regenerative agriculture practices at a family ranch in western Nebraska.
As High Country Conservation Center’s Climate Action Director, Jess coordinated the Summit County community’s first-ever climate action plan and greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Over the past four years, Jess has collaborated with community partners to develop new sustainable building codes, create an electric vehicle readiness plan, produce a video series about driving electric in the mountains, implement a bulk-buy program for rooftop solar, and organize events to get local residents in on the action. When she’s not busy trying to save the planet, Jess can be found trying to keep up with her ever growing reading list, or playing outside on two feet, two wheels, or two planks. She holds a master’s degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from American University in Washington, D.C.
Nels Johnson works with The Nature Conservancy’s teams across North America to integrate “smart-siting” into energy development, the continent’s leading cause of land-use change.
During his 25-year career, Nels has worked on forest management, carbon sequestration, protected areas design, energy planning, mitigation, climate adaptation, and incentives to sustain ecosystem services in Asia, Latin America and North America. He has published over two dozen articles, reports and books on these topics.
As Deputy State Director in Pennsylvania, Nels worked with chapter staff to build innovative programs to maintain ecological water flows, conserve private forests, restore public land habitats, and reduce impacts from shale and wind energy development.
He has volunteered for assignments with TNC programs in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and at the Worldwide Office. Johnson has served on several boards and advisory committees including the Shale Roundtable, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council.
Before joining TNC, Nels was a senior associate and program director at the World Resources Institute. He has a B.A. from Reed College and an M.S. in forest ecology from the Yale University. When time permits, Nels is likely to be making a mess in the kitchen, bailing out his kayak, or getting lost in the woods on his skis.
In twenty years working just about every role up to his current one as Program Director, Doug has shaped the Energy department into an innovative, mission-based program. Raised in Pennsylvania, where he achieved an Associate Degree in Architectural Technology, Jones then worked for five years with a Master Homebuilder during which time “the two of them built everything” from the ground up. Notes Jones, “it was a great learning experience.”
After that, two key decisions shaped his career. The first was moving to Colorado in 1996 to explore his love of outdoors activities such as skiing, hiking and biking. There he met Erin, a physical therapist in Summit County who shared his love of traveling and exploring the outdoors. They were married in 2010. The second was what happened when he realized that he had lost his enthusiasm for building custom homes. Jones decided to try something different and answered an ad in the local newspaper for Weatherization Installer at NWCCOG. It didn’t take long for Jones to observe first-hand how a better operating heating system, and weatherized home made a positive impact on the quality-of-life for low income families. That sparked a pilot light within Jones that remains a strong flame today.
The nuts and bolts of weatherizing a home, including funding from the Department of Energy for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), have not changed considerably since the mid-1970 when the program began, nor has the basic purpose: to provide many low-income households with quality energy efficient services, in a safe and cost effective manner. Jones notes that the need for this work is as great as ever, and that he is “dedicated to improve the Energy Program to make an impact on climate change, and help our most vulnerable be more resilient to its’ impacts.”
What has changed is that under Doug’s leadership the Energy Program leverages the team’s skillset to embark upon multiple inter-related programs and funding sources in order to diversify and expand the energy savings potential for low income Coloradans. Over time, the program has made many partners from those at a state level, to those at a local level, including government agencies, non-profits and a variety of local utility companies. Those efforts have the advantage of levelling-out the annual fluctuations in DOE funding that once led to painful cycles of hiring and layoffs. Today, the synergies of the various programs, CIP and CARE, and other fee for service work provides stability while keeping overhead costs low. The efficiencies of operating multiple programs functioning together in one region that would not normally exist in standalone programs has also allowed Jones to retain and develop talent. One of his other successes is establishing a robust training and professional development program for Energy staff.
Jones sees that flame in each of the many employees he has hired. Perhaps that is because the NWCCOG Energy program has provided him a career ladder and scaffolding to continually find ways to deliver on the program’s mission. Since 1999 when, “I started out as an insulation and air sealing tech.” Jones notes, “it was hard work but I found out quickly that, like my grandfather and mother before me, I really enjoyed helping people in need.” Jones seeks and has been adept at finding employees with a passion for helping others. He strives to provide opportunities for his employees, having himself earned pride in his work as he advanced to furnace tech in 2000, then Energy Auditor in 2000, Inspector, Field Supervisor in 2004 before becoming Director of the NWCCOG Energy Program in 2016.
One of Jones’ other successes is in distributing and sharing leadership across the department, including with Nate Speerstra, another 20-year employee who is the Energy Program Manager, Emily Hoskins who is the Outreach Manager and Dan Mayberry, the CARE Program Manager.
Erika Kazi is the Head of Sustainability Services at flaik. She has a Masters in Education and
Sustainability and conducted research for the Social Science and Humanities Research Council
of Canada. Erika will be published in both the Canadian and Australian Journals of
Environmental Education and continues to foster her research interests in sustainability, mental
health, immersive recreation, and climate action. She is young and would like not to die from
climate change because we’re all too stupid and selfish to do anything about it. She lives in Salt
Lake City with her rabbit and her dog and enjoys skiing and snowboarding, gardening, hiking,
Emily Kimmel drives sustainable action and change across four world-class resorts in Breckenridge, Colorado as Breckenridge Grand Vacations’ (BGV) Recycling and Sustainability Manager. She works collaboratively with over 650 employees and 30,000 owners educating and motivating them to practice waste reduction, responsible waste management and responsible sourcing.
One of BGV’s sustainability goals is to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions from company operations by 50% by 2030. In the spring of 2022, Emily’s team lead the charge towards community solar and BGV partnered with Pivot Energy. The company subscribed to 4.9 megawatts, making it one of the largest community solar subscriptions in the hospitality sector.
Emily comes to the industry with a degree in Sustainable Development and Nonprofit Management. She began her sustainability career in her home state of North Carolina where she worked with The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation as an interpretive ranger and Lettuce Learn – a nonprofit dedicated to getting children outside and into the garden. When she’s not in the office, Emily is traveling, skiing with her dogs or on her mountain bike.
Eric Mamula was born in Whittier, California. After multiple moves during childhood, the family settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where Eric attended Moravian College. Not long after graduation in 1986, he came to Breckenridge with his family. The plan was to help his parents get settled here and then head to the Vermont School of Law. The mountains won out over law school and Eric chose to remain in Breckenridge. A short stint in the US Air Force was followed by the opening of Downstairs at Eric’s in 1989.
In 1994, Eric began his political career by winning a seat on the Breckenridge Sanitation Board. Since then, Eric has served on the Red, White and Blue Fire Board, the Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Committee, Breckenridge Board of Adjustments, multiple terms on the Breckenridge Planning Commission and two terms on the Breckenridge Town Council. Eric is married to Sara and they have a son, Quinn. Eric is an avid mountain biker and downhill skier and really loves spending time with his family.
Dr. Michael E. Mann is Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, with joint appointments in the Department of Geosciences and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (EESI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC). In Fall 2022, he will become Presidential Distinguished Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment in the Annenberg School for Communication. He will also be the inaugural director of the Penn Center for Science, Sustainability, and the Media (PCSSM).
Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the Observed Climate Variability and Change chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report in 2001 and was organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences Frontiers of Science in 2003. He has received a number of honors and awards including NOAA’s outstanding publication award in 2002 and selection by Scientific American as one of the fifty leading visionaries in science and technology in 2002. He contributed, with other IPCC authors, to the award of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union in 2012 and was awarded the National Conservation Achievement Award for science by the National Wildlife Federation in 2013. He made Bloomberg News’ list of fifty most influential people in 2013. In 2014, he was named Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and received the Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education. He received the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication from Climate One in 2017, the Award for Public Engagement with Science from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2018 and the Climate Communication Prize from the American Geophysical Union in 2018. In 2019 he received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and in 2020 he received the World Sustainability Award of the MDPI Sustainability Foundation. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2020. He received the Leo Szilard Award of the American Physical Society in 2021. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He is also a co-founder of the award-winning science website RealClimate.org.
Pete McBride is an Award-winning photographer, filmmaker, writer, and public speaker who has spent two decades studying the world with a camera with a focus on freshwater and conservation. He has traveled on assignment to over 75 countries for the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian, USAID, The Nature Conservancy and many more and spoken on stages for TEDx, The World Economic Forum, Nat Geo Live. His Disney+, National Geographic documentary Into the Grand Canyon chronicles a 750-mile journey by foot through the entire length of the Grand Canyon. It was nominated for an Emmy in 2020 and his book Grand Canyon: Between River and Rim won a National Outdoor Book award.
His latest project explores the power and fragility of natural sounds and quietude. Smithsonian and The Week magazines named the accompanying book, Seeing Silence, one of the top photo books of 2021. He lives in Basalt, Colorado.
As Director of Climate Action for The Nature Conservancy in Colorado, Chris leads advocacy, projects, and programs to ensure that all Coloradans benefit from cleaner air and water and abundant natural spaces, as Colorado becomes a national leader for climate action. This includes developing and supporting binding policies to reduce GHGs 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, influencing new finance mechanisms that direct public funding towards equitably decreasing emissions, and establishing frameworks and best practices for siting new energy development. Prior to serving in this role, Chris spent eight years managing climate and sustainability programs at the City of Aspen. During this time, he led the development and implementation of regional climate action strategies and helped advance state climate policy with Colorado Communities for Climate Action. He also chaired committees within the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and worked with partners from multiple sectors to co-develop actionable tools that have been leveraged by communities across the country. Chris enjoyed serving as the Climate and Clean Energy Director for High Country Conservation Advocates in Crested Butte during the earlier years of his career. He holds a BA in Environmental Policy from Western State Colorado University, and an MS in Climate Science and Solutions from Northern Arizona University. Chris has lived in mountain towns since the late 90s (Crested Butte to Aspen) and is incredibly gratified to see the leadership of mountain communities in turning challenges into opportunities.
As A-Basin’s Sustainability Manager since 2015, Mike works on the resort’s strategic sustainability plan and quest towards Carbon Neutrality. He has pioneered renewable energy and electric vehicle infrastructure projects as well as championing the resort’s waste reduction program. Mike is also on the Board of Directors for the High Country Conservation Center and a member of the Summit Climate Action Collaborative since its inception. He lives in Dillon, CO with his wife, dog, and bass guitar.
Olivia Poon is an account manager at CDP North America, a global non-profit that runs the world’s largest disclosure platform enabling companies and the public sector to measure and manage their environmental impacts. She works with companies on their ESG reporting and supply chain engagement through CDP, not limited to climate-related risks and opportunities, targets, renewable energy, and strategy. Olivia also has an interest in sustainable coffee, and co-owns Zero Carbon Coffee, a Climate Neutral Certified coffee roastery.
Olivia holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering and Public Policy from the City College of New York and began her sustainability career as a research scholar with NOAA. When she’s not working, she’s on the tennis courts or in the mountains.
Gretchen Reid is the Founder and Chief Leadership Architect of Integrated Growth. With an MS in Career and Human Resource Development, Gretchen has dedicated her 30 year career to working with teams, organizations, and communities in solving real problems real time through leadership development, change management, organizational culture with a strong emphasis on team effectiveness.
Darcie is the new Vice President of Sustainability at Alterra Mountain Company where she is developing and implementing sustainability strategies, goals, and impact reporting. She has more than 20 years of diverse experience in the field and holds an MBA in Sustainability Management and a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree in Resource & Environmental Management.
Prior to joining Alterra, Darcie led sustainability initiatives at a Fortune 50 company where she engaged with stakeholders on a wide range of topics such as: carbon emissions, waste reduction/diversion and recycling initiatives, plastic reduction and circular economy opportunities, and sustainable procurement policies.
Grace Rink is the Chief Climate Officer for the City and County of Denver and Executive Director of its Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency. This new office, created in 2020, manages the city’s ambitious climate action and sustainability goals and promotes policies and programs that strengthen Denver’s economic vitality. Denver voters approved a special sales tax to provide this office with up to $40M per year to implement projects such as new solar installations, electrifying buildings, and expansive community engagement programs. Prior to joining Denver in 2020, Grace enjoyed a long career in Chicago with the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department of Environment, AECOM, and Quercus Consulting.
Jay Scambio is Chief Operating Officer of Boyne Resorts’ day areas, including Brighton in Utah, Cypress Mountain in Vancouver, B.C., Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, Shawnee Peak in Maine, and The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington. He launched his career as a snowboard instructor at Loon Mountain in 1998. Quickly advancing in terrain park operations, he achieved a corporate role leading mountain sports development in 2015, and has also served as President/GM of Loon Mountain. Jay is a graduate of Plymouth State University, active in industry and community leadership, and passionate about snowboarding and being a voice for the sport. He resides in New Hampshire with his wife and two children.
Tessa Schreiner is the Sustainability Manager for the City of Aspen, Colorado. She holds a master’s in Global Sustainability from the University of South Florida and has been working in local government sustainability for more than seven years. In her role with the City of Aspen, she leads the Climate Office in implementing strategies, policies, and programs to meet the City’s science-based targets for greenhouse gas reduction, with focus on the built environment, transportation, and waste.
Rachel Setzke (she/her) has been with Eco-Cycle since August of 2019. In her role as Senior Policy and Research Associate, she researches trends and best practices in recycling, compost and Zero Waste in order to support Eco-Cycle’s education and advocacy work. Her work has focused on providing policy and program solutions at the community and state levels as well as studying diversion access, trends and scalable solutions across Boulder County and Colorado. Rachel is the co-author of the annual State of Recycling and Composting in Colorado Report as well as a report for CDPHE on access to recycling and composting in Greater Colorado. She is proud to be an active member of Recycle Colorado’s Rural Colorado Working Group.
Jacob joined CC4CA in 2017, becoming executive director in the following year. His professional experience has centered on climate and conservation advocacy in Colorado and around the country. Jacob lived in Washington, D.C. during his stint as a Congressional staffer in the U.S. Senate, and also served on the City Council and as Mayor of Golden, Colorado.
Hilary Sueoka is the Environmental Programs Coordinator for the Town of Frisco, Colorado. She is responsible for planning and implementing sustainability projects related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, materials management, natural resource stewardship, and transportation. Over the past year, she helped Frisco become the first town in Summit County to adopt a Pay-As-You-Throw ordinance. Hilary serves on the board of Colorado Communities for Climate Action and is the Second Vice Chair of the Policy Committee. She holds a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and has been working in a wide variety of environmental fields since 2009.
Nahry focuses on new partnerships with cities, transit agencies, private operators, corporations, and universities for Via, a global TransitTech company. She advises and collaborates with potential partners, guiding them to think innovatively about their transit services, and supporting them from project conception through launch.
Prior to Via, Nahry led business development and partnerships at various marketing technology companies. She also had a long career in the public sector at The Trust for Public Land, San Francisco Opera, and the Asian Art Museum. Nahry graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Art History and an M.B.A.
Paul Tame is a senior consultant with Integrated Growth. Having completed course work for his PhD in Sustainability Leadership, Paul has consulted in organizations in 9 countries around the world, worked as a Director for Outward Bound, served with the Australian Army, and taught in higher education. With his approachable style that quickly wins people’s trust and respect, he is committed to building teams that together solve the problems of our society.
Jerry Tinianow operates Western Urban Sustainability Advisors, LLC. WestUrb (westurb.com) assists local governments in creating and improving sustainability and climate action programs.
Jerry’s work at WestUrb reflects the successes he achieved as Denver’s first Chief Sustainability Officer (2012-19). Under his leadership Denver won Platinum-level certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Cities program. Denver met its ambitious 2020 goal for community greenhouse gas reduction in 2018 – two years ahead of schedule. Denver’s record in battling climate change won it a place on the “A List” of top-performing cities issued by the international climate change organization CDP.
Jerry previously served as a national officer of both the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society, and directed the Center for Energy and Environment at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. As Audubon’s executive director in Ohio, he conducted the largest capital campaign in Audubon’s history and developed the nation’s most urban nature education center, the LEED-Gold “Grange Insurance Audubon Center.” The Sierra Club designated him a national “Environmental Hero” during its centennial celebration.
Jerry received his undergraduate and law degrees from George Washington University. He was the 2018 winner of the Wirth Chair Sustainability Award, given by the University of Colorado on recognition of his climate action planning work.
Katie Walsh leads the cities, states and public authorities program at CDP North America, an international nonprofit that runs the global disclosure system for companies and public sector to manage environmental impacts. She also co-founded Climate Candidates, which catalyzes climate leaders to run for local and state office. Katie has over a decade of experience working at the intersection of climate action, urban planning and politics/campaigns. Katie is a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program, chairs the NYC Brooklyn Community Board #7 Transportation Committee and previously served as a co-leader for WISE- Women Investing in a Sustainable Economy, a learning network for women working in ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). Katie recently won re-election to represent her election district in Sunset Park, Brooklyn for County Committee, the “ground floor” of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Katie was also elected as a New York State Supreme Court Judicial Delegate and Chairs her Assembly District’s local Democratic County Committee. Katie ran for New York State Assembly in 2020, and while she did not win, she remains committed to action locally, while giving climate leaders the tools to run and win local and state office. Katie holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from Tufts University and a Master’s in International Business and Environmental Policy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Sam Whelan is the Vice President of Power Supply and Programs for Holy Cross Energy (HCE), a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative utility providing electricity and energy products and services to more than 45,000 members in Western Colorado. Headquartered in Glenwood Springs, HCE is leading the responsible transition to a clean energy future with its 100×30 initiative, aimed at obtaining 100% renewable and clean energy for its members, by 2030.
Sam and his team lead HCE’s efforts in resource planning, program development, and operation and optimization of power supply resources, including both supply- and demand-side assets. Prior to joining HCE in August 2016, Sam was a Revenue Analyst and Litigation Accountant for Chesapeake Energy. Sam holds degrees in finance and marketing, both from Oklahoma Baptist University.
Rollie Williams is a Brooklyn-based comedian, video editor, and guy with both student debt and a Climate Science & Policy degree from Columbia University. He is the creator and host of Climate Town, a comedy series about climate change. It sounds kinda depressing, but I promise it’s fun. Climate Town’s YouTube channel has amassed 380,000+ subscribers, millions of views, several awards, and has spawned a Discord community of climate-focused-yet-delightfully-regular people. Rollie is also the former creator and host of the monthly comedy show ‘An Inconvenient Talk Show‘ doing sketches and comedic deep dives by pairing comedians (SNL, The Daily Show, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, etc) together with climate scientists (NASA, MIT, Harvard, etc). When he’s not doing climate stuff, Rollie plays an unhealthy amount of billiards and recently achieved his dream of commentating for the World Cup of Pool in England.
Kate Swayne Wilson, Senior Director of Sustainability at Vail Resorts, has more than 18 years’ experience in climate change mitigation and sustainability strategy. Ms. Wilson is currently leading Vail Resorts’ “Commitment to Zero,” a bold sustainability goal to achieve zero net emissions, zero waste to landfill, and zero net operating impact on forests and habitat, all by 2030. Prior to this role, Ms. Wilson developed and led the Greenhouse Gas & Sustainability Strategy Practice at The Cadmus Group for 10 years, assisting companies in the development and evaluation of climate strategy, establishing emissions baselines and reduction targets, developing corporate greenhouse gas inventories, calculating emissions associated with demand-side management portfolios, and providing strategic guidance to clients on policy. She has a M.A.S. in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver, and a B.A. from Colby College in Environmental Policy, is GRI certified and a LEED AP. Kate lives in Niwot, CO and loves playing outside with her husband and two children.
Deanna Weber, LEED AP, ENV SP, has 25+ years of sustainable mountain planning, design, and stakeholder engagement experience. She has worked on sustainable master planning and climate action projects in Breckenridge, Telluride Mountain Village, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Heavenly Village, Aspen, Snowmass Village, and Banff, Canada. She brings a unique perspective from developing design solutions, construction drawings and construction administration for mountain environments to climate action plans, sustainability planning and Envision consulting. Additional project experience includes the City of Long Beach Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, Los Angeles Metro’s Energy and Resource Reports, and Los Angeles County Public Works Sustainable Infrastructure Guidelines. Deanna has is leading sustainable planning projects at Denver International Airport, the US Air Force Academy, and Colorado University Anschutz. Deanna enjoys snowboarding, backpacking and running with her Jack Russel Terrier.
Hollie Velasquez Horvath became Regional Vice President of State Affairs and Community Relations for Xcel Energy in 2021. Prior to her current position she held the position of Senior Director of State Affairs and Community Relations, Director of Community Affairs and Senior Manager of Civic and Political Engagement. She’s been with Xcel Energy since 2011.
Prior to coming to Xcel Energy, Hollie held several roles, including co-ownership of a public affairs firm, in the social, political, and civic industries in Colorado. Her former client list included the City of Denver, top tier non-profits and Colorado state and federal politicians.
In her current role as Regional Vice President, she leads a team of directors, managers, analysts, and lobbyists who are responsible for managing the state, city, and county political, business and community relationships as well as the local economic development on behalf of the Colorado operating company. These critical relationships shape local and state energy policy, transmission market strategy and overall Colorado operating company strategy. The philanthropic arm of the Colorado company is within her department and supports Colorado communities and customers with foundation grants, employee volunteerism and corporate sponsorships.
Hollie currently holds several leadership roles in the community by serving on non-profit and economic boards. She currently sits on the boards of Denver Health Authority, Downtown Denver Partnership Inc, Visit Denver, Aurora Economic Development Corporation, and the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado.
Hollie has received several community recognitions and awards for her leadership in the community. They include Downtown Denver 2021 Champion, Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40, Colorado Women’s Chamber Top 25 Most Powerful Women, Urban Peak Urban Nights Celebrity Model, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dancing with the Denver Stars.
When Hollie is not working or volunteering in the community, she enjoys spending time outdoors and cooking with her husband, Bryon, 13-year-old twins Chase and Lillian, and 8-year-old labradoodle named Murray.