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  • A Conversation with Leaders in Green

A Conversation with Leaders in Green

  • Thursday, October 15, 2020
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Webinar


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Thursday, October 15, 2020

11:30 AM-1:00 PM

About the Event

A panel discussion about how these leaders got into sustainability (their journey), why sustainability is essential (in the context of green building and sustainable land development practices), and what the opportunities are for people wishing to explore/get involved in this important sector.

The panel will be moderated by Jim Walker, UT Austin Director of Sustainability, USGBC Texas Board Member

Jim was appointed the Director of Sustainability for the University of Texas at Austin in 2009. He works closely with the President's Sustainability Steering Committee on the UT Austin Sustainability Master Plan and is the university’s USGBC Liaison related to LEED and SITES on new capital projects.

Jim has a Masters in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.  In 2011, the AIA Austin Chapter presented him the Edwin Waller Award for Public Architecture and the Texas Society of Architects granted him Honorary Membership.

Jim currently serves on the boards of the Mueller Foundation, the USGBC Texas Chapter, and Earth Day Austin, and the Steering Committee for the Austin Climate Equity Plan.

Jim is originally from Oregon and accidently moved to Austin in 1992. He was introduced to sustainability by Pliny Fisk and Gail Vittori at the Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, and Lars Stanley and Girard Kinney.


Amy Stansbury, Editor in Chief at The Austin Common and co-host of Shades of Green radio show

Amy Stansbury is an environmental reporter and journalist with a thirst for covering energy and local politics. A New Jersey native, she graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia in 2012 and spent a year working as a staff writer for The Evening Sun in Hanover, PA before moving to Austin in the summer of 2013. She has since fallen in love with the city, its strong environmental ethos, and its commitment to renewable energy and climate protection. She joined the Austin EcoNetwork (now the Austin Common) team in 2014. She is now the Editor-In-Chief for the Austin Common focusing on local news to help inform and engage Austinites. When she’s not busy doing that, Amy enjoys long runs along Lady Bird Lake and long swims in Barton Springs Pool. She believes in the power of an informed citizenry and encourages everyone she knows to take a break from the internet cat videos every once and a while to read a news article, get educated, and vote, vote, vote!

Gina LaMotte, Founder, President & Chief Innovation Officer of EcoRise

Gina is Founder, President & Chief Innovation Officer of EcoRise, a nonprofit which aims to unlock the power and potential of youth to design resilient communities of the future. EcoRise introduces sustainability, social entrepreneurship, biomimicry, design thinking, and green building to thousands of classrooms around the world. Gina has over 20 years of experience working in education, sustainability and social innovation. She founded EcoRise in 2008 and has stewarded its dramatic growth to serve over 1,000 schools in 60 countries.

Gina practices systems-thinking and human centered design, and recently completed the School for Systems Change program at the Forum for the Future. Gina serves on the SXSWedu Advisory Board and the Green Schools Conference & Expo Program Working Group and is a former co-chair of Austin ISD's Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee. Gina has presented extensively at local, regional and national conferences and recently received the Women in Sustainability Leadership Award by Green Building & Design.

Karen Magid, Director of Sustainability and STEM at Huston-Tillotson University

Karen is Director of Sustainability and STEM at Huston-Tillotson University (HT). Karen holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of California, Berkeley. After completing a Post-doctorate fellowship at the ETH-Zürich, she transitioned her career to connect with her passion for the environment and greater connection to community. She served in the Peace Corps before moving to Austin and starting work at HT in 2014. Her role at HT encompasses academics, operations, and engagement, including directing the Austin Pre-Freshman Engineering Program and working to develop HT’s Environmental Justice major.

Karen serves as the chair of the Austin-Travis County Food Policy Board and on the Joint Sustainability Committee. She also serves on the boards of Earth Day Austin and Austin Community Data Coalition, is Co-Director of the Dumpster Project, and co-founded Building Green Justice at HT.

Lucia Athens, Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Austin

Lucia is a registered Landscape Architect, and the City of Austin’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. She is author of the Island Press book Building an Emerald City: A Guide to Creating Green Building Policies and Programs.

Lucia began her career in public service at the City of Austin as a key member of the development team for Austin Energy’s Green Building program in the early 1990's, which set the stage for the creation of LEED. From there, she spent 10 years leading the City of Seattle's green building team. She rejoined the City of Austin in 2010 and has guided efforts towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and healthy local food systems. She represents the City as a delegate to the C40 Cities, a global consortium of cities taking action on climate change.

Lucia has collaborated on design projects with Rocky Mountain Institute, Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, U.S. Global Green, Seattle Housing Authority, and Evergreen State College. She has served on multiple Boards of Directors including for the U.S. Green Building Council, Green Business Certification Institute, and EcoDistricts. Currently, she is serving on the LEED for Cities and Communities Working Group, leading the creation of an Austin Civilian Conservation Corps, and completing her new book, The Optimist’s Guide to Sustainability. Lucia describes herself as a “practical idealist” and a “spark plug for positive change.”

Mike Myers, CEO and Sustainability Consultant at Myersverde Company and the Co-Founder of Central Texas Families for Safe Streets

Mike is a nationally known speaker and leader in energy efficiency and sustainability. He has worked for Lockheed Martin, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),and the cities of Austin, San Antonio and New York. At DOE, he was the Program Manager for Existing Buildings and Affordable Housing and led national efforts to promote green building practices. At Lockheed Martin, he served as the Senior Sustainability Manager. As Energy Manager for the City of Austin, Mr. Myers managed the award-winning electric and gas demand-side management programs for all customer sectors. He directed the team that created the first green building program in the nation, the City of Austin's acclaimed Green Building Program which received international honors at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. He currently serves as a Subject Matter Expert assisting the Federal Energy Management Program provide guidance to all federal agencies on sustainable buildings. Mr. Myers is the Co-Founder of Central Texas Families for Safe Streets and is a former Board member of  Vision Zero-ATX. He is a former TREIA Board Member, served as a Governor Appointee on the Texas Weatherization Policy Advisory Council and was the past Board Chair for Central TX-Balcones USGBC Chapter. Mike was the 2019 recipient of the USGBC TX Green Pioneer Leadership Award.

USGBC Texas Chapter is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 1801 Royal Lane, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75229

Contact us at chapter@usgbctexas.org or at 214-571-9244

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