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Emerging Professionals: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

  • Wednesday, May 26, 2021
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • Webinar


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WEBINAR: If I Knew Then What I Know Now...

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Noon- 1:00 PM

Link provided day of presentation.

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About the Event

Even as sustainability becomes an increasingly important component of today's discussions and tomorrow's business operations, many are still left wondering how to begin a career within the field. Attend our Emerging Professionals virtual panel discussion to learn from young professionals in various industries on how they navigated the new job climate to secure their positions. Our panelists will be sharing their experiences working in the sustainability field and will be providing insight as to how to get one’s foot in the door. USGBC Central Texas Emerging Professionals Committee is focused on younger individuals as well as life-long-learners who are new professionals or actively pursuing employment in the green building industry and the sustainability movement.


  • Courtney Thier, Elevation Home Energy Solutions (Moderator)
  • Chris Kelland, Heart Water
  • Phoebe Romero, Office of Sustainability - Austin
  • Natalie Regennitter, Austin Resource Recovery

Courtney Thier holds career experience in multiple different areas spanning renewable energy, environmental consulting, and consumer electronics. As the Director of Utility Programs at Elevation Home Energy Solutions, she oversees new business development efforts for the organization and is managing a cross-functional team to bring a residential smart home control program from concept to product. Before her current role, Courtney was a hybrid Product and Account Manager for Curb, an energy monitoring and management startup, managing clients and leading all engineering efforts in the smart home control and automation space. 

Courtney is currently the Vice Chair of the USGBC Central TX Region and continues to stay connected with sustainable development projects throughout Austin. She holds a MS from Carnegie Mellon University in Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, and Green Design and a BS from Lehigh University in Environmental Engineering.


Chris Kelland was born in South Africa and found himself in the United States after accepting a scholarship offer to study chemistry and play rugby at Lindenwood University in St Charles, MO. After graduating from college in 2018, Chris immediately jumped at the opportunity to move to Austin. Where he now works as director of sustainability at Heart Water, a local bottled rainwater company (the largest rainwater CPG in the world). Chris is responsible for Heart Water’s sustainability strategy as well as for introducing programs, processes and policies that will deliver on the organization’s sustainability commitments. Chris was motivated to pursue sustainability after being exposed to the societal and environmental issues existing in South Africa due to poor resource management and unsustainable practices. Seeing Cape Town on the brink of absolute water scarcity, observing decline in biodiversity figures and witnessing the world’s plastic pollution problem firsthand was all the motivation Chris needed to throw himself into the fight.

Phoebe Romero is passionate about the intersection of climate policy and racial equity. She works at the City of Austin Office of Sustainability focusing on air quality and climate action that reduces environmental impact and improves quality of life outcomes for historically impacted communities. Formerly she was a Program Manager at CLEAResult implementing utility energy efficiency programs for large commercial and institutional organizations across Texas. Prior to CLEAResult, she was an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow tasked with evaluating energy and water conservation initiatives at Huston-Tillotson University.

She has a BA in Political Science and Latin American studies from Brown University and a joint Professional Science Master's in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development from St. Edward’s University and Université Catholique de l'Ouest.

Natalie Regennitter graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2018 with a degree in Sustainability Studies with a focus on Natural Resource Management. As a college senior, she was the Advocacy Intern for USGBC Texas where she helped prepare for State Advocacy Day, among other duties. Currently, she works for the City of Austin as a Business Process Specialist for Austin Resource Recovery on the Zero Waste Policy and Program Development team. While she is not at work, Natalie enjoys exploring the Green Belt and Lady Bird Lake, community trash clean-ups, and trying out different coffee shops around town.

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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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