Member of PFB Corporation Board and Structural Insulated Panel Association
Frank Baker graduated from Kettering University (formerly known as General Motors Institute) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked at General Motors for 16 years holding a variety of positions from Engineer to Industrial Engineering Department Supervisor.
In 1979, Frank founded Riverbend Timber Framing Inc., the largest custom timber frame/insulated panel building system fabricator in the North America. He has since gone on to found, co-found and merge other businesses, Midwest Panel Systems and Insulspan Inc. being a few. He has been affiliated with and worked on many other boards and takes pride in his variety of community service activities.
Sustainability Director, Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
Karla has worked to improve residential buildings for over 25 years. She delivers exceptional sustainability consulting services, program certification support, and high-performance building technology expertise to project teams. Working with architects, developers, builders, and homeowners, Karla develops tailored sustainability strategies for both new construction and renovations, from affordable housing to high-end luxury homes.
With a reputation for delivering high caliber presentations and trainings to a variety of audiences, Karla is frequently asked to speak at events and conferences nationwide, including Greenbuild, RESNET, and Passive House conferences. She has a particular interest in growing fields of net zero energy housing and healthier indoor environments. Under Karla’s leadership, SWA is seven-time recipient of EPA’s Indoor airPLUS Leader Award.
Karla is an integral part of the support system for teams planning to pursue green building and energy-related certifications, from initial strategic planning to successfully passing performance tests at completion. She verifies projects pursuing the LEED® for Homes, Passive House, ENERGY STAR, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Zero Energy Ready Homes, Indoor airPLUS, and WaterSense programs. She is also one of only fourteen NGBS Master Verifiers in the country.
ACUMEN, LLC and Structural Insulted Panel Association, Executive Director
Jack Armstrong is president of ACUMEN, LLC, a boutique sustainable marketing, advocacy, and business communication consulting practice, founded after his 24 year career with BASF – The Chemical Company. Key focus areas include energy efficiency/durability for sustainable construction in the built environment, in addition to B2B supply chain, life cycle analysis, and federal/state/city advocacy messaging along the entire value chain.
Jack has specific public relations and speaking experience with B2C messaging linked to high performance attributes enabled via products of chemistry. Current clients include the American Chemistry Council (construction value chain outreach for chemicals of concern) and the Structural Insulated Panel Association (executive director & chief operating officer).
He has served on the board of directors of the Sustainable Building Industries Council, Structural Insulated Panel Association, and on the board and as Sustainability Chair of BPA – the worldwide consumer and media audit association composed of brand owners and advertising agencies. He was also a member of the United Nations Environmental Program Sustainable Building Climate Initiative Materials Advisory Committee and Chair for the Building & Construction Materials Issues Team of the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division.
Principal Engineer, Commercial Buildings Research at NREL
Paul Torcellini is a Principal Engineer for Commercial Buildings Research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a DOE national laboratory. He is also on the faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University teaching sustainable energy courses. He spent three years as a technical adviser to the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, DC. Paul was an instrumental part creating the process to achieve the Zero Energy Building status for NREL’s Research Support Facility.
Paul has authored or co-authored more than 50 papers and articles related to energy efficiency and zero-energy commercial buildings. Among his many awards, Paul has received two ASHRAE Technology Awards for his energy-efficient buildings work and two Energy User News magazine’s Efficient Building Awards. Paul has been key in the development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide series from ASHRAE and has chaired two of the guides for K-12 schools and grocery stores. Paul has been at NREL for 21 years and is a registered Professional Engineer holding a PhD from Purdue University.
Green Builder Media, Co-Founder & CEO
Sara is the Co-Founder and CEO of Green Builder® Media, the leading media company in North America focused on green building and sustainable living. With a comprehensive suite of print and digital media solutions, demonstration projects, case studies, online training, and live events, and market intelligence services, Green Builder Media assists building professionals in preparing themselves for the evolving green economy and helps homeowners understand how to live more sustainably.
As CEO of Green Builder Media, Sara has established a reputation for herself as a visionary thought leader and passionate advocate for sustainability. She works closely with Green Builder Media’s advertisers, including major corporations such as Ingersoll Rand, DuPont, Panasonic, Whirlpool, Kohler, and others, to develop long-term green strategies that make a profound impact on the market and are simultaneously sustainable and profitable.
Sara crafted a significant partnership between Green Builder Media and Walt Disney World® to construct the VISION House® in Innoventions, a ground-breaking green show home exhibit at Epcot® that highlights the very best in green residential design and sustainable living.
Sara graduated from Dartmouth College. She holds an MBA in entrepreneurship and finance from the University of Colorado. She has also studied at Oxford University in England and the University of St. Petersburg in Russia.
Goodman Manufacturing, Director of National Accounts
Brandon Franks, Director of National Accounts for Goodman Manufacturing, manages the single and multifamily new construction efforts. He strives to find the most effective mechanical solutions for developers while focusing on sustainability and holistic approaches to obtain the most optimal results in comfort. Working side-by-side with builders and developers for nearly 20 years provides Brandon with a keen understanding of the evolution of construction.
With this insight, Brandon continues to work on the advancement of mechanical systems for future construction and sustainability factors that drive Net Zero efficiency projects. Brandon focuses on high-efficiency solutions at the most optimal cost for new construction, making a concerted effort to work with developers, regulatory groups, utility providers, and other manufacturers to help subsidize cost while driving results.
EMS Marketing Communications, Toronto, ON
Richard has focused his writing, publishing and marketing career on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Since 1980, when he launched the magazine Energy Management Canada, he has maintained that sustainable buildings cost less over their lifetime than unsustainable buildings.
When he was CEO of Motum b2b he worked to craft and deliver that message for brands both big and small—among them BASF, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Enbridge, Honeywell, Lafarge, Ontario Hydro and Philips Lighting. Richard’s personal and professional vision is that ‘one day everyone will be able to live, work and play in a net-zero energy building’.
Executive Director, American Institute of Building Design
Steve Mickley is the Executive Director of AIBD and a Certified Professional Building Designer. Prior to his current position, Steve most recently was the Managing Director of SGA Architecture in Palm Beach, FL, and spent 10 years as owner of a residential design firm. Steve holds numerous awards, such as AIBD’s President’s Award and AIBD Designer of the Year, and is a member of the AIBD College of Fellows. Steve’s many interests include racing in triathlons and skydiving where he broke a world record by successfully completing 52 skydives from an airplane within 11 hours and 15 minutes, each time packing his own parachute.
Chief Executive Officer at Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA)
Aaron Smith is the CEO of the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) which represents a community of over 50,000 builders and their stakeholders across North America that are truly the early adopters and innovators in driving sustainable transformation of the homebuilding industry.
Aaron has over 25 years of experience in home construction, building products, sustainability, and non-profit board leadership. He has worked for companies including Kohler, Uponor and ASSA ABLOY as well as startups in Silicon Valley and his own building and remodeling company. Aaron previously served on non-profit Boards for Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC), CT Sustainable Business Council, and co-founded the CT Collaborative – Living
Aaron completed his undergraduate studies at West Point and St. Cloud State University and is a 2016 graduate of the Yale University MBA program with a focus on Sustainability. He loves green building and sustainability as well as hockey, hiking, skiing, gardening and spending time with his wife, Jennifer, 3 boys, 4 cats, and chickens at their home in Minneapolis.
Long before Joe founded the Zero Energy Project in 2012, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in India, taught middle school and started a wood stove store business. Today he shares his learnings with builders, designers, real estate agents, and the general public regarding the many benefits of zero energy homes. He has built several zero energy homes and encouraged builders to build about 15 other zero energy homes in the Bend, OR, region. His own home is net positive – fully powering the house and two electric vehicles from its solar collectors.
Joe is part of a citizens environmental group in Bend that was instrumental in getting the city council to pass and begin implementing a Climate Action Resolution. He is also a founding member of Zero Energy Ready Oregon, which successfully encouraged the Governor to issue an executive order to put the Oregon Building Code on the path to zero energy ready. He is working to insure that the executive order becomes reality.
Chief Executive Officer at Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA)
As Chief Architect for the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office, Sam’s primary role is leading deployment of proven innovations for new and existing high-performance homes.
In his prior position, he managed the growth of Energy Star for Homes from its inception in 1996 to more than 8,000 builder partners, over one million labeled homes, and over 25 percent market penetration nationwide. Mr. Rashkin has been recognized for his contributions to sustainable housing with the 2012 Hanley Award and is a published author.
Manager, National Accounts, Goodman Manufacturing
President, Design AVEnues, LLC
Ann Edminster is a leading international expert on zeroenergy, efficient green homes. Founder and principal of Design AVEnues LLC, Ann consults with builders, developers, homeowners, supply chain clients, design firms, investors, utilities, public agencies, and nonprofits — from local to international organizations.
Luodan Rojas is a recent graduate of the Medill School of Journalism and Communications at Northwestern University. She specializes in multimedia journalism and international environmental policy. Luodan has managed communications for several sustainable construction organizations in Central America. She also worked as an intern for a Chicago-based video agency, and as an editor and graphic designer for a Northwestern University magazine. Luodan spends her free time making digital illustrations and animations. She’s excited to learn more about digital media and design at EEBA!
Gabrielle McLaughlin has a BA in Communications from Moody Institute, specializing in graphic design.
She has previously worked as a communications manager at an education-based nonprofit and has graphic design experience across a wide range of industries. She is currently pursuing a certificate in user interface and user experience design. Gabrielle spends her free time being outdoors, biking, and creating abstract art.