Central Florida Region Board of Directors
Kathy Lawson, LEED AP BD+C, CDT, GGP serves as Chair of the USGBC Central Florida Region. She has been an active USGBC Central Florida board member since 2011 and founded the region's Community Advocacy Program (CAP). Under her leadership, CAP has raised over $300,000 for green retrofits to buildings serving the homeless in Orlando. Kathy has been a LEED AP since 2003 and contributed to the USGBC National Capital Region Chapter for many years prior to moving to Orlando. Show more...
Kathy is the Director of Sustainability at Davis, Carter, Scott Ltd, a Washington DC-based Architecture, Masterplanning, and Interior Architecture firm. She personally manages the firm's sustainable design projects and DCS Green Team. She leads the firm's corporate sustainability efforts, including LEED Consulting on over 16 million SF of building stock, design charrettes, staff training and continuing education, and construction administration. Kathy also developed and has hosted the Tysons Sustainability Summit, an annual green building symposium and product expo for the DC metro region, for the last 10 years.
After growing up in Florida, Kathy earned her Bachelor's degree in Architectural Engineering at Duke University. She feels all of her life's work has contributed to her most important job of being a role model and creating a better, greener world for her 1-year-old son.
EDUCATION COMMITTEE CHAIR
Lisa Pearcy with All Elements Mechanical is the Education Committee Chair for USGBC CF. She is dedicated to "the green mission," personally believes strongly in the value of the organization's efforts, and actively participates. To date, she has certified over five high-rise projects totaling 678,000 square feet and countless local projects. Lisa is certified for WaterStar, LEED, FGBC, and NGBS. Lisa is working on a Net Zero Statewide Hub for a Church off University Blvd that will provide LEED Certified education classrooms to the local community and a community garden. Lisa works from the design of the project to educating the members of over 100 churches statewide. "I love sustainability because I love my kids! I want to be a part of their future in every way possible... so I decided to BUILD a better one for them through education and sustainability," says Lisa, who is the Director of Education & Sustainability for All Elements Mechanical. Show more...
The focus on education was a natural fit for her. Lisa comes from a line of educators. She has worked closely with the Central Florida Region Board Members on four Green Apple Day of Service Projects to date. Lisa is actively involved in the Orange County Public Schools Green School program that encourages taking a holistic approach to going green by incorporating school ground enhancement, resource conservation, curriculum connections, and community involvement with a school-wide commitment and focus on sustainability. In her personal life, Lisa spends much of her time outdoors. "I love kayaking the Wekiva River, having a full day at the beach, and spending time with family. When I can, I visit our family cabin in North Carolina and disconnect for a while. I love to run and have run one actual marathon. But with two adorable boys, I basically run marathons every day, Lisa adds.
Jeff Benavides is a proven energy and sustainability professional with project management and strategic consulting experience with more than 25 unique corporations, organizations and task forces. Entering sustainability in 2007, Jeff is the Vice-President of Innovation & Strategic Partnerships with the firm 15 lightyears. Founded in 2012, 15 lightyears is a social enterprise dedicated to fueling the future of energy and making the world a better place. Their outstanding team provides clean energy solutions for builders and homeowners, as well as tests, verifies and certifies new construction projects with the goal of helping their customers attain higher building performance and greater energy savings. Show more...
Jeff has helped launch award-winning and industry-leading programs with Wyndham Worldwide (WyndhamGreen, across 215 locations nationwide); the Mayor of City of Orlando Program (GreenWorks); the nonprofit community organization Solar & Energy Loan Fund (SELF); and ecoPreserve Building Sustainability.
He is a published sustainability author/columnist and a graduate of University of Central Florida and the International Society of Sustainability Professionals Certificate Program. Jeff has also helped launch statewide sustainability efforts as co-founder of Green Destination Orlando; co-Founder of the Central Florida Energy Efficiency Alliance; and Board member of the USGBC Central Florida Region. He has been volunteering with the USGBC since 2009. Jeff and his wife, Michelle, are proud new parents to the most beautiful daughter in the world!
BOARD MEMBER / IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR
Kristin Gray, LEED AP BD+C, currently works in Business Development for Turner Construction Company and is the Orlando Office Sustainability Manager. Turner Construction Company has been ranked ENR's #1 Green Builder for the last 13 years in a row and is a $10 billion international company. Kristin has her Construction Management masters focused in Sustainability from the University of Florida and has utilized this knowledge on large LEED projects throughout Orlando. Most notably, the Citrus Bowl Reconstruction and VA Community Living Center, Domiciliary, and Chapel. Show more...
Beyond Turner, Kristin is involved in the industry with Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) on their Future Leaders Committee. She has been involved with Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentoring for almost 5 years, and for the last two years has led a local group of High School students. ACE Mentoring is one of the most rewarding programs, being able to encourage students to pursue a career in our industry and seeing their ideas come to light. In addition, the students love the sustainable innovations they discover throughout their research, which is a great sign for years to come. Kristin also enjoys exercising with her puppy and laughing with friends and family.
Mital Hall, PMP, LEED Green Associate, has more than 15 years of experience in sustainable development, including work with universities; federal, state and local governments; and businesses. Her expertise lies in strategic planning and implementation of high-efficiency, low-impact, building design and operations. Synthesizing the discipline of professional project management with the multifaceted, stakeholder-intensive process of sustainability has led to success at some of the largest institutions in Florida. As Program Manager for ecoPreserve: Building Sustainability, Mital manages all new construction, existing building and sustainability projects for several clients, including the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Show more ...
Mital's skillset includes incorporation of cost-effective and sustainable solutions into organizational structure through continued process improvement, policy development, reporting, planning and initiative development, third-party green building certifications, ISO compliance, and energy efficiency program administration. She is also responsible for helping create a company environment that embodies social responsibility through decisions that are both tactical and strategic in nature. Her leadership style is distinguished by a team-oriented approach that uses solutions-based strategies paired with a high level of positive morale.
Mital is a published author and gives back to her community in many ways. She currently serves on the leadership committee for the Indian American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida; on the sponsorship/events committee for the Association of Energy Service Professionals Southeast Chapter; on the Airports Council International – Sustainability Working Group; on the Project Management Institute; and as a judge for Orange County Green School Recognition Program.
Mital moved back to Orlando three years ago after 15 years of diverse focuses and activities (i.e., attending college, farming in Europe, teaching on Indian reservations ... exploring our planet!). She is currently rediscovering the natural beauty of central Florida with her two children (ages 6 and 7) via frequent camping trips. She is active in the Indian community and strives to inspire humanity to view life for all that it can be. Mital received a B.A. in World Religions from Emory University and a Masters in Interdisciplinary Ecology at the University of Florida.
BOARD MEMBER / REGION REP TO USGBC-FL BOARD
Mike Hess, LEED AP BD&C, LEED Fellow, PE, is a licensed mechanical engineer and the Principal in Charge of exp's sustainability and commissioning departments in the USA. exp is a 3,000-person consulting and engineering firm. Mike has personally worked on more than 100 LEED Certified projects and has achieved the prestigious appointment of LEED Fellow. Show more...
Mike has expertise in sustainability and LEED consulting, energy modeling, commissioning, water re-use and renewable energy systems, and has also developed city codes and incentives and corporate standards for several organizations associated with going green.
Mike was selected by his peers as the first President of the new USGBC Florida Chapter. He has served two terms as the President of the USGBC Central Florida Chapter, and also has served several terms on the USGBC National Board of Directors.
Originally from Wisconsin, Mike has lived in Central Florida for 17 years. He earned a Bachelor's of Science in Architectural Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Mike has a 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, and sees the green building movement as a way to provide them with a bright environmental future.
Ian LaHiff, P.E., LEED-AP, is the Energy Project Manager at the City of Orlando. Working with a team of construction managers and controls specialists, he identifies and implements energy-efficiency upgrades throughout the city's wide portfolio of buildings. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida and is a licensed Professional Engineer. Show more...
Ian has more than eight years of design and construction experience with a focus on sustainability, and most recently held a fellowship working at the U.S. Department of Energy before joining the Orlando Green Works team in 2013.
Ian is an active member of the local ASHRAE chapter and has been a board member of the Central Florida Region of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2014.
In addition to his responsibilities as a Board member of the the USGBC Central Florida Region, Ian is an active member of the local ASHRAE chapter. Originally from Tarpon Springs, FL, when Ian is not moving the needle on energy efficiency in Orlando, you can find him enjoying time on the water and finding new spots to hike and camp across the southeast.
Michelle Leigh, LEED GA, has more than 16 years of local government sustainability experience working with Volusia County. She currently works with the County’s Central Services division, and has been involved with the County’s LEED construction projects since becoming a LEED GA in 2015. Show more...
Michelle has served as the Central Florida Energy Efficiency Alliance (CFEEA) Committee Chair for the USGBC Central Florida Region since 2012. Since that time, CFEEA has engaged commercial building owners in Central Florida by hosting countless educational workshops including Energy Star 101/201 training, energy conservation, water reduction techniques, waste management solutions, and efficient transportation options. In 2017, in partnership with the EPA ENERGY STAR Program, CFEEA launched the Central Florida Battle of the Buildings competition, again with Michelle as Chair of the complex endeavor.
Originally from Colorado, Michelle grew up on Florida’s east coast. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science from the University of West Florida, and received her Master's of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Colorado. In her free time, Michelle is either traveling or spending time with her nieces and nephews. "I think it is important to instill how beautiful the natural world is to younger generations -- that is how we grow our future champions of the environment."
Nate is a principle and founder of GreenBuilt Solutions. With the goal of reducing the environmental impacts of our buildings he started GreenBuilt Solutions in 2012 to help builders, developers, and owners incorporate green building practices into their projects. He is a LEED AP BD+C & Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater. and has a Master's degree in Sustainable Construction Management from Drexel University. Nate has more than 15 years in sustainable construction gaining many insights into building science. It's those insights he applies to his client's projects today. Show more...
Nate is a vocal advocate of sustainability, not only in the building industry but all walks of life. He spends his time promoting sustainability through transportation alternatives, energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation and responsible agriculture. Nate works under the assumption our society will transform incrementally toward becoming self-sustaining once enough people have the will.