Speakers Bureau

“Intro to LEED”. “Green Schools”. “Making the Business Case for Sustainable Design and Construction”. “Legal Issues in Green Building”. If you need a presentation, a panelist or a moderator – we know green and can supply your company or organization with a wide array of talented speakers.

Since launching the Speakers Bureau in August 2008, the Missouri Gateway Chapter has reached over 2,000 individuals from all different backgrounds at over 50 events to date.

Our Speakers

Architects, builders, energy specialists and attorneys…our list of experienced speakers keeps growing!

 


Ralph C. Bicknese, AIA, LEED® AP BD + C
Principal and Co-Founder, Hellmuth + Bicknese Architects

Specialties:
Green Schools, Optimizing Energy Savings and Indoor Environmental Quality, Daylighting, Deep Green: The Living Building Challenge, Designing with Nature, Green Campus Planning, Green Community Planning, LEED Systems
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Speaking Experience:

  • Higher Education & Sustainability, Just Earth, SLU Chartered Student Organization, March 23
  • Energy Audits, Solar Power, and Cool Roofs, a 7 part speaking series in partnership with Sustainable Tower Grove, July 2013-September 2013
  • “Green Building 101”, Lewis and Clark Community College, Edwardsville, IL
  • “Green Building in St. Louis”, The Necessary Revolution Conference, St. Louis University
  • “Green Schools”, Mehlville School District, St. Louis Co., MO

Ralph is a nationally-recognized proponent and practitioner of sustainable design and the Green Schools Advocate for USGBC-Missouri Gateway. His firm, Hellmuth + Bicknese, provides architectural, planning and consulting services nationwide centered on green building solutions to enhance and enrich life. A registered architect and member of the American Institute of Architects, he served five years on the board of the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter. In addition, he served on the Greenbuild 2008 and 2007 Session Selection Committees and the Greenbuild 2005 Program Committee.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Ralph initiated and helped to facilitate charrettes resulting in The New Orleans Principles. In 2008 and 2009 he participated in USGBC’s Government Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where he met with federal legislators to advocate for green building legislation. Currently, he also serves as a member of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s Home Building and Residential Energy Efficiency Panel.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Jeff Bogard, LEED® Green Associate
President, R.E.A. Homes, LLC

Specialties:
Green Construction of Single Family Residences
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Jeff Bogard

Jeff Bogard is a second generation St. Louis home builder with over twenty two years of hands-on experience. As president of R.E.A. Homes, Jeff has focused on high performance luxury homes- homes with an intense focus on energy efficiency and indoor air quality. R.E.A. Homes have built multiple homes with ENERGY STAR, NAHB Green and/or LEED certification in the St. Louis Region.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!

 


Nick Bristow, LEED® AP BD + C
Senior Project Engineer, Clayco; Certified Building Commissioning Professional

Specialties:
Any topic related to LEED Rating Systems
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Nick Bristow

Speaking Experience:

  • LEED version 4, Jacobs Engineering Group, March 19, 2014
  • LEED AP BD+C Prep Course for the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter
  • LEED Green Associate Prep Course for the USGBC Missouri Gateway Chapter
  • “Water Efficiency”, Plumbers Union
  • “Green Construction/Design”, Washington University Career Camp for graduating seniors

From concept to certification and everything in between, Nick is often referred to as the ‘LEED guy’ at Clayco since 2008. He regularly delivers presentations on the LEED rating system for clients, colleagues, schools and trade organizations. In addition, he has participated in two subject-matter groups formed for GBCI test development. To date, his experience covers more than 20 LEED registered and 35 LEED certified commercial projects, including one Platinum project. Nick volunteers for the LEED Development Committee of St. Louis Chapter of Habitat for Humanity – home to 27 new LEED Platinum homes and counting.  Nick also volunteers for the Missouri Gateway Chapter’s LEED EBOM ad hoc committee for certification of the CBEC building that houses the chapter offices.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Dan Hellmuth, AIA, LEED® AP
Principal and Co-founder, Hellmuth + Bicknese Architects, LLC

Specialties:
LEED Certification Process, LEED for Campus, Sustainable Campus Master Planning, Sustainable Site and Building Design, LEED EB-OM, Sustainable Community Redevelopment and Planning
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Speaking Experience:

  • Keynote at Grainger’s April 2009 Sustainability Conference & Tradeshow
  • Course in Sustainable Design at the Washington University School of Architecture
  • “Greening Head Start Child Care Centers” at National Head Start Conference in Albuquerque, NM

With over 20 years experience in sustainable design, K-12 and higher education, housing, historic preservation, and transit and transportation planning, Dan has served as Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Landmarks Association. He has a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University and a Masters of Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology. While at Tulane, he spent a Junior Year Abroad at Sheffield University; through Georgia Tech, he took part in a one-year exchange at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Jaime Kelley, MS, LEED® AP BD+C
Independent Consultant

Specialties:
LEED Rating System Basics, Greening Restaurants, Greening Your Day, Greening Your Office, Greening Schools
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Speaking Experience:

  • Green Schools and Green Living, Cardinal Ritter Foster Grandparents, September 12, 2014
  • Green Restaurants – Ask Blue, Blue Skies Recycling Event
  • Greening Your Office/Greening Your Day
  • LEED Green Associate Courses, USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter

Jaime E. Kelley is an Environmental Engineer, Urban Planner, and Project Manager who has been working closely with environmental issues since 1997. She has been actively working to green the built environment in the St. Louis region since 2001, and has been recognized by the USGBC as a LEED Accredited Professional since 2004. Jaime holds a BA in English from Boston College and a MS in Environmental Engineering and Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Erik Lueders, LEED® AP O+M
Director of Sustainability and Purchasing, Parkway School District

Specialties:
Green Schools, Sustainable Purchasing
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Speaking Experience:

  • Growing Green: Green Building & Sites, the Engineers’ Club of St. Louis, March 15, 2013

Erik Lueders currently serves on the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter’s Board of Directors, and has been an active participant of the Chapter’s Green Schools Committee for the past 4 years. Over the last 2.5 years, he has served as the committee chair. During this time the committee has organized 3 annual Green School Events, presented to several schools including two annual school board conferences, partnered with a local school district to transform their courtyard using Missouri native plants, and worked to promote green schools legislation in the state of Missouri.

As the Sustainability & Purchasing Manager for the Parkway School District, one of Erik’s primary duties is to identify how to integrate concepts of LEED into the district’s operations. This includes implementing award winning recycling programs, pursuing energy efficiency measures, initiating the largest collective solar photovoltaic project in Missouri, and acquiring funding for these projects. Erik received a Bachelors of Science in Forestry from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Paul Todd Merrill, PE, LEED® Fellow
Director of Sustainable Construction, Clayco

Specialties:
Planning, design, construction and implementation of Clayco mechanical and electrical systems and careful integration on those projects also pursuing a green building rating system such as LEED Green Building Rating Systems.
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Speaking Experience:

  • Regional Green Building Challenges and Successes – How Can we Keep Up The Momentum?, Presentation and Role Playing Exercise, USGBC-MGC, February 2019.
  • LEED v4 – Indoor Environmental Quality, Presentation, USGBC-MGC, January 2017.
  • IECC 2015 and Benchmarking/Disclosure Policies, Presentation, USGBC-MGC, August 2016
  • Is Your DC Net Zero and Sustainable?, Panel discussion, Warehouse Education Research Council Annual Conference, Providence, RI, 2016
  • Planning and Constructing Sustainable Facilities” – The Ohio State University, Columbus Chamber Panel Presentation, The Columbus Region’s Vibrant Logistics Sector- Factoring Sustainability into Facilities and Operations, Columbus, OH, 2015
  • Green Schools Quest Mentor

Paul is a Registered Professional Engineer in 6 states and responsible for planning, design and construction of Clayco’s sustainable efforts. In addition, he directs the sustainable design and construction education and training efforts within the organization and has been involved in over 30 LEED certified projects. Paul is actively involved in early energy modeling efforts for cost effective solutions to energy and skin requirements of Clayco projects to meet local energy needs, customer goals or available construction budget.

Paul served as USGBC-Missouri Gateway Vice-Chair in 2007-2008 as well as 2011 and takes an active role in the development of green business opportunities in the disadvantaged business community. He served on St. Louis’ LEED v3 Regional Credit Task Force and is the Missouri representative to the LEED for Neighborhood Development Regional Credit Task Force. Paul is currently an active member of the Chapter Development Committee and the Chapter Membership/Marketing Committee.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Kim Petzing 
Program Manager, Franklin Energy

Specialties:
Green Schools
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Speaking Experience:

  • Over 20 years of experience as an environmental educator, presenting to a variety of groups ranging from preschool-adult

Kim has over 20 years of experience in sustainability and environmental education working at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center, University of Illinois, and multiple private nature centers. As the current Green Schools Coordinator for Madison County, Kim works with all private, public, and parochial schools within the County to incorporate sustainable practices both into the curriculum and on school grounds. Kim currently serves on Green Schools Committee of the  U.S. Green Building Council- Missouri Gateway Chapter and previously served on the Environmental Education Association of Illinois’ Board of Directors.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!

 


Jean Ponzi
Green Resources Manager, Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center

Specialties:
Green Building 101: Focus on Green Homes, Sustainable Practice for Business Environments, Indoor Air and Environmental Quality, Recycling and Solid Waste Reduction
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Speaking Experience:

  • “Green 101”, Wells Fargo Advisors Green Fair
  • “Greening Your New Home” class at Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center
  • Key concepts of Business Sustainability at RCGA Green Business Challenge Kick-Off

On behalf of the EarthWays Center, Jean responds to public inquiries with resources, referrals and information on sustainable practices, products and services. She also serves as Residential Green Building Advocate for USGBC-Missouri Gateway and in concert with the Homebuilders Association of St. Louis promotes green building to area homeowners and businesses. Her expertise includes recycling and waste reduction, air quality, native plant landscaping, energy efficiency – and the ecological and economic connections between these practices.

Jean has written for Home Energy, Grist and Missouri Resources magazines and many local publications, and she regularly represents EarthWays Center in print and electronic media coverage. She has also produced and hosted a weekly environmental radio talk show, “Earthworms,” on FM-88 KDHX for over 20 years. In addition, Jean represents the City of St. Louis on the executive board of the St. Louis Jefferson Solid Waste Management District and has served on the board of the Missouri Recycling Association.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Daniel Raftery, LEED® AP BD+C
Space Planning and Design Manager, Corporate Real Estate, Enterprise Holdings, Inc.

Specialties:
High Performance Building Construction, Renewable Energy, ENERGY STAR, LEED Exam Preparation
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Speaking Experience:

  • Associate Professor in Construction Management Technology Program, Southwestern Illinois College
  • Airports Going Green
  • Ranken Technical College

As the Construction Manager of Corporate Real Estate, Daniel is leading efforts to better understand and address the impact of the company’s built environment on the communities where Enterprise does business and on the world as a whole. Specifically, his role is to lead corporate construction projects and to assist the operating groups with sustainable local, regional, and international construction projects.

Daniel joined Enterprise after 20 years of construction management experience with leading contracting firms working on numerous high-profile projects.   Daniel lectures at Washington University, School of Architecture, and is an Adjunct Professor for Green Building courses at Southwestern Illinois College.  Daniel also serves on the USGBC Higher Education subcommittee. He received his Bachelor degree from Missouri State University, and later achieved a postgraduate degree in management.

Daniel, his wife Kelley and their three sons, live in Godfrey, IL, near the headquarters city of Enterprise.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Richard Reilly, LEED® AP
Energy Programs Manager, Missouri Botanical Garden’s EarthWays Center

Specialties:
General LEED Introduction, LEED for Homes, Residential Energy Efficiency Issues
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Speaking Experience:

  • Habitat for Humanity-St. Louis Training through Forest Park Community College Continuing Education Program
  • “Green Homes” at annual Green Homes Festival, presented by EarthWays Center & Missouri Coalition for the Environment
  • Missouri Housing Development Commission Conference

Richard is a veteran of the St. Louis construction industry since 1980. A certified Building Operator and Habitat LEED consultant, he is a member of the USGBC-Missouri Gateway Speaker’s Bureau, the Focus St. Louis Sustainability Task Force, the Governor’s Economic Development Conference, the RCGA St. Louis Climate Prosperity Project and, most recently, Governor Nixon’s Homebuilding and Residential Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel. In addition, Richard was a finalist for St. Louis Business Journal’s “Heroes of the Planet” Awards and a winner of USGBC-Missouri Gateway’s “Growing Green” Award.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!

 


Lois Sechrist, LEED® AP
Environmental Stewardship Manager, Ascension

Specialties:
Sustainability 101, Healthcare
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Speaking Experience:

  • Multiple local and national presentations on energy efficiency, water conservation, resiliency, health impacts of climate change, waste management, healthy food and green purchasing.

Lois Sechrist, LEED AP, manages the Ascension Environmental Stewardship Program, including sharing best practices throughout Ascension’s 141 hospitals in 22 states and the District of Columbia. She is an interior architect, taught the LEED Green Associate exam preparation course for several years and is past chair of the University City, Missouri Green Practices Commission.
Lois holds a Bachelor of Interior Architecture Degree, magna cum laude, from Kansas State University. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and worked as a project manager and interior designer for several St. Louis architectural firms prior to joining Ascension. She has served in several roles in the US Green Building Council, Missouri Gateway Chapter and was honored as a Green Building Expert.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!


Lisa Sombart, LEED AP BD+C
President & CEO, William Tao & Associates

Specialties:
LEEDv4
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Speaking Experience:

  • LEEDv4 for Mechanical Contractors, February 2018
  • Sustainability in Construction Administration, April 2017

Lisa Sombart HeadshotMs. Sombart is the President and CEO of William Tao & Associates, Inc., a multi-disciplined engineering consulting firm providing professional services globally for over 50 years.  She is a mechanical engineer with over 30 years experience in project management, energy analysis, controls and automation design, and critical facilities commissioning and validation.  Ms. Sombart has managed numerous projects across diverse building types including energy and utility analysis, new construction and renovation.  She is a LEED Accredited Professional and is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning (ASHRAE), Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), US Green Building Council, International Facility Management Association (IFMA), International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), and the Building Commissioning Association (BCxA).  Ms. Sombart is licensed in 20 states including Missouri and bordering states of Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.

Ms. Sombart is active in the community and serves on the Missouri University of Science & Technology (S&T) Corporate Advisory Board, Missouri S&T Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineers, Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) Board of Directors and Chairperson of the Properties Committee, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Scientific and Technical Review Board on Biomedical and Behavioral Research Facilities (STOD), and the State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency – SAVE Coalition.

Learn more about this speaker – visit their USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter member profile!