We're delighted to announce the 2012 speakers on the upcoming Climate Ride California. Many speakers are also riders - which makes for extraordinary networking opportunities throughout the week. During the 'green conference on wheels', more than 150 businesspeople, social entrepreneurs, thought leaders, policy experts and everyday people will pedal 300 miles,while sharing ideas, building connections and building the stamina we need to create significant change. Stay tuned - We are adding more speakers in the coming weeks. Please see the speaker biographies below.
This year's topics include:
Socially responsible green building projects and financing
Bicycle advocacy and transportation planning
Climate policy in California
Litigation and environment
Green business and social activism
Climate change in polar regions
Geology and climate in Northern California
Gary is considered one of the inventors of the modern mountain bike.
Fisher started competing in road and track races at age 12. He was suspended in 1968 because race organizers cited a rule that his hair was too long. By 1972 this rule had been repealed and Fisher's career continued. He won the TransAlp race in Europe and a Masters XC national title.
Fisher went to work in 1975 on his 1930s Schwinn Excelsior X bicycle. His innovations to the model included drum brakes, motorcycle brake levers and cables, and triple chainrings, all taken from "junkers" Fisher found at bike shops. The next year, Fisher participated in the Repack downhill race, promoted by his roommate Charlie Kelly. This used a tortuous downhill route on Pine Mountain near Fairfax, California, just north of San Francisco, that riders used their coaster brakes so much that they had to repack the smoking hubs with grease after every run. Fisher holds the record time on the Repack course at 4:22.
Gary Fisher speaks about his role as a pioneer in the sport of Mountain Biking in two video documentaries: Full Cycle: A World Odyssey produced by New & Unique Videos (1994) and "Klunkerz" produced by Billy Savage (2007). Original clips of Fisher on his mountain bike appear in both documentaries.
Fisher was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 1988. Outside magazine named him one of the "50 who left their mark" in the sport in 2000, and Smithsonian magazine honored him in 1994 as the "Founding Father of Mountain Bikes." In 1998, Fisher was recognized by Popular Mechanics for his innovations in sports.
Jeff Lesk, Managing Partner, LEED AP, Nixon-Peabody Washington DC
Jeff is the managing partner of Nixon Peabody’s Washington, DC, office. He concentrates his practice in matters relating to affordable housing and community development; real estate syndication and securities; real estate acquisition, development and finance; and tax credit finance. His practice has included structuring and implementing all aspects of public and private real estate investment programs focusing on socially-oriented real estate projects that leverage the low-income housing tax credit, historic preservation tax credits, renewable energy tax credits and other federal, state, and local incentives. He has most recently concentrated on applying sustainable development and financing techniques to affordable housing and community development transactions and on educating developers, investors, and government agencies about green development and finance. He has co-developed and co-chaired (with Enterprise Community Partners) "Green Homes and Sustainable Communities," the preeminent annual green community development symposium.
Jeff is a leader in Nixon Peabody’s firmwide "Legally Green®" initiative, which identifies opportunities for the firm’s practices to participate in sustainable development and renewable energy projects, and prioritizes sustainability within the firm. He worked with Nixon Peabody’s San Francisco office to become one of the first law firm offices in the country to receive certification from the U.S. Green Building Council under its program for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Jeff is also a U.S. Green Building Council LEED® Accredited Professional.
Jeff is a frequent speaker on various housing, community development, and environmental topics, and a guest lecturer at several local universities. He has been Community Economic Development Editor of the ABA Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law and is currently on the advisory board of the Housing and Development Reporter. Jeff also served on the advisory committee of the National Building Museum's exhibits, “Affordable Housing—Designing an American Asset,” and “Green Community.” He currently serves on the board of Greenspace, which is developing DC's green building center, the Chairman’s Council of Conservation International, the lawyers working Group of the U.S. Green Building Council, the Enterprise DC advisory board, and the Fannie Mae green affordable housing task force. Jeff began his career as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, working with the Office of General Counsel and the Urban Development Action Grant Program.
Brad Jacobson, AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, Senior Associate, EHDD
Brad has led many of EHDD’s high performance projects since joining the firm in 2002, including a net zero energy and LEED Platinum headquarters for the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and the carbon neutral Nevada State College Master Plan. He served as Project Architect for the Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, an interdisciplinary research center at Stanford University that reduced carbon emissions from energy and materials by over 60 percent and was named a National AIA Top Ten Green Building in 2007. Brad was Project Manager on Stanford’s Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, a 25,000 sq. ft. research facility featuring exceptional daylighting and an underfloor air distribution system, and completed the Green Dorm Feasibility Study, sponsored by Stanford University’s School of Engineering, for an innovative dormitory and research laboratory designed to test and display sustainable building methods and technology. Brad received his Bachelors of Arts in Urban Studies from Stanford University and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He is co-founder of Bay Area Leadership in Sustainable Architecture (BALSA), which brings together leading architects to accelerate progress towards a sustainable future. He taught “Green Architecture” as a Visiting Lecturer at Stanford University from 2003-2008.
Selena Kyle, Staff Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
Selena is on an NRDC staff team that specializes in litigation. Her team brings (and occasionally defend) lawsuits on a huge range of issues that affect human health and the environment. Selena has worked on several California-related cases including a lawsuit to abate pollution from the storm water system that forces beach closures after storms in LA County each year (now before the U.S. Supreme Court); a successful challenge to a provision in the last state budget that would have raided $155 million raised through taxes on Californians’ natural gas bills and set aside to fund energy efficiency improvements in homes and businesses; and a successful challenge to federal fishing regulations that threatened depleted groundfish populations off the California coast. Selena’s work outside California has included a lawsuit over a landfill in a rural Tennessee town that has polluted people's drinking wells with carcinogenic chemicals (the suit resulted in a settlement that will fund new public water lines for affected households and better monitoring wells) and a lawsuit over the Keystone I tar sands pipeline. Selena holds a J.D. and B.A. from Stanford University.
Derek Walker, Director of Strategic Climate Initiatives at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Derek has primary responsibility for directing state and regional climate change programs in the United States, with a particular focus on California. Previously, Derek was Director of EDF’s California Climate Initiative and Deputy Director of EDF’s States Climate Program. In that role, he managed EDF’s engagement in the implementation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) and helped lead successful campaigns to pass statewide greenhouse gas policies in New Jersey and Connecticut and to strengthen the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) regional cap-and-trade program. He has testified on climate change legislation before several state legislatures and state and federal regulatory bodies.
Derek is an accomplished speaker on climate change and energy issues. He has made presentations at several major conferences, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Bali, Indonesia (December 2007); the Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force meeting in Belem, Brazil (June 2009); the Harvard Electricity Policy Group Plenary in Santa Monica, CA (March 2010); the California State Senate Select Committee on the Environment, the Economy and Climate Change field hearing in Los Angeles, CA (August 2010); and the annual Business for Climate event of the Centre for Sustainability Studies at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo, Brazil (October 2011). In April and May 2010, he conducted briefings on energy efficiency policy for senior members of the Vietnamese Parliament and senior officials of Vietnamese federal and provincial regulatory agencies in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang, Vietnam.
Derek serves on the American Climate Registry (ACR) Advisory Council, the Steering Committee of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative and the Board of Directors of the Clean Power Campaign. He is a past member of Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) Research Committee. Derek also co-chairs EDF’s Diversity Committee.
Susan Green, Director of Finance, Working Assets/Credo Mobile
Susan is Director of Finance at Working Assets/CREDO Mobile and has led teams in Finance, Operations and Business Development in her 16 years with the company. Susan will talk about a different slant on green business—private enterprise promoting social activism and progressive philanthropy at the grassroots. Working Assets/CREDO Mobile is a privately held, for-profit company with over 200,000 mobile, long distance and affinity credit card customers around the country. Since its inception in 1985, the company has pursued two synergistic goals: working for progressive social change and running a successful business. Social change and progressive philanthropy have always been the heart of the enterprise. Over the years, the company has donated over $70 million to progressive nonprofits and built a community of 3 million CREDO Action members who have engaged in over 27 million online and live actions, from defending choice to protecting net neutrality to fighting climate change and ending unjust wars. Sue has been actively involved for years in nominating and vetting nonprofits for Working Assets’ annual donations program. As a member of CREDO Action, she’s volunteered in various ground campaigns including the "Hell NO on 23" campaign, CREDO's victorious 2010 grassroots effort to crush Texas oil and help save California's global warming law. Last summer, Sue enjoyed a brief vacation in Washington DC checking out the county jail as one of the 1,200+ arrested in Tar Sands Action’s successful White House protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. She’s a long time resident of San Francisco and originally hails from Texas.
Zoë Chafe, MPH, UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group
Zoe is a climate change, energy, and human health researcher. Currently an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in UC Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group, Zoe focuses on "co-benefits," the benefits for human health coming from many climate change mitigation efforts. Much of her PhD work looks at the implications of a very basic task: how cooking with solid fuels (coal, charcoal, wood) in developing countries affects health, air pollution, and ultimately, the climate. She also explores how the concept of health can impact climate change communication and policy-making.
Before graduate school, Zoe was a researcher at the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organization in Washington, DC. She is a Lead Author of the recently released Global Energy Assessment, and Chapter Scientist (Human Health) for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), which will be published in 2014. She holds an M.S. (Energy and Resources) and M.P.H. from UC Berkeley and a B.A. from Stanford.
David Arkin, AIA, LEED AP
David is one of the founders and a current board member of the California Straw Building Association (CASBA). He is past-President of Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) and served for twelve years as a board member of the Solar Living Institute (SLI). He has taught and lectured on the subject of sustainable design for over fifteen years. David is a native of Wisconsin and earned his B. Arch. from the University of Minnesota. A licensed architect, he spent four years as project architect and planner with Van der Ryn Architects—most notably on the Real Goods Solar Living Center—and apprenticed with Obie Bowman at The Sea Ranch. While in graduate school at UC Berkeley he also worked with Peter Calthorpe and Dan Solomon, focusing on mixed-use, city and regional planning issues.
Arkin Tilt Architects is a northern California firm with extensive experience in alternative construction systems, including straw-bale and rammed earth, renewable energy systems, greywater, and non-toxic and recycled materials. Their projects include residential and commercial, public buildings, religious facilities, and eco-resort planning and design. Winner of the Acterra Business Award for the Sustainable Built Environment, two AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Project Awards, and numerous design awards, their work has been published nationally and internationally for excellence in design and sustainability. In 2010 Arkin Tilt placed third in the Bike to Work Company Challenge (small company category), and CoolCaliofnrnia.org named ATA a 2011 Small Business of the Year. Principals Anni Tilt and David Arkin, AIA are married and live in a 100-year-old solar and wind-powered home in Albany, California, where David currently serves as a planning and zoning commissioner.
Leah Shahum, Executive Director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
Leah Shahum has served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition since 2002. For four years prior, she was the SFBC's Program Director. Leah most recently served on the Board of Directors of the SF Municipal Transportation Agency. She previously served for five years on the 19-member Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway, and Transportation District. She is also a San Francisco representative to the state Democratic Party.
Nicole Rom, Executive Director, Will Steger Foundation
Nicole will share exciting videos and images and other stories from Will Steger's Eyewitness experience with climate change in the Polar Regions. For over six years Nicole has been leading the Will Steger Foundation. As the Executive Director, Nicole has built and sustained the organization by providing visioning and development activities for the organization and its climate change education and policy programs. Prior to working for WSF, Nicole managed the education programs for the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes office in Ann Arbor, MI. Nicole also has experience teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in environmental psychology, environmental education, and climate change at the University of Michigan and Hamline University. Nicole served as an Environmental Educator with the U.S. Peace Corps in the Republic of Kazakhstan. She received her M.S. in Environmental Policy and Behavior from the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Bates College. She was a 2010-2011 Humphrey Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and is currently Secretary for the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Board of Directors.
Tour of the Solar Living Institute
Climate Riders will visit the Solar Living Center in Hopland, CA to learn about a wide range of fascinating topics, from solar and wind power, to environmentally friendly building materials, to passive and active solar design in architecture, to organic gardening and permaculture.
David Coale, Acterra
David will talk about Acterra’s Green@Home program that does home energy audits to reduce energy use and GHG emissions in the home. David graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UCSB and worked in Silicon Valley for over 15 years. After this he worked in a small start up making controllers for electric vehicles. When this ended in 1999, David took some time off and volunteered for Bay Area Action and other non-profits until he took a job as building manager for the PCC, which houses eight environmental non-profits including Acterra. As a volunteer at Acterra and its predecessor Bay Area Action, David has taught a variety of classes on Sustainable Living Series over the past 10 years. He has also been instrumental in the design of various energy programs at Acterra including Green@Home, ACTerra Green and Cool-It!. Historically, David ran the Electric Vehicle program and created the SUV Ticket campaign.
Brad Heavner, Director of Development, Climate Protection Campaign
Brad Heavner has been working on energy and climate issues for 15 years, currently with the Climate Protection Campaign as the Director of Development and Communications. The Climate Protection Campaign creates model programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for communities everywhere. Previously, Brad was Executive Director of Environment Maryland and Research Director for the Frontier Group, an environmental think tank.
Adam Garcia, Policy Researcher, Greenbelt Alliance
Adam brings a diverse background rooted in environmental and city planning as Policy Researcher for the Greenbelt Alliance team. He brings experience learning from and helping develop sustainable communities through affordable housing development in Los Angeles, walkable neighborhoods for Santa Barbara, green buildings for the University of California System, tropical conservation in Costa Rica, wildlife management in Kenya, urban agriculture in Havana, bus rapid transit in Bogotá, and rural farming Oaxaca.
Dave Campbell, Program Director for the East Bay Bicycle Coalition
Dave coordinates advocacy and policy work of EBBC as well as coordinating the Bay Area's Regional Safe Routes to Transit Program and their annual Bike to Work Day program in the East Bay.
AshEL Eldridge, Lead Educator, Alliance for Climate Education
AshEl Eldridge, a native of Chicago, is currently an Oakland, California based artist, educator, organizer and spiritualist. He was Outreach Associate and a Cultural Director of Green For All's Public launch called Dream Reborn and Spotlight Events Coordinator for Green Jobs Now: A National Campaign to Build the New Green Economy.
He performs spoken word, rap and sings nationally with conscious Hip Hop, Dub, Reggae and Electronica bands including Wisdom and Bassnectar. He has shared stages with Steel Pulse, KRS-One, STS9, Michael Franti, Midnite, Ozomatli and more. In addition to being a music, poetry, and meditation facilitator with Art in Action, where he works to empower low-income youth from urban communities, AshEL also combines the world of art, music and community healing with ecological sustainability within the CommuniTree Movement.
His work aims to cultivate the links between both local and global movements for social justice, spiritual awakening and ecological healing through "edutainment" and other compelling ways to captivate youth and hard to reach populations.
Scott Warner, Hydrogeologist - Geology and Climate in Northern California
Scott has been a professional hydrogeologist and environmental consultant for more than 25 years and currently leads the environmental remediation practice for the global firm AMEC Environment & Infrastructure. Scott holds a BS in engineering geology from UCLA and MS in geology from Indiana University. He is active in non-profit organizations being the VP on the Boards for the San Francisco Bay Planning Coalition and the Marin School of the Arts. Scott has given presentations and short-courses throughout the US, as well as in Italy and Australia on environmental remediation and is a co-developer and instructor for a global remediation web-based course sponsored by State and Federal Regulatory agencies. His most enjoyable project: using a main ingredient in cat litter to clean groundwater contaminated by radioactive constituents. Scott is a guitar and ukulele player and is very proud of his family – wife and two daughters and all of their fantastic accomplishments!
What Climate Riders are reading…