Staff & Board

Board of Directors

richardspeaker1Richard Register, Board President

Ecocity theoretician, author, hands-on and policy project instigator, international lecturer and consultant. Richard founded Ecocity Builders in 1992 and before that Urban Ecology, Inc. in 1974, a similar activist, design and planning NGO focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been specializing recently on China’s ecocity building and writings on issues closely associated with ecocity thinking. He coined the term “ecocity,” alternately “eco-city” in 1979 that is coming into common usage in many countries. His book, “Ecocities – Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature,” is course material in design, planning and architecture schools and useful in policy development in cities around the world and in design and environmental activism circles.

 

Ho-Tong-Yen-Oct-20122-1024x1024Tong Yen Ho

Mr Ho is the Chief Executive Officer of the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development Co. Ltd (SSTEC), and an adviser on the Eco-City project in the Singapore Ministry of National Development. Before assuming the position of CEO of SSTEC, Mr Ho was the Press Secretary to Singapore’s then-Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in the Prime Minister’s Office, and a Director in Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.  A seasoned diplomat, Mr Ho was previously posted to Singapore’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and Singapore’s Trade Office in Taipei, and had also served as the Special Assistant to Singapore’s then Minister for Foreign Affairs Professor S Jayakumar.  Mr Ho received a BSC (Economics) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Master in Public Management from the National University of Singapore.

 

f30130ecdc91418d953d487ecc894242Steven Bercu, Esq.

Mr Bercu is a practicing attorney and CEO of Lime, llc., lawyers for interactive media. He is a Director of the Helen and William Mazer Foundation and a former Director for Business and Legal Affairs for Atari, Inc. Steve is an enthusiastic bicyclist and does pro bono legal work through Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Creative Capital specializing in intellectual property rights. His foundation has been important in supporting Ecocity Builders’ major San Francisco 7th International Ecocity Conference, redesign of Berkeley’s major downtown street link from the regional transit system to the University of California and the Ecocity Builders’ International Framework and Standards currently in development for assessing and helping guide cities’ progress toward higher levels of accomplishment in the quest for urban sustainability, health and cultural vitality.

 

carla-ricchettiCarla Ricchetti

Ms Ricchetti oversees renewable energy and cleantech investments for the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group. She has 10 years of experience with mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and private equity investments in emerging markets. Fields of investments include solar, wind, electric vehicles, energy efficiency, green buildings, LED lights, waste, energy storage and pollution equipments.

 

stein_blogJeff Stein, AIA

Mr Stein is former Dean of Architecture at the Boston Architecture College and before that a professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology. He also taught at Technicum Winterthur, Zurich, and Ecole d’Architecture Languedoc-Rousillon, Montpellier, France. Mr. Stein is currently President of the Cosanti Foundation, building Arcosanti, Arizona, and keeper of Paolo Soleri’s architectural and philosophical legacy. Mr. Stein lectures internationally and presents on special invitations such as Keynote at the 100th Anniversary Conference celebrating the founding of Tel-Aviv, Israel. Jeff lives and works at Arcosanti.

 

628x471Sylvia McLaughlin

Ms McLaughlin founded the Save San Francisco Bay Association (more commonly known as Save the Bay) and helped shape California law on coastal conservation and development, which led to the founding of the Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). In 1960 San Francisco Bay was being used as a solid waste dump by twelve cities on its shore and was being rapidly filled for development. Sylvia’s initiative through Save the Bay literally saved the bay. In December 2012 the new Eastshore State Park was named McLaughlin State Park by legislative act of the sate of California to honor her accomplishments. She has served on the boards of many state and national environmental organizations including Save The Redwoods League and the National Audubon Society.

 

RickRick Pruetz, FAICP

Mr Pruetz is former Planning Director of Burbank, California. He is the foremost national expert on transfer of development rights (TDR) and is a planning consultant specializing in TDR and author of “Saved by Development – Preserving Environmental Areas, Farmlands and Historic Landmarks with Transfer of Development Rights.” Background for his new book, “Lasting Value – Open Space Planning and Preservation’s Successes” and motivation for his efforts to transform the cities and rural areas he works with is to prevent what he calls “country-cide,” as more than one million acres of United States rural land is paved and built upon for development.  His website at www.SmartPreservation.net dedicated to open space preservation news is a respected source in the field.

 

Staff

Our organization is staffed by a core team of professionals supported by a number of dedicated volunteer experts. We often work on projects with other organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally through our extensive worldwide network of ecocity practitioners.

 

kirstinnantesKirstin Miller, Executive Director

Kirstin Miller leads the organization’s program development, global initiatives and activities. She works locally and internationally to help cities access ecocity knowledge.  Kirstin works closely with Ecocity Builders’ President Richard Register in the development of the organization’s “toolbox” of strategies, such as car-free by contract housing, environmental restoration transfer of development rights, centers oriented development, ecological demonstration projects and ecological zoning overlay mapping.

Kirstin specializes in integrating city-based experiences from a diverse range of perspectives. She is an international speaker and presenter on ecocity design, technology, development and citizen participation. Kirstin is also a Board Member of the International Ecocity Conference Series Committee and a jurist for the Katerva Awards.

 

shivangprofileShivang Patwa, Urban Design Associate

Shivang Patwa graduated with an M.Arch from Berkeley focusing primarily on Architecture, computation and Urban Design. Prior to his masters at Berkeley, as a licensed architect in India with a B.Arch from CEPT, Ahmedabad, he practiced architecture for over five years realizing several projects from conceptual design to built reality. The built work encompasses institution, healthcare, residential projects and installations.

 

ac4875fe6f32e0b5fa1ea711291be5ef_largeAshoka Finley, Projects Facilitator

Ashoka is a creative and dynamic project leader with diverse project management experience and media expertise in developing online presence and visibility through social media platforms. He is successful at innovative technological approaches to community driven engagement related to sustainability and implementation at the local level. He is involved with Urban Tilth as a co-project manager and works with schools and community-based organizations to build a more sustainable, healthy and just food system. Ashoka has a degree in Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

naomiNaomi Grunditz, Outreach, Assistant to the Executive Director

Naomi is editor of Ecocities Emerging, our monthly newsletter, and along with Sven Eberlein manages Ecocity Builders’ online and print media. She is a submission reviewer and planner for the Ecocity World Summit, currently member of the Strategic Committee and Ecocity Builders liaison for EWS Abu Dhabi 2015. Naomi has a degree in Sociology and Urban Studies from Yale University. She previously interned with SPUR. In the private sector Naomi has been involved with the development of online curriculum to support mental health and wellness. She is interested in the intersection of the built and social environments and experiential aspects of the city.

 

HollyHolly Pearson, Community Planning Manager

Holly Pearson is an urban planner specializing in local strategies to promote sustainability, with an interest in cities in the U.S. as well as in the global south. She has worked for the City of Vancouver, BC on both land use planning and the creation of a city-wide plan for social development. In 2005 Holly was awarded a grant to work for six months with Fundación Biosfera, an environmental organization in Argentina, on the development of a municipal climate action program in the city of La Plata.  At home in the Bay Area, Holly has worked as a planner for the Cities of Oakland and San Francisco, California.  She holds a master’s degree in Planning and a professional certificate in International Development from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

marcoMarco Vangelisti, Ecocity Economics

Marco studied theoretical math (algebra, logic and topology) and applied math (statistics, operations research and theory of programming language design) at the University of Padova in Italy. He obtained an MBA from the school “Enrico Mattei” in Milan. He was a Fulbright scholar in mathematics and economics at the University of California in Berkeley. Marco worked for 11 years at BARRA in Berkeley – a think tank developing statistical risk models for equity and fixed income markets around the world. He worked as visual artist on a full-time basis for 5 years. Marco obtained a MFA focusing on the intersection between public art and ecology. He later worked for 6 years managing investment equity portfolios primarily on behalf of large foundations and endowments. Marco left the corporate world in April 2009 and is currently studying permaculture design and system theory. He is a Soil Trust Advisor and founding member of Slow Money.

 

smith_final_1Richard Smith, Project Associate, Researcher

Rick is an assistant professor at the Wayne State University School of Social Work where he teaches community building and development and social policy. He does research on poverty, inequality, migration, and the impact of sustainable community development initiatives. The Association for Community Organization and Social Administration awarded him the 2013 Emerging Scholar Award. Prior to his involvement with Ecocity Builders, he served as a Presidential Management Intern at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and US Agency for International Development. Smith also served in Peace Corps Mongolia, managed the Spring Institute English Language Center and consulted with the World Bank, UNDP and UNICEF. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan and Western Michigan University.

 

dave-ron-placeholderDave Ron, PIT Programs Manager

Dave brings expertise drawing from over seven years of project management and research experience in sustainability consulting and energy engineering. He has worked with municipalities, universities, community organizations, and commercial enterprises in renewable energy system deployment, assets and constraints mapping, climate change adaptation, green buildings, district energy planning, energy modelling and analytics. Dave is supporting the pilot city teams in developing strategies and tools for citizen engagement and knowledge transfer through participatory information technologies (PIT).

 

057a2afSven Eberlein, Ecocity Media

Sven Eberlein is a writer, musician and activist living in San Francisco with roots in Germany. As an associate of Ecocity Builders, Sven has been intimately involved in the advancement of sustainable cities and urban design. Sven is a contributing writer at Yes! Magazine and Shareable. His focus is on sustainable cities, zero waste, ecological design, clean energy, green and sharing economy, post growth, and conscious evolution.

 

max-heimMax Heim, Webmaster

Max Heim developed the original design identity for Ecocity Builders’ including the website for Ecocity World Summit 2008, and Green City Visions (Ecocity Builders’ 2005 conference for World Environment Day). Max is a Principal with Studio L’Image, a collaborative creative studio.

 

Advisors

Joan Bokaer
Clifford Bowman
Fritjof Capra
Jorge Gonsalez-Claveran
John Cobb
Serigne Mbaye Diene
Paul Downton
Len Duhl
Sven Eberlien
Gil Friend
Peter Harnik
Paul Hawken
Hazel Henderson
Cherie Hoyle
Huey Johnson
Andy Likuski
Jan Lundberg
V. Setty Pendakur
Deborah and Frank Popper
Roger Pritchard
Gar Smith
Georgi Stoilov
David Suzuki
Brian Swimme
Mary Evelyn Tucker
Sim Van der Ryn