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Downloadable format | Event Agenda


Cindy Adams Dunn – Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)
Cindy Adams Dunn became sixth secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in June 2015.

As secretary, Dunn has helped position Pennsylvania as a leader in land conservation, outdoor recreation, green practices and public land management. During her tenure, the department created the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps to connect youth and young adults with job opportunities relating to the outdoors and the environment. She also has directed the agency to provide leadership on planting forest buffers along streams to improve water quality.

Under her direction, Pennsylvania continues efforts to address the impacts of climate change, including helping the commonwealth adapt and implement a plan to reduce its impacts on state forests and parks.

Prior to becoming secretary, Dunn had served as the president and chief executive officer of PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy.

Dunn also served as DCNR's Deputy Secretary of Conservation and Technical Services from 2007-2013, where she led DCNR's conservation landscape program and oversaw the community conservation partnerships grant program, which provides $30-$60 million annually for conservation and recreation throughout the commonwealth. Other leadership posts at DCNR included director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation as well as director of the Office of Education, Communications and Partnerships.

Other leadership roles include serving as the executive director of Audubon Pennsylvania from 1997-2003 and as the Pennsylvania program director for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay for 10 years.

Dunn holds a bachelor's and master's degree in biology from Shippensburg University. She and her husband, Craig, reside in Cumberland County. When not championing the efforts of DCNR, Dunn enjoys the natural and recreation resources DCNR works hard to protect and promote through hobbies that include birding, canoeing, fishing and hiking.


Sam Robinson – Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor Tom Wolf
Sam Robinson joined the Wolf Administration in January 2015, serving in several roles in the Governor's Office of Policy and Planning before being appointed Deputy Chief of Staff in July 2018. In this role Sam manages a portfolio of thirteen agencies and authorities including the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection, Conservation and Natural Resources, State, Revenue, and Banking and Securities. As Deputy Chief of Staff, Sam has championed and advanced implementation of a variety of environmental initiatives including the establishment of the GreenGov Council.

Prior to joining the Wolf Administration, Sam served as an Assistant City Solicitor with the City of Philadelphia Law Department. A proud Philadelphian, Sam received his law degree from The College of William & Mary and his bachelor's degree from Earlham College.


Moderator: A. Stevens Krug, AIA, PE, LEEDap, AEE Fellow, Principal, Krug Architects, Chair PA Climate Change Advisory Committee
Steve Krug, a West Chester architect well-known for his work in sustainable design, is Principal at Krug Architects and serves as Chair of the PA Climate Change Advisory Committee, appointed by the Governor. Steve is a LEED-accredited professional and AEE Fellow, whose experience in sustainable design extends to award-winning public sector projects, education buildings and large commercial / residential facilities. Mr. Krug is also Co-Founder of,, and A former president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Krug is also Chair of the Chester County Economic Development Council's Smart Energy Initiative, and a member of the Chester County Environmental and Energy Advisory Board.

Presenter: Greg Czarnecki – Director of Applied Climate Science, PA DCNR
Greg is the Director of Applied Climate Science for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. He oversees climate change adaptation planning for the Commonwealth's 121 State Parks and 2.2. million acres of State Forests and is the author of DCNR and Climate Change – Preparing for the Future, a white paper that outlines a strategic approach to dealing with the impacts of climate change on Pennsylvania's natural resources.
He previously served as the Executive Director of the Wild Resource Conservation Program, Director of The Nature Conservancy's Pennsylvania Science Office, and as the Ombudsman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. A native of Erie, he holds a B.S. in biology from Gannon University and an M.S. in biology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Greg is a member of the Pennsylvania Climate Resilience Network's executive committee, the commonwealth's Climate Change Advisory Committee, and is also an adjunct faculty member at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology where he teaches courses in climate change and environmental policy.

Presenter: Lindsay Byron, P.G., CC-P, Environmental Group Manager, PA Department of Environmental (DEP) Energy Programs Office
Lindsay is a Licensed Professional Geologist and certified Climate Change Professional (CC-P) currently serving as Environmental Group Manager in DEP's Energy Programs Office. Lindsay is responsible for managing DEP's Energy Assurance Climate Change Programs. Lindsay supervises staff who manage a variety of energy efficiency, energy resiliency and clean energy programs. Prior to this current role, Lindsay worked in DEP's Bureau of Oil and Gas Planning and Program Management in the Subsurface Activities Division, and in the private sector with an Environmental Consulting company.


Moderator: Chris Nafe Energy Program Specialist, PA DEP
Christopher Nafe is an Energy Program Specialist with the Energy Programs Office (EPO) of the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Mr. Nafe works on the climate programs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, specifically managing the Local Climate Action programs that EPO has established to assist local governments with completing their own greenhouse gas inventories and climate action plans. His background is in sustainability and recycling, having previously worked as the Sustainability Coordinator of the City of Harrisburg, as an EHS Technician for an electronics recycling company, and as a researcher for The Sustainability Consortium.

Presenter: Brandi Robinson Assistant Teaching Professor, The Pennsylvania State University
Brandi Robinson is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State University. She teaches primarily in its World Campus bachelor's degree in Energy and Sustainability Policy and master's degree in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems. In addition to teaching and advising, Brandi serves as the Chair of the Centre Region Planning Agency's Technical Advisory Group on Implementation for its recently adopted Climate Action and Adaptation Plan and has served as chair of the Ferguson Township Climate Action Committee. This academic year, in partnership with DEP, Brandi is leading DEP's Local Climate Action Program Year 4 cohort which is partnering Penn State students with 11 municipalities, cities, and counties across Pennsylvania to develop greenhouse gas emissions inventories and begin their climate action planning processes.

Presenter: Ashley McIlvaine – Assistant Township Manager, Abington Township, Montgomery County PA
Ashley McIlvaine is Assistant Township Manager at Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. In her role, she directly assists the Township Manager in the execution of Township business, oversees communications and grants and serves as the liaison to certain Township boards, committees, and councils. Prior to joining the Township, Ashley worked in transportation demand management with an emphasis on sustainability. Ashley holds her BS and MS in City and Regional Planning from Temple University.

Presenter: Kirk Stoner Director of Planning, Cumberland County
Kirk Stoner is the Director of Planning for Cumberland County where he manages land use, transportation and environmental planning initiatives in cooperation with the county's 33 municipal governments. Prior to joining the county in 2003, Kirk worked for the Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation as a business development specialist and Gannett Fleming as a transportation planning project manager. Kirk is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and was recently reappointed by Governor Wolf to serve a second term on the Pennsylvania State Planning Board where he advises the Governor's Office on planning, development and land use issues. He is also the Past President of the Planning Directors Association of Pennsylvania and past Chairman of the South Middleton Township Zoning Hearing Board. Kirk received both a BS and MS from Shippensburg University in Geoenvironmental Studies with a land use specialization. Kirk resides in Boiling Springs, PA and is an avid husband, father, golfer, and outdoorsman.

Presenter: Don Holderman – Assistant Borough Manager, Bellefonte Borough
Don has worked the past 33 years at all levels of government including 13 years as the Deputy Associate Director for Management & Operations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. In 2002, he moved home and accepted a position in the Accounting & Contracts Office with Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory. During that time, he was a Bellefonte Borough Council member for 3 years prior to accepting his current position of Assistant Borough Manager, Bellefonte Borough in 2008. Don holds both a BS and an MPA degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Presenter: Peter Buck — Co-Director, Local Climate Action Program and Academic Programs Manager, Penn State’s Sustainability Institute


Moderator: Mark Hand – Director of Pennsylvania GreenGov Council, Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS)
Mark Hand serves as the Director of Pennsylvania's GreenGov Council within the Department of General Services. The GreenGov Council was established by the direction of Governor's Wolf's Executive Order (EO 2019-01) on "Commonwealth leadership in Addressing Climate Change and Promoting Energy Conservation and Sustainable Governance." The mission of GreenGov is to incorporate sustainable practices into Commonwealth government's policy, planning, operations, procurement, and regulatory functions, and to strive for continuous improvement in efficiency and performance. EO 2019-01 has a specific focus on reducing energy consumption, purchasing electric vehicles and renewable energy, and constructing new buildings and major renovations to green standards.

Prior to GreenGov, Mark worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for almost 19 years. Mark spent most of his time at DEP within the Energy Programs Office, which is involved in supporting, designing and implementing energy-focused programs to encourage the development and deployment of energy efficiency and alternative energy projects in Pennsylvania. In that time, Mark worked on various programs and initiatives for DEP; such as, Drive Electric PA Coalition, the Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Program, Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority grants, and many others over those years. Mark graduated from Juniata College and now lives in Halifax, Pennsylvania, which is also his hometown.

Presenter: Jenna Cramer – President & CEO, Green Building Alliance
Jenna Cramer brings extensive experience in green building, sustainable development, and climate solutions including an almost 15-year tenure at Green Building Alliance (GBA) where she currently serves as the President and Chief  Executive Officer. Jenna leads GBA's strategic vision to positively transform the world through the built environment to create a healthy, just, and sustainable future for everyone. She guides the organization's impactful and award-winning programs throughout the region and creates transformative partnerships across the country and world that have a meaningful impact on climate, health, equity, and economic vitality. She works collaboratively across diverse sectors and communities and prioritizes people, human health, climate, compassion, and justice in all endeavors.

A Pittsburgh native, Jenna received her bachelor's degree in environmental studies and public policy analysis at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and Living Future accredited professional. She has been named a Living Future Hero by the International Living Future Institute, recognized as one of Pittsburgh's 40 Under 40 and Pittsburgh Business Times' 20 People to Know in Energy, and honored as a person who made significant impact on UNECE's Sustainable Energy Division at its 30-year anniversary. A mother, educator, creator, dreamer, and collaborator, Jenna's life passion is helping people and places thrive.

Presenter: John R. Bechtel – P.E. Assistant Director, Design and Construction Division, Office of Physical Plant, Penn State University
John Bechtel is the Assistant Director of the Design and Construction Division at Penn State's Office of Physical Plant (OPP) and is responsible for contract administration, construction services, renovation services, and various organizational initiatives. Prior to joining OPP, John worked for over a decade with Turner Construction Company where he was involved with the construction management of projects at Penn State, in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia areas, and in the Netherlands. John's current passions include Integrated Project Delivery, Lean Design and Construction, and Prevention through Design.

John has an undergraduate and graduate degree in Architectural Engineering (AE) from Penn State and is a registered Professional Engineer. He mentors PSU students and is a guest lecturer for the Penn State AE program. John has been the President of the COAA Pennsylvania Chapter since 2010 and is currently the Conference Committee Chairperson.

Presenter: Todd Reed – Energy Program Specialist, Infrastructure and Energy Asset Management, Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs
Todd is the Energy Program Specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs. He ensures the Pennsylvania Army National Guard meets all state, federal, DOD, and Army regulations, executive orders, acts, and laws as they relate to energy consumption and energy conservation. Prior to working at the DMVA, he spent six years in the Army and two in the PA Army National Guard. He then earned a A.A of Architecture at H.A.C.C, and then a B.A. and Master of Architecture degrees at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Todd then spent 13 years with Energy Opportunities, a 7group Company, as a daylighting and sustainable building consultant. He was involved with over 35 different projects earning LEED certification and was a USGBC certification reviewer for hundreds of projects.


Moderator: Jason Snyder, Acting Deputy Secretary, PA Property and Asset Management, PA DGS
Jason Snyder serves as the Acting Deputy Secretary for Property and Asset Management. In this position, he oversees property administration, police & safety, facilities & maintenance management, energy & resource management, and energy sustainability initiatives for the commonwealth.

With more than 18 years of state government service, all with DGS, Snyder most recently worked as the director of the Bureau of Facilities Management where he oversaw the area of the agency responsible for maintenance projects; custodial, grounds and the various trade operations in the Capitol Complex, state office buildings in Reading and Scranton, and the Executive residence. Snyder has held a number of positions throughout his career since he started in the Carpenter Shop.

Presenter: Doug Hatcher – Director of Energy and Resource Management, PA DGS
Mr. Douglas Hatcher is the Director of the Energy and Resource Management for the Department of General Services in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Over the last 6 years, Mr. Hatcher and his team have taken a challenging program and modified the practices and procedures to successfully launch Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) Projects valued at $220 Million producing $17 million in annual savings. The key to this success is that he and his team are responsible for the initial project development, overall project administration, and general project oversite for all GESA projects implemented in the Commonwealth-owned facilities. Mr. Hatcher will discuss the modifications of the program, the
rationale behind the decisions, and many lessons learned along the way.

Presenter: Jarod West, RA, NCARB, LEED AP – Architectural Consultant, PA DCNR
Jarod West is an Architectural Consultant with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) specializing in QA/QC and Sustainability. He is a Registered Architect, with an NCARB Certification and LEEDAP, who earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the Pennsylvania State University in 1999. Jarod began his professional career as a 3D Visualization Specialist at ADD Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts before heading to the Architects Group Practice in Alexandria, Virginia. He then spent almost a decade as a Project Architect at Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania until 2013, before joining the Bureau of Facility Design & Construction at DCNR.

Presenter: Kelly Sanders – Director of Special Projects, Sustainable Energy Fund
Kelly has more than 15 years of experience managing and creating programs for nonprofits. As Director of Programs at Sustainable Energy Fund, she manages and oversees educational events and program related investments designed to advance sustainable energy in Pennsylvania. Some of these programs include C-PACE, Energypath, and Social Impact Loans.

She holds a BA and Masters from Seton Hall University. Kelly is a member of Green Building United Lehigh Valley and Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE.) Outside of work, Kelly enjoys hiking with family and advocating for colorectal cancer awareness.


Presenter: Felicia Campbell – Marketing Manager, PA DGS COSTARS Program
Felicia Campbell has a wide background in Communications during her career of over 25 years. While moving up the ranks in TV programming at WITF, the public television station in Harrisburg, PA, she collaborated with the production team to craft amusing promotional breaks to flow audience from one program into the next. Transitioning into events as a corporate Event Manager with D&H Distributing, her team of event planners created events to execute sales growth while engaging attendees. As Marketing Manager for the COSTARS Program, she is eager to use her engagement experience to enlighten COSTARS program participants on the benefits of this Commonwealth program.

Presenter: Jarod Ganci – Marketing Manager, PA DGS COSTARS Program
After graduating from college with a bachelors in Business Management, Jarod got an internship working as a Junior Marketing Manager with a civil engineering firm in Mechanicsburg, PA. He got to learn the ins and outs of marketing in a service-related industry. After completing his internship. He was offered a full-time position as a Business Development Manager, where he put his marketing and sales skills to good use. Looking to change up his career path and delve into more marketing activities, Jarod is happy to now be promoting the COSTARS program.

He is working on spreading the word of the COSTARS Cooperative Purchasing Program to every corner of the Commonwealth. This involves developing and delivering trainings, webinars, and in-person presentations, as well as representing COSTARS at expos and conventions. He is excited to work for a program that is essential to the economic development of not only the Greater Harrisburg Area, but all of Pennsylvania.


Moderator: Matt Reis – Deputy Director, Pennsylvania GreenGov Council
Matt serves as the Deputy Director of Pennsylvania GreenGov Council. The Council is chaired by the Secretaries of the Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) and General Services (DGS).

Established under Executive Order (EO) 2019-01, "Commonwealth Leadership in Addressing Climate Change and Promoting Energy Conservation and Sustainable Governance", the mission of the GreenGov is to incorporate sustainability into Commonwealth government's policy, planning, operations, procurement, and regulatory functions, and to strive for continuous improvement in efficiency and performance. The GreenGov has a specific focus on reducing energy consumption, purchasing electric vehicles and renewable energy, and constructing new buildings and major renovations to green standards.

Prior to GreenGov, Matt most recently served the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in various roles for approximately 6 years where he was ultimately responsible for the delivery of vertical construction projects, fiscal facilities budget, and annual facility maintenance operations. In the 10 years prior to his time at PennDOT, Matt held roles within the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General where he was responsible for facility operations as well as the oversight of office services for the Department including supplies, surplus, automotive, duplicating and facility maintenance.

Matt is an alumnus of St. Vincent College of Latrobe, Pennsylvania and resides in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and daughter.

Presenter: Colton Brown – Energy Program Specialist, PA DEP
Colton Brown is an Energy Program Specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. His primary responsibilities include managing electric vehicle charging station funding programs, engaging and educating stakeholders about electric vehicles, and leading other electric vehicle initiatives. Colton obtained undergraduate degrees in Economics and Geography from Millersville University and a Master's of Science in Environmental Planning and Management from Johns Hopkins School of Engineering for Professionals.

Presenter: Shane Rice – Executive Policy Specialist, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Shane Rice is an Executive Policy Specialist with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. In this role, he provides research and policy analysis in support of department goals, and contributes to various state and national workgroups examining a range of topics such as transportation funding and sustainable revenue, electrification and alternative fuels, land use and sustainability, alternate uses of right-of-way, economic development, freight planning, safety initiatives, etc. Shane worked closely on the development of Pennsylvania's National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Plan and continues to contribute to its implementation. Shane earned his B.S. in Business Administration and
Marketing, and minor in Economics, from Fordham University. He earned his M.S. in Public Administration and certificate in Public Finance
from the University of Pennsylvania.

Presenter: Jake Newton – Executive Energy Project Coordinator, PA DCNR
As the Executive Energy Project Coordinator for Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PA DCNR), Jake Newton works with staff to plan, implement, and monitor energy and sustainability-related projects to help advance PA DCNR's work in reducing its energy usage, carbon emissions, and energy costs.

Prior to his employment at PA DCNR, Jake served as the Community Outreach Coordinator for SEDA-Council of Governments' Energy Resource Center in Lewisburg, PA where he worked on community-wide energy efficiency projects. Since joining PA DCNR in 2016, Jake has held positions within the agency as a Sustainability Fellow for PA DCNR's Sustainability Initiative and the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State Parks and Forestry before assuming his current role as Executive Energy Project Coordinator in 2021.

Jake attended Pennsylvania State University graduating with a Bachelor's of Science in Energy Business and Finance.


Moderator: Geoff Bristow – Regional Energy Program Manager, PA DEP's Energy Program Office
Geoff Bristow serves as Regional Energy Program Manager for the PA Department of Environmental Protection's Energy Program Office. He has over 20 years of experience managing the development and implementation of clean energy programs that provide technical assistance, education, and financial assistance within multiple energy-using sectors, including industrial, commercial, municipal, and transportation. Geoff is based in northwestern PA and oversees DEP initiatives that provide education and assistance to local government officials helping them to manage the wave of grid-scale solar development underway in Pennsylvania, and is co-lead on the Interagency Solar Siting Workgroup that developed PA's Grid Scale Solar Siting Policy Statement.

Presenter: Robert Young – Energy Program Specialist, PA DEP
Robert C. Young is an Energy Program Specialist at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. At DEP, he works to support  initiatives in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, particularly around the deployment of grid-scale solar installations in order to for  Pennsylvania to achieve a 10% in-state solar generation goal by 2030.

Additionally, he led the development of a food waste to renewable energy assessment for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He spent his early career as an analyst in the local government sector for the City of San Antonio, TX, and the City of Alexandria, VA. Mr. Young received his B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Duke University and his M.P.Aff. from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.

Presenter: Mike Roth – Director of Policy and Planning, PA Department of Agriculture
Michael Roth serves as the Policy Director at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. A Pittsburgh native, he acquired his BA in Environmental Studies from Washington and Jefferson College and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Michael started at the Department of Agriculture as a William Penn Fellow where his work focused on climate change, industrial hemp, and food security.

Presenter: Nicole Faraguna – Director of Policy and Planning, PA DCNR
Nicole Faraguna has served as DCNR's director of policy since August 2019. She has led the development of a suite of sustainability policies that advance best practices related to reducing the Department's carbon footprint and promoting actions that reduce waste, reduce emissions, and advance sound conservation. Prior to taking this position, Nicole worked for 14.5 years with the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (renamed WeConservePA) in various roles.

Most recently, she served as PALTA's director of education and advocacy and was instrumental in advocating for public policy in support of conservation and developing exceptional educational resources. Nicole previously served as Director  of Communications for the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and Editor of the Borough News Magazine. She was instrumental in co-founding a land conservation organization in her community.

Presenter: Greg Knerr – Commodity Manager, PA DGS
Greg Knerr is the Energy Supply Administrator for the PA Department of General Services Energy and Resource Management Office. He is responsible for setting strategy for $140 million of competitively bid electricity and natural gas supply contracts across the Commonwealth Enterprise. With 17 years experience, Greg serves as the Commonwealth's subject matter expert in contracting for electricity and natural gas supply. In this role, Greg assists policy-makers and agency personnel in shepherding renewables and other energy-related projects through the complex public procurement process.


Moderator: Dave Althoff – Director of Energy Programs Office, PA DEP
David's office, DEP's Energy Programs Office, is involved in supporting, designing, and implementing energy-focused programs to encourage the development and deployment of energy efficiency, energy resiliency and alternative energy projects in Pennsylvania. The Energy Program's Office's mission is to support energy activities which result in environmental improvements including mitigating the effects of and adapting to climate change.

David along with his staff have spent the last several years developing forward-looking plans centered on positioning Pennsylvania to take advantage of the clean energy economy. Recent products include: A 2021 Climate Action Plan and Climate Impacts Assessment for Pennsylvania, A Clean Energy Program Plan for Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania's Solar Future Plan, Pennsylvania's Electric Vehicle Roadmap, a Food Waste to Energy Assessment and an Energy Storage Assessment for Pennsylvania. These foundational plans have led to the creation of various follow-on stakeholder groups including, the Drive Electric Pennsylvania Coalition and the Pennsylvania Energy Storage Consortium.

During his career with DEP, David has led the development and deployment of $125 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Stimulus funds, the $100 million Pennsylvania Sunshine Program, and the $15 million Green Energy Revolving Loan Fund. Dave has also served as the Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. Dave and his staff also lead the very popular Pennsylvania Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant Programs which distributes nearly $5 Million annually to support innovation and emission reductions in the transportation sector.

Dave has proudly served the citizens of Pennsylvania through his work at DEP for nearly 30 years, is a life-long Pennsylvanian, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and lives in Hummelstown, PA.

Presenter: Jessica Shirley – Infrastructure Coordinator, PA DEP
Jessica Shirley is the Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator for DEP. Her office is responsible for working across all programs in the agency to ensure that federal infrastructure funding programs are designed and implemented specifically for Pennsylvania. Her objectives are to maximize the funds that Pennsylvania receives, collaborate with stakeholders, and focus on the issues affecting environmental justice communities. She joined the DEP Policy Office in 2011 and served as the Policy Director most recently. Prior to that she worked in the Policy Office at the Department of Labor and Industry. Jessica received her Master's Degree in Public Administration from Penn State and her Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Wrap Up and Preview of the Week Ahead

Mike Walsh – Deputy Secretary for Administration, PA DCNR 

Mike Walsh joined DCNR in June, 2015. His experience includes over two decades working in both the legislative and executive branches of state government and serving in appointed positions under three governors. In his current role as Deputy Secretary for Administration at DCNR, Mike is responsible for the human resources, budget, and information technology operations of the agency.

Mike co-chairs the DCNR Sustainability Initiative, helping Pennsylvania's conservation agency lead by example with innovative investments in renewable energy, EV and PHEV fleet vehicles, and statewide energy savings projects. His focus on protecting our natural resources spans his career.

During his five years as Deputy Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mike created the "Pathways to Green Schools" program that helped coordinate and promote energy efficiency, environmental education, and health and wellness programs in public and private schools. Pennsylvania received national recognition by the US Department of Education for these efforts. As Director of Policy for Senator Allen Kukovich, Mike focused on land-use planning and urban revitalization issues, and helped to launch the Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland County. He received the first Founders Award from the organization in 2003.

Mike, a LEED Green Associate, is a graduate of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, and received a Master of Public Management degree from the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University.


Opening Remarks: Peter Boger – Assistant Director for Community Engagement, Penn State Sustainability Institute
Peter Boger is the Assistant Director for Community Engagement at Penn State's Sustainability Institute. He is responsible for helping the Sustainability Institute articulate and implement its vision for community engagement, integrating the university's sustainability initiatives with the needs and goals of community and campus partners throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He also coordinates SI's public programming, including: the Public Health and Sustainability: Partners by Nature webinar series in partnership with the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium; the Green Gov Council Sustainability webinar series in partnership with the Pennsylvania Green Gov Council; the Colloquium on the Environment in partnership with the Institutes of Energy and the Environment; Pennsylvania's Solve Climate by 2030 programming; public and campus tours at the Sustainability Experience Center; and Earth Day and Environmental Justice programming. He has also created and helps guide three different Intersections sustainability film series that have drawn more than 4,500 attendees over three years–working in partnership with WPSU, the Center for Global Workers' Rights, and Penn State's Water Council. Peter assists in carrying out sustainability engaged scholarship programs, including the Sustainable Communities Collaborative and Penn State's City Semester Pittsburgh program, which allows students to apply sustainable practices and solutions with community organizations in the Pittsburgh area. He also sits on the Penn State University Faculty Senate Outreach Committee and the Outreach Division's Sustainability Council.

Peter holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a focus on environmental media and history where he was a visiting lecturer in the geography and history departments. He also earned an M.S. in Environmental Studies focused on environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a B.A. in History focused on environmental history from Princeton University. He was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow in 2006. Previously, he was director of Tales from Planet Earth, the largest free-admission environmental film festival in the U.S. He also has worked as Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection during the McGreevey and Codey administrations.


Presenter: Lara Fowler - Interim Chief Sustainability Officer, Penn State University, and Interim Director of the Sustainability Institute
Lara Fowler is the Interim Chief Sustainability Officer of Penn State University and Interim Director of the Sustainability Institute, as well as a Senior Lecturer in Penn State Law and Affiliate Faculty of the Penn State School of International Affairs. Prior to this she served as Assistant Director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE).

Fowler is an attorney and mediator who focuses on environmental, energy, and natural resource law, with a specific focus on water related issues. Her work at Penn State Law and IEE has focused on questions related to water, the Chesapeake Bay, and energy. She teaches courses on water law; energy; negotiation and dispute resolution design; and mediation of environmental and public conflicts.

Fowler is a juror for the Stockholm International Water Institute's Junior Water Prize, a global competition for students ages 15 to 20 who have developed research projects that can help address major water challenges. During the 2019-20 academic year, she was a visiting Fulbright scholar at Uppsala University in Sweden, where her research focused on finding and understanding examples of where cooperation over managing water resources — both water quality and quantity — have played out.

Prior to joining Penn State, Lara was an attorney at Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP in Seattle, Washington, where she focused on mediation and dispute resolution of complex natural resource issues, as well as representing clients facing regulatory hurdles in the environmental and energy fields. She has worked on issues such as who is entitled to store groundwater in the greater Los Angeles area; flooding issues in the Chehalis Basin, Washington State's second largest river basin; and energy issues in the Pacific Northwest. Before pursuing a legal career, she was a senior water resources coordinator with the Oregon Water Resources Department. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Asian studies from Dartmouth College while accomplishing a senior fellowship program on Native American water rights and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Washington School of Law with a focus on environmental mediation. 


Opening Remarks: Joseph Lee – Acting Secretary, PA Department of General Services

Joe Lee was appointed Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services (DGS) on July 1, 2022.

As Acting Secretary of DGS, Lee oversees Pennsylvania's state government operating agency responsible for the procurement of goods and services, the management of non-highway capital projects, the management of the Commonwealth's real estate portfolio, increasing and advancing contracting opportunities for small and small diverse businesses and the maintenance and protection of state-owned buildings and facilities.

Prior to joining DGS, Lee served at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry from 2019 to 2022, first as Special Assistant to the
Secretary and then as Deputy Secretary for Administration.

Lee began his career serving as a political intelligence analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency where he also supported the production of the President's Daily Brief as a member of the President's Analytic Support Staff. He later joined North Highland as a management consultant where he partnered with public sector clients in modernizing HR systems, developing procurement strategies, and managing IT systems integration efforts.

Lee earned his Bachelor of Arts from the Johns Hopkins University and Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.



Presenter: Lisa Sanford, ECMCA - Director of the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion, and Small Business Opportunities, PA Department of General Services

Ms. Sanford is the Director for the Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO). She has over thirty years of experience as a small business advocate. As Bureau Director, her responsibilities include publishing an annual report, developing and implementing major program policies, overseeing the bureau's day-to-day operations and supervision of a staff of fifteen. Most recently, Ms. Sanford led a team that revised and implemented major policy changes for the Commonwealth that has led to proposed legislation currently before the 2022 General Assembly.

Ms. Sanford previously served as a Director with the State of Maryland Governor's Office of Small, Minority, & Women's Business Affairs impacting and directing one of the most constitutionally sound small and minority business programs in the country. Her significant career accomplishments were first, her leadership in the implementation of sixteen legislative changes passed by Maryland's 2017 General Assembly regarding procurement and race-neutral small business policies and procedures, many of which were geared towards economic growth and development through-out the state. Secondly, she represented Small, Minority, Women and Veteran Business interests as a member of Maryland's Lt. Governor's panel to write an on-line procurement manual and procure and e-procurement system within two-year time frame. Ms. Sanford is an expert in the field of socio-economic programs and networks with state officials around the country. Ms. Sanford has a BA in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Sanford is a member of American Contract Compliance Association and has earned the highest Executive Certified Master Compliance Administrator professional certification in the industry. She serves on the Commonwealth Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training Committee; Member of the Diversity, and Inclusion Professionals of Central Pennsylvania (DIPCPA); Racial Equity Steering Committee for the Commonwealth; and participates as a Facilitator for the Commonwealth Anti-Racism Book Club.

Ms. Sanford was also named as one of 2019 Women of Influence by Central Penn Business Journal. Ms. Sanford is extremely passionate about her career in working with community leaders, small businesses, governmental agencies, and private sector organizations in promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Ms. Sanford is a houseplant enthusiast, and is the author of Ethnic Scrapbooking, a guidebook on raising children with global cultural awareness. Ms. Sanford is a new board member of Friends of Midtown where she is the Co-chair of the Community Building Committee.


Opening Remarks: Ramez Ziadeh, Acting Secretary, PA Department of Environmental Protection

Ramez Ziadeh, P.E. served as the Executive Deputy Secretary of Programs at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection since June 2017 and previously served as Director of the Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands. Ramez is a licensed professional engineer in the States of Pennsylvania and California. He received his B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1993.

Ramez started his career in DEP in 1994. He has over 28 years of extensive experience in environmental permitting, compliance, policy and regulatory rule making.


Presenter: Ned Brockmeyer - Community Forester, Bureau of Forestry, DCNR
Ned Brockmeyer is currently the TreeVitalize Program Manager for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Ned has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 2015, has a Masters of Landscape Architecture, and has spent much of his career in Youth Development. He spent many years managing nonprofit urban farms and youth employees in both Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Hilltop Urban Farm) and Indianapolis, Indiana (Indy Urban Acres) which include large fruit and nut orchards. Ned also worked for Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, another nonprofit in Indianapolis, as a Community Arborist and Youth Tree Team Manager where he helped to plan and plant trees in communities throughout the city while educating and employing youth in the urban forest. He now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his family, their two dogs, two cats, and six hens.

Presenter: Lori Yeich - Recreation and Conservation Manager, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, PA DCNR
Lori Yeich has a M.S. in Recreation & Parks from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.S. in Biology from Juniata College. In 1999 she began working for the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources' Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. She currently manages the Central Regional Offices of DCNR's Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

She has over 25 years of professional experience working with governmental entities and non-profit organizations to preserve and enhance public recreation and conservation amenities in communities and regional landscapes throughout central Pennsylvania.


Opening Remarks: John Norbeck - Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry, PA DCNR
John Norbeck became DCNR Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry in August 2015. As deputy, he oversees operations of the bureaus of
State Parks, Forestry, and Facility Design and Construction, and helps advance DCNR's strategic initiatives.

Norbeck served as the director of the Bureau of State Parks from 2006-2012. During his tenure, the bureau was awarded the National Gold Medal for Best Managed State Park System in the country, 2009-2011.

Norbeck spearheaded outstanding infrastructure investments in the Pennsylvania Wilds, including the:

  • Bald Eagle Nature Inn
  • Elk Country Visitor Center
  • Kinzua Bridge Skywalk
  • Sinnemahoning Wildlife Center.
Additionally, he:
  • Served as the lead for the Lower Susquehanna Conservation Landscape
  • Increased public private partnerships from 100 to 145 over six years
  • Updated the agency's revenue enhancement program from $13 million to $21.5 million annually
  • Established a Green Parks Initiative resulting in reducing the bureau's carbon footprint and increasing energy efficiencies throughout the Agency

Prior to joining DCNR, Norbeck served nearly 30 years through the ranks as a state parks professional in Maryland Department of Natural Resources, State Forest and Park Service, including roles as regional manager, acting chief of field operations, park program manager, training manager, operations park manager, and park ranger. For these career efforts in the two state park systems, in 2012 he was awarded the President's Award from the National Association of State Parks Directors.

Norbeck also has served as the chief operating officer of PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy organization.


Presenter: Troy Vanatta - Sales and Marketing Supervisor, Correctional Industries
Troy Vanatta currently serves as the Sales and Marketing Manager for Pennsylvania Correctional Industries, a bureau within the Department of Corrections that maximizes inmate employment while providing valuable vocational training and work experience. He manages a team of sales, marketing and customer service professionals that market and promote PCI products and services across the commonwealth. Prior to joining PCI, Troy spent 20 years working for media companies such as Advanced Digital and the Washington Post as Digital Marketing Category Manager. He holds a Bachelors of Science from the Pennsylvania State University.