We recommend staying in Arcata at the Hampton Inn Suites, Holiday Inn Express & Suites or even the Ramada, if you're up for a standard-issue hotel. You may also find lovely and affordable homes to rent via Airbnb within Mckinleyville, Arcata orBlue Lake. If you'd like something a little more upscale, Arcata's Front Porch Inn has a really nice sauna and private outdoor bathtubs, and attractive rooms, right next to the Arcata Marsh for your early morning walk. :) Or the Lost Whale Inn, a fancy B&B near the beach at which we're hosting the conference.
Childcare will be available from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm both days of the retreat. The first half of the day, the kids will spend on Sean's farm enjoying the open air, playing with animals, running in the grass, etc. The second half of the day will be spent at Moonstone Beach where the kids can play in the sand and hunt for buried treasures. After the last presentation of the day, attendees will be reunited with children for dinner.
An influential thought leader in clean energy and environmental advocacy, McKenna Dunbar is renowned for their unwavering commitment to environmental justice and equitable clean energy transitions. As a key figure and social entrepreneur in the non-profit sector, Dunbar spearheads initiatives dedicated to reducing fossil fuel dependence and advancing the electric sector by championing building electrification. Dunbar's exceptional advocacy and social impact initiatives prioritizes frontline and rural communities, skillfully navigating the complex interplay between environmental justice, green workforce development, and net-zero building policy initiatives. Their impactful work has garnered numerous prestigious accolades, including the 2023 Aspen Institute Future Leader, 2022 Truman Scholarship Finalist, 2022 ACEEE Linda Latham Scholar, 2022 BECC Fellow, 2022 Greenbuild Host Committee Scholar, 2022 LinkedIn Top Voice in Social Impact, 2022 + 2023 EPA Environmental Justice Video Challenge Winner, and 2021 Udall Scholar, among others.
Renowned author, visionary and speaker, Quency Phillips has been building brands and cultivating communities for nearly 25 years; his brand is in a league of its own. Strong relationships and recognition for brand innovation in sports, philanthropy and not-for-profits have shaped his career. As Founder and Executive Director for Lighthouse Silicon Valley, Phillips oversees a network of over 125 organizations united to bring justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion to the region. Prior to this, he worked as part of Google Development Ventures, LISC, and helped establish the $500M Bay’s Future Fund. Over his dynamic career he has established relationships across business, entertainment, and sports - including the NBA, WNBA and the NFL. A proud Northwestern University graduate, he holds two engineering degrees, and numerous credentials and accolades across industries. He is the proud father of a 2-year old girl who goes by “ZYP”.
Dylan Anderson is a graduate of the Environmental Science program at Humboldt State, with a focus in Energy and Climate. As a Senior Staff Researcher he helps write reports, compile energy analysis and affordable housing documentation, and find more information on topics and products we want to know more about.
Maria (she) is an advanced modeler and domestic hot water researcher with California's Title 24 software. Prior to working with Redwood Energy, Maria was with the Integral Group modeling large developments. She is a graduate of HSU's Environmental Engineering Program.
Shawn Oram leads business development for Ecotope’s design and engineering line. His work at Ecotope since 2002 focuses on energy efficiency and its relationship to building systems design. He has a deep knowledge of buildings, systems and energy use gained through field studies, research, energy audits, code compliance analysis, extensive energy modeling, commissioning, and design of HVAC and plumbing systems. He assisted in creation of the guidelines for the Design for Off ™ approach to creating low energy buildings. Shawn stays current in the latest emerging technologies, product and building trends and is active in local and national ASHRAE and ASPE chapters. He specializes in resource efficient HVAC and plumbing systems for a diverse array of commercial buildings constructed under California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska building codes. He has developed construction documents delivering over $1 million in utility incentives for his projects. Shawn ensures that our team of highly specialized engineers deliver the most cost effective and energy efficient buildings while meeting clients’ budget, project and timeline goals. He has played key roles in the design of innovative mechanical and plumbing systems.
Greg's career began at Redwood Energy in 2013, studying real-world performance in state-of-the-art all-electric multifamily buildings in California. He has continued to work with Redwood as a partner in various other endeavors while at Build It Green, Franklin Energy, and now as principal at Artemisia Energy which provides research services, data analysis, modeling, and general consulting services for the energy industry. Greg lives in Reno, NV with his partner and two dogs.
Emily Higbee has led research in domestic hot water use and modeling, resilient home design for extreme weather events, and facilitates Redwood Energy’s ongoing Zero Emissions Construction Guide Series. Emily is also the project manager of Redwood Energy’s CEC funded EPIC grant on Central Heat Pump Water Heater Load Flexibility and manages staff researcher projects that cover a wide range of topics on building electrification.
Sean Armstrong is the Managing Principal of Redwood Energy and has worked for 28 years in building electrification, designed the retrofit and new construction of more than 25,000 all-electric residences for disadvantaged populations, co-authored 7 "pocket guides" to building electrification, provided legal and technical support to building gas bans nationwide, and has received Grand Prize awards from the United Nations and the California Building Industry Association. Sean was inducted into California's Clean Energy Hall of Fame in 2022, and in 2023-2024 is working with other nations on their Net Zero goals on behalf of the U.S. State Department.
Roxana Rojas has been working at Rising Sun Center for Opportunity's for the past 6.5 years as the Program and Alumni Relations Manager. Rising Sun works to build career pathways for economic equity and climate resilience by educating the community about sustainable behaviors and technologies, offering free residential audits and services and by providing workforce development training for youth and adults with barriers to employment. "I work primarily with the youth program that Rising Sun offers; Climate Careers. I am also a full time graduate student and enjoy watching baseball in my spare time."
Councilmember Harrison was elected to the Berkeley City Council in March 2017 after a decades-long career in the public sector. In office, she has been a champion for the climate, transitioning the City to 100% renewable electricity, transit and mobility, building out fast charging EV stations, establishing and seeding a climate equity fund to assist low-income residents with transitioning to a zero-carbon future, launching an existing building electrification incentive and just transition program using minimum labor standards, and authoring the first in the nation ordinance phasing out natural gas in new buildings.
Has worked collaboratively with nationally recognized design firms, builders, developers, utilities and research entities to bring to life verified zero emission buildings. Currently leads an all-star team at the California Energy Commission who are responsible for maintaining and updating California’s Energy Code, its companion energy compliance software, and outreach & education programs. Accepted invitations to speak on topics in building science at a spectrum of events including Greenbuild, the White House and many universities. In 2019, received the Net Zero Trailblazer award for his leadership in decarbonizing our environment.
Co-founder and CMO of Channing St. Copper Co. where they want to make the choice to de-carbonise obvious by selling products that make access to clean energy easy and improve our daily lives. Weldon is a social campaigner and communicator with extensive experience in the US, Europe, and East Africa. Through that work I've been involved in founding or early stages of 6 socially motivated startups seeking to create change in a variety of ways - from advocacy to job creation to helping consumers improve their lives while making a difference.
Founder of Revalue.io. Energy Efficient Renovations through Green Bonds. Ever wondered if you're paying too much for your utilities? Ever wanted to make a building improvement, but not sure where to start? Revalue.io is the easy button!
Claire is an energy strategist and professional organizer of people. She has spent thirteen years in the energy and environmental space with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and Johnson and Johnson. During her career, Claire has spearheaded several first–of-their-kind greenhouse gas reduction initiatives at Fortune 500 companies; overseen a multitude of projects with annual budgets in excess of $150 million; and built strong working relationships with leaders in private industry, environmental NGOs, and local, state, and federal governments. Claire holds a BA from UC San Diego and an MBA from UC Davis.
David Kaneda has collaborated on many of the greenest buildings in the US. He is an electrical engineer who has expertise on electrification, decarbonization, renewable energy, energy storage, microgrids, plug load reduction, all-electric kitchens, lighting/daylighting and smart EV charging strategies. He has led the electrical design for dozens of AIA COTE Top 10, LEED Platinum and net zero energy buildings including the first ILFI Net Zero Energy Certified Building. David is a Fellow in the AIA, a LEED Fellow and a Senior Fellow with the New Buildings Institute and he serves on the GSA National Register of Peer Professionals and AIA California’s Climate Action Committee.
Jenny values communication and relationships, and believes that one of the best ways to tackle complex problems is by building strong community connections. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. Most recently, she worked on advancing sustainability efforts at college campuses with the facilities team. At Build It Green, she has been supporting and leading efforts to address intersectional issues of sustainability, affordability, and equity through collaborations like the POWER group and Scaling Equitable Housing Co-ops Initiative.
Gibran Washington is the manager of Eco-D. He holds a Master of Science in Geology from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Wayne State University. His research experience focused on geochemistry, mineral resource exploration, GIS and data analysis has taken him throughout North America from northern Ontario to Nevada. His previous roles include serving as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow with Detroit Public Schools in STEM education, team leader for the Student Conservation Association, and Youth Energy Squad coordinator. His interests include innovative technologies, renewable energy, and developing interdisciplinary strategies for energy democracy.
Christine Tam is a Senior Resource Planner with the Utilities Department at the City of Palo Alto. During her time at Palo Alto, she has developed energy efficiency programs and led pilot projects to test emerging technologies. In the past six years, she has focused on building electrification as a key strategy to meet Palo Alto’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. Christine works with staff across city departments to encourage voluntary electrification of natural gas appliances and implement mandates where appropriate. Prior to joining Palo Alto, Christine worked at the California Public Utilities Commission’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates and led DRA’s positions in the use of ratepayer funds for energy efficiency programs and the implementation of California’s AB 32 Scoping Plan. Prior to joining the public sector, Christine worked as a management consultant in the telecommunications and utilities sector. Christine received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.S. in Engineering Economic Systems from Stanford University.
Ms. Bruceri has worked in the energy efficiency field for more than 20 years. As principal of Misti Bruceri and Associates, LLC, established in 2007, Ms. Bruceri has provided technical consulting services to private firms, non-profit organizations, and utilities. Her experience includes supervising a team of program contract managers, providing efficiency portfolio planning and development, policy analysis, contract negotiation and management, and all aspects of program design, implementation, and management. Current projects include developing an electronic help system for energy simulation software, developing education programs to improve Title 24 code compliance, developing the 2013 Title 24 Reference Ace, and participating in developing a new certification test for Title 24 energy consultants.
Nick is a manager for REALIZE-CA, which seeks to industrialize and scale net-zero energy retrofits for affordable multifamily buildings. His work includes project management for pilot demonstrations and building electrification policy initiatives. Prior to RMI, Nick worked as a labor lobbyist, Senate staffer, and affordable housing consultant. He previously served as a board member for the Los Angeles County Asthma Coalition, Long Beach Fair Housing Coalition, and Long Beach Ronald McDonald House, as well as a steering committee member for the Los Angeles County Safe, Clean Water Program. His passions include the sea, rescue bulldogs, and spending time with his pack.
Jessie graduated from Cal Poly Humboldt in 2022 with a B.S. in Energy and Climate. She started working for Redwood Energy after graduation and has been assisting with coursework as a Staff Researcher. She also helped produce A Pocket Guide to Electric Transportation 2023.
Justin Kjeldsen is the Regional Director of the Pacific Region for Franklin Energy Services. He oversees operations, ensuring the smooth launch and delivery of programs, and he supports strategic planning and growth activities. His career started as an EM&V consultant, conducting impact evaluations across the U.S. He also worked, for nearly 10 years, at PG&E to manage energy efficiency programs across nearly every customer sector while helping to shape their portfolio. He is passionate about our industry’s impacts on climate change and is proud of the work he does. He currently lives in Sacramento with his wife and two kids.
Andrea Alstone works as the energy manager in the Office of Sustainability in Facilities Management at Cal Poly Humboldt. She considers herself an all around energy nerd and enjoys the natural and cultural beauty of Humboldt County. She has previously worked at; Redwood Coast Energy Authority launching the Community Choice Energy program, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab supporting energy efficiency standards for lighting; the Schatz Energy Research Center on renewable energy projects, and UC Santa Barbara supporting the high energy physic group.