We’ve had a lot of talented people share their expertise at the Habitat X events. Each becomes an integral part of the Habitat X network. And this is a critical part of what makes the experience so powerful for everyone: No one is just an attendee at Habitat X, because everyone is a participant.
Chris Dorsi is the founder of Habitat X. He’s spent the last 40 years developing best practices for the housing industry, writing and publishing respected books and technical curricula, running successful construction companies, and working as a real estate developer. He’s currently serving as the Director of Building Science Initiatives for the Montana State University Extension Service in Bozeman, Montana.
Chris is the co-author of Residential Energy: Cost Savings and Comfort for Existing Buildings, the Homeowner’s Handbook to Energy Efficiency, and other respected titles on sustainable design and construction. Chris’ upcoming book, Human Habitat, is due on the shelves in 2018, and reports from the intersection of housing, culture, and environment.
Chris is based in Helena, Montana. His avocations include all manner of outdoor activities, having traveled under human power down most of the rivers and trails of the American West.
See a few of Chris’ publications at Amazon.com.
See how Chris’ publications are used by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Steve Baden is the Executive Director of RESNET — the Residential Energy Services Network. Widely regarded as one of the main movers in the residential energy efficiency field, he’s been at the head of RESNET since its inception and he ran a state energy office for ten years. Among other accomplishments, he was recently awarded a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Bill Spohn has been one of our most consistent participants at the Habitat X conferences. As the president and CEO of TruTech Tools, he’s also a widely respected expert on combustion testing, wireless tools, and other technologies. He holds degrees from the University Of Rochester, is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, and has designed a wide array of test and measurement products in the last twenty-five years. Bill holds three U.S. patents for combustion testing equipment. See his self portrait here.
Michelle Nochisaki is a market strategist, operations consultant, and resource developer to the home performance industry. She works at present as an Outcome Broker with the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. Combined with her recent service as the Coordinator of Market Development and Program Design at the Building Performance Institute, and the Manager of Education and Development for Efficiency First, she has gathered a broad set of experience and contacts that make her a go-to expert on the strategy and marketing for the home performance industry.
Michelle is one of two recipients of the 2016 Habitat X Fellowship. She lives in San Francisco.
Ed Matos has accumulated an impressive record of achievement in the home performance industry. With a background in sales and sales management, he recently closed a total of more than $4M in home performance retrofits, and managed a team of four salespeople achieving $8.5M in annual home performance sales. As the proprietor of Competitive Advantage Consulting, his current initiatives include producing The Home Performance Sales Manual, a practical textbook on the language, psychology, and management of sales for the home performance industry.
Ed is one of two recipients of the 2016 Habitat X Fellowship. He lives on the north shore of Long Island, New York.
Jacques Touillon is the Founder and CEO of Airboxlab, a startup dedicated to health & wellness, and the makers of the Foobot indoor air quality monitor. With a background in both communications and environmental management, Jacques is well positioned to have an impact on the emerging market of connected devices for home-performance. Read Jacques’ interview at Greentech Media.
Griffin Hagle is a year-round associate with Habitat X Technical Services. He has been involved in weatherization and home performance since 2006, most recently as a field trainer and utility program consultant for Richard Heath & Associates. He previously conducted hundreds of energy audits for SolarCity, and trained auditors throughout Oregon and Southern California. Griffin lived for years in San Diego, California, but recently moved to Barrow, Alaska, where he works for the local housing authority and owns what is probably the northernmost blower door in North America.
Don MacOdrum is the executive director of the Home Performance Guild of Oregon, a consortium of organiztions that work to educate and serve consumers, contractors, and policymakers. The Guild is one of the most effective and respected trade groups in the North American home performance industry.
Don lives in the garden city of Portland, Oregon.
Peter is a brilliant marketer and super-competent businessman. So we won’t try to improve on the bio he’s written about his company Energy Circle, based out of Portland, Maine:
“We are a digital army of marketing and development professionals with diverse backgrounds who work every day to find germane solutions to the challenges within the building performance sector. Today, we support 350 of the most successful home performance contractors, HVAC companies, sustainable architects, and low-energy builders across 49 US states.
Founded in 2008, we’re totally committed to our clients. We believe in establishing long-lasting relationships built on trust, mutual understanding and a thirst for lead-generating innovation. When you work with us, you invest marketing dollars only in what works best.”
Peter recently joined us as a guest for the Habitat X webinar The Evolution of Consumer Values and Expectations.
Rick Blumenthal has been involved in the housing industry for his entire career. Educated in Environmental Conservation and Planning, he has spent the last half of his career focused on producing high performance sustainable buildings. In 2010 Rick was chosen as the Lead Energy Advisor and Technical Specialist for the RePower Bainbridge Energy Challenge, and he currently serves as a Building Performance Specialist for Knauf Insulation. Rick lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Read Rick’s article in the 2015 Habitat X Journal.
Brad Turner is the Director of Education and Technical Assistance at Southface Energy Institute. He manages the Southeast Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Training (SWEET) Center, plus several other programs focusing on residential energy efficiency. He has also worked in various capacities developing national standards and certifications best practices related to energy efficiency improvements on existing homes. Brad resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Read Brad’s article in the Habitat X Journal.
Chandler von Schrader is recently retired from the U.S. EPA in Washington, D.C.. Over the years. Chandler has been a main mover at the confluence of home performance, HVAC, and the rest of the construction industry. You couldn’t find anyone more qualified for this discussion — as the manager of the EPA ENERGY STAR Verified Installation Program, Chandler was been instrumental in building some of the nation’s most-widespread home performance programs. Today he works as a private consultant, and is focused on introducing home performance to the HVAC and remodeling industries.
Chandler lives in the woods of Arlington, Virginia, a few miles outside Washington, D.C. Learn about his webinar Codes and Programs That Work.
Tim Hanes is the president at Energy Stewards International. ESI develops energy efficiency programs and software solutions for utility-sponsored residential and light commercial HVAC programs. Their flagship customer is the HVAC SAVE program currently sponsored by MidAmerican Energy, Alliant Energy, Black Hills Energy, and Cedar Falls Municipal Utility, all coordinated by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.
Mark Teich is market research manager at Decision Analyst in Arlington, Texas. He joined their client service team 2014; prior to joining Decision Analyst, he spent over 20 years in various marketing research roles for diverse industries that include healthcare, aircraft maintenance, financial systems, and community organizations.
His current projects include the syndicated American Home Comfort Study — an analysis of the HVAC-purchasing habits of homeowners that should be of great interest to the home performance industry.
Michael Freedberg is currently the Senior Advisor for Energy Policy and Climate Change in HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience, created by the Obama Administration to support sustainable community development, climate adaptation and resilience, energy efficiency, and green building. Previously he was Director of Affordable Housing Technology Research in HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, and chaired the Department’s Energy Task Force, which coordinated the agency’s efforts to reduce HUD’s $5 billion energy bill.
Michael lives in Washington, DC.
John Dendy is a year-round associate with Habitat X Technical Services. He has built a successful career among gas and electric utilities that makes him well suited to understand and lead the building performance field. With training as a chemical engineer and energy specialist, he has lead successful teams focused on industrial safety, human resource development, and demand-side management. He was most recently a regional program lead for DNV-GL, managing consumer energy audits and direct installations for Northwestern Energy. John is also the leader of the band Cottonwood Club, based in Helena, Montana.
Alex Glenn has built a 15 year career striving to advance the cause of sustainable housing. He’s lucky to have worked across most facets of the construction industry, having served stints as a technical trainer, program developer, curriculum designer, and tradesman. Alex also has the distinction of having delivered the first Pecha Kucha presentation ever to a Habitat X conference.
Alex lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he works as the lead trainer and building scientist for Advanced Energy, one of the most respected energy-efficiency consultancies in North America.
Suzanne Harmelink is is senior program manager at the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC), where she has been a provided solid expertise for 25 years now. She has also served on board of directors for the Home Performance Coalition (formerly ACI) for years now, and she generally acts an an important part of the institutional memory for the North American home performance industry. Suzanne was recently named the educator of the year today by Seventhwave at their 2016 Better Buildings: Better Business Conference.
Charles works as a widely respected consultant to the US utility and energy-efficiency industries. Before his recent retirement, he spent several decades with PG&E in California, where he founded, managed, and supervised the operations of workforce education and training programs for the PG&E Training Centers. He was also instrumental in developing the HVAC Big Bold Initiative, and was the 2011 recipient of the Affordable Comfort National Leadership Award.
Charles resides in Sonora, California.
Anna Miller spent several years in the environmental non-profit world, then joined the home performance industry to connect environmental issues with a broader audience. She enjoys bringing sustainability concepts to the household level, allowing people to realize health and economic benefits of better buildings while conserving natural resources. Anna is currently a building performance consultant for Tonsmeire Construction in Fairhope, Alabama. Her responsibilities include residential sustainability audits, team member training, and community relations.
Susan Davison works as the Director of Program Development at CalCERTS, Inc. in Folsom, California. She’s also worked on key initiatives with the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), and Build It Green. She has experience across a range of industries, with specialties in asset ratings, real estate finance, workforce education, and data analysis. She has played critical roles in the PACE map design for the State of California, the California Energy Commission Action Plan for AB758, and the Orange Button solar finance initiative.
Jonathan Lang serves as a technical expert for Knauf Insulation, specializing in building assemblies, energy efficiency planning, and climate zones. He’s a talented technical communicator and trainer, with strong expertise in the building-as-a-system applications. He holds an A.A.S. degree in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency from Cincinnati State, and was chosen as the commencement speaker for their 2015 graduation ceremony. Jonathan lives near Cincinnati, Ohio.
Paul Zabriskie is a leader in the policy and advocacy arenas for energy efficiency and conservation in the state of Vermont. His diverse and extensive experience in environmental engineering drives his passion for whole systems solutions to the inefficient use of resources and adoption of renewables. He directs and administers multiple programs and initiatives that reduce energy waste and CO2 emissions while improving the health, safety, and durability of homes.
At Capstone Community Action he oversees EnergySmart, a social-enterprise home performance contracting service; the organization’s Weatherization Assistance Program providing home efficiency solutions to low-income Vermonters; and 3E Thermal a multi-family housing energy retrofit service. Paul is also helping to lead the roll out of Zero Energy Now, an innovative home energy improvement program that takes a comprehensive approach to energy use, providing efficiency upgrades, renewable heating (such as heat pumps and biomass) and solar PVs.
Cassandra Fricke is the Deputy Director of the weatherization department for CEDA, the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County. In this capacity, she manages one of the largest weatherization programs on the planet. She’s also worked as the training manager and as the manager of the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge (REACH) pilot program for CEDA. Among all these responsibilities, she recently completed a Masters in Social work.
John is the director of the energy conservation program at CEDA: Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County. He’s also worked in a workforce development capacity for the Albany Park Community Center in Chicago. He also has years of experience in the construction and telecommunications industries.
James Childre is the owner of the building diagnostics company RedPoint LLC in Bozeman, Montana. Their services include residential and commercial building inspections for real estate transactions, energy audits, thermal imaging, blower door testing, duct testing, HERS ratings, ENERGY STAR verification, and tax credit verification. He also has deep experience in international finance and analysis.
Jason Heaton is a principal with Osprey Building Performance in Boise, Idaho. With a journeyman background in the HVAC industry, he has parlayed his experience and acumen into one of the region’s most respected home performance companies.
Heidi McCullough is a residential energy consultant for Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, supporting the ENERGY STAR homes programs and Vermont code projects. She holds BPI and RESNET certifications, and will soon finish training to be an NGBS Green Verifier and USGNC Green Rater.
Chad Gillespie works as performance construction program manager for the HVAC division of Mitsubishi Electric.
Bob Rowe is the President and CEO of NorthWestern Energy, the investor-owned utility that provides gas and electric service across much of Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. He’s a recent chairman of Western Energy Institute, a current co-chair of the Institute for Electric Innovation, an Institute of the Edison Foundation focused on advancing the adoption of innovative and efficient technologies among electric utilities, and the former chair of the Montana Public Service Commission.
At the start of his career, in the 1980s, Bob was a VISTA volunteer and a Legal Services lawyer, and worked on subjects such as low-income utility programs and customer protections, utility-based efficiency programs, and integrated supply planning. We’re fortunate to have Bob involved with the Habitat X Conferences — with a lifetime of focused work on utilities and the environment, he is one of the most respected and progressive executives in the U.S. utility industry. Bob lives in Helena, Montana.
Leif Magnuson, is a senior program manager for the residential energy efficiency programs at Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He has also gathered extensive experience in indoor environments and healthy homes as the manager of EPA Residential Green Building Program in Region IX. This background makes him uniquely suited for his current primary initiative of creating a science-based whole-house protocol to reduce the incidence of asthma and other health issues. Leif lives in San Francisco.
Claudia Rapkoch is the director of Corporate Communications for Northwestern Energy, an investor-owned utility with a service area that covers much of Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. In this capacity, she manages relations for the public, media organizations, and communities; employee communications; social media, web content and design; printing and graphic services; marketing, advertising and brand management; and stakeholder and change management. Claudia lives in the mile-high city of Butte, Montana.
Kevin Kennedy is the Director of the Center for Environmental Health at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City. Kevin has spent 25 years in environmental science and health and is well respected across North America as an instructor and developer of systematic and comprehensive environmental assessment methods for home hazards and linking home performance with occupant health, melding a strong background in environmental health and hygiene with the complicated reality of whole-house remediation. He holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Kansas, Department of Preventive Medicine, and a BA in Natural History and Environmental Science from the University of Kansas. On top of this, he’s said to be a certified science teacher and an experienced restoration carpenter and woodworker.
Ed Thomas is the Executive Director of UtilityExchange.org. The organization provides association management, strategic consultation, and tactical event production to help enhance learning and networking among energy and water utilities, government entities, and other like-minded companies and organizations. His clients include: Peak Load Management Alliance, Utility Energy Forum, Rocky Mountain Utility Efficiency Exchange, and Edison Electric Institute. Ed resides in Vallejo, California.
Garry Upton is an executive vice-president at Decision Analyst, where he has specialized in developing actionable marketing and service procedures for the HVAC and home performance industries. He previously spent years as a branch manager and Director of Research with Lennox International.
In his own words, “Much of my time these days is spent building, conducting, analyzing, and presenting ad hoc primary research. A side line that has been important to me has been the addition of secondary data to complete the primary study we complete for the client. Often the addition of secondary information helps the primary directives we’ve found, and supports more specific actionable results from the studies.”
Garry lives in Denver, Colorado.
Larry Zarker has been involved with the world of home performance for most of his career. From a start at research center of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), he’s now the Executive Director of the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Larry brings an important perspective to our discussions: with his years of experience on Capitol Hill, he has a strong sense of when to use political solutions, and when to rely upon private industry. Larry lives in Washington, DC.
Ben Bunker supports several of EPA’s ENERGY STAR residential energy efficiency programs focused on both the new and existing home markets as an Associate with ICF International. He also serves as a Project Advisor for the Global BrightLight Foundation, a nonprofit that distributes portable solar lanterns to communities in emerging countries to improve economic, health, educational, and safety outcomes. He holds a M.S. from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing a certificate program with Solar Energy International. Ben lives in Washington, DC.
Tiger Adolf has been been a major player in the North American home performance industry for years now. With an education in both law and agriculture, and a background in permitting and compliance, she has put solid service as the Executive Director of the Wyoming Energy Council and as the leader of Program Design and Market Development for the Building Performance Institute. She currently serves as the Director of Operations for UtilityExchange.org. Tiger resides in Vallejo, California.
Steve Malon has spent his entire career perfecting the art and science of insulating and air-sealing buildings. He has not only built a successful business to deliver those services, but he has become a widely respected technical trainer, too. Steve is the president of HPIP, the High Performance Insulation Professionals. He works out of Rapid City, South Dakota.
Duke Elliott has the distinction being an expert in both the technology and business of energy efficient construction and and sustainable development. As a former director of the Montana Weatherization Training Center, he also has also gained a lot of knowledge in the world of work-force development. Duke is the proprietor of YesHaus, a nearly ideal pre-fab housing solution. He lives and works in Bozeman, Montana.
Penelope has been involved in organizational development for many years. She’s the president of The Schwiebert Group, Inc., a graduate adjunct faculty for the University of Idaho and Boise State University, and an active advisor for Osprey Building Performance. Penelope lives in Boise, Idaho.
Casey Murphy has been involved in the housing industry for much of his career. With a background in business and construction, he now works as a technical specialist for ICF International. He has recently supported DOE’s Weatherization Plus Health initiative, HUD’s Energy Innovation Fund for affordable multifamily projects, and the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. He currently supports EPA’s ENERGY STAR Verified HVAC Installation program. Casey works in Washington, D.C..
Tom White always lends an important perspective to Habitat X, coming from the world of publishing, community development, and small business. He’s a serial entrepreneur with 30-plus years of start-up, management, marketing and editorial experience in health, energy, environment, and scholarly trade sectors. Somewhere in his long resume is also a stint with Stuart Brand and the ultra-creative publishers of the Whole Earth Catalog. Tom lives in Berkeley, California, and is currently the publisher of Home Energy Magazine.
Arthur Beeken brings a 25-year perspective in the construction, remodeling, and historic restoration businesses. He’s also worked as a trainer, written curriculum, performed quality assurance tasks, and acted as a proctor for various professional certifications. He serves as the vice-chair of the North Bay Chapter of Efficiency First, a position he says entails even more work than the position of chairmanship he held for years. Arthur is the owner of Hybrid Home Performance in Healdsburg, California.
Ryan Boswell is a free-lance consultant on energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, and program finance. He worked for many years on the ground floor of the Clinton Climate Initiative in Little Rock, Arkansas, supporting the HEAL project, a workplace lending program directed toward energy efficiency upgrades in existing homes. Ryan was the 2014 Habitat X Fellow, and joined us for the 2014 conference at Chico Hot Springs, Montana. We are pleased to still count him as an active collaborator at Habitat X for the 2016 Webinar Series and the Compliance Project.
Read Ryan’s article in the 2014 Habitat X Journal.
John Costello leads the strategic planning team for Everblue Training Institute. He’s widely respected as an instructor and curriculum developer, but he also has deep experience in the plumbing, refining, and construction industries. John has been a reliable supporter of the Habitat X initiative since the very beginning. He currently resides in Orange County, California.
Debra Little brings a unique combination of skills to our events with her background in both residential valuation and home performance work. Debra has worked as a classroom and field instructor of appraisers, realtors, lenders, contractors, and associated professionals, and she was recently a finalist for the Innovate Northwest award for the most innovative start-up clean-tech business plan. And she’s a prize-winning mountain biker. Debra is the principal of Debra Little Sustainable Design in Grass Valley, California.
Terry Nordbye has spent much of his life developing practical and realistic ways to integrate home performance into mainstream construction. Terry’s current focus is to develop durable and effective air-sealing systems that do not rely on the use of liquid foam, though this is just the tip of the iceberg for what we’ll learn from this veteran of the housing industry. Terry is a regular contributor to the Journal of Light Construction, and he recently completed the first new construction Passive House in California with a pending LEED Gold certification. He lives and works in Bolinas, California.
Nate Adams is the proprietor of Energy Smart Home Performance. He has made a study of selling home performance, and he’s good at it not because he’s a talented building scientist (which he is), but because he’s a good psychologist who knows how much information to dish up to the buyer. He recognizes that people buy things for emotional reasons, and not usually because they are fascinated with science and technology. Perhaps we could all learn a thing or two from Nate’s example.
Read Nate’s article in the 2014 Habitat X Journal.
Colin Genge is the founder and CEO of Retrotec, Inc. He’s widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on the science and practice of measuring the integrity of air barriers in buildings for home performance, fire control, and clean room applications. Colin has provided solid support for the Habitat X initiative for years now, and has recently helped launch The Compliance Project, a nationwide initiative to speed the implementation of energy codes. He lives on a houseboat in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Learn about Colin’s webinar Codes and Programs That Work.
J West is a brand ambassador for Habitat X, and serves as a staff member for the Habitat X conferences. He’s the Principal at High Performance Human Habitats Training & Consulting in Chicago.
J has earned a reputation for bringing together high-tech training tools and effective training skills. He has trained hundreds of instructors, energy auditors, quality control inspectors, and crew members from around North America, and has been involved at Federal, state, and local levels delivering building performance training, developing curriculum, performing building research, and facilitating working groups.
J is the co-creator of the bilingual weatherization training series Carlito’s New Adventures in Weatherization.
Read J’s articles in the 2014 Habitat X Journal.
Joe Medosch is a brand ambassador for Habitat X, and serves as a staff member for the Habitat X conferences. He operates the consultancy Energy & Environmental Consulting LLC, is a training consultant to Retrotec Incorporated, and is the executive director of the Healthy Home Environment Association.
Joe is a technical wizard across much of the home performance field, and a talented trainer as well. He developed the Energy Management curriculum for Technical College System of Georgia, he’s a former energy manager for University of Georgia at Tifton, and he’s an Energy Management Instructor at Moultrie Technical College. Joe lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Joe holds the distinction of having designed his own slightly cryptic typeface, hand-grinding the characters of an old Underwood manual typewriter. Read Joe’s article in the 2014 Habitat X Journal.
Amy Sheppard was the operation manager for the Habitat X conferences from 2011 through 2015. Today she serves as a Donor Relations Manager for The Nature Conservancy Montana. She has also worked with organizations as diverse as science centers, art museums, guest ranches, and eco-tourism companies, with work venues that include Denali National Park, Hudson Bay, Colombia Ice Fields, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, Paris, Prague, Monte Carlo, and the Danube, Rhone, and Seine Rivers.
Amy lives in Helena, Montana and Madrid, Spain. She’s the co-author of the acclaimed cookbooks New West Cuisine: Fresh Recipes from the Rocky Mountains, and Sweet Treats from the Wild West.
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