USGBC South Florida Chapter
Board of Directors and Advisory Council

Board of Directors 

Advisory Council

The following individuals have been recognized by our Board of Directors for their special contributions of time, talent, expertise and sponsorship tied to our Chapter. As members of the Chapter Advisory Council, their wealth of knowledge and experience have set them apart as distinctive contributors to the Chapter, and they are tapped by the current Board for special assignments and counsel. Chapter Advisory Council membership is an honorary appointment and a non-voting position in relation to the Board of Directors. We honor and thank the following Chapter ambassadors for their ongoing contributions to the Chapter.

Olga Alvarez
Manny Diaz
Carlos Duarte
Carolyn Mitchell
Dave Vernon


Sandra Lee, President
Executive Committee / President

Sandra Lee, LEED AP BD+C, AICP CEP, directs the Environmental Services Division at Calvin, Giordano & Associates. Inc. (CGA). CGA is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm in operation since 1938 providing services to the public and the private sector throughout southeast Florida. Sandra works out of the firm's Fort Lauderdale office, coordinating their regulatory permitting, environmental planning, site assessment, natural resource management and environmental technical support services and staff. Prior to joining CGA in 2000, Sandra was with the Growth Management Division of Monroe County. She was resident of the Florida Keys for nearly 10 years.

Sandra has been an active member of the Chapter and has served as a Board Director since 2009, most recently as the Chapter Vice-President. She is also a Board officer of the South Florida Association of Environmental Professionals.

Sandra has been interested in environmental matters and sustainability her entire life. Sandra obtained a Bachelors degree in Biology with a special emphasis in Botany, and a Masters degree in Ecological Systems from St. Cloud State University, located in St. Cloud, Minnesota, near where she grew up. She lives in Oakland Park. Sandra has one adult son, Erik, who currently lives in South Florida.


Anthony Alfonso, Vice-President
Executive Committee / Vice-President

Anthony Alfonso, LEED AP, is a Senior Counsel with the internationally respected law firm of Holland & Knight. "Tony" is a member of H&K's Real Estate practice group with a focus on commercial real estate. He is experienced in representing owners, lenders and borrowers in a variety of commercial real estate transactions. As a LEED AP, he is also involved with sustainable development and green-building issues.

Tony received his BA (summa cum laude) in Political Science from Florida International University, and his JD (magna cum laude) from Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, he was a member of the FSU Law Review, where he served as the Administrative Editor. Upon graduation Tony was elected to the Order of the Coif.

In addition to his role on the USGBC South Florida Chapter Board of Directors and as an Officer of the nonprofit organization, Tony is also the past two-term Chair of the Chapter's Broward Branch. A popular speaker and frequent writer concerning Real Estate and green-building issues, Tony enjoys spending time with his family and reading in what little free time he gets. Originally from Miami, Tony and his wife, Alissa, and their children, Grey, Ash and Goldie, live in Hollywood. Alissa is a local artist who creates fabric collage pieces using sustainable materials.


Gary Pirtle, Secretary
Executive Committee / Secretary

Gary Pirtle is currently a Vice President at Pirtle Construction Company. Gary is a Civil Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, a Florida-licensed General Contractor, and a Professional Engineer.

Over the course of the past 10 years as Vice President at Pirtle Construction Company, Gary has been responsible for the construction of more than 25 major projects in Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Notable projects include the FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center and Pine Jog Elementary School, both LEED Gold Certified projects in West Palm Beach. The Pine Jog Elementary School was the first LEED Gold Certified K-12 facility in Florida. As a LEED AP, Gary ensures that all of the firm's LEED projects are on track to meet or exceed the targeted certification level.

Gary has more than 30 years of construction management experience. After completing 20-plus years with the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps where he served as a Navy Civil Engineer Corps Officer, Gary retired with the rank of Commander. While serving in the Navy, Gary worked on numerous MILCON and Navy Special Projects including Housing, Barracks, Jet Aviation Fueling Facilities, Runway Repairs and Extensions, and Pier Construction. His experience for the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps also gave him construction management skills in interdisciplinary engineering, construction contracting, and utilities management.

Gary holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Civil Engineering, from the University of Alabama and the Georgia Institute of Technology, respectfully. In addition to his responsibilities as a Director of the USGBC South Florida Chapter, Gary is highly involved in other civic organizations, including the U.S. Navy League – Fort Lauderdale Chapter (Board member) and the South Florida ACE Mentor Program (Board member).

Originally from Tennessee, Gary and his fiancé, Vickie, now live in Fort Lauderdale. Gary is a proud father of two grown children -- his daughter Heather, living in Seattle, Washington, and his son Chris, who lives in California with Gary 's three grandchildren.

Neyda Otero, Treasurer
Executive Committee / Treasurer

Neyda Otero is an architect, LEED AP BD + C, Green Classroom Professional and the Treasurer for the Chapter. 

Neyda is the Assistant Vice Provost of Design and Construction for Miami Dade College, a state-supported college with eight campuses, 21 outreach centers throughout Miami Dade, and the largest institution of higher education in Florida and the second largest in the USA, providing quality education to more than 170,000 students. She provides vision, leadership, oversight and management to the design and construction division of facilities management team and is responsible for all facets of the major and minor capital improvement projects college-wide.

Prior to MDC, Neyda spent 12 years as Director of Project Management and Construction for Pine Crest School, a private all-faith college preparatory school with campuses in Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton.  She was responsible for the planning, management and development of all aspects of new buildings and infrastructure construction, facilities renovations, capital improvement planning, budgeting and the construction oversight of all facilities projects at both Pine Crest School Campuses.

At Pine Crest School, Neyda helped create new policies and procedures to effectively undertake an initial five-year, $30 million capital improvement bond program consisting of multiple projects at both campuses. The bond program was so successful that the school undertook another $55 million capital improvement bond program in 2008. Amongst results was the construction of the first Pine Crest School LEED academic building -- the new Lower School Replacement Building at the Boca Raton Campus, which achieved LEED Gold Certification for Schools from the USGBC -- and secondly the City of Fort Lauderdale’s first LEED Gold Certification for New Construction for the Chiller Plant Building Project at the Ft. Lauderdale Campus. Finally, the new Upper School Replacement Building at the Fort Lauderdale Campus achieved a LEED Silver Certification for Schools.

Prior to joining Pine Crest School, Neyda was Director of Physical Plant for the Broward Campuses of Florida Atlantic University; Director of Design for the Broward County School Board; and project architect for various architectural firms in the South Florida area during her 30-year career in the construction industry.

Originally from Cuba, this USGBC South Florida Chapter Board member graduated from the University of Miami, grew up in Palm Beach County, and currently lives in Pompano Beach. Neyda has two daughters, one a 2012 graduate of Harvard College, and the other set to graduate from Harvard College in 2015. In her free time, Neyda enjoys, reading, running, exercising, relaxing and following local art exhibitions. 


Paul Carty, Immediate-Past President
Executive Committee / Immediate Past President

Paul Carty, LEED AP BD+C, is an accomplished builder with more than 23 years of experience in the South Florida construction management industry. Paul is Vice-President and Principal at State Contracting and Engineering Corporation, a commercial and civil construction management firm based in Hollywood.

A licensed Florida General Contractor, Paul has overseen numerous projects in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. His building portfolio includes dozens of educational facilities, as well as roadways, bridges, libraries, parks and recreational facilities, toll plazas, and office buildings. Paul graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Building Construction.

Paul's interest in green building was sparked when he became project executive of the first LEED building in Broward County, leading the construction team on the South Regional/Broward College Library in Pembroke Pines. This pioneer project achieved Silver Certification in 2007. Paul has since been involved in numerous other green projects, including the LEED Gold Pine Crest Central Chiller Plant at the Fort Lauderdale campus of Pine Crest Preparatory School. The project was the city’s first LEED NC Certification.

Paul has served on the Chapter's Board of Directors since 2007. In addition to his role as Immediate Past President of the Chapter, Paul is involved in several committees.  Paul is Green Advantage Certified and a national faculty member of the Green Advantage Environmental Certification Program. He also serves on the Construction Management Program Advisory Committee at Everglades University.

Born and raised in Trinidad, Paul came to the USA for college. He resides with his three children in Davie.
Kyle Abney, Treasure Coast Branch Chair
Executive Committee
Kyle Abney is a LEED AP, a state-licensed general contractor, and Vice President of Abney + Abney Green Solutions (AbneyGreen). AbneyGreen is turn-key sustainable development consulting firm with experience on all types and sizes of green building projects. He has overseen projects that utilize the USGBC's LEED for New Construction, Existing Buildings, Commercial Interiors, Neighborhood Development and Homes rating systems; the Florida Green Building Coalition’s Florida Green Home, Florida Green Residential Hi-Rise, Florida Green Commercial and Florida Green Local Government standards; as well as the National Green Home Standard for all types of residential projects. Kyle has first-hand experience in the various green certification options for both commercial and residential projects throughout Florida. 

Kyle is a 1999 graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelors degree in Architectural Design. He went on to earn a Master’s degree in Building Construction from UF with a concentration in Sustainable Construction in 2001. Kyle has the premier distinction of being the first person in the USA to receive a formal construction degree in green building.

While at the University of Florida, he was the founding President of the nation’s first Student Chapter of the USGBC.  He has since served as a founding Board member and officer of the USGBC Central Florida Chapter; founding member the USGBC Florida/Caribbean Regional Council; founding Chair of the Treasure Coast & Palm Beach Branch of the USGBC South Florida Chapter; and a former board member of the Florida Green Building Council (FGBC). He is also a former President of the USGBC South Florida Chapter, and is back for another term on the nonprofit organization's Board of Directors.  Kyle is also member of the Chapter’s prestigious Advisory Council, Chair of the Chapter’s Treasure Coast Branch, and President of the Solar & Energy Loan Fund (SELF).

Kyle is a fifth-generation Floridian from Okeechobee. He currently lives in Palm City with his wife and business partner Harmony and their toddler son Parker.


Robin Blakeman, Palm Beach Branch Chair
Executive Committee

Robin Blakeman, LEED GA, brings to the Chapter leadership team 25+ years of horticultural management experience with her company, Foliage Design Systems (FDS), in the South Florida market. She has a longstanding passion for sustainability that has lead her on a "fun and extremely fulfilling" volunteer path with the USGBC South Florida Chapter, which currently includes her second term as Chair of the Palm Beach Branch and member of the Chapter's Board of Directors.

Starting as the office manager of the Miami office of FDS in 1986, Robin is now Principal of FDS of Palm Beach, Inc. She holds a BA in Business Administration, graduating suma cum laude from Florida International University while working full-time and raising her family.

She is a State Licensed Pest Control Operator Turf & Ornamental and a Certified Trainer for Green Plants for Green Buildings. Amongst many such outreach endeavors, she supports industry international research efforts detailing the air purification properties of live foliage (indoors), and has long been involved with educational efforts tied to Integrated Pest Management, increased building occupant comfort; and industry best practices.

This vibrant green ambassador and landscape-design professional was selected as Small Business Person of the Year for 2011 by the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. Her company has won numerous industry awards.

Robin's other passions include jogging and biking in the great outdoors, container vegetable gardening, reading, and spending precious down-time with family and friends. She and her husband, Glenn, live in The Acreage with their beautiful, talented daughter, Jennifer.


Alejandro Branger

Alejandro Branger is the Sustainable Design Leader for Perkins+Will Miami and a member of the Sustainable Design Initiative within the firm. He received a Master’s degree from the Architectural Association in London, UK, for the Energy and Environment Studies Program.

Alejandro has more than 18 years of national and international architectural experience in a wide range of project types, including educational, healthcare, science and technology, civic, residential and commercial buildings. Utilizing the integrated design process in every project for P+W's Miami office, he has helped to consistently deliver thoughtful, innovative and sustainable design solutions. His professional character and collaborative nature has led productive relationships on projects such as the L’Oreal Research and Innovation Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Science Classroom Complex and Stempel College of Public Health at Florida International University; and the Clinical Translational Research Building at the University of Florida.

Alejandro managed the LEED certification process for the Hospital Universitario San Vicente de Paul in Colombia, which is the first LEED Certified hospital in South America. He is currently focused on leading a task group within the firm on the conceptual design and energy analysis of the projects as a whole. Alejandro teaches Environmental Systems at Florida International University and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Miami on the topic of sustainability in Miami. 

As the sustainable design strategist and LEED specialist for the Miami office, his involvement in every project the office develops is key in ensuring that each meets firm-wide standards as he advocates for the use of healthier building materials and transparency in the building industry.

Alejandro, who is originally from Venezuela, has been living in Miami since 2002. He is an avid runner and you might find him on the golf course or sailing with his two children in his free time.


Stephen Chang

Stephen Chang, LEED AP BD+C, is an accomplished builder with more than 10 years of experience in the South Florida construction management industry. Stephen is a Project Manager at Moss & Associates, a privately held construction company that is ranked among the nation’s top 100 building contractors and the seventh largest in Florida.

A licensed General Contractor in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, Stephen has overseen numerous projects and continues his work in South Florida. Stephen is responsible for managing multi-million dollar projects from preconstruction through project completion. He works closely with developers, owners, architects, engineers and sustainability consultants. His building portfolio includes landmark mixed-use developments, luxury high-rise residential facilities, commercial office buildings, educational and higher learning institutions, and biotechnology and healthcare complexes.

Stephen graduated from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in Building Construction, and has been a LEED AP since 2007. He enjoys working on LEED projects and helping the South Florida community become a greener, more sustainable place to work and live.

Recently concluding two terms as the Chair of the USGBC South Florida Chapter's Miami-Dade Branch, Stephen was born in Jamaica and raised in South Florida. He lives with his wife and two children in Pembroke Pines.

Tammy Cook-Weedon, Broward Branch Chair
Tammy Cook-Weedon, RLA, LEED AP BD+C, ASLA, has 27 years of professional experience and leads the Calvin Giordano & Associates' (CGA) Landscape Architecture & Environmental Services Department. CGA is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm in operation since 1938 providing services to the public and the private sector throughout SE Florida. Tammy works out of the firm's Ft. Lauderdale office, coordinating the municipal services support, landscape inspections, site-plan review and code enforcement. She also provides leadership with the land-development efforts on site due diligence, site planning, site analysis, master planning, Landscape Urbanism, creative design development and park planning. Tammy manages a team of creative professionals that includes three LEED APs within the department.
Prior to joining CGA in 1997, Tammy spent seven years as President of Landscape Planning Associates, a woman-owned minority firm in Coral Gables, Florida. During this time frame, she was the landscape architect for the Charles Deering Estate, the largest historic site in Dade County, and the Redland Fruit and Spice Park Master Plan in Homestead. She came to South Florida in 1987 to join Sasaki and Associates, where she worked on many high-profile projects throughout the region such as the Orlando Arena and the Disney Contemporary Resort.

Tammy holds a Bachelor's of Science in Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. She has been an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects since 1987, and has served on the Florida Executive Committee several times in the last two decades. She has been committed to the environment and sustainability issues her entire life. In addition to her role on the USGBC South Florida Chapter's Board of Directors, Tammy is also the Chair of the Chapter's Broward Branch. 
She enjoys spending time with her husband, Stan Weedon, in their rural home in Okeechobee where they take great pleasure in the wildlife, gardening and their yellow lab, Goose. Originally from Plano, Texas, Tammy is a proud mother of three grown children -- daughter Katy, living in Waxahachie, Texas with three grandchildren, and Kagan, Kaylee and Cade. Her middle daughter, Krystal, lives in Dallas, Texas and is a speech therapist. Her son Brandon is at the FSU Film School in West Palm Beach studying Digital Design and Animation in his Junior year.
 

John Hardman

John Hardman, PhD, is the founder of Regenerative Organizations, a process consulting firm specializing in leadership coaching and team building to facilitate the shift of private and civic organizations toward regenerative practices and sustainability.

John is the author of the recently published Leading for Regeneration: Going beyond Sustainability in Business, Education, and Community, which is based on his ongoing research and process consulting work with organizations. His current research focuses on sustainability leadership in "green" schools of excellence, intended to conceptualize how teacher leaders and administrators have successfully embedded the principles of sustainability into their school and district’s governance structure, curriculum, facilities management and operations, and community engagement.

In addition to his full-time commitment with the Department of Educational Leadership & Research Methodology in the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University, John teaches Sustainability Leadership for Entrepreneurs in the College of Business.

John is a licensed facilitator of the AtKisson Group’s ISIS Accelerator for sustainability strategic planning, as well as a licensed business assessor and professional in S-CORE (Sustainability – Competency, Opportunity & Rating Evaluation). He is also accredited in Sustainable Community Development by the Homes and Communities Academy, UK; a member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals; former Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the USGBC South Florida Chapter; and a Certified Delegate of the Resonance Project Foundation (http://resonance.is).

Prior to coming to the USA to pursue doctoral studies, John was an international school teacher and principal in South America for 20 years.


Denaye Hinds, Miami-Dade Branch Chair
Denaye Hinds is the Director of Sustainability for international architectural design and master planning firm OBM International. The joint head of OBMI's Green Matters Studio, Denaye leads OBMI's initiative within the sustainability sector. With her extensive experience in sustainable infrastructure, tourism planning, operations, training and regulations for international standards and systems, she is responsible for building and leading OBMI's Design and Planning sustainability policy and projects.

As a native Bermudian and engineer/project management graduate, Denaye believes not only in the success of sustainability within design and operations, but in advantages that sustainability provides both economically and throughout the social fibers of the places where she works. A LEED AP BD+C and accredited auditor, sustainability is innate in all aspects of Denaye's work through the focus of responsible design and management. She promotes the various principles of sustainability in every aspect of her work and social responsibilities.

Spearheading OBMI's Social Responsibility and giving back to communities where she resides are driving forces both personally and professionally for Denaye. This is evident in her role as Chair and Engagement Director of USGBC Miami. Denaye also Co-Chairs the Sustainable Tourism & Hospitality Initiative for Chapter. A primary focus of Denaye's is to ensure that the Chapter's Miami-Dade Branch becomes the top resource in the City for urban sustainability, education and opportunities, providing members and communities with value-added programs to enhance sustainability and act as a conduit for advancing the way in which we design buildings -- bridging the gap and furthering the Mission of the Chapter and like-minded organizations’ goals for a more sustainable Miami. 

Denaye earned her Master’s degree in construction management from Florida International University and a Bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University.


Rob Hink

Rob Hink, LEED AP, is Principal and Owner of The Spinnaker Group, a highly respected consulting firm whose team has extensive knowledge and experience in the application of the USGBC LEED rating systems. The Spinnaker Group helps companies achieve green-building goals including design consulting, commissioning and energy modeling. The Spinnaker Group also provides sustainable-design and LEED-related training specifically tailored to meet the needs of organizations.

Rob is a Past President of the USGBC South Florida Chapter and has achieved the prestigious title of USGBC LEED Faculty. He sits on the organization's Board of Directors, has chaired many committees during his long tenure with the Chapter, which stretches back to its formative years, and is immersed to this day in various Chapter initiatives.

Rob holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is a Commissioning Provider with the Building Commissioning Association. He has more than a decade of full-time green-design and commissioning experience, and more than 25 years experience in facilities management, project management and energy management, and control systems. Rob spent the first eight years of his professional career in the United States Navy nuclear power program serving in the submarine force and acquiring extensive experience in power generation, mechanical and electrical systems, and leadership expertise. After leaving the Navy, Rob taught HVAC and Electrical Theory at the college level.

Rob joined Johnson Controls in 1988, and spent 11 years in the controls industry, eventually serving as regional manager for Systems and Services. While at Johnson Controls, Rob lead the team that developed the "Results Oriented Services" program and was intimately involved in the performance contracting arena. In his last position before forming The Spinnaker Group, Rob was Vice President of Operations for a large national facilities management firm where he developed its maintenance management programs as well as standardized operations protocols throughout the corporation.

Rob's firm is currently involved in more than 200 LEED projects including more than 60 certified projects, both locally and internationally, and the firm has provided commissioning services on more than 300 million square feet of buildings. The firm's spectrum of clients includes 1450 Brickell, MET II, Boca Ciega High School, St, Andrews School, FIU, and UM, Miami Design District ND, as well as municipal, county, State and Federal projects. Rob is also working with the Colombian government on green initiatives.

Rob was born in Iowa. He and his wife, Virginia, live in Weston.

Brian Lomel

Brian Lomel is a Principal, Sustainability Consultant and chairman of the Energy Services task group for TLC Engineering for Architecture. He is a mechanical engineering graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Florida-registered professional engineer, a LEED AP BD+C, a Registered Commissioning Authority (CxA), a runner, a gardener, a chef and an amateur movie maker, with more than 25 years of experience in engineering consulting, much of which is focused on tropical environments.

Brian was part of the project team for the first LEED Certified building in Broward County (South Regional Library) and the first LEED Certified building in Palm Beach County (FAU Lynn College of Nursing), as well as many other LEED Certified projects, including the recent Platinum status recipient, Village of Palmetto Bay -- Village Hall. His current work is focused on greening the built environment, with past projects earning numerous awards including TOBY, FAPA and other green building awards of excellence.

As a featured speaker at numerous international, national and local conferences such as the "Only Sustainable", Subtropical Cities, ASHRAE, NAIOP, Florida AIA, and the Academy of Architecture for Health conference, Brian is frequently promoting the benefits of building green to a diverse audience.   Brian is a regular guest lecturer to students at FIU, FAU and UM on the topic of Tropical Sustainability. He also was a featured speaker at 
the "Tropical Green" conference first presented by Metropolis Magazine and now Chairs that same conference that is presented by the USGBC South Florida Chapter.

Originally from Georgia, Brian and his wife, Angela, live in Wilton Manors.


Patrick McElhaney

Patrick McElhaney is the Director of Marketing and Residential Sales for FPL Energy Services, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE), North America’s top producer of energy from the wind and the sun. Patrick's responsibilities include planning and executing marketing-related efforts for three businesses that specialize in energy-related products and services. As a leader in providing solutions for its customers' toughest challenges, FPL Energy Services designs, develops and builds energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable solutions for municipal, education, healthcare, federal and commercial customers.

Prior to joining FPL Energy Services, Patrick worked for General Electric as the Business Development Manager for the Ecomagination Homes Program. In this role, he was responsible for the wing-to-wing execution of a new home construction program designed to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 20% versus the industry-accepted average new home. Prior to this position, he held a variety of leadership positions in GE Lighting Product Management, including incandescent, fluorescent, halogen and General Manager of compact fluorescents. While at GE, he also held senior positions in Sales, Global Sourcing and Six Sigma.

Patrick holds a B.S./B.A. in Industrial Marketing from Youngstown State University and a M.B.A. from St. Louis University. He is also a Certified Six Sigma Master Blackbelt, and an Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Auditor.

Patrick and his wife, Roxanne, have three children and reside in Jupiter, Florida.

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