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.

Kyle Abney
Olga Alvarez
Manny Diaz
Carlos Duarte

Rob Hink
Brian Lomel
Carolyn Mitchell
Dave Vernon

Sandra Lee, President
Robin Blakeman, Vice President
Gary Pirtle, Secretary
Neyda Otero, Treasurer
Paul Carty, Immediate-Past President
Mark Stempler, Palm Beach Branch Chair
Alejandro Branger
Stephen Chang
Tammy Dalton
Erin Deady
Elena Gibson
Jesse Miller
John Nix
David Power
Chi Chi Truong, Miami-Dade Branch Chair
Anthony Alfonso, General Counsel

Sandra Lee
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.

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Robin Blakeman
Executive Committee / Vice-President

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 included two terms as Chair of the Palm Beach Branch and her current role as Vice-President 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.

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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.

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Neyda Otero
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.

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Paul Carty
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.

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Mark Stempler
Palm Beach Branch Chair / Executive Committee

Mark Stempler is an attorney in West Palm Beach with the law firm of Becker & Poliakoff. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Construction Law and is accredited as a LEED Green Associate by the USGBC.

Mark represents clients in all aspects of the construction industry, including owners, developers, contractors, design professionals, and sureties, from contracting through litigation, with a focus on the green building sector. He also practices in the government procurement sector, and primarily represents private companies doing business with government agencies during the contract bidding, negotiation and protest phases. He has authored or co-authored numerous green building and government procurement-related publications, and is a frequent lecturer on bid protests. He is also the creator of The Green Building Law Blog.

In addition to his roles as a member of the USGBC South Florida Chapter's Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and Chair of the Palm Beach Branch, Mark also serves on the City of West Palm Beach’s Sustainability Advisory Committee.

Mark graduated from Florida International University College of Law (cum laude), and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami. In his spare time, he has completed several marathons and triathlons.

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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.

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Stephen Chang

Stephen Chang, LEED AP BD+C, is an accomplished builder with more than 15 years of experience in the South Florida construction management industry. Stephen is a Project Executive at Moss & Associates. Moss is a privately-held construction firm headquartered in Fort Lauderdale. From 12 regional offices from Hawaii to Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Moss focuses on construction management at-risk, design-build, and public-private partnerships throughout the United States.

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 three children in Pembroke Pines.

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Tammy Dalton
Treasure Coast Branch Chair / Treasure Coast Chair

Tammy Dalton is a Florida Registered Interior Designer with 22 years experience in the design and construction industry in southeast Florida. She also holds a LEED AP credential in Building Design and Construction and provides LEED consulting services to commercial projects pursuing certification.

After many years of completing luxury residential projects for numerous clients throughout the southeast Florida region as a Senior Designer for some of the region’s best known design firms, Tammy launched her namesake firm, Tamara Dalton Design Studios, in 2007. She has been active with the USGBC South Florida Chapter since 2010, first as part of the Communications committee for the Palm Beach Branch, and subsequently as the Communications Chair and then Programs Chair for the Treasure Coast branch.

Tammy elevates the practice of design by bringing things down to earth. She focuses on the people that inhabit built spaces, designs sustainably, and considers the environmental impact of our choices, and as a LEED Consultant, guides project owners and design and construction teams to green building certification. Whether in her role as Interior Designer or as LEED Consultant, Tammy’s leadership and attention to detail keeps clients happy, project teams collaborating and on track, and everyone smiling at the results.

Tammy resides in Stuart with her husband, two daughters, and the cutest Shih Tzu in town. In addition to her role as a member of the Chapter's Board of Directors, Tammy serves as the Branch Chair of the Treasure Coast Branch of the Chapter, and is part of the Interior Design Advisory Board for Indian River State College. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Interior Design from Florida State University.

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Erin Deady

Erin Deady, P.A., specializes in sustainability, climate, environmental, land use, and water law, as well as in securing grants. Her clients include local governments, Special Districts, private sector, agricultural and Tribal entities specializing in development and regulatory issues, Gulf of Mexico and Everglades Restoration, water resources, code development, and all types of land-use issues, as well as Federal and state litigation on energy, water resources management and environmental regulatory matters.

Erin L. Deady, P.A., is a full-service legal and consulting firm. In addition to being a licensed attorney in Florida, Erin is also a certified land planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and a LEED AP. She previously served as Environmental Counsel to Audubon of Florida, and has worked for the Village of Wellington, the Broward County Department of Planning and Environmental Protection, and the South Florida Water Management District.

Erin earned her JD from Nova Southeastern University; her Master of Public Administration from Florida Atlantic University (where she was also an Environmental Growth Management Fellow); and her BA in Marine Science Affairs from the University of Miami. A new member of the USGBC Board of Directors, Erin has always passionately given back to her community and the professional associations in which she has been involved, serving on numerous Boards and committees, including the Everglades Coalition, water Districts, and various environmental academies and agencies.

Originally from Palm Beach Gardens, Erin currently splits her time between Key Largo and Lantana. In her limited free time, she enjoys distance cycling, fishing, diving, skiing and hanging out in the Florida Keys.

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Elena Gibson

Elena is a South Florida native with an extensive background working with prominent real estate attorneys before owning her own title company. She was looking for a career change and found a niche working for SEQUIL Systems, a boutique sustainable consulting firm. This position answered her desire to focus personal and professional efforts on the environment. As Office Manager at SEQUIL and an active volunteer with the USGBC South Florida Chapter, she finds fulfillment in taking an active role on steering committees that help promote sustainable schools. Elena has chaired the Chapter's Green Schools initiatives for the past three years and has recently been appointed to the Chapter's Board of Directors.

Elena has successfully captained many of the Chapter's Green Apple Day of Service projects and liaises with the Center for Green Schools at the USGBC on various programs and projects. She is on the Green Schools Recognition Program Steering Committee, serving Palm Beach, Martin County and St. Lucie County. She also works with the Dream in Green team in Miami-Dade County, assisting to promote their Green Schools Challenge Program and contributing ideas and authoring a Dream in Green Journal article. Other USGBC volunteer service includes serving on the Broward Branch Governing Council and as a member of the first Tropical Green committee. Elena has attended the last two mid-year National USGBC meetings as the Chapter's representative to Green Schools, as well as the past two Greenbuild conferences. She has personally raised funds for the Chapter, and her firm has been a longstanding Sponsors Circle member, as well as supporting various Branch programs.

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Jesse Miller
Broward Branch Chair

Jesse Miller, LEED AP BD+C, is a Project Manager and Shareholder at Miller Construction Company. Miller Construction Company is a design-build and general construction firm in operation since 1973 with an extensive portfolio in hospitality, commercial, office, healthcare, multi-family residential, light industrial, educational, and retail construction. Jesse has been a teammate at Miller Construction Company since 2005, and has contributed to many high-profile construction projects in the South Florida area such as the Omni Center in Miami, the Local 10 WPLG Broadcast Studio in Hallandale Beach, and Nova Southeastern University’s LEED Silver Certified Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Ecosystems Research in Hollywood, which received a GalaVerde Award for Most Outstanding LEED NC Education Project in 2013.

Jesse is a lifelong resident of Broward County. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Florida in 2003. He has served on the Governing Council of the Broward Branch since 2009, and has recently taken the helm as Chair of the Branch. In addition to his dedication to furthering the practice of sustainable construction through contributions to the USGBC, he is also a supporter of Rebuilding Together Broward and the United Way.

In his spare time, Jesse enjoys fishing, golf and many of the countless other year-round outdoor activities that South Florida has to offer. Jesse was recently married to his wife, Brittany. They have a Treeing Walker Coonhound named Roxy, and live in Pompano Beach.

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John Nix

John Nix is a 34-year veteran in the energy-management field. He is currently employed as a Senior Energy Engineer at Florida Power and Light Company. John is a Certified Energy Manager (C.E.M.) and also holds certifications in Energy Procurement (CEP), Sustainable Building Design, and Demand Side Management. Sustainability, conservation, and efficient management of energy are where his core interests and expertise lie. Since 1981, John has been very active within the building energy management industry while specializing in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), including professional presentations on a variety of technical topics within the field. He has conducted numerous commercial building energy audits as well as HVAC equipment application reviews.

A three-term President of the Miami Chapter of American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air–Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), John currently chairs several ASHRAE society committees. He has also served as an Advisory Board member for engineering departments in three major universities -- University of Florida, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and Florida International University. In addition, John recently completed his services as a member of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee.

John received his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in engineering from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. He is a native of Gainesville, Florida, and operates a natural beef sustainable farm in nearby Rochelle, Florida, a town founded by his ancestors. John enjoys hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and spending time with his family. Happily married to Angelita for more than 35 years, John is also the proud father of three wonderful daughters -- Ronnica, Mikaela and Rochelle.

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David Power

A 20-year industry veteran, David Power serves as Senior Project Manager for Suffolk Construction. Throughout his career, he has achieved a balance of skills ranging from his strong leadership and commitment to mentoring, to his ability to identify and solve the most complex challenges on projects. David has delivered an impressive portfolio of work in sectors such as transportation, education, science and technology, healthcare, and commercial. Prior to joining Suffolk, he served in a leadership role for a general contractor in North Carolina and was instrumental in a three-year revenue increase from $80 million to $250 million.

As he has traveled the country and grown his career, David has maintained a commitment to advancing the industry, not only for the companies for which he has worked, but also for outside organizations. In the past, he has served as the Founding President of USGBC’s Orlando Chapter, a member of the Construction Specification Institute, and the Director of Construction for the Community Green House Foundation, a not-for-profit in Washington D.C.

As Senior Project Manager for Suffolk, David perpetuates the company’s vision to transform the construction experience by building smart. This includes a commitment to Suffolk’s three strategies: advance the power of innovation; empower their people; and engage in the community.

Suffok's commitment to building smart is about consistently delivering the very best solutions, answers and results for their clients. With a strong corporate culture that emphasizes innovation on projects and in their operations, Suffolk embraces new practices, sustainable solutions, and lean principles. Suffolk's construction management teams are inquisitive, open-minded, and have a strong commitment to collaboration and open communication on our project sites.

David grew up in England where he completed his formal education with as BS in Mechanical Engineering. First coming to the United States in 1986, David is now a proud American citizen. Beyond his civic role with the USGBC, David is an Instructor for the FEMA C.E.R.T. program and tour guide at Talladega Motor Speedway. David’s true passion is racing, whether building and working on cars or acting as pit crew for NASCAR series teams.

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Chi Chi Truong
Miami-Dade Branch Branch Chair

Chi Chi Truong, EI, LEED Green Associate, is a project engineer and assistant project manager for Schwebke-Shiskin & Associates, Inc. (SSA). Founded in 1947, SSA is one of the premier land development consulting firms in South Florida. 

A Miami transplant, Chi Chi is heavily involved with community grassroots efforts focused on urban growth, entrepreneurship, youth leadership development, arts and culture, human rights, and sustainability. Chi Chi serves as the Miami-Dade Branch Chair, the Chapter's Emerging Professionals Chair, USGBC's National Chair for the USGBC Students Program, is a member of USGBC’s Global Community Engagement Advisory Collaborative, and, of course, is a member of the Chapter's Board of Directors.

Originally from Louisville, KY, Chi Chi graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering. During his academic career, he co-created an annual student conference with Habitat for Humanity International that united technical university project teams around the country to share best practices and collaborate on national and global efforts including disaster-resilient housing and sustainable building practices. In 2008, he represented Purdue to the United Nation’s World Urban Forum in Nanjing, China, which sought to address issues of rapid urban development and sustainable growth.

Chi Chi is known for his passion and energy, as well as for coalition building and civic engagement. In 2013, he and the USGBC Emerging Professionals partnered with AIA Miami’s Young Architect Forum on the submission of a winning concept to the Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge. Their project – Miami in Action – activated an existing public park with a public space festival that offered attendees innovative ideas and activities with a focus on revitalizing the downtown corridor. In 2015, Chi Chi was the recipient of the inaugural USGBC Convergence Rising Star Award, presented to "the volunteer who is a student or emerging professional who brings energy, creativity and innovation to community projects".

Chi Chi’s professional career includes being a district manager for a general contracting company, and serving as an associate director for an environmental nonprofit. On weekends, Chi Chi can be found traveling with his friends or enjoying some of the many amenities Miami has to offer.

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Anthony Alfonso
General Counsel to the Chapter (non-Board member)

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 as General Counsel to the USGBC South Florida Chapter, 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.

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