Board of Directors
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.
|Stephen Chang, President|
|Robin Blakeman, Vice-President|
|Chi Chi Truong, Vice-President, Miami Branch Chair|
|Elena Painter, Secretary|
|Sandra Lee, Immediate Past President|
|Tammy Dalton, Treasure Coast Branch Chair|
|Dr. Pandwe Gibson|
|Gary Pirtle, Broward Branch Chair|
|Mark Stempler, Palm Beach Branch Chair|
|Anthony Alfonso, General Counsel|
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.
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.
Chi Chi Truong, EI, LEED Green Associate, is an assistant project manager and sustainable initiatives coordinator 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 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 National 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.
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.
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.
Lawrence (Larry) Clark, LEED AP O+M, is the Principal of Sustainable Performance Solutions LLC (SPS), a South Florida-based engineering firm whose practice is focused on energy and sustainability consulting. Clark is a U.S. Army veteran who, before launching SPS, served as Director of Corporate Business Development at Hill York where he was actively engaged with its Hygreen Energy Solutions group from its launch in early 2008 until he started SPS in September 2010.
Larry's previous experience includes such diverse assignments as President and Vice-President at MEPCO (formerly Dunham Division of Dunham-Bush), and regional manager at Vapor Power division of Westinghouse Air Brake.
Larry is a graduate engineer (BSEE), a certified Green Globes Professional, a LEED AP with O+M specialty credential, a Certified Commercial Energy Auditor, a Florida Water Star Commercial and Institutional Certifier, a Qualified Commissioning Process Provider (QCxP), and a Certified Guiding Principles Compliance Professional.
Larry is a frequent presenter and lecturer on green building certification, central energy plant optimization, metering/submetering, and advanced ventilation strategies. He is on the faculty of Lorman Education Services.
In addition to having published than two dozen HVAC and energy-related articles, he also writes the semi-monthly "Clark’s Remarks" blog for HPAC Engineering.
Larry is a member of various professional organizations including ASHRAE and IEEE. In addition to his current status as a member of the USGBC South Florida Regional Board of Directors, he has Chaired the nonprofit's Advocacy and Broward Green Schools Committees. Additionally, he serves on the BOMA Florida Energy Committee, HPAC Engineering’s Editorial Advisory Board, and the Smart Growth Partnership Board of Directors (currently Treasurer). Larry previously served on the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) Education Review Team, served six years on the City of Pompano Beach Recycling & Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and presently serves on the City of Fort Lauderdale Sustainability Advisory Board.
Larry and his lovely wife, Vicki, live at the beach and would be empty nesters (the kids are all gone) if it wasn’t for the two dogs and the cat. They enjoy fishing and snorkeling, and Larry still rides a Harley and likes to boat ... but only in nice weather.
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.
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.
Dr. Pandwe Gibson is making going green cool, practical and profitable. After founding and scaling a network of highly successful schools, she dove into the business world where she started, led and scaled three successful companies. Currently, she is the CEO/Executive Director and Founder of EcoTech Visions, Miami's first makerspace, co-working space and green business incubator. Through EcoTech Visions, she and her team are guiding entrepreneurs to grow green manufacturing in Miami.
Pandwe has a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College, a Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning from Claremont Graduate University, a Master in Leadership from Harvard Graduate School, and a PhD from Claremont Graduate University. She has lived, studied, taught and worked internationally at notable universities such as the University of Logon in Accra Ghana, and Oxford University in Oxford England. Originally from Earth, Pandwe enjoys water sports, extreme sport and art. She lives in Miami and believes that she will witness an oxygen-surplus planet.
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.
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.
Gary Pirtle has recently retired as Vice President at Pirtle Construction Company. Gary is a Civil Engineer, LEED AP BD+C, a Florida-licensed General Contractor, and a Professional Engineer.
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. His experience for the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps also gave him construction management skills in interdisciplinary engineering, construction contracting, and utilities management.
Over the course of the past 12 years as Vice President at Pirtle Construction Company, Gary was responsible for the construction of more than 28 major projects in Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Notable projects include Galaxy Elementary (LEED Platinum), FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center and Pine Jog Elementary School, both LEED Gold Certified projects in West Palm Beach.
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 Region and Chair of its Broward Branch, 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 wife, Vicki, 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 five grandchildren.
Cynthia Spray, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, was born in Manhattan New York and has lived in Switzerland, England and the United States. She is a graduate of the Hazelwood School in Oxted, Surrey, and attended Wycombe Abbey School in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. She returned to the USA with her family in the early 1990s and was graduated from The Lawrenceville School, Cum Laude, in 1994.
Cynthia completed a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the University of Miami, a Master of Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Miami. She is a licensed Florida Architect, licensed Florida Realtor, a member of the American Institute of Architects, and is President for 2016 and Committee Chair for Build Palm Beach 2016. Cynthia is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. In addition to being a member of the USGBC South Florida Regional Board of Directors, she is also a proud member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and sits the City of Boca Raton Downtown Advisory Committee Board, which advises the City Council on urban issues within the Downtown Boca Raton Community Revitalization Area. In 2015, the FAU Alumni Association gifted Cynthia with the "Outstanding Young Owl" award from the College of Business, honoring outstanding young alumni under age 40 from eight of FAU’s colleges for their personal and professional accomplishments.
Cynthia completed her Intern Development Program (a professional licensing requirement for US architects) with world-renowned Arquitectonica in Miami, and with M.G.E. Architects, in Coral Gables. She worked on Palm Beach in a residential designer’s office, and has also worked with Gresham Smith and Partners, Inc., a large multi-national Architecture and Engineering firm based in Nashville, Tennessee, before starting her own business in 2010.
Scale, proportion and simplicity are key elements in design, and architecture is always an art. Cynthia directs and oversees all aspects of architecture, planning and interior design for her firm. Detailed Design, Construction Choices, Project Management and Quality Control are other key aspects in Cynthia's management of the firm.
In her spare time, Cynthia enjoys learning about the latest building products and technologies from design and construction trade shows, as well as Florida beaches, golf and tennis.
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.
Johnnie Yongue was born and raised in Key West, "down where they call the natives Conchs". After local high school graduation, Johnnie went to the local community college before going away to Florida Gulf Coast University, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.
Johnnie is currently a Project Manager and an Engineer in Training (EIT) for the Monroe County Public Works and Engineering Division. He's Florida and particularly Keys born, bred, raised and focused. One of the reasons that he stepped up to Chair the USGBC South Florida Region's Keys Branch (and thus become a member of the Region's Board of Directors) was to work on and help solve the critical issues -- such as sea level rise and resiliency -- confronting South Florida, "the solutions to which can have a positive impact on communities all over America and the world".
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.