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RECORDED: Recruiting & Empowering the Next Generation of Sustainability Leaders: Buildings-related Trends and Workforce Development Opportunities

October 21, 2021 1:30 – 3:00 PM ET/ 10:30 – 12:00 PM PT

Watch the Recorded Webinar

The Green Building Initiative (GBI) is hosting a 90-minute webinar led by expert panelists that will describe emerging sustainable building trends, identify educational opportunities, and provide a roadmap for recruitment and development of emerging professionals in the green building industry. This session will provide attendees with an understanding of how seasoned and emerging professionals may work together to drive innovation and deliver sustainable, healthy, and resilient buildings.


Kathy Loftus, Incoming Chair, Green Building Initiative (Host & Moderator), Vice President, Business Development, e2s energy efficiency services LLC
Sandeep Ahuja, WELL AP, LEED AP BD+C CEO, COVE Tool, Inc.
Michael Young, Technical Project Manager, Integrated Applications Center, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Mark Russell, PhD, PE, GGA, GPCA, Partner, WiseBuilt, University of Florida
Walter Lenzi, Director, W&R Lenzi-Commissioning, M&O, Sustainability and NZEB Bldgs.; Regional Vice Chair of Student Activities, RVX SA XII, ASHRAE


1. Explain industry trends in building performance and sustainability.
2. Understand key parameters considered when growing a team to achieve sustainability goals.
3. Identify networks and platforms for finding and hiring interns and top graduating students.
4. Describe the opportunities and free resources that are available to students and working professionals on building science principles that are paramount to the successful design of high-performance, energy-efficient buildings.
5. Recall best practices for establishing and maintaining successful networking branches/chapters for students and professionals.


Kathy Loftus is the Vice President of Business Development at e2s energy efficiency services bringing Lifecycle Solutions to the Built Environment. Kathy was the Vice President of Sustainability for Whole Foods Market for 14 years before joining e2s in 2020, and together with teams innovated in many areas within the built environment, waste & packaging, and education, marketing & communication. She was a founding Steering Committee member for U.S. DOE’s Better Buildings Alliance and was a founding member of EPA’s Green Chill Program. She is Board Chair elect of GBI and former Chair of the Board of Clean Air-Cool Planet.

Sandeep Ahuja, co-founder of cove.tool, brings her experience of working on over 200 high performance projects. Most recently, Sandeep presented at the UN environment assembly, with 1500 global delegates, on the impact of buildings on climate change, showcased at the Tedx Atlanta and won the Forbes 30 under 30 for developing cove.tool, the automated sustainability consultant. With her desire to bring automation into the AEC world, she is pioneering the integration of data driven thinking into the design and construction process by developing and using intelligent technology and software.

Michael Young is a Technical Project Manager in NREL’s Integrated Application Center, where he focuses on decarbonization strategies and workforce development initiatives for zero energy buildings. He supports the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon as the Build Challenge Competition Manager.

Dr. Mark Russell has over 30 years of construction experience ranging from time with the Navy Civil Engineer Corps to working in private industry. Currently, Dr Russell performs Green Globes and Guiding Principles Assessments through his consulting firm, Wise Built, LLC. In addition, Mark is also an Instructional Associate Professor at the University of Florida School of Construction Management in which he teaches classes on sustainable construction and mechanical systems. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and General Contractor in Florida.

Walter Lenzi is the Regional Vice Chair of Student activities at ASHRAE and has over 30 years of experience in engineering, construction, operations and project management, green building certification and commissioning. He has experience with global high-performance buildings in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States, and in addition to his work with commercial and residential buildings, warehouses, and data centers, Walter has worked with prestigious athletic venues, including the quality assurance and commissioning of the FIFA Brazil 2014 World Cup Stadium and the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games arena.

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