Green Building Learning Collaborative

GBLC Advisory Board

An industry advisory board for the Green Building Learning Collaborative (GBLC) was conceived by the SBE Program Director, Bahar Armaghani in fall of 2014.

This industry advisory board is composed of members of various industries who are global leaders in sustainability. The purpose of this industry advisory board is to help our degree reflect current developments and industry skills requirements, offer students support in leadership and obtaining credentials, and occasionally sponsorship for undergraduate final-year projects.

Collaboration between academia and industry is of course a two-way process. For instance, serving on this board allows these industries to make themselves known to students early in their university careers as a potential employer and enables them to influence and encourage students with their studies and the career opportunities available to them. They are able to help shape course content from an industrial perspective to keep it relevant and interesting so our graduates are very employable at the end of their studies.

Every fall and spring semesters board members participate in our program events include guest lectures, presentations, career showcase, and leadership lecture series. These enable students to develop contacts with companies and to tap into potential partnership and employment opportunities.

Our links and partnerships with industry not only enhance our students’ learning experience, but also make a vital contribution to their successful development.

The board has formed two committees:

  • Internship committee
  • Fund raising committee

If you are interested in joining this board and contributing to the SBE Program, please contact Bahar Armaghani.

GBLC Faculty Facilitator

Bahar Armaghani

LEED Fellow
Director & Instructional Associate Professor | Sustainability and the Built Environment | University of Florida
Director | Green Building Learning Collaborative | University of Florida

Bahar Armaghani is the Director of the Sustainability and the Built Environment Program and Lecturer in the College of Design, Construction and Planning at University of Florida (UF). She is also the Director of UF Green Building Learning Collaborative. She established UF’s Green Building Program, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and served as director for thirteen years. Since 2003, she administered over 135 LEED BD+C, ID+C, Schools, Retail, and Homes Projects at UF and outside including 13 LEED Platinum certified buildings and first platinum project in the state of Florida.

Executive Board Members

(Listed in order of Chair, Vice Chair, & Secretary)


Kristy M. Walson

GBLC | Chair
Associate & Sustainability Consultant | TLC Engineering Solutions

Kristen M. Walson is a mechanical engineer by trade who focuses on sustainable design as a Sustainability Consultant at TLC Engineering for Architecture. Kristy provides green building consulting, LEED Administration, and energy modeling on numerous projects. In addition to her project duties at TLC, she has served as the Director of Education for the Central Florida Chapter of the USGBC, as well as Chapter Secretary. A graduate of Virginia Tech and the University of Michigan, Kristy has extensive experience in Visual DOE, Equest, and IES VE-Pro energy modeling software and uses these tools to accurately model the life cycle costs of building systems and energy use.

Steven Moore

GBLC | Vice Chair
Account Executive | Siemens Industry, Inc.

Mr. Moore has been with Siemens for the past 27 years. He has an associate’s degree New England Institute in HVAC and a bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College in Industrial Engineering and Industrial Marketing. He is currently an Account Executive for Siemens Industry, Inc and specialize in Building Automation, Security and Fire Alarm, Energy Services and Performance Contracting.

Jeffrey Conley

GBLC | Secretary & Fundraising Committee
Founder | SEQUIL Systems Inc.

Jef is the founder of SEQUIL Systems Inc., a sustainability, resilience and wellness consultancy for the built environment. Jef manages the business aspects and growth path of the firm, while providing principal-level management on projects. As Managing Principal, Jef guides each Studio inside SEQUIL Systems to inspire and lead project teams towards exceptional outcomes. As a Certified Commissioning Professional, he is the senior commissioning authority for building systems from design through construction, testing and occupancy. Prior to starting SEQUIL Systems in 2002, Jef was a design engineer for large consulting firms in New York City, with project experience world-wide. Jef holds a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.

Board Members

(Listed alphabetically by surname)

Nathan Butler

GBLC | Fundraising Committee
Partner | HKS

Nathan is the Office Director for HKS Architects, Inc. in Orlando, Florida. A past president of AIA Florida and AIA Orlando, Nathan has led initiatives to position the AIA for long-term growth through leadership development, community awareness, and mentorship. He currently serves on both the AIA National and AIA Florida Strategic Councils. With a focus on building partnerships to address community issues, Nathan has served on the boards of numerous professional and community based organizations.

Robert G. Chronic

Training Specialist | Eaton Corporation

Robert Chronic is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Commissioning Provider (CCP) specializing in high-performance mechanical systems and building commissioning. He is currently working as a Training Specialist with Eaton Corporation focusing on building systems, project management, and safety protocols. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from the University of Florida, and is a LEED® Accredited Professional. Mr. Chronic has 18 years of experience in the energy-efficient design and construction for all types of HVAC systems. Mr. Chronic has worked on 16 LEED® buildings as either the design engineer, the commissioning authority, or the owner representative. In his present role, Mr. Chronic is developing training curriculum in order to develop Eaton’s next generation of engineers and project managers.

John Chyz

Sustainable & Wellness Strategy Specialist & Business Development Director | Affiliated Engineers

John Chyz is a Sustainable & Wellness Strategy Specialist and Business Development Director with Affiliated Engineers (AEI). His directed focus on Energy, Water, Wellness, Resilience, and Optimized Operations of AEI’s diverse and specialized client base has helped lead the advancement and delivery of market development and transformation strategy aimed at increasing stakeholder value, protecting natural resources, and enhancing human health.

Inspired by a passion for sustainable thought leadership, John began his career as a Research Engineer at the Natural Energy Laboratory where he designed and conducted experiments aimed at understanding how to grow beneficial bio-fuel products from gasses that would otherwise contribute to global warming. He later transitioned to focus on the engineering, procurement, and construction of renewable energy systems for commercial and residential projects. Throughout his career, John has remained dedicated to the strategic planning of actionable solutions that reside at the intersection of health, innovation, and sustainability.

Holding a Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering degree from Yale University, he has taught the Learning to LEED, Commissioning for High Performance Green Buildings, and Green Building Fundamentals for the Green Globes Professional curricula for the University of Florida. John was also a contributing author to Sustainable Construction: Green Building Design & Delivery (Third Edition).

Darin Cook

Founder & CEO | Infinite Energy

Darin Cook co-founded Infinite Energy in 1994 with business partner Rich Blaser.  The company has grown from a two-man operation into one of the largest privately held companies in Florida.

Today, Infinite Energy has about 350 employees and does $500 million in annual revenue. It supplies electricity in Texas and natural gas in Florida, Georgia, and New Jersey.

Darin and Rich continue to run the company as co-CEOs. The company has been named one of the best companies to work for in Florida by Florida Trend, Outside and Inc. magazines. All three of Infinite Energy’s brands have been recognized as part of the Gator100 a total of four times. Darin holds a degree in Statistics from the University of Florida.

Marc Craddock

Building Technologies Division | Siemens Industry, Inc.

Marc leads the Higher Education Team for Siemens Industry’s Building Performance & Sustainability Business Line in the Southeast. Marc’s primary focus is developing energy and sustainability solutions within the Higher Education vertical market. He works with a team of business development, engineering, project management, and performance assurance professionals to deliver efficiency and sustainability projects to Colleges and Universities. Marc is a 1991 graduate with honors of Flagler College and currently sits on their Alumni Board of Directors. He has held the designation of Certified Energy Manager from the Association of Energy Engineers since 2004 and is a LEED Green Associate through the U.S Green Building Council.

Randall C. Dragon

GBLC | Past Vice Chair
Partner | The Dragon Group

A rising star in the green building movement, Mr. Dragon is Vice President & Sustainability Director for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Project and Development Services group in Atlanta, GA. He has over fifteen years of experience managing a diverse portfolio of projects including office, mixed-use, high rise residential, multifamily, aviation and higher education. Mr. Dragon is currently managing the LEED CI & NC Program for Wells Fargo that involves multiple LEED certification projects across the United States totally more than 2.5MM SF of space. In addition, he is managing LEED certifications for Lutron, Diageo, Hilton and Blue Cross Blue Shields of Tennessee. Mr. Dragon most recently completed a LEED CI Gold certification for Wells Fargo in Lombard, IL, a LEED NC Gold certification for Blue Cross Blue Shield Gateway in Chattanooga, TN; a LEED CI Silver certification for Lafarge in Chicago, IL and a LEED Silver certification for Microsoft in Boston. He also lends his expertise by performing various LEED feasibility assessments and sustainability planning for various clients.

Michael Hess

PE, LEED Fellow
Director | Smart City Project | City of Orlando

Mike Hess, LEED AP BD&C, LEED Fellow, PE, is a licensed mechanical engineer and the Director of the Future-Ready (smart city) initiative for the City of Orlando.  Previously he was a Vice President with Panasonic, leading their Smart & Sustainable Buildings team. Mike has personally worked on more than 100 LEED Certified projects and has achieved the prestigious appointment of LEED Fellow.

Mike has expertise in sustainability and LEED consulting, energy modeling, commissioning, water re-use and renewable energy systems, and has also developed city codes and incentives and corporate standards for several organizations associated with going green.

Barry Jacobson

President | Solar Impact, Inc.

Barry Jacobson has a bachelors and masters in agricultural engineering from UF and a PhD in biological and agricultural engineering from NC State. He co-founded Solar Impact with his wife, Elaine, 12 years ago.  They converted Solar Impact to 100% employee ownership earlier this year.  Barry was recognized as the national professional engineer of the year by ASABE. Solar Impact has received numerous recognitions including “Top 25 Solar Contractors in the Country” and “Top 3 Greenest Solar Contractors in the Country”.

Susan R. KlausSmith

Higher Education Studio Leader | AECOM

Susan is a registered architect with over 25 years of professional experience, 20 of those serving public and private clients including K-12 and higher education institutions.  She is the Higher Education Studio Leader for AECOM in Tampa, collaborating with colleagues in architecture and other disciplines programming, planning, designing, engineering, and delivering sustainable and resilient projects to public and private Colleges and Universities across Florida and the globe, including the University of Florida and the College of Design, Construction, and Planning. 

Susan believes that architecture thoughtfully designed and implemented can be an instrument of positive change in the world, building it better for all.  She also believes that as designers of the built environment, we are stewards of our planet’s resources including our existing built environment.  She currently serves as Vice Chair of the City of Tampa’s Architecture Review Commission, which ensures that development within three of the City’s local historic districts as well as multiple properties groupings and local landmarks adhere to established Design Guidelines and The Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  Susan has designed and delivered new, renovation and remodeling projects under LEED and WELL certification and looks to a near future reality of designing and delivering more projects that meet the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Zero Energy (ZE) certification.

Susan is an alumna of the University of Florida, receiving both a Bachelor of Design in Architecture and a Master of Architecture.  While at UF, she attended the Preservation Institute: Caribbean (PI:C) and completed her graduate research work while in residence at the Vicenza Institute of Architecture (VIA).  Susan is passionate about discourse and research that attempt to negotiate the ever-changing notion of architectural practice (internally and externally), the architect’s role in shaping and reshaping communities, and how best to negotiate education.  She has taught Design, Theory, Research Methods and Master’s Thesis Studios at the University of Florida, the University of South Florida’s School of Architecture and Community Design, and St. Petersburg College’s Architecture Program, and has served as a member of Master Thesis Committees and as a juror for both undergraduate and graduate level design studios.  These opportunities to engage pedagogy have greatly influenced her interest in the effect of the built environment on student engagement and learning success. 

Besides professional affiliations with National, State and Local American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chapters, Susan is a member of the Society of College and University Planners (SCUP), serving as Chair of the 2020 Virtual Southern Regional Conference in Tampa, held in October 2020, Co-Chair of the 2021 Southern Regional Conference in Knoxville, TN, held in October 2021, and as Chair of the upcoming 2022 Southern Regional Conference to be held in Tampa in October 2022.

Amy Pastor

Vice President – Sustainability | EXP

Amy Pastor is the Vice President of Sustainability for EXP. She is a licensed mechanical engineer with over 16 years of industry experience in design, sustainable consulting, energy modeling and commissioning for new and existing buildings in the public and private sectors. Early in her career, Amy developed energy models, provided guidance on Green Building Certification and performed onsite commissioning, retro-commissioning, energy audits, meter validations and other energy services. Prior to her current role, Amy was the Director of Commissioning and Sustainability for EXP’s US Buildings group, leading a national team of experts to enable high performance buildings across EXP’s markets. As Vice President, Amy integrates sustainable practices into all of EXP’s key practice areas: Buildings, Earth & Environment, Energy, Industrial, and Infrastructure.

Amy takes an active role in sustainability within her community and with the US Green Building council, where she serves as the National Co-Chair for the Women in Green Mentorship to Sponsorship Committee and as the Board Chair for the Central Florida Market Leadership team.

Amy has a passion for sustainability that extends beyond buildings and infrastructure. She embraces the ever-changing role and definition of a sustainable leader; we are all charged with mitigating the effects of climate change in our personal and professional realms and can only achieve a better tomorrow through collaborative efforts to educate and quickly implement changes in our lives.

Paul Shahriari

GBLC | Internship Committee
CEO & Founder | Ecomedes

Paul Shahriari is an authority on green building and the application of technology in the real estate, design, engineering and construction industries. He has been a consultant on sustainability since 2000, and has founded three sustainability-focused technology companies.

Alexa Stone

GBLC | Past Vice Chair & Internship Committee
President | ecoPreserve – Building Sustainability

Alexa Stone has worked in sustainability since 2001, beginning at Home Depot Supply’s Corporate Headquarters. By 2008, Alexa earned LEED Professional Accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2010, she completed Orlando’s first LEED EBOM certified commercial building which was selected as the LEED Building of the Year. Alexa has served on the U.S. Green Building Council board and formerly chaired the Green Committee for the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). She is a founding member of Green Destination Orlando and the Central Florida Energy Efficiency Alliance. Alexa launched ecoPreserve to advocate and lead progress in sustainability. Over the past 7 years, ecoPreserve has grown to more than 14 professionals, providing services to the Orange County Convention Center, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Orlando Health, Florida Hospital, the PGA and leading companies across Central Florida.

Robert Utsey

GBLC | Past Chair
Senior Vice President, Business Development | Coastal Construction of Central Florida

Robert Utsey is Senior Vice President for Coastal Construction, based in Orlando, Florida, responsible for business development and strategic planning for the Central Florida market.

Lauren Wallace

GBLC | Internship Committee
Principal & Director of Certifications and Consulting | Epsten Group, Inc.

Lauren Wallace is a Principal and the Director of Certifications and Consulting at Epsten Group where she trains and manages a large group of leaders in sustainability, consulting on thousands of inspiring projects in over 50 different countries. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as two Certificates in City & Regional Planning and Marketing. Ms. Wallace is the founding Facilitator for the Atlanta Living Building Challenge Collaborative, a LEED Project Reviewer, and a WELL Accredited Professional. With a background in Architecture, Ms. Wallace has been an active member of the sustainable design community for more than ten years. Ms. Wallace was recently appointed as a USGBC Faculty member for her experience with the WELL and LEED rating systems. She speaks regularly to large audiences with varying backgrounds about implementing change in the building industry, focusing on technical information and application.

David Wasserman

GBLC | Geodesign Specialization Advisor
Data Science Practice Leader | Alta Planning & Design

David works at the intersection of urban informatics, 3D visualization, geospatial analytics, and visual storytelling. He brings years of experience and passion to applying scientific computing, spatial analysis, and scenario-focused storytelling toward the development of effective transportation planning solutions tailored to enable accessible and resilient communities. He has experience working on multimodal transportation plans, bicycle master plans, systemic safety studies, python tool & web applications, advanced data visualizations, cost benefit analyses, direct ridership models, and station area plans. His current focus areas are enabling data-informed scenario planning, identifying how to align community goals to metrics to track progress towards them, incorporating civic data science into projects with web-delivery and computer vision derived datasets, and generating accessibility metrics that can identify the possible benefits of projects and who they go to.

Matt Williams

Director | Office of Sustainability
University of Florida

Matthew I. Williams is the Director of UF’s Office of Sustainability and Energy Integration. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida, and has been a certified Energy Auditor. Prior to joining the office at UF, Matt worked in campus sustainability for seven years as Auburn University’s (Alabama) first full time sustainability coordinator.

Emeritus Board Members

GBLC | 2020

Marissa Colli
Account Executive

Steve Corson
Energy Services Leader

Christopher Olden
Architectural Account Executive
The Sherwin-Williams Company

Scroll to Top