This month, EcoRise is thrilled to welcome three new members to the EcoRise Board of Directors, as well as a new board Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary. As the EcoRise team gears up for a critical year for our teacher and student communities across the United States, we are excited to have a robust Board of Directors comprised of 14 members representing ten industries and six regions across the U.S. who will provide the visionary leadership necessary to ensure we continue to deliver on our mission today and are positioned to thrive in the years ahead.
New Leadership & Committee Positions
Receiving unanimous support from the Board, the following members have been elected to leadership and committee positions: the new Board Chair is Josh Wiener, Assistant Vice President of Global Sustainability at MetLife. Kelley Tapia, Architect, moves into the role of Vice-Chair. Our new member, Gerardo Gandy, Architectural Brand Experience Designer at Gensler, will join the Board in the role of Secretary. Dan Jensen, Chief Financial Officer at American Innovations, continues to serve as Treasurer. Esther Nai, Programs Manager of AMERS East at Salesforce, was elected to lead the Development Subcommittee, and Valerie Barron, Director of Client Team at TNTP, will lead our Board Health Subcommittee. The Finance Committee is chaired by the Treasurer.
Meet the New Members
Amy Atchley, based in Austin, TX, is a Senior Project Lead at Austin Energy. Her work is rooted in building frameworks of equity and environmental justice through programs and collaborations with community stakeholders and underserved communities. Amy spearheaded the EV’s for Everyone Initiative in Austin and supported EcoRise in creating the award-winning EV for Schools curriculum. She currently serves as an advisory board member to the Austin Forum on Technology and Society. Amy brings extensive human-centered design experience and a focus on tech equity to the EcoRise Board.
Gerardo Gandy, based in Austin, TX, is an Architectural Brand Experience Designer with Gensler. Gerardo founded the ACE Mentor Program of Austin (an after school architecture mentor program) and he is deeply involved in local efforts to diversify the field of architecture and design. Gerardo has worked with EcoRise Staff and Board members previously in support of organizational initiatives for our green building and internship programs. He brings a technical and creative background, experience in community partnerships and development, and a strong personal interest in mentorship programs.
Heather Hairston, based in Washington, DC, is the former Principal of C.W. Harris Elementary School in DC Public Schools, a flagship EcoRise school in the region. As Principal, Heather worked with the EcoRise team to integrate sustainability across the school’s educational programming (earning the School as a Teaching Tool LEED point) as she oversaw a LEED Gold building modernization in collaboration with district facilities staff and partner Perkins Eastman. She brings over 20 years of experience in public education, a strong track record of addressing student equity issues, and a passion for the intersection of education and sustainability.