Opening Ceremony Keynote
Chief Executive Officer
Kitson & Partners
Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Syd Kitson is Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, a Florida-based real estate company specializing in the creation and development of master-planned communities and commercial properties.
Kitson is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Kitson had a notable career in the National Football League, playing offensive guard for both the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Upon his retirement from professional football in 1985, he began his career in real estate by founding a company that was responsible for the development and sale of residential communities, commercial properties and senior housing units. In 1992, he helped create the residential division of Gale & Wentworth, and then founded Kitson & Partners in 1999, locating the firm’s company headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
In 2006, Kitson completed the historic purchase of Babcock Ranch in Southwest Florida, encompassing more than 91,000 acres – an area five times the size of the island of Manhattan. Over 80% of the original land purchase, some 73,000 acres within Charlotte and Lee counties, has been preserved by the State of Florida and Lee County, in the largest single land preservation agreement in the state’s history.
Syd Kitson is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers, lectures at Princeton University, sits on the Policy Advisory Board for the Florida Solar Energy Center, serves on the Board of Directors for the Palm Beach Zoo and is on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Florida Council of 100, as well as on the Board of Trustees for Florida TaxWatch and the Board of Directors for the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation. He also is a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and has been appointed Vice Chair of the Chamber in 2016 and Chairman in 2017. Kitson is a member of the NFL Alumni Association and the National Football League Players’ Association. In 2000, Syd received the Rainbow Award from the Adam Walsh Children’s Foundation.
Adomatis Appraisal Service
Punta Gorda, FL
Sandra is an appraiser, instructor, author, and course developer. The Appraisal Institute published her book, “Residential Green Valuation Tools” in April 2014. She spearheaded the development of the AI Residential and Commercial Green and Energy Efficient Addendums. In July 2016, she was presented the Outstanding Service Award by the Appraisal Institute.
Sandra is a consultant to builders, governmental agencies, utility companies, real estate agents, and energy organizations. She speaks on the valuation of green features at events such as GreenBuild, IBS, EEBA, ACI, The White House Conference Center, National Association of REALTORS®, National Association of Home Builders, and Appraisal Institute Conferences.
She was on the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory team that produced in 2015, “Selling into the Sun: Price Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes” and “Appraising Into The Sun.” You will find her webinar, “6 Things You Didn’t Know About Appraising Green Home Features,” as part of the Online NAR Green Courses.
Sandra authored the study, “What is Green Worth? Unveiling High-Performance Home Premiums in Washington, D.C.,” funded by the District Department of Energy and sponsored by Institute for Market Transformation.
Assistant Village Manager
Village of Wellington
Jim Barnes is Assistant Village Manager for the Village of Wellington, Florida. Barnes joined the Village in 2003 and previously served in several posts including, Director of Operations, Deputy Director of Operations, Parks & Recreation Director, Deputy Director of Environmental & Engineering Services, and Assistant Director of Community Services. Barnes is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners with an advanced specialty certification in Environmental Planning, and is a Certified Parks Recreation Professional by the National Recreation & Park Association. Additionally, he is a Credentialed Manager by the International City/County Management Association. Barnes leads many of Wellington’s sustainability efforts.
Dr. Deborah Brosnan
Founder & Principal
Deborah Brosnan & Associates
Dr. Deborah Brosnan is an expert scientist with 30 years’ experience in environmental sustainability, focusing on solutions to challenges where humans interact with natural resources, climate change, hazards and disasters. She has worked throughout the USA including on Everglades Restoration, and coastal climate change in Florida and the East coast, tsunami and coastal hazard planning for California, flooding in Colorado and internationally in Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. She has designed solutions for governments, developers and private landowners that integrate natural ecosystems with the built environment that sustain ecosystems and realize economic value. These efforts have included using coastal ecosystems and to help protect properties against current and future threats, combining ecosystems and gray infrastructure designs among others. She also has strong experience in environmental science and regulatory policy arena have successfully resolved many natural resource regulatory disputes.
Dr Brosnan, has a Ph.D. in marine science from OSU, and completed her undergraduate BS (honors) in Ireland. She is President of Deborah Brosnan & Associates and Professor of Biology and Resilience at Virginia Tech. She has held academic positions and fellowships at Stanford University, University of California Davis, U. Washington, and Smithsonian Institution. She is a member of several environment and academic boards including National Courts and Sciences Institute, UC Davis Wildlife Health Center SeaDoc and author of numerous scientific and popular articles.
Community Power Network
Florida Solar United Neighborhoods (FL SUN) Program
FL SUN is a project of Community Power Network (CPN). The CPN is a network of grassroots, local, state, and national organizations working to build and promote locally based renewable energy projects and policies. Angela serves as the FL SUN program director. She develops and manages all the Florida co-ops, provides technical support for residents and organizations wishing to go solar, and supports policy advocacy for solar in Florida. Her experience includes project development, grassroots organizing, community engagement and policy advocacy focusing on capacity building. Angela also volunteers with the League of Women Voters Florida, a nonprofit political, yet nonpartisan organization that promotes good governance and advocates for many things; Natural Resources being a priority in Florida. Angela holds a B.A. degree from Jacksonville University in Political Science.
Jennifer L. Jurado, Ph.D.
Broward County Environmental Planning & Community Resilience Division
Dr. Jennifer Jurado is the Director of the Natural Resources Planning and Management Division in Broward County, Florida where she works to advance regional climate initiatives. She played an active role in the adoption of a four-county Regional Climate Change Compact and the formulation of a Regional Climate Action Plan. She has worked locally to advance mitigation and adaptation strategies through comprehensive planning, legislative processes, water resources planning, and as an original member of the Compact Staff Steering Committee. In 2013 she received the “Champion of Change for Climate Resilience” award from President Obama.
Dr. Jennifer Languell
Trifecta Construction Solutions
Fort Myers, FL
In addition to being a licensed Florida contractor (#CRC1330049), Dr. Languell holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Materials Science and Engineering, a Master’s in Civil Engineering and Construction Management, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and Sustainable Construction. Her knowledge and leadership in the area of sustainability have made her a sought after subject matter expert for media outlets such as BusinessWeek, CNN Headline News, HGTV and CNBC. An award-winning author, Dr. Languell was also selected as a technical advisor and star for the Discovery Channel’s environmental series Discovery Project Earth. She was selected by the Florida Governor’s Office to work with the Policy Academy on Advanced Energy Strategies for Buildings on policy and implementation strategies for energy efficiency. Jennifer has received numerous national and state awards for leadership, educational outreach efforts, and professional accomplishments. In 2011 she became the first person to receive the National Association of Home Builders’ Green Advocate of the Year award twice since its inception in 1997. Dr. Languell served on the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) Board of Directors from 2005 to 2011 and served as its president in 2008 and 2009. Her company currently provides certification review services for the Florida Green Building Coalition.
Director of Energy Inspection Services
Ryan is currently the Director of Energy Inspection Services for SkyeTec, an energy rating and indoor environmental consulting company that provides third party inspections for residential and commercial construction projects. He is a nationally-certified RESNET Home Energy Rater, licensed mold assessor, and a certified infrared thermographer. As a trusted member of the SkyeTec team since 2004, Ryan previously served as an environmental analyst, supervisor, and Regional Operations Manager. Ryan is a graduate of The University of South Florida with a Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology.
James (Jim) Murley
Chief, Office of Resilience
James F. Murley serves as the Chief Resilience Officer for Miami Dade County. Miami-Dade County, in partnership with the cities of Miami Beach and Miami, is now participating in the Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities Program. Jim served has Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs under Governor Lawton Chiles and was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist to serve as Chair of the Florida Energy and Climate Commission. Previously he served as Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Florida, spent over 10 years with Florida Atlantic University overseeing research on urban and environmental issues and served as the Executive Director of the South Florida Regional Planning Council. He is former Vice-Chair of the Miami-Dade County Sea Level Rise Task Force and was recently appointed to the City of Miami Sea Level Rise Committee. He is a founding Board member of the American Society for Adaptation Professionals and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Sorell E. Negro
Robinson & Cole LLP
Sorell Negro is a lawyer in Robinson+Cole LLP’s Miami office. She focuses on land use and environmental law and is a member of the firm’s Real Estate + Development Group and its Sustainability Group. She provides guidance to clients on a variety of issues related to land use and sustainable development, including smart growth initiatives, coastal development, laws pertaining to threatened and endangered species, and land use planning. Ms. Negro’s litigation experience spans federal and state courts, as well as international matters, and includes complex real property disputes, land use appeals, and claims arising under state, international, and federal environmental laws. She has published and presented on a variety of cutting-edge topics related to sustainable development, including electrical vehicle charging stations, urban agriculture, land use issues related to sea level rise, and coastal adaptation to climate change. She is a co-editor of the book Urban Agriculture: Policy, Law, Strategy, and Implementation, published in 2015 by the American Bar Association. In 2015, Ms. Negro was named a finalist for the National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award, presented by the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. She earned her J.D. from Cornell Law School and her B.S. from Georgetown University.
Chief Resiliency Officer
City of Miami Beach
Miami Beach, FL
Susanne (Suzy) is an Assistant City Manager (ACM) and Chief Resiliency Officer (CRO) for the city of Miami Beach. Her sustainability and resiliency portfolio includes planning, building, code compliance, green space and environmental management. Prior to joining the city of Miami Beach, Ms. Torriente was lead staff to Fort Lauderdale’s visioning process producing Fast Forward Fort Lauderdale: Our City, Our Vision 2015. She also co-chaired the Infrastructure & Growth Leadership Pillar for Broward’s Six Pillars Planning process. She was selected as a Fellow for the 2012 ICMA Sustainable Communities Fellowship and is a member of the State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Community Resiliency Focus Group. Susanne was appointed Miami-Dade County’s first Sustainability Director in July 2009. She spearheaded the planning effort to develop the County’s first sustainability plan, GreenPrint, which includes the County’s first climate action plan. Susanne has been a member of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact staff steering committee since its inception in 2009. This regional collaboration has afforded her the opportunity to share the South Florida story around the world. During her 21-year career in Miami-Dade, she also served as the public-safety assistant county manager, which landed her in a central role during the County’s response to the numerous damaging hurricanes of 2004 and 2005. Due to that experience she was appointed to FEMA’s National Advisory Council. She is on the board of the Association of Climate Change Officers, a member of state’s community resiliency focus group and ICLEI’s Resilient Communities for America Advisory Committee.