USGBC-LA Announces 2022 Board of Directors

LOS ANGELES (August 23, 2022)  The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter  (USGBC-LA) has selected its Board of Directors for 2022 – 2023, with increased representation from the financial sector and the growing field of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). The 24-person Board of Directors represents the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) community along with representation from the public and private sectors, utility, and non-profit leaders from across Southern California. The Board Chair is Melissa Gutierrez-Sullivan, Vice President, Head of Environmental, Social, and Governance at CIM Group, with Gary Lai, Practice Builder-Suite Sustainability, Green Infrastructure, Environmental Equity at Kimley-Horn, serving as Vice Chair.

“I’m excited to welcome this new group of board members who come from diverse backgrounds and leadership positions within each of their respective industries. They represent the start of a new chapter in our organization as we move into the next phase of our fight against global warming in an equitable and innovative way. I can’t wait to see everything we will accomplish together,” states Gutierrez-Sullivan.

The 2022 – 2023 Board of Directors are:

Melissa Gutierrez-Sullivan, VP, Head of Environmental, Social, and Governance, CIM Group *

Gary Lai, Practice Builder-Suite Sustainability, Green Infrastructure, Environmental Equity, Kimley-Horn *

Mark Fuller, CEO, Howard Building Corporation *

Jessie Buckmaster, Director of Sustainability, Hathaway Dinwiddie *

Steve Baule, Director of Sustainable Projects, L.A. Department of Water and Power

Rick Duarte, Construction and Engineering Sustainability Program, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Katherine (Kate) Diamond, Civic Design Director/Design Principal, HDR, Inc.

Ariel Fan, Founder, CEO, GreenWealth Energy Solutions

Jennifer Guenther, General Counsel, Rincon Consultants, Inc.

Kathleen Hetrick, Sustainability Engineer, BuroHappold Engineers

Avideh Haghighi, Associate Principal, Sustainable Design Leader, ZGF

Monique Johnson, SVP, Director of Client and Community Partnerships; CRA Officer, Beneficial State Bank

Sara Hickman, ESG Director, Leading Edge Consulting Services, LLC

Erik Johnson, CEO / Owner, Greneker

Todd Lynch, Principal Project Planner, Capital Planning and Finance, Capital Programs, UCLA Capital Programs, UCLA Architecture and Urban Design

Karen Klepack, Sr. Manager, Building Electrification and Codes & Standards, Southern California Edison

Han Lo, Managing Partner, Tatami

Christine Marez, VP, Sustainability and ESG, Cumming Group

John Moore, Development Manager, Primestor LLC

Marcela Oliva, Architecture Professor, LACCD / LATTC

Vaishali Sampat, Director of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, Kilroy Realty

Seth Strongin, West Region Team Leader, Sustainability, Climate and Resilience, Arup

Ryan Tinus, VP, ESG, LivCor, a Blackstone Company

Jenny Whitson, Director of Sustainability & ESG, IQHQ

(* denotes Executive Committee)

Under the leadership of Executive Director Ben Stapleton and the Board, USGBC-LA recently released its 2021 Impact Report. The report highlights the great number of programs hosted (191), and initiatives that have launched and/or grown significantly under the current leadership, including the Net Zero Accelerator (65 companies to date), Wildfire Defense Education and Tours, topical deep dives through the Thought Leadership Series, Green Schools (1000+ students taught Sustainability Fundamentals), and the regional Career Center (renamed from Talent Portal). USGBC-LA has also paid special attention to workforce development and professional certifications through its Green Building Corps, the Landscape Certification and upcoming Wildfire Defense Certification, to help make the region more resilient and sustainable for all.

“We are incredibly honored to have such a great group of people on our Board,” notes Stapleton. “We will deeply miss some of the board members we are losing this year who have left their fingerprints throughout the work we do, but we are excited to have new members joining us from manufacturing, finance, development, and infrastructure to enhance and expand our regional impact across sustainability, resilience, and workforce development.”  

The recently termed-out or departing Board members include a number of highly engaged members who have left a lasting legacy including: Cassy Aoyagi, FormLA Landscaping; Denise Braun, All About Waste LLC; Stuart Cooley, Santa Monica College (retired); Robyn

Eason, City of West Hollywood (former); Holly Hill, Zoom; Dave Intner, SCE; and Laura Mask, Lennar Homes.

For more information about the USGBC-LA chapter, please contact Ben Stapleton,, or 213-689-9707.


About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles

Founded in 2002, USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission is to accelerate all aspects of sustainability in the built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition and networking. Learn, Share and Lead Green. (

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