RISC Cluster Members + Project Team

Project Engineer
City of Thunder Bay, Engineering & Operations Division,
City of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Director of Sustainability
City of South Bend,
South Bend, IN

Sustainability Program Manager
Cook County Department of Environment & Sustainability,

Cluster Members

Dean Alonistiotis

Chief of Staff to Commissioner Kim Du Buclet, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Chicago, IL

Dean helped lead efforts on launching the City of Chicago’s first impact investment fund, integrating socially responsible investment strategies to their investment portfolio as well as supporting small businesses to create impactful economic development opportunities across Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. He works for MWRD, a water/wastewater utility serving over ten million residents in the Greater Chicago area. More Info

Evie Bauman

Director of Sustainability, City of South Bend, IL

Evie Bauman leads the Office of Sustainability for the City of South Bend. She and her team are focused on mobilizing the South Bend community to address the climate crisis. Currently, they are spearheading the implementation of the city’s Climate Action Plan, South Bend Carbon Neutral 2050, and designing initiatives to reduce emissions from the energy and transportation sectors. More Info

Sonia Brubaker

Chief Resilience Officer, City of Miami, FL

Sonia is a newly appointed CRO for the City of Miami. Previously, as the Director for USEPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center, she worked across the nation to help local leaders make informed drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure decisions by providing expertise and oversee research on topics such as financial planning, affordability of water services, financing partnerships, and other innovative financing approaches.

Lottie Ferguson

Lottie Ferguson, Vice President of Development, Community Foundation of Greater Flint

Lottie currently serves as the Vice President of Development at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint after having served in multiple municipal/township roles and prior nonprofit executive experience. In more than three years as Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Flint, Lottie has worked to move the Flint community from survival toward thriving by facilitating the infusion of millions in local, regional, and federal grant funds for programs centered around equity, community engagement, public health, and environmental justice.

Mike Foley

Director - Department of Sustainability, Cuyahoga County, OH

Since 2015, as the first Director of the Department of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County, Mike has led the development of the County’s first Climate Change Action Plan, an award winning 4 MW landfill solar project, and a new County public utility focusing on microgrid districts. Mike is a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 14th District from 2006 to 2014.

Ken Hall, PEM

Hazard Mitigation Coordinator, City of Lansing, MI

As Hazard Mitigation Coordinator, Ken’s main duty is to mitigate or eliminate hazards that threaten the City of Lansing. Ken has since restarted the Dam Removal Exploratory Workgroup (DREW), floodplain property acquisition program, and much more.

Ron Harris

Chief Resilience Officer, City of Minneapolis, MN

Ron Harris leads citywide resilience-building efforts in the city of Minneapolis. In partnership with the city’s enterprise and community partners, and business leaders, Ron’s work focuses on “shocks and stresses” including topics such as the impacts of racial inequity, climate adaptation needs, and the impact of economic inequality within community.

Valerie Katz

Deputy Director of Sustainability, Cuyahoga County, OH

Valerie serves at the Deputy Director of Sustainability for Cuyahoga County. In this role, she helps to administer renewable energy, alternative transportation, and tree planting projects throughout the region. Valerie is also an educator and has over ten years of experience teaching high school biology and environmental science.

Marcella Bondie Keenan, AICP, LEED AP

Sustainability Coordinator, Village of Oak Park, IL

A proud recipient of the 2020 Chicago United for Equity (CUE) fellowship, Marcella’s work focuses on helping communities mitigate and adapt to climate change hazards, and realize the benefits of green building practices. Key projects include Climate Ready Oak Park, an equity-centered community initiative to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Rebecca Kiernan

Principal Resilience Planner, City of Pittsburgh, PA

Rebecca focuses on building social, ecological, economic, and physical resilience to city-wide shocks and stresses. She develops and executes relevant analyses, plans and implementation projects for the City of Pittsburgh, serves on the City’s Shade Tree Commission and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority Municipal Oversight Committee, and helped develop the Pittsburgh Watershed Resilience Accelerator Program.

Tim Kingsland

Storm Water District/MS4 Coordinator, Hobart Sanitary/Storm Water District, IN

Tim Kingsland leads the development and use of innovative green infrastructure practices for the management of storm water and environment sustainability. Previously, he led engineering design and construction management as a consultant, and the administration of sanitary and storm water utilities, regulatory compliance, and municipal management as a public sector leader.

Deb Kutska

Sustainability Program Manager, Cook County Department of Environment & Sustainability, IL

Deb Kutska manages a variety of programs that support Cook County residents and municipalities, connecting them to opportunities that improve resident health, reduce environmental impact, bolster resiliency of communities, and mitigate negative effects from a changing climate. She and her fellow team members work to center equity, environmental justice, and community engagement in program design. More Info

Matthew Lake

Executive Director, Merrillville Stormwater Utility, IN

A certified MS4 specialist and certified watershed management professional with over 20 years of experience, Matt has implemented an innovative award winning municipal stormwater program that includes low impact development requirements. Previously, Matt was the Statewide Programs Coordinator well as the Statewide Urban Forester for Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and also led successful initiatives that oversee design and installation of soil & water conservation practices on urban and agricultural lands throughout the State of Indiana. More Info

Jamie McCarthy

Sustainable Development Coordinator, City of Kalamazoo, MI

Jamie leads city of Kalamazoo’s redevelopment and sustainability efforts through her role within Community Planning & Economic Development and as liaison to the city’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. She is passionate about pragmatic solutions that leverage investments to create an urban environment that is more resilient, efficient, and equitable.

Kevin Meindl

Planning Commissioner & Transportation Council MPO Director, Chemung County, NY

Kevin has a background in sustainable land management and planning. He has two master’s degrees in landscape architecture and regional planning from Cornell University and previously led the green infrastructure program, Rain Check, for the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Sewer Authority. In his current role, he directs the strategy and development of multi-sector resilience initiatives and programs that leverage transportation investments with land use and economic development policies.

Kyla Predergast

Senior Environmental Planner, Department of City Planning, City of Pittsburgh, PA

Kyla facilitates stormwater management planning efforts city-wide through partnerships with residents, engineers, designers, community organizations, city departments, and water utilities. In 2022, she implemented a major update to the City’s stormwater management ordinance that prioritizes green infrastructure and acknowledges the increased rainfall expected due to climate change.

Carrie Rivette

Wastewater/Stormwater Maintenance Superintendent, City of Grand Rapids, MI

Carrie was instrumental in creating the first Stormwater Asset Management Plan for the City of Grand Rapids, and has also worked to make Vital Streets (Complete Streets plus Green Infrastructure) a reality. Her current challenge is working to ensure equitable, community driven stormwater solutions.

Brandy Siedlaczek

Storm Water Manager, City of Southfield, MI

Brandy’s focus for the City encompasses capital planning and resource management for storm water conveyance with the ultimate goal of protecting water resources in the community through regulatory compliance, innovative design and public engagement. She is responsible for numerous large scale capital improvement projects focusing on green infrastructure and sustainability, and is well recognized for her efforts across the Metro Detroit region.

Joanne So Young Dill

Chief of Strategy and External Affairs for Commissioner Marcelino Garcia at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Chicago, IL

Joanne directs policy research, facilitates public-private partnerships, and throughout her career has focused on designing innovative environmental projects. A native of the Beantown, previously, she was Director of Strategic Initiatives at Friends of the Chicago River and currently serves on the Board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund. More Info

Olivia Sparrow

Manager – Stormwater Programs, City of Brampton, ON, Canada

A Water Resources Engineer specializing in stormwater management and green infrastructure, Olivia’s role includes administration of the City’s stormwater charge. She also coordinates engineering programs to manage the City’s stormwater assets, including over 180 stormwater ponds, and outreach programs to engage private property owners in improving stormwater management.

Melissa (Missy) Stults, Ph.D.

Sustainability and Innovations Manager, City of Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. Missy Stults leads City of Ann Arbor’s efforts to become one of the most sustainable and equitable cities in America; an initiative that includes implementation of A2ZERO, a plan to achieve a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. Prior to joining the City, Missy worked with cities and tribal communities around the nation to advance their climate and sustainability goals, including during her time as the Climate Director at ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability and as a consultant to philanthropic organizations.

Ellen Tarquinio

Program Leader, Environmental Finance Advisory Board, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.

Ellen is an experienced Financial Policy Advisor with a demonstrated history of working in government administration and infrastructure. Within the federal government, Ellen ideas and advice to EPA’s Administrator and program offices on ways to lower the costs of and increase investments in environmental and public health protection.

Nadia Vogt

Resiliency Officer, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, WI

Nadia Vogt is a Senior Project Manager with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. Nadia works across municipal, private and public sectors to effectively engage stakeholders in decision making around regional resilience. Nadia specializes in project development that leverages investments in
water resources to bring about additional triple bottom line benefits for communities with a focus on climate change and environmental justice populations. More Info

Lisa Wallick, P.E.

Manager, Permitting & Stormwater Management Group (PSMG) Manager, Detroit Water & Sewerage Department (DWSD), Detroit, MI

Lisa is responsible for launching Detroit’s first stormwater ordinance, the drainage green credit program, and installation of DWSD’s green infrastructure capital improvement projects. Having spent a majority of her career as a professional consultant specializing in municipal wastewater treatment facilities with emphasis on planning and managing wet weather flow capacities, she brings extensive knowledge of the region’s combined sewer overflow system and treatment facilities, as well as the Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements.

Aaron Ward, P. Eng.

Project Leader – Infrastructure & Operations Department, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada

Aaron is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the City of Thunder Bay’s 2016 City-wide Stormwater Management Plan, which includes the proposed construction of over 550 new storwmater management and green infrastructure storwmater facilities. Aaron also oversees all new development in the City to ensure conformance with the City’s Engineering Standards and stormwater management requirements.

Lori Welch

Sustainability Coordinator, City of Lansing, MI

Lori Welch was selected to serve as the City of Lansing’s first Sustainability Manager in the Spring of 2020. She is responsible for Lansing’s climate action and sustainability plans for government operations, as well as the Lansing community.

Abby Zielinski

Sustainability Coordinator, Village of Oak Park, IL

Abby Zielinski works to advance the Village’s many climate goals in the Climate Ready Oak Park plan through policy development and community engagement. She has previously worked in environmental and civil engineering, which included designing and implementing green infrastructure projects.

Project Team

Barbara Hopkins

Executive Director, Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange, Philadelphia, PA

Barbara Hopkins is a lawyer and landscape architect who serves as Executive Director of the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange, which activates local governments and water agencies in the US and Canada to equitably implement green stormwater infrastructure. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, an urban land trust, and earlier served as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Baltimore City Community College.

Sanjiv Sinha, Ph.D., P.E.

RISC Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Corvias Infrastructure Solutions, LLC (CIS), Ann Arbor, MI

Funded by GLPF, Sanjiv founded RISC in 2020, led it for the first three years, and now serves as an Advisor to Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange. A frequent presenter on topics related to economic instruments in the water infrastructure market, Sanjiv is credited with two of the Great Lakes’ largest green stormwater infrastructure related transactions and aspires to make these ideas mainstream.

Sri Vedachalam, Ph.D.

Director - Equity & Climate Resilience, CIS, Washington, D.C

Sri is a water policy specialist, bringing experience from his years in government, non-profit and consulting. He has advised large foundation, non-profits, and government agencies on a wide range of issues including affordability, financing, public trust, and equity. He currently serves on the boards of Alliance for the Great Lakes and the communications nonprofit Water Hub.

William (Bill) Schleizer

CEO, The Delta Institute, Chicago, IL

Bill drives strategy behind Delta’s collaboration with more than 200 communities throughout the Midwest to solve environmental challenges and spur economic development. He has over 18 years of experience in systems analysis, environmental science, and consulting. He is a 2019 Notable LGBTQ Executive for Crains-Chicago Business, and enjoys experimenting with vintage cookbook recipes.

Mélina Blanc

Lead, Nature-Based Climate Solutions, Delta Institute, Chicago, IL

Mélina joined Delta Institute in November 2022 and serves as Lead for the Nature-Based Climate Solutions portfolio. Mélina came to Delta with a wealth of experience as a multicultural program manager and policy maker with specific expertise in climate resilience and sustainable agriculture. She has worked for various international and national entities dealing with climate, agriculture, water and community development projects. Mélina graduated from Sorbonne University and Nanterre University in France and has Master’s degrees in agronomy, international relations, and ethnology. In her free time, Mélina enjoys hiking and travelling with her family.

Share This Page