Past Board Members

This is a short list only of some of our more recent board members. We’ll add more information as we are able.

Russell Adams comes to the CEC Board as a community volunteer who has spent the past 10 years being involved with the Greater Houston Off Road Bicycle Association (GHORBA) and the Memorial Park Conservancy. He is a certified kayak and rock climbing instructor and member of numerous outdoor advocacy organizations who has spent his working career in small businesses. He hopes to develop programs that will encourage more individuals to become involved in the process that shape their outdoor lives. Served from 2010-2012.

Della Barbato has served on the board of the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition since 2013.  She has been a Master Naturalist and informal environmental educator since 2007.  She has served as Education Director for the Galveston Bay Foundation, GreenSchools, and Federal International Recycling.  Della was employed as a Montessori middle school science teacher for 5 years prior, creating her curriculum.  Strengthening the awareness of our environment and preservation of natural resources by facilitating Earth Programs is her passion.  In 2011 she started her own business called Earth Voice which delivers tailored, unique, interactive Earth programs to youth and adult audiences.  In 2014, Della was awarded a travel grant to Cambodia where she co-facilitated several zero waste and recycling workshops to youth and adults in a community based ecotourism village called Chi Phat.  She returned to Chi Phat in 2015, and was asked to speak at an event by the Cambodia Environmental Department.  She is currently authoring a book targeting millennials focusing on self love, planet stewardship and global citizenship. She worked in seed research, seed enhancement and quality control in various seed labs in California for six years in the late 1990’s.  She has a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Horticulture from Texas A&M University. Served from April 2013 to December 2016.

Madyson Chavez, research associate at Working Partner LLC. Madyson, a graduate of the United Way of Greater Houston’s prestigious Project Blueprint, has worked as a strategic Planning Advisor helping clients achieve actionable and effective solution driven strategies. Madyson has served as the business development coordinator for the City of Houston’s Policy and Operations program. Her degree from Texas Christian University is in political science, sociology, and health care ethics. Served from 2013-2015.

Thomas Colbert, AIA, APA, is a practicing architect and planner. He is on the faculty of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston where his research concerns the cultural, technological, and environmental forces that shape the built environment and the dialogue between building and place. His recent work has concerned the preparation and evaluation of architectural and land-use planning responses to the threat of extreme weather events. Working with environmental scientists, civil and environmental engineers, landscape architects and environmental attorneys at Rice University’s SSPEED Center, his research anticipates fundamental transformations of the upper Texas Gulf Coast and the development of regional architecture and urbanism based on the requirements imposed by severe weather events, sea level rise and other impacts of climate change. Prof. Colbert holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University and a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge. Served from 2013-2015. Dec’d.

Nicholas Eusepi, CPA, is an audit associate with Briggs & Veselka Co. P.C. Served as treasurer 2012-2014.

Jaime González, Community Education Director for the Katy Prairie Conservancy, is responsible for developing and implementing an annual schedule of activities and outreach programs to augment public access and awareness of the Katy Prairie. Jaime’s work also involves expanding collaborative efforts with other organizations and agencies, including local universities.He earned a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction – Science Education (2007) and a B.S. in Biology (1996) both from the University of Houston-Main Campus. Mr. Gonzalez serves as a member of the Texas Children in Nature Coalition Steering Committee. He has been awarded the Alban-Heiser Award from the Houston Zoo (2011), the Elizabeth Hull Abernathy Award (2011) from the Garden Club of America and the Army & Sarah Emmott Conservation Award (2009) from the CEC for his prairie conservation efforts. Served from 2010-2012.

Mr. John Gonzales is a graphic designer & owner of Rounder Graphics, and member of Transition Houston, Houston Peace and Justice Center, Houston Urban Gardeners (HUG). Served in 2015.

Steve Hupp is the Water Quality Director for Bayou Preservation Association.  He advocates for improved water quality in greater Houston area waterways.  Previously he held various positions with the environmental enforcement efforts of Harris County with the agency now known as the Harris County Pollution Control Services Department.  He retired from Harris County in the Fall of 2010 after 30 years of service.  He is a CEC Synergy Award recipient in the government category for 2006.  Mr. Hupp holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Applied Sciences from Stephen F. Austin State University. Served from 2010-2012.

Kim Kaiser, Principal with Kim Kaiser and Associates, LLC, has extensive experience in the non-profit industry.  With more than 20 years of producing measurable, results in development, branding and strategic positioning for non-profit groups, with a strength in new business and board development and  establishing collaborative relationships.    Kim specializes in an ability to quickly review an organization and find where there are missed opportunities in thinking about non-profits in FOR profit ways and meeting the mission of the organization with clear focus and a unified vision .  Throughout her career, she has worked with many of the nations’ largest health charities and corporations and has helped put together their plans to grow their reach and effectiveness and trained and mentored both senior and junior staff members and leadership volunteers. Served as president in 2011.

Lester O. King, Ph.D., AICP, LEED-GA, is a sustainability planner at the Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice University where he oversees the development of the Sustainable Development Indicators report. He has served on the boards of the American Planning Association Houston Division, Green Door Houston, and Great Plains Restoration Council, and is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Marketplace Committee. He has Bachelors in Fine Arts, Masters of City Planning, and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, all from Texas Southern University. Served from 2013-2015.

Tim Lewis currently works for the University of Houston as its real estate and minerals asset manager.  He previously worked for the University of Texas in a variety of positions at both the Houston Health Science Center and the University of Texas System as well as in educational budget and policy positions at the Governors Office and the Texas Education Agency.  He was involved at UT Houston in its sustainability initiatives.   He is a veteran backpacker, with extended treks into many of the wilderness areas in the western United States and western Canada. Served from 2006-2012.

Sarah Mason is a Sr. Environmental Analyst in the Solid Waste Management Department for the City of Houston.  Previously she worked in the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Programming under Mayor Bill White.  Ms. Mason works to expand recycling opportunities in the metro area.  Her major projects include, leading the project team for the design and implementation of the Building Materials Reuse Warehouse; and soliciting and implementing contracted recycling services for all city owned buildings and facilities.  She provides legislative analysis and comment on behalf of the SWD and the City of Houston to the State of Texas.  Ms. Mason serves as a co-chair on the Texas Medical Center Sustainable Practices Advisory Council, secretary of the USGBC Gulf Coast Chapter Recycling Committee, alternate representative to the H-GAC Solid Waste Management Committee and as a liaison to the Downtown Management Recycling Task Force.  In addition to her recycling projects she served on the steering committee for the Texas Tree Print project; and provided statistical analysis of US EPA air toxics data for policy makers.  Outside the office she enjoys learning about the native flora and fauna of southeast Texas, yoga, hiking, reading and spending time with her dog.   Ms. Mason holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Analysis from Rice University, (Houston, TX) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from Clemson University (Clemson, SC). Served as vice president in 2012.

Ms. Shawn McFarland is a green architect, educator and environmental activist. Her working life spans 30 years and she has been teaching environmental issues for 10 years. She is a member of the Board of Directors at Urban Harvest and teaches Permaculture Design through that organization. She has a degree in Architecture from the University of Houston and her areas of interest include travel and photography. Served as board president 2013-2014.

Emily Merrell joined the board in 2010 and is in her second term as board secretary. A native Houstonian, Emily comes from a background in environmental advocacy, policy and education. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University and Bachelors degrees in Environmental Science and Political Science from the University of St. Thomas. Currently Emily is an administrator at the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling at the University of Houston. Served as secretary from 2012-2013.

Helen O’Connor has a broad-based background in International Oil and Gas technology and services. Among the diversity of positions she has held, she served as Director, Sustainability and Health, Safety and Environment with a large multi-national organization, giving her an opportunity to positively influence corporate culture by strengthening its commitment to long-term environmental and social responsibility, aligned with overall business goals. This opened opportunities to work closely with educational institutions and non-profit organizations on specific projects.  As a mother of two small children she feels a strong sense of urgency around the need for global environmental stewardship, and her involvement with the CEC has given Helen an opportunity to give back to her community in a meaningful way. Served as board president in 2012.

Linda Paisley discovered biomimicry attending a speech by Janine Benyus at an environmental conference in 2000. “I was captivated by biomimicry’s simplicity, its optimism, and the possibilities,” she said. Since that time, Linda, a LEED accredited professional with a degree in biology and a master’s degree in architecture, has participated in biomimicry workshops in Peru, Arizona, and Austin. She is an active volunteer with The Biomimicry Institute. Biomimicry is the investigation and research in nature for solutions to some of humanity’s greatest challenges. This often includes urban planning, architecture, home living and meeting environmental challenges. Linda now helps others discover biomimicry through her presentations in Texas as a representing member of the BiomimicryTX Regional Network. She was instrumental in the development of a biomimicry trail at the Houston Arboretum, where she serves on the board. Linda Paisley graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Biology. She also received her Masters from the University of Houston in Architecture and is currently working on her MBA in Sustainability. Linda served from 2105-2016.

Hayley Pallister is a native of southeast England. She immigrated to Houston in 1994 and soon developed an administrative position for a local land- scape architecture firm into a passionate career marketing within the building industry. Hayley joined Asakura Robinson Company in 2005 after previously working with Keiji Asakura at SLA Studio Land. Her time is divided between office management, in-house marketing and business development. She works closely with Principals, Keiji Asakura and Margaret Robinson, to develop and nurture business relationships within the industry, pursue project opportunities for the firm, identify educational and professional development opportunities for staff and coordinate community-based volunteer projects. In 2007 Hayley became involved with the AIA COTE Gulf Coast Green Symposium, her volunteer position graduated from conference volunteer to Publicity Co-Chair in 2008, and to Speaker Chair from 2009 to 2011. A previous industry-related board position includes two years as Treasurer for the Society of Marketing Professional Services, Houston Chapter. Her involvement in coordinating the much publicized 611 Walker Container Garden project contributed to her receipt of an Honorable Mention, Mayor’s Proud Partner Award in 2010. A personal interest in organic gardening and urban agriculture led Hayley to receive her Permaculture Design Certificate in 2008 and she is an active participant of several annual volunteer events including Trash Bash and Marsh Madness. Served from 2010-2013.

Lisa Robertson is currently the Executive Director of External Relations for UH Engineering.  A major focus of her work involves the design and development of campus-wide programs to advance women faculty in the STEM fields, and bringing together stakeholders to work on meeting global challenges. Before moving to Houston in 2010 Lisa served as Chief of Staff to the A&M Provost.  Prior to working at A&M she served as Director of Corporate Relations and Special Assistant to the Dean at Purdue’s College of Science.  Lisa now lives in the Montrose area.  She is an active volunteer at the HSPCA and is a new volunteer at the Houston Arboretum. Served 2013-2014.

Steve Rosencranz is the Founder and President of The Woods Project, an organization that involves low income high school youth in wilderness activities, including environmental service projects and wilderness challenge programming.  In 2011, over 350 low income youth from Houston will participate in TWP programming.  Prior to forming The Woods Project in 2008, he capitalized and led businesses in the finance industry and served as an intermediary in mergers, acquisitions, and financings.   His prior experiences include rationalizing businesses to better serve their markets and formulating merger and acquisition strategies.  His current interests include issues related to poverty and social mobility. Served from 2010-2013.

Steven M. Stelzer, AIA, LEED AP®, currently serves as the Program Director for the Code Enforcement Green Building Resource Center in the Houston Permitting Center at 1002 Washington Avenue. He orchestrated the original Center implementing a LEED for Commercial Interiors Gold certified renovation of a portion of the first floor of the 3300 Main Code Enforcement facility. In the Center, Steve offers green building strategies to plans brought in by the public, develops and maintain green strategy displays and education programs, and maintains codegreenhouston.org, the green building portal of the City of Houston. He coordinated the activities for the Mayor’s Green Building Advisory Council, a group of building owners of LEED certified buildings, and other leaders in the energy saving community in 2008, and organizes free public tours of Houston LEED certified buildings. Steve’s technical background includes 30 years of diverse architectural firm experience in Houston, with construction administration as his predominate focus, including such firms as Heights Venture Architects, Courtney Harper+Partners, RWS Architects, Ray Bailey Architects, Kendall/Heaton Associates, and others. Served from April 2013 to December 2016, including a term as president in 2015.

Ross Tomlin is an MBA student at the University of Houston. His background includes energy efficiency policy, outreach, media relations, web and graphic design, and volunteer work for several Houston non-profit groups. He earned his MPAff from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 2009 and did his undergraduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Served as secretary in 2013-2014.

Aaron James Tuley, AICP, is Managing Partner of Meta-Pattern, LLC: Planning for Sustainability, an environmental planning consultancy with offices in Houston.  He has 20 years experience in landscape architecture, urban and regional design and planning, specializing in sustainable development, natural, cultural and scenic resource management. He is routinely involved in all phases of conservation and development design and planning, from project inception, site selection and planning, through contract negotiation, administration, and management of construction operations. Tuley is an advocate and practitioner of sustainability and is routinely engaged to review and evaluate how projects have embraced sustainable development principles and best practices. Aaron Tuley serves as District Manager for The Climate Project / Alliance for Climate Protection and administers the work of approximately 90 TCP presenters in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. Tuley is routinely invited to make presentations on climate change, sustainability / sustainable development, green building and cultural landscape interpretation. Served as vice president in 2012.

Geri J. Wells  Served from 2010-2012

Lily Wells, AICP, served as the the Clean Air Strategy Manager for the Port of Houston Authority. Served from 2010-2013.

Brenda Willson moved to Houston in 1972 from Puerto Rico and has seen the city expand into the fields where horseback riding and blackberry picking were favorite activities. She is a Residential Broker with Greenwood King Properties and has worked in non-profit development. She is an active volunteer with MFAH, Bayou Bend, The River, Nehemiah Center,  Memorial Park Conservancy  and Amazing Place. Interests include anything related to the ocean, gardening, kayaking, reading and the arts.  Brenda is married and has 3 children. Updated 2014.