Spring News 2014
Stephen Sheldon
Steve Sheldon  

Letter from the Chair

I would like to welcome everyone to the New Year at USGBC-REC. I have taken on the role of chair this year and am very excited about the work we will be doing in 2014.


Our Board Members:

Serena Coltrane-Briscoe: Vice Chair - Membership

Michelle Lavoie: Vice Chair - Events

Jason Grant: Treasurer

Blake Ridgway

Victoria Wells

Linda Delair

David Horobin

Roxanne Mefford


Our Leadership Team:

Annie Kavanaugh

Kathleen Willett 

Peter Libeu

Rob Linn 

Steve Bushnell 

Katie Elmore


All of these dedicated folks are hard at work planning this year's activities. Our chapter's direction for the year 2014 grew out of the board member retreat in February. Future events and activities will focus on practical green education for local building professionals. We are also working to strengthen our ties with other local building related organizations: Construction Specifications Institute (RECSI), American Institute of Architects (AIARE), North Coast Builders Exchange (NCBE) and Napa Valley Architects Exchange (NVAE). We hope to collaborate on future events and broaden our circle of influence.  As a small voice in a giant arena, we welcome your thoughts and participation as we move forward.


Looking forward to connecting with you,


Steve Sheldon


Upcoming Events 

This year, the USGBC-REC Board of Directors chose to reduce the number of events in order to offer our members and the built environment community the  highest-caliber sustainable education and tours. 


 May 3, 2014 - Green Building Vision & Practice Series with LEED Platinum Home Tour - Sonoma 

"What Makes a Building Green?" seminar followed by a "Green Products in Action - LEED Platinum home tour" - Register here.


June 2014 - USGBC-REC Networking Event (exact time and location to be announced)


Summer-Fall 2014 (details forthcoming)

  • Living Building Challenge/Bullitt Center
  • Fundamentals of Passive House
  • 2nd Annual Forestry Tour

Events of Interest

April 30, 2014 - Sustainable Enterprise Conference - Rohnert Park

The conference mission is to educate and work with North Bay enterprises and the local community integrating environmental responsibility, sustainable business practices and economic and social equity issues to ensure a high quality life for future generations.


Ongoing - Energy Efficiency Training offered by PG&E


Event updates can be found at

Member Profile

Michael Jacob

Reed Entry
Reed entry

Owner, Talia Developments                                                                                    

Michael has worked in the construction industry for over 30 years. His career began as a Bay Area union apprentice carpenter in 1978. Michael then worked in project management for Hensel Phelps Construction Co. He started his own business, Talia Developments, in Sonoma County in 1995. 


At age 20, a 16-month trip to the Middle East and Europe created a lifelong passion for travel and later an enthusiasm for sustainable, vernacular dwellings and communities through the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.


Michael is the president of the board at Community Matters, a nonprofit engaging students to create a safer climate in our public schools. Michael is also the current chairman of Sebastopol's Planning Commission. Read more.


Member Profile
Jason Grant
Jason Grant

Jason Grant

Principal, Grant & Associates

Executive Director, Greenwash Action


Jason Grant is the Executive Director of Greenwash Action, a joint initiative of Sierra Club and Greenpeace, whose mission is to support progress toward a healthy, biodiverse, climate-stable world by defending leadership and challenging greenwashing in the green building sector.


Jason is also the principal of Jason Grant Consulting, a consulting firm, and of Grant & Associates, which represents a variety of leading manufacturers of ecological wood products in the green building market. He is the LEED user expert for Certified Wood and is widely recognized as an expert in ecological forest products, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, and the role of wood in green building. 


For nearly 20 years, Jason has been a leader in the sustainable forestry and green building movements. In 1992, he co-founded EcoTimber, one of the first companies in the world to bring to market products from forests certified to the stringent environmental and social standards of the FSC. Read more.

USGBC-California Sungevity Program

The time is NOW to go solar! With some solar access and good credit, Sungevity will design, install, maintain, and guarantee solar panels on your house for no money down. Your USGBC membership will give you a $750 discount AND Sungevity will send USGBC $750 to promote our green building education and advocacy programs.


Sungevity is a top rated solar provider (and B corporation) based in Oakland with a superb customer rating. Following in the footsteps of the Sierra Club, USGBC California has partnered with Sungevity to save money for our members and friends, promote the Clean Energy Economy, and help fund our organization.


Did you know that over 75% of new solar installs are lease deals? Sungevity can lease or sell you a solar system. Your monthly lease payment starts out less than your PG&E electric bills and unlike PG&E, your payment will remain at that fixed rate even as PG&E rates rise.


Go to to get your iQuote. By sending Sungevity a request for an iQuote, you will immediately get connected with a solar specialist who will help you understand if your house is eligible. You can also email our representative at Sungevity if you have questions: Josanna Lewin Or email Claudia Cleaver, Redwood Empire Chapter representative to the Sungevity program at


Call for Member Profiles

Would you like to be profiled in the USGBC-REC newsletter? If so, and you are an active member, please contact us at


U.S. Green Building Council 
Redwood Empire Chapter 
2360 Mendocino Ave.
Suite A2-156, Santa Rosa, CA 95403-3154

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