2023 NESEA Board of Directors Candidates

Voting is now open for the 2023 NESEA Board of Directors election! This year, six NESEA Members are running for five open seats on the board. Our membership will elect three individuals and the current Board will then appoint two additional individuals. Please review each candidate's video and written statements below by clicking on their name.

Voting is open to all NESEA Members and closes on November 2. Members will be emailed a link to their ballot to record their votes. If you have questions about membership, or if you did not receive your link, please contact Katie Schendel, Membership Manager, kschendel@nesea.org.

If you have questions about the election, please contact Florence MacGregor, Executive Director, and fmacgregor@nesea.org.


kathrynduff's picture

Kathryn Duff


Founder & Director
studio2sustain inc

studio2sustain inc is an architecture practice committed to sustainable solutions – integrating ecology, economy and equity. Located in the historic port city of New Bedford, MA, studio2sustain evolved during the BP oil-spill and Cape Wind off-shore wind farm project of 2010 with a focused mission to reduce GHG, advance climate literacy, and build healthy, resilient and profoundly energy efficient projects. studio2sustain inc is a WBE in Massachusetts.

Kathryn Duff is a registered architect (RA) in Massachusetts, a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), a Passive House Institute – United States (PHIUS) certified consultant and an Ambassador with the International Living Future Institute. Prior to s2s, Kathryn was founder of STUDIO of Architecture & Art. Kathryn is a member of the City of New Bedford Planning Board (Chair, 2018-2022), a past board member of WHALE (Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE), a past board member of the Lloyd Center for the Environment, and a founding board member of the REACH Foundation and the New Bedford Education Foundation. Kathryn lives and works in the port city of New Bedford. Kathryn earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University, a Masters of Architecture from Harvard University and attended the Cleveland Institute of Art.

How long have you been engaged with the NESEA community and how?

I have been involved with NESEA for five years. I attended the NESEA conference in 2019, and every year since. Through these conferences I have been connected to a community of resources, support and inspiration. In 2022, I presented at the Boston NESEA conference, showcasing the LBC project at the Lloyd Center for the Environment that is being constructed by Vocational students from GNBVT (Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical high school). I presented the LCE Welcome Center project with the GNBVT teachers and shared their commitment to teaching high-performance building practices. As a WBE, an architect and a practice focused on sustainability I have found the NESEA conferences to relevant, aspirational and informative. Presenting at a NESEA conference reinforced my admiration for this organization and the community of colleagues willing to collaborate to solve challenging architecture and design problems.

What drives you to want to serve as a NESEA Board Member?

I welcome working with NESEA to advance high-performance building practices. As a WBE, I welcome opportunities to support women getting involved with design, construction and engineering of high-performance buildings and the associated environmental stewardship. As an architect devoted to sustainability, I welcome the opportunity to expand the energy conversation around sustainability. And with three decades of construction experience, I welcome the opportunity to share “lessons learned” from the field. Lastly, our practice is committed to education. We have worked with students in high school, college and graduate school. Our practice has developed education programs for middle school and grade school students. And our Lloyd Center Welcome Center project is the first building in the world pursuing LBC certification being built by students. As a NESEA board member I would work to expand student involvement and increase opportunities for NESEA involvement with students – all grades.

What aspect of NESEA's work do you find the most compelling? How can you support that work as a Board Member?

NESEA is multi-faceted and remarkably relevant in this era of climate change and energy efficiency. This NESEA community of many disciplines associated with energy and sustainability is diverse and skilled. This inter-disciplinary approach to solving problems is the aspect of NESEA I have always admired - It is the foundation to being better architects and building sustainable projects. I welcome the opportunity to share my experiences to further advance this inter-disciplinary approach to advancing energy solutions. My experiences with educational programs developed at s2s and with student interns on build and design projects might help NESEA continue to advance student opportunities at conferences and with NESEA year-long programs. In addition, I have worked with HBS to develop team-build exercises to teach rapid leadership and sustainability, and I welcome the opportunity to bring these ideas to the board and the NESEA organization.

Lauren Hildebrand's picture

Lauren Hildebrand

LEED AP BD+C, LEED Homes Rater

SVP Sustainability
Brightcore Energy

As the Senior Vice President of Sustainability and Strategic Partnerships at Brightcore Energy, Lauren leads the development and execution of innovative and impactful clean energy projects for strategic customers across various sectors and regions. With over 18 years of experience in renewable energy and sustainability, she is a recognized expert and leader in her field, holding credentials such as LEED AP BD+C and LEED for Homes Green Rater.

Lauren joined Brightcore in Jan 2022, after a successful career at Steven Winter Associates, a leading green building consulting firm, where she managed a team of experts and oversaw the certification and consulting services for over 15,000 homes and multifamily units, achieving multiple awards and recognition for her work. She is passionate about advancing the adoption of clean energy solutions and creating healthier and more resilient communities. She has spoken at various events and conferences around the Northeast, sharing her insights and best practices on energy efficiency, building performance, and occupant health.

In addition to her project experience and program guidance, Lauren has managed classroom training and curriculum development for architects, owners, developers and building management staff on green and high

How long have you been engaged with the NESEA community and how?

I have been involved with NESEA since 2009, so going on almost 15 years! I have served on the BuildingEnergy content committee on and off for about a decade and have had the pleasure and privilege of serving on the Board for the last two years. I have also presented at multiple BuildingEnergy Boston and New Year conferences over the last decade, and within the Board, I have served on the ED task force and DEI subcommittees and have volunteered at many NESEA events.

What drives you to want to serve as a NESEA Board Member?

Over the last almost 15 years, I have so enjoyed being a part of the NESEA community as a member, volunteer and now Board Member. I believe I bring a deep knowledge of the New York energy and sustainability market, as well as my passion for creating a more equitable and sustainable future through serving a network that addresses climate justice, equity, and the need to scale decarbonization throughout ALL of our communities across the Northeast. I firmly believe that energy and sustainability initiatives should be accessible to all individuals, regardless of their background or socioeconomic status. By serving on the board, I have the opportunity to contribute to the development and implementation of programs and policies that address the unique needs and challenges faced by underrepresented communities.

What aspect of NESEA's work do you find the most compelling? How can you support that work as a Board Member?

I absolutely love the commitment and priority that NESEA has made to be an inclusive community, across geography, race, class, industry, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The Board currently reflects what I believe is the hope and intent of the NESEA demographic that we hope to reach, inspire, educate and INCLUDE in any and all events, decisions, and the organization's future. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve on various committees within the Board to further expand our reach across market sectors and help drive revenue to allow NESEA to continue to bring incredible educational value to its members.

Arlen Li's picture

Arlen Li

AIA, LEED AP, Fitwel Ambassador

Planning Principal

Arlen Li is an architect and Planning Principal at HGA, with over 35 years of experience planning and designing science facilities for higher education, corporate, public, and medical institutions throughout the United States. He has also led numerous feasibility and visioning studies, and promotes a holistic design approach for all building projects. Arlen is active in multiple local and national sustainability groups, and is a NESEA Board member. He is a LEED accredited professional and Fitwel Ambassador.

How long have you been engaged with the NESEA community and how?

I started attending NESEA events in the early 2000’s and over the years have been involved with the organization in several ways. These have included participation in the BuildingEnergy Conferences as an attendee, planning committee member, content committee member and session curator, along with current service as a board member and board chair. I have also been a mentor for the “mini-ELF” (Energy Leaders Fellowship) program, and one of the hosts of a recent Pro Tour.

What drives you to want to serve as a NESEA Board Member?

Through one of its conferences, NESEA was initially for me a source of in-depth knowledge about energy related sustainability, which sparked my enthusiasm for attending more conferences. With further involvement in other programs, I came to appreciate how much NESEA has fostered an active and engaged community that gains vitality from a culture of knowledge sharing, listening, and willingness to learn in an open and honest manner. I recognize that maintaining this vitality requires work to keep the activities aligned with changing times and especially pressing climate issues, so that the organization remains relevant to current and future members. Diversity and equity are key values that must be part of this alignment. With a background of planning facilities that resonate with the cultures of institutions, I would like to continue contributing to NESEA as a board member and take on this challenge as service to the overall NESEA community.

What aspect of NESEA's work do you find the most compelling? How can you support that work as a Board Member?

It is always exciting to hear from individuals who are inspired after attending a NESEA event for the first time. I believe the inspiration comes largely from being introduced to one part of the NESEA network or another, but at a one-on-one level. This happened with some participants of a recent trial mentorship program who now continue to be active in other NESEA activities. It is that individual outreach and connection which I find compelling. The board can establish a strategic vision to support programs that encourage these individual relationships. As a board member, I would be able to advocate for initiatives that are aligned to outreach both among the varied existing programs and new ones.

Andrea Mancino's picture

Andrea Mancino


Chief Executive Officer
Bright Power

Andrea Mancino is the Chief Executive Officer at Bright Power. Pairing her deep technical expertise in building sustainable, high performing projects with an ability to create and execute efficient business processes, Andrea’s goal is to ensure the financial success of the company, while delivering strong, proven services that achieve Bright Power’s mission. Andrea is also extremely passionate about mentorship and employee success, having worked at Bright Power over a decade!

Prior to her role as Chief Executive Officer, Andrea served as the Executive Vice President of the New York Business Unit, overseeing operations for all service offerings in New York. Before that, Andrea led the New Construction and Commissioning divisions, which she co-founded and built from scratch, including cultivating repeat client relationships that we maintain today.

How long have you been engaged with the NESEA community and how?

My first NESEA event was serving as a volunteer at Building Energy Boston when I was a new intern at Bright Power in 2012. I've been involved ever since! Over the last 10+ years, I’ve participated in many events that NESEA has to offer, served several years on the content committee for Building Energy NYC (including its first year ever), co-chaired the conference in 2020 and was elected to the NESEA Board of Directors in 2020. Currently, I am the NESEA Board of Directors Vice Chair and DEI Liaison, serving as a connection between the board and NESEA community in ensuring we are meeting our DEI commitments and listening to our members. I will be helping to convene the first ever Diversity Caucus at BE-NYC this year! NESEA is deeply engrained in my professional career and so near and dear to my heart.

What drives you to want to serve as a NESEA Board Member?

I believe in NESEA’s strategic plan, mission, and the criticality of NESEA’s work in our industry. Whether it’s connecting people, getting the word out, developing and mentoring businesses or supporting emerging professionals, NESEA’s work is core to advancing our industry on several fronts. I’ve seen the passion, creativity, and attention that both existing and previous board members bring to developing NESEA’s strategy and I have been inspired to do the same. It would be an honor to continue working with the board, representing New York City, learning from others across our region, and continuing to expand NESEA’s potential to make great change.

What aspect of NESEA's work do you find the most compelling? How can you support that work as a Board Member?

Workforce development and mentorship are very compelling to me and so important, as our industry has larger tailwinds than ever before and not enough people to do the work. Pairing that with diversifying the types of people we build up and interact with in our community is a huge passion of mine. NESEA has several programs and pilots tailored to this, but we’re only scratching the surface. NESEA has a huge community, a large data set of demographic information and strong connections in the industry that we can continue to leverage. On top of that, I believe there are more programs and partnerships NESEA can pursue to advance these initiatives even further. If re-elected, I would continue as DEI liaison to the community - working directly with the board and NESEA staff to create several data driven, realistic strategies to take our work above and beyond in these areas.

James Moriarty's picture

James Moriarty

Vice President
Sustainable Comfort

Jim has a passion for understanding the systems perspective of complex environmental, economic, and infrastructure issues in his personal and professional life. In 2014 he co-founded Sustainable Comfort, Inc. with the mission is to create thoughtful, sustainable, and impactful buildings. Since its founding, SCI has grown to over 50 employees and was honored as the 19th fastest growing company in Massachusetts in 2019 and the fastest growing company in Worcester by Inc. 5000.

Jim primarily works with the multifamily housing sector as a consultant to achieve low carbon and energy efficient solutions. He has been responsible for the development of systems and processes to assist in a variety of green building programs, including Energy Star Homes, LEED for Homes, Enterprise Green Communities, Passive House (PHIUS), Energy Star Multifamily High Rise, Integrated Physical Needs Assessments, and has secured over $42 Million in utility incentive programs for clients. Sustainable Comfort has also taken on construction, development, and property management in Worcester, where SCI strives to restore and preserve the existing house stock.

NESEA has proved to be invaluable in shaping his ideas and approach to building efficiency and knowledge sharing. He is helping to expand the

How long have you been engaged with the NESEA community and how?

I began my journey with NESEA 15 years ago as a student interested in the sustainable built environment and found a real passion for the work of the community, and the individuals dedicated to not just a career, but a lifelong mission of environmentalism, community, and regional sustainability. I have served on conference content committees, wrote for the NESEA Blog, hosted Pro Tours, presented at the BE Boston Conference, and received the 2020 Kate Goldstein Emerging Leader Award for my involvement in my early career with the NESEA Community. As a lifetime NESEA member I see this involvement continuing to influence my personal growth, and this stage of my career toward assisting the leadership direction of the organization through greater involvement on the board. The future of the organization will be in accelerating decarbonization while providing data to validate outcomes and a moral and equitable conscious to inspire change.

What drives you to want to serve as a NESEA Board Member?

Looking towards the future, the work to decarbonize the built environment is daunting, and leaning on communities of practice and collaboration is paramount. NESEA has a long history of facilitating this knowledge sharing, data gathering, and vision to allow practitioners to share best practices, and to allow a place for future generations of leaders and advocates to find their own voice. I feel lucky enough to have been a part of NESEA for my early career and am dedicated to giving back. My experience on boards such as my local housing authority, and as co-founder of Sustainable Comfort have overseen the growth of the organization from 3 to 50 people in 8 years. By serving on the board I feel I can combine my background and dedication to NESEA with my experience in serving on boards and creating and leading organizations.

What aspect of NESEA's work do you find the most compelling? How can you support that work as a Board Member?

The work of the NESEA board is important to help set the vision and leadership direction of the organization and allocate resources in concert with the Executive Director. I have a balanced background in building science with the values of NESEA, and have experience with board level governance and decision making to support organizational leadership and financial management. My leadership philosophy is heavily influenced by my time in music organizations and have directed large organizations from 50 to 300 people. The role of a board is much like selecting and guiding the type of music a group will perform, and properly resourcing and selecting individual experts where they are best able to succeed. When done well the results are not only fun and uplifting experiences, but can shape life changing communities. Addressing the climate will take both technical, and community level shifts in values.

Kate Stephenson's picture

Kate Stephenson


Director of Operations & Finance
HELM Construction Solutions

Kate is a partner in HELM Construction Solutions, which works with owners, designers and builders to create high performance and sustainable buildings and businesses. She is an experienced leader in the fields of green building, professional education, sustainability, and business management. She’s worked with established and emerging businesses and non-profits to achieve triple bottom line metrics, develop business systems, and plan for a dynamic and resilient future.

Kate helped to develop and is a facilitator for NESEA’s BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines program. Kate serves on the Boards of NESEA, the Studio for High Performance Design and Construction, and the Vermont Farm Fund. She is also a longtime member of the Montpelier Energy Advisory Committee. She holds a MS in Management from Antioch University New England and a BA in Anthropology and Environmental Science from Haverford College.

How long have you been engaged with the NESEA community and how?

I attended my first NESEA conference in 2002 as a young intern fresh out of college, and I was hooked. I think I've attended the Boston conference every year since, either as a volunteer, a trade show table rep, a presenter, or an attendee. Over the years my relationship with NESEA has grown through my involvement in the Building Energy Bottom Lines program (as a participant and facilitator), my work with many NESEA member businesses, and my service on the Board since 2019.

What drives you to want to serve as a NESEA Board Member?

I believe in NESEA's ability to inspire our industry to do better and in the potential for this organization to change individuals' lives and careers. As a former executive director, I understand the complexities of running a small, ambitious non-profit. As a small business owner working closely with many NESEA member businesses, I can also help to represent their perspective within the Board. I also believe it's important to have geographic diversity on the Board representing different areas of the Northeast region.

What aspect of NESEA's work do you find the most compelling? How can you support that work as a Board Member?

I'm particularly excited about NESEA's work with emerging professionals and workforce development because we have an opportunity and an obligation to welcome new folks into this work. As a Board member, I can help facilitate connections between new folks and NESEA member businesses. I also strongly support NESEA's work towards becoming an anti-racist organization and want to help move that work forward.

Our Mission

NESEA advances sustainability practices in the built environment by cultivating a cross-disciplinary community where practitioners are encouraged to share, collaborate and learn.