IDEAS Professionals provides communication between intellectuals working in the green industry as a resource to share best practices in sustainability. By working with professionals in different niches, we’ll be able to develop the next-generation IDEAS and innovations, while provide workforce development, mentorship and partnership opportunities for the IDEAS Network as a whole.
Alaina Bernard-Kitchens, UCF Land Manager / Assistant Director of LNR
Alaina Bernard has a M.S. in Biology from the University of Central Florida, where she created the campus land management program. Currently, as the Land Manager, she focuses on an array of endeavors including wildland-urban interface land management techniques, green roofs, sustainable land management, research, partnerships, student & faculty involvement, service learning and community service. Ms. Bernard is a certified burn boss and wildland firefighter, and is on the steering committee for the Central Florida Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area. As an instructor, she created and teaches “Systems Sustainability” – a service learning course focused on incorporating land stewardship into the triple bottom line. Visit Green.ucf.edu!
Sean O’hanlon, Adviser/Biofuels Expert
Sean has been called a “Bioneer” and described as “One of the most influential voices in biofuels”. He founded the American Biofuels Council in early 2007, and has served as CEO since its inception. He became interested in agricultural, environmental, health, economic and energy issues while traveling internationally during the late 1990′s and began investigating the potential benefits of alternative fuels. Under his direction, ABC has become one of the nation’s most respected and influential grassroots advocacy organizations for biofuels, and is comprised of members from Hawaii to Puerto Rico, representing millions of Americans who care deeply about energy security and the environment. Over the years Mr. O’Hanlon has earned the respect of colleagues in every facet of Agriculture, Algae, and Biotech from Seattle to São Paulo; briefed U.S. Congressmen, Senators, Governors, and Officials in foreign countries; authored more than 200 articles on biofuels, served on the University of Miami’s Center for Hemispheric Policy Energy Security task force; chaired round table discussions and entire international conferences.
Stephanie Wrong, Freelance Graphic Designer
Stephanie is an artist and holds a BFA in Graphic Interactive Communications from the prestigious Ringing College of Art & Design. She works as the Director of Marketing at Kelly Price & Company, where she produces all the marketing and advertising materials for this full service, boutique real estate firm on Park Avenue. Most of her free time is spent working with various charity groups, such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Terra Firma Institute and Central Florida Herpetological Society. Stephanie continues to volunteer with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and is pursuing her Doula certification in the fall. Email: Stephanie@ThinkTerraFirma.org
Jordan Howard, Sustainability Educator
Jordan is a 19 year old sophomore at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California. At the age of 15 she transformed from an eco-resistant rebel to a global sustainability educator. Jordan learned that she was only resistant to the environmental movement because she was bit educated on environmental issues, and more importantly, the solutions to those issues. She has directed environmental films and spoke to thousands of youth and adults about the importance of sustainability, environmental education, and youth empowerment. She opened for Hilary Clinton at the nations first carbon neutral political fundraiser for President Obama’s election campaign and keynoted the City of LA’s International Environmental Youth Conference. Jordan is the editor of the book, “Green My Parents” that trains kids to teach their parents how to save money while living sustainably. Jordan has been featured in the book, Girls Gone Green and honored by The U.S. Green Building Council, The Weather Channel, California State Assembly, The Tavis Smiley Foundation and many more!
Edwin is responsible for strategy, service delivery, organizational development and operational excellence at Citizen Energy. Prior to joining Citizen Energy, Edwin spent 5 years at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Most recently, Edwin served as the Deputy Director for the first Federal IT modernization Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). He also led agency-wide initiatives to reduce distributed IT energy consumption through advanced power management software and green procurement strategies. During the Recovery Act, Edwin had the unique opportunity to work with political leadership in developing communications strategies for over $75 billion in clean energy investments. Edwin also pioneered innovative public engagement and workforce development initiatives like www.jobs.energy.gov; the U.S. Senate recognized Energy Ambassadors Program; and the use of 3-D web platforms. Prior to joining the DOE, Edwin worked on the expansion of youth leadership development programs in the Hispanic community. Edwin obtained his undergraduate degree from California State University Fresno, and a Masters in Business from Boston University.
Lauren Riga, Sustainability Specialist
Lauren Riga takes an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability by connecting the areas of science, policy and business. She is an adjunct professor at Valparaiso University Graduate School of Business, Director at the Environment, Law & Economics Institute (ELEI) and a Global Fellow for the Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI). Lauren serves on several government committees and has been a delegate at United Nations conferences related to water, energy, sustainable development and climate change. She is a contributing analyst for several media outlets and engages the public with her radio show called Sustainability 101 with Lauren. Lauren has an honors M.S. from Valparaiso University and has a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Affairs from Indiana University Northwest.
Rob Greenberg, Earth & Environmnetal Education
Rob was born and raised in the New York City metropolitan area. His undergraduate degree in geology was put to use in Vermont where he gained experience as a geohydrologist and helped prepare environmental impact reports. Science education was his next and current career path, getting certified at the University of Vermont and most recently earning a Masters in Science Education at Montana State University at Bozeman. Rob has lived in North Carolina for over twenty years where he began as an educator and program developer at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. For the past fifteen years, Rob has taught both middle and high school science. As an earth and environmental science and biology teacher at Chapel Hill High School, he strives to connect his students to “green” community initiatives and invites experts in various areas of sustainability to his classroom. He is known for his inquiry-based field trips to the coast, piedmont and mountains of NC as well as out of state. Rob was presented with The North Carolina Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award (2008) and in April 2011, he and his wife Jerri facilitated a 12-day student research-based trip to the Galapagos through Ecology Project International.
Terry Hershner, Gas Free Earth
Terry is an ambitious professional trying to create solutions to our dependency on foreign oil and fossil fuels. He was the President of Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity at NC State University 2000-2001. After college, Terry founded Gas Free Earth in 2005, specializing in alternative and renewable energy from vegetable oil and electric vehicle conversions to solar installations and energy efficiency upgrades. In addition, Terry has been working as the Technical Adviser to the IDEAS UCF Chapter since Fall 2010.
Jeremiah “Jay” Johnson (#64), Be-EV.com / Professional Motorcycle Racer
Jay was born and raised in the country on the North Shore of Maui, Hawaii. He grew up living off the grid, because the county would not supply the area with running water, electricity, sewage, or telephones. He lived on a 5 acre banana farm, so he grew up learning
the basics of a wind turbine, rain water catchment systems, farming,
and construction. He gained a working knowledge of plumbing,
electrical work, and farming by the time he was 12 years old. Jay
currently build electric vehicles and alternative energy projects
through his company Be-Ev.Com and his focus is bringing sustainable
awareness to as many people as possible.
Brian Zirulnikoff, IDEAS FIU Co-President / Miami Director Brian was born in Miami, FL and raised between Miami, Argentina, and Peru. He graduates in Fall of 2011 with his BA in International Relations with a certificate in coastal and marine affairs from Florida International University. He grew up managing his father’s business’s maritime freight logistics from Miami to Argentina from age 12-19. He also micro-managed the business’s marketing campaigns internationally. His primary interests are natural resource conservation and sustainability, organic urban gardening, sustainable landscaping, renewable enrgy and improving structural energy efficiency standards. He helped create IDEAS a registered student organization at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus and started an organic garden seed nursery as well!
Zachary Marimon, Ecosystem Facilitation / Agrarian Land & Pond
Zachary Marimon has been in Orlando since 2003 when he left his only other home in South Florida. His interdisciplinary graduate program at the University of Central Florida collaborates with both the Conservation Biology and Environmental Engineering departments. His research on biological, geological, and chemical dynamics of aquatic ecosystems explores achieving ecologically-based water quality improvement while working directly under the UCF Stormwater Management Academy. He founded Agrarian Land and Pond, a company started to retrofit existing stormwater ponds to use a proprietary phytoredmeiation (pollution remediation using plants) technique known as Ecosystem Facilitation. He developed the business plan alongside members of I.D.E.A.S., in 2009 which lead to his obtaining of the position with the organization providing aquatic ecosystem restoration project implementation.
Doug Middleton, U.S. Department of Energy
Doug is a Penn State graduate with degrees in both Energy Engineering and Energy, Business, and Finance. Doug founded the Penn State chapter of IDEAS in 2009 and held the position of President until he graduated in December 2012. Doug currently works for the Department of Energy’s Office of Planning and Environmental Analysis where he reviews EPA legislation aimed at regulating emissions from electricity generation facilities.
Doug was born and raised in southern Miami Florida miles from Biscayne Bay and the Florida Everglades, which without a doubt contributed to a love for the outdoors and a passion for conservation. He attended UCF for the Environmental Science Program. There he enjoyed a variety of study opportunities and the multi-faceted approach to analysis and problem solving the program offered. During his years, Doug helped to build IDEAS UCF to what it is Today and even became the 1st Bikes Save CO2 coordinator. After graduation, Doug returned to Miami, and began looking for career opportunities. He has recently conducted volunteer field observation throughout southern Miami-Dade county in cooperation with Miami-Dade Venom Unit, FWC, and USFWS in response to the growing threat of invasive reptiles such as the Burmese Python and Argentinian Tegu. He plans to continue volunteering while in the pursuit of a career in the field conducting conservation related work.
Brandon Chase, IDEAS for PSU / U.S. Department of Energy
Brandon is the Co-Founder of the I.D.E.A.S. Chapter at Penn State University (PSU), which was established in the Fall of 2009. Since graduating in 2010 he has been working at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, as a management consultant. Brandon truly feels that I.D.E.A.S. has the potential to impact the future of our environment and our energy sources by bringing together a network of people focused on improving our energy independence, establishing not just green jobs, but green careers, and taking action on campuses and in cities around the world to show our passion for creating a sustainable future. He looks forward to working with the I.D.E.A.S. team to establish our first professional chapter in Washington D.C.
Rio Tazewell, AIRE
Rio founded the IDEAS chapter at Appalachian State University in the Fall of 2009. He recently graduated in 2010 with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Sustainable Development and Political Science. After receiving some grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act he created a position for himself at the Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy, a group focused on finding affordable financing strategies for renewable energy and sustainable community development. Rio and his coworkers have since received funds from a private foundation to launch a consulting company providing “innovative social finance” methods for community scale renewable energy. The group works with community organizations, such as congregations of faith, neighborhood associations, nonprofits, schools, and local governments to develop renewable energy project that result in local ownership. Rio currently serves as Outreach and Education Director.
Graham Penniman, RunBus/ GreenWaves Music & Arts Festival
Graham is a change agent in the IDEAS Network. He brings to the team experience with interpersonal and organizational communication, mediation, “Zero Waste” event design, lobbying, and student organizing. As a native Floridian, which grew up on the whitest beaches, swimming in the purest springs, and interacting with the diverse ecology, he is an environmental steward to his core. He has always been encouraged to follow his passion, and stand in solidarity with his brothers and sisters. His intention is to re-build communities, foster trust, and inspire sweeping action. Graham’s notable work includes starting the GreenWaves Gatherings (University of Central Florida 2010 & 2011); Fellow with the National Wildlife Federation; Co-director of the R.U.N.bus; booking manager for Sustainable Living Roadshow; three time Planet Ambassador for Bonnaroo Music Festival; and the media/ communications director for Florida Power Shift.
Jonathan Winfrey, Dioko Energy
Jonathan was raised in Cocoa Beach Florida. He spent much of his childhood years spending time outdoors surfing, fishing, and biking. During his years in college he worked at a local greenhouse and volunteered weekly at the UCF Arboretum. At the arboretum Jonathan sprouted seeds, grew plants, built compost makers, and gathered other students to help start-up the first student grown organic garden. While attending UCF he was hired full-time by NASA to work as a safety support Co-Op with United Space Alliance at Kennedy Space Center. During his time there, he acquired skills and experience relating to OSHA standards and procedures, FSOP regulations, and emergency response protocol. Eventually he worked his way into the Environmental Management department and focused on P2, Recycling, Hazardous Waste, and Sustainability. After receiving his Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science, Jonathan has been working as a solar technician installing PV and thermal systems for homes and businesses and working on his family’s sustainable farm. Jonathan is a certified Seminole County Master Gardener and specializes in organic growing.