Russell Unger, LEED AP, Executive Director
As Executive Director, Russell has grown Urban Green Council exponentially in both membership and organizational capacity, while establishing it as a national leader in advocacy, education, and major initiatives for the green building movement. He has spearheaded GPRO: Green Professional Building Skills Training and convened the Green Codes Task Force at the request of Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Quinn. Russell drafted and led negotiations on many environmental laws - including the City's green building law (Local Law 86) - while serving as Legislative Counsel for three City Council committees. As the former Assistant Director in the New York City Mayor's Office of Contract Services, Special Counsel for Environmental Procurement; and Special Advisor on Sustainable Development to then-Speaker Miller of the New York City Council, his unique approaches to problem-solving established him as an industry leader on programs and lasting policy.
Currently serves on: New York City Energy Policy Task Force (Board), Center for Architecture Buildings=Energy Exhibition (Advisory Committee), Department of Environmental Protection Green Infrastructure Citizen’s Group (Steering Committee), Urban Assembly School for Green Careers (Advisory Committee), NYU Sustainability Task Force (Board), and the New York City Energy Conservation Code (Advisory Committee)
Christina Anjesky, Director of Development & Communications
Chris comes to Urban Green Council with extensive experience in the nonprofit and for-profit worlds. She’s held senior development positions at The Partnership for the Homeless and Make the Road New York, and managed the individual giving and Health and Safety Services programs at the American Red Cross in Greater New York. Prior to that, she honed her marketing and communications skills at Citibank and Random House. Chris holds a B.A. from The Ohio State University.
Tiffany Broyles Yost, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, GPRO:O&M, Director of Programs
Tiffany is a designer and sustainability specialist with over 10 years of experience creating healthy buildings and developing educational programming to promote the adoption of sustainable policies and practices. As the Director of Programs, she has grown Urban Green’s educational offering to include over 50 unique events annually. She is currently developing new programs designed to engage key groups within the green building industry.
Prior to joining Urban Green, Tiffany was an Associate Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox, where she led KPF's global Environmental Network, providing sustainable design services on projects and developing and implementing the firm’s sustainability vision.
Tiffany is a frequent speaker at sustainability forums and has been a guest critic at the City College of New York, New York Institute of Technology, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Kentucky. She holds a Masters of Architecture in Sustainable Environmental Design from the Architectural Association in London, a Certificate of Sustainable Design from the Ecosa Institute, and a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Kentucky. Follow her @BroylesYost.
Currently serves on: New York City Mayor's Carbon Challenge, Technical Advisory Group (Advisory Committee), New York City Mayor's Climate Action Group, and AIA NY Committee on the Evironment
Ellen Honigstock, RA, LEED AP, GPRO: CM, Director of Education
Ellen is responsible for developing curriculum for Urban Green's signature programs including GPRO, a national green building certificate program for Contractors, Building Managers/Operators and Trades and Conquering the Energy Code, a training program for Architects and Engineers. Ellen has 28 years experience as an architect and volunteered for Urban Green for several years before joining the staff. Ellen was the first Residential Green Building Advocate for Urban Green Council, working to increase green building and LEED for Homes certification in the New York residential marketplace.and was also a committee chair of the Green Codes Task Force. In addition, Ellen taught at the 1,000 Green Supers program for SEIU Local 32 BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund, and holds a number of BPI certifications. Ellen is a co-founder of Solarize Brooklyn, and Sustainable Kensington Windsor Terrace.
Currently serves on: Urban Assembly School for Green Careers (Advisory Committee), and Sustainable Kensington Windsor Terrace (Founder).
Jessica Joanlanne, Programs Associate
Jessica joins Urban Green Council as the organization's Programs Associate, working to develop and promote educational programs centered around sustainability. Through her experiences with various architecture and interior design firms in both the New York and Washington, D.C. areas, she was inspired to spread the message of environmentally responsible building practices. Jessica recently earned her M.P.S. in Sustainable Interior Environments from the New York School of Interior Design. She also holds a B.F.A. in Interior Design with a minor in Art History from The George Washington University.
Jamie Kleinberg, LEED Green Associate, Advocacy & Research Coordinator
Jamie is responsible for the implementation of Urban Green Council’s advocacy and research projects. She guided the production of 90 by 50, Seduced by the View, Baby It’s Cold Inside, and coordinated the planning and development of the Building Resiliency Task Force. She has experience in pharmaceuticals and renewable energy research. Jamie holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University, where she focused on clean energy technologies and completed her senior design project on biofuel.
Currently serves on: ASHRAE NY Sustainability Committee
Rena Lee, Outreach & Delivery Associate
Rena is responsible for the delivery of classes through our network of delivery partners. She comes to Urban Green Council with experience in public art and transportation planning, as well as much interest in urban ecology. Her passion for environmental studies sprouted at Brooklyn Technical HS and continued to grow through her work in urban plants, food, waste, and bicycle awareness and advocacy at Parsons The New School for Design, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies/Sustainable Design. She interned at Mary Miss Studio, the City of Syracuse's Planning & Sustainability Bureau, Smart Cities Advisors, and Cooper Union's Center for Sustainable Engineering, Art, and Architecture, before joining Urban Green’s Education team.
Richard Leigh, LEED AP, Director of Research
With over 30 years of experience in energy efficiency and sustainability, Dick has been leading Urban Green Council's research efforts for the past five years. He played a central role in the Green Codes Task Force, contributed to New York City's ban on #6 heating oil, oversaw There are Holes in Our Walls, led 90 by 50, contributed to the Building Resiliency Task Force, and provides ongoing guidance on course content for GPRO. Prior to joining Urban Green, Dick was Senior Engineer at the Community Environmental Center, where he provided technical leadership for energy efficiency projects in existing and new buildings. Earlier, he worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory on energy and solar technologies and national energy planning. He is also Visiting Associate Professor of Physics at Pratt Institute.
Currently serves on: NYC ACRE (Board of Advisors), New York City Mayor's Carbon Challenge (Technical Advisory Group)
Sarah Palmisano, Outreach & Delivery Coordinator
Sarah serves as the coordinator for Urban Green’s education programs. She works to increase and improve the delivery of some of the most effective and essential green building training programs in the country. Sarah brings experience in environmental education, nonprofit development, and environmental policy. She developed education programs for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Social Science Research Council, managed a conservation center for a city in Michigan, and improved environmental policy while working in Pittsburgh Mayor’s Office of Sustainability & Energy Efficiency. Sarah graduated from Michigan State University, where she earned a double Bachelor of Science degree in Social Sciences focusing on Health Studies.
Michelle Perez, Outreach & Delivery Manager
Michelle comes to Urban Green with an environmental field and policy background which has a strong focus on bringing sustainable planning and infrastructure out of theory and integrated into practice. Much of her work has focused on bringing large-scale state, national and international policies down to a local level for implementation. Prior to joining Urban Green, Michelle spent time at the U.S. Department of State as Advisor on Water in the office of environmental policy, advancing US interests in cross-cutting environmental issues as they pertain to peace, security, economics and climate change. Michelle also spent several years with the Suffolk County, New York Division of Environmental Quality working onsite with contractors and developers to increase environmental compliance and apply federal, state and local policies to residential and commercial development projects. Michelle’s portfolio includes international field experience in India, Brazil, Germany, Vietnam, and Cambodia as well as an expertise in water management. She holds a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University and an M.S. in Environmental Systems Management from the Pratt Institute.
CJ Sandy, Office Manager
CJ comes to Urban Green Council with extensive office management and nonprofit experience. Most recently, she was at NADAP in New York, where she served as administrative supervisor for this large workforce development provider. CJ holds a B.A. from Douglass College, Rutgers University.
Cecil Scheib, LEED AP, GPRO:O&M, Chief Program Officer
Cecil leads Urban Green’s Advocacy, Public Programs, and Research. Previously, as Director of Advocacy, he organized efforts of the Building Resiliency Task Force at the request of the NYC Mayor and Speaker, and has led Urban Green’s green codes efforts since 2012. With over twenty years sustainability experience, Cecil was formerly Director of Energy and Sustainability at New York University, cutting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in five years. He wrote NYU's Climate Action Plan and Energy and Water Design Standards for new construction, and managed the Sustainable Landscaping and Recycling Shops. Prior to NYU, he founded Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, an off-grid community of 75 residents dedicated to innovating sustainable technology and social systems. Cecil teaches GPRO:O&M through SEIU Local 32 BJ Thomas Shortman Training Fund. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a Professional Engineer's license from New York State, and is a Certified Energy Manager and LEED Accredited Professional.
Currently serves on: Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (Board of Directors).
Charlotte Stanley, Education Coordinator
Charlotte comes to Urban Green Council from California, where she interned at various environmental consulting firms during and after college. At these companies, she assisted with researching the environmental impact of multiple projects in Northern and Southern California. Charlotte holds a B.S. from UCLA in Environmental Science with a minor in Environmental Engineering, and spent her senior year conducting in-depth analysis on the management practices of protected areas around the world. Following a cross-country move in 2012, Charlotte spent six months interning with GPRO before taking on her current role.
Ariana Vito, LEED Green Associate, Development & Communications Associate
Ariana joins Urban Green Council with experience at the federal, state, and non-profit level. She previously interned for Solar 1, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Press Office. She received a B.A. in Environmental Studies and International Affairs, with a minor in French from Northeastern University, where she helped to improve on-campus sustainability through a student organization. As a Northern California native, she has an inherent interest in all things environmental – particularly renewable energy and improving energy efficiency in buildings. She is originally from Sonoma County, California but loves to move around, having lived and studied in Victoria, BC; Grenoble; Belfast; Boston and Washington, D.C.
Jonce Walker, LEED AP, CSBA, Programs Manager
Jonce joins Urban Green Council from the Southwest with a background in sustainability policy, urban planning, and green building consulting. He has served on several environmental non-profit boards and community development organizations. Additionally, Jonce is the Co-Founder of Pedal Craft, an organization that merges graphic design and bicycles to help a local cause. Jonce has presented at Greenbuild, the League of Cities National Conference, and the Arizona Transit Association Conference. He has a B.S. in Urban Planning and a minor in Geographic Information Systems from New Mexico State University. Jonce is a LEED Accredited Professional and a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor.