Concepts and Methods for Advancing Sustainability in Neighborhoods


September 28, 2014

This 1 hour course is designed to present concepts and methods for introducing sustainability into neighborhoods. The four speakers will offer an overview and examples of applications specific to creating sustainable neighborhoods. These speakers will touch on projects, innovative ideas, processes, etc.


Melonie Tharpe, EcoDistricts Coordinator for Sustainable Atlanta 

As a born and raised Atlantan, Melonie is dedicated to roving the metro region. Prior to joining Sustainable Atlanta she served as a consultant for many Atlanta area nonprofits including those focused on local food, the arts, community improvement and social enterprise. Melonie leverages her broad background and organizing experience to ensure the successful implementation of the Greater Atlanta EcoDistrict Initiative as an innovative approach to urban sustainability and community engagement.

She earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management  from George Mason University. She also holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Political Science from Georgia State University.

Ross Wallace, LEED Specialist and Urban Designer for Epsten Group

Mr. Wallace is a dual masters degree graduate of Georgia Tech in Architecture and City and Regional Planning. Since graduating in 2010, Mr. Wallace has served as a LEED Specialist and Urban Designer for the Epsten Group, focusing on sustainable sites and the LEED for Neighborhood Development program. Ross served as an Urban Design intern with Central Atlanta Progress focusing on partnership efforts with the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) to establish a series of Urban Labs to “Imagine Downtown: Sustainable.” This partnership brought together sustainability leaders like Doug Farr from across the country to establish a set of plans and visioning goals for Downtown Atlanta in preparation for the CNU 18 Congress ‘New Urbanism: Rx for Healthy Places’ hosted in Atlanta in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Currently Ross is the Fourth Ward Alliance Land Use Representative to NPU M and is working to implement the long-range plans established in the 2008 Old Fourth Ward Masterplan.

Mitch Brown, Commercial Program Manager for ICF International 

Mitch Brown is a Manager with ICF International’s Energy Efficiency Division and serves as Program Manager in support of the Georgia Power Commercial Energy Efficiency Program. Since joining ICF, he has worked on federal and utility energy programs as a technical assistance provider, grant specialist, and account manager. As Commercial Program Manager, he leads a team of staff that supports utility customers and contractors applying for commercial energy efficiency rebates across the state of Georgia.

Mitch is a native of Sandy Springs, GA and received his B.A. in Environmental Studies from Colorado College and an MBA from Georgia State University.

Jamie McKenzie, LEED GA, BPI BA EP WHALCI MHP, Field Services Technician for ICF International

Jamie McKenzie works for ICF International and is a field services technician with Georgia Power’s Home Energy Improvement Program; responsible for program quality assurance/quality control, contractor mentoring, training development, and customer outreach. He spends his time educating contractors and homeowners on the benefits of energy efficiency retrofits for existing homes in Georgia. Jamie is a LEED Green Associate; and is certified through the Building Performance Institute for the following:

Quality Control Inspector, Building Analyst, Envelope Professional, Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer, Mobile Home Professional, and Multifamily Building Analyst with experience in residential building materials, residential energy efficiency improvement techniques, and training development.

Jamie earned his bachelor’s degree in Ecology from the University of Georgia in 2010.


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