When: Thursday, November 4, 2021
Where: Hilton Waterfront Hotel – 60 Battery Street Burlington, Vermont
CEDs: Continuing Education Credits are not offered for this Conference. However, you are welcome to pursue this on your own and White + Burke will sign off on your participation.
Advertising and Sponsorship: Are you a part of the Commercial Real Estate industry? Are your clients part of this industry? Partnering with White + Burke on this premier event gives you the platform to showcase your business in front of a captive audience of 300 Commercial Real Estate professionals. Contact us for a multi-tiered sponsorship package or for information on advertising in our conference booklet and event app.
NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR 2021 PARTICIPANTS
In recognition of the current status of the pandemic, White + Burke will be requiring all participants of the conference to be fully vaccinated. Upon arrival, you must show proof of vaccination to the registration staff in order to enter. Additionally, all participants must wear face masks when in the company of other conference participants. We recognize this mandate may not be favorable for all, but the health and safety of anyone attending is of utmost importance to White + Burke. We are looking forward to safely gathering with you in November. *
*Please note that if it becomes clear that it is unsafe to gather, the event will be canceled and your ticket price will be refunded in full.
Questions?: Email us
8:30 am Registration Opens
9:00 am Keynote
10:00 am Networking and Exhibits
10:30 am Concurrent Sessions
11:45 am Networking Lunch
1:00 pm Concurrent Sessions
1:45 pm Networking and Exhibits
2:15 pm Concurrent Sessions
3:00 pm Networking and Exhibits
3:15 pm Final General Session
4:00 pm Cocktail Reception
DETAILED SESSION SCHEDULE
8:30 am Registration Opens
Be sure to collect your parking pass for free parking sponsored by
9:00 am Keynote Address
Grab a cup of coffee and kick off the day with this special presentation. Please note that breakfast will not be served this year. Coffee and light continental options will be available.
“Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one.” – Majora Carter
Rural and urban areas across America try to support “low-status” communities through education, training, and other funding, yet economic stagnation persists. Why is this happening? This keynote will explore a different perspective on real estate development to expand the possibilities for Northern New England professionals connected to land use. A focus on talent retention and sustainability defines Majora’s ability to inspire visionary strategies for developments that transform our communities into thriving mixed-use local economies.
10:00 a.m. Networking and Exhibits
Top off your coffee and fuel up for the day ahead. Sponsored by:
10:30 am Concurrent Sessions
Building Homes Campaign: New Goals for the Next Five Years
Nancy Owens, Evernorth
Charlie Baker, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
Michael Monte, Champlain Housing Trust
This session will review the lessons learned from the first five years of the Building Homes Campaign. Looking forward to the next five years, draft campaign targets and strategies will be presented, and participants will help strategize specific actions for Building Homes Together 2.0.
-What worked from the first five years of the campaign? We will review the successes of the campaign.
-What didn’t work from the first five years of the campaign? The new affordable homes target was not met, there is still an overall supply problem, and many households are worse off than they were before the campaign started.
-What’s next? We need to go bigger: More homes, more affordable homes, more equitable access to homes, and more supportive homes.
The Future of Retail Centers: Adaptation, Repositioning, and Redevelopment
Peter Smiar, VHB
Elizabeth Grob, VHB
Todd Finard, Finard Properties
David Roy, Wiemann Lamphere Architects
A panel of leaders from across the development community will host an open discussion about what the American retail center will look like in a post-COVID-19 world. Interest in optimization of existing retail centers has been growing for several years, but these spaces have been declining in use with the advent of market forces such as online shopping, freestanding “big box” retail formats, and stricter regulations related to greenfield development. More recently, as the perceptions of public spaces have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decline in usage has been steeper. How will these changes continue to shape the future of retail center spaces?
-Participants will gain an understanding of the future for retail centers in Vermont’s current landscape/culture.
-Participants will learn what the highest and best use looks like for retail center properties in Vermont and beyond.
-Participants will discover unique strategies for raising funds, finding tenants, and closing the financing gap.
Cohesive Actions to Avert Climate Change, Make Money, and Power Our State with Clean Energy
Bill Maclay, Maclay Architects
Chad Farrell, Encore Renewable Energy
Eveline Killian, Cx Associates
Laura Bailey, Maclay Architects
In this brainstorming session, participants will play a critical role in answering questions facing the Vermont development community. How can our community bring companies to the next level of environmental and social regeneration? How can the inherent synergies between cost-effective net-zero and positive-energy building and development, renewable energy, low-carbon materials, and profit link together? We have an opportunity to look at how the development industry in Vermont can create new connections, synergies, jobs, and profits while supporting employees and their community. The panelists will share solution-based examples, expertise, and insights from the field to generate a foundation for the conversation. Participants will collectively connect disparate parts of our economy in ways that will find the untapped potential within our existing systems, elevate everyone, and generate a pathway forward. Let’s dream big!
-Multifaceted approaches are required to link the disparate parts of our communities and create successful projects.
-Cost-effective solutions exist today.
-There is immense potential within Vermont for successful development. A holistic approach can address the multitude of development roadblocks identified by participants.
This session will address the economic realities that have made public/private partnership projects necessary for commercial development in Vermont’s challenging business and legal environment. The panelists will discuss municipal development agreements, opportunity zones, tax increment financing, and tax credit programs. Hear their real-world examples of what has worked and what has failed. This session will highlight recent, successful experiences with significant OPM projects throughout the state, including revitalization projects in Bennington and Brattleboro and projects in the Greater Burlington area.
-In a challenging market, use of OPM is necessary for most large projects to “pencil out.”
-Participants will learn when OPM is needed.
-Participants will discover viable options for OPM
11:45 am Networking Lunch
Pick up your preordered lunch and find a seat. Tables will be available in the general session room and the exhibit showroom. Use this time to catch up with your colleagues and clients and make new connectio
1:00 pm Concurrent Sessions
The Hybrid Workforce and Agile Workplace: Part 1
Jesse Beck, Freeman French Freeman
Jennifer Fitch, Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services
Alison Bell, Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP
In Part 1 of this two-part series, participants will explore questions such as, How do employee needs, development, and retention intersect with post-COVID-19 behaviors to create an effective workforce? What are hybrid workforce requirements? What developments are trending? What is the changing nature of employment? An architect, a lawyer, and a commissioner of state buildings will discuss various issues to consider when determining your hybrid workforce and how to embrace it.
-Having a hybrid workforce takes planning—employers should embrace it.
-Employers must keep their eyes open for evolving hybrid employee legalities.
-There is no perfect world; employers must be flexible.
Material Shortages and Cost Escalation in the Built Environment and What They Mean for You
Joseph A. Barra, Robinson + Cole, LLP
Robert M. Freas, Exponent, Inc.
D.J. Mason, Keville Enterprises, Inc.
Rob Wenger, WCS Construction, LLC
Given COVID-19’s impact upon the built environment, material shortages and cost escalation are the biggest challenges currently facing the construction industry. Participants and panelists will engage in a lively discussion on how to address these risks in existing and future projects.
-Participants will learn how the project’s delivery method dictates this risk.
-Participants will discover how contract language can be used to allocate the risk.
-Participants will explore how the project team can manage this risk.
Setting the Stage for Economic Recovery—The Legislative Road Ahead
Karen Horn, Vermont League of Cities and Towns
In this interactive session, participants will first discuss the 2021 legislative action to spur economic recovery and grow vibrant communities. What were the successes and failures, and what lessons did we learn from the past legislative session? Looking forward, participants will be asked to think creatively about approaches to effectively spur place-based growth and recovery. How can we help ensure strong economies in our towns and cities? What are the most important needs in the post-pandemic economy? This will be a collaborative time to examine where to focus the energies of cities, towns, RDCs, and state agencies with respect to legislation.
-Participants will learn about economic recovery successes in the 2021 legislative session.
-Participants will be prepared to promote action on unfinished business in 2022.
-Participants will brainstorm legislative initiatives to grow local economies beyond the pandemic.
Speed Networking: Connecting with Fellow Professionals (session limited to 45 people)
Back by popular demand! Participants will have a designated session just for networking. This session will offer short, one-on-one meetings with other attendees for an opportunity to share a quick introduction. Join us for this unique chance to test your communication skills and grow your network.
-Participants will discover that even introverts can network in the speed format.
-You can learn a lot about a person and their work in five minutes.
-Meeting new people is fun.
1:45 pm Networking and Exhibits
Take a break to grab a snack and some coffee.
2:15 pm Concurrent Sessions
The Hybrid Workforce and Agile Workplace: Part 2
Jesse Beck, Freeman French Freeman
Jane Pickell, Freeman French Freeman
Jennifer Fitch, Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services
Part 2 of this two-part series will explore how the physical workspace is evolving to accommodate the hybrid workforce. We will discuss new standards for space, employee desires, square footage requirements, and the future of physical environments. The session will consider owned or leased space and less or more square footage. Architectural space illustrations of an agile workplace will be presented.
-Everyone can benefit from an agile workspace, and it can increase morale and productivity.
-Physical space requirements are changing in specific ways.
-One size doesn’t fit all—the agile workplace must be planned.
Permitting and Case Law—2020–2021 Update
A.J. LaRosa, MSK Attorneys
This presentation will focus on the most relevant new case law in the land-use practice areas of the last two years. We will review the relevant Act 250, municipal zoning, easement, right-of-way, stormwater, and wetland cases and discover which cases dealt with unclear areas of law and how the courts struggled to resolve the cases. Participants will have the opportunity to debate the relative merits of a case to help illustrate how the courts might have relied on fact-specific issues.
-Participants will gain an awareness of recent changes and clarifications to Vermont permitting rules and laws.
-Participants will learn how these changes impact development in Vermont.
-Participants will gain insight into what additional changes may be on the horizon.
A Shock to the System: Emerging Real Estate Trends in the Wake of the Pandemic
Brad Minor, Allen, Brooks & Minor, Inc.
Since its onset, COVID-19 has impacted the Chittenden County commercial real estate market in countless ways. The past 20 months have involved uncertainty, restrictions on business operations, supply chain disruption, and shifts in behavior among consumers, tenants, and buyers. This seminar will provide a review of trends in market activity, vacancy, development, and investor perceptions observed within the Chittenden County real estate market over the past two years.
-Market data illustrates how Chittenden County real estate trends have evolved over the past two years.
-Attendees will review the shifting perceptions of real estate among market participants.
-It is very possible that participants will walk away from this session with more questions than answers.
Broadband Expansion: Stimulating Economic and Community Development in Rural Communities
Scott Johnstone, VHB
Britta Tonn, VHB
Brad Ketterling, VHB
Will Dodge, DRM
Chris Recchia, ValleyNet
In our COVID-19/post-COVID-19 reality, all sectors of industry, including commercial real estate, must rethink how business is accomplished. It can be argued that providing all Vermonters with readily available and reliable fiber networks will not only stimulate economic and community development but also strengthen Vermont’s resiliency. It is quite possible that broadband expansion will be a high-priority target for federal stimulus funding to restart our economy. This session will address the impact of this federal funding should it become available and will illustrate that only with the build-out of its broadband system can rural Vermont have successful businesses and a vibrant economy, and grow the tax base necessary to support its communities. We will explore organizing models, such as communication union districts, to move past barriers that have held back progress in the past and explore what can be done to ensure success in the future.
-Broadband expansion creates opportunities for all Vermonters.
-From creating new job opportunities and enabling remote work to supporting at-home schooling, reliable broadband service can save rural communities money.
-Gaining new infrastructure (broadband) via federal stimulus or other funding will improve Vermont’s rural communities’ economy and overall wealth, reestablish their optimism and opportunity, and enhance their vibrancy.
3:00 pm Networking and Exhibits
3:15 pm Recovery: Trends in the Vermont Economy as We Emerge(?) from the Pandemic
Kevin Stapleton, Vermont Department of Labor
In this annual favorite, economist Kevin Stapleton will review the status of the economy, both in Vermont and nationally. This year, he will give special emphasis to the pandemic recovery, long-term prospects, and the 2020 Census. Bring your questions and join the group discussion.
-The unemployment rate is low, but fewer Vermonters are currently working.
-Job growth and economic gains remain uneven.
-Vermont is growing(!).
Stay for more networking and strengthen the connections you made throughout the conference. Before heading home, stop by the VHB and White + Burke exhibit tables to pick up your Cocktail Reception to Go! Bring home some beverages and local snacks to remember your day.
LAURA CAVIN BAILEY, AIA, CPHC | Research Director | Maclay Architects
Laura has worked with systems thinking through diverse environmental design experience. Her past work has included permaculture, biodiesel production, and solar installation. She has also worked at an off-grid design/build company in Colorado and as a fellow at the Energy Studies in Buildings Lab at the University of Oregon, where she modeled daylighting and natural ventilation and consulted for Pacific Northwest architects. At Maclay Architects, Laura executes comparative energy and cost analyses to develop financial information on proposed designs. Additionally, she has worked on projects and master plans combining site, program, and client needs for creative future-oriented solutions.
CHARLIE BAKER | Executive Director | Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC)
Charlie has over 25 years’ experience as a transportation and land use planner and organization leader. He has served as the executive director of the CCRPC since June 2008. Under Charlie’s direction, CCRPC is working with Housing Vermont and Champlain Housing Trust in leading the Building Homes Together Campaign. Prior to joining the CCRPC, Charlie was the general manager for New Castle County’s (NCC’s) Department of Land Use from 2001 to 2008 and NCC’s planning manager in 2000. Previous positions include work with two other metropolitan planning organizations (Wilmington Area Planning Council [DE/MD] and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission [PA/NJ]); the Burlington County, NJ, County Engineer’s Office; and the Cross County Connection Transportation Management Association in Marlton, NJ. He holds a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from Cornell University and did graduate work at both Cornell University and Rutgers University.
JOSEPH A. BARRA, Esq. | Partner | Robinson & Cole LLP
Joe is a partner in the Boston office of the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP. He’s been practicing construction law for over 30 years and is licensed in Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. He represents owners, contractors, construction managers, and design professionals in both transactional matters and disputes. Joe is an arbitrator on the Panel of Construction Neutrals with the American Arbitration Association and is a certified mediator. Prior to beginning his law career, he worked as an engineer in New York, having previously graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a degree in civil engineering.
JESSE BECK, AIA, NCARB | President | Freeman French Freeman
A graduate of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Utah, Jesse has practiced architecture for over three decades and has played a leadership role on many of Vermont’s most prominent projects in education, healthcare, government, and private enterprise. Jesse is a proud Burlington resident and believes that design plays a crucial role in helping Vermont communities thrive economically, socially, and ecologically.
ALISON BELL | Partner | Langrock Sperry & Wool, LLP
Alison’s litigation practice encompasses a broad range of commercial areas, with a primary focus on employment law. She represents both employers and employees in all types of litigation, including discrimination claims, harassment claims, and overtime claims. Alison also works with employers to protect against litigation, including the preparation of employee policies; sexual harassment training; drafting of employment agreements; compliance with overtime, family and medical leave, and disability regulations; and advising on discipline and terminations.
MAJORA CARTER | Urban Revitalization Strategy Consultant | Majora Carter Group
Majora is a real estate developer, MacArthur Fellow, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation and successful implementation of numerous economic developments, technology & green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training & placement systems. Majora applies her corporate consulting practice focused on talent-retention to reducing Brain Drain in American low-status communities. She and her teams develop visionary strategies and the type of development that transforms low-status communities into thriving mixed-use local economies. Majora’s approach harnesses capital flows resulting from American re-urbanization to help increase wealth building opportunities across demographics left out of all historic financial tide changes. Her work produces long term fiscal benefits for governments, residents, and private real estate developments throughout North America.
WILL DODGE | Chair | Downs Rachlin Martin, PLLC
Will chairs the Downs Rachlin Martin Regulated Entities practice, covering the Environmental, Energy, and Telecommunications Group, and the Government and Public Affairs Group. In this role, he helps develop strategies and manages workflow, broadening his engagement with multiple clients in a variety of industries. Will’s defining Vermont achievement was working with clients and key stakeholders to establish and refine the current version of the statute known as Section 248a to streamline the permitting process for wireless facilities submitted to the Vermont Public Utility Commission, in lieu of Act 250 and local permitting. Will has secured approvals on behalf of national, regional, and local carriers; public utilities; tower developers; and radio/television broadcasters for new and modified communications infrastructure throughout the region, including in areas with significant local opposition and unique zoning-related, title-related, and litigation-related challenges.
CHAD FARRELL | Founder and CEO | Encore Renewable Energy
Chad founded Encore Renewable Energy, a leader in community-scale renewable energy project development services. He has over 25 years of professional experience in brownfields redevelopment and renewable energy project finance, development, and construction. At Encore, Chad has led innovative and collaborative efforts to originate, design, permit, finance, and construct over 80 different commercial-scale solar PV projects, many of which involve reclaiming undervalued, contaminated real estate for clean energy generation and storage. Chad holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University and earned a master of science degree in environmental engineering from the University of Vermont. Chad serves on the board of directors of the Vermont Natural Resources Council and is also a member of the board of directors for Renewable Energy Vermont. Following his appointment by the Vermont Senate to represent the clean energy sector, he is currently serving on the Vermont Climate Council.
TODD FINARD | Chief Executive Officer | Finard Properties
Todd has been actively involved in the commercial real estate industry as a developer of retail, office, industrial, residential, and hospitality products in markets ranging from urban settings such as Boston and Providence to suburban ground-up development. He has served as the CEO of Finard Properties since 2006, working closely with the company’s offices in Memphis, TN; Portland, ME; and the home office in Boston, MA. As a husband and proud father of three children (ages 18, 16, and 11), Todd tries to spend as much time as possible in Stowe, Vermont.
JENNIFER M.V. FITCH, P.E. | Commissioner | Department of Buildings and General Services (BGS)
Jennifer was appointed commissioner of the Vermont BGS department in January 2021. She began her career with the Vermont Agency of Transportation in 2004, serving as the research program manager until 2011, when she became a project manager in the Accelerated Bridge Program. In 2017, Jennifer was appointed BGS deputy commissioner. She graduated with a BS in civil engineering from the University of Vermont in 2002. Jennifer is a licensed professional engineer and a Lean Six Sigma green belt. She also serves on the board of advisors for the UVM Civil and Environmental Engineering program.
ROBERT FREAS | Principal | Exponent, Inc.
Robert advises clients on a range of topics, including risk management, project controls, change management, project scheduling, process improvement, claims and change order negotiations, dispute avoidance, and the preparation or defense of construction claims. His experience with construction disputes includes the development, analysis, and defense of construction claims related to delays, inefficiencies, and cost overruns. Robert also provides risk analysis services to large construction owners and contractors including contract risk assessments, probabilistic scheduling, Monte Carlo simulations, and schedule and cost assessments. Robert is the president of and a fellow with the Project Management College of Scheduling and the 2020–2021 board of directors’ 1st vice chairman for the Washington Building Congress, and the past president of the National Capital Section of AACE International. He frequently lectures on project controls, construction claims avoidance and preparation, and risk management and mitigation strategies.
ELIZABETH GROB | Regional Real Estate Market Leader | VHB
Elizabeth is VHB’s New England real estate market leader and has led permitting efforts for some of Boston’s largest and most complicated development projects, such as the GE headquarters, One Charlestown, and South Station. She sits on the executive committees and boards of directors of NAIOP Massachusetts, Boston Harbor Now, and A Better City (Boston). Elizabeth holds an MPA in public affairs from the University of Massachusetts and a BA in international affairs from the University of Maine.
KAREN HORN | Director | Vermont League of Cities and Towns
Karen Horn has directed the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ (VLCT’s) public policy and advocacy activities since 1987, seeking to ensure that local governments have necessary governance, environmental, land use, economic, and management tools. Karen earned a BA from McGill University and an MA from UVM. She previously worked at the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs and Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development. Karen served seven years on the Moretown and Washington West school boards, and started the Moretown Energy Committee, serving as coordinator and committee chair. She is currently the planning commission vice chair.
SCOTT JOHNSTONE | New England Energy Market Leader | VHB
Scott leads VHB’s New England energy market and has more than 30 years of professional experience leading energy efficiency and renewable programs nationwide. He excels at building partnerships with government agencies, utilities, NGOs, and private developers to keep projects moving forward through open lines of communication and understanding. Scott has experience including thought leadership and innovative policy development, stakeholder engagement, and program design and implementation, enabling clients to see their goals met and policy fulfilled. He holds a BS in civil engineering from the University of Maine and is a licensed professional engineer.
BRAD KETTERLING | Director of Environmental Services—Vermont | VHB
Brad manages the Environmental Services Group in VHB’s South Burlington office, which includes over 20 staff members in four teams: Natural Resources, Water Resources, Cultural Resources, and Site Investigation and Remediation. These teams work collaboratively to provide comprehensive resource assessment and regulatory permitting services for public-sector and private-sector clients throughout Vermont, supporting critical infrastructure projects in transportation, recreation, energy, and telecommunications. Brad holds a BS in geography from Concordia University and an MS in physical geography from the University of Western Ontario. He is entering his 20th year with VHB and lives in Burlington.
EVELINE KILLIAN, P.E., CEM | Associate Principal | Cx Associates
Eveline is an architectural engineer with over 25 years of experience in commissioning, project management, and energy analysis for commercial and industrial buildings. She conducted the commercial code modeling and revisions to the Vermont Commercial Building Energy Standards in 2019 and assessed code compliance and quantified lost savings for New York State. She provides commissioning, retrocommissioning, and energy audits for a variety of commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings across the region. Additionally, Eveline is the project manager and lead energy analyst for Consolidated Edison Company of New York’s efficiency programs and the Vermont Forward Capacity Market. She has also provided education on energy modeling and energy efficiency analyses at conferences including Better Buildings by Design and GreenBuild.
A.J. LAROSA | Member | MSK Attorneys
A.J. joined MSK in 2015 and practices on MSK’s litigation team. He has extensive experience with a wide range of complex commercial and environmental litigation. A.J. has assisted clients in resolving disputes arising from permit issues, construction defects, breaches of contract, and environmental contamination. He takes a solution-oriented approach to litigation and works with his clients to achieve cost-effective resolutions to their problems. A Philadelphia native, A.J. began practicing law at White and Williams, LLP, where he represented multinational insurance carriers in complex, multiparty environmental disputes. Upon moving to Vermont in 2011, A.J. practiced with Burak, Anderson & Melloni, where he represented a wide range of clients in commercial and environmental litigations. A.J. is also a Harvard-certified mediator and facilitator. Focusing on environmental, real estate, land use, commercial, and construction disputes, he uses a collaborative, interest-based approach that allows the parties in these difficult cases to craft lasting, meaningful resolutions to their problems.
SHANNON LENZINI | Attorney | Downs Rachlin Martin (DRM), PLLC
Shannon is a business law attorney and integral member of DRM’s tax-credit financing team. In addition to driving effective tax-credit financing deals that help clients grow and expand their businesses, Shannon regularly advises clients in a variety of corporate matters, including entity formation; mergers and acquisitions; and asset, stock, and venture capital–based transactions. Before earning her law degree, Shannon spent six years working at an international boarding school in Salzburg, Austria, where she taught math and English, administered the athletic and residence life programs, skied the Alps, and traveled to 14 European capitals. Shannon holds a BA from Purdue University and a JD from Vermont Law School.
BILL MACLAY, FAIA, LEED AP | Principal and Founder | Maclay Architects
Bill is a nationally recognized innovator and leader in sustainable, environmental, and net-zero design. Since 1971, he has been at the forefront of designing innovative projects that serve as replicable and cost-effective models. He is a strong practitioner, author, speaker, teacher, and advocate for a sustainable future. Bill and Maclay Architects wrote The New Net Zero, which offers a renewables- powered vision for the planet with concrete strategies for implementation. His work demonstrates that net-zero, sustainable practices are essential, feasible, and affordable to implement. Bill brings passion, commitment, and expertise to his work in order to create a thriving planet and future in collaboration with others.
D.J. MASON, P.E., CCM | Chief Operations Officer | Keville Enterprises, Inc.
Keville Enterprises, Inc., is a woman-owned construction management consulting firm based in Boston. D.J. holds a master’s degree in construction engineering and management from the Pennsylvania State University, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in building construction/wood products engineering from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He is currently the national chairman of the CMAA/CMCI board of governors, and previously served as the president of the CMAA New England chapter. D.J. has 36 years of experience in the construction industry including nine years as a U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer, and has been overseeing projects throughout New England, in Florida, and in Texas for Keville Enterprises since 1998.
BRAD MINOR | Principal | Allen, Brooks & Minor
Brad is a certified general real estate appraiser, with over 15 years of commercial real estate appraisal experience. His practice focuses on the apartment, retail, office, and industrial markets of Chittenden County, and he is coauthor of the “Allen, Brooks & Minor Report.” Brad holds a BA from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the University of Vermont. He is also an MAI member of the Appraisal Institute.
CRAIG MISKOVICH | Director | Downs Rachlin Martin, PLLC
Craig has become a respected advisor and presenter on tax credit financing issues, and has guided numerous clients (lenders and borrowers alike) to successful closings. When not developing tax-efficient deal structures, Craig serves as a director for two organizations that lift people out of poverty. He is also the founding member of the Brooks House Development Group, a collection of civic-minded entrepreneurs who redeveloped an 87,000-square-foot downtown commercial building. As a father of three, Craig enjoys attending events with his teenage children, maintaining his outdoor hockey rink, and pretending to be a farmer with his vintage tractor.
MICHAEL MONTE | Chief Executive Officer | Champlain Housing Trust
Michael joined the leadership team of Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) in December 2007 and was appointed CEO in January 2021. He has over 40 years of community and economic development experience at both the nonprofit and municipal level. He worked at Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) from its creation and was its longest-serving director. Prior to CEDO, he was employed as executive director for several nonprofit organizations, including the King Street Youth Center. Michael is also a founder and partner of the independent community development consultant group Burlington Associates, where he worked with community land trusts around the country. He sits on several national boards, and is vice chair of HPIex, a national insurance captive. Michael is a graduate of Achieving Excellence, a leadership program of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and NeighborWorks. He holds a BA degree from Goddard College.
NANCY OWENS | Co-President | Evernorth
A recognized leader in the affordable housing field, Nancy is the founding co-president of Evernorth, guiding the overall strategic direction and business development for the organization. Before Housing Vermont and Northern New England Housing Investment Fund united under the Evernorth banner, Nancy had served as president of Housing Vermont since 2008. Under her leadership, the organization helped communities advance critical housing, economic, energy, and environmental goals. Nancy is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Development Advisory Council and serves as vice chair of VEIC, a nonprofit energy efficiency utility. In 2019, her work in community development was recognized by the Vermont Housing Conservation Board with the Mollie Beattie award and by Champlain Housing Trust with the Tim Mackenzie Award. Nancy is a graduate of Achieving Excellence, a leadership program of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and NeighborWorks. Nancy holds a BS degree in environmental studies from the University of Vermont.
JANE PICKELL, IIDA, LEED APID+C, WELL AP | Director of Interiors | Freeman French Freeman
A graduate of the interior design program at the University of Wisconsin, Jane has practiced interior design for 13 years in Vermont, Wisconsin, and New York City. She has worked on commercial, education, healthcare, wellness, government, and residential projects. Jane has a passion for creating interior environments that are functional, beautiful, and sustainable.
DAVID ROY | President | Wiemann Lamphere Architects
Vermont architect/designer David Roy has over 29 years of experience in architecture. In that time, he has been involved with a diverse array of project types including retail, commercial office, housing, hospitality, educational, and manufacturing space. David is a registered architect and holds a BS in architecture from Kansas State University and an associate degree in architecture and building engineering Technology from Vermont Technical College.
PETER SMIAR | Director of Land Development—Vermont | VHB
Peter Smiar works in VHB’s Vermont office, where he supports development projects by providing master planning, site/civil design, and land use permitting services. Peter’s past speaking experience includes making multiple presentations at the Vermont Environmental Consortium (VEC) related to stormwater management at infill projects and contaminated sites. He regularly presents to UVM’s capstone engineering course on the topic of Vermont’s land use permitting process. A licensed professional engineer, Peter holds an MS and a BS in civil engineering from the University of Vermont.
KEVIN STAPLETON | Economic and Labor Market Information Assistant Chief | Vermont Department of Labor
In his current role, Kevin oversees a variety of labor market data programs, analyzes economic trends, and travels the state to discuss the Vermont economy. In addition to his work with the Department of Labor, he holds faculty positions at the University of Vermont and Community College of Vermont, where he teaches economics and international development. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and an MS in applied economics from the University of Vermont. When he’s not working, you can find Kevin riding his bike, playing in the woods, or watching his 9-year-old daughter do cartwheels. Kevin’s penchant for economics started in the fifth grade when he forgot his lunch money.
BRITTA TONN | Director of Cultural Resources—Vermont | VHB
Britta was recently named VHB’s first director of cultural resources in Vermont. An accomplished historic preservation planner and architectural historian, Britta meets the U.S. secretary of the interior’s architectural historian and historian qualification standards, also serving as the governor-appointed architectural historian member of the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Britta has worked in the telecommunications sector for over 10 years and is highly experienced in navigating FCC regulatory review for telecommunications projects. She holds an MS in historic preservation from the University of Vermont, an MA in education from Goddard College, and a BA in the history of art and architecture from Middlebury College.
ROB WENGER | Vice President of Preconstruction and Estimating | WCS Construction, LLC
Rob has been with WCS Construction, LLC, since 2015 and in the construction industry since 1996. Hailing originally from Overland Park, KS, he graduated from Kansas State University with a BS degree in civil engineering and is a certified professional estimator. Rob manages and coordinates the preconstruction phase as well as prepares and analyzes cost models during the design development phase of construction projects. Rob is currently serving as a director on the boards of the following industry associations: Washington Building Congress and Associated Builders and Contractors of Metro Washington. In his spare time, Rob enjoys traveling; golfing; and spending time with his wife, teenage daughters, rescue dog, and rescue cats.
2021 PLANNING COMMITTEE
Shannon Lenzini, Downs Rachlin Martin
Brian Beaudoin, Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc.
Kristin Carlson, Green Mountain Power
Adam Davis, J. Graham Goldsmith Architects
Nicole LaBrecque, PC Construction
John Grenier, Grenier Engineering
Adam Seaver, People’s United Bank