2021 Virtual Conference

Equitable & Sustainable Infrastructure
Delivering Merit & Climate Resilience Virtual Conference
November 17 & 18, 2021

The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) and the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at Harvard University (ZPH) are proud to be hosting the Equitable and Sustainable Infrastructure / Delivering Merit and Climate Resilience conference on November 17 & 18, 2021.  A day before the official conference there are pre-conference courses and a networking session for all ENV SPs.  ENV SPs will be able to complete all education hours over the course of the virtual conference — including prescribed hours on Tuesday, 11/16. We’re offering three live courses, which you will find when you scroll to the bottom of the page. 

Day-One Agenda / Wednesday, November 17

Wednesday, November 17 / 10:00 a.m. – Welcome, Opening Remarks, & Keynote Speaker

Moderator: John Williams, Chairman and CEO, Impact Infrastructure, Inc. and Board Chair, ISI
Welcoming and Opening Remarks: Anthony Kane, President and CEO of ISI & Professor Spiro Pollalis, Professor of Design Technology and Management, Emeritus, Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure

Minelly De Coo, Director, Capital Project Management Office of the First Deputy Mayor of NYC Office of the Mayor

Minelly’s Keynote Presentation: The increased frequency of extreme weather events is causing devastating impacts to our cities’ most vulnerable populations and its aging infrastructure. These events, and the influx of funding – federal, state, and local – that typically follows— provide cities with an opportunity to reimagine infrastructure solutions that can respond to the needs of our communities today and into the future. The presentation will focus on lessons learned in executing those types of solutions in New York City.

Read more about Minelly and her presentation…>

10:15 a.m. - November 17: Keynote Speaker Minelly De Coo

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  / Session One
Thinking from the Outside In

Moderator: Marty Janowitz, Vice President of Sustainable Development (Retired) Stantec

Session-One Description: The technical program opens with a discussion of the factors that shape infrastructure development. Speakers will discuss the needs of the “outside world” and how those needs can be met by infrastructure professionals or the “inside world.” the speakers addressing public-policy issues will touch on climate change, lifecycle cost-effectiveness and equity in a post-pandemic recovery. Experts will shine a light on public-sector funding in the form of stimulus and grants as well as private-sector financing. Examples of localized success stories will be shared.

Session 1 – Panel 1 / 11:30 am: Evolving Public Policy and Funding

  • Linh Do, Senior Vice President, AKRF, presentation title coming soon
  • Lisa MacTavish, M.Eng., P.Eng., Climate Resilience Engineer, WSP, bio and presentation information coming soon

Session One – Panel Two / 12:30 pm: Local Examples of Implementing Policies and Securing Funding 

  • Kathy Collins, Director of Sustainability, NV5, presentation title: 40 percent Decarbonization
  • Michael Sussman, Chairman and CEO, Strategic Rail Finance and OnTrackNorthAmerica, presentation title: The Future of Land Freight Lifecycle Impact Assessment, A Case Study: Port of Long Beach
  • Vanessa Velasco, Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Water Resources, presentation title: Fitting Envision in to a State Agency’s World

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. / Award Ceremony & Moment of Recognition
Moderators: Melissa Peneycad, Managing Director, ISI & Anthony Kane, President and CEO of ISI

Award Description: Join our special one-hour webinar as we celebrate the recent achievements of the ISI and ZPH networks. Recent project award recipients will be invited to share highlights from their Envision projects. Select project highlights include:

  • Garage souterrain Côte-Vertu —Alexis Lautard, Conseiller corporatif, Développement durable, Société de transport de Montréal
  • City of Red Deer Water Treatment Plant Residuals Management Facility —Kingsford Amoah, Environmental Planning Engineer, City of Red Deer
  • Miami-Dade County Dolphin Station Park-and-Ride/Transit Terminal Facility —Patricia Gómez, Ph.D., Senior Resilience/Energy Program Manager, Miami-Dade County Office of Resilience
  • Westminster BDCWWTF Solids Dewatering and Campus Wide Improvements —Julie Koehler, Utilities Engineering Manager, City of Westminster
  • Oxford Retention Basin Multiuse Enhancement Project —Ryan Virgin, Associate Civil Engineer, Los Angeles County Public Works
  • VTA’s Berryessa Transit Center –Ann Calnan, VTA Environmental Programs Manager, Rachael Keish, CEO, Keish Environmental

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. / Session Two:
Engaging Stakeholders

Moderator (TBA Soon)

Session-Two Description: Assessing stakeholder needs allows us to be better positioned to identify appropriate solutions, and this session puts a laser focus on best practices in stakeholder engagement. Speakers in this session share perspectives from the asset owner, infrastructure users, and the “host” community to create a two-way street of communication between stakeholders and infrastructure professionals. Special attention will be paid to engaging multiple public community groups in cases where stakeholders have been previously disconnected and where communities are working toward climate resilience. Additionally, lessons learned from the pandemic will be discussed, including how COVID-19 has changed engagement with stakeholders and which new best practices are here to stay.

3:00 p.m. — Panel One: Connecting Communities through Robust Stakeholder Engagement

Melissa Figueroa
Chief of Strategic Communications, California High Speed Rail Authority, presentation title: The Role of Stakeholder Engagement in Delivering California High-Speed Rail

Oscar Cortes
Vice President International Relations
FEMCIC, presentation title: Stakeholder Engagement and Infrastructure – Integrating Best Practices for Construction

Diana Mendes, Corporate President, Infrastructure and Mobility Equity, HNTB, bio and presentation information coming soon

4:00 p.m. – Panel Two: Results and Outcomes: Effective Stakeholder Engagement In Practice

Kari Hewitt, President
Hewitt Sustainability Strategies, LLC, presentation title: Avoiding False Solutions – Centering People and Equity in Infrastructure

April Mendez
CEO, Greenprint Partners, presentation title: Designing Equitable Rainscapes with Mission-Based Communities in St. Louis

Rebecca Karp, Managing Principal and CEO, Karp Strategies, bio and presentation information coming soon

Day-Two Agenda / Thursday, November 18

Thursday, November 18
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. / Day-Two Keynote (TBA soon)
Moderator: John Williams, Chairman and CEO, Impact Infrastructure, Inc. and Board Chair of ISI

November 18: Day-2 Keynote Speaker: To be announced soon

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. / Session Three:
Serving the Underserved

Session-Three Description: For generations, infrastructure projects have resulted in a mixture of impacts and benefits. Many of the impacts flowed to communities that struggle to access opportunities to improve their lives. In this session, we will shine a light on the realities of infrastructure development, including tradeoffs that all of us have faced striving to deliver solutions to serve the needs of the broadest communities.

11:30 a.m. – Panel One: Who are the underserved and what is their infrastructure reality?

Panel  One will focus on the practical realities of infrastructure development, including ramifications of our decisions and how steps are being taken to ensure that the long-term interests of entire communities are addressed adequately.

Jade Begay, Climate Justice Campaign Director, NDN Collective, presentation title coming soon

Sonal Jessel, Director of Policy, WE ACT for Environmental Justice,
presentation title: Climate Justice & Infrastructure in Northern ManHattan

12 p.m. – Panel Two: How can infrastructure serve as connections to opportunities?

Panel two will examine how three generations of engineers view their evolving roles in infrastructure development and the challenges of gentrification versus connectivity to enable less-advantaged people to access opportunities that enhance their lives.

Cris B. Liban, Chief Sustainability Officer, LA Metro, presentation information coming soon 

Jean Paul (JP) Liban, Environmental and Ecological Engineering Student, Purdue University, presentation information coming soon

12:30 p.m. – Panel Three: How is the infrastructure community engaging with Envision to lift the underserved who are impacted by climate change?

Panel three will focus on specific examples of 21st Century Infrastructure projects that deliver solutions to serve present and future generations in ways that lift all lives.

Elizabeth Knauer, Principal, Sive, Paget & Riesel P.C., presentation title: Community Equity Agreements

Jason Waldron, P.E., Transportation Director, city of Kansas City, MO, presentation title coming soon

1:00 p.m. — Moderated Q&A with all panelists

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. / Posters and Networking Session

Register to attend this interactive poster and networking session using the Remo platform. The poster session is an opportunity to share your work on sustainable infrastructure and engage with conference attendees. For more information and to submit a poster or video for consideration, please click here and complete the Google form.

3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. / Session Four: Thinking from the Inside-Out
Moderator: Eric Bill, Chief Economist, Autocase

Session-Four Description: Throughout the virtual conference, external “influence” factors have been analyzed with respect to how they may inform infrastructure decisions. As a session intended to culminate the ideas and best practices, the final session is forward-thinking. It showcases how infrastructure professionals can plan for and design systems that meet current demands. Speakers will define “merit” in the context of infrastructure design and spotlight technology and innovation to deliver merit.

3:00 p.m. – Panel One: Designing for Merit

Eric Bill, Chief Economist, Autocase, presentation title: Merit Based Decision-Making

Gregory Huang, Vice President, CCR Airports, presentation title: Sustainability and Equity Case for a Vertically Integrated Air Cargo Facility at LAX


4:00 p.m – Panel Two: Data, Technology, and Innovation that Deliver Merit

Thomas Bucci, Vice President of Global Building and Facilities Leader, Wood Group, presentation title and information coming soon

Joel Burroughs, Account Manager, NV5 Geospatial, bio and presentation coming soon

5:00 p.m. — Closing remarks
Anthony Kane, President and CEO, ISI
Spiro Pollalis, Professor of Design Technology and Management, Emeritus, Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure

You can download the pre-conference workshop agenda and the conference agenda here.

Pre-Conference Course & Networking
Tuesday, November 16

Envision Implementation: Organization-wide Strategies
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
*This course qualifies toward one prescribed hour of education toward ENV SP credential maintenance.

Course Description: An increasing number of public and private sector stakeholders are using Envision to plan, design, and deliver more sustainable infrastructure by setting standards, establishing policies, and pursuing verification. The purpose of this course is to demonstrate how Envision can be used to develop a holistic approach that extends beyond individual project success. Leaders from across all industry sectors offer detailed examples that illustrate ways Envision has bolstered their sustainable business practices. These examples are intended to inspire new approaches that can be strategically integrated into everyday operations.

Best Practices for Using Envision on Projects and Across Portfolios

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
*This course qualifies toward 1 prescribed hour of education toward ENV SP credential maintenance.

Course Description: The purpose of this course is to demonstrate how Envision may be used as a tool to implement best practices and enhance designs beyond the success of individual projects.  The examples illustrated throughout this course are models for Envision use that standardize implementation approaches across the project lifecycle.

Foundational Decade for Advancing Sustainable Infrastructure

3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
*This course qualifies toward 2 prescribed hours of education toward ENV SP credential maintenance.

Course Description: ISI’s 10-year history is built on a foundation of grassroots advocacy by people who are passionate about sustainable infrastructure. This course showcases the key influencers along with the milestone projects that served as the platform for ISI’s growth and increasing Envision use across the U.S., Canada, and globally.  This course prepares ENV SPs for advocacy by strengthening their foundational knowledge of ISI and the Envision framework. Examples are presented to demonstrate success by ISI members, ENV SPs, and project teams throughout the past 10 years; these examples inform future efforts and inspire expanded use of Envision.

Remo Open House and Networking

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
-Click “Save me a Spot!”

Join us on Tuesday evening before the conference begins to meet your fellow attendees and familiarize yourself with the Remo platform. Great opportunity for first-time Remo users and anyone wanting to make the most of conference networking sessions.