Zero Carbon Retreat

On Moonstone Beach and in Downtown Arcata
Thursday and Friday, July 25-26
On-Line at Zoom:
1 (669) 900-6833  and ID: 480 042 967#

Twenty-Five Deep Dives Over Two Days


Martha leads RMI’s REALIZE initiative in RMI’s Buildings Practice. Martha is originally from El Paso, Texas, with professional experiences as varied as learning green building techniques as a construction intern from renegade eco architect Mike Reynolds, working in the ski industry, working for Rio Tinto’s Sustainable Development team, field organizing in northern New Mexico, and program trading in the equities division of Goldman Sachs.

Tim McDonald

Timothy McDonald is the President and CEO of Onion Flats LLC, a Philadelphia based real estate development and design-build firm leading in zero carbon multifamily housing in the East. Tim is a licensed Architect, a Certified LEED Accredited Professional and a Passive House Certified Consultant and Tradesman.

Lili Guerrero

Lili Guerrero is a licensed mechanical engineer, LEED AP, and project manager at EDesignC Inc., based in San Francisco. Guerrero’s passion is rooted in both sustainability and equity which is where her career intersects. She focuses on implementing energy efficiency strategies primarily for affordable housing, educational and community-based projects. Lili is a staunch advocate for sustainability and uses tools like life-cycle cost analyses, energy models, and inventive design.


David Traore is the founder and CEO of Daililou Energie, a renewable energy development company focusing on Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Côte d’lvoire. David speaks multiple West African languages, holds an MBA and leads a team of technical specialists.

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Marie Gunter is the Commercial Solar Project Developer & Manager for GRID Alternatives. Prior to entering the solar industry, Marie managed media for Novell, Apple, Silicon Graphics and Netscape. Marie is a committed environmental and social equity advocate for organizations such as the Sierra Club, Red Cross, Second Harvest Food Bank and as a Board Member of The Link.

Chris Dart

Chris Dart is the President of Danco Communities, a pioneer and successful leader in Zero Carbon multifamily housing in California. Over 27 years Chris has worked his way up from backhoe operator to President with rigorous attention to cost containment and a curiosity about how to improve profitability with new practices such as all-electric, 100% solar offset design.

Emma Raymont

Emma Raymont is a Mechanical Engineer and the Director of Engineering at MaGrann Associates, specializing in high-performance HVAC as part of managing the Green Building & Design Consulting Services groups across MaGrann’s five offices in NY, NJ, D.C.,PA, OH and KY. Emma draws her passion for building science from a childhood spent growing up in a perpetually half-finished house and is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).


Panama is the Director of the Building Decarbonization Coalition, a multi-sector forum advocating for and creating solutions for our pollution-intensive building stock. He used to work for the California Legislature, the California Energy Commission, the State Architect and Conservation Corps. He has worked on climate solutions in over 30 countries, presented at and collaborated on products from the United Nations, the International Energy Agency and the European Commission.

Matt Gough

Matt Gough is a Senior Campaign Representative at Sierra Club and leads their Building Electrification program. Matt has previously helped pass legislation to promote renewable energy and shutter coal plants, been honored as a Person of the Planet.

Shawn Oram

Shawn Oram leads the Ecotope design team and specializes in central heat pump water heater design. His work at Ecotope since 2002 focuses on energy efficiency, and Mr. Oram has a deep knowledge of buildings, systems and energy use gained through field studies, research, energy audits, code compliance analysis, extensive energy modeling, commissioning, and design of HVAC and plumbing systems. He assisted in creation of the guidelines for the "Design for Off" for creating low energy buildings.


Pierre Delforge is a senior scientist and joined NRDC in 2010 after a 20-year career in the computer industry. At NRDC, he works on policies to accelerate the clean energy transition in buildings, with a focus on space and water heating, as well as plug-in equipment. Previously, Delforge was lead energy and climate strategist for HP’s sustainability group. He holds degrees in computer science from Cambridge University and École Centrale de Paris. He is based in San Francisco.

Sarah Golden

Sarah Golden is the Senior Energy Analyst and Conference Chair of VERGE Energy at the GreenBiz Group. To address climate change, promote clean energy and create equity, Sarah focuses on building lasting partnerships with diverse stakeholders.

Gwelen Paliaga

Gwelen Paliaga is a Technical Director with TRC within the Research and Technology Commercialization group. Mr. Paliaga has 15 years of experience in commercial building energy efficiency and building science research. He has expertise in design and operation of high performance buildings, research and emerging technology, codes and standards development, and project management. He has a long history of facilitating collaboration between the design, construction and ownership.

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Sarah Moore is a Sustainability Planner in the City of Berkeley's Office of Energy and Sustainable Development. Her areas of expertise include electric vehicles, green buildings, electrification, and cross-sector initiatives for local resilience.


Barry is Green Building Coordinator at the City of San Francisco, where he is the city’s department lead for San Francisco's Green Building Code for new construction, and provides technical support to the Department of Building Inspection. Barry Hooper has previously worked as Green Building and Energy Coordinator at the City of San Jose and Energy Commissioner for the County of Santa Cruz.

Ted Tiffany

Ted Tiffany is the leader of Guttmann & Blaevoet’s building performance modeling group and Director of Sustainability for the firm. He has 18 years of experience with extensive knowledge in various energy analysis software packages predicting energy use and developing energy conservation strategies. Ted leads a passionate team committed to help his clients make informed decisions about energy efficiency options, Zero Net Energy design, and carbon reduction strategies.

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Clay Johnson founded Johnson Design in 1982, starting his career designing and building residential remodels in Davis, California. Since that time the range of his projects have expanded to include Zero Net Energy homes, affordable housing projects, accessory dwelling units and whole house retrofits. He specializes in integrating the applied science of high performance homes with his clients’ aesthetic and functional needs.

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Lou Jacobson (1)

In 2005, Lou Jacobson moved to Northern California from West Virginia to pursue a career in the energy efficiency industry. In 2008, he joined the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA) team as an Energy Specialist. Lou now serves RCEA as the Director of Demand Side Management, Co-Chair to the Rural and Hard to Reach Working Group, California Energy Efficiency Coordinating Committee Member and as a Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition Board Member.

Dan Johnson

Dan Johnson is a licensed architect and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Washington, which included a Valle Fellowship to study building technology at the IVL Swedish Environmental Institute in Stockholm. Dan also earned degrees in conservation biology and anthropology from UW and is an alumnus of the International Honors Program for comparative foreign study. Dan is a leader that inspires camaraderie and team integration to meet project objectives.

Michael Fink

Michael Fink is an Energy Data Analyst at VEIC. After receiving his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Oregon, he worked in a research lab at Omega Optical where he worked to build a more efficient organic solar cell, among other optical projects. In 2014, he began a transition from the world of thin-film optics to energy analysis. He has been an analyst at VEIC since 2016 where he especially enjoys working on projects aimed to lessen Vermont’s carbon footprint.


Debra is a home performance and valuation specialist and creator of AjO, a data tool that elevates access of home performance project data and affirms value of healthy, efficient homes. Her experience as a business analyst then video producer in NYC, as an appraiser and home performance consultant in CA and also in training of real estate appraisers and agents informs her current work with AjO.

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Emily Higbee

Emily Higbee is the Research Director at Redwood Energy and has lead research in modeling domestic hot water thermal storage in California's building energy software and has co-lead research in building electrification and efficient plumbing design. Emily graduated from Humboldt State University in 2018 with a B.S. in Environmental Resources Engineering.

Head shot with piglet

Sean Armstrong has co-designed the largest portfolio of 100% solar powered residences in the nation. His career began in 1995 teaching at an off-grid, solar+wind powered demonstration house, and Sean began developing ZNE-effort affordable housing in 2005. Sean has assisted with the development of the 2016, 2019, 2022 and 2025 Energy Codes. As part of decarbonizing agriculture, he has written a guide on edible landscaping and imported a rare breed of grass-fed pigs from NZ to the USA.