2015 Conference


Our 2015 conference attracted 300 people from 6 states, 25 universities, 25 nonprofits, 50 companies, 90 Massachusetts communities, and more.

The Sponsors

sponsor pic 2015

The Exhibitors

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.14.24 PM

The Conference

The annual Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference connects stakeholders from communities, campuses, companies, and nonprofits.  Everyone wanting to learn about best practices, current trends, and resources will find this conference timely, practical and valuable.


  • Engage in cross-sector dialogues
  • Learn about best practices and current trends
  • Go home with knowledge and resources to advance community and campus sustainability

PARTICIPANTSmasccc graphic b

  • Government:  Municipal and state elected and non-elected officials and staff
  • Education:  University, college, training, K-12, staff, faculty and students
  • Business:  Owners and representatives
  • Community:  Non-profit group leaders and members
  • Everyone interested in learning about sustainability


Leading experts and practitioners from communities, campuses, businesses, government, and non-profits


  • Business products and services
  • College certificate and degree programs
  • Government agencies
  • Non-Profit organizations


  • Reduced printing, packaging and conference materials
  • Zero Waste includes recycling and composting
  • Carpooling assistance available
  • Carbon offset for all conference travel and building energy is a donation to a Green Marlborough
  • See more Green Event info


Benefit from advance registration: $60. Registration after March 19 is $75. Students are $45. Groups of 5 or more, $5 discount. Seniors are $60. Walk-ins if available, $90.

This registration fee covers keynote presentation, breakout sessions, exhibitors, lunch, breakfast, networking, and FREE book raffle. Advance registration is recommended as previous conferences have filled.


An advisory team of professionals representing communities, education, business, government and nonprofits; and an on-site conference team helped with this conference which was created and hosted by Green Workforce Training.


Click on presenter’s name to view PowerPoint presentations.

Registration 8:00 – 8:45 am

Breakfast (baked items, fruit, coffee)
Exhibits and Networking all day

Opening Panel Presentation  8:45 – 9:30 am 

Advancing Sustainable Community Development
Significant opportunities, achievements and plans advance sustainability.
   Peter Lowitt  Director, Land Use Administration, Devens Enterprise Commission
   Jon Mitchell  Mayor of New Bedford
   Alex Morse  Mayor of Holyoke
   David Narkewicz  Mayor of Northampton
   Catherine Tumber  Author: Small, Gritty, and Green; The Promise of America’s Smaller Cities in a Low-Carbon World; Senior Research Associate, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University

Sessions  9:40 – 10:40 am 

Municipal Leaders and Sustainability
City leaders champion policies, practices, and metrics of success.
   David Narkewicz  Mayor of Northampton
   Dean Mazzarella  Mayor of Leominster
   Patrice Garvin  Town Administrator of Shirley

Local Land Preservation
A successful land conservation strategy includes preserving large green corridors for walking and biking trails; it requires vision, advocacy, and an abiding love of nature.
   Bob Wilber  Land Conservation Director, Mass Audubon
   Marcia Rasmussen  Planning Division Director, Town of Concord
   Larry Anderson  Author of Benton MacKaye:  Conservationist, Planner, and Creator of the Appalachian Trail

Sustainability Tours
A virtual tour of three campuses show award-winning energy and food initiatives.
   Ezra Small  Sustainability Manager, UMass Amherst
   Christine Copeland  Renewable Energy Program Assistant, Greenfield Community College
   Judith Underwood  Environmental and Renewable Energy Program Coordinator, Cape Cod Community College

Curricula for Community Sustainability
Exceptional curricula, programs for sustainable urban environments, and extraordinary student projects exist.
   Jane Amidon  Associate Dean, Professor and Director, Urban Landscape Program, Northeastern University
   Karen Hynick  Vice President, Academic Affairs, North Shore Community College
   Adrian Dahlin  Admissions Director, The Conway School of Sustainable Landscape Planning and Design
   Keila Sabino  Program Coordinator, Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after DisastersUMass Boston

Thought and Practice:  A More Sustainable American Dream
What do global-supply-chain transparency and tiny-house living have in common?  They offer more sustainable living choices to consumers.
   Leonardo Bonanni  Visiting Scientist, MIT Media Lab; Founder/CEO, Sourcemap
   Jess Belhumer-Sullivan and Dan Sullivan  Tiny House Builder, Resident, and Blogger: LivingInATinyHouse

Walking Tour:  Devens Sustainability Highlights
Have a first-hand look at sustainable development in Devens:  low-impact storm water management, green buildings, renewable energy, and transportation.  Learn about local regulations and guidelines that helped “green” Devens development.
   Neil Angus  Environmental Planner, Devens Enterprise Commission

Exhibits, Networking  10:40 – 11:00 am 

Sessions  11:00 am – noon 

Community Energy
Hear updates on Massachusetts communities:  micro grids, green municipal electric aggregation, net zero energy, energy-data transparency, community solar, and resources.
   Lisa Capone  Acting Director, MA DOER Green Communities Division
   Steven Strong  President, Solar Design Associates
   Chris Mason  Energy and Sustainability Officer, Northampton
   Susanne Rasmussen  Director of Environmental and Transportation Planning, Cambridge

Green Buildings and Neighborhoods
Buildings are our largest consumer of energy and materials.  Designing better neighborhoods lays a foundation for more sustainable living.  Net positive energy homes produce more energy than they consume in an average year.    
   Greg Minott  Architect, DREAM Collaborative
   Carter Scott  President, Transformations Inc
   Grey Lee  Executive Director, US Green Building Council, Massachusetts

College Town Partnerships
Hear from leaders who are bridging community and campus initiatives that lead to both workforce and sustainable development.
   Stephanie Ciccarello  Sustainability Coordinator, Amherst
   Shirley Mark  Director, Community Partnerships, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, Tufts University
   Corey Dolgon  Director, Community-Based Learning, Stonehill College

Campus as Learning Lab
Four students describe their exceptional projects on campuses and in communities.
   Nelle Ward  Graduate ’14, The Conway School   Project:  Green Streets Guide for Holyoke
   Marie Macchiarolo  Graduate ’14, The Conway School   Project:  Food in the City
   Kelly Rusch  Student, UMass Lowell   Project:  Composting on Campus
   Betsy Byrum  Student, Tufts University   Project:  Transportation

Sustainability on Main Street
Hear about community initiatives, partnerships, and advocacy.  Groundwork Lawrence leads environmental and open space improvements, healthy food access programs, youth education, employment initiatives, and community programs in Lawrence.  HEET weatherized thousands of buildings and led the Squeaky Leak Project to map natural gas leaks on public streets.   Boston Climate Action Network (BCan) is taking action for climate justice.  Transition Towns are engaging people to build community resilience.
   Lesly Medina  Community Programs Director, Groundwork Lawrence
   Audrey Schulman  President, Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET)
   Mike Prokosch Co-Coordinator, Boston Climate Action Network (BCAN)
   Tina Clarke  Trainer, Transition Towns Network & Transition US  

Walking Tour:  Devens Eco-Industrial Park – A Landscape of Sustainability
Take a walking tour of Devens to learn about limiting environmental impacts of development and embedding green building features into projects.  See for yourself the changes 20 years of sustainable development have brought to Devens.
   Peter Lowitt  Director, Land Use Administration, Devens Enterprise Commission

Exhibits, Lunch, Roundtable Discussions    noon – 1:00 pm  

 Sessions  1:00 – 2:00 pm 

Water and Storm Water Management
Hear about historical changes, water infrastructure trends towards efficiency, and local storm water management solutions.
   Marcis Kempe  Executive Director, Metropolitan Waterworks Museum; retired Senior Water Manager at MWRA
   Ed Himlan  Executive Director, Mass Watershed Coalition; Leominster Storm Water project
   Rip Sokol  President, Fourth Generation Nursery

Local Food:  Vision and Practices
Learn about research, policies and practices for a more sustainable food system in New England, such as: carbon sequestration, a community farm, and the New England Food Vision.
   Julie Rawson  Executive Director, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts
   Clem Clay  Executive Director, Grow Food Northampton
   Karen Spiller Network Team member of Food Solutions New England

Faculty Research
What motivates our emotional attachment to places? How would students address sustainability challenges on campus? Hear from faculty and authors exploring challenges and solutions.
   Justin Hollander  Associate Professor, UEP, Tufts University; Co-Author: Cognitive Architecture
   Ann Sussman  Architect, Co-Author:  Cognitive Architecture
   Vesela Veleva  Co-Director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise, College of Management, UMass Boston

Community Career Pathways
Special career pathways make our physical environment more sustainable and downtown businesses thrive.  Hear about technical high schools and MA community college career development initiatives.  
   Gretchen Manning  Deputy Director, Massachusetts Community Colleges
   Sheila Harrity  Superintendent, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School

The Media and Local Sustainability
The media has an important role in our communities.  It can provide transparency and access to information, and actively engage the public in reporting community news.
   Jeff Inglis  Journalist; Policy Analyst, The Frontier Group
   Dan and Marilyn Brielmann  Co-Producers, E-Awakening

Walking Tour:  Net Zero Home Neighborhood
Visit a nearby net zero energy neighborhood where homes produce more energy than they consume during the course of a year.  Hear from a renown builder who created this neighborhood and several others in Massachusetts.
   Carter Scott  President, Transformations, Inc.

Exhibits, Networking   2:00 – 2:30 pm  

Sessions  2:30 – 3:30 pm 

Community Materials Management
Good materials management begins at the community level.  Learn about a large commercial composting facility in Marlborough, The Great Exchange which repurposes over 50 tons of materials annually in Devens, and Casella’s waste-streams-to-resources solutions on campuses and in communities throughout the Northeast.
   Liza Casella  Manager, Business Development, Casella Resource Solutions
   Dona Neely  Executive Director, Devens Eco-Efficiency Center

Multi-Modal Transportation
Should we invest in highways? bike lanes? walking routes? mass transportation?  Mobility is evolving and communities are striving to keep up.
   Joshua Ostroff  Outreach Director, Transportation Massachusetts; Chair, Natick Board of Selectmen; former chair, Massachusetts Municipal Association
   Galen Mook  Staff Member, Mass Bikes; Marketing and Advocacy, Landry’s Bikes

Our exhibitors will briefly introduce themselves and resources that help us live more sustainably.  Enjoy networking after the introductions.

Environment and Health
The health of the community depends on the health of the environment.  Learn about public health assessments, community investigations, and legislation for environmental protection and toxics reduction.
   Jamie Eldridge  State Senator, Massachusetts
   Dalene LaPointe  Senior Environmental Analyst, Department of Public Health, Massachusetts
   MaryBeth Smuts  Regional Toxicologist, EPA Region 1 New England

Walking Tour:  Devens Common Center
Tour the Devens Common Center with the Operating Manager to learn about sustainability features of the conference center and nearby hotel.
  John Mehlmann True North Hotel Group, Devens Area Manager

Exhibits, Networking  3:30 – 4:30 pm  

END  4:30

NOTE:   Walking tours begin and end at the Devens Common (Conference) Center.

Schedule and Topics
schedule grid h