NBI honors energy efficiency and green building leaders as Senior Fellows

New Buildings Institute recently expanded the NBI Senior Fellows program and is excited to announce the addition of eight industry luminaries. With this program we recognize and honor their significant contribution to energy efficiency and carbon reduction in the building sector through leadership, dedication, and change-making work.

These energy efficiency and green building leaders are ambassadors who represent and support NBI’s mission. NBI is working to transform our built environment to protect people and the planet. We are committed to science-based efforts to maximize efficiency and cut climate pollution from buildings through research, guidance, and policy development. In our work, we strive to better understand and support equity and justice efforts to ensure the benefits of this current clean energy transition are available to everyone.

Introducing our new 2022 NBI Senior Fellows

Duane Jonlin, Energy Code and Energy Conservation Advisor, City of Seattle
Duane Jonlin is the Energy Code and Energy Conservation Advisor for Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections and in June 2021 was appointed Chair of the IECC Commercial Code Consensus Committee. Additionally, he serves on the ASHRAE 90.1 Committee, the Energy Code Technical Advisory Group for the Washington State Building Code Council, and advisory groups for ICC and ASHRAE. In 2016, he was elected to the AIA College of Fellows, and was one of the recipients of the Jeffrey A. Johnson Award from the US Department of Energy. He is an invited speaker nationally on issues of energy codes and efficiency. Prior to taking his position at the City of Seattle, Duane was a principal at NBBJ, with 30 years’ experience working on complex projects as a technical architect.

Erica Dunn, Director of Design, Green Hammer
Erica has accelerated Green Hammer’s ability to design and build projects that are achieving the goals of the AIA 2030 Challenge and has worked as the Lead Architect for numerous zero energy single-family residences, commercial buildings, and schools. Erica has served on the Board of Director’s for the Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects as well as the Co-Chair for the chapter’s Committee on the Environment. She has also been an adjunct professor, guest lecturer, and critic at the University of Oregon. In 2012, Erica was awarded the Van Evera Bailey Fellowship for researching the Human Aspect of Net-Zero Energy in High Performance buildings.

Kelly Cunningham, Program Manager, Codes and Standards, Pacific Gas & Electric
Kelly is an experienced Program Manager with a demonstrated history in the utilities industry. She is skilled in energy efficiency building standards, energy policy, lighting, and public speaking. She currently serves as a program manager on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Codes and Standards team. Her role includes leading the development of energy codes and standards enhancement proposals to advance California’s Energy Code and supporting the advancement of national building energy model codes. She is also the program manager for the Local Energy Codes program, which offers technical assistance to California jurisdictions pursuing ordinances that support local climate action initiatives. Prior to her position within PG&E, she worked with the California Lighting Technology Center, UC Davis in the role of Outreach Director.

Mandy Lee, Senior Program Manage, Emerald Cities Collaborative
Mandy is a Program Manager with Emerald Cities Collaborative. In this role she refines, manages, and expands programs and initiatives from Emerald Cities Collaborative and with their partners with a focus on creating community wealth and wellbeing for Black and Brown communities by leveraging investments in sustainable building and other infrastructure projects. She has a demonstrated history of working in sustainability and civil rights organizations. Prior to this work she was the Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector Program Manager with NAACP.

Mark Frankel, Principal, Ecotope
Mark has been consulting on energy efficiency and sustainable design for over 30 years, and has consulted on hundreds of capital projects, ranging in scale from single and multifamily residential projects to large commercial building and portfolio strategies. Mark has served on the boards of USGBC, ILFI, and Seattle 2030 District. Currently Mark is involved in national coalitions to decarbonize building systems, develop strategies for improved building/grid integration, and in the development of innovative codes and policies focused on building performance outcome and benchmarking.

Sarah Talkington, Commercial Green Building, Manager, Austin Energy
Sarah is a green building and energy expert. She has been with the City of Austin’s municipal electric utility, Austin Energy for over 15 years. There she currently manages the Austin Energy Green Building Commercial team. Sarah coordinates with local developers, owners, design teams and other building professionals to find best practice, sustainable design & construction solutions for Austin, TX. She is also responsible for the development and stakeholder engagement of the Commercial Energy Code for the City of Austin. She currently serves as the Incoming Chair of the Unites States Green Building Council’s LEED Steering Committee.

Sheila Hayter, Laboratory Program Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Sheila is the Laboratory Program Manager (LPM) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) at DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). In this role, she leads NREL’s portfolio of activities focused on helping U.S. federal agencies identify, implement, and evaluate opportunities related to energy/water resilience and security, facility and fleet optimization, and energy and project procurement. Sheila also co-lead’s NREL’s efforts towards net-zero emissions operations of its two campuses as part of DOE’s Net Zero Labs Pilot Initiative. In addition to her NREL work, Sheila served as the 2018-2019 ASHRAE President and has held many other ASHRAE leadership roles throughout her career.

William Nesmith, Energy/Environment Consultant
William Nesmith is an independent Energy Consultant that develops policies and programs related to energy efficiency and carbon reduction both domestically and internationally. He was the assistant director for conservation at the Oregon Department of Energy for 23 years. Bill has a Master of Science degree and over 20 years’ experience in the field of energy efficiency. He has worked as a land use planner for local government, been a program manager with state government, and served as a public utilities’ specialist with the Bonneville Power Administration.

We hold these thought leaders in great esteem and are proud to work alongside with them. This is a crucial time for making positive change in the built environment and together we will be able to do so much more. Through this program we will create new synergies to make the built environment part of the solution, now and in the future.


by Susan Harris, Senior Communications Specialist, New Buildings InstituteSusan Harris





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