ZERO Ambassadors: Committee Chairs & Co-chairs
Governance & Steering Committee Chair / Director of Programs, Earth Advantage
Anthony leads research, education, policy, and new program initiatives for the organization. He has led the development of the ZERO coalition from its early formation in 2017. Prior to joining Earth Advantage, he held senior level positions at energy and sustainability consulting firms in Portland, New York City, and Seattle. Anthony began his career managing sustainability programs for the City of Portland. He received a BA degree from Northwestern University and a degree in International Environmental Law from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (UK). Anthony volunteers with SOLVE on events to clean up downtown Portland.
Contact Anthony for: Local government assistance, policy development, coalition membership
Policy Committee Chair / Program Director, New Buildings Institute
Amy Cortese is Program Director at New Buildings Institute (NBI), a national non-profit organization dedicated to driving energy efficiency and carbon reductions in the built environment. Amy has been involved sustainable design, green building, and energy efficiency market transformation throughout her career. At NBI, Amy is responsible for managing teams that combine research on ultra-low and zero energy buildings with a comprehensive understanding of overall market structure and barriers that prevent efficiency. This deep market engagement and technical expertise leads to innovative and practical solutions for building owners, designers, government agencies, and utility energy efficiency programs.
Contact Amy for: Policy development questions, technical codes questions, energy code issues
Policy Committee Co-chair / Executive Director, Earth Advantage
David Heslam has been a national leader in the effort to develop and deploy energy labeling systems into the residential market. David’s labeling work began in 2008 with early research in Oregon on energy labels and has continued through work with Earth Advantage in the implementation of energy labels in 16 states in all regions of the country.
David gained insight into the need for energy labeling during the 15 years he spent designing, building, and remodeling homes in Portland, OR. His nationally award winning company, Coho Construction Services Inc., became known as a local and national leader for adopting new technologies and striving for high levels of sustainability. He built a Zero Energy home in 2004 and a Zero Water home the year before. Currently, David is the Executive Director of Earth Advantage where he oversees teams that conduct education, research, certification and software development.
David loves the outdoors and spends time; gardening, rafting, hiking, and camping with his family. He volunteers with his kids' local public schools in North Portland, his kids' sports teams, and a non-profit that makes meals for people living in Portland without homes.
Contact David about local policy ideas and energy code issues.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Team Chair / Board of Directors Policy Chair, Passive House Northwest
Representing Passive House Northwest, Dirk is a Sustainability Professional and Policy Consultant dedicated to a just transition to low-carbon climate-resilient development. Recognizing the need for furthering policy advancements and code development he is working to help create a future where high performance building are affordable for all. Dirk holds a Masters in Public Administration with an Environmental Policy specialization from Portland State University. When not working on sustainability issues you can find Dirk either flying his paraglider on the coast or in the mountains, or out in nature entertaining his identical-twin girls.
Technical Committee Co-chair / BIM Manager, Waterleaf Architecture
In the Waterleaf Architecture office,Virginia is part of our Greening Group which focuses on creating a more sustainable office environment, connecting people with volunteer opportunities, and providing education on sustainability, and zero energy design strategies. She is currently their 2030 challenge liaison, and is working with the Greening Group to create a sustainability action plan. She leads their Sustainability Book Club where they discuss books and articles focused on new technologies, design strategies, and impacts of sustainable design. She’s developing their energy modeling skills by creating design processes and workflows that allow them to take advantage of this important information. The main objective of these office groups and activities is to create a variety tools and increase awareness on how to achieve zero energy buildings at scale. She volunteers for Friends of Trees, Portland Winter Lights Festival, and Hip Hop Architecture. Her personal passions are traveling with her fiancé, and their dog, Delilah. They love to go camping, bow hunting, and fishing. When she’s not in the wilderness, she loves to watch anime, volunteer at anime/comicon conventions, and create character costumes with her friends.
Please contact Virginia with questions about energy modeling or for resources related to zero energy design.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Team Co-chair / Senior Energy Policy Advisor for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Vinh Mason develops strategies to reduce carbon emissions while advancing racial equity. In addition to his work with the ZERO Coalition, Vinh is collaborating with local climate justice leaders to develop a net zero carbon buildings roadmap. When away from work, he loves to explore hidden corners of the Pacific Northwest by foot, paddle and bicycle. Prior to joining the City, Vinh was an environmental science professor at two Portland colleges where he taught courses on climate change and sustainable solutions. He holds a BS in chemical engineering from the University of California - Santa Barbara and an MS in environmental management from Portland State University.
Contact Vinh for local government policy advice.
Technical Committee Chair / Zero Energy Certifications Manager, Earth Advantage
Ryan Shanahan is the Zero Energy Certifications Manager and a Senior Green Building Consultant at Earth Advantage. He is a Certified Passive House Consultant, a PHIUS+ Rater, a HERS Rater, and an ENERGY STAR Verifier. He guides homebuilders and remodelers from the planning and design phase all the way through completion to ensure that they utilize best practices and achieve certification to Earth Advantage, ENERGY STAR®, LEED for Homes, or Passive House program standards. Before becoming a Green Building Consultant, Ryan was a Residential Technical Specialist and Builder Account Manager at EA. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Design from Boston Architectural College.
Ryan and his wife live with their wonderful shelter dog, Ellie, in SE Portland. He’s passionate about sustainable lifestyles, veganism, bicycling, hiking the great PNW, craft beer and coffee. This summer's home remodel project will include insulation, air sealing, and a solar PV system that will get their home close to zero energy in a 1907 bungalo with 2x4 walls!
Ryan is open to people contacting him with questions about zero energy ready passive house design and construction strategies, energy efficiency, solar PV, certification systems, and performance testing in relation to single-family homes.
Communications Committee Chair / Owner, Pitchfork Communications
Becky Brun is the owner of Pitchfork Communications, a strategic communications and marketing firm uncovering the human stories behind mission-driven companies. Becky is a former journalist and magazine editor who covered green building, energy efficiency and renewable energy before launching her own firm. Current and former clients include Green Hammer Design Build, New Buildings Institute, Columbia Land Trust and Willamette Partnership. Becky believes the most successful organizations are constantly evolving — and their communications strategies should evolve, too. While she started her career in print media, Becky is an innovator and a lifelong learner who brings the latest industry tools, an open mind and critical thinking to everything she does.
Becky is currently Co-Chair of the Hood River County Energy Plan Council, which is helping local government meet the goals of the plan. Contact Becky if you have requests or ideas related to messaging and communications.