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Sustainable Connections: 2022 Green Building Slam

The Green Building Slam has been a community favorite for years, and after a two-year hiatus, we are bringing it back this fall! The Slam is a fast-paced presentation style event that is known for the incredible networking opportunities with local green building experts and enthusiasts. We will have eight innovative and inspiring presentations focusing on an equitable and just transition in the green building industry.

The Slam attracts local architects, builders, homeowners, energy efficiency experts, real estate professionals, interior designers, and green building enthusiasts like yourself. No matter how involved and interested you are in the green building industry, this event will inspire, educate, and spark productive conversations about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our communities.

This event is part of the City of Bellingham’s ALL IN for Climate Action Week 2022. Find a full list of events right here. ALL IN for Climate Action Week is an annual celebration of the knowledge, progress, and resources our community has to offer when looking for solutions to address global climate change at the local level. The week is full of events within Whatcom County hosted by individuals, organizations, businesses, and governments that want to help Bellingham achieve its climate action goals.

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This live, in-person program is presented by Sustainable Connections in Bellingham. The program takes place in an accessible, underground location with zero-step, elevator entry. Accessible restrooms are available on-site. Closed captions and Spanish transcription for the Green Building Slam presentations are available upon request. At this time, we are unable to provide these services for the live Green Building Slam event. Please contact meganm@sustainableconnections.org if you have questions or desire these accommodations. COVID safety measures to be confirmed closer to the event.


  • Hear about King County (Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) credit system and some of the projects expanding the definition of equity and social justice from a climate and local government lens.

  • Identify realistic and affordable strategies to decarbonize all of Washington’s existing and new buildings.

  • Describe innovative building systems for net zero energy construction that will result in better performance, comfort and health.

  • Illustrate the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies within rural communities. A quick and detailed summary of successful projects worked on in Whatcom County will showcase how we can build a resilient future in rural areas.


Mia Devine
Project Manager, Spark Northwest
Mia manages multiple clean energy projects including our Rural Renewables Program. Mia has over 16 years of experience working in the renewable energy industry conducting technical feasibility studies of utility-scale wind farms, due diligence reviews of wind turbine supply and maintenance contracts, project management of proposals and budgets, and hands-on installation of residential solar and wind power equipment. Most recently, Mia worked with wind project developers, government agencies, multinational corporations, investors, tribal communities, and utilities at the global consulting firm Det Norske Veritas. Mia also co-founded a national group encouraging the participation and advancement of women in the wind energy industry and completed volunteer work in Central and South America where she helped to install and maintain solar electric lighting systems in rural communities. Mia holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Grinnell College and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. When not at work, you can find Mia tending either her urban farm in Seattle, or her rural farm in Bellingham.

Sharon Shewmake
WA State Representative; Associate Professor at Western Washington University
42nd-district State Rep. Sharon Shewmake (“shew-maik”) is a professor of environmental economics, urban economics, and energy policy at Western Washington University in Bellingham, and a children’s book author, spouse, and mother of two young boys. She completed Bachelor’s degrees in Economics and in Environmental Science and Policy at Duke University, and continued her education at the University of California at Davis, earning her Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics.Before moving to Washington, Sharon taught environmental economics, econometrics, labor economics, and conservation policy at UC-Davis and Vanderbilt University, and in Botswana (through the Experiment in International Living). These areas of academic focus dovetail nicely with her appointments to the House Capital Budget Committee and the Environment & Energy Committee, and her position as vice chair of the House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources — key concerns for Whatcom County and the entire state. Sharon is committed to involving people of all perspectives and parties to make data-driven policies that preserve our land, support our families, and ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

Alex Ramel
WA State Representative, Climate Policy Advisor at Stand.earth
40th-District State Representative, Alex Ramel is a Climate Policy Advisor at Stand.earth and a proud father to his 15-year-old son. He appointed to the legislator in January of 2020. Alex joined Stand.earth as the Extreme Oil Field Director in 2015. Throughout his career, Alex has focused on helping local communities take action to build sustainable futures. Prior to Stand, Alex was Energy and Policy Director for Sustainable Connections, where he led development and implementation of one of the most successful community energy efficiency campaigns in the United States. He has also spent the past several years volunteering as an organizer on Pacific Northwest regional political campaigns in which fossil fuel export has been a central issue. Alex earned his BA in Environmental Policy and Planning at Huxley College of the Environment.

Nori Catabay
Green Building Team Program Manager at King County, WA
Nori Catabay leads the internal King County Green Building Team. She provides green building technical assistance and training to County capital projects and manages the King County Sustainable Infrastructure Scorecard. She helped develop new equity and social justice credits that are now applicable to all capital projects for a more holistic triple bottom line approach. She led the County’s Green Building Ordinance renewal requiring Platinum certification for LEED projects, as well as adding alternative green building rating systems such as Living Building Challenge and Salmon Safe. She co-manages the Green Building Chapter of the County Strategic Climate Action Plan, which includes progressive green building performance measures and priority actions. One of those efforts is for County-owned new construction projects to be carbon neutral by 2030, by pursuing LEED Platinum with Zero Energy or Zero Carbon pathways. Nori has 24 years of experience in government, implementing public policies on a local and state level, she has a degree in American Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in Asian American Studies from the University of Washington. Her early career included social justice advocacy, community organizing, political empowerment and civic engagement.

Michael Carter
Green Jobs Program Manager at King County, WA
Michael Carter is the Green Jobs Program Manager at King County. Through his position, Michael builds youth and adult centered workforce programs and public/private partnerships throughout King County. These programs focus on jobs within the clean energy industry that promote climate equity, resilience, and preparedness, and prioritize career exposure opportunities for members of frontline communities. Prior to Michael’s position at King County, he worked as an Economic and Workforce Development Manager at The Valley of Economic Alliance in California. Michael received a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work.

Sukanya Paciorek
Senior Principal at RMI – Carbon Free Buildings Team
Sukanya (Suki) Paciorek is a Senior Principal at Rocky Mountain Institute, helping to lead their Carbon-Free Buildings practice. She moved to Bellingham from Brooklyn, NY in 2019 where she spent the previous 18 years working in the sustainability, real estate, and energy industries. Most recently she was the Director of Special Projects at the Whatcom Community Foundation working on a mixed used community development project and the COO at the Brooklyn Navy yard, a waterfront economic development zone.

Mona Lemoine
Associate, Senior Sustainability Consultant, Stantec
Mona Lemoine, Architect AIBC, MRAIC, LEED AP BD+C, LFA, Regenerative Practitioner, RELi AP. Mona is a Registered Architect and Sustainability Consultant with over twenty years of experience in the built environment, across a variety of project types. She brings both big picture systems thinking and attention to detail to her collaborations with clients and project teams to develop carbon impact plans that achieve best outcomes for projects within budgets and timelines and that address the urgency of climate change. She is committed to weaving resilience, equity, health, and biodiversity considerations into projects, while remaining focused on lowering carbon emissions through material performance, circular economy, and regenerative design and development. Currently an Associate and Senior Sustainability Consultant at Stantec, Mona has also worked at other major design firms and as a leader with the International Living Future Institute where she oversaw the Institute’s education and training needs as well as Cascadia, their bioregional non-profit. Her influence has created a ripple effect through culture and practice, design approach and delivery, and performance on projects locally, regionally, and internationally.

Charles Barnhart
Associate Professor at Western Washington University
Charles (Charlie) Barnhart is an Associate Professor at Western Washington University (WWU). Charlie teaches environmental science and energy science courses, specifically courses in Life Cycle Analysis, Green House Gas Mitigation, Energy and the Environment, and Energy Data Analysis. Alongside his work as an Associate Professor, he’s published numerous papers highlighting energy and carbon intensities stored in solar and wind energy. Charlie serves on the Bellingham Public Schools Sustainability Task Force and the City of Bellingham Climate Action Task Force. Prior to his position at Western Washington University, Charlie was a Postdoctoral Scholar of Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project. Charlie received a Ph.D. in Planetary Geophysics and a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Washington.

Tadashi Shiga
Principal & Founder of Evergreen Certified
Growing up with deep roots in the Seattle real estate and development community, Tadashi has been in the industry for over 30 years. In 2007, he dove into learning about sustainability and energy efficiency for homes, shifting his focus and gaining a new passion when he founded Evergreen Certified. Tadashi became a HERS Rater and Energy Star verifier, and slowly started growing a client base of forward-thinking developers and builders in the Seattle area who wanted to build green. Tadashi was the first PHIUS rater in Washington and was involved with the first Department of Energy Builder’s Challenge home in the state in 2010. Today Evergreen Certified works with 250 builders and provides verifier and rater services for numerous programs including Built Green, PHIUS+, HERS, Energy Star, and more. Evergreen Certified won the Green Hammer Award from Built Green in 2013, and the Built Green Pioneer award in 2018 and has been the green verifier for the 2013 & 2015 Department of Energy Housing Innovation Award for Dwell Development projects.

Tadashi has also been hard at work turning his own home on Vashon Island into a Net-Zero property. Tadashi leads a passionate team of green building professionals who help Seattle become a greener place.

Emily Larson Kubiak
Energy and Green Building Program Manager, Sustainable Connections
Emily Larson Kubiak is the Energy and Green Building Program Manager at Sustainable Connections, a non-profit that connects and supports local businesses to create thriving communities. She has worked in the energy management field since 2009 and holds a Certified Energy Manager certification from the Association of Energy Engineers. Emily is committed to making energy efficiency affordable and accessible for local businesses through innovative programs and partnerships and is a proud advocate for climate action initiatives in her hometown of Bellingham, WA.


September 23, 2022
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Price
Class Credit


Sustainable Connections


The Underground Night Club
211 East Chestnut St
Bellingham, WA 98225 United States
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