2021 Board of Directors
President: Brandon Kaysen
An educator and green building professional, Brandon Kaysen manages the K-12 and public environmental education program for the City of Ventura. Brandon is also a lecturer at UC Santa Barbara where he leads a group of students in certifying a building on campus through the LEED for Existing Buildings, Operations & Maintenance (EBO&M) Reference Guide. With over 7 years of combined green building, resource management, and environmental education experience, Mr. Kaysen seeks to collaborate with key players to enhance and encourage the eco-literacy of our building managers, government officials, and community members. Brandon has spent 6 years studying at UCSB, receiving his BA in Economics and Environmental studies and a Master’s Degree in Corporate Environmental Management and Energy & Climate from the Bren School.
President Elect: Cash Upton
Cash Upton is Design & Sales Coordinator for Brighten Solar Co. , and a Santa Barbara native who majored in Political Economics with an emphasis on Environmental Sustainability at UC Berkeley. After graduating he returned home to work as the environmental coordinator for the West Beach Music & Arts Festival, initiating practices that earned the festival “A Greener Festival Award.” Cash continued to pursue his dream of sustainable living and began converting a shipping container to an off-grid home and permaculture farm. Cash has been working with solar since 2014, when he installed an array atop his shipping container home using salvaged panels. As an advocate for education, Cash can be found at local elementary school science nights getting kids excited about solar. A major emphasis of his life is social and environmental justice, and Cash advocates for building relationships that can solve the problems that perpetuate poverty and suffering.
Past-President: Candice Wong
Candice is a nationally recognized leader in the public architecture sector, working with municipalities and agencies throughout California on sustainable civic, public safety and institutional projects. She is a LEED accredited professional and works with her clients to create programmatically successful, operationally efficient, and resource conserving buildings that improve the communities in which they are built. Together with her husband, she is raising two thoughtful and curiosity-filled girls, nurturing a semi historic home, and looks for almost any excuse to do her own construction.
VP Advocacy: Paul Poirier AIA, LEED AP, PRC, CSC
Paul Poirier is the principal architect in the Santa Barbara based firm Paul Poirier+ Associates Architects designing award winning commercial and residential projects with emphasis on “green” innovation and design excellence. He is the past President of the USGBC California Central Coast Chapter, served as vice chair of the Pacific Regional Committee, and represents the Pacific Region on the USGBC Chapter Steering Committee.
He is also on the USGBC Education Steering Committee, working to make educational programs relevant and successful at the local level. Paul is a founding board member of both The Sustainability Project and The Green Building Alliance, two active Santa Barbara based environmental organizations. In addition, he has served as president of the AIA Santa Barbara Chapter, and as chair of the AIA California Council Committee on the Environment. Paul is committed to maintaining the architectural beauty of the central coast of California, while protecting the environmental quality and sustainability of our community for future generations.
Amanda has a vision to heal the planet through sustainable building practices and personal connections. Known for being a jack-of-all-trades and a multi-faceted, out of the box thinker; Amanda has come from a humble background and at one-point homelessness. To pursue her desire for knowledge and to seek answers to the harder questions in life, she has earned multiple degrees and extensive experience as a Nurse, Executive Medical Coordinator, Teacher, Marketing Coordinator, Solar Consultant, Solar Designer and Construction Project Manager; Amanda plans to run multiple social businesses and bridge gaps in society to create a whole healthy community. She began the growth of her green construction company, Renewal Revolution, during her second year of pre-med studies when she decided she wanted to open a wellness center that treated individuals as a whole and not just a symptom, this clinic would be a social business model and as such would treat everyone, regardless of insurance or income. She later felt the need to not only give back to her community and the planet but to run outreaches in other countries. After getting into the solar field on a whim and then building contracting with solar, she realized if she wanted to see her dreams to fruition she had to “be” her goals on every level. Her cornerstone company was designed so she could cut out the middle man and take control of her vision with full understanding, enabling her to manage any project, anywhere, efficiently whilst being a light to those around her. Being a social entrepreneur Amanda serves a triple bottom line (People, Planet, Profit), with plans to work closely with the community and several non-profits to ensure that she is not just a helper of our neighbors but a Catalyst for Change. Seeking out collaborative projects with other local business in an effort to aid in stimulating the economy right here at home and with extensive knowledge in many different building materials from standard to recycled/green materials, multiple renewable energy options, and eco-friendly agricultural design for optimal sustainability.
Mr. Johnson is a thirty-year veteran of the community greening and sustainability movement. From his early years as legislative analyst with the statewide Toxics Coordinating Project, his subsequent leadership of the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, where he conceived and oversaw numerous environmental programs, including green building, energy and water conservation, toxics use reduction, green cleaning, integrated pest management and green procurement initiatives, to his recent tenure as a Deputy Director at the California Environmental Protection Agency where he led the Statewide Hazardous Waste Program, his leadership has been seminal to the success of sustainability initiatives throughout the world. Brian’s current role as Director of The Ashkin Group’s sustainability practice, has allowed him to work with leaders and learners in the green cleaning and sustainability movement where he has developed policies, practices, audits and technical coaching for an array of local and global organizations.
Corey Hughes has been a leader in the Hemp/Lime building space training students from Los Angeles county to Ventura county in Hemp/Lime safety and construction. His organization helps eliminate toxic carbon emissions in construction and places graduates with California Union jobs.
Kenneth Mineau is Managing Partner and Director of Operations for Appleton Partners LLP. Raised in the Midwest, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated in 1981 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture. After college he practiced in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. After designing several projects in Japan and China, he expatriated for several years to manage the Southeast Asia office of Berkus Group Architects, and he was Director for Kaplan Mclaughlin Diaz Architects in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Special projects included work on the Sackler Museum at the University of Beijing, China, Campus master plan for Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, as well as a variety of medical, community and resort planning projects throughout California, Florida, Japan and Malaysia.In 2000, Ken joined Appleton Partners LLP and started the Santa Barbara office with Marc Appleton after just completing the design and entitlement for the Miramar Hotel in Montecito and the Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Headquarters. At Appleton Partners, he oversees a variety of residential and commercial projects, most notably the restoration of the historic San Ysidro Ranch, St. Anthony’s Seminary and the recently re-approved Miramar Hotel. Ken is also actively involved in community projects such as the proposed Islamic Center in Santa Barbara, the planning of the Eastern Goleta Valley Community Plan and the C4 Chapter of the US Green Building Council. He has presented a lecture on preservation for a Design Leadership Network event at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California and a lecture on George Washington Smith to the Santa Barbara Newcomers Club. Ken recently completed a Green Building & Sustainable Design Certification program offered by the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is married to Normah Halim and enjoys travel, riding motorcycles and his five grandnephews.
Marc Whitman has been educating himself on green technologies and methods since his student days at Arizona State University where he studied solar architecture in the late 1970s. he has included green practices and technologies in many of his own projects. Marc has completed many "green " projects. and wishes to spread the word about our climate crisis and reaching the goal of a carbon free world.
Michael Van Parys
Michael Van Parys has been working in sustainability since 2002, participating at different projects to foster green architecture, urban planning and neighborhood development. Michael received his architecture degree from University of Southern California. Michael is a licensed architect with focus on materials and methods. He draws upon his experience on complex architecture and project management to provide practical and durable solutions. Michael's consulting experience focuses on building the business case for sustainability and ensuring the recommended assessments and technical support are geared towards a triple bottom line. Michael is an expert in building teams and moderating creative discussion groups.
Natasha Elliot is a Landscape designer, Landscape contractor and educator. Her design practice is rooted in the idea of form following function with sustainability being the leading function. While earning a BFA in sculpture at California State University Long Beach, she explored themes of the human relationship with the outdoor world, particularly the ways in which humans have worked with nature to create the built-environment. After graduating, she studied horticulture, permaculture, and worked in restoration ecology. Today Natasha is the owner of the landscape design firm, Sweet Smiling Landscapes, as well as teaching Landscape Drafting at Santa Barbara City College and is a teacher in a program with the Metropolitan Water District that teaches home-owners principles of water shed wise landscape design.
Samantha Huntley is an emerging professional in sustainability and is always looking for new growth and learning opportunities. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Permaculture Design Certificate, and is studying for the LEED Green Associate Accreditation. She currently works for Duke Energy as an Assistant Project Manager for commercial solar development projects. In her free time, she enjoys being with friends, camping, running, hiking, cycling, canoeing on the bay, crafting/building anything, gardening, and testing her partner’s newest recipes (sourdough bread baker). She has dreams of building a sustainable and regenerative community one day and spends a lot of her free time researching logistics and making plans for the future. She is eager to connect with others in the field and can be reached at email@example.com.
Sasha Rabin fell in love with natural building in 2002, when she began her building career with an apprenticeship at the Cob Cottage Company. Since then, she has taught extensively through organizations that she co-founded, Seven Generations Natural Builders and Vertical Clay, and through collaborations with Yestermorrow Design/Build School, The Canelo Project, Cal-Earth, The Solar Living Institute, and Quail Springs Permaculture. Teaching natural building has brought her as far as the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) Jordan and PRI Kenya. She currently lives in the southern California high-desert at Quail Springs, and runs her own natural building organization, Earthen Shelter. And although she enjoys the act of building, her true passions lie in the teaching and sharing of natural building with others. In recent years her focus has been on advocacy for natural materials to be a more wide-spread and accessible to help with both the issue of houselessness, as well as carbon emissions caused by our built environment.
Trevor Ranlett is a builder on the Central Coast focusing on large infrastructure and commercial projects. He uses his green building credentials to influence decisions where he can in the design process and protect the integrity during the construction process. His passion is in his service to his community. He is a long-time member of the Carpenters Union Local 805.
Eva Hogue grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA & obtained her Biocultural Anthropology degree at Humboldt State University, where she was able to learn about communities and their dwellings through a contextualized, human lens. Her fascination of hand-built homes, community structures, and food systems led her to Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, where she lived in an intentional community and tended a 3-acre garden. To further explore the realm of regenerative and sustainable ways of living, she then worked at Yestermorrow Design/Build School, both as an intern and as a Teacher's Assistant for their Semester in Design/Build Program. She is on a path to figure out what she’s interested in pursuing within the realm of building, design, community growth, food systems, and accessibility to these resources. She is happy to have landed at CCGBC, a space to make connections again on the Central Coast, and learn from the talented folks who are actively working to create a community-minded, sustainable, and forward-thinking built environment.