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​​​​​ ​agg virtual event


More information on the Airports Going Green 2021 speakers will be available soon.

Welcome Remarks:

Jamie L. Rhee, Commissioner​
Chicago Department of Aviation

​​Jamie Rhee

Angela Tovar, Chief Sustainability Officer
C​ity of Chicago

Angela Tower 

Airports Going Green Awards ​​​Presenter:

Aaron J. Frame, Deputy Commissioner of Planning, Noise, & Environment
Chicago Department of Aviation

Aaron J. Frame

Aaron Frame is the Deputy Commissioner of Planning, Noise, & Environment​ for the Chicago Department of Aviation.  In that role, he manages all aspects of environmental compliance, sustainability, noise, and airport planning for Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports.  Frame was hired as an Assistant Commissioner in March 2007 and promoted to Deputy Commissioner in November 2015.  He graduated from Purdue University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering degree, and from the University of Denver in 2002 with a Master of Environmental Policy and Management degree.  Prior to working for the City of Chicago, Mr. Frame worked for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the City and County of Denver.​

Session 1: Environmental, Social, and Governance Frameworks

MODERATOR: Kevin Staples, P.E., LEED AP
Senior Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator
Salt Lake City Department of Airports

Kevin Staples

Kevin Staples is the Senior Sustainability and Environmental Coordinator for the Salt Lake City Department of Airports (SLCDA). He is responsible for the management and implementation of all sustainability related projects. The SLCDA has reached several milestones and goals during the 12 years of his service, including: Sustainability, Energy, and Carbon Management Plans; Stakeholder Engagement Plan; Airport Carbon Accreditation – Level 3; 100% eGSE Mandate; 2021 LEED Gold Terminal and LEED Gold Concourse, and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting. Kevin manages the following areas of sustainability at the airport: air quality; water reduction; alternative fuel use; renewable energy and energy efficiency; and waste reducti​​on. He has approximately 19 years of experience directing and managing sustainability and environmental projects involving state and federal government, private, and large national clients. Kevin has a diverse professional background focused on environmental policy and compliance, data analysis, environmental remediation/modeling, and energy management. Kevin manages the following areas of sustainability at the airport: air quality; water reduction; alternative fuel use; renewable energy and energy efficiency; and waste reduction.? He has approximately 19 years of experience directing and managing sustainability and environmental projects involving state and federal government, private, and large national clients. Kevin has a diverse professional background focused on environmental policy and compliance, data analysis, environmental remediation/modeling, and energy management.​

Bookda Gheisar
Senior Director, Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Port of Seattle

Bookda Gheisar

For more than 30 years, Bookda has fought for racial equity and social justice. She is deeply passionate about creating systemic, transformational change, and has a proven track record of grounding her work within communities that are most impacted by racial and economic inequities. Bookda believes that we all have a responsibility to actively repair the harm done to historically oppressed communities, and to do so, we must work collectively to improve opportunities and outcomes for all, while simultaneously addressing the unique needs of different communities. Before coming to the Port, Bookda served as a Policy Advisor for King County’s Office of Equity and Social Justice. She has also served as the Executive Director of multiple philanthropic organizations, each committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As Senior Director of the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Bookda provides leadership and strategic direction for the Port’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts, both internal and external. She leads a team of racial equity experts to build capacity in departments across the Port and address institutional racism by creating equitable policies, practices, and procedures. Bookda is leading the Port’s efforts to create a culture of inclusivity and belonging, to ensure the fair and intentional distribution of resources and opportunities, and to expand economic development and quality of life for all. Education: • Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Sociology, Utah State University • Master’s degree in Social Work and Social Policy, New Mexico Highland University​

Robert Horton
Vice President, Environmental Affairs
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Robert Horton

Robert is the Vice President of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability for Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Prior to working at DFW, Robert served as a unit dispatcher in the US Marine Corps for eight years and in various key leadership roles with several engineering consulting firms. He brings significant experience in leading innovative transformations including leading the effort for DFW Airport to become the first Carbon Neutral airport in North America.​

Jeffrey Lack
Director, Global Infrastructure & Project Finance
Fitch Ratings

Jeffrey Lack

Jeffrey Lack is a Director in Fitch Ratings’ Global Infrastructure and Project Finance Group (GIG) and the analytical lead for the Austin, TX office. Jeff is also the lead of the airport sector within GIG covering international gateways, hubs, and regional airports. In addition, Jeff has responsibilities for credits spanning the availability payment, toll road, seaport, and sports sectors, including public private partnership (P3) transactions. Since joining Fitch Ratings in 2011, Jeff has analyzed and rated credits such as Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, Atlanta International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Chicago-Midway International Airport, the Grand Parkway in Texas, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, the Purple Line light rail project in Maryland, the Moynihan Station Redevelopment in New York City, and was the lead analyst for the sole rating on the LAX Automated People Mover transaction in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Fitch, Jeff was a Vice President with Alix Partners in its Financial Advisory Services group. Responsibilities included providing litigation consulting and valuation services with a concentration in financial and intellectual property matters. Jeff would complete detailed economic damages analyses in complex commercial disputes and author the correlated expert reports. Jeff received his BSBA in Finance and in International Business from Washington University in St. Louis, graduating magna cum laude. Jeff grew up playing ice hockey on the East Coast, having the opportunity to compete on the 1980 ‘miracle on ice’ rink in Lake Placid, NY and remains an avid NY Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks fan.​

Session 2: ESG - Focus on Finance

MODERATOR: Reshma Soni
City of Chicago

Reshma Soni

Appointed in 2019 to serve as the comptroller for the City of Chicago, Reshma Soni currently leads all accounting and financial reporting for the City and its departments. Reshma is a veteran financial manager of the City of Chicago as well as Cook County. In her previous work as Chief Financial Officer to the Chicago Department of Aviation, she oversaw financial operations for one of the world’s busiest airport systems, comprised of O’Hare and Midway International Airports, with an annual operating budget exceeding $1 billion. Additionally, she helped lead the City’s negotiations and implementation of a new 15-year airline use and lease agreement for O’Hare, which directs an $8.5 billion capital program and a new rates and charges system for all airport tenants. As First Deputy Budget Director for the City, she managed operating, capital and grant budgets totaling $8 billion dollars. She has also held roles as Comptroller for Cook County, and as a compliance manager for the City of Chicago, where she streamlined processes to apply for and become certified under the City’s Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) programs.​

Kris Russell
ESG Practice Leader
Armanino LLP

Kris Russell

An experienced environmental consultant, Kris is recognized globally for implementing sustainability solutions that reduce costs, increase access to capital, improve resilience, enrich employee and community engagement and protect natural resources. As the former Environmental Program Manager of the Dallas Fort Worth Airport, Kris led DFW to become the first carbon-neutral airport in North America and won the 2020 United Nations Global Climate Action Award. While helping clients meet their Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) goals, Kris applies a systems mindset and helps organizations solve problems holistically to improve sustainability and drive positive impacts. His expertise includes creating enterprise sustainability programs that align with strategic plans.​

David Clamage
Senior Leasing Consultant
Generate Capital, Inc.

David Clamage

David J. Clamage serves Generate Capital as a consultant specializing in the disciplines of leasing, energy efficiency and US state and local government financing including the some 14 thousand publicly owned and managed US airports. Generate is a leading diversified sustainable infrastructure company. Generate builds, owns, operates and finances affordable and reliable infrastructure solutions for clean energy, water, waste and transportation. Regarding his firm at Saulsbury Hill Financial, founded in 1976, they are finance specialists in the varied disciplines of Energy Efficiency, Renewables, ESPC1, DG2, DHCP3, Co-Gen, Lighting and related Mechanical/HVAC asset types for the US state and local government markets.​

Patrick McCoy
Deputy Chief, Financial Services
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Patrick McCoy

Patrick is the Deputy Chief, Financial Services at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York. Pat directs the issuance of over $5 to $10 billion in municipal bonds annually under the Authority’s multi credit borrowing structure. He is responsible for the MTA’s $49 billion debt portfolio, which includes variable rate products, derivatives, and fixed rate obligations. Prior to joining the MTA, Pat served as the Executive Director of the New York City Municipal Water Finance Authority, a public benefit corporation of the City of New York that provides capital financing for the City’s water and sewer system.​

Session 3: Decarbonization Discussions

MODERATOR: Bridget Rief, P.E.
Vice President, Planning and Development
Metropolitan Airports Commission

Bridget Rief

In her Vice President role, Bridget Rief leads the planning and development division of the Metropolitan Airport Commission (MAC). She oversees the MAC’s annual capital improvement program and all planning, design, construction, and environmental affairs/compliance at the Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport and six general aviation airports in the Greater MSP region. She has been involved with aviation for nearly 30 years. Involved with all aspects of airport development—from initial planning to environmental review to construction, Bridget is engaged in guiding and influencing the MAC annual capital program, project priorities, and sustainable design for MAC projects. She serves as the co-chair of the MAC’s executive sustainability committee and represents MAC in numerous transportation and transit-related studies in the metropolitan area. Bridget enjoys working with community representatives, airlines, airport tenants, and governmental agencies to enhance relationships and facilitate the successful completion of projects. Bridget is a registered Civil Engineer and lives with her family in Minnesota.​

Scott Cary
Project Manager IV-Research
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Scott Cary

Scott Cary has more than 25 years of experience leading planning, finance, design, acquisition and construction teams for Port, Airport and Department of Defense infrastructure and facilities efforts, worldwide. For the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mr. Cary aligns port and airport programs lab-wide, integrating the unique expertise of a Department of Energy National Laboratory with aviation and maritime needs. Clients currently include multiple large hub airports, port authorities, the FAA, and industry collaboration across the Advance Air Mobility spectrum. Mr. Cary is a licensed professional engineer and LEED accredited professional. ​

Frannie Levar
Director, Environmental Sustainability, Programs
United Airlines

Frannie Levar

Aaron As Director, Environmental Sustainability at United Airlines, Frannie is responsible for leading the development and implementation of environmental requirements and sustainability initiatives as part of United's overall global environmental strategy. She leads a team of professionals and technical experts focusing on a variety of environmental and sustainability programs and initiatives with the objective of driving progress towards meeting United's environmental goals. This portfolio supports United’s pledge of being 100% Green by 2050. Frannie is a business leader focused on not only addressing and mitigating environmental risks and reducing long-term liability, but also advancing strategic initiatives with a focus on environmental sustainability and resiliency. With more than 15 years of experience, Frannie has worked in a wide range of business and industry sectors across the country, leading various cross-functional initiatives that yield environmental and operational benefits. Frannie has earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with a concentration on environmental science from St. Norbert College. She currently resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband and two small children, who are her daily reminders that we must do what is right in order to address the challenge of climate change and provide younger generations with an opportunity to thrive. ​

Grace Rink
Chief Climate Officer
City and County of Denver

Grace Rink

Grace Rink is the Chief Climate Officer for the City and County of Denver and Executive Director of its Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency. This new office, created in 2020, manages the city’s ambitious climate action and sustainability goals and promotes policies and programs that strengthen Denver's economic vitality. Denver voters approved a special sales tax to provide this office with up to $40M per year to implement projects such as new solar installations, electrifying buildings, and expansive community engagement programs. Prior to joining Denver in 2020, Grace enjoyed a long career in Chicago with Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department Environment, AECOM, and Quercus Consulting. ​

Marion Town
Director, Climate & Environment
Vancouver International Airport Authority

Marion Town

Marion Town, MCIP, RPP Marion joined the Airport Authority in 2014 and leads an innovative team of professionals working to reduce the airport’s environmental footprint. At YVR, Marion is fully supported by a Board of Directors and Executive team that ensures that high environmental standards are maintained and significant environmental and accreditation programs such as Salmon Safe and Airport Carbon Accreditation are successfully implemented. Marion has over thirty years of experience in government and consulting, working on a broad range of projects for municipal, provincial, federal governments as well as private organizations. A professional planner, her experience in environmental assessment, energy and emissions planning, waste management, sustainable transportation, fisheries renewal, sustainability and collaborative governance has all been applicable to her work at YVR. ​

Session 4: Eyes on Electrification

Environmental Affairs Manager
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

Chad Reese

Chad is an Environmental Affairs Manager at the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the agency that manages the day-to-day operations of San Diego International Airport (SAN). He currently manages projects and policy related to the Airport Authority’s Sustainability Management Program including air quality and emissions, transportation electrification, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and waste reduction. He is also involved in the management of The Good Traveler, a carbon offset program developed and owned by the Airport Authority.​

Alison Bird
Manager, Environmental Engineering
Federal Express Corporation

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​Alison is a Manager of Environmental Engineering at FedEx Express. At FedEx, Alison has over twenty years of experience implementing environmental and technical solutions. She has industry experience in shipping and transportation logistics, supply chain management, strategic planning, and sustainable solutions.​

Skye Carapetyan
Team Member
Beta Technologies

Skye Carapetyan

Skye graduated from Jacksonville University with B.S. in Aviation Operations and Management and has led teams in aviation and electric vehicle (EV) sectors. Skye is passionate about aviation and clean energy and has been honored to contribute to teams at companies large and small that are making a difference in both areas. Skye is a commercial pilot who has flown Embraer regional jets for nearly 5 years as a First Officer and when promoted Captain, flew Canadair CRJ 700s. He held roles as an Adjunct Professor and certified flight instructor (CFI), CFII, MEI at Jacksonville University. Skye served as VP for a large transportation and logistics firm where he led the sales team in all western states before ultimately moving to the EV sector. As National Sales Director for an EV startup, Skye worked with the State of California, various utilities, and numerous municipalities to further the adoption of clean transportation and EV infrastructure. Skye joined BETA in the summer of 2021 and is focused on building out the EV charging infrastructure across the United States to advance BETA’s development of ALIA, a zero-emissions aircraft. ​

EJ Klock-McCook
Rocky Mountain Institute

EJ Klock-McCook

E.J. joined RMI in 2014 and is part of the Carbon-Free Mobility team. He leads several initiatives including the Mobility Innovation Lab—designed to unlock innovative solutions through multi-stakeholder convening—and passenger mobility focused on bus and TNC electrification. He also has expertise related to the intersection of electric utilities, regulation, rate design and vehicle electrification. Current projects include strategic support for the complete electrification of Bermuda’s public bus fleet, and data-driven charging infrastructure optimization for TNC electrification. Previously, EJ was the program manager for the 2019 MIL Project Accelerator, which brought together 70 participants, faculty, and facilitators for a 4-day intensive work session designed to accelerate 6 transportation electrification projects from around the country. ​

Amy Nagengast, PhD, PE
Energy Program Manager
San Francisco International Airport

Amy Nagengast

Amy currently serves as SFO’s first Energy Program Manager where she helps bridge energy-related activities across facilities, engineering, and policy departments to foster knowledge sharing, develops capital and maintenance projects to drive towards SFO’s Zero Net Energy strategic goals, and manages campus utility consumption and reporting. Amy has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Ph.D. focusing on the interdisciplinary area of sustainable design from Carnegie Mellon University. Amy has also volunteered her time as a mentor for an all-female robotics team based in San Francisco, a technical advisory group member for LEED, and an appointee for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee. ​