GreenHome Institute elects new board

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A nonprofit focused on empowering people to make green building and renovation choices elected its first woman chair and added three other board members.

Grand Rapids-based GreenHome Institute (GHI) said last week it made several board appointments this summer as it marked 20 years, including electing Emily Petz as the institute’s first woman board chair.

A sustainable housing consultant with Emily K. Petz LLC in Kalamazoo, Petz brings “the energy of the millennial generation” to her leadership role, GHI said.

“We have an inspiring board and staff who are not only passionate but knowledgeable of sustainable building design and its implementation. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with such a talented team,” Petz said.

GHI also appointed Tony Reames, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability; Brad Keuning, assistant professor of accounting at Aquinas College; and Justin Wheeler, real estate, construction and business attorney at Hilger Hammond, to its board of directors.

Reames directs the Urban Energy Justice Lab at the University of Michigan. He conducts research in the emerging field of energy justice, investigating fair and equitable access to affordable, reliable, efficient and clean energy. Reames said he seeks to understand racial and socioeconomic disparities in the production of residential energy. He also teaches a course on the development of sustainable housing. Reames has a Ph.D. in public administration, a master’s degree in engineering management and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. He is a licensed engineer and a U.S. Army veteran.

Keuning brings 20 years of experience in industry to the classroom. Prior to teaching at Aquinas College, he served as an accountant and financial adviser at Ernst & Young, General Electric and Herman Miller. For the past six years, he has been on the board of directors and finance committee for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, and he has been treasurer for three years.

Wheeler represents clients in matters including complex real estate transactions, offering advice on sales, acquisitions for cash, land contracts and traditional lender financing. His experiences range from single-family residences to large commercial properties. He drafts, reviews and negotiates commercial leases for office, retail and industrial properties. Wheeler’s clients include owners, developers, contractors and subcontractors in construction-related matters.

The 2020-21 GHI board

Petz, board chair

David Dye, vice chair, DFD Architecture, Spring Lake

William Gallmeyer, treasurer, Green Projects Group, Grand Rapids

Kay Rose, secretary, Affordable Housing Advocate, Grand Rapids

Directors-at-large

Daniel Morrison, founder at Collective Idea, Holland

Brandi Vallone, general manager, GreenFIT Homes, Rockford

GreenHome Institute

Founded in 2000, the GreenHome Institute is dedicated to empowering people to make healthy and sustainable choices as they renovate and/or construct the places where they live.

Originally, GHI was established as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for home provider in the Midwest. GHI has used LEED standards, as well as other green certification programs, to certify 10,000 dwellings across the U.S. since its inception. Certification ensures higher standards of energy efficiency, water conservation, durability and the use of construction materials and building practices that foster human health.

Through its weekly Wednesday webinar series, GHI has educated thousands of professionals and homeowners on ways to build more sustainably. In October, GHI will host its first MI Net Zero Energy Residential Conference, which will be held virtually.

GHI is the recipient of multiple grants from the Wege Foundation to support the organization as it works to help with green affordable housing education and certification in Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

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