Dr. Robert Garcia, 38, is an educator and the 28th Mayor of Long Beach. Mayor Garcia is the youngest mayor of any big city in America and has taken a leadership role in economic development, education, and investing in technology.
Mayor Garcia has been a member of the public policy and communications faculty at the University of Southern California, and taught Communication Studies at both California State University, Long Beach and Long Beach City College. His passion for education led him to pursue a Doctorate in Higher Education. Mayor Garcia also holds a Masters Degree in Communication Management from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from California State University, Long Beach.
Adelia Sandoval is the Cultural and Spiritual Director for the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians/the Acjachemen Nation, the Indigenous People of Orange County, California. She is an ordained minister. Her ministry, Song of the Earth, is a Native American healing service held in outdoor sanctuaries. Sandoval has been a Trustee on the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative, a global interfaith organization that promotes peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. She is on the Central Orange County Interfaith Council, serving as Vice President. She is an advisor to various interfaith and environmental groups in Orange County. Sandoval shares her Acjachemen culture through art, writing, storytelling and singing.
The Second California Adaptation Forum will kick off with a distinguished and diverse group of climate leaders who will share their perspectives on the growing importance of climate-adaptation issues surrounding our state’s natural resources – from the Sierra forests to our ocean and rivers and all of the agriculture in between. They will share their experiences and insights on how these dynamics are relevant to both urban and rural communities, and are essential to meeting our shared climate-adaptation goals.
Louis Blumberg is the Director of the Climate Change Program at the California chapter of the Nature Conservancy, leading a multidisciplinary team promoting nature-based solutions to climate change and developing methods for human and natural communities to adapt to its impacts.
Mr. Blumberg joined The Nature Conservancy in 2004 and has been instrumental in promoting standards-based, forest carbon project policy in California, working with the Climate Action Reserve and its predecessor, the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) in the development of Forest Project Protocols for use in the voluntary carbon market and promoting them before the California Air Resources Board as part of its implementation of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 – AB 32.
Ellie Cohen, President and CEO of Point Blue Conservation Science since 1999, is a leader in catalyzing collaborative, nature-based solutions to climate change. She and Point Blue’s 140+ scientists work hand-in-hand with public and private resource managers, on land and at sea, to reduce the impacts of environmental change and promote climate-smart conservation for wildlife and people.
Ellie is Immediate Past Chair and Steering Committee member of the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative (californialcc.org), is co-founder of the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium (baeccc.org), represents Point Blue on the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (arccacalifornia.org), and is Past Chair of the Central Valley Joint Venture (centralvalleyjointventure.org). She is also an invited member of the National Wildlife Federation’s Climate-Smart Conservation Team (nwf.org) and serves on the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture’s Executive Committee (sfbayjv.org).
Joe Hostler is an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Yurok Tribe Environmental Program (YTEP) located along the lower Klamath River in northwest California. He’s an enrolled Member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon with additional ancestory from the Tolowa, Yurok, and Karuk Tribes of NW California. He is a Traditional Cultural Practioner and an Indigenous Scientist who utilizes Western Science with Traditional Ecological Knoweledge to help protect the health of the people, plants, animals, and environment for the benefit of current and future generations. Joe takes pride in gathering knowledge from tribal elders and passing this knowledge onto Tribal youth. Some of his work for the Yurok Tribe, which is California’s largest tribe, includes: Climate Adaptation Planning and contributing to the Tribe’s major initiatives to remove 4 major Klamath River dams, restore ancient land management practices, and help the Tribe prepare for climate impacts on tribal culture. He serves on the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s (NPLCC) Steering Committee, Tribal Committee and Science/Traditional Ecological Knowledge Sub-Committee and is also a Member of the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup.
Steve is President of Sierra Business Council and one of its founding members. Over the last 20 years Sierra Business Council has leveraged more than $100 million of investment in the Sierra Nevada and its communities through community and public-private partnerships. Sierra Business Council also manages the Sierra Small Business Development Center focusing on advancing sustainable business practices and linking new and expanding businesses to climate mitigation and adaptation funding. Steve manages SBC’s staff and programmatic development.
Before founding Climate Resolve, Jonathan Parfrey served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (2008-2013). Jonathan is also the immediate past-president of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He is a founder and Vice Chair of CicLAvia, the popular street event, as well as the founder of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. He served as director of the GREEN LA Coalition (2007-2011), and as the Los Angeles director of Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility (1994 to 2007). Prior to that, Jonathan founded and directed the Orange County Catholic Worker (1987-1993). He was appointed to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Environmental Policy Team in 2003.
Climate change affects all of us, wherever we live, work and raise our families. Our afternoon sessions begin with a keynote address and a plenary panel of community leaders from around the state who work every day for equity and environmental justice for California’s most vulnerable. Our speakers will offer their perspectives on the particular burdens faced by California’s at-risk communities, and the critical importance of bringing everyone to the table in this movement.
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis was sworn in as Los Angeles County Supervisor for the First District of Los Angeles County on December 1, 2014.
Prior to becoming Supervisor she served as Secretary of Labor. Supervisor Solis was confirmed on February 24, 2009, becoming the first Latina to serve in the United States Cabinet. Before that, Supervisor Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in California, a position she held from 2001 to 2009.
In the Congress, Supervisor Solis’ priorities included expanding access to affordable health care, protecting the environment, and improving the lives of working families. A recognized leader on clean energy jobs, she authored the Green Jobs Act which provided funding for “green” collar job training for veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals in families under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
Katie Valenzuela Garcia is Principal for Valenzuela Garcia Consulting, a Sacramento-based firm pursuing environmental justice by partnering with communities and advocates to advance systems change. Before starting her firm, Katie held positions at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change, Public Advocates, Inc., the Sacramento Housing Alliance’s Coalition on Regional Equity, Ubuntu Green, and Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails. In 2015 she was appointed to the California Office of Health Equity’s Advisory Committee and the California Air Resources Board’s AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. Katie holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Community Development from UC Davis.
Veronica Garibay is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. Based in the agriculturally rich San Joaquin and East Coachella Valleys Leadership Counsel works alongside the most impacted communities to advocate for sound policy and eradicate injustice to secure equal access to opportunity regardless of wealth, race, income, and place. Areas of focus include land use, natural resources, environmental justice, municipal services, civil rights and government transparency. Prior to launching Leadership Counsel, Veronica was the Community Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Community Equity Initiative (CEI), a program of California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA).
Ms. Garibay led CRLA’s advocacy efforts in the San Joaquin Valley to ensure equitable land use planning in rural communities, access to basic services such as safe and affordable drinking water and waste water service, and access to public transit. Veronica leads Leadership Counsel’s SB 375 regional and state-wide advocacy efforts. Her work has also focused on developing and maintaining meaningful community engagement in land use and investment decisions at the state, regional and local levels. Veronica holds a B.A in Law and Society and Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Public Administration from California State University, Fresno.
Diane is one of the founders of EHC and has been its Executive Director since 1982. She holds a Masters degree in Social Work with an emphasis on public policy and community organizing. As a major force behind the environmental justice movement, Diane has served on international, national, state, and regional advisory boards. In 2009, President Obama appointed her to the Joint Public Advisory Committee for the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation. In July 2008 Diane received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for her “creative and inspirational leadership benefiting the people of California.”
Miya has an extensive background in community organizing, campaign strategy, leadership development and training, organizational development, and fundraising, and a long history of working in the environmental justice movement. In her twenties she was the executive director of the largest student environmental network in the US, the Student Environmental Action Coalition, SEAC, and worked broadly in international environment and development networks organizing for environmental and economic justice. Miya was a participant in the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in 1991, and was on the drafting committee of the original Principles of Environmental Justice, a defining document for the environmental justice movement.
Climate adaptation has momentum. It’s up to us to keep it going in California and ensure that we continue our progress in leading the world and making a real difference. We will send you home inspired that your work is moving society toward a more sustainable future, renewed in facing the challenges of the work ahead, and energized by the prospects of forging new and stronger relationships with partners who will help us all meet our goals for healthy, resilient communities and prosperous, equitable economies across California and beyond. Through a partnership with the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, we will present the first ever Regional Adaptation Leadership Award to one exceptional individual nominated from within our community. Following the award presentation, distinguished speakers will share their personal commitment and professional successes in building this movement among diverse stakeholders, highlighting how we can all be empowered to be leaders and change agents, and together build a more resilient, healthy and equitable California.
Kate Meis has served as the Executive Director of the Local Government Commission since 2013. The LGC is nationally recognized nonprofit connecting local leaders, implementing innovative solutions and advancing smart-growth policies.
Kate has been recognized for her climate-change work by the Chronicle of Philanthropy as one of the nation’s “40 under 40 Young Leaders Who Are Solving the Problems of Today – and Tomorrow.”
Kate has helped launch many of the LGC’s pioneering programs, including the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative, the California Adaptation Forum, CivicSpark and the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation.
Robin Guenther is Principal of Perkins+Will and Senior Advisor to the non-profit Health Care Without Harm. Robin works at the intersection of health care architecture, health and sustainable policy and participates in a wide range of leading edge advocacy initiatives while continuing to practice.Healthcare Design magazine named her the “#1 Most Influential Designer in Healthcare” in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Fast Company included her as one of the “100 most creative people in business.” She was a TEDMED 2014 speaker and keynoted the 2014 AIA National Convention. She co-coordinated the Green Guide for Health Care, served on the LEED for Healthcare committee, and co-authored “Sustainable Healthcare Architecture.” She was a founding member of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative, and coauthored the 2014 US Dept of Health and Human Services Sustainable and Resilient Healthcare Infrastructure Toolkit.
Matt Petersen was named Chief Sustainability officer by Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles. As the first ever CSO for the City of LA, Matt is focused on helping Mayor Garcetti create 20,000 green jobs in LA, create a more sustainable and livable city and neighborhoods, and hold every city department responsible for cleaner air and water.
Over many years, Petersen has called not only for corporations and elected officials to act to combat climate change and create more sustainable communities, but for individuals to become “citizen entrepreneurs” and take responsibility for a corner for their world. The search for “citizen entrepreneurs” is emerging as a major initiative within Global Green, leading to support and recognition of individuals across the United States who are improving their communities. Petersen also created partnerships with major American companies to support the organization’s efforts, including Starbucks as among the very first major U.S. corporations to call for action on climate change.
Andrea Marr is the VP of Energy Services at Regatta Solutions. She is responsible for energy management programs including energy monitoring, auditing and analysis at facilities ranging from hospitals to breweries.
Ms. Marr comes to Regatta Solutions from Wedge Consulting, an energy management company she founded. Prior to starting Wedge, Andrea worked for McKinstry as a program manager and commissioning engineer, overseeing the implementation of energy efficiency projects for clients including the California Institute of Technology. Andrea has also spent time in Nicaragua, designing and installing wind turbines and solar panels in rural communities without access to the national electric grid. As a active member of the Truman National Security Project, Andrea writes and speaks about energy from the perspective of both an industry insider and as a veteran.