2022 Board of Directors
President: 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.
VP of Finance: Brandon Kaysen
An educator and green building professional, Brandon Kaysen is the Energy Manager for the County of Santa Barbara. Brandon is also a lecturer at UC Santa Barbara where he teaches about green building principals through the LEED for Existing Buildings, Operations & Maintenance (EBO&M) Reference Guide. With over 12 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 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.
Chief Operating Officer: Samantha Huntley
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.
Board Member: 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.
VP Diversity & Inclusion: Amanda Martin-Behrendtsen
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.
VP Strategic Partnerships: Brian Johnson
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.
Mari is the Client Relations & Sustainability Manager at Allen Construction, a recognized leader in green building practices, and one of their core values is to build homes that are healthy, comfortable, durable, and energy and water efficient. She has her Master’s degree in Construction Management and Technology with an emphasis in sustainability from Arizona State University. Prior to starting at Allen Construction, she worked on the development of a 60-acre LEED-platinum certified, master-planned community in the heart of Honolulu. Mari hopes to collaborate with industry partners to continue improving our collective carbon footprint and work towards building a more sustainable future.
Rachel Albritton is a talented draftsperson at Appleton Partners LLP and serves as the executive director’s assistant at the American Institute of Architects Santa Barbara. Her journey began in Northern California and led her to Santa Barbara, where she pursued her education at the University of California Santa Barbara. In 2022, Rachel proudly earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Architectural History with a specialization in Architecture and the Environment. Her deep passion for history has fueled her commitment to a career in traditional architecture, enriched by her dedication to sustainability and environmental consciousness in the field.Rachel's impact reaches beyond her professional roles. She actively contributes to her community by serving on the AIA Advocacy Committee and the Emerging Professional’s Committee. Additionally, she's involved in the Rapid Rehousing Program, advocating for equitable and accessible housing.
Danny Ettelson is Energy Projects Manager at Community Environmental Council in Santa Barbara. There, he carries out programs and projects to accelerate the Central Coast's efforts to address climate change. These projects focus on building energy efficiency, renewable energy, and transportation electrification. Danny is a California native with a passion for bringing innovative and inclusive solutions for the climate crisis to fruition on the Central Coast. He holds a master's degree in Environmental Science and Management from the UCSB Bren School with a specialization in Energy and Climate. He and his fiance, who happens to be a local architect, love the Central Coast and its wonderful combination of architectural excellence and environmental activism.
Dave Intner, with Southern California Edition's Building Electrification and Codes & Standards team, is a Licensed Architect, LEED AP, and Certified Energy Manager. A graduate of Cal Poly SLO, Dave provides education and outreach supporting Building Decarbonization and Energy Code Compliance Improvement. He is a board member with USGBC Los Angeles and has served on the LEED Energy and Atmosphere Technical Advisory Group (EA-TAG). He is a Past President of AIA Ventura County and serves on the statewide AIA Committee on the Environment.
Ian has been in the building industry for the past 10 years at varying degrees, working in carpentry and property management. He acquired his bachelor’s in environmental studies with an emphasis in Energy & Sustainability from UC Santa Barbara in 2018. Ian now works closely with 3C-REN's Building Performance Training & Energy Code Connect Programs to provide stellar educational opportunities and code support for the Central Coast’s workforce.
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.
Santa Barbara Regional Council Liaison: Natasha Elliott
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.
Kendra Butters is a skilled, passive house certified interior designer at Tri County Office Furniture and previous Director of Sustainability at Whitman Architectural Design. Born and raised in Ventura County, she received her bachelor’s degree in political science and with a minor in economics at San Francisco State University and has continued her education in interior design at UCLA and architecture and design at Sci-Arc. Her love and passion for sustainability and design has continued to influence her work with clients such as Keller Williams, Goodwill Industries International Inc., YMCA, Taft Electric, and Oxnard and Ventura Unified School Districts. Her community outreach expands beyond the CCGBC with her involvement in numerous organizations such as Women in Design, Poison Free Agoura, and AIA Ventura.
Director of Communications: Christy Bates
Christy Bates is a California native who has lived on the Central Coast for fifteen years. She has worked in marketing and communications for twenty-five years and is a local real estate agent working with developers implementing baseline green building strategies to increase the number of certified green homes on the Central Coast. Christy is passionate about the environment and dedicated to protecting the beaches, reducing the amount of plastics in the marine environment and the sustainability of clean water – our planets most precious resource. Christy is excited to pursue her passion for protecting our natural environment for future generations through the work that the CCGBC does and fostering new connections within the environmental community.
Rudy De La O - Green Building Initiative Chair
Rudy De La O has worked in the A/E/C industry for over 15 years. In 2008 he earned designation as a LEED AP, and since has worked to integrate green building design and construction methods into numerous projects of various scope, scale, and use. Currently, he works as a Project Director with a consulting firm focusing on mixed-use, hospitality, commercial, and multifamily affordable housing projects. Born and raised in Ventura, Rudy is an alum of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He obtained a Masters in Business Administration at the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University, and earned a Certificate in Sustainable Capitalism and ESG through Berkeley Law, Executive Education. Social resiliency through mentorship is a priority for Rudy. Teaming with various nonprofits, he has provided college and career guidance for students from underrepresented communities, undergraduates pursuing careers in sustainability, and by serving as a board member for youth athletics.
Designations: LEED AP BD+C, LEED Rater, True Advisor, ISSP Sustainability Excellence Associate, Fitwel Ambassador, GreenPoint Advisor, EcoDistricts AP, California Sustainable Winegrowing Ambassador.