Douglas Melnick, Chairman | Chief Sustainability Officer, City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability
Douglas Melnick, AICP, CNU-A, was named San Antonio’s first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) in March 2014. As the City’s CSO, Doug is responsible for the overall leadership of the Office of Sustainability, as well as the City’s sustainability efforts & environmental policy. Doug is a dedicated public servant who believes that leadership is about vision, cooperation and creating a work environment that challenges and empowers all staff to create and problem solve to plan for the future.
Mr. Melnick came to us from the City of Albany, New York where he served as the Director of Planning and concurrently as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Energy & Sustainability. He worked to make the City of Albany, the Capital of New York State, a better community through the integration of all aspects of municipal operations with the concept of sustainability. He succeeded by combining vision, innovation, communication and a firm understanding of local government with active engagement of all sectors of the community.
He has previously served as the Executive Director of the Albany County Land Conservancy and as an Urban Planner with the Capital District Community Gardens.
Maria Garcia | Vice President of Community Engagement, CPS Energy
As Vice President of Community Engagement, Maria Garcia oversees CPS Energy’s community programs, which includes the Customer Response Unit (CRU), Community Outreach and the Casa Verde weatherization program.
Maria Garcia has been with CPS Energy since 1999, serving in a variety of positions specific to contract services and procurement. In 2009, she led the utility’s creation of Casa Verde SA, which provides weatherization services to low-income families.
Scott Smith is President and Founder of EnSquared Consulting. He has over thirty years of management experience in environmental planning and compliance, including working for thirty-two years at CPS Energy, the largest municipally owned energy company in the nation providing both gas and electricity.
In 1979, Scott Smith joined CPS as an environmental analyst and quickly progressed through the department, rising to Director of the Environmental Planning and Compliance Department in 2005, the position he held upon retiring in March of 2011. Highlights of accomplishments at CPS include managing the development of CPS’ electric transmission line siting and routing process, co-chairing the CPS Strategic Energy Planning Committee, co-founding the CPS Solar Energy Committee, and founding and chairing the CPS Energy Sustainability Council. In 2009, the San Antonio Business Journal awarded him the Going Green Award for Leadership in the Public Sector.
Jason is owner of Go Smart Solar Previously. As the Renewable Energy Lead for a leading global engineering firm, he created and led their global renewable energy and sustainability business practices. He is passionate about his family, which includes his wife and two children in elementary school, and developing economically responsible solar models which will lead to the mass adoption of solar. He earned his BS in Civil/Environmental Engineering from the University of Texas and his MS in Technology Commercialization from the Red McCombs School of Business IC2 department. He also is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas.
Alison Buck | VIA Metropolitan Transit
Al Suarez | Mayor, City of Converse
Mayor Al Suarez was born in San Antonio, Texas, a graduate of Brackenridge High School, served in the United States Air Force for 20 ½ years as an Air Traffic Controller. Participated in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Currently employed with the Bexar County Criminal District Courts Adult Probation Department. Holds an Associate’s degree in Airway Science, Associate’s Degree in Security Administration, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Management & Administration. Elected to Converse City Council in May 2006 and Mayor of Converse in May 2007, re-elected to a third term as Mayor in May 2011. Chairman of the Greater Bexar County Council of Cities, Chairman of the Northeast Partnership for Economic Development, Executive Member for the Bexar County Watershed Management Committee of Seven, and Executive Member for Build San Antonio Green. Serves as a Randolph AFB Honorary Commander, a member of the American Legion Post 593, and member of St Monica Catholic Church.
Leveraging her background in mechanical engineering, Heather Gayle Holdridge assists all Lake|Flato project teams in establishing achievable sustainability goals by devising strategies and establishing methods and systems to realize those goals under programs such as LEED and Living Building Challenge. Heather works closely with design teams to evaluate energy efficient systems and performs energy modeling to help each team understand the implications of their decisions throughout the design process.