Green Cities Florida Host Committee |

Green Cities Florida Host Committee

Integral to making Green Cities™ Florida a success is the participation of local and regional leaders in Florida who are working to build a green economy. The Green Cities™ Florida Host Committee is comprised of leaders in business, government, and community relations. If you are one of these leaders we invite you to join our team as a host committee member to ensure Green Cities™ reflects the needs and opportunities for a sustainable Florida.

Experts and advocates for the following industry sectors are welcomed:

  • Government
  • Product manufacturers
  • Building design and construction
  • Health care
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Agriculture
  • Finance
  • Energy
  • Technology
  • Transportation
  • Economic Development

For more information and the Host Committee contact: Sam Ruark, Regional Director and Host Committee Chair.

Current Host Committee Members

Ali Linman

Special Event Coordinator, Kissimmee Parks and Recreation

Ali graduated in 2003 from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota where she majored in physical education and sports science with a minor in human relations. Since moving to Florida in 2005, Ali pursued a career in special events where she fell in love with the industry. She is currently the Special Event Coordinator for the City of Kissimmee Parks and Recreation Department.

Amy Dinsmore

Director of Business Development, Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission

As Director of Business Development Marketing, Amy Edge Dinsmore is charged with managing efforts to market the region to retain, grow and recruit high-wage, high-skill companies. She also focuses specifically on CleanTech industry development, working to grow this sector in Metro Orlando by attracting new companies to the area and working with local companies to expand their operations.

Christian Oleck

Economic Development Manager/Chairman, Green Works Orlando Sustainability Team

Mr, OIeck is an Economic Development Manager for the City of Orlando. He currently serves as the Chairman of Mayor Dyer’s Green Works Orlando Sustainability Team. He assists the Director of Economic Development in overseeing and implementing the department budget of over $32 million.

Duane De Freese

Adjunct Professor, Biology Department, University of Central Florida

Dr. De Freese is a marine biologist with over two decades of coastal scientific research, education and conservation experience in Florida. During that time, he has served as the first director of Brevard County’s $55 million Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (1991-1998); the first Vice President of Florida Research for Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (1998-2008) and in 2009, De Freese completed a 12-month appointment as a Visiting Associate Scientist at University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, where he was responsible for developing a strategic vision for a coastal sustainability science initiative at UCF that integrated knowledge from the natural sciences, social sciences, health sciences and management.

Jennifer Szaro

Jennifer Szaro is a featured speaker.  Please see her speaker bio for more information.

Kara Fleharty Schultz

Director of Development, College of Nursing, UCF Foundation, Inc.

Kara is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN where she earned undergraduate degrees in Business and Organizational Communication. Following her graduation in 1996, she moved to Kumamoto, Japan and taught conversational English at the elementary and junior high level for three years as part of the JET Programme. While in Japan, she studied graphic design as a student of the Tomoeda Graphic Design School, and volunteered with Earth Greenery Activities Japan (EGAJ). EGAJ is a non-profit organziation dedicated to educate and implement organic farming techniques in Uto-city, Japan and Dodoma, Tanzania.

Karen Green

Program Manager, Walt Disney World Co

Karen Green, Program Manager for Environmental Initiatives at the Walt Disney World Resort, began her Disney career in 1975 working in Food and Beverage, Merchandise and Front Office Operations before moving to the Environmental Initiatives Department in 1996.

Her primary responsibilities in the Environmental Initiatives Department involve organizing, facilitating and coaching Environmental Circles of Excellence for several operating areas including Disney’s 24 Florida hotels.

Lori Cunniff

Lori Cunniff is a featured speaker.  Please see her speaker bio for more information.

Mark Brandenburg

C.E., P.W.S.

Associate, Miller Legg

As a Regional Manager of Environmental Services, Mr. Brandenburg is responsible for managing and performing investigations on biological and ecological impacts affecting the firm’s public and private projects. This includes field evaluations, assessments, recommendations, and report writing. Specific responsibilities include: wetland determination and delineation, wetland mitigation design and monitoring, environmental permitting, threatened and endangered species surveys and assessments, benthic surveys, coral, seagrass, and mangrove surveys and monitoring. Mr. Brandenburg also is an Associate of the firm.

Michael Cragnolin

The Salon People/Aveda

Michael Wallander

Michael Wallander is a featured speaker.  Please see his speaker bio for more information.

Nana Faulkner


Principal Consultant, Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI)

Nana Faulkner, PG, CHMM is a Principal Consultant with PSI for the Advanced Environmental Service Group. Ms. Faulkner has over 27 years of experience in the environmental industry, including 20 years with PSI, and is responsible for providing senior technical coordination for assessments and remediation projects throughout the Southeast United States.

Tim Center

Michael Wallander is a featured speaker.  Please see his speaker bio for more information.

Yann Brandt

Vice President, Advanced Green Technologies

As Co- Founder of Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), Mr. Brandt identifies and develops the technologies and partnerships that help the company succeed. His responsibilities oversee product development, engineering design, and government policy. Earlier in his career Mr. Brandt lead the engineering division at Advanced Roofing, including roofing related engineering, design and quality assurance. He developed an in house engineering department specializing in hurricane resistant roofing system design. Mr. Brandt holds a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The JohnsHopkinsUniversity.