City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office Staff Members in front of Lake Michigan

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The Environmental Collaboration Office, or ECO, strives to make Milwaukee a world class eco-city. ECO develops practical and racially equitable solutions that improve people’s lives and the economy while working to protect and restore the natural ecosystems that support our long-term prosperity.  We collaborate with the community, develop global partnerships, offer award-winning programs, and implement the ReFresh Milwaukee sustainability plan. We are also managing development of the forthcoming Climate and Equity Plan.

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City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office Staff Members in front of Lake Michigan


Erick ShaCity of Milwaukee Sustainability Director Erick Shambargermbarger, Director 

Erick Shambarger is the Director of Environmental Sustainability for the City of Milwaukee, where he leads the Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO). He oversees implementation of the Refresh Milwaukee sustainability plan and coordinates Milwaukee's involvement with local, national and global partnerships on environmental sustainability. He oversees all of ECO's programs, including the Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) program, the Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge, Water Centric City initiative, the Eco-Neighborhoods Initaitve and green infrastructure work. He led development of the City's Green Infrastructure Plan that was adopted in 2019 and is currently the Project Manager for the forthcoming Climate and Equity Plan. He also negotiated the City's largest solar energy project to date, a 2.25MW solar system on a city-owned landfill. He also launched Wisconsin's first Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that has financed over $38m in projects in the City. He is also co-founder of the Wisconsin Local Government Climate Coalition (WLGCC.org). Prior to his current role, he served as City Economist in the City’s Budget and Management Division. He holds a Masters of Public Affairs degree from the University of Wisconsin and certificates in Water Technology; Energy Analysis and Policy; and Business Communications.

 

Pamela Ritger de la Rosa, ECO Environmental Sustainability Program Manager

Pamela Ritger de la Rosa, Environmental Sustainability Program Manager

Pam leads efforts to reduce energy use in City of Milwaukee-owned buildings, administers the PACE Program, and supports the Better Building Challenge, among other efforts to advance building energy efficiency and sustainability. She also works on expanding the electric vehicle charging network in the City of Milwaukee and advancing the transition of municipal fleets to electric and other low emissions vehicles. As a member of the City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity since 2019, Pam looks forward to helping implement many recommendations of the Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan in this role. Pam is joining ECO after more than 8 years with Clean Wisconsin, the state’s oldest and largest environmental non-profit advocacy organization, where she held the title of Milwaukee Program Director and Staff Attorney. Pam is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and completed a certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. Pam is also on the Advisory Board of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and is an active member of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association.

 

Alexis Laverdiere, ECO Sustainability Program Coordinator

Alexis Laverdiere, Environmental Sustainability Program Coordinator

Alexis Laverdiere coordinates the City of Milwaukee's Water Centric City Initiative, which includes oversight of the City's Green Infrastructure Plan, and oversees ECO's communication efforts. Previously, she served as Communication Coordinator and Staff Assistant for Mayor Cavalier Johnson and former Mayor Tom Barrett where she coordinated daily virtual and in-person media events, press materials, social media, web content, and community outreach. Alexis earned her master's degree in Corporate Communication and bachelor's degree in Public Relations from Marquette University. She is currently working toward a master's degree in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University. Alexis serves on the Marketing Committee for Lakeshore State Park and as Marketing & Communications Chair for the City of Milwaukee's Career Development Employee Resource Group.

 

Mia Rudolph-Schulta, ECO-Neighborhood CoordinatorMia Rudolph-Schulta, Environmental Sustainability Program Coordinator

Mia Rudolph-Schulta sustains ECO’s neighborhood-centric programs like HOME GR/OWN which has transformed over 20 vacant lots into pocket parks and orchards around Milwaukee. She also supports residents across the city in empowering their neighborhoods to become more environmentally friendly through the ECO-Neighborhood Initiative. As a program coordinator focused on collaborating with the community, Mia incorporates her experiences as a program manager for local non-profit WaterMarks and 18 years working with adults and youth in a variety of roles. Mia’s passion for building a sustainable, equitable, and resilient City of Milwaukee was nurtured through her studies at UW-Milwaukee, where she received her master's degree in Public Health and bachelor's degree in Women’s and Gender Studies and a certificate in LGBT Studies.

 

Jeremy Belot, Sustainability Program CoordinatorJeremy Belot, Environmental Sustainability Program Coordinator

Jeremy coordinates the City of Milwaukee’s residential energy efficiency loan program, Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2), along with the City of Milwaukee’s solar program, Milwaukee Shines, to offer opportunities for City of Milwaukee property owners to save energy and money while reducing their environmental impact. He also oversees the office’s effort to integrate federally funded energy efficiency improvements with lead remediation work on residential properties. Jeremy transferred to ECO after 5 years as a Grants Compliance Monitor in the City’s Community Development Grants Administration Office and 2 years as Neighborhood Improvement Project Inspector in the Department of Neighborhood Services. Prior to being with the City, Jeremy worked for 11 years for Layton Blvd West Neighbors as a Project Manager and then Director of Real Estate Development. After analyzing foreclosure data in 2008, he created the Turnkey Renovation Program which utilizes Federal funding to acquire, rehab and sell blighted foreclosures while focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, restoration of craftmanship and green infrastructure to provide move-in ready homes for low to moderate income households.

 

Business Finance Officer Alex JoinesAlex Joines, Business Finance Officer

Alex Joines is responsible for planning, monitoring, and expending funds from various grant sources as well as ensuring reliable financial reporting and compliance. Although Alex describes himself as a “Big-Picture” accountant, his high attention to detail allows him to take a telescopic lens to financial documents, contracts, or budgets in order to effectively communicate the facts to the ECO team and other City-wide decision-makers. Alex has taken a keen interest in Net-Zero Modular Housing construction as well as expanding the City’s energy efficiency programs. Prior to joining ECO, Alex worked in the Office of the Comptroller as an Accounting Specialist managing various City operating grants. He holds a dual degree in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of Illinois.

 

Deneine Powell, FUSE Executive Fellow

Deneine Powell, FUSE Corps Executive Fellow

Deneine Powell is engaging the public on the forthcoming Climate and Equity Plan and supporting its adoption through the City's Common Council and County Board. Working with local partners, she will conduct community engagement and implement priority recommendations from the Climate and Equity Plan. Deneine believes that communities need to adopt a human-centered approach to safeguard the rights of vulnerable people and to share the benefits and burdens of the climate crisis equitably. Prior to joining FUSE, Deneine was the National Director of Path to Positive Communities—a program of ecoAmerica. In this capacity, she provided training, capacity building, program support, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities for local and regional leaders to elevate the benefits that climate solutions bring people and their communities. She inspires civic leaders and residents to support solutions at local, regional, and national levels. Deneine also served as the Executive Director for Groundwork Milwaukee, an organization devoted to transforming the natural and built environment of low-resource communities—working at the intersection of the environment, equity, and civic engagement. Deneine holds a MS in Organizational Leadership from Marian University, and a BA from the University of Minnesota. 


James Jedibudiah, Consultant James Jedibudiah, Sustainability Consultant

James Jedibudiah is a UW-Madison graduate with a degree in Conservation Biology, a certificate in Environmental Studies, and a focus on Sustainable Business Practices. In addition, he is also certified as a Green Associate with the U.S. Green Building Council, and a member of The Natural Step. James’ previous work experience includes the title of Corporate Sustainability Coordinator for Ovations Premium Services at the NBA arena in Portland, Oregon, where he played a role in helping that facility achieve L.E.E.D. Gold EB certification, and implement the first public composting program in a major sports venue. He recently held the role of Healthcare Sustainability Specialist with Stericycle, Inc, working with 54 hospitals in 4 states on developing sustainability goals and educating staff on compliant waste disposal. James came to ECO via his first year of membership with AmeriCorps and assisted the Plastic Free Milwaukee, the Water Centric City Initiative, and ECO’s climate and equity work. He stays on with the office as a consultant.

Milwaukee's Vision for Community SustainabilityReFresh Milwaukee

On July 16, 2013, Mayor Barrett launched Milwaukee's first Sustainability Plan. The ReFresh Milwaukee Plan is a citywide strategic plan to develop a sustainable future for the community. ReFresh Milwaukee provides the vision for community sustainability over the next 10 years and seeks to make Milwaukee a center for sustainability innovation and thought leadership.

This plan sets goals and targets for individuals and organizations to achieve and provides a citywide roadmap for improving the environmental, economic and social conditions of Milwaukee's neighborhoods. ReFresh Milwaukee is a call to action to the community and connects residents, businesses and other groups working on sustainability issues.

Visit ReFreshMKE.com to read the complete plan and how you can be involved. Download the Complete Report HERE.

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy In advance of the global climate talks in Paris, Mayor Barrett has joined the over 100 US Mayors in joining the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (formerly the Compact of Mayors). This is the world’s largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, tracking their progress and preparing for the impacts of climate change. Visit ECO's Climate Action web page for more information on Milwaukee's action on climate change.

 

Sustainable Energy for All Milwaukee participates in the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) Initiative. The City earned this designation because of its innovative programs to facilitate energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and its world leading cluster of energy, power can control companies and academic institutions. Milwaukee was one of the first five cities to join and is the only North American city participating as a Building Efficiency Accelerator. Read more about Milwaukee's story.

 

The Global Compact Cities ProgrammeThe City of Milwaukee is proud to participate in the Global Compact Cities Programme (or Cities Programme), an urban component of the United Nations Global Compact; the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative. The United Nations Global Compact recognises that cities, in particular, have the potential to make enormous strides in creating sustainable societies – where economic, ecological, political and cultural issues are integrated and advanced. To that end, the Global Compact Cities Programme is dedicated to the promotion and adoption of the Global Compact’s Ten UN Principles by cities, and provides a framework for translating the principles into day-to-day urban governance and management. Read more about how water resources have sustained Milwaukee since the city's founding and have helped make the city great.

 

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational coalition of over 110 U.S. and Canadian mayors and local officials working to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The Cities Initiative and local officials integrate environmental, economic and social agendas and sustain a resource that represents approximately 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater supply, provides drinking water for 40 million people, and is the foundation upon which a strong regional economy is based. Members of the Cities Initiative work together and with other orders of government and stakeholders to improve infrastructure, programs and services and increase investments that protect and restore this globally significant freshwater resource.

 

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ECO Summer 2022 Newsletter Cover

Summer 2022 Newsletter

Learn more about:

  • NEW Milwaukee Green Events Guide
  • NEW Healthy, Green Home Guide
  • City of Milwaukee Green Fleet Savings
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy Webinars

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