Keynote Speakers Named for retrofit Conference

The keynote speakers have been announced for retrofit’s inaugural conference, which will be held on Oct. 12 in Chicago. The one-day event features three educational sessions and two keynote speakers.

The opening keynote address will be presented by Jason Roberts, chair of the Better Block Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that educates communities and their leaders to help them promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. In 2010, Roberts organized a series of “Better Block” projects, converting blighted blocks in southern Dallas into temporary walkable districts with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, café seating and landscaping. Better Block now is an international movement and has been featured in The New York Times, Dwell magazine, TED Talks and on NPR.

Henry Henderson, director, Midwest Program, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), will be the lunch keynote speaker. Henderson oversees NRDC’s advocacy efforts as they relate to air, water, energy and sustainability in eight Midwestern states. Prior to joining NRDC in 2007, he served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Illinois. He is the founding environment commissioner for the city of Chicago, has taught environmental law and policy at the University of Chicago, and was a senior fellow at the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The conference also features three educational sessions. Topics include:
1. Benchmarking: Speakers will address Chicago’s benchmarking regulation and the tools to assist in meeting its requirements.
2. Financing: PACE, local incentives and other funding mechanisms for retrofitting will be covered.
3. Commissioning and the Building Envelope: The speakers will discuss why commissioning is important and talk about scalable, repeatable enclosure systems.

For more information about the conference or to register, visit the conference website.