2021 Illinois Green Alliance Board of Directors Election

This year the Illinois Green Alliance Board Elections Committee has a slate of candidates to recommend and are excited by the diversity in experience and perspective that each of the candidates will bring to the organization. The Epic Challenge, our current strategic plan, is taking us into new neighborhoods to help restore the environment, create jobs and advance human health and we are working hard to make sure our board reflects that commitment.

The Board Elections Committee would like to thank all of the members who submitted their names for consideration. In 2021, there are five open board seats. Per Illinois Green bylaws, two seats will be elected directly by a full vote of the 2020 Board of Directors and the three remaining open seats will be elected by the membership.

We are pleased to announce that Amaris Alanis-Ribeiro and Sandra Dold have been selected by the 2020 Board of Directors to fill the two board-elected seats.

If you are an active member of the Illinois Green Alliance, you received an email ballot to cast your vote on November 5. Members have until December 4, 2020 to vote for the 2021 board candidates. If you are a member and did not receive your ballot, email Katie Kaluzny at kkaluzny@illinoisgreenalliance.org.

Not a current member of Illinois Green Alliance? Join or renew your membership to vote in the board election!

Learn about all of the 2021 candidates below.


Slate of candidates to be elected by the Illinois Green Alliance Membership


Kevin Augustyn, Vice President, North American CMBS, Global Structured Finance, DBRS Morningstar

Kevin Augustyn
Vice President, North American CMBS, Global Structured Finance, DBRS Morningstar

Kevin Augustyn is currently a Vice President, North American CMBS, Global Structured Finance at DBRS Morningstar. Before joining DBRS Morningstar, Kevin began his career as a city planner with a professional focus on community economic development and historic preservation. Kevin has more recently been focused on urban infill development here in Chicago, responsible for the redevelopment of Piper’s Alley and the North Pier as well as the development of River East Center and other Chicago developments. In his current role at DBRS Morningstar, he is working on several ESG investment initiatives and leading Morningstar’s effort to provide credit ratings for CPACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) loans on a national basis. Kevin is excited to utilize his background in ESG investing, commercial real estate development, and structured finance to focus on green building initiatives and their impact on reducing the carbon footprint.

Kevin has served on several boards and volunteered with several organizations. These include the Sheffield Neighborhood Association and the Board of Advisors for Catholic Charities. At Morningstar, he also serves on the ESG Methodology Committee as well as other ESG initiatives.

Learn more about Kevin on his LinkedIn profile.


Michelle McClendon, LEED AP ID+C
Project Executive, Gilbane Building Company

Michelle McClendon is a Project Executive at Gilbane Building Company.  With more than 17 years in the construction industry she has encompassed a diverse portfolio of projects including corporate headquarters, high-end and multi-family residential, schools, public use facilities and much more.  She is a champion for sustainability, and healthy-high performing construction having worked on and successfully achieved certification under the LEED for Schools, LEED ID +C, LEED BD +C and WELL sustainability rating systems.  As a Project Executive for Gilbane’s K-12 and public sector market her commitment to promoting sustainability has increased as she is a primary stakeholder in providing direction to owners, colleagues and subcontractors in the planning and execution of healthy, and high-performing projects that directly impact the communities we live and work in.  Prior to her role at Gilbane, Michelle was a Senior Project Manager at Leopardo Companies, Inc. and served as co-chairman of Leopardo Construction’s Sustainability Committee for nearly 10 years in which she helped steer corporate policy and practices around sustainability. 

Michelle and her twin sister Myesha McClendon are co-founders of the Myesha and Michelle McClendon Scholarship Fund for African American Women pursuing undergraduate degrees in Engineering through the Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation.  As an advocate for mentoring and STEM, Michelle is passionate about promoting lifelong learning and educating our next generation of leaders in STEM and sustainability!

Learn more about Michelle on her LinkedIn profile.


Sarah Wood, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador
Director of Sustainability, RATIO Architects

A licensed architect and advocate for sustainable design, Sarah has over 15 years of experience driving change. Her career is dedicated to advancing the way we practice, design and live – from her first job where she initiated an office-wide recycling program to her current role as Director of Sustainability at RATIO, leading the firm’s sustainability efforts. At RATIO, Sarah works to improve building performance, support human health and restore our ecosystems. Motivated by action and improvement, Sarah is eager to continue working with Illinois Green Alliance to help empower communities to achieve a zero carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment.

Sarah currently serves on the Illinois Green Alliance Board of Directors and co-chairs the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. She is running for a second term on the Illinois Green Alliance Board of Directors. Sarah is also a founding member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository Associate Board, engaging in advocacy, service, and fundraising to help build a movement to end hunger in Cook County.

Learn more about Sarah on her LinkedIn profile.


Candidates elected to the 2021 Board by the Board of Directors


Amaris Alanis-Ribeiro
Center Director, North Park Village Nature Center, Chicago Park District

Amaris Alanis-Ribeiro is currently the Center Director of the North Park Village Nature Center. There she directs the operation of a public facility with 46 acres of a nature preserve open 7-days a week, providing year-round programs throughout the year for over 75,000 visitors. Amaris has a BS in Ecology, Ethology, Evolution from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and is currently completing a master’s degree in Science Education from the Illinois Institute of Technology. She has participated in the Association of Science and Technology Centers Diversity and Leadership Fellowship, ee360 Community EE Fellowship of the North American Association for Environmental Education, and the One Sky Institute Research and Practice Collaboratory as a fellow to broaden participation in science.

Amaris Alanis-Ribeiro is an experienced leader in equity in conservation organizations in the Chicago-land area, including nonprofits, informal science centers, and outdoor settings. She has experience in asset-based approaches in centering communities in uplifting diverse narratives and addressing organizational systems of inequity. She is also board member of Organic Oneness and an advisory council member of Environmentalists of Color.

Learn more about Amaris on her LinkedIn profile.


Sandra Dold, AIA, WELL AP, LEED AP, Fitwel Ambassador
Principal, Dold Architects

Before recently starting her own firm, Dold Architect, Sandra was the Senior Associate Architect and Sustainability Lead Designer at CannonDesign. At CannonDesign, Sandra helped teams establish a PEUI for their projects and start the process of early conceptual energy modeling. She also helped establish the benchmarking goals, lead LEED workshops and Chicago Sustainable Development Policy workshops for projects.  Sandra was also a member of CannonDesign’s Diversity & Inclusion Council and Women’s Taskforce, empowering women in the field to connect and better themselves. Prior to her time at CannonDesign, Sandra spent many years in the Middle East working as a Senior Architect and Sustainability Specialist at AECOM and coordinated 6 buildings in Energy City Qatar. Sandra has a BFA from Harrington School of Interior Design and M.Arch from University of Michigan, with a focus on urban planning, building & façade performance.

Sandra also brings her past experience in the Middle East as the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), Technical Director, which required measured leadership and deep commitment. She is currently on the District 29 TaskForce for Covid-19, providing industry expertise to the team of primarily educators and medical professionals.

Learn more about Sandra on her LinkedIn profile.