Harnessing Detroit's green infrastructure potential

When we picture an urban landscape, green spaces typically aren't what first come to mind. But organizations throughout Detroit are harnessing nature to help address problems facing the city. Urban forestry can manage stormwater, bio-retention improves water treatment, and more green spaces can provide recreation, fresh produce, and cleaner air.

These methods are transforming and revitalizing Detroit, and we invite you to join the movement. Join us on Thursday, September 8, when five panelists will share how they've made an impact on the city by using nature to create a balance between built and natural environments. Please RSVP below.

Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Happy Hour
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. - Panel
7:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - Q&A and Afterglow

Detroit Beer Company, 1529 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226
Drink tickets and appetizers provided.


Cari Easterday-Kar,‎ Chief Financial Officer - Midtown Inc. 

Cari L. Easterday-Kar, owner of Community Capital Consulting, LLC, brings over 19 years of financial, nonprofit and real estate experience to Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit planning and development organization that supports the physical maintenance and revitalization of the Midtown Detroit area, while working to enhance public awareness, appreciation and use of the district. She oversees the financial activities of the nonprofit and its subsidiary real estate activities, a value of over $30 million in assets. Easterday-Kar plays a key role in the real estate investments made by the organization and provides supportive services to other real estate investors and businesses in the Midtown district. Prior to C3, she was the Chief Financial Officer for Larson Realty Group and was responsible for managing, developing and implementing the financial and accounting standards, procedures and systems used for all of Larson Realty Group's business activities. She is also a co-founder of Community Investment Support Fund, a nonprofit corporation a mission to promote economic development and facilitate investment of capital to support community revitalization in the nonprofit sector and in under-served markets.

Dean Hay, Director of Green Infrastructure - Greening of Detroit

Dean Hay actively works to convert the overabundance of the city's vacant land, develop large-scale natural eco-systems and convert the city's many brownfield sites in his position at The Greening of Detroit. Dean is passionate about improving and protecting natural resources in communities throughout Southeast Michigan, as well as providing forest and resource management planning on public and private land. Twenty years of municipal, commercial and residential design experience has allowed Dean to see these passions through.

Dean received a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Michigan, is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist, a Municipal Specialist and consulting municipal arborist. He currently serves on the Michigan Urban and Community Forestry Council working to advance the conservation, establishment and maintenance of urban forests throughout Michigan. He is also a member of the Detroit City Council Blue-Green Infrastructure subcommittee that advises on the development of natural storm water infiltration projects in Detroit. He also serves on the board of Moross Greenway Project, a 501c3 organization established to develop a natural landscape along Moross Road, an entry gateway along the eastern boundary of Detroit.

Ritchie Harrison,  Community Development Planner & Detroit Revitalization Fellow - Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

Ritchie is a life-long Detroiter. For more than ten years, Ritchie Harrison has worked to create vitality in communities, while directing projects to achieve scalable and lasting improvements in Detroit. Currently he serves as a Detroit revitalization fellow working for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. His prior work experiences include Jefferson East Inc., where he served as the economic development director and as a consultant. He provided technical assistance to plan initiatives targeting the communities of Osborn, Brightmoor and the Villages, among others. Ritchie Harrison has a Bachelor of Science in Urban Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Eastern Michigan University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Community Development at the University-Detroit Mercy. Outside of work, Ritchie serves on the board of the Eastside Community Collaborative supporting its non-motorized connections on the East side of the Detroit.

Palencia Mobley, Deputy Director and Chief Engineer - Detroit Water and Sewerage Department 

Palencia Mobley is an authority on water infrastructure and environmental engineering with more than a decade of experience as a project engineer providing planning, design and construction administration and management services for water and wastewater treatment facilities across the country. She co-authored a proposal to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that resulted in an $8.9 million allocation for planning and resiliency for the City of Detroit. Mobley was appointed by Mayor Duggan in October 2015 and confirmed by the Board of Water Commissioners in January 2016 following the bifurcation. Prior to DWSD, she worked for the Duggan Administration.

Jodee Raines, Vice President of Programs - The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation

Jodee has been the vice president of programs at the Erb Family Foundation since its creation in 2008. The foundation's mission is to nurture environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metropolitan Detroit, consistent with sustainable business models, and support initiatives to restore the Great Lakes Ecosystem. Previously, Jodee worked at The Jewish Fund and Skillman Foundation. A graduate of the Wayne State University Law School, she also practiced nonprofit and corporate law in Detroit.
Recognized in 2007 by Crain's Detroit Business as one of metro Detroit's Most Influential Women, Jodee serves as president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and vice president of the Palmer Woods Association. She also co-chairs the Great Lakes Funders Collaborative and Stormwater Funders Network.

Moderator: Rory Neuner, Senior Consultant - Public Sector Consultants

Rory Neuner is a senior consultant for health policy at Public Sector Consultants, based in Lansing. Rory specializes in issues at the intersection of health and the built environment, including food systems, active transportation, and community planning. Prior to joining PSC, Rory was the principal of R. Neuner Consulting, a small public policy consulting practice. During her time there, she managed environmental health, sustainability, food systems, and transportation projects for a variety of government, nonprofit, and university clients. As the project director of the MI Air MI Health Coalition, Ms. Neuner worked with health organizations across Michigan on policy to improve health disparities related to exposure to poor outdoor air quality. She previously managed a ten-state project to promote healthy community design and reduce childhood obesity with the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Rory holds a BA from Yale University and an MPP from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. 

Support for this event is provided by Public Sector Consultants. 

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