Board Member Profiles

Board Members

  Kyle M. Abney
Vice President
Abney + Abney Green Solutions
Palm City, FL
Board Category: Design & Analysis
Abney + Abney Green Solutions is not your average green building consulting firm.  After more than a decade of hands- on involvement in the field of sustainable design and construction in Florida, the AbneyGreen team has fashioned an enviable track record of successful projects, whether commercial or residential.

The firm's principal, Kyle Abney, is one of the most highly respected "built-environment" experts in the southeast, having been chosen by myriad of owners, developers, architects and contractors to provide guidance in all aspects of the green building process. A long list of satisfied customers and referrals are evidence that the firm delivers peace of mind and reliability. Headquartered  in  the Treasure  Coast,  the  firm  has  completed  award-winning  green  certified  projects throughout Florida.

  James E. Barnes
Assistant Village Manager
Village of Wellington
Wellington, FL
Board Category: Governmental
Jim Barnes is Assistant Village Manager for the Village of Wellington, Florida. Barnes joined the Village in 2003 and previously served in several posts including, Director of Operations, Deputy Director of Operations, Parks & Recreation Director, Deputy Director of Environmental & Engineering Services, and Assistant Director of Community Services. Barnes is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners with an advanced specialty certification in Environmental Planning and is a Certified Parks Recreation Professional by the National Recreation & Park Association. Additionally, he is a Credentialed Manager by the International City/County Management Association. Barnes leads many of Wellington’s sustainability efforts in its operations and projects having completed and occupied a LEED Gold Municipal Complex and achieving Gold Certified Green Local Government status from the Florida Green Building Coalition.
  Mike Bonts
Mike Bonts Public Relations (MBPR Group)
Jacksonville, FL
Board Category: Public Advocate
Mike Bonts specializes in public relations, brand development and marketing communications to include media relations, special events and social media. Strategic counsel and planning is offered to companies and individuals to increase visibility, create brand awareness, and add value to their products, services and reputations. He spent over 10 years as communications director for the Northeast Florida Builders Association, seven as PR director for Renaissance Creative, a major real estate brand development firm, and time as a newspaper editor, reporter, publicist and broadcaster. Mike was appointed to the Board in 2016 to fill an open position and is now seeking re-election. For the past few months, he has been instrumental in developing FGBC brand awareness efforts.
  Ron Carpenter
Carpenter Homes LLC
Tampa, FL 
Board Category: Development and Construction
Over the past two decades, Ron Carpenter has become synonymous with sustainable development initiatives and strategic land acquisition in Florida. After graduating with a Master of Science in Real Estate from the University of Florida's Warrington College of Business, Carpenter worked his way from Land Acquisition Analyst to the youngest Vice President of Land Acquisition and Development throughout the nation for all the national home builders. In 2007, he founded Carpenter Companies Florida, which owns a variety of companies including: Strategic Environmental Lands, Strategic Land and Property Sales, Florida Realty Hub, and most recently Carpenter Homes. Throughout his career, Carpenter has sat on the Florida Green Building Coalition Board of Directors and served the City of Tampa as part of its Affordable Housing Advisory Committee. In his time as a builder, Carpenter has been involved in the development of over 10,000 residential units.

Peggy Christ
Bee Green Realty LLC
Bradenton, FL
Board Category: Real Estate, Finance & Property Services
Peggy is a native of Buffalo, New York and has lived in Bradenton since 1988.   She is the Broker/Owner of Bee Green Realty LLC and has enjoyed over 30 years experience in Real Estate development, with seven years in commercial (Multi-Family) in Houston, Texas.    She is passionate about empowering Realtors/Brokers/Builders and pretty much everyone she comes in contact with, to make green choices to improve our homes and help our environment.   She is relentless in her efforts to ensure that green efforts are recognized for their environmental and financial benefits.   Peggy holds a NAR (National Association of Realtors)  Green Certification, Manatee Association of Realtors Treasurer 2014 and Board of Director since 2011,  has been Manatee Association of Realtors Green Chair 2011-2014, Manatee/Sarasota Builders Industry Green Chair, FHA 203k Construction & Rehab Certified,  Shortsale, Foreclosure & REO Certified, the PRIM award from Manatee Association, ReMax Hall of Fame recognition, Five Star Realtor in Sarasota and Board Member of the Old Braden River Historical Society.  She is a member of the National Association of Professional Women and Manatee Chamber of Commerce.

  Jane Conn
ES Green & Company, LLC
Tallahassee, FL
Board Category: At Large
Jane was raised in Tallahassee, and graduated for University of North Florida in Jacksonville with a BA and M.Ed in education (focus on lower school physical education). She returned to Tallahassee in 1980 and earned her real estate license.  She  joined the Tallahassee Board of Realtors, became a Broker in 1982, and ran her own company, J. Bixler Conn & Associated, Inc, until 2010.  After retiring in 2010, Randy and Jane established ES Green & Company--a full service Green, Energy and Water certification and consulting firm.  They  practice in the Florida panhandle and South Georgia.

Jane a RESNET HERS Rater, a FGBC Certified Green Professional and a FGBC Certifying Agent.  She have been a member of FGBC for 10 years, has served on the FGBC BOD in the past. 

  Arturo Griego
Miami, FL
Arturo is a licensed architect and general contractor and owner of G3 AEC & itecdesign based in Miami, Fl. As the founding member for the firms, Arturo has been involved in all aspects of the design and construction process for many project types in locations throughout the USA, China, South America, and the Caribbean. Itecdesign is an architecture and design studio while G3 AEC is a consulting firm dedicated to green building technology. Arturo has recruited several high-rise projects for certification by FGBC and he is active on the FGBC High-Rise Committee.
  Cindy Hall
EcoSolutions Marketing, Inc.
Jensen Beach, FL
Board Category: Products
Cindy Hall currently serves as Chair of the FGBC Programs and Promotions Committee and is a Past President and Board Member of FGBC. She is an independent consultant and account manager for small businesses as well as in independent sales representative for several hardscape material manufacturers. Cindy has been involved in green building and the FGBC since 2007. In that same year, she founded and chaired the Treasure Coast Builders Association’s (TCBA) Green Building Council to help educate local builders. She remained the chair for the next 4 years. Cindy has been an active participant in many of the FGBC committees, primarily Programs & Promotions, Green Trends, and Membership. She initiated the FGBC Regional Liaison program and serves as Regional Liaison for the Treasure Coast region.  She currently serves on the executive boards of the TCBA and is a Past 2nd Vice President and current Life Director of the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA). In 2010 Cindy received the FHBA “Woman of Distinction” award for her contributions to the industry.
  Deirdre Irwin
St. Johns River Water Management District
Palatka, FL
Deirdre Irwin has served as the Florida Water Star Program Coordinator since 2007. During her tenure FWS program has seen significant increase in builder participation and expanded from one to three residential certification tiers. Additionally, the FWS Commercial and Community programs have undergone development during this time to reach initial piloting phases.

Deirdre received a Diploma in Environmental Management from Dublin Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland before coming to work for the St. Johns River Water Management District in 1989. She has experience with the District’s surface water regulatory programs, water resource education programs, and certification program development and implementation. Her work as the Florida Water StarSM Coordinator involves creating the framework upon which this important water conservation program is based.
Her areas of focus include:

  • Reaching out to builders to become involved in the program
  • Developing appropriate training for Florida Water StarSM certifiers
  • Networking with utilities, planning staff and other water management districts to develop working  partnerships
  • Exploring possible areas of expansion for the program and  coordinating the partnership with South West Florida Water Management District and South Florida Water Management District
  • Coordinating the revision of the residential criteria and the development of commercial criteria 
  William E. Kachman
Retired Major, US Army
DeLand, FL
Bill Kachman is a retired Army Major of Field Artillery. He worked for 12 years in the education field as a teacher, served as a registered lobbyist for Correctional Education, and as a distance education developer for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2004 he joined Environmental Construction & Consulting in Deland and got involved with green building. For the next nine years, he helped manage the construction and consulting side of the company, working with builders, local governments and communities to further green building practices in Volusia and Lake counties. Bill says that in his retirement years, he is working to help FGBC grow in Florida and become the preeminent green organization in Florida.
  Lara Kulsehova
City of Tallahassee
Tallahassee, FL
Lara works as an Energy Conservation Specialist with the city of Tallahassee Underground Utilities in the Gas Department. She is an Energy Engineer, graduating with honors from State University in Magnitogorsk, Russia. She is a HERS Rater and Green Building agent. Lara serves on the Tallahassee Builders Association Board of Directors and is a member of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors. Lara is proud that the City of Tallahassee Gas Utility has been recognized by America Public Gas Association as a leader in customer growth for last five years and was awarded the APGA Soar award for excellence in operation.
  Ralph Locke, GBC, DD, LEED AP
Deland, FL
Ralph Locke is president of Environmental Construction and Consulting Inc. He is a Florida Native and Military Combat Veteran. Ralph has over 30+ years of experience as a building professional and is one of the early pioneers in the green building field. Ralph has been a member of FGBC since 2003, Vice President in 2013, He is an FGBC Certifying Agent working with multiple Florida Builders & Developers and a Regional Liaison for FGBC. He also is the chair of the education committee and actively participates on many of the other FGBC committees. In his everyday interactions, Ralph encourages change to sustainable building practices through verbal & hands on education. He works with many organizations, including home building associations, contractors, developers, local governments, homeowners, and even high school students to promote green building practices. Ralph also volunteers as a subject matter expert for state contractor testing. Ralph holds The following licences,State Certified building, Certified roofing, Certified solar contractor, and Certified Home inspector licenses and is a Florida Water Star Commercial and Residential certifier. Ralph is an active leader and facilitator in the green building field and continues to further encourage sustainable building and to represent these interests for the FGBC.
  Mike Rogers
Southern Advocacy Group
Mike has focused his efforts on advocating for affordable housing and energy conservation and efficiency issues. Since 2011, he has served on the Board of Housing Finance Authority of Leon County and has been its chair the past three years. Mike served on the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) Board of directors from 2010 to 2016 and as chair of the FGBC Affordable Housing Committee for several years. He was instrumental in introducing the FGBC Green Building Certification Standards to Tallahassee and established the first development (Southern Oaks) in Leon County that requires all homes be built to the FGBC Green Home Standard. He has over 15 years of experience in real estate investment and development. He is actively involved in sustainability efforts for the community and served on the Leon County Climate Action Summit Leadership Team.
  Mary Tappouni
Breaking Ground Contracting
Jacksonville, FL
Mary Tappouni is the President of Breaking Ground Contracting, where she serves as Senior Estimator,   Project Manager and Sustainability Consultant.  Over her 25 years in the construction industry, she has managed projects ranging from small park projects to multimillion-dollar facilities that include medical and professional office buildings, historic preservation, retail, schools, university, health & fitness facilities, recreational, military projects and custom green homes.     

Mary is passionate about sustainability and green building.  She was honored to speak at the Greenbuild conference in Chicago in 2010.  She served on the National Green Building Committee for Associated  Builders and Contractors and is the past Sustainability Committee Co-chair for ULI North Florida.  She actively represents the construction industry, including in her current role as Associated Builders and  Contractors (ABC) of Florida Board Chair. She has also served as past Chair of the Board of her local   ABC Chapter and past Chair of its Women’s Council.