UNT alumnus and former faculty member, Denton pastor, and retirement center administrator.
Professor emeritus of the UNT Political Science department, native of Czechoslovakia and survivor of the Nazi and Soviet invasions of that country, and political activist.
Kirk Teske’s interest in the built environment began with a love of drawing and a high school apprenticeship with a local architecture firm in his hometown, Longview, Texas. He began his career with HKS in Dallas in 1984 working with cost-driven developer clients who did not share his passion for passive design strategies. In the late 1990’s he began managing projects for corporate clients. The Sabre Headquarters project in Southlake, Texas, which opened in 2001, was a milestone for Kirk and a catalyst for change in the region.
Gary Olp grew up outdoors in the Wisconsin suburbs and the rural Midwest. Whether tending the garden, working in a steel mill or building a fort, he was hand’s-on, immersed in nature. Since the third grade, he had wanted to be an architect, to design buildings. He was inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright to understand the integration of the natural world and the built environment. He attended the University of Cincinnati and created his own path of study. Early successes validated his design philosophy and entrepreneurial talents.
Mitzi Mills is the President, co-owner, co-founder and creative director of Anzea Textiles located in Fort Worth, Texas. She and her partner Bruce Doeren founded the company in 1990 as a premier source for commercial, or “non-residential,” upholstery fabrics available for specifiers in the design industry. The Anzea story has been inspired by Mitzi’s longstanding sense of social justice and environmental responsibility and her background as a graphic designer. Since its beginning, Anzea has been unique in the North Texas region because of its business model.
Randy Loftis, M.A., Lecturer in the UNT Mayborn School of Journalism, is an award-winning journalist with over thirty years of experience as an environmental and investigative reporter. His career path has afforded him a profoundly unique perspective on environmental awareness, environmental justice, and environmental policymaking in North Texas. Randy began his career at The Miami Herald covering the Everglades. He came to The Dallas Morning News in 1989 during a time when multiple green initiatives where occurring at the city, regional, state and national levels.
Howard Garrett graduated from Texas Tech with a degree in Park Administration and Landscape Architecture. An early career focus on golf course design and management evolved to include landscape architecture and design. He decided to become an organic person when his daughter Logan was born in 1985.
Don Ferrier, CGB (Certified Green Builder), is the Owner and CEO of Ferrier Companies. As the third generation of Scottish immigrants who were stone masons and builders, he founded his business in 1984 in response to an increased need for high-performance construction methods addressing energy efficiency. Ferrier was one of the first builders in Texas to use structural insulated panels (SIPs) which provide high energy efficiency, superior strength, fire-resistance and sound insulating properties beyond typical stud construction.
As the Regional Sustainable Design Leader for the Texas offices of Perkins and Will, a member of the firm’s Sustainable Design Council, and Co-Director with Max Richter of the Materials Performance Research Lab, Mary Dickinson integrates research thinking, advanced sustainable technologies, healthy material protocols, and evidence-based processes across the firm’s practice. Her lifelong interests in nature, the environment, health, and science are characterized by questions she has raised throughout her career.
As an Environmental Design student at Texas A&M, Denise Bates made a conscious decision to focus on interior design and architecture. She saw an opportunity for a sustainable approach that could both reuse existing structures and better integrate interior functions with building design. Denise has remained an advocate for the building occupant throughout her career. Her experience began with an office furniture manufacturer specializing in workplace processes.