Drew Shula,
Founder & CEO

LEED Fellow, Living Future Hero
Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, GGP, ENV SP

Drew Shula is Founder & CEO at Verdical Group, a leading LA-based full service green building consulting firm specializing in certification project management, net zero, commissioning, energy modeling, and program management. Verdical Group is a certified B Corporation and 1% for the Planet member company. In addition to managing some of the highest profile green building projects in California, including LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge projects, Verdical Group hosts the world’s largest annual net zero building conference. Our event planning arm is Verdical Events, a leading, full-service sustainable event producer.

Drew joined the 2020 class of LEED Fellows. He has been honored with a Living Future Hero award and a USGBC Leadership Award, and he frequently speaks on high-performance buildings and net zero design, including at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, Cornell University, the AIA Los Angeles 2 Degrees Symposium on Climate Change, and the Living Future unConference. Drew sits on several Advisory Boards including USGBC-LA, where he is a past Board member; the Living Future LA Collaborative, where he was a member of the Founding Steering Committee; and the Environmental Charter High School. Drew has been featured or published in USA Today, Forbes, USGBC+ Magazine, and the International Living Future Institute’s Trim Tab. He holds a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.

Education:
– University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN — 5-year professional degree in Architecture

Areas of Expertise:
– Green Building Consulting
– Project Management
– Extensive LEED project experience
– Business Management

Presentations (Selected):
– 2020: Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Business Impact Symposium, “Beyond LEED Certification: Revisiting the Concept of Green Building” (completed as a virtual event due to COVID-19 pandemic)
– 2020: Agoura Hills, CA: the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, “Sustainability, Climate Change, and the Future”
– 2019: Los Angeles, CA: The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter, 2 Degrees Celsius Symposium on Climate Change, “Education + Advocacy Think Conversation”
– 2018–2019: Los Angeles, CA: The Robin Hood Gala, “The Homelessness Crisis in Los Angeles County”
– 2018: Seattle, WA: The Living Future unConference, “JUST B: Cultivating an Authentic and Impactful Workplace”
– 2017: Los Angeles, CA: The University of Southern California, “LEED Materials”
– 2017: Los Angeles, CA: 1% for the Planet, “Using Business to Give Back to the Environment”
– 2016: Los Angeles, CA: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Social Innovation Week, “Future Cities”
– 2014–2019: Los Angeles, CA: The Net Zero Conference, “Building a Net Zero Future for All”

Publications:
– Forbes.com, In The Quest For Net Zero, Lessons From A High Performance… Wigwam? by Drew Shula, 2013.
– Como: La Modernita Della Tradizione / The Modernity Of Tradition. University of Notre Dame Graduate Program in Architecture, Rome Studies Program Publications, 2004.

Emily Hand,
Senior Sustainability Manager & Chief of Staff

LEED AP BD+C, GGP

Emily Hand is Senior Sustainability Manager & Chief of Staff at Verdical Group, responsible for business development and project management on a variety of green building and sustainability projects. With broad building experience spanning commercial, residential, industrial, gaming and hospitality projects, she helps clients achieve their building certification and efficiency goals. Emily is a frequent speaker on green building and net zero design and supports the firm’s mission to inspire a net zero future in our built environment.

Emily previously worked with Verdical Group program management client, the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge, managing marketing and operations for the program. She was also previously a Senior in the Indirect Tax, Credits & Incentives and Climate Change & Sustainability Services department at Ernst & Young LLP (EY), where she consulted with Fortune 500 companies to integrate environmentally sustainable practices into their operations. Her work facilitating the green building certification process for over 100 million square feet of building space, resulted in over $50 million in tax incentives for clients.

Emily has worked with high profile clients including: MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, General Electric, Seagate, Teknion, LA City College, and Miramar College. She holds LEED AP BD+C and Green Globes Professional (GGP) credentials and is an active member of the Living Building Challenge LA Collaborative and the USGBC-LA Chapter where she served on the Greenbuild 2016 Los Angeles Host Committee. Emily holds a B.S. in Natural Science and Environmental Studies from Loyola Marymount University (LMU).

Education:
– Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA — Bachelor of Science in Natural Science; Minor in Environmental Studies

Areas of Expertise:
– LEED AP BD+C and ID+C
– Green Globes for Existing Buildings and New Construction
– Green Building Certification Project Management
– Sustainability Program Management
– Business Development

– Strategy

Publications:

  • Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment, “Exploration of climate influences on the abundance of galls on red willow (Salix laevigata) across two riparian communities in Southern California,” 2014.
  • USGBC.org, “A Student’s Perspective: Green Apple Day of Service on a College Campus,” 2013.

Wendell Ewing,
Director of
Commissioning

PE

Wendell Ewing is Director of Commissioning at Verdical Group. He has 15 years of experience in mechanical engineering services, commissioning, and project management, and holds a Professional Engineer (PE) designation. Wendell’s project experience includes commercial office, municipal, utility, and K-12 / higher education.

At Verdical Group, Wendell leads our building commissioning projects, including CALGreen Code Commissioning, LEED Fundamental Commissioning and LEED Enhanced Commissioning services. Wendell’s expertise includes commissioning, HVAC, controls, energy auditing, M&V, facility management, and energy conservation measure (ECM) identification.

Education:
– University of Illinois – Champaign/Urbana — Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering
– University of Illinois – Chicago — Master of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Areas of Expertise:
– Commissioning
– HVAC Systems
– Building Controls
– Master Planning

Karen Young, Senior Events Manager

LEED GA

Karen Young is the Senior Events Manager at Verdical Group. She is responsible for overseeing the Events team goals, managing the Net Zero Conference and additional client events, focusing on overall strategy, contracts and partnerships.

Karen joins the Verdical team with 15 years event planning experience. She got her start in radio and television production, then moved into venue management, hosting both social and corporate events. Karen launched Relish Entertainment in 2007, where she focused primarily on her love for graphic design.

Karen most recently worked for Informa Markets, planning the International Roofing Expo, the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, the ArchitectureBoston Expo and the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, where she developed a passion for sustainability. Her contributions were awarded Trade Show Executive’s Most Commendable Green Initiatives Award for Greenbuild 2016 and have been featured multiple times in the global Informa Annual Report for Sustainability. In her free time, she plays in a Dallas-based 80s cover band called The Rich Girls.

Education:
Texas State University – BA in Electronic Media; minor in Communication Design

Areas of Expertise:
– Sustainable Events
– Project Management
– Strategic Planning
– Typography and Layout Design

Rebecca Ramsdale,
Senior Project Manager

LEED AP BD+C

Rebecca Ramsdale is Senior Project Manager at Verdical Group. She joined us after 7 years of professional practice in the construction industry. Rebecca brings a unique perspective to Verdical Group with experience as a project engineer, project manager, estimator, and in business development.
Rebecca is passionate about preserving the Earth’s beauty and resources while encouraging human innovation. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola Marymount University and has a strong background in Civil Engineering. She enjoys spending her free time volunteering as a mentor at her alma mater, as the USGBC-LA Long Beach Branch Vice Chair, playing volleyball, birding, hiking, and generally enjoying the great outdoors.

 

Education:
– Loyola Marymount University – B.S. Natural Science, Heavy Civil Engineering coursework

 

Areas of expertise:
– LEED AP BD+C
– Green Building Certification Project Management
– Sustainability Program Management

Frank Schwamborn,
Project Manager & Energy Engineer

LEED AP BD+C, PE

Frank is a Project Manager & Energy Engineer at Verdical Group. A licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer (PE), he brings with him a background in MEPT design, built environment energy modeling, and project management. Frank is an expert in the design of environmental controls for healthcare buildings, knowledgeable in sustainability, OSHPD, LEED BD+C, HVAC, T24, zero net energy, zero net carbon, and energy modeling.

Frank earned his Bachelors of Science from Boston University College of Engineering. He enjoys backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas and traveling to new countries.  Frank is a member of ASHRAE SoCal & USGBC-LA, where he advocates for environmental justice and grid decarbonization.

Education:
– Boston University College of Engineering – B.S Mechanical Engineering, Concentration in Energy Technologies

Areas of expertise:
– LEED AP BD+C
– Green Building Certification Project Management
– Energy Modeling

Chloe Woodruff,
Marketing Manager

Chloe Woodruff is the Marketing Manager at Verdical Group. She is responsible for developing branded marketing strategies, managing our online presence and communications, coordinating public relations, and designing promotional materials.

Passionate about sustainability with a strong background in communications and design, Chloe comes to Verdical Group with a history in both sustainable building practices and marketing, having worked as Communications Associate at Urban Green Council, the New York affiliate of the USGBC; as Digital Media & Communications Associate at the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge; and as an Account Executive at a New York-based public relations firm.

Education:
Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA — a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy; Minor in Politics

Areas of Expertise:
– Digital Communications
– Marketing Strategy
– Design
– Writing & Editing

Chelsea Brandom,
Partnerships & Events Manager

Chelsea is Partnerships & Events at Verdical Group, where she is responsible for managing all aspects of Verdical Group’s events, including the Net Zero Conference, the Robin Hood Gala, and Verdical’s client roster. Her role encompasses securing partnerships and sponsorships, curating exciting speaker content, and coordinating event logistics and sustainability.

Chelsea has several years of experience producing and managing major events. She has planned events for corporate clients including Porsche, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, CAA, Nickelodeon, UCLA, Honda, Uber, and Target. She previously worked with the Association of National Advertisers in New York, where she helped generate significant sales. She holds a BA in Communication and Media Studies from Chapman University.

Education:
– Chapman University: Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Media Studies

Areas of expertise:
– Event Management & Production
– Communications
– Business Development

Ritika Dhamija,
Energy Analyst & Project Manager

LEED AP BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador

Ritika is an Energy Analyst and Project Manager at Verdical Group. She performs energy modeling, daylight modeling, and analysis for projects that are aiming to achieve certification across various rating systems including LEED, WELL, Living Building Challenge, etc. She is also currently managing commercial and residential green building projects to provide suggestions for energy efficiency, high performance, wellness, and sustainability in general.

Ritika holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Maharishi Dayanand University and a Masters in Built Environment with a concentration in the energy performance of buildings and climate-responsive architecture from Arizona State University.

Education:

  • Delhi (NCR), India – B. Arch, Maharishi Dayanand University
  • Tempe, AZ – MS in Built Environment, Arizona State University

Area of expertise:

  • Energy Modeling
  • Daylight Modeling
  • Green Building Certification Project Management

Matthew Millikin,
Operations Manager

Matthew Millikin is Operations Manager at Verdical Group. Matt provides administrative, accounting, and daily operations support to keep Verdical Group working toward our mission of creating a positive environmental impact.

His passion for sustainability led him to green building. Prior to his position at Verdical Group, he managed the offices at Neil M Denari Architects. Before joining the sustainability industry, Matt spent a decade in theater management, including a tenure at the prolific LA Opera, and worked as a certified scuba instructor and manager at Deep Blue Scuba & Swim Center.

Education:
– University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education – Graduate Certificate, Environmental Management
– Elon University – B.A. Theatre Arts (Design & Production Emphasis)

Areas of Expertise:
– LEED Green Associate
– Management
– Human Resources