The TIR expert panel is a team of tax, accounting, financing, auditing, municipal bond, and water infrastructure experts including attorneys, accountants, auditors, investors, economists, and consultants to help make sustainable, localized water management a reality for communities across the nation. Click the names below to learn about our panelists’ areas of expertise.
Craig Holland, The Nature Conservancy
Craig is the senior director of urban water for the Global Cities program of The Nature Conservancy. In this role, Craig develops global strategies to address water quality challenges related to urban development and leads a team to oversee those strategies’ implementation.
Specializing in green infrastructure investment and deployment, Craig helped develop private financing mechanisms for Philadelphia’s Green City Clean Waters initiative and co-authored the National Resources Defense Council’s January 2013 report “Creating Clean Water Cash Flows: Developing Private Markets for Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Philadelphia.”
Craig leads strategy for the Conservancy’s innovative collaboration, announced by the White House in March 2016, District Stormwater LLC, which finances and builds green infrastructure for stormwater management in Washington, D.C. Craig also serves as the President of the Board of TNC/Opti Development Partners, a joint venture between the Conservancy and the technology firm Opti, that builds distributed water quality and flood resilience projects.
Craig holds a BA with distinction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an MS from Columbia University.
Ed Harrington, Municipal finance consultant
Ed Harrington is the former President of the Government Finance Officers Association and the former General Manager at San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
Ed chaired the Water Utility Climate Alliance, focused on providing leadership and collaboration on climate change issues affecting water utilities and the customers they serve. He has served on three different accounting group Boards, including the Government Finance Officers Association, which he became the President of in 2004. He is a CPA, and serves on various nonprofit boards including Greenpeace International, and is now an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and a consultant on government finance issues.
Eric Letsinger, Quantified Ventures
Eric Letsinger is the founder and CEO of Quantified Ventures, an impact investing firm that helps governments, social entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations and healthcare systems tap into the financial resources needed to sufficiently scale operations and deliver meaningful impact.
He graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Urban Studies, and continued his education at Yale University, where he earned his MBA. Since then, he has gained over 25 years of leadership experience in government, nonprofit and private sector organizations operating in healthcare, the environment, education and housing. He has worked in cross-sector business environments, leading transformative public initiatives to drive social impact, and he speaks regularly at dozens of conferences, events and universities, including his alma mater. His company is currently designing and implementing a series of environmental, health and education transactions across the country.
Janet Clements, Corona Environmental Consulting
Janet Clements began her career as a water and natural resources planner in a rural California county, where she worked with government agencies, Native American tribes and nonprofit organizations on watershed planning efforts.
Afterwards, she went to graduate school and now has over 17 years of experience in water and natural resources planning and economics. She is currently working as a senior economist with Corona Environmental Consulting, where she conducts financial and sustainability analyses to evaluate the financial, social and environmental implications of water-related policies and programs. She is a noted economic expert in a number of fields within the water sector, and has conducted several studies related to financing and incentivizing green infrastructure on private property, as well as quantifying the benefits and costs of stormwater and green infrastructure alternatives.
Jeff Odefey, American Rivers
Jeffrey Odefey is a Colorado native with a BA in English and Art History from the University of Colorado, and MA from the University of Montana, and is a magna cum laude graduate of Pace University School of Law. He worked as a staff attorney for Waterkeeper Alliance and for Hudson Riverkeeper.
He is now the Director of Clean Water Supply Programs for American Rivers, where he helps lead a multi-disciplinary effort to promote integrated management of water resources through progressive regulation, sustainable financing, and policy reforms. His focus is on urban water systems, including green infrastructure, water conservation, and integrated water management as pathways to preserve and protect healthy waters and communities.
Jim Gibbs, Sperry Capital
James Gibbs earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley, and his MBA from Stanford University, and now has over 35 years of experience in municipal advisory and public finance investment banking services.
He has managed and completed several financing transactions for many large agencies, including water and sewer utilities, public power agencies, renewable energy corporations and more. He is now Principal at Sperry Capital, an infrastructure financial advisory firm.
Nicole Chavas, Greenprint Partners
Nicole Chavas earned her BA and MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to get her MBA and Master of Finance and Entrepreneurship from Northwestern University in 2015. She began her career as an accountant at Grosvenor Capital Management, and went on to be an Operational Due Diligence Analyst at Man Investments. She then became the Senior Associate and Manager at Covariance Capital, a TIAA-CREF company, where she led operational due diligence, evaluated financial, operational and legal infrastructure, and spearheaded an internal impact investing research initiative to address increasing market interest in opportunities.
She is now the CEO and Co-founder of Greenprint Partners, a green infrastructure delivery partner that helps cities achieve high-impact, community-driven stormwater solutions at scale.
April Mendez, Greenprint Partners
April Méndez got her Bachelor of Arts and Psychology from Carleton College, where she graduated magna cum laude, and was in Stanford’s Executive Programs for Nonprofit Leaders and for Social Entrepreneurship. She has over 15 years of community and youth engagement experience, during which she recruited, trained and supported community residents to take action on local issues that mattered to them, designed and ran youth leadership programs, and founded two different youth empowerment organizations.
She is now is an MBA student at Northwestern University and is Co-founder and VP for Greenprint Partners, where she develops municipal, utility, and community partnerships to deliver green stormwater infrastructure at large scale in order to transform communities, and collaborates on general firm management and strategy.
Laura Kimes, Greenprint Partners
Laura Kimes earned her BS in Environmental Science and Policy and her BA in Music from the University of Maryland, then got her MBA in Social Enterprise with additional coursework in Strategy, Management and Finance after winning first place in the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge at Northwestern University in 2014. She worked in Environmental Science for the EPA and the USDA, and then worked as the Senior Associate for the Biomass Coordinating Council at the American Council on Renewable Energy.
She gained experience in policy, marketing, management and consultancy over the following six years in a variety of firms, including one she created. She is now a Co-founder and Vice President of Talent and Impact at Greenprint Partners.
Rose Jordan, Greenprint Partners
Rose Jordan earned her BA in Community, Environment and Planning and Environmental Resource Management from the University of Washington, and later her MBA in Marketing Management from Northwestern. She now has over 17 years of executive experience in her field, after serving as Vice President at Guenther Creative, an award-winning communications firm, serving as the Account Executive at Frause, another communications firm. Later, she became the Senior Program Manager at Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable economic development and environmental stewardship.
She is now the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Greenprint Partners, for which she is responsible for development and implementation of marketing and communication strategy to drive growth for green infrastructure delivery partner, and the drive of business development strategy for growth.
Jim Sparper, Greenprint Partners
James Sparber earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University with a minor in Business Administration, and then got his MS in Environmental Management from Illinois Institute of Technology. He gained 10 years of managerial experience between Rempe-Sharpe & Associates and Baxter & Woodman, Inc, during which he worked on infrastructure design and efficiency.
He is now the Program Director for Greenprint Partners, where he is responsible for the development and implementation of stormwater management projects and services through water utility programs across key municipal communities.
Ryan Wilson, Greenprint Partners
Ryan Wilson is educated in Architecture and Environmental Design, and has over 13 years of experience in his field. He has experience with project and program management and design with landscaping and architectural companies, with an emphasis on sustainable design, including water conservation and efficiency, and work minimizing flood risk and supporting green infrastructure.
He is now the Program Director at Greenprint Partners, where he is responsible for development and implementation of stormwater management projects and services through water utility programs across key municipal communities.
Roger Baneman, NRDC Advisor and Retired Partner of Shearman & Sterling LLP
Roger Baneman is an advisor to the Natural Resources Defense Council, and works primarily with the Green Finance Center. His NRDC projects have included the potential use for clean energy investing of public capital market vehicles such as REITs, mutual funds and publicly traded partnerships, the organization of a network for green banks, and green infrastructure programs for stormwater management.
He was a tax partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP for many years and is now retired from the firm. He has a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from Yale College. Early in his career, he served in Treasury’s Office of Tax Legislative Counsel. He was also an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School.
Rowan Schmidt, Earth Economics
Rowan Schmidt was educated in Biology and Philosophy at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and has spent his career applying his education in the business realm of environmentalism. He has worked to fund mechanisms and policy levers to benefit the economy, the environment and society with utilities, federal agencies, NGOs and more.
He has been with Earth Economics for 9 years, during with he leads the organizations’ work around finance and investment strategies, and has helped catalyze policy changes from local to federal levels.
Scott Harder, Environmental Financial Group, Inc.
Scott Harder has forty years of experience developing and financing water, clean energy, and low-carbon solutions. He is educated in Civil Engineering, Finance, Mathematics and Economics, and is a published author.
Scott is the founder of Environmental Financial Group, Inc., a consulting firm that serves international clients, and provides advice to corporations, project developers, investors, cities, utilities, technology companies and financial institutions. He also serves on the leadership and advisory boards for a number of advocacy groups around the world.
Tom Innis, Piper Jaffray
Tom Innis has over 20 years of experience in public finance and helps lead Piper Jaffray’s Water/Wastewater Funding Group. In addition to leading revenue bond issuance, he has also helped lead the firm’s efforts with various funding sources to include State Revolving Funds, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act and the Public Finance Authority Water and Wastewater Financing Pool. His experience in senior managed financings ranges from under $10 million to over $750 million. Over his career, Tom has senior managed more than $10 billion in water/wastewater financings in the Western Region.
Tom received a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and received a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a General Securities Registered Representatives Series 7, 50 and 63 license.