350 Bleecker Street
Location:New York, NY
Landscape Architect: Christian Duvernois Gardens, Inc.
Location:New York, NY
Landscape Architect: Christian Duvernois Gardens, Inc.
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Columbia Green Featured in NY Times Article "The Green Revolution Spreading Across Our Rooftops"
Green roofs, also known as eco-roofs or vegetated roofs, are increasingly common. They are known as a great way to make a bleak space aesthetically pleasing and increase property demand and value. However, there are other benefits that come from the implementation of green roofs.
The largest impact that green roofs have is on stormwater management. Continued expansion of urban development throughout the world has resulted in increasing amounts of impervious (hard) surfaces. These impervious surfaces decrease both infiltration and evaporative water loss from soils and plant surfaces due to the removal of native vegetation and natural ecosystems. In addition, pollutants deposited on these surfaces run off into our rivers and streams; further degrading water quality and surrounding natural habitats. Columbia Green’s products significantly decrease stormwater runoff, while also creating more energy efficient and sustainable buildings.
Green buildings and green roofs are increasingly viewed as a solution to help mitigate the threats and concerns surrounding climate change, water quality and the expanding gap that exists in energy supply and demand. The application of a green roof can help to reduce energy costs related to heating and cooling through their insulating effects, providing the building owner with year round energy savings. Green roofs that are combined with solar panels have also been shown to produce even greater energy benefits due to increased panel efficacy that help contribute to lower a building’s overall energy consumption and environmental footprint.
The concept of urban heat island effect is gaining more attention throughout the U.S. and as a result there is more pressure to more directly address this issue and mitigate its effects. Generally, urban heat island describes a buildup of atmospheric gases, usually in a metropolitan area, that is hotter than the surrounding rural areas. This occurrence can affect communities and cities by increasing energy demands in summer months: increasing air conditioning costs, and heightening the occurrence of heat-related illness and fatalities. Green roofs can play an integral role in mitigating those negative effects through the ability to lessen the amount of gases that warm the atmosphere and therefore cool the surrounding environment.
Developers and design professionals are also increasingly looking to green roofs for the benefits they provide as a way to create more sustainable green buildings, with lower carbon footprints and a greater ability to manage stormwater runoff. These benefits also extend to the building owner through increased building aesthetics and a potentially higher LEED Certification rating. The application of a green roof helps to contribute from 6 to 14 LEED points for sustainable building structures, while buildings with white membranes alone, qualify for only 1 to 2 LEED points.
Buildings with green roofs also help to extend the life of the roofing membrane; up to 2 times in many cases. This lowers replacement and repair cost to a building owner, thus reducing direct capital investments.
The green roof industry is continually growing and further benefits continue to develop as groups within the green building community push the envelope as to what this technology can provide. Green roofs are also seeing support from governments across the globe. Governments worldwide have begun to adopt strategies of incentivizing green initiatives and enforcing minimum standards that support the development of green buildings. Some incentives available for installing a green roof system include: tax incentives, zoning expansions and direct public utility rebates/monthly billing reductions.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Manager
Kelly McGuire comes to Columbia Green Technologies with more than 7 years of industry experience, previously having served as a Business Developer for a prominent subcontractor in the DC Metro region. She has developed a strong network of owners, developers, architects, landscape architects, general contractors, roofing contractors and installers and understands the importance of building relationships between all of those involved to deliver a successful project.
As a Washington DC local and an Eastern Shore of Maryland native, she is passionate about providing stormwater management solutions that will give back to her own community and excited to help Columbia Green grow their presence in the market.
Kelly graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications and Public Relations. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Washington Building Congress and is the Programs Committee Chair for the Associated Builders & Contractor’s Metro Washington chapter (ABC Metro) as well as a mentor for their Leadership Development Program.
Kelly graduated from ABC Metro’s Leadership Development Program in 2017 at the platinum level and was the recipient of the J.P. Blasé Cooke Leadership Achievement Award.
When she is not attending or organizing an industry networking event, you can find her on the golf course, fishing on the Chesapeake Bay or coaching high school girls’ lacrosse.
Deni Herndon is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Columbia Green Technologies, Inc. and has over 30 years in accounting, management, and operations. For the past ten years, she has acted as a strategic partner to Columbia Green Technologies CEO Vanessa Keitges, most recently as COO, helping to propel long-term financial growth, championing culture, and helping to drive forward the company’s vision to create green resilient cities and eco districts with green infrastructure.
In addition to her work with Columbia Green Technologies she has served as a member of executive management teams and provided analytical support regarding strategic decisions on acquisitions, expansions, staffing and other corporate development possibilities. She has been a part of large publicly held companies and small startups where she has orchestrated dramatic improvements in operational efficiency, productivity, and internal communications.
Deni is Certified Public Accountant licensed in both Oregon and Washington. She also holds the designations of CGMA and CFF and is an active member of the AICPA and ORCPA.
Vanessa has a dynamic 9-year global career reflecting optimal performance in the public and private sector in the area of business development, marketing and sales. Vanessa has served in numerous executive positions in business development roles, where she has managed rapid growth; both domestically and internationally. She has been responsible for triple digit increase within the companies she has worked for where she has played a leading role in the sales groups.
Vanessa is currently President & CEO of Columbia Green, whose core technologies in eco-roofs are based on sustainable functions that help manage the quality and quantity of storm water, energy use, as well as air and water pollution. Vanessa purchased the company along with local investors in 2009 and Columbia Green is currently experiencing significant growth under her leadership.
Ms. Keitges graduated from Oregon State University earning a B.A. in Philosophy. Her personal interests include: riding horses, traveling and meeting new people. She has an affinity toward kids and animals and sits on the Oregon Zoo Wild Life Board. Her true passion is helping others within her community.
President / CEO
Vanessa Keitges is President and CEO of Columbia Green Technologies, a global leader in the green roof market industry. Her focus is to provide green roofs and green amenity spaces a nature-based solution to assist with the impact of the ever-changing climate while promoting sustainability and wellness, thus supporting building owners and cities with building resilient communities for the future. Her focus is to ensure positive returns on building owners long-term ESG investments with their portfolio. Her and her team are committed to creating a positive environmental and social impact by building vibrant, resilient cities and replacing aging infrastructure with green infrastructure.
In addition to her work with Columbia Green Technologies she has served in numerous executive positions in business development, marketing, and sales, where she has managed rapid growth; both domestically and internationally. Vanessa purchased Columbia Green, along with local investors, in 2009 2010 and the company is currently experiencing significant YOY growth under her leadership with over 2,500+ green roof installs and offices Coast to Coast.
In the fall of 2013-2017 Vanessa was appointed to President Obama’s Export Council with the top 27 Fortune CEO’s to represent the interest of “emerging” businesses in the green infrastructure & green building sector. She reported to the President every 6 months on the growing industry and how to support USA companies to meet the growing demand of the green building market around the World. Vanessa was a top “40 under 40″ executives in Oregon, one of Oregon’s fastest growing private companies by Portland Business Journal & nominated by Forbes as one of the top 5 women in technology to watch and invest in. Vanessa graduated from Oregon State University earning a B.A. in Philosophy.
Kevin Bower rejoins Columbia Green with more than twenty years of horticulture and business management experience. As Sales Director, Kevin brings multi-disciplinary teams together to successfully implement eco-roofs for building owners, general contractors, landscape architects and installers. His understanding of environmental impact, site conditions, and extensive plant knowledge provides superior value to our clients by ensuring quality project delivery, installation of eco-roofs and warranty protection for the owner.
Kevin is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and holds a B.S in Horticulture, with a concentration in Business Management. His professional and educational background makes him a strong addition to the team and we are happy to have him back.
Outside of work Kevin enjoys adventuring around the Pacific NW with his wife Emily and two daughters Adeline and Lilia.
Business Development Manager
Valerie Irons comes to Columbia Green Technologies with more than 13 years of combined construction, design and landscape experience. She has served in a variety of roles with different contractors in the DC Metro region. Most notably, she served as a Commercial Business Development Manager for one of the largest landscape maintenance contractors in the DC Metro area.
Valerie firmly believes in the power of relationship building, being a great resource of knowledge and sharing experiences (success and lessons from both the landscaper and design perspective) and giving back to the community. She has been involved with many associations over the years and served as Co-Chair of the Potomac Watershed Clean-Up Committee for 4 years. She also won a Rising Star Award from the Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute in 2018 for her volunteer efforts on behalf of the Association.
Inside Sales Manager
Ellen Barlow is a graduate from the University of Redlands in Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and Management with a Spatial Studies minor. She focused on sustainability issues as well as environmental science and computer mapping software. As the Inside Sales Manager, Ellen supports the sales team in generating and qualifying leads as well as communication with architects and contractors to help focus the regional sales managers.
During her time in college, Ellen worked as an office assistant for a private medical practice here in Portland, as well as in the hospitality industry in San Diego. She studied abroad in both Costa Rica and Europe, studying sustainability and environmental policy. She enjoys meeting new people and assisting others.
Paul brings a decade of experience in purchasing and logistics to the Columbia Green team. As Program Manager, he is here to source materials for your green roof, ensure their timely delivery, and to facilitate a smooth project. Having experience in leveraging long-term spend while factoring quality into the total cost of ownership, he will work with you to determine a green roof solution that works best with your resources and constraints. Paul comes from the MRO and Food & Beverage industries where he has established a proven track record of streamlining supply chains and creating efficiencies.
Paul holds a Masters degree in Supply Chain Management from Penn State University.
Andrea brings 12 years’ experience as a landscape architect to the Columbia Green team. As Technical Director she is here to answer all your questions related to our green roof systems, and to provide design guidance and product support to specifiers, design professionals, and product installers. Andrea is a registered Landscape Architect with a focus on low impact development and green infrastructure, and is well versed in all phases of project design, construction and maintenance.
A Pacific NW native, Andrea earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from University of Oregon. She practiced landscape architecture in Portland, with a focus on green design solutions for a diverse range project types and scales.
NE Sales Manager
Kyle Faron comes to Columbia Green Technologies with over 10 years of experience as a construction professional. His focus has been on delivering value with sustainable building envelope products and solutions for building owners and developers, with a concentration on occupant comfort and well-being. Sustainable standards and occupant well-being are important drivers today as we seek to build better, smarter, and more efficiently. Over his career he has sought to develop strategic partnerships with key accounts in the construction industry, including developers, architects-engineers, construction managers-consultants, and general contractors. In his role in the Northeast, Kyle looks to deliver value as a trusted partner and to highlight return on investment to all members of a project team.
Kyle is a central New Jersey native and graduate of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ with a B.S. in Business Administration. His personal interests include enjoying the outdoors with his family, sports, and honing his golf game on the course.
Jordan comes to Columbia Green Technologies with ten years of a variety of construction experience. As Estimator, she is here to find the best pricing for your green roof projects by site specifications, cost changes, and additions. Prior to joining CGT, she worked in quality control as a CAT1 Lab Technician for an asphalt paving company, where she tested materials per ASTM/specification standards. She has a strong passion for green infrastructure and is determined to obtain the best solution for your specific project.
Jordan graduated from The Evergreen State College with a B.A./B.S. in Environmental Science. She loves spending time with her family and friends, traveling, gardening, concerts, and anything outdoors!
Inside Sales / Marketing
Janelle’s role is Inside Sales and Marketing at Columbia Green Technologies and brings thirteen years of experience in executive support and marketing functions. She spent the majority of her career working within the sustainability sector for financial organizations. Prior to joining Columbia Green Technologies in 2013, Janelle worked as a Marketing Analyst for Equilibrium Capital Group a company focused on building leading investment products and strategies for institutional investors.
Janelle assists the Columbia Green team with lead generation, aids in the development of marketing campaigns, coordinates trade shows and oversees our social media accounts. In addition, she supports the Executive Team.
Janelle graduated from Southern Oregon University earning a B.S. in Psychology. Her personal interests include: spending time with her family and friends, traveling and cooking. She enjoys helping out her community and currently volunteers with the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Portland, OR.
Strategic Sales Manager
Kevin Goad comes to Columbia Green Technologies with a background in Business Development and Sales with more than 20 years of professional experience in the Environmental, Energy and Sustainability industries. He has worked with building owners across the country to help them reduce their energy and carbon footprints and decrease their overall operating costs. Kevin understands the importance of the return on investments for building owners when it comes to building improvements and the overall value that green roofs bring to the building, the owners, occupants and communities. He is here to help guide and build relationships with Owners, Developers, Architects, Landscape Architects, General Contractors, Roofing Companies and Installers.
Kevin is a graduate of the University of Houston and holds a B.S in Environmental Management, with a concentration in Marketing. Kevin also is a member of USGBC and is a LEED Green Associate. His professional and educational background makes him a strong addition to the Columbia Green Technologies team.
Aaron is a senior at Vassar College with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mathematics. Aaron plans to study financial analysis and statistics for his masters.
Location: Houston, TX
Project Size: 20,000 s.f.
Architect: Kendall/Heaton Associates
Landscape Architect:The Office of James Burnett
System: Intensive/Plaza Deck
Location: Chicago, IL
Owner/Developer: City Colleges of Chicago
Architect: Moody Nolan
Landscape Architect: Hitchcock Design Group
Green Roof Installer: Speedy Gonzalez Landscaping
Landscape Architect: Christian Duvernois Gardens, Inc.
Location: Seattle, WA
Architect: Clark Design Group
Landscape Architect: Cascade Design Collaborative
System: Tray & Layered
Location: Vancouver, BC
Architect: Bing Thom
Landscape Architect: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
General Contractor: Turner Construction
Historic Hancock Tower
Location: Boston, MA
Landscape Architect: Mikyoung Kim Design
Owner/Developer: Boston Properties
System: Pre-Grown Tray