Board Member Bios
Mara DeFilippis: Founder, CEO
Mara is founder of the Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce and has been named Founder, CEO for the first local chapter, which has launched in Phoenix. On a day to day basis, she works to carry out the mission of the chamber, which is to promote the success of businesses committed to environmental and social responsibility. She also serves on the board for the Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce.
Mara is Cum Laude graduate of Arizona State University, where she earned her degree in Accounting. She is active in the community, championing environmental issues, children’s rights and women’s issues. Mara currently resides in Mesa, Arizona with her son, Nicholas.
Dr. Laura M. Burgis: Chairperson of the Board
Laura Burgis co-owns and operates Burgis Envirolutions, which offers custom-designed turn-key trash handling and recycling systems. The company provides green solutions that improve the efficiencies of waste management operations while enabling clients to streamline processes and reduce costs.
Laura also serves on the Arizona Girl Scouts of America board of directors, she is an active AZ Education Policy Fellow sponsored by the ASU Lincoln Ethics Center, and is an executive advisor to the Seton Catholic High School Capital Campaign.
Burgis previously served as CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation, a nonprofit leadership development organization. As an academic and administrator, Laura was Assistant Dean and Director of Development for the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. Her tenure at ASU exceeded 14 years in various management and leadership positions spanning student affairs, university advancement and teaching. She has also served as clinical faculty for the Barrett Honors College, Mary Lou Fulton School of Education and W. P. Carey School of Business, and continues to teach graduate courses in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
Burgis earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, she completed post-graduate studies at Northwestern University and Loyola University of Chicago; and earned her Masters in Higher Education Administration and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, both at ASU. Laura is the mother of two: Elizabeth (9) and Riley (5). Her family works, lives and plays in downtown Tempe. Her hobbies include reading, yoga, and cooking.
Michelle Evard: Chair of Sponsorship Committee
Evard Financial Advisors PLLC
With seven years of financial planning experience, Michelle Evard is the owner of Evard Financial Advisors PLLC. Michelle began her career as an assistant buyer at May Department Stores and soon moved to Abercrombie & Fitch in Columbus, Ohio as an allocator. In 2001 she became a financial planner at Abercrombie. In 2003 she moved to Arizona and began working in personal financial planning.
Evard has previously served as an instructor at Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, on the board for Valley of the Sun Active 20/30 Club, as former ASBA Leads Group facilitator, and as s board member of Junior Achievement Young Professionals Group.
In her spare time Michelle enjoys serving her community through various volunteer efforts. She also enjoys hiking, working out, practicing yoga and traveling. Michelle currently lives in Phoenix with her two dogs.
Lynn Paige: Chair of the Membership Committee
Lynn-Paige is building a legacy in the renewable energy arena as CEO of Perfect Power, the fastest growing, award-winning solar electric company in the Southwest. She is a a CPA and her background includes 30 years as an entrepreneur in the commercial and multifamily residential building industry. She is also co-owner of an international seminar business.
Lynn-Paige’s extensive volunteer background speaks for itself. Previously she was elected to the Cave Creek Unified School District Board, she has served as president of the Desert Foothills Women’s Club and on the boards of National Association of Women Business Owners, Foothills Community Foundation, Women’s Enterprise Foundation, Halle Heart Center for the American Heart Association, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, American Council on Renewable Energy, on committees for Valley Forward, and is ex-officio president of the Sketch Box Committee of the Kansas City Art Institute.
Lynn-Paige spends her spare time and energy working on an earth-sheltered residence she is building in Northern Arizona to be LEED platinum.
Kelly Wood: Co-chair of the Communications Committee
KWPR Group, Inc.
Principal of KWPR Group, Kelly Wood is passionate about working with expanding businesses seeking stronger brand recognition and increased visibility. Her background includes eight years in sales, marketing and public relations, giving her a holistic understanding of the most effective ways in which PR can be leveraged to drive the success of product, service and overall brand image.
Helping her clients forge strong relationships with targeted audiences is now the crux of Kelly’s work because she believes that credibility and an emotional connection with consumers translates into profitability and a long term success momentum. In her six years in the Valley, she has devised and implemented hundreds of successful outreach campaigns on behalf of her clients, including VIP/opening events, community relations and cause-related initiatives, and valuable print, broadcast and online media coverage.
Kelly has also served on several committees for the Phoenix chapter of the PRSA, including the Media Breakfast Planning committee and the 2005 Copper Anvil Awards committee. She currently resides in Cave Creek with her husband and 2 ½ year-old son. A self-proclaimed health-nut, she enjoys running, hiking and yoga.
Russ Maloney: Member at Large
Russ Maloney is Lead Account Executive and Planner at Keane Creative, a design and marketing firm on Mill Avenue in Tempe. The award-winning company scrubs the creative atmosphere in Arizona, harnessing new collaborative processes and marketing technologies, then translating those into useful tools for client programs.
Russ moved to the Valley in 2006 after leaving his native Idaho, and was quickly folded into the burgeoning Phoenix creative/advertising trade. He’s worked at all levels in the industry, from print production to client relations and campaign planning. He and his company have been involved with several local organizations, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Caregiver Resource Institute and the United States Green Building Council.
Energized by science, environmentalism and politics, he spends his free time dabbling in astronomy and experimenting with film photography.
Annie Loyd: Advisory Board Member
The FUSION Foundation
Annie Loyd is a person who brings the message of trans-partisanship to all conversations and collaborations. She believes that because we all have opinions, ideas and solutions, it is important that we create structures and processes to encourage and honor a civil and respectful dialogue among diverse individuals and groups. This, she feels, is integral to creating a prosperous community.
Loyd was born in South Dakota and as a young adult moved to California where she ran an 82-bedroom youth facility for many years. This experience gave her a wealth of insight into the human condition and in many ways prompted her into work as social and political activist. Loyd co-founded One Planet, an online publication with support base that is growing exponentially and aligns with her political agenda: advocating a paradigm of cooperation in dealing with social issues. Specializing in community collaboration, mediation, negotiation and development Loyd serves as president of The FUSION Foundation, a local action organization that addresses unmet and unfulfilled challenges in our communities with resources and proven solutions for success. Loyd currently wears many hats, serving as president of Magnet Consulting, publisher for One Planet, owner in a local construction company. Loyd also continues to be deeply involved in her community serving as a social activist. She has been a Phoenix resident for more than 50 years.
Tom Waldeck: Advisory Board Member
Keep Phoenix Beautiful
Tom is Executive Director of Keep Phoenix Beautiful, a 501(c)3 organization committed to recycling management and litter control in Phoenix. Prior to his position at KPB, he was Operations Director at the 1000 member Tempe Chamber of Commerce. He attended Loyola University of Chicago and the US Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organization Management.
Prior to his move to Phoenix in 2002, he was Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce in the Wrigley Field area of Chicago, and was also a small business owner for over 20 years.
Tom is an avid runner, recently completing in his 20th marathon in Chicago. He comes from a family of 8 children spread out all across the country. Tom and his wife Nancy live at the base of the McDowell Mountains on the Scottsdale/Fountain Hills border, where you can usually find him on weekends running the trails.
Douglas McCord, RA, NCARB, LEED-AP: Member at Large
A practicing architect and leader in sustainable design for more than a decade, Doug was instrumental in helping Paul Moran to position Scottsdale-based Moran Architects at the forefront of sustainable design. Doug has applied sustainable principals to diverse building types, from spas and resorts to schools and affordable housing. He was one of the first individuals to be LEED accredited in Arizona and has been actively involved with the Arizona Chapter of the US Green Building Council since its inception, serving on the board from 2005-08. As an outspoken proponent of the benefits of sustainable design to the triple bottom line, he is a frequent guest lecturer and speaker on green issues at colleges, community groups and conferences across the country. Doug has a background in mechanical engineering, crossing over to architecture in his masters studies at Arizona State University, where he has also been teaching sustainable design since 1998. A continuing force in the green design/building movement, Doug now serves on the board Arizona Green Chamber’s Phoenix Chapter.
Katea Ravega: Member at Large
Quarles & Brady, LLC
Katea practices environmental law at Quarles & Brady LLP, a national law firm with a large and diverse Phoenix presence. She also serves as a member of Quarles & Brady’s China Law Group. She earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2006; her undergraduate degree is in International Economics.
Prior to law school, Katea was the Associate Director of a Community Outreach Partnership Center at Valparaiso University, where she ran a grant-funded community revitalization program. Staffed by college students and neighborhood residents, this vital organization worked in urban areas dealing with neighborhood organization, capacity building, affordable housing, health care access, race relations and mentoring for the community’s youth. Katea has always been a community advocate, donating her time and expertise to improve society on many levels. Environmental sustainability is a cause of particular importance to her and she is proud to support the Arizona Green Chamber’s Phoenix Chapter as legal counsel and a board member.
Jeff Frost: Member at Large
a.k.a. Green and a.k.a. Green Services
Jeff Frost is the co-founder and partner of a.k.a. Green, the Valley’s leading supplier of eco-friendly building materials. Frost is also a consultant for a.k.a. Green Services, providing guidance and inspiration to professionals who wish to integrate more environmentally sustainable building and design into their practices. He also assists those seeking to evolve their environments into healthier, more sustainable work and living spaces.
Although his career began in Michigan, Frost was attracted by all the building possibilities in the desert climate and decided to move out to Arizona in 1999. He then joined Salazar Associates, where he served as a project manager and designer. He also worked at Sol Source Architecture and Building, an architectural firm that specialized in environmental design from 2001-2006. Frost attended Lawrence Technological University where he earned his Bachelors of Science Degree in Architecture. He is also a member of AIA and LEED Accredited Professional.