STF&E 2017

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and Tennessee Clean Fuels jointly hosted the third annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo (STF&E) from May 23-24, 2017 at the Downtown Nashville Public Library. The forum, titled "Navigating Toward a Livable Tennessee," highlighted local transportation planning and the pursuit of place-based policies and investments to improve mobility.

Click here to view the 2017 STF&E agenda.


Megan Barry - Mayor, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County

Megan Barry is the seventh mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Her election in the Sept. 10, 2015, runoff, after receiving the most votes in the Aug. 6 general election, represents a historic milestone as she is the first female mayor of Nashville. Barry's election is also historic in that she is the first Metro Council member to ascend to the office of mayor. First elected in the runoff election of 2007 for the position of Council at-large, Barry went on to receive the most votes of the five winning at-large candidates in 2011. Barry's focus as mayor will be on improving the educational outcomes at our public schools, engaging regional and state partners to develop a unified vision and plan for transportation, creating more affordable housing options for residents of all backgrounds, and continuing to grow our economy while ensuring all parts of Davidson County share in the prosperity. Megan Barry is married to Bruce Barry, a professor of organization studies at Vanderbilt. Their son, Max, is a junior in college, and they share their home with two rescue dogs, Hank and Boris.


Laura Berlind - Executive Director, The Sycamore Institute

Laura joined The Sycamore Institute in 2015 as the founding executive director. She provides the Institute’s organizational vision, strategic planning, and day-to-day management.  Laura holds a master’s degree in public policy with a focus on business and government from Harvard’s Kennedy School Government and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. Her role at the Institute reflects her longstanding commitment to using data and research to bring together diverse stakeholders and work complex problems. Laura brings with her almost fifteen years of nonprofit and government finance experience, most recently serving as the CEO of Renewal House, a holistic residential treatment center for women and their children affected by addiction and poverty. Prior to her role at Renewal House, she worked as a financial analyst at Vanderbilt University and as a vice president in the public finance department at Ambac Financial Group in New York, NY.  At Ambac, Laura worked with a wide range of government and nonprofit clients to evaluate and execute publically funded capital projects ranging in size up to $800 million. Laura maintains a strong connection to her local community through service on nonprofit boards and other volunteer activities. She is currently serving as the vice chair of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health’s Planning and Policy Council and is an active member of Rotary Club.  In 2014, Laura received the Volunteer of the Year award from the Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug and Other Addiction Services. She was also recognized as one of the Nashville Business Journal’s 2014 Forty Under 40 award winners.


Floyd Crook - Director of Maintenance, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority

Floyd Crook joined the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority is 2007 and currently serves as the Director of Maintenance.  In this role he has oversight for all facility and airfield maintenance, to include the vehicle fleet, and directs a staff of 75 personnel who provide 24/7 coverage at the Nashville International Airport.  He previously has served as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer in the USAF, a Transportation Analyst at Arnold Engineering and Development Center, and as Assistant Director of Maintenance for Williamson County Schools.  A native of Tennessee, he completed B.S. (Aerospace Administration) and M.B.A. degrees at Middle Tennessee State University.


Preston Elliott, AICP - Senior Transportation Planner, RPM Transportation Consultants

Preston Elliott is a Senior Transportation Planner with RPM Transportation Consultants, a division of KCI Technologies, in Nashville. He is a certified planner with 23 years of professional transportation and comprehensive planning experience. He has extensive experience in corridor and sub-area plans, the program development process, and public outreach and involvement. In addition to these efforts, he has assisted numerous communities in the development of bicycle and pedestrian plans both at the regional level as well as at the city level.


Drew Frye - Power Utilization Engineer, Technology Innovation, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

Drew Frye leads the evaluation and demonstration of electric transportation technologies for TVA’s research organization and also supports consumer facing distributed energy resource and intelligent grid initiatives. His research informs line organizations, program developers and engages Local Power Company partners to spark innovative thinking.  His responsibilities include engineering technical support, project management and partner engagement strategy to develop, deliver and clearly communicate the results from research projects.  He is an advisor to the Electric Power Research Institute and facilitates TVA’s leveraged research investments. Frye also participates in the prioritization and direction setting process for TVA’s strategic research efforts. Notable ongoing projects under Frye’s direction include partnering with seventeen Local Power Companies to demonstrate plug-in hybrid electric utility trucks, managing the development and installation of public electric vehicle charging stations and solar systems to support an electric vehicle car sharing system in Chattanooga, TN and developing resources for utility engagement in the electric transportation market. Frye has previously supported energy utilization projects that involved testing energy efficiency technologies and residential construction techniques at TVA’s Campbell Creek research homes, characterizing the market potential of electric transportation with TVA’s largest customer Memphis Light Gas & Water, deploying over 100 communicating thermostats in Glasgow, KY and designing integrated solar, electric vehicle and battery storage charging terminals which were installed at locations around the Tennessee Valley.  Frye has been awarded the Electric Power Research Institute’s technology transfer award multiple times for his communication efforts and application of collaborative research learnings. Prior to joining TVA full time in 2011, Frye served in the TVA IT Customer Service Center maintaining IT assets and with DuPont Chemicals in Chattanooga, TN in the plant maintenance and reliability group.


Dr. David L. Greene - Senior Fellow, Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

David Greene is a Senior Fellow of the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy and a Research Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The University of Tennessee.  In 2013 he retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Corporate Fellow after 36 years researching transportation and energy policy issues.  Much of his research is concerned with the effectiveness and impacts of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.  He served on four National Research Council (NRC) committees evaluating the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards between 1990 and 2015.  Other areas of research interest include alternative fuels, the costs of oil dependence and the transition to low carbon energy in transportation.  From 2011 to 2012 he served on the NRC’s Committee on Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels.  In all, he has served on more than a dozen NRC and Transportation Research Board (TRB) special committees and is a member emeritus of the TRB’s standing committees on Energy and Alternative Fuels.  He has testified to the U.S. Congress concerning transportation and energy issues on a dozen occasions.  Author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 275 professional publications, he is a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies and recipient of the Transportation Research Board’s Roy W. Crum Award.  He was recognized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for contributing to the award of the 2007 Noble Peace Prize to the IPCC.  He holds a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University as well as degrees in Geography from the University of Oregon (MA) and Columbia University (BA).


Erin Hafkenschiel - Director of Transportation and Sustainability for Nashville Mayor Megan Barry

Erin Hafkenschiel joined Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s Infrastructure Team from California Environmental Associates, a sustainability-consulting firm in San Francisco. There, she provided regulatory and policy analysis for clients in the freight-transportation and renewable-energy industries, and strategic planning for environmental foundations and non-profits. Her previous experience includes philanthropic work for the Bay Area Council –a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county San Francisco region– and for the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she helped manage a $22 million portfolio of environmental grants, and the launch of the China Sustainable Cities Initiative. Hafkenschiel was also a 2008 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to China, where she studied sustainable urban planning and transportation. In 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. Hafkenschiel holds a Master’s in Public Policy & Urban Planning from Harvard University, and a B.A. in Political Economy of Industrialized Societies from the University of California at Berkeley.

12-27-12 Hall_Tanisha TDOT Long Range Planing

Tanisha J. Hall, AICP - Director of Long Range Planning, Tennessee Department of Transportation

Tanisha Hall, Director of Long Range Planning, is responsible for the division which identifies transportation needs through research, analysis of travel and safety data, and engages communities to obtain public input on transportation investments. Ms. Hall’s group is responsible for the development of a Statewide Freight Plan, corridor studies, the travel demand model, traffic and travel data collection, GIS as well as the development of  TDOT’s 25-year Long Range Transportation Plan. Ms. Hall graduated from Southern University at New Orleans with dual degrees in Business Administration and Transportation and Logistics.  Upon graduation, she studied at the University of Iowa and received a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Hall has over 19 years of experience in Urban Planning, specializing in Multimodal Transportation Planning, Freight, Research and Transportation Demand Management.  Ms. Hall is a member of Tennessee American Planning Association and American Institute of Certified Planners.  She is also involved in several local non-profit organizations.  A native of New Orleans and gardening enthusiast, Ms. Hall loves living in Nashville with her husband Byron, their two sons, Brandon and Darin and dogs, Rex and Myles.


Paul Holzen - Director of Engineer, City of Franklin

Paul Holzen grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents were both math teachers and encouraged him to become an engineer from a young age. In 2000 he joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve to help pay for college. While serving in the Marine Reserves he attended Ohio University and graduated in 2004. In 2005 his Marine Reserve Unit was deployed to Djibouti, Africa as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Paul was honorably discharged in November of 2006. Paul Holzen has worked for the City of Franklin since 2009. He began with the City as an Engineer II and was promoted to the Interim Director of Engineering in 2011. Prior to working for the City, Paul worked as a consultant for five years doing site development and transportation design for both private and public clients. He is a Professional Engineer (P.E.) and a LEED Accredited Professional.


Robert J. Martineau, Jr. - Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Robert “Bob” Martineau was selected seventh Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) by Governor Bill Haslam in January 2011. He leads a diverse, dynamic department responsible for acting as the chief environmental and natural resources regulatory agency in Tennessee and managing the Tennessee State Park system. Commissioner Martineau spent more than 25 years as an attorney in the field of environmental law. This includes seven years of service in the Office of General Counsel for the U.S. EPA in Washington, D.C. and the last decade as a partner in private practice at Waller in Nashville. In private practice, Martineau helped clients, including business and local government, anticipate issues proactively, navigate permit processes, solve problems and establish effective environmental management programs. Commissioner Martineau has long been recognized as one of Tennessee’s foremost experts and authors on environmental law, particularly as it relates to the Clean Air Act and using plain English to communicate law and policy. In August 2014, Martineau was elected President of the Environmental Council of the States, a group representing heads of state environmental agencies. He is a Leadership Nashville and Leadership Tennessee graduate and currently serves on the Board of the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. In 2013, Commissioner Martineau received the Women’s Political Collaborative of Tennessee’s Good Guy Award, and in 2014, the Nashville Business Journal named him a Most Admired CEO. Commissioner Martineau earned his law degree at the University of Cincinnati and holds a bachelors degree from St. John’s University (Minnesota).

Shari Meghreblian, Ph.D. - Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Since joining the TN Department of Environment and Conservation in 2011, Dr. Shari Meghreblian has overseen the department’s environmental air, land and water regulatory programs.  She has been recognized for her ability to provide strategic insight and analyze processes and procedures to streamline business practices and has been appointed to several boards and councils supporting three different departments of state government.  Her collaborative work style both inside and outside the Department has helped advance environmental and public health goals while also working to ensure a sustainable climate for community growth.  In 2013 she was appointed by the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) to serve as the new Chair of the ECOS Federal Facilities Forum and was selected as Co-Chair for Tennessee Region’s Roundtable State Advisors Committee.  She was most recently recognized as a “Woman of Influence in Public Policy” for 2016 by the Nashville Business Journal. 


David Nestor - Director of Compressed Natural Gas, Piedmont Natural Gas

David joined Piedmont Natural Gas in 2007 and he currently manages the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) group.  The CNG team is responsible for the design, construction and safe operations of Piedmont’s public CNG stations throughout its territories in NC, SC and TN.  His team is also responsible for growing the business through strategic business development opportunities.  In his previous role at Piedmont, he was the Manager of Gas Technology and Energy Services, where he managed programs involving energy efficiency, gas technology, sustainability initiatives, UESC projects, and strategic energy policies.  David currently serves as part of a natural gas utility consortium that supports R&D work being done at the Gas Technology Institute in Chicago.   David is a LEED Accredited Professional.  Prior to joining Piedmont Natural Gas, David worked as an Engineer with the Trane Company and also the CMS Schools Facilities group.  He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of South Carolina.


Adetokunbo "Toks" Omishakin - Deputy Commissioner / Chief of Environment & Planning Bureau, Tennessee Department of Transportation

In October of 2011, Toks Omishakin was appointed Assistant Commissioner and Chief of the Bureau of Environment and Planning at the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). In this position, he leads TDOT's continued success in establishing environmental and transportation planning, policy, and the performance necessary to make it one of the best DOT’s in the country. He is responsible for the bureau’s administrative and project budget that exceeds $250 million annually. He leads the activities of the divisions of Environment, Long-Range Planning, and Multimodal Transportation Resources. In 2014, he was appointed Deputy Commissioner.

Prior to joining TDOT, Toks served as the Director of Healthy Living Initiatives in the Office of Mayor - Karl Dean in Nashville, Tennessee.  There he led efforts to develop a Complete Streets policy for Nashville and helped established a more balanced approach to transportation planning and design for the city.  He also spearheaded the creation of two Bicycle Sharing programs (Nashville BCycle and Nashville Green Bikes) for Metro Nashville. He was the Mayor’s liaison to several council’s and boards appointed to improve the built environment, transportation and overall livability of the city. Mr. Omishakin has been a speaker and presenter at several national and international conferences and his work has been published in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine and profiled in The Wall Street Journal, HBO Documentaries and Newsweek magazine.  He serves on the Board of Directors for America Walks and the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway. He is also an active member of the American Planning Association, Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals and the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Toks holds a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) with concentrations in transportation planning and urban design from Jackson State University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology from Mississippi Valley State University.


Cindy Pionke, PE - Director of Planning and Development, Knox County Department of Engineering and Public Works

Cindy is a Professional Engineer and has been with Knox County Government for more than 20 years. Within Knox County, Cindy works on all issues related to transportation matters including existing and planned roads, sidewalks, bicycle paths, and traffic control devices. Cindy also reviews and regulates all new proposed development by the private sector in the County as well.


Marvin Shepherd - Director of Customer Service, IdleAir

Marvin Shepherd is IdleAir's director of customer service, and has had that role since joining IdleAir ten years ago.  IdleAir owns 45 staffed truck stop electrification facilities that deliver conditioned air, electricity and internet to parked trucks during their overnight stays. To date, IdleAir’s operations have saved drivers sixty two million gallons of diesel fuel, and offset over 600,0000 metric tons of diesel emissions.  The service is used by over 750 fleets, 45,000 drivers, and some of the largest truck stops and fleets in the country.  Users are charged hourly, at about half of the cost of idling. Marvin and his Knoxville-based staff are chiefly responsible for the user experience of IdleAir's 40,000 driver customers.  This includes round-the-clock troubleshooting and bigger picture coordination between company operations and the drivers.  In one example, Marvin has guided IdleAir's R&D team to create cantilevered devices that address frequent driver complaints of lifting the heavy service module overhead into the window.  IdleAir's Lift Assist options are now offered at a growing number of its truck-stops to help disabled drivers benefit from the service.


Michael Taylor - Manager, Commercial and Industrial Customer Care, Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW)

Michael is responsible for MLGW’s commercial and industrial utility efforts including economic development, key account relations, commercial call center operations, leased outdoor lighting, C&I energy efficiency, as well as the development and implementation of the gas purchasing, risk management and pipeline asset strategies.  He also leads the company’s efforts in CNG and LNG business development.  Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Memphis.  He began his career with MLGW directly out of college in February 1993 and has worked in numerous areas within the company leading up to his current position.


Diane Thorne - Regional Transportation Director, Transportation Management Association (TMA)

Thorne is responsible for the coordination of transportation solutions with local, regional and national partners. Additionally, she researches and accesses industry trends relative to The TMA Group’s integrated programs and solutions, identifying new and enhancing existing opportunities for growth. Thorne collaborates in the development of strategies, business objectives, and goals of the organization. Current programs of work include: VanStar – commuter vanpool program serving 15 Middle Tennessee counties; Franklin Transit Authority – public transportation system serving City of Franklin; and Clean Air Partnership. With thirty years’ experience in the transportation industry, Thorne feels transportation solutions cannot be limited by geographic and political boundaries. A sustainable transportation system is one that must meet the transportation and other needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


Melissa Tinker - Administrative Assistant - Community Development / GreenTrips Coordinator, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB)

Melissa Tinker is an Administrative Assistant with a diverse background across several industries.  Melissa works closely with EPB’s VP of Community Development and the Director of Environmental Stewardship to ensure that EPB’s sustainable policies are carried out in practice every day.  Over the last year, Melissa has helped to implement the Scope5 Software system company-wide to track how EPB’s green practices are making a difference in the environment and how recycling and improved green practices impact the bottom line.  She has also worked closely with the City of Chattanooga to get EPB employees signed up for GreenTrips.  GreenTrips is a program to acquaint area residents and commuters with healthy, cost-effective and fun transportation alternatives to driving alone.  This free program provides incentives and educational resources for walking, biking, carpooling, transit and telecommuting. 


Christine Vitt - VP, Strategic Planning and Sustainability, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority

Christine Vitt heads up the Department of Strategic Planning and Sustainability at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.  The department was formed in 2013 to establish, manage and oversee key functions including strategy, planning, environmental, sustainability, and continuous improvement.  Prior to this role, she served as Assistant Vice President of Construction and Environmental, managing environmental compliance as well as $0.5 billion of infrastructure improvements including terminal renovation, various airfield projects and a new consolidated rental car facility.  Over the past few years, Ms. Vitt has championed the development of the airport’s first ever Sustainability Plan.   One notable result is implementation of the largest geothermal lake plate cooling system in North America and potentially the world.  To date, energy efficiency efforts are saving the airport more than $1 million per year.  Her and her team are also leading the airport through development of strategic and long term planning and in process measurement controls.  Vitt hails from Rochester, New York and has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology and more than 25 years of professional engineering, consulting and aviation experience.  She is also a certified International Aviation Professional and holds a Certified Member status from the Accredited Airport Executive Program.  Ms. Vitt previously was appointed to a local municipal Planning Board and rewrote planning and design guidelines focused on sustaining the desired function and aesthetics for future development in the community in which she lived. 


Ron Yearwood - Assistant Director, Nashville Civic Design Center

Ron is a Nashville native, urban designer and has been with the Nashville Civic Design Center (NCDC) since 2010. He is currently the NCDC's Assistant Director, coordinating the design studio, Young Urbanists group, PARK(ing) Day Nashville, and PechaKucha Night Nashville. He has a passion for creating and envisioning a more livable, better connected and healthier city. Ron co-authored the Center's recent publication Moving Tennessee Forward: Models for Connecting Communities. His recent initiatives have included coordinating the NCDC’s international design competition, Designing Action; completion of the NCDC’s project, Shaping The Healthy Community: The Nashville Plan; and helping expand NCDC’s Reclaiming Public Space initiative through Tactical Urbanism Organizers of Nashville (TURBO Nashville). He is also the Vice President of Transit Now Nashville, a grass roots organization dedicated to promote a vibrant and efficient transit system for Nashville. Ron earned his Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and Masters of Urban Design from the ETH, Zurich, Switzerland.


Erika Young- Director of Strategic Partnerships, Smart Growth America

Erika Young is SGA’s Director of Strategic Partnerships where she helps local communities and state governments create and implement smart growth solutions to their transportation and development challenges. This builds on Erika's time with Transportation for America, where she managed T4A's outreach and partnerships program, which included maintaining relationships with partners, identifying trends and opportunities for new alliances, and developing strategies for raising revenue. Erika Young brings over ten years of outreach and legislative experience to the Smart Growth America team, building on her past experience in program management, public and constituent service, extensive writing, and advocacy.  Ms. Young comes to SGA from the National Association of Regional Councils, where as transportation director she helped to formulate the organization’s positions on federal transportation legislation and oversaw a coalition advocating on their behalf. Erika also previously worked in the US Congress, serving Senator Hollings (D-SC) on the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, as well as Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV-03) as his Legislative Director and staff to the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where she managed a legislative team to establish and advocate the congressional district’s policy messages.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Keynote Presentation - Erika Young, Smart Growth America

Panel - "Behavior Change: Strategies, Transportation Demand Management, and the Increased Adoption of Alternatives to Single Occupancy Vehicles"
Melissa Tinker, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB)
Diane Thorne, Transportation Management Association (TMA)
Ron Yearwood, Nashville Civic Design Center

Lunch and Keynote Speaker - Dr. David Greene, University of Tennessee

Panel - "One Big Idea"
Floyd Crook, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority
Preston Elliott, RPM Transportation Consultants
Cindy Pionke, Knox County Department of Engineering and Public Works
Marvin Shepherd, IdleAir
Michael Taylor, Memphis Light, Gas, and Water (MLGW)

Panel - "Energy and Environment"
Laura Berlind, The Sycamore Institute
Drew Frye, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
David Nestor, Piedmont Natural Gas

2017 Tennessee Green Fleets Certification Awards Ceremony

Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Equipment Showcase

Networking Reception - sponsored by ICOM North America, the Propane Education and Research Council, Black Bear Solar Institute, and the Tennessee Propane Gas Association

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Keynote PresentationNashville and Davidson County Mayor Megan Barry

Panel - "Mobility Planning"
Tanisha J. Hall, Tennessee Department of Transportation
Erin Hafkenschiel, Nashville Mayor's Office
Paul Holzen, City of Franklin


2017 Sustainable Transportation Awards Ceremony
Robert J. Martineau, Jr., Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Shari Meghreblian, PhD, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Toks Omishakin, Deputy Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Transportation