Preparing St. Louis for Climate Change: Building Resilient Communities
Date(s) - September 20, 2023
7:30 am - 9:00 am
Missouri Botanical Garden – Farr Auditorium in the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
Registration is now closed for this event. If you need to make changes to an existing reservation, please contact Kayla Dix at email@example.com.
As climate change continues to pose significant challenges for cities around the world, it is essential for local communities to come together and proactively prepare for its impacts. St. Louis is taking steps to identify what needs to change and to build resiliency in order to ensure the well-being of its residents in the face of changing climate.
Join us to discuss the challenges and the efforts in preparing for climate change and explore strategies for building resilient communities. Our panelists, composed of experts, community leaders, and policy makers, will delve into key aspects of climate change mitigation and share insights, experiences, and best practices from their respective fields. We’ll highlight innovative strategies for infrastructure development, urban planning and resource management, as well as identify opportunities for collaboration and action.
Dr. Peter Wyse-Jackson, President of the Missouri Botanical Garden and George Engelmann Professor of Botany at Washington University in St. Louis, will provide opening remarks, followed by the panel discussion and Q&A.
7:30-8:00 a.m. – Networking and refreshments
8:00-9:00 a.m. – Panel Discussion
- Moderator: Malachi Rein, LEED AP BD+C, Director, Building Energy Exchange St. Louis (Leadership St. Louis 2024)
- Dr. Kanika Cunningham, Director, St. Louis County Public Health Department (Leadership St. Louis 2024)
- Beth Gutzler, Lead Environmental Justice Organizer, Metropolitan Congregations United
- Rebecca Hankins, Partnerships Manager, Forest ReLeaf
- Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, LEED Fellow, Vice Chair, St. Louis City Building Energy Improvement Board, and Principal Consultant, Cameron MacAllister Group (Leadership St. Louis 2000)
This event is free to attend and open to all; advance registration is required.
ABOUT OUR PANELISTS
Malachi Rein has a unique background in both Architectural Engineering and Communications. He also has many years of recognized leadership experience and brings the perspective of an owner’s representative to his work as the Director of the Building Energy Exchange St. Louis. His goal is to empower people to implement high-performance building technologies that not only allow their buildings to serve their purpose but also sustain our health and planet while lowering operational costs. He believes that by connecting resources to people and communities, we can create a lasting investment that frees up capital and creates healthier, happier lives. He is committed to bringing an appreciation of our built environment, and the people that keep it vibrant, to the hearts and habits of our society.
Dr. Kanika A. Cunningham, MD, MPH, is the director of the Saint Louis County Department of Public Health. Dr. Cunningham joined DPH as public health officer in 2022 and was appointed director by County Executive Dr. Sam Page in January 2023. Prior to her work with the County, Dr. Cunningham served as associate medical director at Family Care Health Center in Carondelet and as a clinical instructor at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She is a regional advocate for addressing health inequities and integration of primary care with addiction care for multiple substance use disorders. A St. Louis native, Dr. Cunningham holds degrees in medicine as a Family Medicine physician and masters of public health from Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Saint Louis University School of Public Health.
Beth Gutzler serves as Lead Environmental Justice Organizer at Metropolitan Congregations United (MCU). MCU puts faith into action by developing leaders who move their congregations, organizations, and communities to change public policy for the common good. Since 2020, Gutzler has organized persons and communities of faith to address ecological degradation that disproportionately harms the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized. Before joining MCU, she co-founded the Social Action and Virtue Education Foundation to share restorative practices with the St. Louis region. Beth earned her MBA from Fontbonne University.
Rebecca Hankins is passionate about plants and what they teach us about resiliency, diversity, partnership, and community. In her role at Forest ReLeaf, she advocates for environmental justice in communities suffering from low tree canopy. She believes that everyone deserves the benefits that trees bring. She loves hearing people’s tree stories. Rebecca earned her Certificate of Proficiency in Horticulture at St. Louis Community College – Meramec.
Drawing from her experience driving sustainability within an international design firm and across the architectural profession, Mary Ann Lazarus has a deep understanding of how to work with firms both at the early stages of sustainable integration and those ready to go to the next level. Mary Ann serves on many boards and committees and is active in green building as an author, national lecturer, community advocate, and volunteer at the local and national levels. She served as the 2017 chair of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment Advisory Group. She sits on the USGBC Resilience Steering Committee Group and the AIA Board’s Climate Change and Design Excellence Committee. Mary Ann is also an adjunct faculty and sustainability program coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis. Before joining Cameron MacAllister Group, Mary Ann was the firmwide Director of sustainable design at an international architecture firm. She also served as the resident fellow for sustainability for the National AIA.