2011 Plenary Speakers

The Labs21 2011 Annual Conference began on Tuesday, September 20, with an opening plenary session to welcome all participants to the conference. On Thursday, September 22, a second plenary session announced the Go Beyond Award winners and wrapped up the conference.

Opening Plenary

Master of Ceremonies/I2SL Welcoming Remarks and Announcements

Local Welcome

International Sustainable Laboratory Student Design Competition Update

Sponsor Welcome

EPA Opening Remarks

  • Craig Hooks, Office of Administration and Resources Management, EPA

DOE Opening Remarks

Keynote Speaker


Labs21 Luncheon and Go Beyond Awards



Picture of Kath Williams
Dr. Williams

Kath Williams, Ph.D., LEED Fellow, Kath Williams + Associates and I2SL

Dr. Kath Williams, past president of the World Green Building Council, has a diverse background in sustainability—from construction projects to green education. Dr. Williams is involved in the development of outstanding green building projects around the world and has worked on 62 LEED projects since 2000. Dr. Williams represented the U.S. Green Building Council during the development of the Labs21 Environmental Performance Criteria and chaired the LEED Application Guide for Laboratories committee for nine years. She also led the team that produced the U.S. Department of State's Green Guide for Operations and Maintenance for all embassies and consulates worldwide. In 1999, Dr. Williams established Kath Williams + Associates. Dr. Williams is also a founding member and the Executive Vice President of I2SL.

Dr. Williams was recently named LEED Fellow, one of the first 34 designated by the Green Building Certification Institute. Dr. Williams was also honored as the first Fulbright Senior Specialist in Sustainability.

Karen H. Koltes, Ph.D., U.S. Department of the Interior

Picture of Karen Koltes
Dr. Koltes

Dr. Koltes received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of London and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. She worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Narragansett, Rhode Island, the School for Field Studies in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and directed the Smithsonian Institution's marine field station in the Turks and Caicos Islands. She joined the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1989, working in the Research Division of the Fish and Wildlife Service and later the U.S. Geological Survey. For the past 13 years she has been the program manager for the Coral Reef Initiative in the Office of Insular Affairs, managing a $1 million annual grants program to the U.S. territories and Freely Associated States. Dr. Koltes is also the site director for the Smithsonian Institution's coral reef monitoring program at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize. She is a certified scientific diver and has completed more than 1,100 scuba dives, mostly for research.

Stephen Meinhold, Ph.D., University of North Carolina Wilmington

Stephen Meinhold is the associate dean for research at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). Dr. Meinhold serves as the liaison between the Joint Institute for Caribbean Marine Studies and the National Park Service for the Salt River Bay Marine Research and Education Center, coordinating input of the university partners into the development of the marine laboratory campus.

At UNCW, Dr. Meinhold leads the Office of Research Service and Sponsored Programs and is a professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs.

Harvey Dunham, Schneider Electric

Picture of Harvey Dunham
Mr. Dunham

Mr. Dunham has spent 28 years with Schneider Electric in Poland, South Africa, the UK, and the U.S. Prior to joining Schneider Electric, Mr. Dunham received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Oregon State University and served in the U.S. Coast Guard. He worked for Schneider Electric U.S. in varying capacities for 16 years before assuming the position of director of the buildings segment for Schneider Electric U.K. for three years. In 2005 he moved to the position of country manager for Schneider Electric South Africa, followed by two years as country manager for Schneider Electric Poland. He has since returned to the U.S. to serve as global solutions vice president—life sciences and industrial buildings out of Schneider Electric's Chicago office. Mr. Dunham has undertaken management development programs at Schneider Electric as well as Harvard and Kellogg's Business Schools.

Craig Hooks, Office of Administration and Resources Management, EPA

Photo of Craig Hooks
Mr. Hooks

Craig Hooks serves as assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM). OARM is responsible for governing the Agency's resources management including grants and contracts, human resources, and facilities management. Prior to joining OARM he served as the director of the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW) at EPA within the Office of Water. OWOW promotes a watershed approach to manage, protect, and restore the water resources and aquatic ecosystems of the nation's marine and fresh waters. Mr. Hooks served as chairman of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force Coordinating Committee, which is responsible for coordinating federal and state interagency efforts to reduce hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Hooks also served as the EPA representative on the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, which is responsible for preservation and protection of coral reef ecosystems.

Timothy Unruh, Ph.D., Federal Energy Management Program, DOE

Photo of Timothy Unruh
Mr. Unruh

Dr. Timothy D. Unruh is program manager for FEMP, which falls within the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. As FEMP program manager, Dr. Unruh oversees the implementation of policy and actions that result in energy efficiency implementation, renewable energy adoption, and reductions in energy and water use in federal government operations. Dr. Unruh coordinates with DOE national laboratories and other federal agencies in this capacity.

Dr. Unruh was formerly director of operations for ConEdison Solutions, where he led a team of engineers and project managers to implement energy savings projects within government and private installations. Earlier in his engineering career, Dr. Unruh built a program to provide energy services to major industrial clients. Dr. Unruh has a doctorate, master's, and bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas.

The Honorable Lowell Weicker, Jr.

The Honorable Lowell Weicker, Jr.
The Honorable Lowell Weicker, Jr.

The Honorable Lowell Weicker, Jr., has a political career spanning over 30 years, including three terms as a U.S. Senator, and as Governor of Connecticut. In the Senate, he was the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Committee. Governor Weicker attended and graduated from Yale University and the University of Virginia, and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees from over 20 universities and colleges. He has received many awards including the JFK Library Profiles in Courage Award, the Albert Lasker Service Award, the Hubert Humphrey Civil Rights Leadership Award, the Joseph Kennedy Foundation Award for the Disabled, and the Wayne Morse Political Integrity Award.

Governor Lowell Weicker spoke to the importance of public health preparedness in the United States and the vital role that laboratories play in ensuring that Americans are safe from bioterrorism, pandemics, and other public health disasters. Governor Weicker also highlighted the heroic efforts and first-person accounts of how the public health community and laboratories responded during the 9/11 tragedies and the subsequent anthrax attacks, which illustrated why maintaining an optimal level of public health preparedness is essential.  The Governor discussed how far states have come in being prepared, but also what needs to be done to maintain resources and support laboratories and the public health community to ensure that they can handle any future challenges.

Julie Higginbotham, Editor, Laboratory Design Newsletter

Picture of Julie Higginbotham
Ms. Higginbotham

Julie Higginbotham has been editor of Laboratory Design Newsletter, an Advantage Business Media (ABM) publication, since 1997. She is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and has been a business journalist for more than two decades, with a concentration on architecture, engineering, and construction topics. Before joining ABM, Ms. Higginbotham was managing editor of School and College Planning and Management magazine. She is the recipient of multiple awards for journalism, including the prestigious Jesse H. Neal Award, known as the "Pulitzer Prize of the business media."