Click on a year to jump to the list of TWIG speakers and presentations:
2022  |  2021  |  2020  |  2019  |  2018  |  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012

January: Christine Vitt, VP, Strategic Planning & Sustainability, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) adopted and defined sustainability as a meaningful way of evaluating business initiatives in 2012.  Since then, MNAA has embarked on many initiatives resulting in over $1 million savings in energy consumption annually, including the largest lake plate geothermal cooling system in North America.  Solar and EV charging has been introduced and recycling has increased by more than 50%.  MNAA is also implementing a $1.2 billion BNA Vision program where sustainability will be an integral part of the process and programming.  We look forward to sharing our journey so far and provide insights as to what the future may bring at your airport.

​February: Laurel Creech, Asst. Dir. of Sustainability, Metro Nashville Dept. of General Services Laurel Creech is a an enthusiastic, self-motivated and entrepreneurial leader locally, regionally and nationally. As one of the first ten Chief Services, she has lead the development of Cities of Service, a national movement to connect citizens to the greatest needs of cities in the United States. In addition to advising other Chief Service Officers across the country, Laurel served as the US delegate for the launch of Cities of Service UK and is also mentoring the first Chief Service Officer in Kirklees, UK.In the Mayor's Office, Laurel also leads sustainability and healthy living projects, events and initiatives including the implementation of the Green Ribbon Committee Report, Open Space Plan, and Stormbusters city-resiliency blueprint. She also co-lead several of Mayor Dean's health events including Walk 100 Miles, Mayor's Challenge 5K, Mayor's Field Day and Open Streets Nashville. Laurel helped develop and implement the Mayor's Workplace and Neighborhood Challenge, which was the first three-tiered challenges of their kind in the country now being replicated in ten cities across the US.Prior to joining the Mayor's Office, Laurel was the founder and director of Team Green Adventures with the goal to connect Middle Tennessee community to the outdoors through active and engaging events for all ability levels. She was also on-air talent on both WRLT Lightning 100 and WYYB The Phoenix and helped with sales, marketing, promotions, copy-writing and a variety of other innovative projects. In 2009 after an interview with Mayor Dean, she co-founded Live On the Green with her fellow co-workers at Tuned In Broadcasting. 

March: Erica Weeks, Dir. of Sustainability, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, Homes and ND, green STUDIO/Hastings Architecture Associates, LLC
Topic: LEED v4 and the WELL Building Standard. Erica is a seasoned professional in the facilitation of high performance building projects, particularly those pursing LEED Certification. She is an avid proponent of green building and evidence based design. She earned her first LEED AP credential in 2006 and has participated as a LEED project manager on a wide range of projects in both Tennessee and California. Erica was one of the first 100 people in the country to earn EDAC credentials to help integrate research into the practice of design. Download Erica's Presentation Here

April: Betsy Littrell, LEED AP BD+C, Manual Zeitlin Architects Betsy joined Manuel Zeitlin Architects in March of 2016. She believes firmly that design can, and should, delight the human experience while solving complex environmental, social, and economic problems. Since graduation from UT Knoxville in 2010, she has immersed herself in community engagement, education and volunteerism while a Design Fellow at the Nashville Civic Design Center and following an architectural designer. She and her husband have a micro urban farm in Wedgewood Houston complete with a largely passive aquaponic greenhouse - growing both tilapia and vegetables in addition to urban hens and fruit. "Green Leaf Aquaponics" is an incubator for experiments in urban agriculture and she uses it to show neighbors, peers and clients alike the opportunity to incorporate incremental solutions towards a more resilient lifestyle. Currently she is helping launch an advocacy group working to bring regenerative land design projects and “food forests” to bear across Middle Tennessee to increase local, healthy food access, ecosystem services and community delight. Dubbed #NomNomNashville, this playful slogan embodies her focus on the intersection of land use and food production opportunities as the building block for equitable and resilient cities. Betsy dreams big, laughs loud and is continuously pushing the envelope for equitable and regenerative development.

May: Tiffany Wilmot, Founder of TWIG, President of Wilmot Inc. Tiffany Wilmot has been president of Wilmot Inc, a small, woman-owned sustainability consulting firm for 20 years. Her expertise in innovative, high performance design, green infrastructure and resource conservation has helped clients save money, improve health, and increase efficiency. Under her leadership, the company has managed a wide variety of large-scale public and private-sector projects. Wilmot is currently breaking new ground in Nashville by incorporating sustainability into the city’s water and wastewater projects as a part of the Energy Management Program and Overflow Abatement Program and LEED certified buildings.  Ms. Wilmot was 1 of 27 Nashville citizen-leaders selected to serve on Mayor Karl Dean’s Green Ribbon Committee, leading the Green Building & Energy Subcommittee, and was again selected to serve on Mayor Meghan Barry’s Livable Nashville Committee, again on the Green Building & Energy Subcommittee.

June: Sylvia Harrelson Ganier, Farm Owner, Green Door Gourmet Sylvia Harrelson Ganier, the farm operator, brings years of farm and restaurant experience as well as a passion for food and education. Her background, growing up on a dairy farm in North Carolina, melds with her many years in the restaurant business, including being chef and owner of her former Nashville based establishment, CIBO. Personal attention is the main focus of Sylvia and the crew at Green Door Gourmet, and produces both high quality produce, and a positive experience for our patrons.

July: Margo Farnsworth, lWriter & Biomimicry Instructor, Missouri Prairie Foundation Missouri-based naturalist Margo Farnsworth is an expert on biomimicry, the art of imitating nature to solve human problems. She is a speaker, Biomimicry Education Fellow at the Biomimicry Institute, and consultant on biomimicry and sustainability. Additionally, she has been a visiting faculty at Wofford College’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center and Environmental Studies program and advisor to Lipscomb University’s Institute of Sustainability, and is a biomimicry academic advisor to a number of students around the globe who do not have access to biomimicry programs at their campuses. As a biomimicry and environmental topics author, Margo’s biomimicry work has been featured in a number of media outlets, from radio to environmental journals. Her work will also be featured in the anthology Wildness: Relations of People and Place (publishing this April) and she is working on a book chronicling business’s discovery, adoption, and results in working with the biomimetic process. With a policy and project background in water quality and supply, mammalogy, and land management, Margo has conducted mammal studies in the Midwestern and Southeastern U.S., brokered a bi-state water agreement, helped build seven watershed associations, and facilitated projects such as measuring the carbon sequestration value of buffer zones as well as sedimentation for river restoration.

August: Seema Prasad, Proprietor, Miel Restaurant Seema Prasad is the owner of Miel Restaurant (“Behind Bobbie’s Dairy Dip”) where for the past 8 Years she has championed an effort to use sustainably grown food, wine and sustainable practices at the restaurant. For the past four years her focus has added the topic of food waste and how Nashville as a city can divert this valuable resource from landfills to utilize it for its renewable qualities. The non-profit Seema founded called Resource Capture aka ReCap aims to build a Dry Anaerobic Digester for Nashville to process the waste into soil, energy & fertilizer. Seema’s experience from her past career in the field of community organizing, public relations & government relations was focused on environmental issues and that experience has aided greatly in the pursuit of the Digester Project for Nashville.

September: Leah Sherry, Executive Director, Turnip Green Creative Reuse Click here for her presentation!

October: Nora Kern, Executive Director, Walk Bike Nashville Nora Kern is the Executive Director of Walk Bike Nashville (WBN), a grassroots non-profit dedicated to making Nashville more walkable, bikeable and livable. WBN focuses on making active transportation an option for all Nashvillians, no matter who they are or where they're trying to go. Nora has worked at WBN since 2013, when she became one of the organization’s first paid staff. A Nashville native, Nora graduated from Williams College with a major in history and leadership studies. Prior to her time with WBN Nora worked for a startup aerospace company, the TN Democratic Party, the Cumberland River Compact and the Nashville Civic Design Center. Throughout her time at Walk Bike Nashville Nora has largely focused on growing and establishing its educational programming and advocacy voice. Today she serves on numerous Metro Nashville planning and advisory committees. In 2016 Nora was also appointed by Mayor Barry to the Metro Nashville-Davidson County Traffic and Parking Commission.

November: Sharon Smith, Assistant Director, Metro Nashville Public Works, "Nashville’s Long-term Zero Waste Master Plan" Sharon Smith has worked in the waste management industry for over 22 years including 16 years with the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.  She has worked for the Metro Government in a number of capacities starting as recycling coordinator, managing recycling collection operations, overseeing Metro Beautification and Environment Commission, a Keep American Beautiful & Keep Tennessee Beautiful Affiliate and now an assistant director over the Public Works sustainability division.  Prior to working for Metro Government she spent six years as the executive director of the Recycling Marketing Cooperative for Tennessee and five years teaching English as a foreign language in Thailand refugee camps and in Seoul, South Korea.  Sharon has a Master of Public Health from the University of Tennessee.

Highlights from 2017:

TWIG members came out to support the Tennessee Environmental Council's 100k Tree Day by planting over 80 trees at the City of Franklin's tree farm at Harlinsdale Farm with the city's arborist on Feb. 25, 2017.

TWIG's Alisha Eley Among Nashville Emerging Leader Awards 2017 Finalists


The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and YP Nashville announced the finalists for the 2017 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs). The NELAs program is designed to recognize Middle Tennessee’s young professionals (YP) under the age of 40 for significant accomplishments in their chosen field as well as their commitment and contribution to the community.


TWIG's own Board Member Alisha Eley of Kimley-Horn & Associates is a finalist in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction category. Alisha, you make us proud to know you! Congratulations on this honor!

TWIG was proud to be able to sponsor a table for members and Board members to attend the inaugural Living the Plan Breakfast by the Nashville Civic Design Center on April 6th. Members were delighted to hear Janette Sadik-Khan, author of "Street Fight", speak. Mayor Meagan Barry was on hand to introduce the speaker as well. 


2nd Annual Sustainability Leadership Breakfast: Human Health and Transparancy (hosted by the IIDA Tennessee Chapter)


Keynote Speaker Liz York will highlight the connection between buildings and their impact on the environment and public health. Following York's speech, a panel of material health experts will discuss LEEDv4 upgrades to the Material and Resources Credits; explain why material transparency matters; and review available product certifications and labels.

USGB Impact Tennessee: Build Green, Be Well

The Tennessee chapter of the United States Green Building Council hosted their first-ever statewide conference at the Adventure Science Center! This year's theme focused on sharing the science behind sustainability and celebrating the people making an impact here in Tennessee! The day included keynote speaker Ann Sussman on The 21st Century Paradigm Shift: Cognitive Science informing Green Design, multiple educational sessions, a statewide awards ceremony luncheon, and a wrap-up networking mixer.

TWIG also sponsored members to attend events from USGBC Tennessee!

What a great looking group!