Symposium Speakers

Thomas D’Alesandro, President, Blakefield, LLC, Wilmette, IL

Tom D'AlesandroBlakefield LLC manages concept, strategy, investment, launch and development of large scale, complex real estate programs, and has shaped and executed visions for prominent master planned communities and mixed use regional destinations like Chatham Park. Tom has supervised development of over 60 office, retail, industrial, residential and hospitality buildings encompassing nearly 17 million square feet of space and representing investments of $3.5 billion. His experience includes the development and management of the nation’s mixed-use master planned communities including The Woodlands, Texas and Reston in Virginia. He received a B.A. from Loyola University Maryland, a Master’s in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago and an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.

Hunter Freeman, Hunter Freeman, Sustainable Stormwater Management Planning and Implementation, WithersRavenel, Cary, NC.

Freeman HunterHunter has extensive stormwater engineering experience, specializing in permitting and execution of green infrastructure and sustainable strategies. He has designed hundreds of BMPs in the piedmont and coastal plain of North Carolina, and has also assisted with regulatory and programmatic efforts to promote innovative design concepts. He is an active a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National LID Standing Committee and serves on numerous stormwater advisory committees and workgroups within North Carolina. Hunter received his Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in Engineering with a concentration in Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Eric Gunderson, President, Southern Branch Nursery, Inc., Chesapeake, VA

Eric GundersonEric is well known in the Virginia Chesapeake region as a source of native plants, wildlife habitat design and installation and conservation landscaping. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech, with a B.S. in Horticulture. He currently serves on the Board of the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council and is a member of the Virginia Native Plant Marketing Partnership. Eric is the 2016 recipient of the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association’s Environmental Steward of the Year award.

Dr. Charlie Hall, Professor, Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University and holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, College Station, TX

Hall_formalCharlie grew up in the nursery industry in Western North Carolina. An economist by training, his major areas of specialization include innovative management and marketing strategies, financial analysis and benchmarking, and the situation/outlook for nursery and greenhouse crops. Charlie serves as Chief Economist for AmericanHort. He is particularly known for the enthusiasm, passion, and intensity he exhibits when speaking. Charlie is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and has received TNLA’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Nursery Industry.  He is also a member of the Hall of Fame and Honorary Lifetime Member of the Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Tennessee, a Master’s in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design from the University of Tennessee and a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University.

Dr. Bill Hunt, Professor, Extension Specialist, and University Faculty Scholar, Biological and Agricultural Engineering, NC State University, Raleigh, NC

Bill Hunt PhotoBill Hunt’s work in Low Impact Development (LID) is known across the United States and internationally, both directly and through graduate students that form an interconnected network of engineers deeply steeped in leveraging green infrastructure through LID.  He teaches dozens of short courses and workshops each year on stormwater BMP design and function throughout North Carolina and the United States.  He is an active member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), serving as NC Section President and as Past-Chair of the National ASABE Extension Committee. He is also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), where he serves on the Urban Water Resources Research Council, the LID committee, and is co-chair of the Bioretention Task Committee. Bill holds undergraduate degrees in Civil Engineering and Economics from NC State University; a master’s in Biological & Agricultural Engineering also from NC State University and a doctorate in Agricultural & Biological Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Richard Linton, Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, NC State University, Raleigh, NC

Linton- photoSince 2012, Rich Linton has served as the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University.  He leads a college of about 280 faculty, more than 2,800 undergraduate students, and nearly 1000 graduate students.  Under his direction, the college has developed a new strategic plan that focuses on “building people, programs, and partnerships.”  Prior to joining NC State University, he served as Department Chair of Food Science and Technology at the Ohio State University and as a faculty member of the Department of Food Science at Purdue University.  While at Purdue University, Linton also served as the Director (and founder) of the Center for Food Safety Engineering and as the Associate Director of Agricultural Research Programs. Rich received his Bachelor’s in Biology and Master’s Degree and Doctorate degrees in Food Science all at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Tim Porter, Chief Arborist, City of Charlotte, NC

Tim PorterTim has worked six years for the City of Charlotte in both the Land Development Urban Forestry group and the Landscape Management Division. Previous work includes the US Forest Service, Urban Ecology Institute and Cornell Cooperative Extension.  His knowledge of urban forestry, tree canopy management and tree risk assessment is matched by a strong vision for the strategic management of Charlotte’s urban forest. Working with the Council-appointed Tree Advisory Commission and the City’s nonprofit partner TreesCharlotte, Tim leads tree planting and care efforts, tree ordinance compliance and fulfillment of Council’s goal to have 50% tree canopy by 2050. He received his Masters in Forest & Natural Resources Management from the State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry and a B.A. in English/Communications from the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

Marc Recktenwald, Water Quality and Environmental Permitting Program Manager, City of Charlotte, NC

Marc RecktenwaldMarc’s team is responsible for the protection and improvement of the Charlotte’s surface waters.  Their responsibility includes implementation of the City’s NPDES Phase I permit; TMDL’s; watershed planning; watershed improvement projects; the City’s Stream and Wetland Umbrella Mitigation Bank;  Post-Construction Stormwater Ordinance In-Lieu Fee Program; and a robust Pilot BMP Program.  Marc accepted this position in January 2014 after eleven years with the North Carolina Ecosystem Enhancement Program. There he served in several positions including the Watershed Planning and Project Implementation Manager.  Prior to NCEEP, he served in several environmental compliance positions including Stormwater Program Manager for NC State University.  He has a B.S in Natural Resources from NC State University College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and has more than 20 years of experience in water related compliance and ecosystem services.

David Tuch, President, Equinox Environmental, Asheville, NC

David TuchDavid joined Equinox in 2000 to help build the company into what it is today. There he planned the first conversation subdivision in Buncombe County and has a featured project in the North Carolina Low Impact Development Guidebook. As an expert in the field of sustainable planning and design including stormwater and greenways, he is a frequent speaker across the Southeast. He received both his Master of Landscape Architecture and Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development degrees from the University of Georgia and has B.S. in Plant & Soil Science/Horticulture from the University of Delaware.