The 17th Annual Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo: Keynote Speakers to Address Transportation & Countywide Sustainability

Sustainable Cities Tech Challenge to Debut – APPLY NOW

MGBCE Registration is Open

Los Angeles, CA (February 22, 2018) The Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo(MGBCE) returns for its 17th year on April 19, 2018.  This longest-running and largest gathering of leading sustainability and green building advocates within both the public and private sectors in Southern California, draws attendees from 88 Southern California-area municipalities, all of which are striving to integrate sustainability into municipal action.  Hosted annually by SoCalGas and the U.S. Green Building Council-LA chapter (USGBC-LA), this year’s theme is “Innovative Cities Leading the Way to a Sustainable Future”, which both keynote presenters will address through their unique lenses of transportation and countywide planning, as will a new Challenge for start-up companies organized by USGBC-LA and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI).  The no-cost event runs from 8:00am to 6:00pm at the Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) Energy Resource Center (ERC) located at 9240 Firestone Blvd. in Downey.  Registration is open now.

Extending the idea of “innovation” leading the way, USGBC-LA and LACI are using this year’s event to debut a major global startup competition in the green building industry.  The late-afternoon mixer (begins 4:30pm) will introduce the Sustainable Cities Tech Challenge to attendees and award one overall Challenge Winner plus three companies per each category: Smart Infrastructure, Energy & Water Efficiency, and Waste.  The Challenge, directed at start-up companies, is committed to the future of building technology, smart cities infrastructure, and efficiency solutions.
[To apply, please click here; to read more, please see next page.]

“At USGBC-LA, we know that climate action is going to happen and impact locally.  It will be local cities, local businesses, and non-profits who are making the region better through policy and civic engagement,” states USGBC-LA Executive Director Dominique Hargreaves.  “MGBCE will bring together the technology-makers, policy makers, and design professionals to continue to build the culture of sustainability in Southern California.”

Morning keynote speaker Seleta J. Reynolds, General Manager, LA Department of Transportation (LADOT), will launch the day with her talk, DronesLoops, and Robotaxis: A Sustainable City Roadmap to Our Hyper-Uber Future.”  Ms. Reynolds has over 18 years of transportation experience throughout the U.S. and speaks to the power of cities to produce regulation that battles climate change and promotes equity.  She is passionate about sustainable infrastructure and open data platforms and advocates for the idea of a “public bill of rights for Mobility”.

Appointed by the Administration of Mayor Eric Garcetti, she is responsible for implementing Great Streets for Los Angeles, a plan to reduce traffic fatalities, double the number of people riding bikes, and expand access to integrated transportation choices for Angelenos and the region.  She has advised transportation technology companies like WalkScore, contributed to the state-of-the-practice as an Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals Board Member, and serves as the President of the National Association for City Transportation Officials.

During lunch, keynote speaker Gary Gero, Chief Sustainability Officer, County of Los Angeles, will speak to the importance of regional approaches and local leadership in addressing our sustainability challenges.  He was recently appointed to be the first Chief Sustainability Officer for the County of Los Angeles where his duties include creating a countywide sustainability plan that addresses regional environmental, economic, and social justice issues.  Prior, Mr. Gero served for nine years as the President of the Climate Action Reserve (now on its Board of Directors), and he is also involved in Olympic Sustainability His career includes nearly 20 years in local government, primarily in the City of Los Angeles where he served as Assistant General Manager for the Environmental Affairs Department, and at LADWP where he oversaw energy efficiency, renewable energy, and distributed generation programs.

After the day’s official programming ends, the judging and presentation of the Sustainable Cities Tech Challenge will ensue.  This is how the three categories break down:

  • Smart Infrastructure – Connecting Buildings, IoT Devices, Demand Response, Energy Storage
  • Energy & Water Efficiency – Lighting, HVAC, Building Control Systems, Smart Irrigation, Plug Load Monitoring, Building Envelope
  • Waste – Textile Recycling, Food Waste, Waste to Energy, Waste Water

Challenge finalists will receive exhibit space and inclusion in the conference at no cost, as well as the chance to win $15,000 as the overall Challenge winner, $3,000 per category winner, in-kind support from sponsors or partners, as well as the opportunity for membership to LACI’s business incubation program, access to the La Kretz Innovation Campus, and Advanced Prototyping Center. Winners will also receive pitch prep and mentorship, from LACI’s Executives-in-Residence team leading up the conference.

“Transforming markets by working with partners like USGBC-LA is key to LACI’s mission of creating an inclusive, green economy,” states LACI Senior Vice President Amanda Sabicer.  “Our goal is to help unlock innovation by identifying promising start-ups with compelling energy efficiency technologies that can be deployed to create sustainable, smart cities everywhere.”

MGBCE’s programming addresses solutions at the building, city and regional scale for city administrators as they seek ways to forge an inclusive path forward, especially at the local level, and across topics that include Health, Technology & Data, Diversity & Inclusion, Energy & Environment, Housing, Education, Infrastructure, Budgets, Public Safety and Economic Development.

The conference attracts a wide variety of building industry disciplines, including municipalities, utilities, public agencies, architects, engineers, building owners, contractors, non-profits, and manufacturers.  All of these groups are working together to create connected cities that succeed in the three E’s: Economic, Environmental, and Equity solutions.

For MGBCE schedule and general information, please visit or contact Event Chair Drew Shula at  For Sponsorship & Exhibitor information, please contact Dominique Hargreaves at

About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles 
USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission promotes sustainability in LA County’s built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition and networking. (

About Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) 
Since its inception in 2000, MGBCE has become an important gathering of leading sustainability and green building advocates within both the public and private sectors in southern California. Hosted by the SoCalGas at the ERC building in Downey, this annual Spring conference and trade show provides training, education and outreach to inform local government agencies, building industry professionals and the general public about the principles, practices and products associated with green building. (

About LACI
The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is a private non-profit organization helping to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies and ensuring an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation, transforming markets and enhancing community. Founded as a cluster-driven economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past six years, LACI has helped 72 portfolio companies raise $165M in funding, $220M in revenue, create 1,700 jobs, and deliver more than $379M in long term economic value. LACI recently acquired the Cleantech Open to amplify and expand their positive impact toward building an inclusive green global economy. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @LACIncubator.

Julie Du Brow, USGBC-LA