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OUR TEAM

Brett Sechrest

CEO & Senior Interpreter

Brett is an entrepreneur with more than 26 years experience in creating and implementing comprehensive business, project and product strategies focused on market mechanisms within the technological, financial, and manufacturing sectors. Since his graduation from Presidio Graduate School in 2005, his focus is in generating sustainable and regenerative triple-bottom-line missions that deliver short-, mid- and long-term values. He is a consummate learner, always increasing his personal capacity to design and implement strategies that bundle marketing, finance, client development, operations, product development, and project management in complex markets. Brett's last business adventure was as co-founder of Simpliphi Power, Inc. (formerly Ojai Energy Systems, Inc.) which entailed designing, analyzing, manufacturing, and implementing lithium-ion energy storage solutions into renewable and non-renewable energy applications.

Jeff Scherer

Advisor & Senior Interpreter

Jeff is a founding principal of MS&R with 45 years of experience, Jeff has been responsible for the design of more than 200 public and academic libraries over the past 40 years. He served as principal-in-charge of library design at MS&R. He is also known for leading the discussion on important issues surrounding libraries. Jeff is a frequent conference lecturer for ALA, IFLA, and PLA and has coauthored numerous articles and books on topics such as creating a sense of place in communities through library design, changes in technology and the distribution of information, and sustainable design for libraries. He worked with Library Journal to establish their Design Institute. He has served on the American Library Association and American Institute of Architects bi-annual Library Awards Jury as well as more than 10 AIA State Honor Award Juries. He was selected as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1998. He is a member of the Dean’s Council at the University of Arkansas (USA) School of Architecture. In 2016, Jeff retired from private practice to focus on painting. His work is given away in exchange for a donation to a literary or library cause. His work is visible at www.schererworks.com.

Erich Oliphant

Chief Technical Officer

Erich has more than 25 years experience in the design, development, and deployment of large-scale, mission-critical web database systems for government, private businesses and NGOs. He is an expert in service-orientated architecture, cloud, mobile and many related technologies.

Kristine Maltrud

Advisor

Kristine is the CEO/Founder of ArtSpark (https://art-spark.org), an initiative that fuels the creative economy by equipping and empowering artists and creators to make a living. Kristine is a life-long dance and theater artist, director and producer with a passion for the arts, culture and creativity. She is committed to listening to diverse community voices, and collaborating with communities to discover support networks for artists and creators, new business models for community/economic development, the intersection of art and technology, social impact investing, philanthropy, and creative entrepreneurship. Kristine has been a community facilitator for over 20 years, including Healthy Communities, national grassroots leadership programs with Native, Indigenous communities, program and strategic planning, capital raising/fundraising, curriculum development and program evaluation.

Trent Sechrest

Business and Product Development Director

Trent has been designing front and back end tailored software solutions for multiple industry sectors during the last 23 years. For 16 years, he has been the founder and President of DTS Solutions Inc., a telecommunications custom design and development software/services company. He graduated from Vanderbilt’s School of Engineering in Computer Science in 1995.

Alex Durfee

Research Associate Intern

Alex is a recent graduate from George Mason University with a bachelors in Government and International Politics concentration in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Through internships in Washington, DC, he has experience with the legislative process, political consulting, and grassroots mobilization. He is excited to share his commitment to combating climate change with local communities and businesses.

William Rees Morrish

Advisor & Senior Interpreter

William is an urban designer and Professor of Urban Ecologies at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. Bill brings extensive urban and suburban research in concert with his professional design and community based policy work with numerous municipalities, developers and neighborhood organizations to the construction of next generation design models and development strategies, to meet today's demands for integrated affordable mixed use housing and infrastructure systems that are the particular to the local context, changing social/cultural demographics, and shifting ecological landscape.

Joseph Kunkel

Senior Interpreter

Joseph, a Northern Cheyenne Tribal Member, is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Native Communities Collaborative (SNCC) and Visiting Scholar at Arizona State University's School of Engineering at the Del E. Webb School of Construction. He is a community designer and educator focused on developing capacity in Indian Country. His work with SNCC has focused on developing, researching, and sharing exemplary Native American Indian community development projects and processes nationwide. At Arizona State University, Joseph is developing and engaged in project-based fieldwork, research, and academic coursework that focuses on indigenous populations. His project work has centered on architecture, planning, construction, and design processes that align with indigenous values and honors the worldview of our nation's indigenous populations.

Colin Olson

Chief Operating & Data Officer

Colin is a Ph.D. research engineer with seven years of experience at the Naval Research Laboratory managing multidisciplinary efforts in the design and implementation of massively parallel, real-time, machine-learning algorithms. He also has expertise in big data, probability theory, signal processing, statistical inference and decision theory, image analysis, and dynamical systems theory with 22 journal publications and 21 conference publications covering said fields.

Chris Collins

UI/UX Engineer

Chris is a self-taught web designer and developer with a bachelors degree in Anthropology from the College of William and Mary. His skill at writing code and passion for good design results in pleasurable online experiences that not only look good, but are easy and intuitive for the user. He is excited to be applying his skills to help communities get things done and become more sustainable and resilient.

Jason Azar

Associate of Strategic Design and Research

Jason is a designer and researcher who is completing his masters in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. He applies his expertise in community-based planning and design, information design, infrastructure systems, and intensive research to develop place-based, collaborative, and sustainable action plans for municipalities and communities.

Desiree-Marie De Haven

Research Associate Intern

Desiree-Marie is a graduate student at the School of International Service at American University, pursing a masters in International Development with a focus on the environment and climate change. Her experience working for a conservation organization in Gabon brings a new perspective to community development. She looks forward to putting her passion for creative and sustainable problem-solving into practice.