Rebuilding A More Resilient Houston: In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, corporations are newly aware of the importance of disaster preparedness. Business interruption is the new disaster. Inaction is profoundly costly. What should real estate and design teams do? Our panelists will discuss their experiences and strategies for minimizing risk.
Rives co-directs our Firmwide Design Performance teams and initiatives. He is a recognized global expert in resilient, high-performance and sustainable design and has been a faculty member of both Rice University and the University of Houston for 25 years. Rives has authored more than 150 articles for diverse publications like ULI’s Urban Land, WIRED, Fast Company and Texas Architect and has been an invited speaker at symposiums on five continents. Following Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Houston, Rives has become Gensler’s local and national representative on resiliency in the wake of recent natural disasters, speaking with Fast Company, Voice of America News, and American City & Country. He founded the Houston Chapter of the USGBC and recently received the Center for Houston’s Future’s Impact Award. A member of the prestigious AIA Fellowship, Rives holds a B.A. in Architecture from Rice University and a Masters from MIT.
Berkeley Research Group
George Greanias has had a wide-ranging career in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Over more than forty years of professional work, he has combined the discipline of academic training with the practical knowledge gained through leadership experience to effect significant and substantive change in major organizations. He has served as an elected public official and transit agency leader, written and taught as a business school professor, consulted with major national and international companies and not-for-profit entities, worked as an attorney and authored books and articles on topics as diverse as the role and responsibilities of boards of directors to the genesis and implementation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Immediately prior to his present position as a Managing Director at the Berkeley Research Group, Mr. Greanias served as president and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. While there, he successfully resolved a major federal investigation of the Authority’s purchasing practices, won almost $1 billion in federal grants for new rail construction, brought three light-rail projects back on schedule and budget, stabilized the Authority’s finances, ended the practice of using borrowed funds for operating expenses, expanded the types of transport vehicles to allow greater flexibility in providing service to more people across more areas, reached new labor agreements that brought new union employees into a financially sustainable pension program and helped win numerous recognitions and awards for the advances made under his leadership.
Lisa Gonzalez is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). She is responsible for the strategic direction of HARC and its research programs which are designed to facilitate sustainable management of air, energy and water resources. Lisa recently oversaw the successful design and construction of HARC’s LEED Platinum headquarters located in The Woodlands, Texas. She served previously as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HARC from 2012-2016. In addition to leading HARC, Ms. Gonzalez is active in research focused on community and climate resilience, stakeholder engagement, and the analysis and dissemination of data concerning the health and productivity of Texas Gulf Coast bays, estuaries and watersheds.
Ms. Gonzalez holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and a Bachelor of Science in Marine Fisheries from Texas A&M University at Galveston. She is Vice Chair of the Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species; serves on the Monitoring and Research Subcommittee and the Invasive Species Working Group of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Galveston Bay Estuary Program; and the Technical Advisory Committee for the Texas General Land Office. Ms. Gonzalez also serves in an advisory capacity to other nonprofit organizations including, the Advisory Council of the Galveston Bay Foundation and the Board of Directors for the Bayou Preservation Association
Houston First Corporation
Peter McStravick manages the development and implementation of entrepreneurial and business development opportunities (new and existing) for Houston First Corporation.
Previously, he has been Houston First's point person in implementing corporate strategy at the Hilton Americas-Houston and was responsible for all aspects of the Houston Convention Center Hotel Corporation's operations, from 2001 to 2011.
Peter serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Houston Botanic Garden, an Emeritus Board Member for the Houston Arts Foundation and serves on the Advisory Council of the Houston Arts Alliance.
He received a degree in finance from the University of Houston.
Jane serves as a Relocation Specialist for ConocoPhillips Real Estate and Facilities Department. She oversees daily MAC Operations and serves as the Project Manager for all large relocation projects. She has over 19 years’ experience in Facilities Management and Relocation Consulting. Jane currently serves on the Executive Board of IFMA Houston Chapter as the Vice President and is the chair of the WWP 2017 Houston Committee.