If you were to ask Ellen Strickland to describe the last seven years of her life, an exciting roller coaster would come to mind. Ellen has been on the leading edge of Green Retailing since 2000, when she opened her first store and gallery in Santa Barbara, California. Her mission then, as it is today, is to offer her clients healthy and sustainable choices in building materials and interior furnishings.
Ellen began her professional career in interpretive planning and design, specializing in educational programming and exhibition design that encouraged learning through interactive fun. Her projects during the last 28 years include interior spaces and exhibits for museums, zoos, aquariums and other educational facilities around the country. Her knowledge of building and finishing materials used during construction served as a good basis for what was soon to develop into a life-changing mission.
It was while building an exhibit to house a walrus that prompted her to investigate healthier, alternative materials for the animal’s health. This set off a chain of discoveries that haven’t stopped. Ellen soon realized that “traditional” building materials and methods were often unhealthy for animals, humans and other species, not to mention the damage it did to the environment as a whole that we all share. This catalyst initiated an investigation to offer alternative building materials and furnishings to a broader audience looking for more conscious choices then what was currently available. Livingreen was the result of that idea. Ellen now has two stores, as well as a website and online that launched in the fall of 2006. Ellen is very visible in both locations when she’s not writing articles, speaking on panels, attending industry events or hosting educational workshops for various communities.
Livingreen is more than a couple of retail stores and a website and Ellen is more than an exhibit planner that “got a conscience,” she is a pioneer within the growing green retail community. Her stores and website are often the first link interested consumers find to learn about healthier material choices for remodel projects as well as creating healthier home environments.
Ellen is a member of ASID in Los Angeles, the Sustainable Business Council, and the LA chapter of AIA and continues to maintain membership in many local and national educational and environmental organizations.
Dennis Flanzer has over forty-five years of architectural,graphics, tenant improvement and product design experience. Dennis and his wife, Fay, co-founded DennisFlanzer Associates, Inc. (DFA) in March 1978. He directs and participates in the total range of the firm’s consulting services. Each client personally receives the creative and cost-saving benefits of his extensive in-depth know-ledge and expertise in every aspect of the processes involved in programming, planning, budgeting, designing, constructing and managing development of office, medical, industrial and other commercial facilities. Projects since 1990 have totaled in excess of 4,000,000 square feet.
Prior to starting DFA, Dennis was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Group Artec (since purchased by Kimball International), a manufacturer of internationally distributed office systems furniture and architectural products, where he substantially increased annual sales in his first year, participated in the design and development of new products, and designed a show room in the Los Angeles Pacific Design Center. For over seven years prior to that, he held the position of Vice President / Chief Designer with Michael Sanchez Associates (now SK Partners), a Los Angeles area planning and design firm, where projects included planning and management of interior development for Kaiser-Permanente medical centers in Los Angeles and San Diego, as well as numerous institutional headquarters and branch office facilities for banks and saving and loan associations throughout California.
Dennis holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree with a minor in Architecture from the University of Illinois.
Vice President of Public Relations
Carol Ruiz is vice president of public relations for Culver City, California-based 5th Gear, a full service advertising and public relations agency specializing in residential and commercial real estate marketing. She is responsible for management of the public relations team, media and client relations and new business development.
Ms.Ruiz has more than 15 years’ experience in real estate focused PR and marketing. Her byline has appeared in numerous industry publications, including Urban Land, Units, Sales and Marketing Ideas, Multifamily Trends, Multifamily Executive, Options and Builder and Developer. She is an active member of the Building Industry Association (BIA), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), National Sales and Marketing Council (NSMC) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). She sits on the Residential Neighborhood Design Gold Council for ULI. She is the past chair of Sales & Marketing Ideas magazine’s editorial advisory group and is on the Building Industry Show (BIS) Conference Committee. She belongs to the editorial advisory boards for Options and Builder and Developer magazines. Ms.Ruiz is also a frequent speaker at real estate industry events, including the International Builders’ Show, HomEX and the Building Industry Show.
During her years as a PR professional, Carol has worked with a wide ranging list of real estate focused companies, including development, land planning, home building, real estate financing and service companies. Some of her clients have included KB Homes; The Planning Center; MBK Real Estate, whose parent company, Mitsui & Company, is one of the world’s largest companies; AMCAL
Multihousing; Gateway Capital, developer of the W Hotel and Condos on Hollywood and Vine; John Andrews Group Architects; and Fifield Companies, a Chicago-based residential and office high-rise developer.
Ruiz bases her PR practice on relationships, both with her clients and the press. She believes that the three keys to a successful PR campaign are developing strong relationships, good planning and the ability to tell a good story. She has found significant success in garnering press coverage, both on a regional and national basis, for her clients based on these three guiding principles.
Ms. Ruiz is also an award winning documentary filmmaker and was an instructor in the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for five years.
David Gill is a major project manager for a Fortune 500 mechanical engineering company; with vast experience in design build delivery methods and a passion for sustainable and green building. When articulating his thoughts regarding sustainable and green building design, his mantra would most accurately be described as good stewardship. David has a strong commitment to safeguarding the earth’s resources, seeing construction as among the most important vehicles with which to affect change. He believes, as Winston Churchill once said, “first we shape our dwellings, then our dwellings shape us.”
David has had extensive LEED training, and has served as project manager on several LEED Certified buildings in the Northern California area, to include Cal PERS Expansion Project (Certified) and Veterinary Medicine at University of California, Davis (Silver). His passion for green building principles and sustainable products has extended beyond his career choice well into his personal life, where he has implemented several innovative and conscientious products and designs into his own home. From solar panels and ground source heat pumps, to structural insulated panels, David is not only well-informed, but lives his beliefs. David is an active member of the US Green Building Council, and has participated in green construction events throughout the Western United States.
Education: California State University – Bachelor of Science Construction Management, Minor in Business Administration
Associations: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Design Build Institute of America, United States Green Building Council, Sacramento Builders Exchange, Veterans of Foreign Wars Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.
John Louis Chan
John Louis Chan has over 20 years of experience in the field of Architecture.
In 1989 he received a Bachelor of Architecture with honors from the University of Houston and was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for service to the College.
After his undergraduate studies Mr. Chan worked as a designer with the architectural firm of Baxter, Hodell, Donnelly and Preston in Cincinnati, Ohio. As a young designer at BHDP he worked directly for the design partners on retail, academic and laboratory buildings.
In 1993 Mr. Chan was accepted to the Master of Architecture program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Mr. Chan’s graduate thesis work was exhibited at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York.
In 1995, Mr. Chan accepted a position as a designer at the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Los Angeles. The following year he relocated to the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill where he was promoted to the position of Associate. At SOM he worked on large scale projects such as the 54 story Philippine Bank of Communications Tower and Dole World Headquarters in Westlake Village, CA.
In 2000 Mr. Chan returned to Los Angeles and established a private design practice. His current work as the Principal of The Studio of John Louis Chan involves both residential and commercial design in the Los Angeles area. Some of his recent projects include a master plan for offices and printing facilities for C.O.P. Communications in Glendale, California, office space for the Creative Artists Agency in Beverly Hills and residences in Studio City, La Canada, Mar Vista and Silver Lake.
Mr. Chan resides in Pasadena with his wife Iris, a screenwriter. He enjoys the outdoors of southern California as an avid sailboat racer and hiker.
Jayme Odgers, with a B.A. from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, is the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright Scholarship to Switzerland and over one hundred awards of excellence in graphic design. He was also selected to create an official poster for the 1984 XXIIIrd Olympiad held in Los Angeles along with such distinguished artists as David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Jonathan Borfosky, and John Baldasari.
Jayme has successfully taught at many renowned art departments in the Los Angeles area including Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts and Otis College of Art and Design. At the invitation of the Tokyo Gakuin, he has recently toured Japan as a guest speaker, lecturing in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
In addition to his studio practice Jayme also has completed a public art commission designing two water fountains for the Metropolitan Water District’s Headquarters Building at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
Numerous books and articles have included Odgers’ work, most significantly “The 20th Century Poster. Design of the Avant Garde” (Abbeville Press, New York).
His work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, The San Francisco Museum of Art, Arco Center for the Visual Arts, The Albright Knox Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,with inclusion in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York City and The White House in Washington, D.C.