John A. Morefield, Lifft Agency, Task Force Co-chair
With over ten years of experience in multifamily design, John is the design architect for the most multifamily modular buildings in Seattle. As the co-chair of the Offsite Task Force, a member of Seattle’s Design Review Board, and a project architect for Base4 Architects, John utilizes his multi-discipline approach to develop all aspects of the modular ecosystem. To discover the solutions needed, John and OCTF members are proposing a multi-building, open-source platform to address all aspects of development process and bring affordable modular housing online at scale.
Justin Stewart, Synergy Inc., Task Force Co-chair
Justin leads Synergy Inc. as CEO with a commitment to operational excellence and developing innovative solutions to industry problems. Under Justin’s direction, the company launched Synergy Modular, Inc. to solve the cost and trade shortage issue prevalent industry wide. By partnering with offsite suppliers to provide full modular construction services, they are able to offer a single source contract for turn-key buildings with a fixed cost in 40-50% less time. Justin’s extensive knowledge and expertise of the construction trades come from both growing up in the family business and the depth of experience gained over the last 25 years in the industry.
Heather Bunn, RAFN Company
Heather’s construction management career began in 1984 working primarily on the construction of affordable housing projects for non-profit clients. Heather joined the general contractor, Rafn Company, in 1990 and has remained there since. She is now a partner at Rafn and responsible for client relations and overall direction. She is an advocate of sustainable goals, high-quality standards, and collaborative cost reduction strategies. She continues to serve the non-profit community as co-chair of HDC’s Practical Development Solutions Affinity Group, which oversees the Offsite Task Force, Exemplary Building Task Force, and Cost Control Group.
Steve Butler, Municipal Research & Services Center
Steve has been a professional planner for over 30 years. He currently works as the Planning & Policy Manager for Municipal Research & Services Center, conducting research and municipalities across the state. He’s been involved in most aspects of community planning, both in the public and private sectors across the U.S. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners’ Ethics Committee, a co-chair of the APA-WA’s “Youth in Planning” Task Force, and a member/former chair of the UW School of Urban Design & Planning Professionals Council. In 2017, Steve was awarded a fellowship by the Civita Institute to study Italian public spaces.
Tom Faliszewski, Metric Modular
Tom is a Senior Manager of Innovative Solutions at Metric Modular, one of North America’s largest modular construction companies. For more than twenty years, Tom has been instrumental in leading some key projects like the construction of facilities for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Canada’s first modular multi-family Passive House projects, and over 20 projects in the affordable housing sector to address the housing crisis in many communities across British Columbia. He serves on boards dedicated to housing, health care and the arts. He is a graduate of the UBC School of Architecture and is a Certified Passive House Designer.
Emma Geyer, Bellwether Housing
As a Construction Manager, Emma leads projects from design through construction. She manages complex projects requiring utility connections, site work preparation, and coordination with jurisdictional authorities through her ability to dig into the details while remaining focused on the overall delivery. Her approach to project management is one of collaboration and open communication to foster a sense of teamwork between the project team of architects, general contractors, and consultants. Emma is passionate about finding innovative solutions to build affordable housing at lower costs, and faster, so that more folks can have a place to call home
John Gilson, Walsh Construction Co.
John is a 35-year industry veteran specializing in sustainable construction and complex wood structures. As a Sr. PM at Walsh Construction, he has led teams on projects such as Thornton Place and Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel, a Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) Modular Classrooms Pilot project for three Washington school districts, and award-winning Bellevue College Residence Hall, which transformed the college into a 24/7 live/learn residential campus. John’s work is focused on innovations in building systems and techniques, with the end goal of a well-built building, on time and on budget.
Grace Kim, Schemata Architects
Grace has practiced architecture in Chicago and Seattle for the past 27 years. She is a co-founding principal of Schemata Workshop, a Seattle-based architectural firm with a keen focus on community and social equity. Her clients include public housing authorities, non-profit housing developers, and social service providers. Grace has been looking to modular construction to quickly produce high-quality multifamily housing. In 2014, she completed the first affordable, multifamily, modular-construction project in Western Washington. She serves as a Commissioner of the Seattle Planning Commission and on the Board of Directors for the HDC.
Marty Kooistra, Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County
Marty, Executive director of HDC, coordinates the Offsite Construction Task Force. He brings a career-long focus on solutions at the intersection of poverty alleviation, affordable housing, and green building. Marty currently co-chairs Seattle for Everyone, the University of Washington’s West Coast Poverty Center Housing Roundtable, and the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Regional Transit-Oriented Development Advisory Committee. He also serves on the boards of Global WA and NACEDA, and is a member of PSRC’s Growth Management Policy Board and Shift Zero’s steering committee.
Bob Murphy, Deacon Construction
With over 40 years of experience in the construction industry in the greater Seattle area, Bob has worn the hat of business development manager, project manager, superintendent and estimator. Bob is currently the Business Development Manager at Deacon Construction and is focused on growing our presence in the Seattle market. Bob is a proud graduate and supporter of the University of Washington. Bob is passionate about affordable housing and projects that encourage efficient construction and sustainability.
Ryan Smith, Washington State University
Ryan is the Director of WSU’s School of Design & Construction and a Professor of Architecture. He seeks to integrate the design to construction process through industrializing offsite prefabrication and modularization. He is the author of six books and several articles on the subject of prefabrication and collaborative building delivery. He’s the founding chair of the National Institute of Building Sciences, Offsite Construction Council in Washington, D.C., a fellow of the Modular Building Institute, and a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Offsite Construction & Innovative Structures at Edinburgh Napier University in the UK.
Jeff Speert, JRS Engineering
Jeff AIA LEED AP is a principal and director with JRS Engineering. His passion for building durability and fascination with tectonics and construction methods led him to a building science career. Jeff’s education and career include a BA in Sociology, work as a carpenter in the construction industry, a Master’s Degree in Architecture, professional practice with several small- and mid-sized Seattle architecture firms, and residential design/build projects. Jeff’s work is driven to have a positive impact on the planet and people through durable and efficient enclosures and by consulting on projects that make welcoming communities.
Loren Tierney, Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County
As Member Services Director, Loren provides overall direction for the HDC’s member services program, implementing a comprehensive member and business development agendas, and creating programming for HDC’s wide array of membership, including support of the Offsite Construction Task Force, the Exemplary Building Program and the Practical Development Solutions Affinity Group. Prior to joining HDC staff, she worked as Director of the Municipal League of King County and the Municipal League Foundation, and concurrently worked at the philanthropic, member-based Washington Women’s Foundation.
Kent Wheiler, University of Washington
Early in his career, Kent worked as a CPA, then earned a Ph.D. in marketing at University of Texas Austin. He joined the forest products company, Weyerhaeuser. For over 26 years, he worked in various financial, business development, strategic planning, and plantation management roles, with a focus on international trade and operations. He worked for two startup operations managing international timber and bamboo plantations. In 2017, he joined the UW as an Associate Professor and Director of the Center for International Trade in Forest Products. His research is focused on innovative, sustainable wood products and applications.