Thank you for your interest in the Sustainable Detroit Forum.  We are excited to plan another year of events that will bring our community together.  

Last fall, the 2020 virtual Sustainable Detroit Forum brought together nearly 200 sustainability professionals and advocates to discuss how we can build a more sustainable and resilient Detroit. To extend these fundamental discussions and maintain opportunities to build strong network connections, we are thrilled to announce that we have planned three quarterly webinars leading up to the 5th annual Sustainable Detroit Forum on October 27th, 2021.

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The first webinar of our series on Tuesday, March 30th, from noon-1 pm ET, will feature experienced industry professionals Sonya M. Pouncy, CEM, LEED-AP, CMVP, and Ricky Ackerman, Director of Climate Equity at the Eastside Community Network. Our speakers will highlight their work and how we can design our air and water systems to be healthier and more sustainable.

  • Healthy Air | COVID-19 has undoubtedly forced our attention upon improving indoor air quality to ensure healthy environments free of virus transmissions. In this session, Sonya M. Pouncy, a degreed Mechanical Engineer with over 20 years of energy management experience, will discuss how improving our HVAC systems can help us create safer indoor spaces.

  • Healthy Water | Attendees will also learn about the Hamilton Rainscape Learning Lab, an outdoor community space with green stormwater infrastructure. Discover what it looks like now, how people are using it, and how we can build more sites like this around Detroit. Ricky Ackerman will share his extensive work in climate equity and explain how the Eastside Community Network expanded its efforts at building community space through resilience hubs.


Sonya M. Pouncy, CEM, LEED-AP, CMVP is a degreed Mechanical Engineer with more than 20 years of experience in the energy management and HVAC equipment industries. She began her career with Carrier Corporation, for which she initially developed residential furnaces and later sold chillers, air-handlers and other heavy equipment. Since leaving Carrier, Sonya has worked with manufacturer’s representatives, utilities and energy/engineering consultants. In 2020, she re-opened her own consultancy, Building Vitals, which helps facility managers identify, understand, and bridge the gap between where their building performance is and where they want it to be. Sonya is active member of ASHRAE at both the local and national levels. She is a former president of the Detroit Chapter and currently serves as the Chair of the ad hoc Joint Michigan ASHRAE Chapter’s COVID-19 Task Force. She is also the Chair of ASHRAE TC 7.3—the Technical Committee on Operations, Maintenance, and Cost Management.

Ricky Ackerman started at Eastside Community Network in February 2018 and currently serves as the Director of Climate Equity. While at ECN, Ricky has worked to engage residents around green stormwater infrastructure, air quality issues, resilience hubs, and other climate equity topics. Prior to starting at ECN, he received his masters in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment. For his masters capstone, he researched community resilience in six coastal, natural resource dependent Oregon communities through stakeholder interviews. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Government and Philosophy from Centre College in Kentucky. He began his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador where he spent three years working on a range of sustainability projects, including waste management outreach for the local government, environmental clubs in high schools, a reforestation initiative, and business development with local reserve owners.


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