Ira Locks
2 minute read

View the list of finalists for the 2019 GalaVerde Awards in Florida.

October 2019 represents the 10th anniversary of the GalaVerde Awards, which celebrate the accomplishments of change agents and project teams advancing green building in South Florida.

GalaVerde will celebrate the anniversary at the LEED Silver University of Miami Shalala Student Center. Hosted by USGBC Florida, the event convenes industry experts who have built transformative buildings and personally championed sustainability in South Florida.

When: Saturday, Oct. 12, from 6–11:30 p.m. EDT
Where: University of Miami Shalala Student Center, 1330 Miller Drive, Miami, Florida 33146

Categories of projects recognized every year include quite a range: underserved community projects, new and existing buildings, neighborhood developments and the coveted "Project of the Year." The award category for people celebrates individuals leading in the industry, such as sustainability-minded veterans, green schools advocates, community engagement champions, and exemplary students and emerging professionals.

We are excited to announce the following finalists:


Community Champion

  • Broward Addiction Recover Center
  • OB Johnson Park

Commercial Interiors

  • HKS Miami Office
  • PortMiami Terminal E

Existing Buildings

  • 701 Brickell
  • Miami Business School, University of Miami

Green Schools

  • Alexander Montessori School–Ludham Road

Neighborhood Development

  • Northwest Gardens

New Construction

  • Center for Intelligent Buildings
  • City of Doral Police Department
  • Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club


  • Lynn University Residence Hall
  • Midtown 29

Project of the Year

  • To be announced at the event


Community Rockstar

  • Pandwe Gibson, EcoTech Visions
  • Caroline Lewis, CLEO Institute

Green Government Official

  • Danielle Levine Cava

Green Dealmaker

  • Cynthia McGuire, Greener Globe Realty
  • Melanie Dawn Molina Wood, Coldwell Banker

Green Schools Advocate

  • Barbara Martinez-Guerrero, Dream in Green
  • Lisa Toy, Palm Beach County Schools

Rising Star–Student

  • Nicole Gazo, Miami Palmetto Senior High
  • Natalie Lipsey, University of Miami

Rising Star–Emerging Professional

  • Diego Cancel, City of North Miami
  • Matthew Ferrer, United Franchise Group
  • Samantha Varela, SEQUIL Systems

Sustainability Legend

  • Kyle Abney, Abney & Abney Green Solutions
  • Howard Tonkin, Urban Habitat

Volunteer of the Year

  • To be announced at the event

Event keynote

This year’s Gala Verde keynote speaker will be Carol Coletta, the chief executive officer of Memphis River Parks. Coletta has a strong implementation background, through efforts such as the Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative, a national collaboration of foundations, nonprofits and governments. The goal of the initiative is to more fully use and democratize civic assets such as parks, libraries and other public spaces to yield increased and widely shared prosperity for cities and neighborhoods. Throughout her career, Coletta has focused on efforts to transform cities and public places.

Prior to her work at The Kresge Foundation, Coletta was vice president of community and national initiatives for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. She led the two-year startup of ArtPlace, a public-private collaboration to accelerate creative placemaking in communities across the U.S., and was president and CEO of CEOs for Cities for seven years. She also served as executive director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the American Architectural Foundation.

Get tickets for GalaVerde