The Rivion Team

We’re passionate about what we do and how we serve our clients. When we take on a project, we own it in every sense of the word. We strive for strong relationships throughout all levels of an organization, are collaborative partners, and are effective communicators with and for our clients. Our goal is to make it easier for you to manage processes that lead to better building performance.

 

Hilary Giffen – Energy Modeling Consultant

Why I do what I do.
I believe that the Earth is a finite resource and even small changes in our building designs can reap great changes in the environment and provide a better built environment for our clients.

What I’m passionate about.
I am an engineer at heart, so I love to tear through the drawings and see where all of the energy is going and then see where I can help the client make improvements, but also as an engineer, I see the need for cost effective improvements.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
I work with our clients to reduce their energy use, which saves them money and improves the environment.

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ROLE
Hilary brings the expertise of 20 years of designing HVAC systems and knowledge of other building system design to oversee the energy modeling group at Rivion.

Her other primary role is to act as the owner’s representative, helping and guiding clients through the many equipment and building decisions that will affect final efficiencies and cost. A delicate balance of first costs and operating costs is always to be considered in this process.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Before joining Rivion, Hilary designed HVAC systems for commercial building throughout the country, with a particular focus on healthcare facilities and LEED/sustainable designs.

She was involved with several noteworthy projects including a lab building with an innovative lab exhaust system which reduced exhaust fan energy by approximately 65% and a 220,000 ft² hospital addition which attained LEED™ Silver certification.

EDUCATION
Hilary received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Theresa Goldman – Office Administrator

Why I do what I do.
I have always been a doer and my passion for volunteering and helping others translated into a career of providing support for others.  I like the variety of duties that comes with the role of an administrative assistant.

What I’m passionate about.
I’m passionate about helping others.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
I am champion for all of our clients, because I support the needs of the team to reach our final goal.

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ROLE
Theresa Goldman provides administrative support to the Owner and COO of Rivion and works on special projects for the Rivion team.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Theresa has more than 30 years’ experience in executive support and office operations.

Jing Hong – Sustainability Coordinator

Why I do what I do.
Sustainability protects our natural environment, human and ecological health, while driving innovation and not compromising our way of life. It is important. Regarding to its growing requirement, sustainable business is going to bloom. Working in this field makes me feel good, because I create value for myself, the clients, and most importantly, the environment.

What I’m passionate about.
I am passionate about providing clients with practical strategies for environmental protection, and social and economic development.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
I have an interdisciplinary background, so I look at things from different perspectives for clients. As an academic, I may be persuasive for clients by presenting sustainable strategies with evidence or logical arguments.

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ROLE
Jing works on LEED building projects. She assists with the building system design, commissioning, and implementation of LEED principles, as well as preparing the necessary paperwork for certification.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Jing Hong has been working in Building Sustainability for eight years in academia and industry. Her background includes a role as a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in building technology & sustainability classes for four years. She also worked on the green roof research regarding energy performance and water management on UWM campus over four years.

EDUCATION
Jing Hong received her Masters of Science degree in Architecture from the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Bachelor of Engineering degree from Shenyang University of Technology in China. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Architecture at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

Dave Hubka – Director of Program Development

Why I do what I do.
I want to improve buildings beyond code minimum requirements.

What I’m passionate about.
I’m passionate about motivating project teams to provide better buildings.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
I guide teams through design and construction so that their sustainability achievements can be demonstrated.

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ROLE
David Hubka is the director of the LEED consultant team for Rivion. He guides the day-to-day project specific issues of the existing buildings, new construction, commissioning and energy modeling teams.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Upon graduation David worked for nine years as an HVAC Engineer designing mechanical systems for commercial buildings. The last 10+ years he has worked specifically on LEED / sustainable building projects. His day-to-day job duties include quality control, customer relations, project oversight, and facilitation of sustainable building educational sessions. In addition to his full-time job David is a 4-time published author who has taught over 3,000 industry professionals throughout the world how to design, build and operate sustainable buildings with respect to the various LEED rating systems.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION

  • Designed the mechanicals of one of the 1st LEED CI Platinum projects in the world.
  • (2) Educational courses have been approved by the US Green Building Council for LEED professional credential maintenance.
  • Guest Expert on LEEDuser.com.
  • One of the first (10) LEED Green Associates in the world.
  • Authored Transwestern’s LEED v3 EBOM Platinum pre-certified Volume program.
  • Oversaw the development of Transwestern’s LEED v4 O+M: EB Platinum pre-certified Volume program.
  • Invited to USGBC offices to provide input on LEED assessor-based certification model.
  • Contributed to the development of the WELL AP exam.
  • Authored the 1st LEED v4 BD+C prototype in the world.

EDUCATION
David received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Michael Hyde – Senior Commissioning Professional

Why I do what I do.
The frustration of designing and installing mechanical systems that function effectively and efficiently at startup but deteriorate into stopgap operation over time is maddening.  Systems do not perform as designed because of turnover of building maintenance personnel and a variety of other reasons.  I am privileged to be able to make systems right again.  Restoring building mechanical systems to original design levels and then improving on that design to save energy and improve comfort in a building is very satisfying.

What I’m passionate about.
I am passionate about making the customer satisfied with the outcome.  I am fortunate to have worked in the past for contractors that strove to satisfy the customer.  The work ethic and commitment of the management and employees at Rivion puts the customer first.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
As an onsite commissioning agent, I am the face of Rivion and my customer to his or her employees, contractors, and tenants.  I would expect to satisfy the customer not only with the tasks that are performed but also with interaction with others.  I prefer to have the experience of working with me a memorable, positive one.

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ROLE
Mike is responsible for performing onsite commissioning of mechanical systems.  The commissioning process involves interaction with construction personnel, mechanical contractors, test and balance technicians, control technicians, and ownership representatives.  He also provides mechanical system evaluations for owners of existing facilities interested in upgrading the building performance.  The implementation of recommendations results in LEED sustainability certification.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Prior to working in sustainability, Mike spent 43 years designing mechanical systems for institutional, commercial, residential, industrial, and high rise buildings in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Mike was the chief mechanical engineer for Grunau, Wenninger, and Total Mechanical companies.  His responsibilities included preparing design documents, procuring equipment and materials, jobsite supervision, and system startup.  He has been a certified NEBB and TAB balancing supervisor for 27 years.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION

  • Registered Professional Engineer (Wisconsin)
  • Balancing supervisor for air and water systems (NEBB and TAB)
Patricia Kaufmann – Senior Solutions Consultant

Why I do what I do.
The construction process has always intrigued me, and this unique experience of helping the building system design team go one step further in the process is amazing.

What I’m passionate about.
I’m passionate about healthy, functional, and futuristic buildings.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
My attention to detail and focus on a successful outcome makes me a champion for my clients.

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ROLE
Patricia applies global expertise to guide owners and project teams through the certification of new buildings, renovations and existing buildings in the USGBC’s LEED® certification systems, as well as other international recognized systems.

She serves as owners’ advocate, project manager and technical advisor on energy efficient and water reduction strategies required for certification. Patricia also advises other LEED consultants with regard to mechanical credits.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Patricia has over 30 years’ experience in the HVAC consulting world. Her emphasis was in academic and research facilities in the Mid-west and the Pacific Northwest.

In July of 2015, she joined Transwestern Sustainability Services to pursue her passion for enhancing the design and construction of LEED certified buildings, which are sustainable landmarks.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION

  • LEED AP BD+C
  • Certified Commissioning Technician (CxT)

EDUCATION
Patricia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M.

Samantha Longshore – Senior Solutions Consultant

Why I do what I do.
It starts with a love of efficiency and ends with doing a little good each day.

What I’m passionate about.
Illustrating that no action is too small.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
I bring organization and experience to my work for clients. I’m focused on creating ease for stakeholders as we tackle their energy and sustainability efforts.

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ROLE
Samantha specializes in leading ownership and management teams through the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance certification process. She provides guidance on a variety of sustainable and efficient operational initiatives and works to promote tenant engagement in the process. Samantha is responsible for enabling stakeholders to sustain positive change in their buildings.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Samantha began her career with Transwestern Sustainability Services in 2011. As a project manager, her experience extends both locally and internationally. Samantha serves as the prototype administrator for the LEED Version 4 Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings Volume program, certified the first projects under Transwestern’s LEED Version 2009 Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance Volume Program, and holds designation as a LEEDuser Expert. Samantha provides educational courses for clients, local schools, professional organizations, and conferences.

While serving as the first sustainability advocate for the Wisconsin professional chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, Samantha developed sustainability best practices for the organization, as well as strategies and tools for board and committee members’ utilization. Samantha also enjoys contributing to industry writing and has served as a volunteer writer for WorldGreen.org.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION

  • LEED AP O+M
  • LEED AP BD+C

EDUCATION
Samantha earned her Bachelor of Interior Architecture degree from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Sustainable Management through the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.

Rock Ridolfi Jr. – Senior Solutions Consultant

Why I do what I do.
My grandpa, uncle, and father were masons and I was always fascinated by their work and the work of the other trades. Absorbing a lot through observation and even more as part of my dad’s crew, I quickly learned the value of proper project management, operation, communication, and team work. This experience led me to a career where my main task is promoting positive and productive communication among all stakeholders.

What I’m passionate about.
Sustaining positive change in people, buildings, and operations.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
Our clients get the ball rolling by simply recognizing the opportunity and engaging a partner to assist in the operational improvement. My objective is to continue that momentum. I work to establish mutual objectives. Whether it’s developing an integrative energy and water efficiency approach to meet consumption goals or guiding an integrative process to build better buildings, it ultimately comes down to establishing trust and accountability, identifying the right goals, and delivering a benefit for the investors and well-being of the occupants.

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ROLE
Rock provides commissioning services for Rivion, operating as an independent, third-party commissioning authority on behalf of owner’s implementing HVAC, lighting, domestic hot water, and renewable energy projects.

Furthermore, Rock specializes in constructing a foundation for building document and operational best practices, conducting ASHRAE energy audits, PACE financing and investment grade reporting, and project development and management.

Rock emphases the practical and holistic value proposition inherent to energy and water efficiency focused projects, highlighting the importance of return on investment and return on community.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Rock transitioned to Rivion from Transwestern Sustainability Services (TSS) in 2017. Rock joined Transwestern in 2009 and has been involved in numerous projects across the spectrum of LEED programs, including Existing Buildings: Operation and Maintenance, New Construction, and Commercial Interiors encompassing over 24.5 million square feet. While operating under TSS, the group received the Mars Petcare Supplier of the Year Award 2014 for Ensure Responsible & Continuous Supply.

Rock’s energy engineering role on several PACE financing projects contributed to the acquisition of additional capital for the owner’s use on both new construction and adaptive reuse energy efficiency projects.

Additionally, Rock guided the development of DROP, a 1-100 water rating program for commercial office building water consumption.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION

  • LEED AP BD+C & LEED AP O+M – U.S. Green Building Council, USGBC
  • Certified Energy Manager, CEM – Association of Energy Engineers, AEE
  • Certified Commissioning Authority, CxA – AABC Commissioning Group, ACG
  • Engineer in Training (EIT) – State of Wisconsin
  • Member – ASHRAE and Building Commissioning Association, BCA
  • Transwestern Sustainability Services’ Legendary Service Award 2011

EDUCATION
Rock earned a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, specializing in building environmental systems.

Dorothy Schwarz – Chief Operating Officer

Why I do what I do.
My parents were major influences on me. Growing up, they lived in rural communities in Hungary where they had to raise much of their own produce and animals for food. They had to live conservatively and find a use for everything. Not being wasteful and working efficiently was ingrained in me at an early age. How could I not end up working in the area of sustainability and improving efficiency?

What I’m passionate about.
I really like organization, systems and structure. I believe applying them to any to project or problem will streamline execution, better manage expectations and result in quicker resolution.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
I help clients connect the dots. When clients understand the value of efficiency: engagement increases, implementation advances, and more efficient operations become routine. Results: less waste, lower costs, improved working environment, happier employees/tenants, and increased productivity. A win all the way around.

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ROLE
Dorothy is responsible for all aspects of Rivion operations, including strategic planning, new business development, financial management and reporting, project execution and client relationship management.  She works with clients to identify opportunities to advance sustainability in their portfolios and provides sustainability reporting for their assets.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Previously, Dorothy spent 18 years in property management managing portfolios ranging from 250,000 SF to 1,000,000 SF of suburban and downtown office, retail and industrial properties.  She also worked for a developer on the conversion of a manufacturing plant into a mixed-use property that included office, retail and condominiums, managing the various condominium associations and final construction details.  Dorothy’s engagement with sustainability began in property management incorporating sustainable practices at her properties and benchmarking them in EPA ENERGY STAR®.  Recognizing the increasing importance of sustainability in daily property operations, she welcomed the opportunity to join this team and make sustainability a full time endeavor.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION

•    U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
•    Wisconsin Green Building Alliance (WGBA)
•    Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA)

EDUCATION
Dorothy earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is a licensed real estate salesperson in the State of Wisconsin.

Al Skodowski – Principal

Why I do what I do.
I enjoy what I do, and if you enjoy what you’re doing, you just keep looking for the next challenge.  I’m blessed to be able to work with some of the best and brightest in the business here at Rivion. Some of these folks have been with me a long time and its gratifying to help them achieve their goals. If it wasn’t for the bosses who mentored and supported me along the way, I wouldn’t be where I am today, so it’s important for me to give back.

What I’m passionate about.
I’m passionate about helping people. It can be about helping someone through a personal problem, a technical issue or a really large project or problem with a building. It’s all about taking the knowledge we have and using it on behalf of our clients. That’s what matters most to me.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
My client is the person I’m working with on a project, not just the company.  It’s our job to support that person and make him or her look good.  For me, it’s not about a job or a project, it’s personal. Relationships are important and we try very hard to make sure we’re in front of our clients as much as we possibly can – understanding what they need and delivering it. It’s how we can make a difference.

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ROLE
Al is the Principal of Rivion. He serves as chief strategist and heads business development for the company.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Al started in the building operations and maintenance industry with Hyatt Hotels in Milwaukee and worked through the ranks to become an Assistant Chief Engineer.

He opened the 1000 North Water Street office building in downtown Milwaukee as the Chief Engineer and then worked as the Chief Engineer, Operations Manager and Property Manager for the Milwaukee Center.

He was the National Director of Engineering for Great Lakes Reit and developed a complete in house operations and maintenance team to oversee operations of the complete portfolio.

When Great Lakes Reit was purchased by Transwestern, Al’s role expanded to cover all of the company’s Midwest properties.  He then served as SVP and Director of LEED and Sustainability for Transwestern and led the Transwestern Sustainability Services team in Milwaukee.  The TSS group grew to manage Transwestern’s corporate energy and sustainability efforts along with servicing Transwestern clients and outside clients globally.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION
Al was the Chairman of the BOMA international Energy and Environment Committee which developed a framework around energy data and benchmarking.

He served on the local Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance (WGBA), as well as the United States Green Building Alliance (USGBC) National Board, where he held the position of Chairman of the Board.

Al was awarded the USGBC award for Individual Leadership in 2010.

He has stayed active with the USGBC, most specifically on the LEED Dynamic Plaque – Arc Platform, The WELL Certification program, and the development and construction of the William Jefferson Clinton Children’s Center – Project Haiti Orphanage in Port Au Prince Haiti.

Rick Walls – Senior Commissioning Professional

Why I do what I do.
This industry provides a unique challenging opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge to develop new and existing buildings that operate efficiently and sustainability.

What I’m passionate about.
Helping facility teams build and operate better buildings.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
I help building teams find real strategies to improve the efficiency and profitability of their buildings.

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ROLE
Rick is responsible for implementing and maintaining the energy management systems, (LEED), preventative maintenance, quality standards, operating objectives, and goals of building owners and Transwestern.  He focuses on commissioning services including design expertise, problem resolution and quality.  A key responsibility of this position is to maintain discipline profitability and be an integral part of client advocacy, marketing and business development.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Rick’s experience is based on a career of 20 years in the building automation and HVAC controls industry.  His duties included project design, project engineering, field checkout and commissioning, customer training, project estimating and sales support.

Rick has worked on traditional and LEED projects in areas such as retail, medical, commercial, education and industrial facilities.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION

  • Rick is a member of AABC Commissioning Group (ACG) and Certified Commissioning Authority (CxA).

EDUCATION
Rick received his Bachelor of Science in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Megan Wolf – Solutions Consultant

Why I do what I do.
Sustainability is important to me.

What I’m passionate about.
I’m passionate about helping others and native landscaping.

How I’m a champion for my clients.
I’m hardworking, honest and efficient in what I do.

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ROLE
Megan works towards leading property management teams through LEED rating systems. She provides guidance on a variety of non-mechanical credits for new construction projects, as well as helps guide teams through existing building certifications.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Megan received her Bachelors of Science degree in Conservation and Environmental Sciences from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS/RECOGNITION

  • LEED Green Associate

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