About Green Built Alliance

— Our Mission

We advance sustainable living, green building and climate justice through community education, inspired action and collaborative partnerships.

— Our Vision

We cultivate communities where everyone has equitable access
to healthy homes and a thriving natural world.

— Our Story

Green Built Alliance is an Asheville-based environmental non-profit organization that aims to transform the building industry in western North Carolina by supporting sustainable design, construction, and renewable energy. We are proud of our long track record of success in this industry and region.


Green Built Alliance founded

Green Built Alliance began as a gathering of five building professionals, bonded by a common desire to educate others on the environmental impacts of design and construction. Since then, we have educated thousands of building professionals and homeowners about building science and weatherization. We offer classes and technical trainings, and work with local governments and utilities to incentivize green building and energy efficiency. In addition, we administer an affordable, local Green Building home certification program called Green Built Homes.


Appalachian Offsets relaunched

We relaunched the Appalachian Offsets program, which gives local people and businesses an option to offset their carbon footprints by supporting local clean-energy projects. Appalachian Offsets’ largest success so far is the installation of a 300 KW solar system at Isaac Dickson Elementary School in spring 2021.


Blue Horizons Project launched

We launched Blue Horizons Project alongside our work on the Energy Innovation Task Force. The program’s goal is to support Buncombe County’s efforts to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2040, through improving access to and engagement in the region’s clean energy programs and resources.


Energy Savers Network started

We assumed management of Energy Savers Network, which offers energy-efficiency upgrades to low-income homes. After previously serving as the program’s fiscal sponsor, we are now the exclusive implementer of Energy Savers Network in Western North Carolina, and have weatherized over 900 homes across the region.


Green Built Homes expands to include Regenerative and Net Zero certifications

We rolled out Green Built Homes Version 3.0 with a new version of the checklist that places more emphasis on regenerative elements, including the addition of a Net Zero Water Ready Certification and a pilot Regenerative Certification. Also in 2021, Green Built Alliance marked the milestone of 2,000 projects certified through the Green Built Homes system and introduced the Regenerative Professional Accreditation credential that acknowledges a deep, evolving competency in advanced green-building best practices.


Engage with us!​

Please write or call us with your questions or comments about Green Built Alliance. We recommend that you use our form below so that we can direct you to the right person who can answer your questions based on the nature of your inquiry.

Mailing Address

Green Built Alliance
PO Box 2594
Asheville, NC 28802

Office Address

1 Haywood St, 4th Floor, Office 463
Asheville, NC 28801

(Please call ahead to make sure we are available.)
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Green Built Alliance Staff

The work of Green Built Alliance in the community is led by our passionate and engaged staff and Board of Directors.

Sam Ruark

Sam Ruark

Executive Director


Sam Ruark

Sam joined Green Built Alliance in late 2015. He has been working in the field of sustainability for local governments, nonprofits, and small businesses since 1998. Sam’s first foray into the nonprofit world was working with the Harmony Project and the Sustainability Institute in Charleston, SC. There, he ran a building materials reuse center for affordable housing and a green building trade show. In 2000, he heard the call to “go west young man” and moved to the Bay area without a job or place to live. Within a year, he had a job working as a Sustainability Planner for Marin County, CA, where he developed and implemented their green building program, helped write the Energy and Green Building Element to the County’s master plan, and initiated two sustainability policies that dramatically reduce energy use and construction waste.

In 2005, he returned to North Carolina and served as Educational Programming Director for Seven-Star Events where he worked with a team to organize and manage the Green Festivals and GreenCities. In 2009, he returned to California to work as an Energy and Sustainability Coordinator for Sonoma County, CA, where he managed a commercial and municipal energy efficiency program in partnership with the utility. He also developed renewable energy projects including a 700 kW PV system, managed the post-installation commissioning of a 1.4 MW hydrogen fuel cell and developed a clean commute program for county employees.

In 2014, he returned to the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. In November 2015, he began his service as the executive director of Green Built Alliance. During his time here, the organization has grown substantially in staff, scope and impact.

Sam has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Communications from the College of Charleston, is a LEED AP, NARI Certified Green Building professional and Certified Permaculture designer. He lives at Earthaven Ecovillage where he strives to incorporate the principles of sustainability and stewardship into daily life.

Amber Gilot

Amber Gilot

Human Resources & Finance Manager


Amber Gilot

Amber joined Green Built Alliance in early 2021. Born and raised in the mountains of Western North Carolina, these mountains, valleys and rivers are part of Amber’s blood.

Her passion and drive for doing work that matters began while at Warren Wilson College, a service-oriented work-college nestled in the rolling hills of Swannanoa, NC. This passion stayed with her as she began her professional career in Asheville. She now has more than 12 years of experience using organizational management, bookkeeping and writing for businesses who are focused on a triple bottom line and local community and environmental matters. Amber is passionate about working with organizations, businesses and people who care about more than just the bottom line. Social, environmental and economic justice and issues of the soul and heart are at the core of who she works with.

When Amber isn’t doing the books for Green Built Alliance, she enjoys reading, astrology, writing and all things psychology. She spends her days homeschooling her kiddo Elise, throwing the ball to her lab Biscuit, and taking walks around her sweet little downtown Marshall neighborhood with her partner Bastien.

Annie McGehrin

Annie McGehrin

Development & Marketing Manager


Annie McGehrin

Annie joined Green Built Alliance in early 2021 as an intern and was hired to work on staff in the spring of 2022. Her passion for the environment originated from her love for gardening which led her to pursue her first degree in horticulture from her community college in Delaware. After moving to North Carolina in 2016, Annie received her Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University with interest in how people engage in conversation about equity and environmental justice.

Annie has a professional background in marketing communications as well as over a decade of experience in customer service. She’s excited to be in a role where her skills and passions harmonize while working for a community she loves.

When she’s not overseeing fundraising operations or connecting with the community, Annie can be found enjoying the great outdoors, traveling, gardening, tending to her abundance of indoor plants, or relaxing with her cat Aspen.

Danny Harvey

Danny Harvey

Green Building Program Manager


Danny Harvey

As Green Building Program Manager for Green Built Alliance, Danny Harvey brings over two decades of experience in green building and sustainability practices, beginning in the late 1990’s with building high-efficiency houses in his hometown of Berea, Kentucky, and managing the solid waste & recycling center at Berea College while participating in the burgeoning Sustainability and Environmental Studies program. Arriving in Asheville in 2002, he began working with local companies to provide residential energy-efficiency retrofits and employ custom new-construction sustainable building practices.

In the late 2000’s, as an inspector, instructor, program manager, and HERS Rater for Southface, the largest regional green building non-profit organization in the Southeast, Danny helped to administer the EarthCraft House program and participated in development of the EarthCraft Renovation and Multi-Family programs, as well as providing courses in HERS, LEED, BPI, and EarthCraft certification. After three years with Southface, he transitioned to installing residential energy-efficiency retrofits and implementing sustainable building practices as a Building Performance Institute Building Analyst with one of the largest design & build organizations in Atlanta, Georgia.

Since returning to the Asheville area over ten years ago, Danny has continued to pursue opportunities that utilize his skills and experience in the green building and sustainability industries, by working in several trades in the commercial & residential construction industry, teaching and attending courses at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, performing energy-efficiency inspections and providing BPI BA Proctor services for Green Opportunities, conducting facilities supervision and warehouse management services for local production and power-generation companies, and working independently as a sustainability consultant for businesses and individuals.

Danny currently resides near the Celo Community on the South Toe River, where he and his daughter enjoy exploring the natural world together. He is active in outdoor sports, visual arts, as a performing musician in several genres, and enjoys working and volunteering with local organizations such as the Western North Carolina Disc Golf Association, The Roots Foundation, and the LEAF Festival.

Hannah Egan

Hannah Egan

Outreach & Resource Manager


Hannah Egan

Hannah Egan joined Green Built Alliance in early 2018 as an intern and was hired to work on staff later that year. She has since been learning about the nonprofit sector, green building, and energy efficiency. Hannah graduated from Appalachian State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Development concentrated in Community, Regional, and Global Development.

Originally from just outside Baltimore, Hannah moved after college to New Zealand and then back home to Maryland before returning to the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is excited to lend her skills and education to an organization that is dedicated to creating a better built environment for the entire community.

When Hannah is not connecting with people in the community through Green Built Alliance, the Blue Horizons Project, or Energy Savers Network, she enjoys yoga, outdoor activities, supporting community agriculture, traveling, live music, cooking, and enjoying life with her cat Peaches.

Mikal Bonilla

Mikal Bonilla

Energy Savers Network Crew Leader


Mikal Bonilla

Originally a volunteer for Energy Savers Network, Mikal joined Green Built Alliance’s staff in the spring of 2022. A native of beautiful North Carolina, Mikal has had a deep love and appreciation for Mother Earth instilled in her since childhood. This, coupled with Mikal’s compassion and lifelong desire to help others, made a career with Green Built Alliance of particular interest for her.

Born in the Piedmont Triad with roots in Eastern North Carolina, Mikal has called these mountains home since 2016. Offering a varied set of skills and experience, some of her most proud accomplishments include her time working with FEMA after the tragic hurricanes Irma and Maria; her time spent exploring the “strange and unknown” for FATE magazine; and most recently, dedicating many weeks to the county-wide efforts to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to Western North Carolina with the Buncombe County Health Department in 2021.

When Mikal isn’t working with power tools out in the community, she can sometimes be found working with power tools at home! She enjoys refurbishing old furniture, crafting, being outdoors and spending quality time with her wonderful family.

Kelvin Bonilla

Kelvin Bonilla

Energy Savers Network Manager


Kelvin Bonilla

Kelvin joined Green Built Alliance in the spring of 2020. A native of Honduras, Kelvin brings more than a decade of experience in the building-performance industry to the Energy Savers Network team.

He started his career with Green Opportunities, gaining vast experience in the field as a crew leader, mentor, and instructor in the classroom. He went on to work with Conservation Pros, a small locally owned building performance company. Kelvin has multiple professional certifications including BPI, HERS, Lead Safe Renovator, Class III Asbestos Worker, CPR instructor, and OSHA-30.

In his work with the Energy Savers Network, Kelvin wants to continue his passion working to reduce the energy consumption of homes in marginalized communities, which are often the most affected by climate change. He is truly passionate about building performance and applying triple-bottom-line principles to help affect positive change for the people in our local community who need it the most.

When he’s not trying to peek in the attic at a friend’s cookout, Kelvin enjoys giving back to the community and serves on the Board for ALAS (Asheville Latin Americans Achieving Success), a local Latinx nonprofit that strives to create Latinx leadership in Western North Carolina. He also loves exploring the outdoors with his daughters Sofia and Elizabeth, by hiking, camping, or jumping into freezing mountain water.

Jamie Wine

Jamie Wine

Clean Energy Program Manager


Jamie Wine

Jamie joined Green Built Alliance in the spring of 2022. He hails most recently from New Orleans where he managed an education and outreach program for energy efficiency and building science across Louisiana. Before that, in Seattle, California and Boston, he developed nonprofit programs for varied audiences like students in grades K-12, ocean advocates, traffic engineers, community organizers, adults, families and youth.

Jamie is deeply committed to community empowerment through education, fighting the climate crisis, and bringing environmental peace to disadvantaged communities. While an executive decision is often easier, he believes a collaborative approach yields a more satisfying result.

Jamie studied marine biology and environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and holds professional certifications in building performance, leadership development, public speaking and real estate.

When he’s not at Green Built Alliance, he likes to spend time with his partner, his daughter and 3 dogs on hikes, at the playground or splashing in the creek

Summer Winkler

Summer Winkler

Clean Energy Program Coordinator


Summer Winkler

Summer joined Green Built Alliance in the summer of 2021 as an intern and was hired to work on staff in the spring of 2022. She grew up in Western North Carolina and after a few years in New York City and Raleigh, she is thrilled to call these mountains home again.

She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 with a degree in global studies, focusing on health and environment. Summer’s foray into sustainability grew in her personal life with the zero-waste movement and a cross-country road trip where she spent several months camping, spending time in nature, and learning how different cities approached sustainability and had access to it. She then received a Graduate Certificate of Sustainability from Virginia Tech.

When Summer isn’t working on Blue Horizons Project, you can find her writing music, watching her husband drum in his band, and hanging with her two cats.

Kalen Breland

Membership & Communications Coordinator


Kalen Breland

Kalen joined Green Built Alliance in spring of 2023 as a Memberships and Communications Coordinator. Her interest in sustainability began with her love of hiking and traveling, which has taken her to some of the most amazing outdoor landscapes in the US and abroad. But after three years of building and traveling in DIY tiny homes, she is thrilled to have found a place to call home in Asheville.

She received a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Alabama and master’s degree in English at Georgetown University, where her research focused on environmental rhetoric and the ways we communicate about the planet and its resources. She is passionate about not only the mountains of western North Carolina, but the sustainability and resilience of the rural and agricultural South in general.

When she’s not at Green Built, you can find her foraging and gardening, reading books in a hammock, or hanging out with her two beloved cats, Biscuit and Poppyseed.

Green Built Alliance Board of Directors

Mary Love

Mary Love


Stephens Farrell

Vice Chair

Leesa Sluder

Adam Klaus


Jamie Shelton

Jamie Shelton


Alesha Reardon

Alesha Reardon


deborah wright

Deborah Wright


Rob Johnson

Rob Johnson


Green Built Alliance Staff