Kaitlin Savage is a dual degree candidate studying environmental science and urban planning at Virginia Commonwealth University. Kaitlin has previously served as a founding director of Arizona Microcredit Initiative while studying at ASU's School of Sustainability. Her passion for environmental justice began while organizing student groups as a state coordinator for Amnesty International. At VCU, she has completed research focused on achieving sustainable and rural development in Guatemala’s indigenous communities. Today, Kaitlin is a LEED AP+ with a specialty in green building design.
USEC’s work combines her strong interest in environmental equity with extensive experience in community outreach and planning. Her range of knowledge in and distinctive commitment to the field of sustainability, paired with years of experience in interdisciplinary project management roles, has provided a strong foundation from which she is eager to build the Urban Sustainability and Equity Center as founding executive director.
DIRECTOR, ENV SERVICES
Brittany Chinn is a CSSGB-certified graduate of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, where she has designed projects which minimize waste, purify water, and address ozone depletion through enhanced refrigerant components. Brittany has previously worked for the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center, where she addressed environmental and safety hazards through the development of a multi-step mineral extraction process. Her past experience includes design of hazard and operability studies, failure mode and effects analyses, and engineering applications of EPA regulation standards. In 2015, Brittany was elected Executive Treasurer of Alpha Omega Epsilon, sorority of female engineers at Virginia Tech. As treasurer, Brittany managed organizational growth through a significant annual budget across 15 reporting officers.
Under her role as director of environmental services, Brittany hopes to utilize a comprehensive working knowledge of chemical engineering to build low-cost, high impact technical solutions which address environmental disparities across the Richmond region.
Kazz Laidlaw graduated from George Mason University, where he studied international business and global affairs. Since completing his degree, Kazz has built his professional career in a diverse range of innovative entrepreneurial environments, ranging from small businesses in early start up phase to established multi-level corporations, such as Live Nation. Kazz currently directs day-to-day strategy and ongoing business development with Equative Thinking, a multi-faceted firm specializing in artist management, where his current portfolio includes popular artists such as Kali Uchis and Goldlink. Through adaptive roles at Equative Thinking, Kazz has developed a strong skill set in cohesive branding strategies, national media rollouts, and complex logistical project management. His interest in USEC stems from previous community outreach roles with the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church, as well as past human rights work with Amnesty International, which focused on abolition of the death penalty.
At USEC, Kazz directs business development and public entrepreneurial programs. His position integrates eight years of experience in development/strategy with a social-driven perspective, informed by the continued knowledge he has gained working with hundreds of minority-owned business enterprises on both local and national scales.
DIRECTOR, RESEARCH INITIATIVES
Emily Kaba completed her undergraduate studies at Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, where she majored in geography with a minor in sustainability and a GIS certificate. At ASU, Emily has developed extensive experience in spatial analysis and environmental decision-making. Her undergraduate thesis was presented at the 2015 Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science Annual meeting. She has completed additional research projects at the nonprofit MapStory Foundation as well as ASU’s Decision Center for a Desert City, a partnership with the National Science Foundation which directs stakeholder engagement to develop transformational solutions for urban water sustainability transitions. Prior to joining USEC, Emily previously worked in land acquisition and site analysis at Cypress Creek Renewables.
As acting research director at the Urban Sustainability and Equity Center, Emily’s position pairs a strong academic background in sustainability with demonstrated expertise in data analysis to improve our collective understanding of cities, and ultimately shape USEC’s visions for community sustainability.