Keynote Events

The Better Buildings Summit brings together some of the best minds working to further energy efficiency opportunities and technologies in the built environment. Don’t miss a moment of the conversation. Make sure to check out our keynote speakers and our panels on all the latest innovations coming from Better Buildings partners and industry experts! You can learn more about these and our other Summit speakers here.

Engaging Executives on Efficiency & Sustainability Goals

9:00 AM

Join Better Buildings partners as they offer advice on how to make your energy efficiency pitch resonate with your organization’s leadership and strategies for aligning energy management with your broader organizational goals. Partners will also provide their unique insights into some of the trends they are seeing within their industry and the impacts of those trends on energy and sustainability.

Head of CSR and Sustainability

Danielle Azoulay oversees the implementation of L’Oréal’s global sustainability program Sharing Beauty With All, which addresses environmental and social impacts across L’Oréal’s value chain. Prior to joining L’Oréal USA, she established the environmental sustainability program at Marc Jacobs International and worked on supply chain sustainability issues at PVH. Throughout her career, Danielle has developed and executed sustainability strategies to reduce supply chain impacts, drive positive change upstream, create business value, and increase stakeholder engagement. She has an M.A. in Environmental Conservation and Education from New York University.


CHRIS CASTRO, City of Orlando
Director of Sustainability and Resilience

Chris Castro leads the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability & Resilience in developing cross-sector partnerships, policies, and programs that accelerate Orlando’s sustainability, clean energy, and climate resiliency goals. He helped create the comprehensive "Smart ORL" initiative to better use data and technology to improve government operations and enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors. He founded the U.N.-accredited IDEAS For Us, an international NGO working to develop and fund environmental solutions around the world. Chris was named a 'Champion of Change' by President Obama and Governing Magazine recently named him a Public Official of the Year.


RANDY GAINES, Hilton Worldwide
SVP of Operations and New Project Development

Randy Gaines has a wealth of experience in hospitality and served as Hilton’s Vice Present for Engineering, Housekeeping, and Laundry Operations, as well as for Leasing and Retail before taking on his current role. He previously worked at Host Hotels and Resorts as Vice President for Engineering Technical Services and has held many positions with Marriott and White Lodging Services over the past 30 years.


Hearing from the Experts: Emerging Technologies & Things to Watch

12:30 PM

Join us for a conversation with leadership from 3 of DOE’s National Labs about trends, technologies, and ideas to watch for that will impact your organization.

DANIEL SIMMONS, U.S. Department of Energy
Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Daniel Simmons leads EERE to promote affordable and reliable energy to enhance America’s economic growth and energy security. He oversees technology development in the energy efficiency, renewable power and sustainable transportation sectors. Before joining DOE, Daniel served as the Institute for Energy Research’s Vice President for Policy, overseeing its energy and climate policy work at the state and federal level. He previously served as the director of the Natural Resources Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council, was a research fellow at the Mercatus Center, and worked as professional staff on the Committee on Resources in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a graduate of Utah State University and George Mason University School of Law.


DR. CRAIG BLUE, Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL)
Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs, Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate

Craig Blue's portfolio at ORNL represents significant DOE program investments in the Advanced Manufacturing, Building Technologies, and Vehicle Technologies Offices. He has over 21 years of experience in materials and manufacturing technologies research, holds 15 U.S. patents, and has received 10 R&D 100 Awards. Craig has served on review panels and committees for the National Science Foundation, the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering, and others. He is a Battelle Distinguished Inventor, Fellow of ASM International, and holds faculty appointments at University of Tennessee, University of North Texas, and the Colorado School of Mines. He recently served as CEO of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, part of the White House Manufacturing USA initiative to increase domestic production capacity, grow manufacturing, and create jobs.


DR. MARTIN KELLER, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)

Martin Keller has been the Director of NREL since 2015. He previously served as Associate Laboratory Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he was asked to lead the newly-formed Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate. In this role he was responsible for the energy, biological, and environmental research programs supported by DOE, EPA, and the National Institutes of Health. Martin served as the Founding Director of the DOE BioEnergy Science Center and as the Director of the Biosciences Division. Before joining the National Labs, he held a series of research management positions within Diversa Corporation, a publicly-traded biotechnology company. Martin received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Regensburg, Germany.


DR. JUD VIRDEN, Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL)
Associate Laboratory Director, Energy and Environment Directorate

Jud Virden joined PNNL in 1991, where he leads 1,000 scientists, engineers, and staff who are delivering science and technology solutions for the nation’s complex energy and environmental challenges—including modernizing the power grid, advancing energy storage technologies, increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and lighting, developing biofuels, and resolving complex issues in nuclear science and environmental management. He earned his Ph.D. and B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Washington.