MEET THE BETHESDA GREEN STAFF
Véronique Marier, Executive Director
Veronique is a well-known energy and environment leader. She believes in the role of local communities as central to their sustainable economic growth. She brings to Bethesda Green a robust ability to manage and enhance the current initiatives and also to envision and implement innovative programs.
Veronique’s passion for sustainability is rooted in her youth. Raised by parents who left their wedding ceremony in a canoe and ran summer camps in Quebec, she spent her summer in nature and came back to the city in time for school start, often shocked by the differences which enhanced her desire to improve livability of urban areas.
More than 25 years ago, a lover of science and math, it felt natural to choose to become an environmental engineer. She is a graduate of the University of Guelph, Ontario. Since, she has relentlessly been at the forefront of issues and solutions, living and working in Canada, the US and India.
She built the successful green products brand “CleanStepsR” for Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES), familiar to many Bethesda businesses and residents, which brought to WGES a prestigious Department of Energy (DOE) Leadership Award (2011). She partnered with local governments in the promotion of wind power purchasing, such as Montgomery County and the District of Columbia. Via the development of a carbon offset product, she spearheaded the creation of an innovative long-term linked-to-sale Carbon Reduction Fund benefiting the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
More recently, leading DC’s Energy Administration, she had oversight of a set of energy programs spanning from energy efficiency, renewable energy, energy assurance and direct energy assistance. She led the development of DC’s Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP), the finalization of the Regulations for Building Energy Benchmarking, the development of the now passed community solar legislation. In July, she will be recognized for her contribution to DC Mayor’s Sustainable DC Vision.
Veronique is no stranger to Bethesda. A resident of the neighboring town of Somerset, she has lived in the Bethesda area since 1994. She plays, shops, walks, jogs and bikes to Bethesda. She plans to walk or bike to the office. She, her husband and two daughters are proud of their newly installed solar array.
She is happy to have this opportunity to act “locally and deep” as the new leader for Bethesda Green!
Dave Heffernan, Outreach and Communications Manager
Dave is a marketing communications professional and community builder with over 25 years of experience working with nonprofits and consulting firms for the federal government. Before joining Bethesda Green, Dave was Marketing Director for 40Plus of Greater Washington, a job-search support nonprofit, where he created a blog that attracted over 10,000 hits in one year. As VP of Public Affairs for the Center for Education Reform, Dave coordinated and supervised communications, marketing and public affairs activities, increasing media coverage by 20 percent.
Earlier in his career, Dave was Managing Editor at the Children’s Defense Fund, where he led an editorial and production team that created over $1 million in publication sales annually. Dave also supervised multi-million dollar outreach contracts with FDA and NIST as a Project Manager with SciComm, a small, Bethesda-based consulting firm.
Dave holds a B.A. in Journalism from George Washington University and serves on the Board of Directors for Green Savings Coop, 40Plus of Greater Washington, and Graceful Growing Together, a Bethesda-based community service nonprofit organization. He’s also been known to play piano and sing classic rock and bluegrass songs in local bars and at random parties up and down the East Coast.
Robert Snyder, Incubator Manager
Bob is a consultant with 25 years experience in economic development supporting entrepreneurship, higher education and workforce development, with a focus on the high tech, biotech and environmental industry sectors. In addition to his work with Bethesda Green, Bob provides consultant support as the Program Manager for the Montgomery County Innovation Network, where he develops education and technical training programs for the 120 resident companies in the five tech-related incubators.
Bob has been actively involved in the development of technology incubators. He has performed feasibility studies and business plans for three successful incubators in Howard and Frederick counties and the City of Rockville. Bob’s other work with entrepreneurship has included serving as Vice President of the Suburban Maryland High Tech Council (the precursor of the Tech Council of Maryland) where he developed industry network programs, a technology transfer guide and education and training programs. Bob also served as the Director of the Macklin Center for Entrepreneurship at Montgomery College where he developed programs for students and small businesses.
Bob has been active in supporting the development of the environmental industry over the years. He organized an Environmental Business Network at the Tech Council, and at the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development he co-chaired a state Voluntary Clean-up Task Force and developed programs to support the growth of the environmental industry.Bob is a graduate of Williams College and received and M.P.A. and Ph.D. from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
Betsy Reinstein Dewey, Development Officer
Betsy brings to Bethesda Green over 18 years of experience working with non-profit organizations to build their capacity in the area of fundraising and leadership development. She began her non-profit career at the United Jewish Appeal/Federation of Jewish Philanthropies in New York City, where she worked with a community of lawyers raising over $6 million annually. She went on to direct the corporate development department at Thirteen/WNET, America’s flagship public television station, raising $2 million annually and achieving record growth in unrestricted revenue.
After moving to Washington, DC, she headed up the development department at Defenders of Wildlife, a national wildlife conservation organization. By launching programs to cultivate and solicit major and planned gifts, and focusing on board fundraising, her team successfully broadened the base of support for this organization that had traditionally relied on income from direct mail marketing. Betsy has led fundraising efforts or provided consulting services to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition, the Appleseed Foundation, the Advocacy Institute, Brandeis University, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and others. She has coordinated capital campaigns, feasibility studies, development plans, organizational studies and human resource assessments.
In 2007, after extensive training with the Newfield Network, she founded LifeWorks Coaching. As a life coach, she helps individuals create positive and lasting change in their lives. Betsy is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton (now called Binghamton University) and lives in Chevy Chase, MD with her husband Reed and son Gabe. Her interest and involvement in the environment began when she was a young girl, and she is thrilled to be applying her skills and energy to a cause about which she is so passionate.
Sharon D’Emidio, Program Manager
Sharon comes to Bethesda Green from the Washington, DC Department of the Environment (DDOE), where she was the Program Director for the Green Summer Youth Employment Program. The Green Summer program is a unique green jobs training program designed to annually provide DC youth between the ages of 14-21 with education and hands-on experiencein the green job sector. While at DDOE, Sharon managed a staff of 120 people along with the 800 youth who participated each year. The projects the youth engaged in covered four topical areas: trees, parks, energy and watersheds.
Prior to working at DDOE, Sharon worked for 10 years in international development and public health. During this time, Sharon managed a fellowship program in the country of Liberia, assisting in the restructuring of the country and supporting the Ministries of Government through capacity building of local staff. She also coordinated two monitoring and evaluation projects for the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI), focusing on immunization injection safety and civil society participation in scaling up country immunization programs.
When Sharon isn’t planning exciting and educational programs at Bethesda Green she can be found walking, biking or running around the local community with her three-year-old and six-month-old daughters. Sharon received her BA in Women’s Studies from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and an MSc in Health, Population & Society from the London School of Economics.
Sumi Shrestha, Marketing & Operations Manager
Sumi discovered her passion for environmental sustainability and local food systems after taking environmental health classes as an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland. She joined Bethesda Green as an intern in 2011 where she developed an interest in community engagement and local green initiatives.
Prior to working as the Marketing and Operations Manager at Bethesda Green, Sumi was a Project Assistant at the Livability Project where she provided marketing and workshop support. Sumi also worked at the Energy Squad as the Marketing Communications Writer where she served as a primary copywriter. She is a strong believer of Margret Mead’s famous quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”