New faces and new roles in the Delta network

Say hello to new Delta staff

David LeZaksDavid Lezaks

Senior Specialist, Ecosystems

David is a Senior Specialist in the Ecosystems practice here at Delta where he manages a portfolio of projects that focuses on building a more regenerative economy. He is a strategic planner and systems thinker who works to build partnerships and implement transformational solutions with a focus on accelerating the adoption and expansion of more sustainably managed landscapes. David holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources and an M.S. in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Michigan State University. Before his days as a Deltoid, David was the Managing Scientist of the Knowledge Systems for Sustainability Collaborative at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he also led the Agricultural Innovation Prize.


Olga Lyandres_photoOlga Lyandres 

Specialist, Ecosystems

Olga Lyandres is an Ecosystems Specialist at Delta Institute.  As ecosystems specialist, Olga leads projects in Delta’s ecosystems portfolio, including the areas of climate, agriculture, and water.  She is instrumental in fostering new projects and partnerships, particularly around green infrastructure, agriculture, conservation finance, watershed prioritization and environmental markets.  Prior to joining Delta Institute, she served as the Research Manager for Alliance for the Great Lakes, providing analytical and research support for policy work and managing the academic network for the organization. Before the position at the Alliance for the Great Lakes, she conducted photo-catalysis research at Northwestern University in the Environmental Engineering Department. Olga holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. Olga grew up in Russia, and has lived within two blocks of Lake Michigan shoreline since moving to Chicago in 2002.


Congrats to Delta’s new board chair


Julia PJulia Parzen

Chair, Board of Directors

Strategic Advisor, JP Consulting

Project Manager, Urban Sustainability Directors Network and Partnership for Places Equity Initiative

For more than 20 years, Julia Parzen has been supporting networks, advising projects and writing reports that have helped to lead the way on urban sustainability. Julia’s career in public service and sustainability has spanned public, private, publishing and non-profit sectors. From 2009 through 2013, Julia Parzen was the Managing Director for the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, a private professional network of 120 North American municipal government sustainability professionals. She has taught courses and design studios on development finance, industrial policy, and financial innovation at UC Berkeley and was an adjunct faculty member at the UIC Center for Urban Economic Development while writing her book Credit Where It is Due: Development Banking for Communities (Temple University Press, 1990). Julia published a book with Sadhu Johnston and Steve Nicholas called The Guide to Greening Cities (Island Press, 2013).


Welcome to a new (but not new to us) board member


Sam BOOST DDSam Schiller 

Member, Board of Directors

Former Co-Chair, Delta Emerging Leaders (DELs)

Manager of Carbon Projects, Tradewater, LLC

At Carbon Projects at Tradewater, LLC, Sam Schiller manages a team that develops pollution reduction projects that claim pollution credits within California’s compliance offset program. Sam designed and implements Tradewater’s Clean Sweep program, which identifies and destroys high global warming refrigerants. He also develops pollution prevention projects at abandoned coal mines and has provided wind resource assessment and permitting activities for utility scale wind energy projects. Through his work at Wabashco, LLC, Sam developed and managed projects that prevented the release of over 780,000 tons of CO2 equivalent. Sam is a founding co-chair of the Delta Emerging Leaders (DELs) Board, where he founded BOOST. He has also served on Delta Institute’s Venture Committee since 2014. Sam was awarded a Morris K. Udall Congressional Scholarship and a Starting bloc Fellowship for his work in environmental policy and social enterprise development, and is recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. Sam received a B.S. in Social Policy and a minor in Environmental Policy and Culture at Northwestern University.

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