Keynote Speakers

Josh Boehm

Urban Planner, BNIM

Josh Boehm is an Urban Planner at BNIM. Josh’s interest in city planning started when he began riding his bike to Board of Alderman and City Plan Commission meetings in middle school. After graduating from planning school, Josh’s first project was working on a plan to expand Kansas City’s Downtown Streetcar to adjacent neighborhoods. The plan to expand the system started before construction for the Downtown Streetcar began. Currently, Josh is working with stakeholders on an Eco-Innovation District plan surrounding Kansas City’s Downtown Streetcar investment and accompanying Smart City infrastructure. Josh graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City with a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Planning and Design and Economics.

In addition to his professional role at BNIM, Josh Boehm is a member of the Open Data Committee of the Mayor’s Challenge Cabinet and a member of the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance. He participates in the Kansas City Better Block movement, is a volunteer for the Troost Corridor Zoning Overlay and Design Guidelines working group, and serves on the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Development Committee.

John Kelly

PEER Program Lead
Green Building Certification Institute

At GBCI, John Kelly leads the development of a sustainable electricity rating system and design guide modeled after LEED for buildings, called Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER).  Just as LEED improved the ability to compare the relative sustainability of buildings, PEER provides a common design, performance, and verification methodology for the electricity sector that scales to grids of all sizes.

Mr. Kelly worked with industry leaders for the past six years to research and create innovative approaches to building sustainable electricity system. This includes developing microgrid designs and prototypes that demonstrate the art-of-the-possible in terms of consumer requirements for cost-efficiency, conservation, environmental protection, and reliability.

Mr. Kelly provided consulting services to the electric and natural gas industries for 30 years; focusing the past decade on developing innovative sustainable energy plans and designs for cities, large multi-use developments, and commercial buildings.  This included authoring numerous research papers on energy technology, electricity reliability, markets, pricing, smart grid cost/benefit and state policy reform best practices.

Mr. Kelly holds a B.S. in energy engineering and completed studies in electricity restructuring and environmental engineering.  In 2006, he co-founded Endurant Energy, a microgrid development company.  He has held leadership positions at Sargent & Lundy, Duke Engineering & Services, and Gas Technology Institute. He is a founder and Board Chairman for Local Energy Aggregation Networks (, the National Energy Center for Sustainable Communities (, and is also one of the founders and past treasurer of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (

Laura Lesniewski, AIA, LEED AP

Principal, BNIM

Laura is a principal with BNIM with 25 years of experience in architecture. She combines a rare blend of attributes that lends a spirit of collaboration and stewardship to her work as an architect, and is dedicated to pursuing the highest levels of sustainability to build thriving communities. She led the design team efforts on the MDC Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City, which features the first Living Machine in the state, and was project manager for the Lewis and Clark State Office Building, the first state office building to meet LEED Platinum. Laura was project leader on the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (first LEED Platinum and Living Building certified) and contributed to the REGEN tool, created with the U.S. Green Building Council in its explorations on the next generation of sustainability.

Her recent projects include a zero carbon community redevelopment in Montreal, Quebec and a zero carbon rural development in upstate New York. Laura has also been engaged with several disaster recovery efforts as part of the BNIM planning team, including efforts in Greensburg (KS), Tuscaloosa (AL), and Springfield (MA). Laura has become a recognized resource for emerging technologies and philosophies in the design and construction industry. She has spoken locally and nationally on explorations in regenerative design, building information modeling and lean thinking. She is a graduate of MIT and U.C. Berkeley, and has guest lectured at regional universities. Laura co‐authored FLOW: In Pursuit of a Living Building with Bob Berkebile and Steve McDowell.

Wanda Reder

Chief Strategy Officer
S&C Electric Company

Wanda Reder is the Chief Strategy Officer for S&C Electric Company and prior to that was the VP of Power Systems Solutions. She has over 29 years of experience in the electric utility industry holding various leadership positions in power delivery. Wanda has authored numerous articles for industry publications and regularly participates in important industry events to share her experience, stay up-to-date with current trends, and educate power system professionals. She has served on the IEEE Governing Board, the IEEE Foundation Board, and founded IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative, a program that has provided over 900 power engineering scholarships since 2011. She launched the IEEE Smart Grid, which now enjoys nearly 90,000 followers. She is a member of United States Secretary of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee. Wanda was named a Distinguished Engineer at South Dakota State University in 2007, was the first female President of IEEE Power & Energy Society in 2008-2009, became an IEEE Fellow in 2012 and received the IEEE Power & Energy Society Leadership and Meritorious Service Awards in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In recognition for exemplary service, she received the IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award in 2014 and is currently running for president of IEEE (