Leadership Bios

Charles Szoradi, President GREENandSAVE

Charlie Szoradi brings multiple decades of hands on experience to the culture of sustainable living and cost-savings for property design and remodeling. He focuses on ‘high performance’ architecture, and in the early 90s, he wrote his Masters of Architecture thesis on sustainable design, entitled ‘Eco-Humanism’. He is a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Accredited Professional), a Certified Building Performance Institute (BPI) Energy Auditor, and he has taken an eco-leadership role at the national and regional level. In 2009, Charlie was elected to the Board of the Sustainable Business Network and selected as a member of the Green Economy Task Force, with direct participation on the Capitol Hill Delegation. Charlie is the founder and President of GREENandSAVE, which was chosen as one of the finalists of the Sustainability Awards, and he also serves as the Chief Instructor of the company’s Eco Academy. From the cover profile of Inventors Digest Magazine to the Energy Expert for US Magazine, Charlie has simply dedicated his career to green innovation.

Charlie was inspired by the potential of environmentally sensitive architecture to become accessible to mainstream Americans. Rather than just defaulting to techniques from 1970s technology and aesthetics, he created a platform to produce active/passive integrated systems. The design solutions focus on function, style, significant cost-savings, and environmental sustainability. Charlie encourages the adaptive re-use of existing structures and materials, all while maintaining an overall aesthetic that appeals to the traditional as well as contemporary aesthetics. Charlie, his wife Cynthia, and their son have recently completed the transformation of a formerly in-efficient 1950s residence that they were able to ‘re-use’ and transform rather than tear down. The home focuses on saving money as well as the environment, and it is one of the most energy efficient homes in America.

Charlie is a sought-after thought leader and speaker on adaptive re-use and sustainable design with appearances at a diverse range of leading institutions such as the Green Building Council, Brain Reserve Think Tank, and the Wharton Business School. He has served over multiple years as the Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts, where he has created programs such as Urbitec, which focus on innovative product design through recycling and re-use. He has also been featured in a documentary film that received the Director's Award at the Black Mariah Film Festival. The film specifically profiles his vision and follows the process of adaptive re-use in converting a massive 22,000 square foot abandoned church complex into a mixed use residential and commercial property. Charlie has also served as a consultant to the Philadelphia Office of Recycling across multiple years. He created the education kiosk program and the website as the cornerstone of the interactive marketing initiative.

1993 and 1994 were benchmark years that 'seeded' the growth of GREENandSAVE. In 1993, the company's founder, Charlie Szoradi completed his Masters Thesis on ‘Eco Humanism’ and secured US Patent #5,215,490 on the Building block set of tenon engaging edge connecting members. The thesis set the stage for the groundbreaking new approach to energy efficient and environmentally sustainable architecture, and the invention set the stage for the development of a new generation of Educational Building Construction Sets, High Performance Concrete as well as Structural Insulated Panels that are used today for wall as well as roof construction - now referred to as SIPS.

In 1994, Charlie conceived and produced a pilot Eco-Culture/Recycling show “Fix the Hut” . The show was the culmination of over twenty-five interview segments shot across the country over a two-year period. The show focused specifically on people that had created innovative habitats, furniture, fashion, and lifestyles related to adaptive re-use and environmental sustainability. This interest in communicating through eco-education programs, speaking engagements, and media has coincided with Charlie’s ongoing work in architecture and real estate development. Charlie has purchased over 200,000 sq. ft. of urban space that he has had a hand in converting from ‘left for ruin’ factories, warehouses, and schools into mixed-use residential and commercial property. Transforming neighborhoods and salvaging urban landscape has been an integral part of overall sustainability in his career.

Charlie’s early inspiration to focus on sustainability came at the end of the 1970s when he sat at a young age in a gas line with his Dad during the gas crisis. His father, who is also an architect, introduced him to colleagues that were then pioneering active and passive solar powered houses. He learned that Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House, and Charlie teamed up with two friends at St. Albans School for Boys and proceeded to build ‘Omega – The Boat of the Future’ and subsequently won the Grade School Science Fair Popular Prize with the solar powered ship. Years later, major influences have also included working in Northern California’s bay area, working in Japan for the celebrated eco-architect Kenya Maruyama, living in Eastern Europe hubs like Budapest and Prague, and rural villages and Amish communities that rely almost exclusively on sustainable living practices.

Over his academic and professional career, Charlie has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Africa, Central and North America, and Central and Eastern Europe, where he has studied specifically how people build cost-effective and environmentally sensitive homes and communities. Charlie grew up in Washington, DC and graduated from St. Albans School for Boys. He then earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia and went on to earn a Master of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Charlie is a registered architect and currently lives in Greater Philadelphia with his wife and two children in their self-sustaining home that inspired the development of ‘GREENandSAVE ’.

IN THE NEWS: CISCO Systems recently selected GREENandSAVE's Founder and President, Charlie Szoradi,for their One Million Acts of Green. See the video profiles: Small Acts, Big Rewards and The Most Energy Efficient Home.

Catharine Swan, Residential and Sm. Business Efficiency Consultant, LEED GREEN Associate, BPI Analyst and Envelope Specialist

Catharine Swan has more than twenty-five years of experience working in the environmental sector with corporate and non-profit organizations in new business and program development, strategic planning, and community outreach. Catharine brings a wealth of life and professional experience to GREENandSAVE; she provides an outstanding perspective and base in helping GREENandSAVE shape the green economy.

Catharine is a certified Home Efficiency Consultant, LEED Green Associate, and BPI Analyst and Envelope specialist. She is a member of the Downingtown Area School District Waste Management Committee, Chair of Uwchlan Hills Elementary School Environmental Awareness Program, Board Member of the CCEDC Smart Energy Initiative Group, and member of the DVGBC Residential Working Group.

Nakita Johnson, NEWS Editor-in-Chief

Nakita Johnson heads up the GREENandSAVE team of researchers and writers. Given the dynamically changing nature of the new Green Economy, GREENandSAVE is committed to constantly monitoring the trends in product development, service tactics for energy savings, and socio-political national and international legislation and trends. Our research and daily news content is so well respected that in 2009 GREENandSAVE was selected by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to serve as their Strategic Partner to provide news and Return on Investment Data to support the ‘Green Designees’ and their Green ReSource Council. NAR currently serves over one million real estate agents and brokers, so this outreach is part of changing the inertia within such a key industry of property influencers. In 2009 GREENandSAVE was also approved as one of only three ‘Green’ trusted feed content providers for Google News, which reaches tens of thousands of reporters millions of individuals across the US and the world. Staying on top of the evolving green industry and serving as an eye-in-the-sky is core to our mission. The research and news benefits the visitors to GREENandSAVE.com, the property owners that are served through Home Efficiency Checkups and Commercial Energy and Lighting Audits, and the Consultants that are trained though our Eco Academy.

Nakita Johnson brings an architect and preservationist perspective to GREENandSAVE. Nakita grew up in Northern Virginia and has seen first hand the devastating effects suburban sprawl can have on the environment. She is a firm believer that it is possible to integrate green technologies into historic structures without damaging the historic integrity of a building. Before she started her graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Nakita became a LEED Accredited Professional and assisted in the design of a 20th century Georgian Revival mansion to receive a Gold LEED rating. While at the University of Pennsylvania Nakita worked to blend all of her interests together. She received a Masters in Architecture, Masters of Science in Historic Preservation, and a certificate in Ecological Architecture. While traveling abroad in various European countries she saw the possibilities for a more sustainable way of living. Nakita has also recently completed GREENandSAVE’s Eco Academy training programs for Home Efficiency Consulting and the LED Saving Solutions Boot Camp on commercial lighting. The combination of her education, training, and field work provides the key perspective in this dynamically changing eco-energy economy. For article submissions on new products, services, trends, or people that are saving money and the planet, please Click Here.

Jake de Grazia, NEWS West Coast Editor

Jake de Grazia is based out of Southern California, and he brings key west coast and global perspective and industry insight to GREENandSAVE. Jake grew up in Chadds Ford, PA, and his grass roots connection to the ‘green economy’ dates back to his childhood summers selling tomatoes and raspberries at SIW Vegetables, his uncle's roadside stand. Years later, he graduated from Brown University, where he studied a lot of literature, economics, and creative writing but majored in Eastern Religion.

Jake spent the four years following his undergraduate studies abroad. First he went to tropical northeastern Australia, working on an organic mangosteen orchard and teaching snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. Then he went to China, where he studied Chinese, translated, interpreted, worked with microfinance institutions, and became addicted to the internet while working for the founders of a dot com startup project.

At the end of 2007, he returned to the United States to develop a consumer education tool called The Carrot Project, which compares brands on their relative social and environmental responsibility. The project's goal is to help create an economy in which people buy the things they buy from businesses that they actively choose to support. Jake has also worked with companies like Acorn Energy, a venture capital firm that invests in energy infrastructure technologies, and this work has given him the breadth of insight starting back in his childhood with ‘local’ produce sales to the new American Energy Revolution.

Sean Darras, Chief Engineer

Sean Darras brings to GREENandSAVE the best combination of mathematical rigor from his engineering background and big picture insight from his professional certifications in environmental design and energy auditing. Sean’s ability to effectively research and communicate Return on Investment initiatives has earned him opportunities ranging from ‘Strategies in Light’ Conference participation to speaking engagements at the ‘Go Green’ Expo.

Sean runs point on sourcing, testing, and reviewing products and their specifications. He also oversees GREENandSAVE’s measurement and verification services. Simply, when it comes to sub-metering on site at client properties, Sean manages the sourcing and installation of the right hardware for the right applications. On the control front, as an example, Sean works with clients and third party testing laboratories to ensure that for high performance lighting clients, the dimming, occupancy sensor, and light harvesting hardware and software work seamlessly with LED lighting retrofits.

Following a great interest in the new Green Economy, Sean joined GREENandSAVE in April of 2009 after successfully completing the GREENandSAVE Certified Home Efficiency Consulting program along with the RESNET Certified Energy Auditor program. Sean has gone on to earn LEED AP status (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Accredited Professional). As a skilled craftsman and a mechanical engineer, Sean brings a deep understanding of the unique requirements necessary to differentiate a building project from a Green building project. At GREENandSAVE Sean focuses on the company’s high performance lighting division LED Savings Solutions and also supports the Eco Academy and overall ROI energy initiatives of the Company.

While obtaining his Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Delaware, Sean held positions with a large deck builder, a missile defense company, and a sustainable real estate developer. After graduation Mr. Darras worked as a full-time Project Engineer at one of Philadelphia's largest energy companies, where he was routinely responsible for the successful execution of multi-million dollar projects.


Brian Preston, Realtor Resources

Brian Preston was one of the very first Real Estate Agents in 2008 to become a Registered Agent though GREENandSAVE’s Realtor Resources program. Now, he heads up the outreach to introduce the opportunities to multi-agent brokers across the US and is the point on the content research and article writing relative to energy efficient trends for realtors. Since Brian joined as a Registered Agent, GREENandSAVE has forges the strategic partnership with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Our research and daily news content is so well respected that in 2009 GREENandSAVE was selected by NAR to provide news and Return on Investment Data to support the ‘Green Designees’ and their Green ReSource Council. NAR currently serves over one million real estate agents and brokers, so this outreach is part of changing the inertia within such a key industry of property influencers. In 2009 GREENandSAVE was also approved as one of only three ‘Green’ trusted feed content providers for Google News, which reaches millions of homeowners across the US and the world. Many real estate agents work diligently to communicate to the prospective clients in their region, and now they can work with Brian to aggregate relevant data and trends specific to their region as well as the national marketplace. He has a BA in Communication with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations from The University of Scranton.

Howard Lubert, Online Training

Howard Lubert was instrumental in developing GREENandSAVe's Eco Academy with specific concentration on the certification processes, procedures, and testing. Howard brings more than 30 years of hands on consulting, technical and educational experience to GREENandSAVE.

A prolific speaker, lecturer and instructor, Howard was one of the first Novell Certified Network Engineers (CNE), and instructors in the world and served as the national chairman and director of education of LANDA (Local Area Network Dealers Association) where he was instrumental in developing multi-vendor technical certification programs and technical training programs for the industry. He was also instrumental in the development of the Novell CNE training and certification program, the first such program in the IT industry and later helped companies such as IBM, 3Com, and Standard MicroSystems develop similar certification programs.

Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Moravian College, a master’s degree in School Psychology from Glassboro State College (Rowan University), and a PhD in Business Administration from Hamilton University. He has taught, lectured and presented technical and entrepreneurial programs at dozens of colleges and universities and major industry trade conferences in North American and Europe and currently serves as a mentor for students at a number of local colleges and universities. He has served as a fellow of the Irwin L. Gross eBusiness Institute of The Fox School of Business and Management at Temple since the fall of 2000. Howard was selected as The Fox School’s Entrepreneur in Residence for 2002-2003.

Steve Clark, Energy Auditing

Steve Clark holds dual Certifications for Energy Auditing from the Building Performance Institute (BPI) and the Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET). He was instrumental in refining GREENandSAVE's Home Efficiency Consulting program and supporting the Company's short and long term goals to drive the new green economy with innovations in property efficiency and renewable energy. Steve has significant experience in Biotechnology, Electrical Engineering, Project Management, Applied Physics & Statistics to promote renewable, economically feasible energy initiatives. Steve holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University, an MS in Electrophysics from Polytechnic in New York, and a PhD in Biophysics from UC Berkley in California.

Blain Illingworth, Home Inspection and Efficiency

Blaine Illingworth is a ‘veteran’ of property efficiency. Blaine has inspected over 12,000 houses in the past seventeen years. He is the Senior Inspector for HouseInspect Company; a speaker at InspectionWorld in 2008 and various regional American Association of Home Inspectors (ASHI) seminars; host of the HouseMechanic Hotline weekly radio show; a monthly columnist in House & Home magazine; Past President of Tri-State ASHI; and Vice-President of Worldwide Engineering, Service and Training, Inc. Blaine has worked directly on client engagements with different members of GREENandSAVE and also included company President, Charlie Szoradi, as a repeat guest on the HouseMechanic Hotline Show and as the speaker for the Tri-State ASHI 2009 workshop.

Mark McGraw, Media Relations

Mark McGraw brings main stream media perspective and talent to GREENandSAVE. He has appeared along with company President, Charlie Szoradi, during NBC’s ‘Green Week’ and worked as the on-air talent on ‘Spice Up My Kitchen’. The show won the highest rating on Home and Garden Television (HGTV) over the summer of 2007. Mark is intimately familiar with homeowner needs, the means to reach their goals, and the way to clearly communicate the process through broadcast media. After losing his father to brain cancer, Mark made the decision to move to Los Angeles to pursue his love of acting. He now resides in Greater Philadelphia, and he has appeared in several national commercials, independent films and TV shows. McGraw has a solid background in building construction and has designed and built his last two homes. He has remodeled several homes and has a great eye for detail. Mark joined the GREENandSAVE team in 2007, when he got involved with Charlie and his wife Cynthia on the prototype eco-house. Mark is a great friend of the family, and he is also an outstanding carpenter who worked with Charlie on ‘mission critical’ aspects of the remodeling like the home entertainment cabinet for the new flat screen TV!


GREENandSAVE has in-house Account Managers as well as Energy Auditors and Channel Partners across 26 states and growing. With over 180 trained Efficiency Consultant Energy Auditors from 2009 and over 120 Channel Partners, we are pleased to share just some samples of their diverse background and experience. We are…the ‘foot soldiers’ of the American Energy Revolution.

Douglas White

Doug brings almost 40 years of experience in Construction and Energy Conservation to GREENandSAVE. He has worked in Energy Conservation Sales, Design and Implementation, Air Pollution Reduction Techniques for consumers and industry, and General Construction Services and Consultation. Well before the current popularity of the ‘green’ movement Doug took a leadership role. In the 1980s he founded and ran a successful Solar Energy Design, Sales, Installation and Service business (SunEarth, Heliotherm, DHW Systems, Lamco refrigerant charged systems, small scale P.V. systems)

Parallel to his professional career, Doug has also taken a leadership role in the ‘green’ community. Doug is Currently the Environmental Advisory Commissioner for the Schuylkill Township in Pennsylvania, and he is a founding member of Citizens for Open Space ( Schuylkill Township ). Doug is also the creator of the online resource www.friendsofSedgley.com an educational website focused on awareness surrounding the Development Disturbance of American Bald Eagles in Schuylkill Township. He is an active Member of the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife. Doug simply ‘walks the talk’ in this new Green Economy with a passion as an Inventor, Artist, Musician, Environmentalist, Entrepreneur, Woodworker, Recycler, Builder, and Alternative Energy Researcher and Developer.

Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes has over twenty-five years of experience in the sustainability marketplace plus selling, buying, managing and investing in real estate. He has been a Dealer/ Installer for Astropower and BP Solorex, and the Creator, Host and Research Director for "The Great Green Home Show” - a Green Information Variety Show radio show, where GREENandSAVE President Charlie Szoradi has been a repeat guest. Over the course of his career, Paul has also been a Passive Solar consultant and design research for MGZA architects in Wilmington, DE.

Paul is a widely sought after as a lecturer and educator on energy efficient homes, green jobs, socially responsible investment, and energy saving technologies. As founder of Green Fox Energy Group, Paul formed an alliance of skilled green professionals including GREENandSAVE President, Charlie Szoradi, to pool their skills to deliver green services to consumers, acquire rebates and tax credits for clients, and educate and train others for the new green economy. Paul partnered with Clear Channel in 2008 and 2009 to present the “Great Green Expo” event in Wilmington, DE with Ed Begley, Jr., serving as the host in 2009 and Szoradi as a speaker in 2008. Paul has been widely recognized for his work, having received the Henry B. Folsom Award for Research and the Mayor’s Youth Service Award. Paul earned a Master Degree: College of Urban Affairs and Public Policy (Environmental Policy) from the University of Delaware.