The Livability Project team has experience working with private, public and non-profit sectors. They bring together expertise in sustainability, and in organizational, business and community development and offer a variety of services that include: consulting, facilitation, qualitative research and analysis, planning, and marketing-communications.
Detailed bios of the team members are provided below:
- Dave Feldman, CEO and Co-founder
- Kelley Rajala, Co-founder
- Heather Gwaltney, Marketing and Client Manager
- Cheryl Kollin, Product Developer
- Sumitra Shrestha, Project Assistant
Dave Feldman has been CEO of Livability Project, LLC. since incorporation as a Maryland company in 2007. Dave is also the full-time Executive Director of Bethesda Green, Livability Project’s first east coast project. He has been named one of “The 25 CEOs You Need to Know” by The Gazette of Politics and Business; as “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record; and was named one of the “40 Environmentalists in 40 Years” by the Montgomery County Council.
In addition to his full-time role at Bethesda Green, Dave’s ongoing work at Livability Project has led to the creation of the Livability FrameworkTM, a model, which can be used to help communities achieve their sustainability goals. Dave’s objective is to replicate this model of sustainability to even more communities nationwide and Internationally.
Prior to Livability Project, Dave was Consul, Trade & Investment at the British Embassy. His role was to help U.S. companies set up or expand operations in the United Kingdom and support U.K. companies exporting to the U.S. He managed a team of eight, covering multiple sectors, and was directly responsible for a portfolio that included renewable energy and clean tech.
Earlier in his career, Dave served as VP of Sales and Marketing for a wireless software company and Principal of Global Growth Strategies, a team of international consultants providing strategic and market planning to the global IT industry.
Dave holds an M.B.A. from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland in International Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery, and was on the Board of Sustainable Business Network of Washington through 2009.
Dave is married to Dara Feldman, and live in Kensington, MD with their two children, Dani and Jake.
Kelley Rajala is currently the Co-founder of Livability Project, and is the Founder and Executive Director of ShareExchange in Santa Rosa, CA – the fourth Livability Project. She is also the originator of Livability MappingTM, and manages and facilitates community-mapping events for communities across northern California.
Prior to this, Kelley co-initiated Transition Sebastopol (one of the official “Transition Towns”); and first founded Livability Project as a non-profit in Pacifica, CA. She has launched a yoga studio, green retail store, clothing line, biodiesel co-op, community food security garden and a BALLE network.
Kelley has also worked in her family business, Rajala Rehab Products, as a Marketing Director and Sales Manager, and began her work in sustainability for the County of Santa Barbara’s Planning Department, managing large-scale, urban planning projects.
Kelley has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from U.C. Santa Barbara with an emphasis in renewable energy and planning. She is also Permaculture Certified, Transition Town trained, and a self-taught graphic designer.
Her passion is economic localization and “connecting the dots” among community stakeholders. Kelley’s vision is that hundreds of local livability centers or sustainability hubs will exist across the country. She resides in Santa Rosa, CA.
Marketing and Client Manager
Heather Gwaltney, a Senior Consultant with Livability Project, works with Dave on strategy, marketing-communications, client management and education.
Heather has over 15 years of experience in the business and non-profit sectors, administering programs and projects for a number of organizations. She has designed and implemented sustainability, marketing, and educational plans, and specializes in workshop facilitation and qualitative research and analysis. In addition to being a Consultant and Adjunct Professor at George Mason University, Heather produces video – using it to address relevant social and environmental issues.
Previously, she has acted as Marketing Manager for a sustainable land-use planning firm in Berkeley, CA; as Program Director for Sustainable Berkeley; and was first introduced to Livability Project in 2006 as their Marketing and Organizational Development Manger. Her private sector experience includes being a Marketing-Communications Consultant for Wells Fargo; an Organizational Development Consultant for Fannie Mae; and being in various marketing roles with boutique-sized firms.
Heather holds a M.S. in Organizational Development, a B.A. in Psychology and Business Administration, and is Permaculture Certified. She currently lives in Washington, DC.
Cheryl Kollin, as a Senior Consultant, provides product development tools to assist clients in implementing the 12-Step Livability Framework.She brings more than 25 years of non-profit experience in program development and project management in environmental conservation, with a focus on sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Cheryl is Principal of Full Plate Ventures, a consulting business, specializing in the interconnected issues of local food systems, environmental sustainability, and economic development. Prior to Full Plate Ventures, she served 16 years as Vice President of the Urban Ecosystem Center at American Forests.
Cheryl has written extensively about both environmental and food system issues including most recently, Urban Farming: It’s a Growth Business. She is co-author of two books, Planning the Urban Forest: Ecology, Economy, and Community Development, American Planning Association; and Building Greener Neighborhoods: Trees as Part of the Plan, Homebuilder Press. As an international and local public speaker, Cheryl addresses topics such as, systems thinking and interrelationships among environmental, social, and economic disciplines.
Cheryl earned her M.B.A. in Sustainability from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, a Masters in Landscape Architecture from University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Natural Resource Science from the University of Michigan. She resides in Maryland.
Sumitra Shrestha, Project Assistant, provides the Livability Project team with marketing and workshop support, and leads efforts in website administration, social media, contact management and research. Prior to Livability Project, Sumi worked as a Research Intern at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research analyzing protein structures. Additionally, she tutored Cell Biology as a Guided Study Session Leader, and contributed to The Universities at Shady Grove outreach efforts as a Student Ambassador.
Sumi recently graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. After taking public health courses, she became passionate about engaging the community toward protecting the environment. Sumi will be pursuing a graduate degree in Public Health concentrating in Environmental Health, and currently resides in Maryland.
The Livability Project team can by contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.