Announcing the 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge The Buckminster Fuller Institute announces the dates of the 2015 Fuller Challenge. Each year, BFI awards a $100,000 prize to support the development and implementation of an integrated design solution to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. BFI invites the world’s scientists, designers, architects, engineers, planners, artists, students and entrepreneurs to enter their strategies that simultaneously...


COWED by Denis Hayes and Gail Boyer Hayes Join Denis Hayes and Gail Boyer Hayes talk about their new book COWED: Once respected creatures, cows have transformed into the source of unhealthy food and pollution. Now, two veteran environmentalists outline this relationship, and what everyone can do to improve both their own lives, and those of the cows among us. Tuesday, March 10, 7:30 pm - Town Hall Seattle

Bullitt Foundation Staff

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Denis Hayes

President and CEO

As president of the Bullitt Foundation, Denis leads an effort to mold the major cities of Pacific Northwest and British Columbia into models of sustainability for a rapidly urbanizing planet. The Foundation applies ecological principles to the design of healthy, resilient human ecosystems. Under his leadership, the Foundation designed and constructed the Bullitt Center—the world’s greenest office building—which it operates as a commercial enterprise.

Denis was the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970 and took the event international in 1990. It is now the most-wide-observed secular holiday in the world. As board chair of the international Earth Day Network, Denis is gearing up for the 50th Earth Day anniversary in 2020. Over the years, Hayes has been special assistant to the Governor of Illinois for natural resources and the environment; senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute; adjunct professor of engineering and human biology at Stanford University; Regents’ Professor at the University of California; and a Silicon Valley lawyer at the Cooley firm. Denis has been a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC and at the Bellagio Center in Italy. During the Carter Administration, Hayes was the director of SERI — the nation’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Hayes has received the national Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Public Service and the Rachel Carson Medal as well as the highest awards bestowed by the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Council of America, the Global Environmental Facility, the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, the American Solar Energy Society, and the Commonwealth Club. He has served on dozens of governing boards, including those of Stanford University, the World Resources Institute, the Federation of American Scientists, the Energy Foundation, Children Now, the National Programming Council for Public Television, the American Solar Energy Society, Greenpeace, CERES, and the Environmental Grantmakers Association. Time magazine selected Hayes as one of its “Heroes of the Planet”. He has been profiled as “Newsmaker of the week” by ABC News and as “Today’s Person in the News” by the New York Times. Denis and his wife, Gail Boyer Hayes, co-authored COWED: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America’s Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment (WW Norton, 2015).

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Colleen Walsh Neely

Operations Manager

Colleen is passionate about promoting the groundbreaking innovations behind the Bullitt Center, the greenest commercial building in the world.

Originally from Virginia, Colleen first came west after college when she spent a year volunteering in Missoula, Montana through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, NW. During that time she worked both as a children’s advocate at the local YWCA and at the Missoula Food Bank. The extraordinary access to the wilderness that Missoula offered enticed her to stay for seven years, working primarily in Child and Family Mental Health, utilizing the wilderness and outdoor activities in her therapies. She went on to earn her Masters in Social Work from the University of Montana (Go Griz!). Moving to Seattle in 2004, Colleen fought for the educational equity of youth in foster care as an Educational Advocate for the organization Treehouse. After a rewarding career in social work, Colleen is thrilled to be a part of an organization that champions innovative and sustainable environmental and natural solutions for the Northwest region and beyond.

In her free time, Colleen finds balance through her yoga practice, spinning, running, tennis and exploring the outdoors.

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Lucca Mingus-Shah

Chief Comfort Officer (CCO)

Lucca joined the Bullitt Foundation in 2010. As CCO her primary responsibilities include making her human friends smile on a regular basis; keeping the floors clear of food debris; performing tricks for the Foundation’s CEO; and playing fetch. She earned her MO (Master of Obedience) at the Phinney Ridge Behavior Center in Seattle, WA.

Whenever possible Lucca accompanies her mom, Neelima to meetings. On her days off, she loves romping in the snow, kissing her baby sister, rough-housing with other four-legged friends, and begging for food.

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Mary McNair

Grants Assistant

A Pacific Northwest native, Mary McNair joined the Bullitt Foundation in 2013 as a Grants Assistant. Mary is delighted to work in the world’s first living commercial building and enjoys gazing at mountains every morning.

Mary has always engaged in environmentally friendly practices, but it wasn’t until she served as an agriculture and forestry Peace Corps volunteer in Africa that she became passionate about sustainability and preservation. After her return, Mary briefly explored a career in city and state government but quickly decided to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. She earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington in 2010 with an emphasis on Non-Profit Management. Most recently she ran the Jumpstart program, supervising college students who taught Head Start preschool children. This work ignited her passion for promoting social justice, education and leadership; prompting her to complete the Community Leadership Program through the Asian and Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF).

In her free time, Mary serves on the board of ACLF, cooks, and plays soccer twice a week.

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Neelima Shah

Program Officer

Neelima Shah is passionate about protecting the natural environment and reducing human impact on it.

Prior to joining the Bullitt Foundation in 2010, Neelima managed the environment and civic charitable investments for The Boeing Company in the Northwest Region. During that time, she developed the company’s local grantmaking strategies in these areas and worked to leverage dollars with the power of employee and volunteer efforts. Prior to Boeing, Neelima was the Program Officer at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation where she worked with U.S. organizations on International Affairs Education, Environment and Public Service as well as Russian human rights NGOs.

Neelima is a 2005 American German Marshall Fund Fellow and a 2004 World Affairs Council Fellow. She earned her Master’s of Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs in 2002 and taught a grant proposal writing class there in 2006. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego in Political Science with minors in Theater and Women’s Studies.

Neelima finds the most enjoyable aspects of this job include her ability to build relationships with grantees, local government, and other funders as well as the many learning opportunities. She finds peace and calm through hiking, her yoga practice and by spending time with friends, her husband Scott, her favorite four legged daughter Lucca, and her two legged daughter Aria.

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Rashad Morris

Program Officer

Rashad joined the Bullitt Foundation staff in the Spring of 2014 and oversees the Foundation’s Energy, Industry, and Technology portfolio. Prior to joining the Bullitt Foundation, Rashad developed a broad base of experience in policy formation and advocacy serving as Legislative Assistant to Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien; as the principal staff member on Climate & Energy for the Washington Environmental Council; and as a Policy Analyst for the Washington State Senate.

Deeply committed to integrating social justice with environmental sustainability, Rashad is a volunteer co-leader of Seattle’s chapter of the national Environmental Professionals of Color (EPOC) and sits on the boards of both Evergreen Business Capital, a non-profit community development lender, and its affiliated philanthropic foundation.

Rashad earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley and his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University.

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Salley Anderson

Chief Financial Officer

For over 10 years Salley envisioned the elements of her ideal work environment and mission and when she joined The Bullitt Foundation in the fall of 2014 she knew dreams do come true.

Following an Accounting Degree from the University of Washington and an MBA from Seattle University, Salley cultivated her business acumen while serving as a tax accountant, software product manager, CFO of an international foundation, general manager of a catering company, and a consulting CFO focused on the non-profit sector. Her career took her to Upstate New York and Australia where she discovered an inherent fascination with trees, birds, and nature’s ability to regenerate itself.

Creating and fostering community is Salley’s path to serving the environment, believing when people feel a part of something they will naturally have a greater sensibility to that which is beneficial for all.

Salley realized that her two business degrees and thirteen years in the software industry over developed her brain muscle so she sought to grow her emotional and heart muscles by living and studying in a working monastery for 5 years. She is thrilled to bring an enhanced level of fitness to her work and play at the Bullitt Foundation where intention and integrity are paramount.


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Steve Whitney

Senior Program Officer

When Steve Whitney was invited to join the Bullitt staff in 2000, he perceived an unprecedented opportunity to serve the environmental community and protect the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. His previous fourteen years with The Wilderness Society as director of its National Parks Program, Northwest Regional Director, and Deputy Vice President for Regional Conservation expanded on earlier experience he had gained as a land planning consultant and Congressional staffer.

Steve has served as a natural resource specialist with the National Parks Conservation Association, as Legislative Aide to then-Representative Leon Panetta, and as a board member of several non-profit organizations including Washington Environmental Council, Cascade Youth Symphony, Earth Ministry, and the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity – a national association of environmental foundations. He currently serves on the Advisory Council for Portland State University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions and on the Professionals Council for the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments.

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science from Utah State University’s College of Natural Resources, and a Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles. While trained as an urban planner, he ultimately traces his career choices back to time spent with his parents in Yosemite National Park, which helped foster his appreciation of wilderness. A parent himself, he proudly acknowledges the achievements of two talented daughters. He is a cyclist, and when not traversing northwest trails under towering trees, Steve enjoys frequent visits to the high desert of New Mexico.