American Clay Enterprises AIA Continuing Education Series
The following is a list of Registered Presenters of American Clay's AIA CES course. To receive credit for our AIA CES course, you must use a Registered Presenter. To schedule a presentation or to find out more information, please contact a presenter in your area. If there is not a presenter in your area, please contact American Clay directly at 1-866-404-1634.
The list of presenters is sorted by state. Each presenter has personal contact information as well as a brief biography of their professional careers.
Jeremy Valentine is the General Manager of Construction Solutions. He has over 19 years of sales, marketing & management experience. He has represented numerous products within the industrial, residential, commercial, and consumer markets. He has achieved numerous awards and honors for his past sales achievements. Jeremy graduated from Niagara University and spends most of his free time with his wife and three kids.
San Diego, CA
Lisa M. Cunningham, LEED AP, founder of Olive Branch Green Building Supply, began in the construction field in 1980. As one of the few women in the field and apprentice of the year, in 1996 she began working as a journeylevel plumber/pipefitter, assigned to extremely challenging and high-profile projects and loving every minute of it. (Lisa was known to take pictures of the artistry of her copper piping.) She then embarked on a career with the city of San Diego as a residential building inspector, while at the same time building one of the first straw-bale residences off the grid in San Diego county. In 2007, Lisa was disheartened by the snails-pace recovery after Katrina and went to New Orleans for 9 months and worked as a senior construction manager with the non-profit Rebuilding Together. After returning to San Diego, Lisa was looking for a way to take a break from the conformity of her previous work while staying connected to building. Olive Branch Green Building Supply was the result of that vision. Now she is energized by the process of creating. To her, the store offers hope and promise as a channel for future innovative and sustainable materials, designs and construction practices. There is no other job she would rather be doing at this moment in time.
Naturalwalls was founded in 1997 by Scott Nelson after a tour of Europe where he was inspired by the natural materials that are used in traditional and modern buildings.
"I began to explore the best ways to bring the warmth of those buildings to the design and construction processes that we are familiar with here in the states.
During that process of exploration I discovered that those surfaces were often created with limestone and clay plasters. I researched the old recipes and realized that these materials could be directly incorporated into our contemporary buildings in place of our standard petrochemical based paints and stuccos.
Now, 14 years later, I have been privileged to work with many great clients on beautiful projects. Im still just as inspired by the feel of a clay wall or the way the light plays across a limestone surface, as I was when I walked down those alleys in Paris and Rome."
Scott brings his background in the arts to every interior that he designs. The intuitive sense of color and texture exhibited in his paintings translates directly into the balance of these elements that he is continually striving to achieve for his clients. Visit SNContemporary.com to view his paintings.
San Francisco, CA
Orit Yanai is the founder of Orit Yanai Studios, a 'green' company in San Francisco since 1997. Orit is an artisan, specializing in high-end application of old world all natural plasters; earth plasters and lime plasters. Orit is LEED Ap since 2006 and has lectured for years about 'green' building matters. She spoke at 'west coats green' and has given lectures to AIA, ASID, NARI, and many other professionals and home owners, as well as taught hundreds of hands-on workshops all over the west coast.
Julie K. Anderson
Steamboat Springs, CO
Before deciding to pursue the arts and interior finishes, Julie Anderson studied biology and worked as a field researcher studying rare plants in the upper Midwest. For the last ten years, Anderson has been running her own business in Steamboat Springs, Colorado as a ceramic sculptor, faux finisher and mural painter which has naturally lead to becoming an enthusiastic American Clay Advanced Applicator and dealer. In addition to teaching college-level ceramics, she has recently been instructing short informational classes on American Clay products.
Colorado Springs, CO
Deborah Hall was a scientist and educator for 30 years who came to the building industry through an interest in healthy interiors. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and has taught recently on subjects as diverse as Why Innovation Is So Hard, the Human Brain and Behavior and Advanced Artistic Methods with American Clay. As a Distributor of American Clay, her interest is the understanding of existing products and processes in the building industry sector.
Keren Navarro has been in the decorative arts industry for 16 years. Her love of texture has taken her from Faux Finishes to Concrete, and for the last six years, natural clay finishes. Certified as a Trainer, Applicator, Unique Clay Artist, and qualified AIA presenter, she has made clay finishes the base of her business.
“There is no other product with its natural beauty and multitude of wonderful inherent properties. It is my preferred wall finish. There’s a moment in every job when clients notice an “atmospheric change” (as I like to refer to it) taking place all around them, a real sense of warmth and beauty with good vibes.”
Her life includes cultural influences from 13 years of living in Japan (Nihongo wakarimasu!), and Paraguay, visits to The Philippines, Hong Kong, South Korea, Hawaii and, having lived in 9 states. She has been an Ice Cream Sculptor, Decorative Finisher and teacher (Faux and Concrete) and a working artist. Based out of Chicago, Keren will travel worldwide, to teach, apply, create a work of art, or for CE presentations. “This is a feel good, great for the environment finish, whether for home or commercial use and I look forward to introducing it to everyone.”
Barb Clare - A professional decorative artist and licensed remodeling contractor in the State of Michigan for over 10 years, Barb's retail store, Color Trendz, exclusively retails only no-VOC coatings both in Grand Rapids and online . Over the years, she has exhibited in numerous SW Michigan Home Shows and led many seminars, earning awards for her booths that draw the consumer who demands the newest in substrate finishes. As an American Clay dealer and certified applicator, Barb relentlessly grasps the opportunity to educate potential clients about natural clay plasters and the many benefits they offer. She has personally managed several large projects, both commercial and residential with sprayed-on and hand-troweled finishes utilizing all types of clays. The cultural diversity that comes from living all across the U.S. and abroad, lends to her design sense and adaptable style. Barb travels to all points in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region and is one half of Two Plastered Ladies, partnering with Keren Navarro of Twig & a Feather, to offer Chicago and Northern Illinois a team of dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable artisans and teachers in the art of clay plaster.
As a professional installer who has been working with American Clay for the past 3 years and who has attended 2 three day professional workshops within the past year, I feel well qualified to represent American Clay as a presenter of the AIA CE course. Additionally, I have been a Level 0 distributor and retailer of American Clay products for the past year. I offer advice and training to DIYers and applicators on a daily basis.
First memories...making clay bricks in the backyard.
Experience...builder, interior designer, clay plaster applicator, teacher & distributor.
Passions...green building, clay tile vaulting, earth based construction methods.
Direction...an agent for change in the building industry.
Resources...unafraid to challenge conventional thinking.
New York, NY
Graduated from Art and Design Academy in St. Peterburg, Russia. Founder of well known Art Space NYC studio and Marmorino Depot, Inc. based in Manhattan, New York.
Working with famous architects using various plasters materials (American Clay, Venetian Plaster, French plaster, Moroccan plaster) on the high profile projects around the glob: New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Moscow and more. Currently working on the projects: Hotel Bel Air, Los Angeles, Peninsula Hotel NYC, Tiffany Store, NY, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, NY.
Running educational seminars and application classes for professionals all over the country.
- A long standing reputation among contractors, builders, architects and designers as the place to go for product or technical questions.
- Over the last 8 years we have also established ourselves as the local resource for earth and people friendly decorative & protective coatings and knowledge.
- We have worked closely with the Design and Architect community hosting regular credit courses for them.
- I have been through public speaking training and have 20 years experience in public speaking.
Saratoga Springs, NY
Karen Totino, owner of Green Conscience Home & Garden, specializes in creating healthy environments for people in her community by offering sustainable and non-toxic finishes for homes and businesses. She has worked with American Clay Plasters on a number of projects both residential and small commercial, regularly hosts American Clay workshops and applicator courses.
Seth graduated from college with an education degree and taught secondary mathematics for 9.5 years in public school. He has been in the plastering and specialty finish industry for 31 years and is the president of a family-owned business (since 1886) for 24 of those years. Seth has an extensive resume as a presenter to architects while representing companies such as Conproco Inc., Piazza Stone, Pymer Plastering, Inc. and other companies. He has been involved in clay plaster application for 12 years while working with Hopper Handcrafted Finishes (Terrafino Clay).
Hood River, OR
Heith England has been in the drywall contracting business for 25 years. He started in Boise, Idaho doing homes and specializing in custom finishes which led to the expanding of his business into Sun Valley, Idaho. It was in the mountain resort town of Sun Valley that he really started experimenting with different wall and ceiling finishes in a vast array of projects ranging from large commercial developments to hotels to high end custom homes. Heith now lives in the small mountain community of Trout Lake, WA. He owns and operates a showroom / design studio in Hood River, Oregon which specializes in sustainable interior products and installation www.sustaininteriors.com.
It was in the process of opening the showroom that he was exposed to a product that he has been searching for 25 years to find.American Clay! He has been selling, installing and teaching American Clay for the past four years while continuing to develop new application techniques and a greater understanding of the product. Earthen clay plaster has opened up a whole new way of thinking about interior spaces for him, not only in the esthetic beauty that it adds but the overall health of the space.
Rob Wozniak has lectured on the use of clay (American Clay) and decorative lime plasters in historic construction and new construction. He has been applying American Clay products since 2009 and has taught the basics of application and the benefits of plaster to numerous people at green building events. He has extensive skill in custom color creation, educating clients about why American Clay is a great traditional wall coverings, and is an advocate for green, healthy living.
West Reading, PA
Amber Rambo is co-owner of g.r. Laity LLC, a full service painting contracting business. For over 12 years g.r. Laity LLC has specialized in creating beautiful & healthy interior environments using earth plasters and eco-friendly paints & stains. Amber is a certified American Clay applicator and along with her partner provides clay plaster workshops, consulting and new dealer sales training for American Clay in multiple states. g.r. Laity has participated in 2 television shows "ABC Extreme Home Makeover" and "Discovery Channel Construction Intervention" as well as news cast appearances for their volunteer community projects. Amber is a certified Feng Shui consultant for over 15 years and is the chairman of the West Reading, PA. Environmental Advisory Council. Originally from Reno, NV., Amber moved to the east coast in her teens. She now resides in West Reading, PA. with her partner Gary Laity and their 2 children.
West Reading, PA
My BA degree in Architectural Studies was acquired in 1997 from the University of Pittsburgh. I have been in the painting, wall finish/repair business for over 25 years resulting in co-owning my business g.r. Laity LLC for the last 12 years. I have been actively involved with American Clay for the last 5 years. I am an American Clay certified applicator/trainer and have been working trade shows, giving applicator/home-owner workshops, consulting applicators on the job and providing dealer sales training for American Clay in multiple states. We have been taking steps this summer to broaden our services to working on straw bale homes and continue to look for new avenues to bring natural materials to our community.
Joe Lanzillo attended the University of Colorado. He has experience in the construction, landscaping and retail industries. His lifelong love for nature and avid interest in green technologies imparts a great passion for the Fresco Green mission. His responsibilities are focused on the smooth operation of the showroom, inventory control and sales interaction with customers. Joe performs multiple functions, including LEED Submittal Review and approval for the various LEED Certification projects Fresco is working on.
Seth Cluely has had an intensive course of study in decorative painting over the last 8 years. He has worked and taught along side such renowned artists, teachers, and designers like Bob Marx of the Finishing School in New York, Carol Kemery of Caromal Colours and Nancy Soriano ex-editor of Country Living Magazine. Some of the clients he has worked for include Bruce Springsteen, the Hollywood Casino in Grantville and Costello Builders Inc. (Parade of Homes 2007 and 2008). Seth studied ﬁne art painting and printmaking at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design where he is now an adjunct instructor. Seth is also a member of the International Decorative Artisans League and the Public Art Resource Project. Seth is currently a certiﬁed American Clay applicator.
Clay & Tracey Bechtol
We are interested in becoming instructors for the Natural Clay Plaster AIA course for several reasons. One reason is the architectural and interior design community is our primary target audience. We know designers and architects are very limited in the amount of time they have to spend learning about products. Our ability to teach the course and offer credit hours for attending the course, will open doors for the opportunity to sell more American Clay products. Another reason is, Tracey was a registered interior designer for over 15 years and understands the importance and value of the CEU's. We have always believed that educating the design community about the materials we represent is the best format for success. We look forward to spreading the word about a product we are passionate about!
I have been calling on architects, designers , and builders for the last ten years. Our business is structured around getting the products we represent in front of the decision maker. I currently make architectural calls on behalf of several manufacturers. I am an approved AIA CEU presenter for OSI, Pactiv, and Stone Craft.
I have been in the finishing business since 1998 with a specialty in American Clay natural clay plaster since 2006. With my relationship and background with American Clay, my experience in natural clay plaster, the finishing industry in Dallas, TX and the DFW metroplex, and my years of sales and presentation for my own endeavors, I feel like I would be a key fit and a key player in broadening the knowledge base and interest for natural clay plaster in the North Texas area.
My desire is to bring more education and more business for natural clay plaster to the Dallas area, and in turn, benefiting all of the parties involved, from the manufacturer to the end user.
A Virginia native, Cindy began an early career in property management and real estate development working with companies such as Harrison & Bates, EWN Properties and S.L. Nusbaum. She became involved in all aspects of real estate management and development and worked closely with contractors as well as clients. Cindy left the real estate industry to join her husband in their Charlottesville, Virginia flooring store, Carpet Plus. Carpet Plus is a retailer and strong believer in the American Clay products. Consequently, Cindy became a presenter for clay plasters in hopes to increase knowledge and encourage the use of this great product.
I'm a two-time past president of the Construction Specifications Institute-Milwaukee, past board member of the USGBC, WI affiliate, and currently write for several national publications and blogs about green, healthy building. I have presented to numerous regional and national associations such as, CSI, AIA, ABC, Paint & Dec Contractors Assoc, and so on. Plus, I've been a dealer for American Clay for many years!
Click here for a weblink to a list of presentation topics I've done. http://www.degreeofgreen.com/consulting.php
Anita is founder and co-owner of MODA earth walls. She is a certified applicator of natural earth walls through American Clay. Anita is also trained in European plasters, ancient techniques of western adobe walls, and from years ago faux finishes. Her knowledge of these finishes carries over into her clay application and design. Anita has also been a certified Feng Shui consultant for over ten years. This enables her to understand the use of space, energy, and colors for enhancing any area of a home or office, highly benefiting her customers.
All has come full circle for Anita. She is now able to combine her passions for design and artistic aesthetics. Anita loves to use this beautiful clay product in contemporary and European design. She has completed many clay wall projects in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Anita's professional work experience has been in the medical profession on and off for 30 years, in occupational therapy. At one time she also owned her own home and garden gift shop in Lewisburg, PA, called Summer Wind. Her talents are wide spread and still growing. Anita feels people are finally grasping the essence of really "being" in their home, not just living there. She is available for inspiration and consulting and will work along side your interior designer and architect.