staff & board directory
Anj McClain | Director
Originally from Memphis, TN, Anj graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Anj's entire career has been dedicated to environmentalism, and her experience ranges from technical work to management and marketing. Anj worked with Tricycle, a home-grown and nationally recognized sustainable design company focused on environmentalism within the interiors industry. At Tricycle, she acted as a liaison to interior designers, providing education and advocating a reduction of consumption in selecting carpet samples during the design process. In this role, Anj also established a local gathering called Green Drinks, social gatherings paired with sustainability education. Though it started small, the group has grown to around 100 regular attendees. Anj also worked with a group of Chattanoogans to establish Chattanooga area US Green Building Council, and the group has now become a part of the East Tennessee Chapter of the USGBC. In September 2007, Anj helped establish the green|spaces Resource Center and now leads the organization's efforts to advance regional sustainability.
Tesia Gorka Jones | Program Director
Tesia was born in Kingston, PA. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Public Planning from Northern Arizona University, and a Master of Architecture from the NewSchool of Architecture & Design. Tesia has an innate attraction to both the natural and built environment and a strong desire to understand and progress how people and places fit together. One of the most profound and complex relationships of our time is how the built environment interacts with natural systems. Currently, the way we build has widespread adverse impacts to the planet’s natural systems. She was drawn to green building as a means to help shape places that are appropriate, attractive, and healthy. Tesia works on program development, existing program support, marketing & graphics, curriculum development & educational event coordination, administration & accounting, and advocating & consulting for green building. Her favorite green space is The Chattanooga Nature Center & Arboretum at Reflection Riding because it has so many ways to experience and connect with nature, and it is so close to downtown.
Tina Shaw Cox | Director of Development
Tina grew up in Athens, AL on the beautiful Elk River. She graduated from the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Tina moved to Chattanooga from Bozeman, Montana where she practiced interior design. She is married to artist,Robert Cox who is a professor at UTC. Most recently, Tina was responsible for raising just under $1 million to build the first LEED certified ReStore in the United States for Habitat for Humanity in Chattanooga, TN. As Director of Development, Tina mainly focuses on developing partnerships and expanding relationships through the green|spaces’ membership campaign. She also works on administering grants to support programs and managing all fundraising events. Her favorite green space in Chattanooga is Lula Lake, and surprise, surprise the green|spaces office.
Dawn Hjelseth | Director of Development
Originally from Holland, Michigan, Dawn Hjelseth graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor's degree in International Business and Marketing with an emphasis in Spanish, Sales and Non Profit Management. She feel in love with Chattanooga after trail blazing on the Cumberland Trail near Soddy Daisy. After college, she was brought to Chattanooga through AmeriCorps where she served at Habitat for Humanity in grant writing, marketing development and event management. As a child, her upbringing emphasized recycling, gardening and enjoying nature. She was attracted to green|spaces as they are recognized as a driving force behind educating the public on sustainable building practices. Her focus now is to raise funds to provide support to the various programs, classes and events provided by green|spaces. Her favorite green space is Greenway Farms as she and her husband enjoy canoeing in the river, playing frisbee in the large open spaces and has a great dog park for their two dogs to run.
Chris Sarine | Better Built Project Manager, HERS Rater
Chris is the only native Chattanoogan on our team. He has been married to his wife Esther for 6 years and has a 1 year old son named Eli. Chris graduated from North Seattle Community College with an A.S. in Architectural Engineering Drafting. A few years later he came back to Chattanooga received a B.S in Engineering Management with a concentration in Construction Management at UTC. He first became interested in green building while working for an architectural model making company in Seattle, WA. He led a project that was a model of the Desert Living Center in Las Vegas. The DLC is a LEED platinum series of buildings that showcase sustainable living in one of the least sustainable cities. He got a chance to visit the site twice, and learned about rammed earth and hay bale construction as well as cool towers and passive solar. What he enjoys about green building is the creativity involved in figuring out the best solution to save energy and resources. Chris primarily works as a HERS Rater and better built project manager overseeing the homes tracking for better built certification. He also assists in administering the program which includes creating marketing and training materials as well as researching building science principles that are at the heart of the program. Chris’s favorite green space is Edward’s Point. The trailhead was a short bike ride from his childhood home on Signal Mtn, and he rode there almost every day when he was younger. He religiously follows F.C. Barcelona and designs and fabricates modern, environmentally responsible furniture.
board of directors | 2011-2012
John Straussberger, Chairman
The Strauss Company, Inc
Bob Franklin, Secretary
Franklin Associates Architects
Ben Harper, Treasurer
Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP
Hamilton County Government
Volkswagon Group of America, Inc
Elizabeth Crenshaw Hammitt
BlueCross Blue Shield
Urban League of Greater Chattnooga
Urban Stack/ Taco Mamacita