Resource Innovation Institute
We believe the cannabis industry has the power to cultivate a new economic model of sustainable enterprise. To prove up this model, we convene the cannabis marketplace to envision and activate the industry’s resource efficient future.
Executive Director & Board Member
Derek Smith is Executive Director and Co-Founder of Resource Innovation Institute (RII), a national non-profit whose mission is to promote and quantify energy, carbon and water conservation in the cannabis industry. Prior to RII, Mr. Smith ran Clean Energy Works, a residential energy efficiency program that blended utility, public and private dollars to deliver whole-building retrofits while generating carbon emission reductions along with equitable economic development outcomes. Clean Energy Works was hailed as one of the most successful US Dept. of Energy funded stimulus programs in the country. Mr. Smith has also led energy programs with the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, served on the management team of a Zero VOC start-up paint company and developed an award-winning corporate sustainability program for a national retailer.
Gretchen Schimelpfenig is Technical Director, a role in which she leads RII’s Technical Advisory Council activities, articulates RII’s science-based positions, writes technical guidance on resource efficient cultivation, and supports PowerScore users with benchmarking analysis and reporting compliance. She recently authored RII’s Best Practices Guides on Cultivating Cannabis with LED Lighting and HVAC. Gretchen is also a licensed Civil Professional Engineer - Construction in California and Vermont and is an Energy Engineer at the Burlington Electric Department where she helps her commercial and institutional (C&I) customers like the University of Vermont and the City of Burlington save energy in their buildings and processes. She has a MS in Civil Engineering, Sustainable Design & Construction - Energy from Stanford University and has published research for the U.S. Green Building Council on the topic of ground-source heat pumps. She has a specialty in analyzing the interactive effects between HVAC and lighting systems after spending 2 years commissioning HVAC and lighting controls systems in C&I environments and evaluating energy efficiency programs in New England before switching to designing and implementing them for customers in Burlington, Vermont. Gretchen is a home cultivator and is constantly using her HVAC and lighting knowledge to optimize her grow environment.
Dulce Dorado is the office manager for RII where she builds and manages RII's budget alongside the Executive Director, handles accounting, human resources, manages RII's member database, and provides administrative support to the RII team. Prior to working for RII, Ms. Dorado was an accountant and manager for an international retail and wholesale company based in Los Angeles, CA where she not only handled the company's finances, but helped manage the company and became the President's financial advisor and right hand. Ms. Dorado has years of experience in accounting, business management, and human resources. Currently, she holds a position as Controller for one of the largest industrial launderer and custom logo mat rental companies in the Pacific Northwest where she manages finances, oversees accounting departments, and human resources for four locations in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Morgan Lesko codes the Cannabis PowerScore and supports users through the survey process. He is a lifelong activist and long-time web-based programmer, with 15 years experience using PHP and MySQL. He founded a chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) at the University of Maryland in 2002, and later volunteered to run SSDP’s national website using his own content management system. For several years, he built and managed youth activism management software with Rescue Social Change Group.
Sam Milton tracks state, local and federal policy related to cannabis and hemp natural resource issues. Throughout the fall of 2018, Sam co-facilitated the Massachusetts Cannabis Energy Roundtable. The Roundtable included 25 industry stakeholders who came together to make regulatory recommendations to the Commonwealth on how to integrate lighting standards, whole-building energy management, data collection and exceptions for renewable energy offsets and low-carbon cultivation techniques. Sam is based in the Northeastern US and is a LEED Green Associate.