Spinnaker Group Announces
Promotions & Restructuring

West Palm Beach, FL (February 1, 2021) -- Spinnaker Group, one of the most respected leaders in the green-building movement, has announced a company expansion involving bringing on new team members, nationally and internationally, and expanding the firm's executive leadership team.

"I am extremely pleased to announce the promotion of three longtime Spinnaker Group contributors to Vice-President, as well as further important restructuring of our team," said Jonathan Burgess, President and Principal-in-Charge of Spinnaker Group. "These shifts in oversight responsibility and the addition of new team members underscore the extensive expertise and experience of our professional staff. They will enable our company to continue to elevate our market-leading position, as well as expand the number and quality of services we bring to our clients."


  • Ernesto Collazo, Vice-President
    of Commissioning -- With Spinnaker
    Group since 2010, Ernesto has 35+
    years combined experience as a
    Mechanical Technician, Installer,
    Project Manager, HVAC Design
    Engineer and Commissioning
    Agent. Ernesto oversees Spinnaker
    Group's Building Commissioning
    team and is an AGC Certified
    Commissioning Authority.
  • Margaret Fitzsimons, Vice-President
    of Sustainability -- With Spinnaker
    Group since 2016, Margaret oversees the Sustainability team charged with advising design and construction teams in the creation of high performing and healthy buildings via multiple green-building rating systems. With more than 28 years of diverse experience, Margaret's work bridges architecture, urban planning, interiors, sustainable design, education, and strategy. She serves as WELL Faculty and is both a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) and WELL AP.
  • Jesse Rittenhouse, Vice-President of Strategy -- With Spinnaker Group since 2016, Jesse directs Spinnaker Group's strategic business development and marketing programs, emphasizing the company's many strengths. Armed with an extensive background in business development, marketing, and sustainable-building consulting, Jesse's professional accreditations include LEED AP BD+C, FGBC Designated Professional, and LCA Consultant.

New Hires / Restructuring:

  • Steve Samenski, Director of Building Performance -- Steve Samenski returns to Spinnaker Group as Director of Building Performance this month, after a previous four-year stint during the company's early days starting in 2007. Steve new focus is to apply the rigor and efficiency of the green-building world to the existing-building sector, encompassing services such as retro-commissioning, energy auditing, monitoring-based commissioning, and benchmarking. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Florida and also holds LEED AP BD+C and CxA certifications.
  • Lee Cooke, Director of Partnerships -- With Spinnaker Group since 2018, Lee taps his 40-year career in administration and marketing, including 10 years with the US Green Building Council, to assist the executive and business-development team's efforts to open doors in new markets.
  • Marta Valens, Business Administrator -- Marta Valens joined the Spinnaker Group family in August 2020. A highly organized office administrator with more than 30 years of experience, Marta's strong analytical, communication and collaboration skills provide administrative support for the team and management.
  • Amy Ford, Junior Sustainability Advisor -- Amy Ford also joined Spinnaker Group this month, stepping into the role of Junior Sustainability Advisor, joining the Sustainability team's efforts with experience in sustainability initiatives, benchmarking, and green-building projects. Amy holds several accreditations including LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP and Sustainable Business Associate.
  • Jared Jacobs, Development Intern -- Jared Jacobs joined Spinnaker Group in January 2021, working within the firm's neighborhood development, strategic planning and storytelling efforts. Formally trained in media production with PBS, Jared has maintained a colorful career at the intersections of production and environmental stewardship management.

"With this administrative staff restructuring and with nearly 200 projects in the pipeline, I couldn't be more excited about our company's future," said Burgess. To review full bios of the entire Spinnaker Group staff, visit here.

Founded in 2003, the award-winning Spinnaker Group helps facilitate the highest quality, sustainable building projects. With the company since 2012, Burgess purchased the company from its founders in the fall of 2018. Since the purchase, he has hired seven new full-time professionals accredited in various fields plus two interns, four of which were hired during the COVID-19 pandemic. This recent staff expansion invests in employees in Arizona, Spain, Kuwait and, of course, Florida. The team collectively speaks 10 languages, and more than 50% of its employees are first-generation immigrants.

Using an integrated team approach with a diverse range of clients, Spinnaker Group has more than 150 LEED Certified projects under its belt and more than 700 million sf of commissioned building space worldwide. The sustainability, green-building consulting company excels in hot and humid climates, with more than 95% of its projects based in tropical and subtropical climate zones. In addition to tapping USGBC's LEED, IWBI's WELL, and other rating systems as anchors of its sustainable consulting services, Spinnaker's diverse team of design and construction professionals offer project management, energy modeling, fundamental and enhanced building commissioning, neighborhood planning, operations and maintenance consulting, indoor air-quality testing, and life cycle analyses for all types of building projects.

This news release was also picked up by the South Florida Business Journal and other wire services.