Our Team

SustainabiliD Is A Woman Owned, Woman Service-Disabled Veteran Operated and Uniquely Diverse Small Business

Kerry C. Duggan (she/her), founder and CEO, is a national political advisor, visionary climatech executive, public speaker and a former government official. She is a corporate board director, advises numerous climatech companies and funds focused on equitable economic development, climatech and diversity. During the Obama-Biden administration, Duggan served as White House as policy advisor to then Vice President Joe Biden as well as the deputy director of President Barack Obama’s Detroit task force for over six years. She is currently an Appointee to the U.S. Department of Energy’s prestigious Secretary of Energy’s Advisory board (or SEAB), as well as the Michigan Governor’s Council on Climate Solutions. As a leader in the sustainability movement, Duggan was named the founding director of the University of Michigan’s SEAS Sustainability Clinic.

Betsy Palazzola (she/her), Senior Policy and Strategy Advisor, puts her passions around housing security and climate change resilience to work at SustainabiliD, where she is currently focused on developing innovative strategies to reduce cost of living and increase public health through energy efficiency and home repair. This work is supported by her nearly ten year tenure with the City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department, where she manages public infrastructure projects and navigates the intricacies of Community Development Block Grants in order to maximize public benefit and foster community resiliency. Aside from work, Betsy enjoys life outdoors in Michigan and can be found trail running, kayaking the Detroit River, and working to restore her 100 year old home in Detroit’s historic Jefferson Chalmers community.

Bridget Corwin (she/her), Policy Analyst, is a recent graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and Program in the Environment. She has a particular interest in advocating for environmental and social justice, working across political divides to address issues, and fostering community development. Bridget hopes to combine and apply the skills and knowledge from both of her majors and activities to bring groups together to help solve our world’s most difficult environmental challenges.

Cara Dietz (she/they), Chief Impact Officer, with experience in carbon accounting, visual data analysis, landscape design, and sustainable strategy. Previously, Cara spent her time working with the City of Detroit, aided in community outreach and communications first with the Detroit Land Bank, and next with the Office of Sustainability as they developed their Sustainability Action Agenda. In 2020 Cara was an environmental policy advisor for Oakland County Commissioner Charlie Cavell’s campaign. Dietz graduated Smith College with a B.A. in Environmental Science and Policy and a minor in Landscape Studies. She is Chief of Staff certified through the McChrystal Academy.

Jason “JJ” Vélez (he/him), DEI advisor, runs the El Barrio project at SustainabiliD. At his day job, he serves as the Director of Public Space for the Rocket Community Fund (formerly Quicken Loans Community Fund), after two years of running the City of Detroit’s Parks & Recreation Department, where he was appointed by Mayor Michael E. Duggan. Before moving to Detroit, for nearly ten years Vélez ran what is widely considered the premiere after school program in “the DMV” (that is, D.C., Maryland, Virginia) as Director of After School & Auxiliary Programs at the prominent Maret School in Washington, D.C. Originally from New York City, Vélez played ice hockey at the age of nine in Spanish Harlem, in a program sponsored by the New York Rangers called “Ice Hockey in Harlem” in Central Park. Hockey (and sports, in general) have had a tremendous impact, from keeping him “off the streets'' and opening doors to opportunities he would have never imagined for himself.

Kylie Martin (she/her), Chief Financial Officer, spent the majority of her career in the manufacturing industry working for two of the largest companies in Michigan - Ford Motor Company and Whirlpool Corporation. She has worked in Product Development, Corporate Finance, Operations, and Parts Supply and Logistics. She is skilled at analyzing investment objectives and managing critical business and financial initiatives. In the community, Kylie mentored students at the Henry Ford Academy, directed Ford Outfitters Finance Community Service Program, and was a member of the Whirlpool Inclusion Council and Engagement/Transformation Team. Kylie holds a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Maura Sanders (she/her), Chief Operating Officer, draws on 20+ years of experience working in community planning and development, real estate, logistics and operations. Maura has over seven years of military/federal service with a significant amount of time working for and with the United States Marine Corps Logistics Command including logistics data management and heavy equipment asset management. Maura earned her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina - Wilmington and her Bachelor of Science in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy. Maura is also a licensed real estate broker in Michigan with memberships in both the Michigan Association of REALTORS and the National Association of REALTORS with Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and Military Relocation Professional (MRP) designations.

Samantha Kennedy (she/her), Communications Director, is a communications and political professional currently working at a public relations firm in addition to her role at SustainabiliD. Kennedy has done media and press work for Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Iowa Democratic Party, and GPS Impact, a DC-based digital campaign services firm. A native Michigander, Kennedy holds a BA in Public Policy from the University of Michigan Ford School. While she is not campaigning, Samantha enjoys biking, practicing yoga, and plant-based cooking.
 

Marseille Allen (she/her), DEIA Advisor, currently serves as the Senior Political Advisor for the Michigan Democratic Party. She previously served as the Special Advisor to the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service at the Department of Labor and was a Michigan civil servant for nearly 15 years, with two years as a labor lobbyist. As an advocate for underserved communities and a trusted political advisor, Marseille assisted the Biden-Harris transition and served as a State of Michigan elector. Marseille is the co-founder the Sixth Circuit Combat Veterans Treatment Court and The Warriors Trust Fund, and presently serves on the boards of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and Women’s Campaign International. Marseille is a graduate of Wellesley College (BA) and Wayne State University (MA).