re|shelter Board of Directors
re|shelter Advisory Board
Paula Baker-Laporte | Mary Cordaro | Pamela Reed Gibson, Ph.D. | Carl Grimes | Magda Havas, Ph.D. | Melinda Honn | Leslie Lawrence | Clover Morell | Martin L. Pall, Ph.D. | William J. Rea, M.D.
re|shelter Board of Directors
Julie Genser (President) has always been passionate about housing design. She has a B.S. degree in Environmental Design and Analysis/Interior Design from Cornell University. From 1993-1998 she worked as a Facilities Manager for a major corporation, coordinating construction and renovation projects in their offices across America while managing a staff of 7. She then left the corporate world to spend a full year traveling abroad, exploring the local earth architecture of the Middle East and Northern Africa, and the stilt houses of the Hill Tribes in Southeast Asia. Julie was certified in Permaculture and Ecovillage Design at an intentional community in Oregon in 2004 and then headed to Arizona for ECOSA’s intensive semester in sustainable architecture. She had to drop out one month into the program due to the onset of severe and unmanageable environmental illness. She spent the next several years in near isolation due to her illness, during which time she worked with Melinda Honn and Gregory Conrad via email to complete the Safer Construction Tips for the Environmentally Sensitive, a PDF brochure packed with over 300 helpful tips based on the experience of 18 people who built housing for someone with severe chemical and/or electrical sensitivities. She has run the website PlanetThrive.com for the past several years, providing online community to people recovering from environmentally based illnesses. She started the now defunct website MCSsafehomes.com in 2009, an online housing listing and resource center for all things related to safe housing. Those resources have since been transferred to the reshelter.org website. Julie lived in the MCS neighborhood in Snowflake, Arizona for five years where close to twenty people with environmental intolerances built custom homes for themselves and shared a wealth of information with her about their construction experience.
re|shelter Advisory Board
Paula Baker-Laporte (Architecture Advisor) graduated from the University of Toronto, School of Architecture in 1978 and from The International Institute of Bau-Biologie and Ecology in 1995. In 2007, she was elected into the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. She has headed a wide-ranging architectural practice based in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 1986. Since 1992, Paula has dedicated her practice to the precepts of environmentally sound and health enhancing architecture and her firm continues to lead in the fields of healthy and natural design and design and consultation for the chemically sensitive. She is the primary author of Prescriptions for a Healthy House, is co-author of EcoNest and is a contributing author to A People’s Ecology. In 2005, Paula was hailed by Natural Home Magazine as one of the top 10 green architects in the U.S. …learn more
Mary Cordaro (Materials Advisor) is the President of Mary Cordaro, Inc., a consulting company specializing in energy efficient, healthy building and remodeling, diagnosing and solving contaminant problems in the workplace and home, and practical healthy building and lifestyle education. Cordaro’s integrated approach to problem solving is unique. She incorporates her low consumption, ecological lifestyle philosophy with her expertise in the fields of Bau-Biologie, Building Science, and green building to address the indoor environmental concerns associated with planetary and human health. Cordaro has been working in the field of ecological building since 1989. Together with a group of world class, highly specialized experts from the U.S., Germany and Switzerland, Mary and her team consult on all aspects of new construction, remodeling, and energy efficiency, as well as testing and remediating existing buildings. Cordaro also specifies building materials and systems for energy efficiency, healthy indoor air quality and low electromagnetic fields. She and her team consult to interior designers, building owners, property managers, homeowners and tenants, as well as architects, contractors, health practitioners and medical doctors. Mary works both long distance by phone, as well as on-site. …learn more
Pamela Reed Gibson, Ph.D. (Research Advisor), is Professor of Psychology at James Madison University. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Rhode Island and has since studied the life impacts of having environmental sensitivities. Dr. Gibson is the author of the book Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide, 2nd ed., the comprehensive report Understanding & Accommodating People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in Independent Living, as well as numerous journal and conference papers. …learn more
Carl Grimes (Indoor Air Quality Advisor) is the President of the Indoor Air Quality Association (with over 4,000 members), as well as the owner of Healthy Habitats®, LLC, an indoor air quality company that transforms sick homes into healthy homes by addressing both exposure and susceptibility in clients who have not been helped by conventional methods. Having suffered ill health himself from toxic indoor exposures over twenty years ago, his approach combines the wisdom of both firsthand experience and industry expertise. Carl is the author of Starting Points for a Healthy Habitat, and he served on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board of the Denver HEAL group RMEHA for 14 years. …learn more
Magda Havas, Ph.D. (EMF Advisor) is Associate Professor of Environmental & Resource Studies at Trent University where she teaches and does research on the biological effects of environmental contaminants. Dr. Havas began studying acid rain and metal pollution in the mid-70’s and her current focus of research is on the biological effects of electromagnetic pollution. She works with individuals who have diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and electrical hypersensitivity. She also conducts research on sick building syndrome. She has given talks in more than a dozen countries and provides expert testimony on the health effects of electromagnetic pollution. Dr. Havas is currently science advisor on EMF-related issues to several non-profit organizations including The Canadian Initiative to Stop Wireless Electric and Electromagnetic Pollution, the Council on Wireless Technology Impacts, and the EMR Policy Institute. Dr. Havas recently wrote, with Camilla Rees, Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution, has co-edited three books and has published more than 100 articles. …learn more
Melinda Honn (Disability Rights Advisor, Non-Toxic Construction Advisor) has a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She co-founded the Southwest Environmental Health Association with her husband in 1992 and has served as President since that time. She is currently serving as the editor for the Arizona Environmental Health Bulletin, a popular MCS-related newsletter with an international following. She was a non-toxic construction consultant for the brochure Safer Construction Tip for the Environmentally Sensitive, produced by Planet Thrive, Inc. Melinda received the ADA Liberty Accessibility Advocate Award in 2007, for her work on public accessibility issues for those with MCS.
Leslie Lawrence (Community Development Advisor, Non-Toxic Construction Advisor) is the owner of Safe Spot Cottages, a consulting business dedicated to building mobile, chemically inert houses for environmentally sensitive individuals. Leslie’s ultimate vision is to buy land in one or more safer areas, where communities of environmentally sensitive people would live in small movable homes – the EI equivalent of the “tiny home” movement. Community features would include extensive gardening and some animal husbandry in order to provide pure, sustainable, humanely raised food. She recently completed the first of two tiny homes for herself, which has provided a wealth of experience for the development of future safe housing prototypes. …learn more
Clover Morell (Arts Outreach Advisor) is a prolific performance artist and curator who has collaborated on performance pieces and shows focused on disability and environmental illness. Most recently, she was the assistant curator for Site Unseen’s (dis)abling conditions in Chicago in which she also performed “Remote Intimations” with Julie Laffin. Clover will be spearheading a major installation project with Laffin over the next few years that aims to educate the public about safe housing issues and the problem of homelessness for those with environmental sensitivities. …learn more
Martin Pall, Ph.D. (Research Advisor), is Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University and Research Director of The Tenth Paradigm Research Group. Dr. Pall developed the NO/ONOO- theory of disease for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Gulf War syndrome based on a cycle of elevated nitric oxide (NO) and other elements that occurs from various traumas or stress events. He detailed his theory in the book Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses” and worked with Nutricology® to come up with a line of products to correct this imbalance. …learn more
William J. Rea, M.D. (Medical Advisor, Non-Toxic Construction Advisor), is a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon with a strong passion for the environmental aspects of health and disease. Founder of the Environmental Health Center (EHC-D), Dr. Rea is currently director of this internationally recognized highly specialized medical facility for people with hard-to-treat environmentally based illnesses. In 1988, Dr. Rea was named to the world’s first professorial chair of environmental medicine at the Robens Institute of Toxicology at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England. He has received numerous awards, from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and others, for his pioneering work in environmental and preventive medicine. Author of the medical textbooks Chemical Sensitivity, Vol. 1-4, a home building book Optimum Environments for Optimum Health and Creativity, and co-author of Your Home, Your Health and Well-Being, Dr. Rea has published more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers related to the topic of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery and environmental medicine. …learn more