National Staff

Denise Fairchild Ph.D.

President & CEO | | 202-449-9779

Denise Fairchild is the inaugural President of Emerald Cities Collaborative (ECC), a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., with affiliates in major urban centers across the United States. She is charged with advancing ECC’s “high-road” mission to green our cities, build resilient local economies and ensure equity inclusion in both the process and outcomes of a new green and healthy economy.

Denise is nationally recognized and respected for her 40-year successful track record and innovative programs in sustainable and community economic development, domestically and internationally. In 1995 she founded and directed the Community and Economic Development (CED) Department at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, as well as an affiliated nonprofit community development research and technical assistance organization, CDTech. She founded the Regional Economic Development Institute (REDI), an initiative of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, to provide inner-city residents with career and technical education for high-growth/high-demand jobs in the L.A. region, with a focus on the green economy. From 1989-1995 she served as executive director of LISC-LA, helping to build out the region’s community development industry creating nonprofit housing, jobs and businesses that strengthened and improved the health and environments of L.A.’s low-income communities of color.

Her civic and political appointments have included the California Commission on Regionalism, the California Economic Strategy Panel, the California Local Economic Development Association, the Urban Land Institute National Inner City Advisor, the Coalition for Women's Economic Development and the Los Angeles Environmental Quality Board. She has lived, worked and educated her two sons in South Los Angeles since 1977 and also served as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's special advisor for South L.A. Investments.

Denise received her B.A from Fisk University in 1972, a masters in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate in urban planning from UCLA. She holds a number of academic distinctions, including serving as a senior fellow at M.I.T., U.C.L.A. and The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship.


Kevin Warner

Vice President of Investment Services | | 202-652-2660

Kevin Warner is responsible for capitalizing ECC’s sustainable and energy retrofit projects through the creative pooling of public and private investments, and managing the investment portfolio and assets in partnership with ECC’s financial and development partners.  Kevin is well suited for his responsibilities bringing over 20 years of experience in urban economic development, real estate and community investment with a focus on redevelopment, public-private partnerships, neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing and sustainable development. 

Formerly, as Vice President for Investments, Acquisitions and Real Estate Development with the National Capital Revitalization Corporation in Washington, D.C., Kevin directed project investments and transactions for large-scale community development activities in the District of Columbia.  His major accomplishments include financing transactions for the 500,000 sq. ft. DC USA urban retail project at the Columbia Heights Metro Station, the residential, retail and office mixed-use projects at City Vista and Mt. Vernon Place, and the 1.2 million sq. ft. retrofit and redevelopment of Waterside Mall properties in Southwest Washington.  While at NCRC, Kevin also created and directed two highly innovative public-private investment transactions including the first of its kind $150 million equity fund in partnership with Morgan Stanley and a $142 million public-private financing package with Citibank Community Development.

Kevin’s commitment to ECC’s mission is evidenced by his most recent endeavor as the founder and principal of the Modern Company in Chevy Chase, MD; a strategy consulting firm focused on investment opportunities at the intersection of community, business and the environment.  In this capacity, he has advised Sodexo Healthcare, Inc. in areas of senior housing, business development and strategic investments in the health care sector.  Previously, he was also project manager at the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, portfolio manager with the National Equity Fund, and project and planning consultant with Kosmont Associates and Kenneth Leventhal & Company in Los Angeles. 


Ronnie J. Kweller

Director of Communications and Research | | 202-688-0880 

Washington, D.C, native Ronnie J. Kweller has pursued a mission-driven career in communications, PR and media relations with advocacy-oriented nonprofits and progressive PR firms in the nation’s capital. Prior to joining ECC, she worked for 11 years at the Alliance to Save Energy, serving as director of media relations starting in 2009. Earlier in her career Ronnie worked at the Center for Community Change and at two niche PR firms, one specializing in strategic communications campaigns for unions and the other focusing on media relations for human rights, civil rights and women’s health organizations. She began her career as a reporter/editor for BNA and also worked at the Washington Evening Star

Ronnie secured media coverage for the Alliance in prestigious national outlets including USA Today, The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalU.S. News & World Report, NewsweekBusiness Week, CBS, MSNBC, CNN and National Public Radio. She frequently served as an on-the-record spokesperson on consumer issues with broadcast, print and online media. Ronnie also played a principal role in the Alliance’s strategic communications campaigns to help consumers save money, build awareness of the benefits of energy efficiency, protect the environment by reducing the nation’s overall energy use and enhance U.S. energy security by reducing dependence on imported oil.


Adetola Shabi, Controller

Adetola is a highly accomplished, results-driven senior accountant, corporate strategy analyst and financial management executive with experience in finance and operations management within start-ups and multi-million dollar organizations. His capabilities include streamlining business operations that drive growth and increase efficiency and bottom-line profit.

He has significant experience in affordable housing, workforce development and community development. 

Adetola holds a BA in Economics and an MBA from the University of the District of Columbia. He also served as the Student Member on the UDC Board of Trustees for three consecutive terms.

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