About Us

The IFBC  was launched by building experts with a passion to strengthen the interconnection between high performance homes and buildings with thriving communities. By aligning the design strategies of sustainability, accessibility, health, and resiliency, we can improve the places in which we work, live, and play to foster a healthier lifestyle for all.

Andrea Foss

Andrea Foss is the Executive Director for the Institute for Better Communities and Director of Mid-Atlantic Sustainability Services for Steven Winter Associates, Inc. Andrea brings over a decade of experience working with developers, owners, architects and contractors on a wide variety of high performance projects. Andrea frequently consults directly with municipal clients including educating code officials on green building standards, creating educational pieces on green building best practices and developing a city-wide program to reduce energy and water usage in existing multifamily properties. Andrea is an expert on green building programs and works extensively with LEED for Homes, IgCC, Enterprise Green Communities, and ENERGY STAR, among other certification programs.

Victoria Lanteigne

Victoria is a Senior Advisor with IFBC, where she works to promote accessible design and healthy building initiatives to create better communities. Victoria is the founder and co-chair of AIA|DC’s Committee on Accessible Design and she sits on AIA DC’s Design + Wellbeing Committee to explore how the built environment can impact human health, including individuals with disabilities. She holds a Master’s of Public Policy from The George Washington University and is a WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP) in human health and wellness in the built environment.

Maureen McGeary Mahle

Maureen is the President and founding board member for the Institute for Better Communities. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Home Energy Magazine, and is Senior Vice President and the Director of Sustainable Housing Services at Steven Winter Associates, Inc. She provides building science, indoor air quality and sustainability expertise for a variety of project types including community developments, residential and mixed-use buildings. Her work focuses on green rating system implementation, sustainability training for design and construction professionals, and high performance building technologies research. Maureen holds a M.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering, Construction Engineering Option, as well as a B.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

Marie A. Starnes

Marie is the Treasurer and founding board member for the Institute for Better Communities, and is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Operations at Steven Winter Associates, Inc. She is a progressive manager, with over 40 years of experience in management, strategic planning, and managerial accounting, and has particular strength in driving performance, reducing inefficiencies and cutting costs. Marie’s ability to develop a vision, achieve consensus, and deliver results in a wide variety of corporate and nonprofit settings with increasing levels of authority, contributed to her strong sense of leadership, interpersonal and communication capabilities in achieving successful programmatic, operational, strategic or managerial outcomes.  She holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Managerial Accounting from Western Connecticut State University.

Mary Jo Peterson

Mary Jo is a founding board member for the Institute for Better Communities and an award-winning author, speaker, educator, and designer with over 25 years of experience. She is president of Mary Jo Peterson, Inc., a design studio and consulting firm established in 1993 with specialized expertise in kitchen, bath, and universal/accessible design. The firm offers consulting services to private clients, manufactures of product, and builders/developers/architects in the design of universal spaces and products. Mary Jo has contributed to the development of new national universal design standards introduced in 2013. Involved with government and advocacy groups, Mary Jo works at integrating universal access and sustainability into home and product design, and actively promotes change and education towards the integration of access, sustainability, and beautiful design. She holds a M.S. in Administration from the University of Minnesota, Mankato.