Southface Staff Earns Master Trainer Milestones

About Us

Southface offers a growing array of weatherization and green building training programs to educate the current generation of builders, contractors, industry professionals and non-tradespeople in the art of comfortable, sustainable homes and buildings. These educational offerings take place at our Southeast Weatherization and Energy Efficiency Training (SWEET) Center. The SWEET Center is an example of the partnerships Southface fosters between government and private business, carrying out state and federal programs to educate and empower the workforce.


Southface staff uses two full-scale cabins stuffed full of standard diagnostic equipment to teach you how the parts of your building come together to make a comfortable home or office space—from proper duct work to insulation techniques. In addition to the diagnostic cabins, the SWEET Center includes typical household appliances such as a refrigerator and water heater to demonstrate how they interact in the home as a system, as well as a classroom with a closed air flow system simulator.

Our Education and Technical Assistance team has a vast breadth and depth of knowledge—ranging from the fundamentals of building science to LEED® administration to energy code standards to combustion safety—and believes that learning is never finished.

It’s due to this drive that our staff are among a few in the nation to hold specific Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Master Trainer credentials. IREC is a nonprofit certifying organization within the clean energy industry that’s achieved national recognition for their policies demonstrating how people can get the most from using renewable energy.

Earning a Certified Master Trainer Credential requires at least 700 hours of teaching experience and at least one year of hands-on field experience, providing documented evidence of meeting IREC standards and showing annual compliance.

Steve Herzlieb, a project manager on Southface’s Education and Technical Assistance team, was one of the first in the nation to earn his Quality Control Inspector certified master trainer credential. In addition to his QCI credential, he also holds an Energy Auditor credential, making him one of seven people in the nation to hold two certified master trainer credentials concurrently.


“The Master Trainer certification is valuable because it provides an easy and consistent way of identifying trainers who meet high standards for quality,” Herzlieb said. “My experience as a trainer at Southface is valuable to me because it allows me to contribute to a higher quality of life and the sustainable and equitable use of our natural resources through education.”

Amelia Godfrey, also a project manager on our Education and Technical Assistance team, earned her Energy Auditor certified master trainer credential in May 2015. This achievement makes her the only female to currently hold this certified master trainer credential in the nation. John Kane, our residential technical trainer, is currently only one of only two people in the nation to hold three certified master trainer credentials concurrently: Crew Leader, Quality Control Inspector, and Retrofit Installer Technician.

Four of our Commercial Sustainability staffers also achieved certifications which will continue to inform the work that they do to make the built environment more sustainable. Abby Francisco and Tianyao Zhang were both certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) AP. Sydney Roberts received certification for Building Performance Institute’s Building Analyst Professional and Envelope Professional, and Cody David received his Professional Engineer certification.

With their new certifications, our staffers are well equipped with the latest and greatest knowledge in green building practices. This enhances the classes we offer at the SWEET Center, allows our staffers to hone their knowledge in areas that interest them and ensures that they’re excited about what they’re teaching.

Come take a class today, and learn how you can thrive in a healthier, more comfortable home or office space!

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