Lia Nielsen founded Simply Sustainable in 2015 to focus on the product-related needs of her clients. Lia is a business graduate of Boston University and attended graduate school at the University of Florida where she studied Construction Management and Sustainability. After working on construction projects such as the LEED Platinum Bank of America tower in New York City, and the Frank Gehry designed Peter B. Lewis Science Library and the Frick Chemistry Laboratory at Princeton University, Lia joined noted Green architect, Jason Kliwinski, in forming the Green Building Center, of which she remains a co-owner.
Lia is both a LEED Green Associate, and accredited professional under the WELL Building Standard, for which she teaches training workshops. LEED is the international standard for green building and WELL, a new, complementary rating system also overseen by the US Green Building Council, focuses on the health and wellness of building occupants, and places particular emphasis on healthy and environmentally friendly building materials.
Mary Jane Augustine, who was formerly a partner with the law firm of McCarter & English in both its New York and Newark offices, practiced construction law for more than 40 years before joining her daughter, Lia Nielsen, as Co-Principal of Simply Sustainable in January, 2017. As a transactional attorney representing primarily owners, developers and design professionals on major construction projects, Mary Jane accrued a wealth of construction industry experience which she brings to her work with Simply Sustainable.
Mary Jane’s interest in, and involvement with, sustainable design and construction is longstanding. She became a LEED Accredited Professional in 2009, one of only a handful of lawyers nationwide to hold the designation at that time. She also wrote and spoke frequently on green building topics during her law career.
In 2017, Mary Jane also became a WELL Accredited Professional. WELL is a companion building rating system to LEED. It focuses on the health and wellness of building occupants, including the selection and utilization of healthy and environmentally friendly building products and materials.
As a means of expanding the services that Simply Sustainable offers, Mary Jane is currently enrolled in the Interior Design program at the Parsons School of Design in New York.