MIST was founded by Mike Stopka, leveraging 17 years leading sustainability in the built environment as a developer, designer, owner-operator and educator. Mike brings a balanced approached to clients and complex projects  through strategic planning, architecture, urban planning and community development. He believes sustainability is fundamentally an open-minded act of listening that meets people where they are to solve problems. Thru this lens, Mike facilitates the delivery of interdisciplinary solutions that are socially, environmentally and economically win-win-win. See Mike's detailed qualifications  

Prior to MIST, Mike was Director of the Office of Sustainability at the University of Chicago, leading a diverse team engaged with students, faculty, staff and University administration to officially pass the University's first Strategic Sustainability Plan. His team tackled projects ranging from revolving loan funds to green house gas reductions of UChicago's 160 buildings to engaging individual students. His primary role was to facilitate University-wide projects and act as an internal subject-matter consultant. Project types included architecture, master-planning, construction, education and research.

Previously Mike was the founding Director of Sustainability for Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), a large architecture & design firm, where he led the initiative of using fewer resources while increasing human health and comfort in all areas of the firm, from project design to office operations. His primary role was consulting project teams and business development. He worked on LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge projects with clients including the US Department of Energy, Oberlin College and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Mike also led sustainable engagement and education of all SCB employees; crafting events and practices to enrich and inspire others.

Mike was elected to the 2018 Board of Directors of Illinois Green (formerly USGBC Illinois) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Advisory Council. He is a member of the SDL Group, which brings together national sustainable design leaders. Past appointment include the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2030 Committee and the Ivy League Plus Sustainability Directors group. He's lectured and taught at the University of Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as national conferences, industry and civic events.  

Prior to SCB, Mike spent time honing architectural skills working for Stanley Tigerman and other architects, living in Charleston, SC while going to graduate school and even a short stint as an apprentice carpenter many years ago. His favorite pastime is fishing with his wife and 3 daughters.