MIST was founded by Mike Stopka, leveraging over 15 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 often involving strategic planning, architecture, urban planning and community development. He fundamentally believes sustainability is an open-minded act of listening that meets people where they are to solve problems and meet needs. The positive environmental impact is a byproduct, not a reason. Thru this lens, Mike facilitates the delivery of interdisciplinary solutions that are socially, environmentally and economically win-win-win. He has particular expertise in strategic planning, urban ecology, communications and change-management. See Mike's detailed qualifications  

Prior to MIST, Mike was the Director of the Office of Sustainability at the University of Chicago, where he led a diverse team that engaged with students, faculty, staff and University administration to create and manage the University's robust Strategic Sustainability Plan. His team tackled projects ranging from green house gas reductions of UChicago's 160 buildings to meeting with individual students to foster their sustainable passions. His primary role was facilitating cross-disciplinary University projects and serving as an internal sustainable subject-matter consultant. Project types included architecture, master-planning, construction, academic and research.

Previously Mike was 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 with project teams on sustainable design and working on 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.

With a broad network, Stopka is a member of the SDL Group, which brings together sustainable design leaders from across the US, and also a member of the USGBC Programs Committee, AASHE Program Review Committee and a former member of 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 and shares his knowledge at 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.

Whenever possible he camps, fishes and spends time outside with his family. Mike enjoys biking to work, designing websites, seeking out strange food and drink, and most importantly, hearing his children laugh.