Sustainable Walnut Creek


Robert Joe
Robert Joe’s green journey gathered momentum in the 90’s when he and his wife, Lily started construction of Ecohouse Walnut Creek, their retirement home and the world’s first two story steel and strawbale structure.

In early 2008, Robert, Marsha Golangco, Tina Neuhausel, Sheila Hill, and James Kalan, held their first official Citizens for a Sustainable Walnut Creek meeting. Citizens for a Sustainable Walnut Creek was present at several Walnut Creek events providing valuable sustainable information to local home owners. Citizens for a Sustainable Walnut Creek was the precursor to Sustainable Contra Costa which was formed in 2009.

Robert is a founding member of Sustainable Contra Costa and Sustainable Walnut Creek, past member of USGBC-NCC’s Diablo East Bay Branch organizing committee, a past member of Contra Costa County and City of San Ramon’s Green Residential Advisory Task Force and a contributing “Green Talk” columnist and past editor of Diablo Valley Chinese Cultural Association’s newsletter.

He is a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor (CSBA) and a LEED Accredited Professional. Robert started his green consulting business, Beyond Platinum in 2009 and is serving as a Project Team Leader on the 1895 Green Castle project in Oakland, CA, a LEED for Homes Gut-Rehabilitation Platinum Pre-Certified project.

Marsha C. Golangco
Marsha C. Golangco, principal of Golangco Global, is committed to a sustainable world that works for all. As a co-founder of the company, Marsha brings Sustainable Design and Systems to communities all over the globe.

As an avid community contributor, Marsha serves on the board of many community/business organizations. She is a board member of the Professional Women in Building, both local and State levels; a co-founder of Sustainable Contra Costa; the Advocacy Chair of United States Green Building Council’s Diablo East Bay Branch and the past chair of the Human Relations Commission of Contra Costa County.

Marsha is also a public speaker and the author of two Feng Shui books – The Power of Feng Shui for Builders and The Power of Feng Shui for Your Life. Her third book – The Power of Feng Shui for Sustainable Green Living was published in 2013.

Bob Simmons
Bob Simmons was electe  d to his first term on the City Council in November 2008. He was formerly a member of the Walnut Creek Planning Commission, serving from 2004 to 2008 (serving as chair in 2006) and prior to that served on the Park, Recreation and Open Space Commission from 1999 to 2004 (chair in 2003). In 2011, Bob served as Mayor of Walnut Creek.

His community affiliations include Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation, President and Board member; Castle Rock Field Restoration Committee, Co-Chair; Northgate Bronco Boosters, Board member; Walnut Creek Little League, Board member; Youth sports coach in soccer, baseball, basketball; Orinda Hiking Club, Chair, International Trips Committee; Bedford Gallery Public Art Walking Tour docent; Diablo Valley Literacy Council, volunteer tutor in English as a Second Language; and Friends of the Ygnacio Valley Library volunteer.

After attending the University of Wisconsin and receiving his bachelor of arts degree in economics, Mr. Simmons pursued a law career. He received his juris doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin and a masters degree in natural resources law from the National Law Center at George Washington University. He went to work as an attorney for the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Agriculture. His principal client was the Forest Service, an agency that manages over 190 million acres of land, including 20 million acres in California. When he retired in 2004, he was the regional attorney for the Department’s Pacific Region, supervising 25 attorneys in three states.

After his retirement, Mr. Simmons became a volunteer mediator with the Center for Human Development and the Congress of Neutrals. He is presently a mediation supervisor for the Congress of Neutrals with a special focus on civil harassment mediation.

Mr. Simmons was born and raised in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. He and his wife, Judy, moved to Walnut Creek in 1987 with their two sons, Paul and Mike, both of whom attended Walnut Acres, Foothill Middle and Northgate High schools. Paul graduated from Northgate in 1999 and from San Diego State in 2004; Mike graduated from Northgate in 2001and from UC San Diego in 2006. Mike is attending graduate school at Cal; Paul is living in Walnut Creek.

Art Coon
As the head of Miller Starr Regalia’s Sustainable Development Practice Group, Art Coon guides clients through a broad range of real property, land use and environmental matters.

Art has distinguished himself as a litigator at the trial and appellate levels of both federal and state courts, including an appearance as counsel of record before the U.S. Supreme Court. His areas of expertise include land use, environmental law, the law of public agencies, extraordinary writs, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Art also counsels and advocates for clients who have matters in front of administrative bodies.

Art received a J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1986, Art was awarded the Order of the Coif, served as a Law Review editor, was a member of the Trial Practice Honors Board, and received American Jurisprudence Awards in Conflict of Laws and Commercial Paper. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California in 1982.

Art is a LEED Accredited Professional and is currently Vice Chair of the Diablo East Bay Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Northern California Chapter. He has served as a member of the Bay Area Economic Forum’s CEQA Work Group, and is an Advisory Board Member of the California Land Use Law and Policy Reporter (Argent Communications).

Art taught Land Use Planning as an Adjunct Professor at McGeorge School of Law in Spring 2002, and has served numerous years as a speaker/panelist on CEB’s annual Recent Developments in Real Property Law Practice panel, serving as moderator in 2002.

In addition to his contributions in the courtroom and the classroom, Art has published and presented extensively. He has written dozens of articles for law reviews, legal periodicals, and other publications, as well as authoring the chapters “CEQA” and “Subdivisions, Land Use Planning, and Approvals” in Miller & Starr, California Real Estate, Third Edition. He is co-author of the Miller & Starr Chapter on Community Redevelopment, and the Book, “From Here To Attorney! The Ultimate Guide To Excelling In Law School And Launching Your Legal Career.”

Cedprofilepic2014Cedric C. Cheng
Cedric C. Cheng has vast experience in graphic arts began in 1996 when he started LINC Designs with two partners. Soon after, Mr. Cheng became senior graphic designer at Minuteman Press in Walnut Creek and later on in Lafayette performing tasks from creative to technical. During this time, LINC Designs became Cedric Cheng Design and the firm prospered.

Today, with Cedric Cheng Design utilizes the resources of a firm on solid footing in the arena of creative arts. With our move into offering four-color printing and labels along with rubber stamps, we hope that we can offer our clients an all around service and positive experience. Mr. Cheng is a graduate from San Francisco State University. He is also heavily involved in the community ranging from environmental issues, the Asian American commmunity as well as in public affairs.



Barbara Safran
Barbara Safran is committed to helping others create a world that her grandchildren and someday her great grandchildren can enjoy. A sustainable Walnut Creek is one step in that endeavor. Barbara is the broker – and co owner of Land of Gold Realty in Walnut Creek CA, together with her business partner Pam Thompson.

Barbara has been an active Women’s Council of REALTORS®member for the past 12years. She was  the 2010 California State President. She was awarded the REALTOR of the Year by her local chapter in 2004 and holds many certifications and designations. She has a Masters and a license in Clinical Social Work and still sees a few private clients. She is certified to teach the Performance Management Network Designation classes. Barbara has taught family therapy in the past.

Barbara is the  2011 President-Elect for the Contra Costa Association of REALTORS® and  serves as a director with the California Association of REALTORS®. CCAR recently purchased a building in Walnut Creek which is in the process of being LEED certified.

Barbara has 8 grandchildren, loves to sing, do photography, and spend time with her family and friends. Barbara’s passion is facilitating others to be the best they can be and through that discovering that she gets to be the best she can be as well. She believes that part of being the best we can be is being aware of how we best use our valuable resources.