YEAR IN REVIEW
The U.S. Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter in 2018
Our Mission & Vision
We drive sustainable and regenerative design, construction, and operation of the built environment!
We envision a thriving and diverse community, creating a built environment of net positive systems of water and energy, of financial and social equity, and of ecological and human health.
There was a lot of good in the Commonwealth in 2018. Massachusetts was named the most energy efficient state for the 8thyear in a row, clean energy jobs are growing, Boston launched its Carbon Free Boston initiative and we were home to the first WELL Gold Certified project, EMD Serono’s Sagamore Building and the first LEED Platinum Certified Ice Arena, Bentley University’s Arena. While LEED Certifications were down slightly, WELL Certifications and Living Building Challenge registrations increased.
This year USGBC MA had over 5,000 people hours of interaction, sold 2114 tickets to 95 events, with 1060 unique individual attendees. We launched our roundtable discussions series in the second half of the year and hosted 7 building tours.
We held 6 major events this year including our Annual General Meeting, the Building Tech Forum, Zero Net Energy Municipal Summit, Healthy Building Summit, Green Building Showcase and our inaugural Women in Green Breakfast. We shifted these events to build community further by having round tables and encouraging engagement.
While our education this year still emphasized LEED we continued to promote other systems like LBC, WELL, Passive House and Fitwel. The majority of our education hours were spent on general sustainability. Energy was the second most popular topic.
In September we launched our Green Building Leadership Institute. The inaugural Emerging Professionals Certificate Program includes 7 women. The program is fostering the next generation of Green Building Professionals. Our second class is starting in March 2019.
In order to increase the capacity of building professionals we are promoting a program of the MA Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development that grants companies up to $225,000 for instructor hours over two years. We are forming consortiums of companies, creating a curriculum, applying for and managing the grant. A high percentage of the educational content is sustainability related. Our first consortium is halfway through the program and we’ve conducted over 3,000 people hours of training. We have 4 additional consortiums in the grant planning process and expect at least three to begin in 2019.
We launched a series of practice and topic area roundtables this year to engage our community in answering the question, “How do we accelerate the sustainability of the built environment in Massachusetts?” The roundtables are a way to build community and direct our activities.
Thanks to a grant from the Barr Foundation we are working on a report on the Cost of Zero Net Energy Buildings in Massachusetts. We held a municipal summit for close to 100 people around the same topic. The report will be out in February 2019 and we will spend the remainder of the year promoting the findings.
USGBC MA’s Board of Directors is working on revising our strategic plan, considering rebranding, discussing board evolution and creating a development plan as well as addressing diversifying the organization.
While we operated at a loss the first half of the year, with increased revenue and decreased staff we were able to balance out the second half of 2018. The year ended with 2-1/2 months’ revenue in reserve.
It has been an honor serving as Executive Director this past year.
Meredith Elbaum AIA, LEED AP
USGBC MA Executive Director
#1 Most Energy Efficient State
Massachusetts retained it position for the 8th consecutive year as the most energy efficient state by the ACEEE. The state scored a 44 out of 50. California ranked at #2 with a 43.5.
#1 Most Energy Efficient City
Boston was ranked the Most Energy Efficient City by the ACEEE with a score of 84.50 out of 100. Beating out NYC by 5 points!
#1 State for LEED Projects 2017.
The USGBC’s annual ranking released in 2018 listed Massachusetts as the number one with 4.48 certified GSF per capita. New York is second with 3.39 GSF per capita. The 2018 rankings are expected end of January 2019.
EMD Serono’s Sagamore Building first in U.S. to receive Gold rating from WELL.
EMD Serono’s Sagamore Building at their Billerica, MA Campus became the first in the United States to receive Gold-level certification for New and Existing Buildings from the International WELL Building Institute. It also earned LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Bentley’s New Arena First In US To Get Certified LEED Platinum.
Bentley University’s new state-of-the-art multipurpose arena is aLEED Platinum certified building boasting a 500KW rooftop solar array which provides the standalone ice arena with 40% of its annual electricity needs. The arena also emitts 50% fewer climate-change causing greenhouse gases per year as compared to similar ice arenas.
Harvard’s HouseZero opens as living lab with ambitious energy goals.
The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities (CGBC) has retrofitted its headquarters, a pre-1940s building in Cambridge, MA, into an ambitious data-driven living-laboratory that will help us to understand buildings in new ways. A first-of-its kind test case, it also functions as a prototype for ultra-efficiency.
Massachusetts Pledges to Continue 2017 Paris Agreement.
Massachusetts joins 14 other states to sue the EPA for recent rollbacks to auto-emissions standards, and agrees to hold up the 2017 Paris Agreement with 17 other states.
Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program Created.
A long-term, sustainable solar incentive program to promote cost-effective solar development in the Commonwealth.
$2.4 Billion Allocated for Climate Adaptation Package.
Legislation was signed by Charlie Baker allocating funds to support residents and businesses when it comes to Climate Change Adaptation, Environmental Protection, and Community Investments.
City Launches Carbon Free Boston
Carbon Free Boston is an initiative to analyze our options in the City’s efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
110,700+ Clean Energy Workers
The MassCEC’s 2018 Massachusetts Clean Energy Industry Report states clean energy workers represent 3% of the work force, with over 1,500 jobs added this year. This places Massachusetts as the second highest employer of clean energy workers in the U.S.
Massachusetts Becomes an Offshore Wind Leader.
Record-breaking auctions for off shore development leases ended off the year. The New Clean Energy Bill includes provisions to double Massachusetts’ offshore wind target to 3,200 megawatts by 2035. U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, a $15.4 million grant to expand its port to accommodate offshore wind project staging.
Commission on the Future of Transportation Established.
To get us to a “a 21st-century mobility infrastructure” a recent report makes recommendations aimed to move more people, reduce emissions in the commonwealth.
MA Senate Passes Carbon Pricing Legislation.
The bill instructs the governor’s office to develop carbon pricing for the transportation sector by the end of 2020, for commercial buildings and industrial processes by 2021 and for residential buildings by the end of 2022.
Massachusetts Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) Released.
The plan details the context, strategies, and choices faced by the Commonwealth and its residents as the energy systems transforms to meet the Commonwealth’s shared goals of a clean, affordable, and reliable energy future.
CHAPTER ACTION SCORECARD
People Hours of Interaction
Tickets Sold in Total
YEARLY PROJECT STATS
LEED Certifications this Year
130 LEED Certifications last Year
2018 Well Certifications
2017 WELL Certifications
LBC Project Registered
CONNECTING OUR COMMUNITYTHIS YEAR'S BIG EVENTS
With over 200 attendees and 35 presenting companies, our Building Tech Forum was not only the largest we have ever had, but also the most technically complicated.
We started with networking and opening remarks in the lobby of Atlantic Wharf before heading into our multi-session educational presentations.
In our three education tracks hosted by our Platinum Sponsors Eversource & National Grid, Boston Properties, and WSP, we saw a range of presentations with topics from New Dynamic Glass to new ways to take building monitoring data and transform it into compelling stories. After the speed rounds of presentations, everyone gathered in the Fort Point Room for drinks and networking.
It was an energizing night with our community where we shared their latest innovations and discoveries, while helping to build connections between some of the best innovators, leaders, and doers of our green building community.
See a list of our presenters and there presentations here.
Our very first Municipal Roundtable, held in collaboration with MCAN, MAPC, and NEEP was a platform for municipal staff, committee members, elected officials and concerned citizens to come together to learn and share about the path to Zero Net Energy Buildings.
There were presentations by Bill Updike of Integral Group, Jacob Knowles of BR+A, and our own Meredith Elbaum, that provided definitions and project examples to illustrate the bennefits and challenges of ZNE.
Attendees were asked to share obstacles and solutions to becoming zero net energy communities. These conversations will be used to guide research on the cost of net zero buildings. Cost has been a question that has come up for stakeholders looking into net zero for their communities, and this was an important launching session to make the research most helpful to the community.
According to MA Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020, buildings consume more than 50% of energy used in Massachusetts and account for over 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. As climate change accelerates, municipalities need strategies to combat the carbon emissions from their building stock.
Zero Net Energy Building (ZNE Building) is one solution. ZNE Buildings produce as much energy as they use throughout a year. Cities such as Cambridge and Amherst are leading the way by developing ZNE plans.
In 2017 USGBC MA began gathering various stakeholders including MCAN, MAPC, and NEEP to address barriers to Massachusetts communities becoming Zero Net Energy. The coalition has met several times and we often hear the cost and perception of increased cost is a major obstacle. With funding from the Barr Foundation, USGBC MA is working on a report to analyze the cost of Zero Net Energy buildings in Massachusetts. We will be incorporating lessons learned at the Roundtable into the report.
Our roundtable was a great success! We took all the data back to the office and synthesized all the information into a complete graphic summary below.
In 2018, the World Green Building Council reported that buildings designed for occupant wellness reported healthier, happier, and more productive employees. One Harvard University study even found that better air quality in office environments was linked with higher cognitive function in occupants.
The data shows that healthy buildings are not a frivolous expense. In fact, they can directly improve the bottom line of many organizations. Yet from Health Product Declarations (HPD) to Red Lists, WELL to FitWell, and LEED to the Living Building Challenge, the avenues for pursuing healthy buildings for your occupants can be overwhelming.
We want to empower you with healthy building strategies so that the people who occupy your buildings, as your employees, your tenants, or your clients can be productive and feel great in an optimal working environment.
For our Healthy Building Summit, we gathered an expert panel from top corporations and institutions. Our panel spearheaded a discussion, and engaged the audience with provocative questions and information on the science and engineering of healthy buildings.
Nadav Malin – Moderator
Managing Director, Harvard University Office for Sustainability
Vice President of Sustainability and Commercial Marketing, Mohawk
Director, Sustainability and Environmental Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Associate Director, Environment Health & Safety US at EMD Serono, Inc.
We had an amazing time at GBS ’18. From Jim Stanislaski’s and Aminah Mcnulty’s breakout performances in the opening “Mother Earth” performance to EMD Serono winning Green Building of the Year, there were some memorable moments.
The USGBC MA community works hard to advance sustainable and regenerative design, construction, and operation of the built environment. Once a year, we gather to celebrate industry success and innovation at USGBC MA’s Green Building Showcase (GBS ‘18).
At GBS ‘18, community members celebrate the best efforts, designs, and products in the Commonwealth. It is a night of project boards, short presentations, discussions, and awards.
The award winners were selected by our regional judges:
Principal and Urban Systems/Infrastructure Strategist at SmithGroup
Gunnar Hubbard, FAIA
Principal at Thornton Tomasetti, LEED Fellow
Kenneth J. Filarski FAIA, AICP, LEED AP BDC, SITES AP, CFM
Executive Director, CT Green Building Council; State Representative
Bentley’s New Arena, the first In US to get certified LEED Platinum, was recognized by Eversource and Mass Save receiving the Eversource Energy Optimization Award.
Attendees at the event included architects, engineers, contractors, developers, owners, facility managers, building users, lenders, suppliers…everyone who plays a role in designing, operating and constructing the built environment.
Site: Everyone wants a home of their own submitted by Utile, Inc.
Innovation: Chicago Riverwalk submitted by Sasaki.
Healthy & Wellness: EMD Serono SagaMORE Submitted by Ellenzweig & The Green Engineer.
Resilience: 181 Coleridge Ave Residence submitted by Touloukian Touloukian Inc.
Energy & Water Efficiency: 6 Industrial Way Office Park submitted by Touloukian Touloukian Inc.
People’s Choice: Northeastern University Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex submitted by Payette.
Our inaugural Women in Green event brought together women in all levels of our local industry, from emerging professionals to established leaders.
Following national empowerment movements, our event brought together professionals to network and connect with leaders in the field, promote women’s leadership across the environmental and built environment industry, and to channel our efforts to build a better world where both genders have equal access to and are involved in leadership and decision-making.
At Women in Green we heard from Deb Kiernan, Senior Director of Real Estate at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, about their sustainability journey and why they believe healthcare has a role to play modeling responses and behaviors. We followed with guided table discussions led by local sustainability leaders that examined ourselves, our communities, and our global connections.
Happenstance brought our newly elected Senator Diana DiZoglio in the room. Having heard about the event next-door, she stopped in to introduce herself, show support for the event, and talk about how the work being done by those in the room is important.
We also had a moment to center ourselves with a mindfulness exercise and together envision how together we can heal the planet. The event concluded with an Office Talk & Tour by Carolyn Manoukian, the Design & Construction Manger at BCBSMA.
Senior Director, Real Estate, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Design and Construction Manager, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Director, Sustainability and Environmental Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Director, Sustainability and Environmental Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Jennifer Taranto, LEED AP, WELL AP
Director of Sustainability, Structure Tone
Kimberly Cullinane, CEM, LEED AP
Senior Energy Efficiency Consultant, Energy Efficiency Services at Eversource
Jean Carroon, FAIA LEED Fellow
Principal at Goody Clancy
Founder & CEO: Sustainable Performance Institute: Sustainability Change Agent
Principal, Perkins Eastman
Director at Cleantech Open Northeast
Principal, Director of Sustainable Design at SMMA
Senior Sustainability Consultant, The Green Engineer
EPMAEMERGING PROFESSIONALS OF MASSACHUSETTS
The Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts (EPMA) Committee is a community of ascending professionals across the green building industry and allied fields providing professional support, development and advocacy tools through active networking, monthly programming and community events.
The EPMA is proud to sponsor the USGBC-MA Green Building Leadership Institute (GBLI), an 18 month program to advance leadership skills, build credibility and deepen network connections in the green building community.
This Year’s Events:
- Mentor Close Out Gathering
- Jacob’s Building Tour, Hancock Building
- Charles River Clean Up
- How to Engage: Networking + Making the Sustainability Case
- Wellness BBQ
- Fenway Rooftop Farm Tour
- Somerville Bike Tour
- Careers in Sustainability, Boston Architectural College
- Arboretum Clean-Up
- Building your Online Brand
Co-Chairs – Jenna Dancewicz & Aminah McNulty
Treasurer/Secretary – Jasmine Abdollahi
Outreach/Student Liaison – Andrew Breiter-Wu
Communications Manager – Alex Testa
Social Media Manager – Julie Salvatoriello
Events Team Manager – Lindsey Machamer
Events Team Member – Moira Cronin, Nathan Kingery-Gallagher, Oliver Bautista
They held 11 presentations by their members at EPMA committee meetings. Thank you to those who shared their work!
Julie Salvatoriello – Equiterra: Grassroots Soil Remediation
Haley Mahar – Building Green Buildings/BC House Overview
Nathan Kingery – Sustainability & Biotech
Moira Cronin – Development A to Z
Aliza Vaida – Neighborways
Ailsha Pegan – Climate Ready Boston
Lindsey Machamer – ENVISION Rating System
Leandro Molina – The Green Solutionist
Aminah McNulty – The Edge Effect: Living Shorelines
Andrew Breiter-Wu – Community Solar
Kelsey Margulies – Mary Ann Thompson Architects
EDUCATIONOUR TRAINING & RESOURCES
From 1 Hour, 8 Hours, to Multi-day.
This year we have continued our work bringing education in the form of trainings and resources to our community of emerging professionals and our more established members. Rating system introductions and prep courses showed to be popular, with growth in LEED and Living Building Challenge attendance. We had two foundational programs start this year: our Green Building Leadership Institute for emerging professionals, and our Workforce Training Grant Coalition to connect the current and emerging workforce to knowledge that empowers. We hosted many trainings and events at our office space, and also outside our walls with our partners. We hosted LEED Training at UMass Lowell, LISQ trainings for free to 50 individuals, and provided small Introductions like our Intro to USGBC at Gensler.
Our Inaugural Year
In 2018 we launched the Green Building Leadership Institute (GBLI) and its program the Emerging Professionals Certificate Program (EPCP). This program is for emerging professionals and students looking to advance their sustainable building knowledge, leadership skills, community engagement and professional brand to the next level.
It has been 25 years since USGBC started, 18 since LEED launched and 10 years since the Massachusetts Green Building community came together and formed the USGBC MA Chapter. Since then over 13.8 billion square feet of space have earned LEED certification and Massachusetts is #1 for LEED Buildings and Energy Conservation. A visit to Boston Seaport during a storm tells another story about how much work we still have to do. Now, more than ever, we need knowledgeable emerging professionals leading the way.
The program is Self-paced and lasts up to 18 months. Participants track progress through a point-based system with points accrued in 4 categories.
- Accreditations/Certifications (20 Points)
- Chapter Involvement and Community Involvement (30 Points)
- Leadership Skill Development. (20 Points)
- Community Service (30 Points)
Benefits include access to all USGBC MA programs (exceptions may apply), one on one support and stewardship from USGBC MA staff on career success, as well as networking nights and program completion celebrations, plus a free chapter membership.
Applications are open for our 2019 Class. Due March 15th. Find out more here.
The Workforce Training Fund is a program of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and is administered by The Commonwealth Corporation. The Workforce Training Fund General Program helps address business productivity and competitiveness by providing resources to Massachusetts businesses to fund training for current and newly hired employees. The program is funded by unemployment insurance taxes. All for profit companies and nonprofits that pay unemployment insurance are also eligible.
USGBC MA Workforce Training Consortium
The workforce training fund allows Companies in Massachusetts to pay an employee training tax as part of their payroll taxes. On average, over $8 per employee is paid into the fund each year yet many employers fail to onshore workforce training funds back to the business to help grow the business, address business challenges, and empower employee’s performance.
The Consortium has developed a portfolio of sustainable development professional development trainings to help employers realize increased value from their employees. The multi-disciplinary curriculum leverages the Chapter’s deep relationships with technology partners throughout the State to build skills to better meet client needs and expectations, increase margins, further employee hiring and retention, and address specific business challenges.
With our first consortium of Elkus Manfredi Architects, The Green Engineer, Kalin Associates and ICO Engineering and Energy we were able to provide over 248 hours of training to their professionals this year as of November 14th.
Completed Instructor Hours as of Nov 14th
Potential Total Trainees
Funding in Process
+ People Hours of Training
The Course Modules consisted of:
- Sustainability Education and Credentials – Voted 2nd
- Designing for High Performance – Voted 1st most useful
- Integrative Design Process Communication
- Integrative Design Process Management
- Leadership Training
- 3D Modeling for High Performance
- Visual Communication of Innovative Design
- Workflow Integration
- Operational Efficiency
- Design Thinking
Worth of education from Grant
Zero Net Energy Coalition + Cost Report
In 2017 USGBC MA began gathering various stakeholders including MCAN, MAPC, and NEEP to address barriers to Massachusetts communities becoming Zero Net Energy.
The coalition has met several times and we often hear the cost and perception of increased cost is a major obstacle.
With funding from the Barr Foundation, USGBC MA is working on a report to analyze the cost of Zero Net Energy buildings in Massachusetts.
We held a ZNE Municipal Roundtable this past summer to engage our local community leaders by asking them to share obstacles and solutions to becoming zero net energy communities. We will be incorporating lessons learned at the Roundtable into a report we are releasing in Q1 of 2019.
A goal this year, and for the chapter as we grow, is to continue to be the glue that holds our green building community together. We want to engage, educate, and connect the people that are making a difference for Massachusetts, and are becoming the leading experts in the nation.
We devised a series of roundtables by trade and topic areas to help connect and understand the needs of those in our industry. We have held 10 roundtables so far this year with focuses on architects, engineers, landscape, solar, contractors, and owners to name a few. We hosted some with our great partners as well.
Look forward to seeing more of these to come, and we hope you join in with your respective group to connect with other players in your field and come togethers to address shared challenges and victories.
OUR SUSTAINABILITYOPERATIONS AND FINANCE
Walking the Walk
A goal this year was to look at our operations and change it to match what we were asking out the design, construction, and operation of the built environment. To walk the walk so to say.
Our staff operates out of the CIC 50 Milk St location in downtown Boston. As a co-working space we share resources and supplies. We can book conference rooms as we need them, and otherwise operate in a space that meets our needs. The next step from this was to look at our buying decisions when it came to our personal purchases and needs for our office operations and events. Together we became what we call eco-resourceful. Taking stock of our current supplies, we were to use the rest of what we had, reimagine what should be changed, and only make new purchases that matched this outlook. Making purchases that were adaptive, good for people, and less detrimental for the environment. After a summer of research we created new ways to make our name tags, discovered new caterers for our events, and even increased our operational efficiency through new software to connect the team and streamline workflows.
In order to expand its potential, we created a guide to share out what we discovered!
Eco-Quick Guide: Towards Zero Waste Offices and Events
The goal of this guide is to introduce the idea of being eco-resourceful in the workplace and at events in order to reduce or eliminate environmental and health effects caused by our buying and operational decisions.
We hope it is helpful in sparking interesting investigations into how you operate and occupy your spaces and events, while also creating dialogue among your team on what options are the right fit for you and who is responsible for making these decisions. Included in the guide are three additional sections that help to equip you from the start. The Our Discoveries section lists some of our selected choices, the Industry Labels section describes some logos and product certifications you may come across, and the Eco-Checklists section summarizes a lot of the main guide into quick lists for reference.
USGBC MA’s 2018 revenue was fairly balanced between sponsorship, grants, and program revenue/membership. About two-thirds of sponsorship revenue was due to 33 annual Chapter sponsors. While the number of sponsors was similar to 2017 the dollar value increased with more sponsors at higher levels. The remaining sponsorship revenue is attributed to event sponsorships from our 4 major events. Grants and Gifts increased significantly this year due to the Workforce Training Program and the Barr Foundation Grant for the Cost of Net Zero Energy in MA report. About 80% of the Grant Revenue paid consultants. Program revenue was due to ticket sales to our major events, trainings, tours, meetings, and social gatherings. Membership revenue was lower than in past years. In Q1 of 2019 we are updating our membership system to address this.
Our major expense is people. It was unfortunately clear in the first half of the year that we could not sustain the same staffing levels. We reduced salaries and related expenses by almost $60k the second half of 2018. 2017 had seen a growth in staffing and had two one-time grants funding one and a half staff members. Our general operating costs were slightly lower than 2017 and our contract services increased significantly due to the grant programs mentioned above.
While we operated at a significant loss the first half of the year, with increased revenue and decreased staff we were able to balance out the second half of 2018. The year ended with 2-1/2 months revenue in reserve.
USGBC MA is a tax-exempt corporation under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) and is not a private foundation (Tax ID #27-1215143). Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent available under the law.
OUR PEOPLEALL THOSE THAT MAKE IT POSSIBLE
OUR CHAPTER SPONSORS
The Green Engineer
US Waste Audits
AHA Consulting Engineers
Elkus Manfredi Architects
Elton Hampton Architects
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2018 MASSCEC INTERNS!
Philmore Phillip II
Barbra Batshalom, Chair
Sustainable Performance Institute, Founder
John Dalzell, Co-Chair
Boston Redevelopment Authority, Senior Architect
Carrie Havey, Secretary
The Green Engineer, Project Manager
John “JC” Courtney, Treasurer
Business Development Manager, Data Analytics, Siemens
Andrea Love, Immediate Past Chair
Payette, Director, Building Science
Jana Silsby, Director
Principal, Perkins Eastman
Rebecca Hatchadorian, Director
Project Manager, Suffolk
Henrietta Davis, Director
Former Mayor, City of Cambridge
Samira Ahmadi, Director
Founding Principal, enviENERGY Studio
Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), Program Officer
Michael Fiorello, Director
Director of Sustainable Design, Boston Architectural College
Johanna Jobin, Director
Corporate Affairs, PO&T, Biogen
Jim Jones, Director
Senior Director of Business Development, Skanska
Ben Myers, Director
Boston Properties, Sustainability Director
Galen Nelson, Director
Senior Director of Innovation and Industry Support, MassCEC
Ethan Lay-Sleeper, Director
Planner, Sasaki Associates
Grant Operations Manager
Outreach and Communications Manager
Special Projects Lead
Corporate Relations Manager – Last day Sept 14th
Deputy Director – Last day May 31st
THANK YOU FOR 2018!
LETS MAKE 2019 THE BEST YEAR YET!