By Grey Lee, Executive Director
What an amazing community of practitioners!
Last night, graciously hosted at Payette at Atlantic Wharf, we gathered as a community for the 9th Annual General Meeting of the USGBC MA Chapter.
Our agenda was extensive, yet efficiently delivered:
- Report on the state of the organization
- Introduce and thank the Staff
- Thank the Membership and Sponsors
- Hear about our extensive advocacy work
- Learn about the Greenbuild opportunity
- A word from our Platinum Sponsor, National Grid
- Announcing our MOU with the International Living Future Institute
- Introduce the ENGAGE game
- The Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony
- Conclude the Elections for the Board of Directors
It was great to see so many wonderful people who have been a part of this community for so many years. It was delightful to have just as many new faces show up to connect with our mission.
I had the honor and privilege of providing remarks and presenting to the assembled 100+ crowd the “State of the Chapter” report.
We are proud of our 600+ dues-paying members and 35 contributing Sponsoring Partners. We have strategic relationships with media organizations, academic institutions and community groups like the Codman Square NDC, Youthbuild and the Acadia Center.
I was able to share the work we have done to advance our mission through advocacy: describing our priorities for the coming legislative session and some of our victories from the recent past.
We will continue to push for net metering equity to “fix the solar bill” so low-income communities can benefit from the advance of distributed solar generation. We will fight to expand PACE to the residential sector in Massachusetts so this effective financial tool can be used on houses, not just commercial properties. And we are working with municipalities to emulate the Net Zero Action Plan process which was so successful in Cambridge – so more communities can get on track to dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
We celebrated our victories on net metering, on strengthening energy efficiency in the building code, and with commercial PACE. Advocacy is a place where all of our members can really make a difference.
We also celebrated the impressive 22.35 MSF of newly LEED certified space in Massachusetts which means we are #1 in the USGBC Top Ten States for LEED. This stunning achievement was only possible because our community has worked, and continues to work, so hard to attain. People make a difference. People like those in the room last night are leading their firms, guiding their clients, and attaining excellence in the built environment. Congratulations and let's help each other to continue this trajectory.
Judy Nitsch, Co-Chair of the Greenbuild 2017 Host Committee conveyed the major points of the Greenbuild effort and invited members to participate in the work through the many subcommittees.
We heard from Paul Wassink at National Grid about their new Demand Response program. Building operators can engage with their power provided to shed loads at peak demand to save premium rate charges and to help improve the sustainability of the entire grid system.
Alex Landa, our Communications Manager, introduced our new individual member participation platform, ENGAGE. This new survey-like-game system enables a person to track the things they do which support our mission. You get points for helping us do advocacy, providing education instruction, doing service work or other things. You can help our community by serving as a Mentor and get points that way too. We will run the contest every quarter to see how much friendly competition we can generate in the coming months.
Thank you to our all-star volunteers who earned worthy recognition last night for their work to support our organization.
Shining Star of the Chapter: Bill Wolmedorf of the Residential and Emerging Professional Committees
Stepper-Upper: Jess Halvorsen on Events
New Hit Wonder: Aminah McNulty of Emerging Professionals
Special Recognition: Lindsay Machamer for Tours, with Emerging Professionals
And, Emerging Professional of the Year: Jenna Dancewicz
We also recognized departing Board Members: Jim Newman, Carolyn Day, Sandy Brock and Brice Hereford.
I did make a point to recognize our Board and explain how their board status prevented them from being in the running for these volunteer awards. But they can play the ENGAGE game!
Noteworthy Volunteers beyond the award-winners included: Matt Smith, Ryan Montoni, Kate Bubriski, Rebecca Slocum, Jared Gentlucci, Suzi Price, Kristen Malayk, Craig Foley, David Bliss, Jasmine Abdollahi, Adrian Charest, Jessie Miller, Bill Tobin, Kimberly Le, Molly Cox, Mark Pignatelli, Dana Anderson, Andrew Vitvitsky, Chris Meier, Alana Spencer, Julia Musso, Jason Zogg, Tony Ransom, Emma Corbalan and Blake Jackson.
And finally, to conclude the formal event, we announced the new Directors for our Board:
Henrietta Davis, former Mayor of Cambridge MA
JC Courtney, Siemens Industry
Rebecca Hatchadorian, Arup
Re-elected Directors were:
These join the continuing Directors: Andrea Love, Ben Myers, John Markowitz, Johanna Jobin, Darien Crimmin, Steven Burke and Samira Ahmadi
Thank you to all who came out to celebrate our march toward victory!
And, special thanks to all who made out to the after party at Little Biddy's on Pearl Street. See you next time!