Washington D.C. -- The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recognized outstanding chapters and exceptional volunteer leaders with the annual Awards of Excellence. Awarded in Chicago at USGBC's Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the awards are presented to chapters and individuals that excel in providing local green building outreach and education, and in fostering best practices among the green building community.
The award categories are Community Building and Education, and award categories for chapter leaders include: Green Building Community Champion; Premier Volunteer Programmer; Outstanding Emerging Professional; and Outstanding Green Advocate. Since the inception of the program, the awards have been supported by USGBC national member Milliken & Company.
"As the local voice of USGBC, our 79 chapters are essential to fulfilling our mission by raising awareness of LEED and green building through education, outreach and advocacy," said Richard Graves, Vice President of Community, USGBC. "With gratitude, we recognize our dedicated chapter staff and volunteers for their work and achievements."
- This year's winner of the
Community Building award was the Alabama Chapter, which was
recognized for launching a partnership initiative intended to
connect the mission of green building to critical economic
development and community work. They successfully expanded their
reach in the state of Alabama, securing a major green-jobs training
program with the Alabama Department of Community and Economic
Development, and solidified chapter relations with such local
entities as Habitat for Humanity and Auburn University.
- The Minnesota Chapter
received the Education award for the creative restructure of its
2010 education programming. As a USGBC Education Provider, the
chapter is successfully delivering education and exam preparation
to their community beyond their membership base. LEED workshop
attendance has been exemplary, and the chapter is also helping a
neighboring chapter deliver local education. Through partnerships
with the Urban Land Institute, Minnesota Association of Commercial
Realtors, Minnesota Institute of Real Estate Management and
Dunwoody College, the chapter has improved its exposure to new
audiences, furthering USGBC's mission.
- John Komisin, advocacy
committee chair for the Charlotte Region Chapter, received the
Green Building Community Champion award for promoting widespread
adoption of green building locally. Komisin made incredible strides
in relationships with state and local policy makers, local school
officials and retail business executives, and his revisions to the
advocacy committee's governance structure have institutionalized
his achievements. He has secured tremendous political capital for
the chapter and strategically positioned the organization to
continue to increase its influence in the future.
- The winner of the Volunteer
Programmer award was Keith Pehl, vice chair of the Charlotte Region
Chapter's advocacy committee. Pehl independently organized a state
advocacy day with buy-in and participation by each of the three
chapters in the state of North Carolina. He planned appointments
with state legislators and trained 25 volunteers for the event,
which was a huge success. Since the meetings, the Charlotte Region
chapter has been contacted for input relative to the drafting of
affordable housing legislation in the state.
- Heather Smith, chair of the
Texas Gulf Coast Chapter's Emerging Professional (EP) committee,
received the Outstanding Emerging Professional award for expanding
the influence and size of her chapter's EP committee to the chapter
branches. Smith hosted creative events, fostered partnerships with
local universities, and institutionalized the strength of the local
committee through her outreach to policymakers and industry
- The Los Angeles Chapter's
Marc Costa received an honorable mention in the Outstanding
Emerging Professional category for vastly advancing the prominence
of the chapter's EP committee since becoming co-chair in 2009.
Cited was his successful leadership in the local Natural Talent
Design Competition; overhaul of the EP committee governance
structure; establishment of a mentorship subcommittee; and
encouragement of unique EP committee partnerships in the
The Outstanding Green Advocate award was given to Kathy Spence, a board member and advocacy committee member with the Charlotte Region Chapter for her exemplary leadership in advancing her chapter's green homes program in spite of the economic downturn in the homebuilding industry. Spence raised awareness of the Charlotte Region Chapter's homes program though her strong working relationship with the local Home Builders' Association and the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition. Spence was also instrumental in helping Habitat for Humanity adopt the LEED for Homes program for its new projects in the Charlotte area.
Winning chapters and chapter leaders received recognition during Greenbuild at USGBC's annual Chapter Forum and on USGBC's website, and were presented with an honorary plaque. Additionally, winning chapters received a monetary award from USGBC and Milliken and Company. The award review panels for each category were composed of a cross-section of USGBC leadership, including chapter leaders and staff, national staff and members of the national Chapter Steering Committee.
For more information on the winning organizations and chapter leaders, and the broader USGBC Chapters network, visit www.usgbc.org/chapters.
SOURCE: U.S. Green Building Council