We earned LEED Platinum for our new office space! The space looks great, works well for what we need and is a sense of pride for our team.
Why did you decide you wanted to become part of USGBC-NCR’s Board of Directors?
I originally felt I could offer the chapter a diverse perspective on green building development, challenges, opportunities and threats. I wanted to ensure that the chapter offered meaningful programs, remained responsive to market conditions, enhanced community presence, and continued to look for new ways of meaningful membership engagement. Through my technical expertise, business and financial administration experience I felt I could offer sound technical and administrative leadership in addition to creative ideas and methods for achieving the strategic goals of the Chapter; transforming the Greater DC Metropolitan region to the “Greenest” region in the United States. I feel the USGBC NCR is in an excellent position to lead and track this specific effort through regional industry promotion, strategic public and private partnership, advocacy, and having a diverse membership base to support this effort.
What have you found most rewarding about your time on our Board?
I’d have to start with the people. During my time on the Board, I’ve met with passionate leaders, volunteers, sponsors and members. I’ve also found being of service to our local green building community to be rewarding. My work through USGBC-NCR has had a tangible impact on this community. I see the results of my commitment in concrete initiatives, events, and legislation.
What specific accomplishments as a Board Member are you the most proud of and why?
In general, I feel a sense of pride whenever I speak on behalf of the Chapter at an event or function. More concretely, the Chapter has undergone some fundamental changes in the past few years that have made it a significantly stronger and more effective organization. I’m proud to have been a part of this overall transformation and to have played a role in making it happen. During my time on the Board, we created and successfully implemented a strategic plan that allowed us to transition to a strategic board. We created and adopted new mission and vision statements and internal processes and policies that will allow continued growth and success. We launched a new website and rebranded ourselves with a new logo, saw significant growth in regional presence and impact. Most recently, we’ve reorganized our committees to better fit and carryout our mission. We’ve made staff development a priority. The end result – I’ve been a part of expanding the sphere of influence of our Chapter.
As someone cycling off the Board in 2015, what would you like your legacy to be?
I’d like my legacy to be much of what I just talked about, although I guess it will be up to others to decide what I will be remembered for contributing during my tenure. I hope future Board members can take past Board member experiences and translate them into future successes. Really, it’s strange to be talking in terms of “legacy.” I won’t be on the Board anymore, but I’ll still very much be involved with USGBC-NCR. I am a proud volunteer and sponsor of the organization, and I look forward to seeing what the Chapter can accomplish in the coming years and how I may best support its efforts.
What challenges do you see our Board facing in the next two years, and how would you recommend the Board proceed?
USGBC-NCR has a very large challenge coming with Greenbuild, and I think the Chapter can use this opportunity to strengthen its relationship and partnership with USGBC national. Consideration and focus should be made on leveraging Greenbuild 2015 and the attention on our region to further the mission.
Greenbuild will also challenge us to maintain programmatic continuity and growth while we have competing priorities and limited capacity, because once Greenbuild is gone, we want to be able to maintain momentum. We need a plan for how we will answer the “what now?” question after Greenbuild is over, so we can take the volunteers we rallied around the common goal of hosting a wildly successful Greenbuild and translate these passionate individuals into active chapter participants
Our current strategic plan is for 2013-2015, so the Board will need to develop a new one for 2016-2018, and this will help give us direction. We can also better position ourselves to capitalize on Greenbuild’s momentum and carry it over by strengthening our committee structure now. This means recruiting strong committee chairs and starting a dialogue, marketing the opportunity to work with our chapter committees to those interested in Greenbuild. Implementation of a more effective committee structure that is needed to support the mission driven organization.
Focused effort around solidifying membership management and coordinated membership drives. Constructive connections with members will likely lead to the right audience for fundraising. Membership retention and reinvigorating the base through more active participation at the Chapter. Develop and maintain a membership dashboard with key performance metrics, demo, reactions and feedback.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering running for our Board? What qualities do you think it takes to be a successful and productive Board member?
Being a successful Board member means you have to convert passion into active participation. Don’t stay on the sidelines – get involved and offer support any way you can. Everyone has something to bring to the table. Along these same lines, I think it’s important to make sure the Board maintains a “culture of inquiry” to ensure directors and Chapter leadership are thinking strategically and independently. Be positive. Be respectful. Be thoughtful, and be critical – ask “Should we be doing this? Does this advance our mission?”
And, a strong board should have a commitment to fundraising. Most of us are new to this, but the dollars we raise make our mission and all the good work we do in the community – green schools, education programs and summits, networking events, philanthropic projects – possible. Being an effective fundraiser is about leveraging existing relationships and developing new ones. You have to understand what about the chapter is meaningful to potential donors. Once the value proposition is clear the ask is likely to be more straightforward.