U.S. Green Building Council Chapters and Leaders Receive Awards of Excellence


Awards recognize outstanding chapters and exceptional green building volunteer leaders

Washington D.C. – November 17, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) proudly 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 chapter 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 experts.

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 community.

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.


U.S. Green Building Council
The USGBC community is transforming the way we build, design and operate our buildings for healthier places that save precious resources for people to live, work, learn and play in. UGSBC is helping create buildings and communities that regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Council is the driving force of the green building industry, which is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product by 2013. USGBC leads a diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials, concerned citizens, teachers and students. The USGBC community comprises 80 local chapters, 17,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 155,000 individuals who have earned LEED Professional Credentials. Visit www.usgbc.org for more information.

About Greenbuild
The U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo convenes the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement. Three days of extensive educational programming, workshops, a vast exhibition floor and ample networking events provide unrivaled opportunities to learn about the latest technological innovations, explore new products, and exchange ideas with other professionals. Greenbuild is the three time recipient of IMEX Green Meetings Award and the 2010 show will be held on Nov. 17-19, 2010, in Chicago, Illinois. This past year’s conference in Phoenix, Ariz. drew more than 27,000 attendees and featured more than 1,800 exhibit booths. Visit www.greenbuildexpo.org for more information.

Ashley Katz
Communications Manager, USGBC

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