Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Annual Meeting of Fun

What a great Annual Meeting on Monday night! Thanks again to Rachel Zsembery, Dee Spiro, Katya Carman and Carlos Alonso-Niemeyer for putting together such a fabulous evening! Thanks to everyone who came early and stayed late to help make it all happen. Thank you to Andrea Love and Payette Associates for providing their Practice Room as a great hall to gather in.

[above: Kathy Arthur-Tyler of our Green Schools Committee (also of NStar, one of our sponsors!]

Thanks indeed to this wonderful community we have where even with snow and sleet and rain (all at the same time) (and rush-hour!) we had a full capacity crowd. 

Thank you to Brian Swett [below] for making such an awesome presentation about the ambitious goals of the City of Boston and for reaching out to us to help partner with them as they grow their efforts - certainly we can help bring proven models of success to other communities in Massachusetts. 

Congratulations to the new and renewed Board Members and thank you to all the great candidates.

And now the work continues. I know some of the committee volunteers made connections to new helpers. As you heard, for me, the priorities are Community, Capacity and Advocacy - which means getting more members, bringing in new sponsoring partners and focusing on specific policy projects. The advocacy is really the most important thing we can do as an organization. What are we doing? I believe we can choose one or two of the USGBC campaign issues  and in my conversations some of you have heard I think that those can be Greening the MLS and Energy Reporting going statewide. With our Green Schools strategic investment grant, that will be a focus in the coming months. And, finally, pertinent to current events, we need to respond to the wild community development opportunities and building projects that are the future Casinos of Massachusetts.

[me with active volunteers: Andrea Love, Emily Greenstein, Dee Spiro, Phoebe Beierle, and Jim Newman]

I was really psyched to hear about the awesome work going on in the committees - Green Residential, Green Schools, RASOC, Education, Communications, Membership, Special Events and Emerging Professionals. I look forward to our future advocacy team. I am heartened by the West Branch and the Central Mass group with their successful and upcoming events. We've got a lot of great stuff going on!

Take a look at the website - there are new stories up there and I have been building it out more and more (with our Communications Associate Zak) every week. Please stay tuned to our social media spaces: facebook and our LinkedIn group - plenty of news and discussion there.

[Hi Phoebe!]

So you can see, we are moving right along - new people in the ranks, old-timers coming back into the fold, and a lot of work to tackle. As we mentioned last night: Massachusetts is #4 in the country in terms of LEED certified space created (per capita) in 2012. Not that LEED is everything to us (it's just our biggest horse in the market-transformation team), but 101 projects earned the status last year, taking us to just shy of 400 certified projects, total, up til the end of 2012. This means a lot of us, and our peers who aren't quite yet members, are working on a lot of green building projects and we are really changing the built environment. We really are changing the carbon intensity of our communities. We really are making the world a better place. I'm proud to work for you all and I look forward to cultivating this momentum for even more victories in the coming months and years!

Thanks again for being part of the USGBC MA Chapter! See you at the next event!

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