The results are in and the winner is a more sustainable you.

USGBC-LA Members. Yes, it’s true…we surveyed you. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as we told you about it first and it was a voluntary survey. Thank you to the ten percent or so that filled it out as that not only makes it statistically significant, but we greatly appreciate you putting in the work for the rest of us. So what did it say, where do we go from here, and what does all this mean?

Though I typically try not to comment too much on meaning, a few things are clear to me from the results. You want to learn more and you diligently care about continuing education credits, you really care about our current programs, and you definitely prefer evening events. For example the training, events, and programs you most value are:

So what are we going to do then in response to the information above? We are going to look at how we can best add continuing education credits to as much of our programming as possible — with an expectation we’ll have at least one credit-worthy panel, webinar, presentation, tour, or whatever else we can make really informative once a month. We’ve already had one Women in Green event this year just a couple weeks ago and we’re working on a return to our breakfast series for September; we’ve launched a Women in Green Committee to help support future programming and continue to support the leadership of women in our industry. We’re re-energizing, dare I say electrifying, our Existing Buildings Committee as we dive into the second half of the year. We’re expanding our resilience training with support from Southern California Edison to businesses and community-based organizations, we’re actively looking for funding to expand our wildfire response based Green Rebuilding Initiative, and we’re launching a Green Schools committee to expand our work in schools.

If it seems like we have a lot going on right now, that’s because we do, and that’s because we have an amazing opportunity in front of us with a region that is starting to care about greener buildings in a bigger way. And that means now is the time that we need your support, your energy, and your enthusiasm to do the work we do.

That’s not enough, you say? You want more? What do you want more of from your USGBC-LA membership:

We hear you: education needs to be a focus, you want more opportunities to connect with other people, and of course the ever popular favorite, webinars. So that’s what we’re gonna do and we’re going to make sure you have more opportunities to connect remotely and digitally when we do. Apparently, you also want to save money, so we’re going to figure out how to offer more discounted events and resources. You also want recognition while actually doing things in committees and through chapter leadership. That’s great to hear and if you’re looking to get engaged you’ve come to the right place. Hopefully, it is clear that we’re re-activating our committees but at the same time, we’re trying to figure out how we get a clear structure in place that provides you with some organic flexibility to do the work you want to do on the issues you care about. Here’s a picture of us actually trying to figure it out just last week. Please ignore my weird hand gesture literally attacking climate change.

So with that, it’s late, I’m tired, and we’ve still got a lot of work to do. Thank you for your time and stay tuned for the launch of our new member portal in early July. Enjoy your summer, get out in nature, and get reminded about why we care about this whole green building thing anyway.

Onward and Upward,

Ben Stapleton
Executive Director

About the Author

Ben StapletonExecutive Director for USGBC-LA. A native Angeleno, Ben Stapleton is a recognized sustainability leader, who brings to this position extensive experience and connections across real estate, technology and innovation. He launched and managed the La Kretz Innovation Campus in Downtown Los Angeles, most recently serving as SVP, Operations & Finance for the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI). The Campus has become an epicenter for sustainability in the region featuring events with prominent local, national and international leaders, while being home to a community of cutting-edge businesses and nonprofits. At LACI, Stapleton led major operational growth, program development, and partnerships to triple revenue for the non-profit. Simultaneously, he helped lead efforts that resulted in the La Kretz Innovation Campus becoming an iconic green building for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the City of Los Angeles, with multiple certifications, as well as pilot projects targeting waste, water, and energy efficiency. Stapleton has also held the positions of Managing Director of the LA Better Buildings Challenge and Vice President & Cleantech Practice Group Lead at JLL. He has served on the boards of LA Bioscience Hub and USGBC-LA. Representing competing schools in Los Angeles, Stapleton holds a MBA from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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