USGBC Nebraska Flatwater 2015 year in review | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Written by
Posted in Community

This year has been a wonderful adventure for USGBC Nebraska Flatwater. As we look back over the past year, we are amazed at what we could accomplish with just a little dash of gumption from a few volunteers and our members' involvement. 2014 was our 10-year anniversary, and our members came together mid-year to generate a vision for the next 10 years. This year, we began to make it real. What emerged as most important to our members was creating more diversity and more partnerships to further sustainability. We are proud to report we were able to respond on both fronts, while also providing educational events across many timely and innovative topics.  

  • In February, we learned more about the Envision rating system for sustainable infrastructure.
  • In March, we shared opportunities for getting involved in Green Schools events for the year during an educational lunch session on our Green Apple Day of Service and our Green School Summit.
  • In April, we held a film festival for Earth Day and watched "Nebraska Nexus" at Aksarben Cinema, followed by a small town hall meeting to discuss sustainability in the state. This event was possible because of the Joslyn Institute for Sustainability, Nebraska Loves Public Schools, and Green Omaha Coalition.
  • In May, we talked about biomimicry and biophilic design and how we connect to nature in our buildings at our monthly educational lunch session.
  • In July, we got back together for an educational lunch session called "Roadmap to Wellness: Healthy Spaces Now and in the Future," about a health care case study in Chicago.
  • In September, we held a well-attended Green Apple Day of Service.
  • In October, we sent members to the WasteCap annual lunch to discuss waste in the region. We also held a powerful educational session in partnership with Metro Community College and Edible Omaha on urban agriculture and designing for food in our buildings and cities.
  • November was a big powerhouse of a month. We officially began integrating with USGBC to streamline use of resources and partner more closely with the USGBC network. We had a booth at the 8th Annual Nebraska Solar and Wind Conference and at the Smart Energy Expo, and also helped sponsor the Expo's Green Home Tour. The chapter also sent two Nebraska Flatwater members to Greenbuild in Washington, DC, and helped sponsor 10 students from the USGBC UNL student chapter to attend the conference.
  • In December, we celebrated the year with a holiday party at Kitchen Table, supporting our farmers with locally sourced sustainable fresh seasonal foods. We also held a town hall meeting to review the year together and talk about what will be possible in 2016.

Awards 

We honor the members that rose above and beyond to make this year so great: 

USGBC NFC Members of the Year 2015

  • Andrew Pullmann, Communications Committee Chair. Andrew has effectively managed chapter communications for over two years. From website to newsletters to managing event responses, Andrew has been incredible. He is patient and consistent and clear, all strengths that go a long way in a small chapter run by volunteers. As communication is the lifeblood of our organization, during his time as communications chair, his work has benefited all other committees. Andrew's role has kept the chapter running while other leaders have transitioned in and out, providing continuity and knowledge that is crucial during transitions. Andrew will be stepping down from his role at the end of 2015, and as if his years of service weren't enough, he has had the generous foresight to recruit and train a replacement! The chapter will be forever grateful. 
  • Brian Akert, Program and Educations Committee Volunteer. Brian has been a wonderful addition to the chapter, coming in to help out when the chapter most needed support in running and hosting program and education events. Brian has a knack for timely support, the ability to carry out great details in coordinating logistics, and a positive and cheerful approach to managing the chapter's events. Many of the wonderful events that we had in the last year would not have come together as seamlessly as they did if it weren't for Brian. The chapter is filled with gratitude for his service. 

USGBC NFC Green Building Super Hero 2015

  • David Holtzclaw, LEED for Homes Committee Chair. David graciously deepened his involvement in 2015 by helping to resurrect a committee that had been lying dormant for a while. He brought his expertise in sustainable residential design and construction to expand our educational offerings, helping to attract more members in the commercial and institutional design realms. He has represented the chapter at conferences, given an educational session and also provided advocacy locally around utility rate issues that could dampen the drive for residential and small commercial energy efficiency in our area. Thank you David for helping the chapter go from zero to sixty in residential design this year! 

USGBC NFC Partners of the Year 2015

  • Lucy Wilson, Edible Omaha founder and editor, USGBC NFC partner. Lucy is a wonderful partner to the chapter, helping USGBC NFC build diversity in their education offerings and expand their leadership and impact in the community. Lucy worked with the chapter to help create an urban agriculture event in 2015 called Edible City that looked at how we design for food in our buildings and infrastructure and cities. In our town hall event of 2014, the feedback we got from our members was to create more partnerships and increase our diversity. Lucy answered that call with grace and enthusiasm. Her uplifting contributions, her amazing networking and her innovative spirit were essential to this creative partnership that benefited the community. She continues to partner with the chapter to build on the success of that event. We are excited and privileged to be partnered with Lucy and Edible Omaha! 
  • Lindsay Neemann, Metro Community College Campus Planning and Sustainability, Green Omaha Coalition. Lindsay is a USGBC Nebraska Flatwater member and former committee leader, and she has been gracious enough to bring her multiple local sustainable community roles both at the Green Omaha Coalition and at Metro Community College to build partnerships throughout 2015. Her vision, passion and commitment have germinated multiple events and connected leaders across disciplines to create the diversity the chapter has been requesting. Lindsay has a gift for orchestrating great momentum with the gentlest of efforts. The chapter is thrilled to have her as a continued partner. 

Thanks for being a part of the chapter and for making this year so fantastic. All that you do for sustainability and green building in the region makes a difference. Wishing you much peace, love, laughter and sustainability in the New Year.