Center Spotlight: Jenny Wiedower, K-12 Manager
As K-12 Manager, Jenny provides strategic direction and support for the Center’s programs and initiatives that help teachers, school administrators, elected officials and volunteers transform K-12 schools across the country. Her work includes growing partnerships with people and organizations where jointly, the Center can make a stronger and more widespread case for green schools.
Position: K-12 Manager
Current location: Washington, DC
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
College Name: Rhodes College and the College of Charleston
Degrees: BA, English Literature and MS, Environmental Studies (respectively)
Previous experience (prior to USGBC): I was born into the USGBC family in 2008 when I became executive director of the South Carolina Chapter of USGBC. Before that, I managed sustainable community enhancement programs for a LEED-ND Certified project in North Charleston, SC, and coordinated the development of a state chapter of the Urban Land Institute as part of my graduate program internship.
Areas of expertise: My exclusively nonprofit career has concentrated on smart growth and sustainable development at the state, regional, community and building level.
Proudest professional accomplishment: Co-authoring the first sustainability report for a 3,000-acre public/private sustainable redevelopment project.
Little Known Fact: I lived in a trailer at a National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota, where I volunteered for five months before grad school. Driving a pickup truck and donning waders, I canoed wetlands daily in the name of protecting waterfowl from predators.
What brought you to USGBC? Buildings impact everyone, which makes the work of USGBC undeniably relevant. Since my first Greenbuild in 2005, I’ve admired that the organization’s commitment to its mission is visible in its actions and leadership in the industry.
What is your favorite part of your job? Every day I learn something new. I’m inspired by the hope of champions for education in our country; I’m compelled by students, teachers and volunteers working to make lives beyond theirs better; I’m eager to expedite implementation of policies, technologies and practices we know will make our country stronger and life on our planet healthier.
What advice would you give to others looking to enter the industry? I can think of no “industry” in our country more deserving nor more in need than education. For those interested in green building, focus on how your services or products can enhance learning, in addition to reducing energy use and eliminate waste.
Hobbies: Yoga, hiking, biking, and happy hour
Favorite book: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
Favorite movie: The Wizard of Oz
What was the last song you listened to on your iPod? Probably something by Patty Griffin
Who is the person you most admire? Mahatma Gandhi
If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be and why? Geologist by day; backup singer by night. I think our earth is fascinating and I love to sing.
Favorite pastime? Walks or runs in the city: fresh air, people-watching, pockets of nature and neat neighborhoods.
Travelling with my family ranks high, as well.
Guilty pleasure? Dancing with my girlfriends