Meet USGBC: Megan Ritchie Saffitz
What's your name and title at USGBC?
Megan Ritchie Saffitz, Director of LEED Support
How long have you been at USGBC?
I joined in October 2010.
How do you get to work?
I walk the 10 steps from my bedroom to my home office in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, WA. I can get so much more work done since I don't have to commute!
Where's your hometown?
Seattle - I'm a fourth generation Washingtonian!
Complete this sentence: "We are _______________."
We are you. My team all has project and LEED experience. When you interact with LEED Support, you're working with a colleague, maybe just one you haven't met yet!
What keeps you awake at night?
Usually the book I'm reading... Or my twins.
What's your favorite part of working for USGBC?
Working with my team. I've had the great pleasure of getting to hire 70% of my staff personally, and they are the most talented, hard-working, amazing people. With their efforts we've reduced turnaround times 70% in spite of volumes increasing 26%. Our improvements earned us a bronze Stevie Award in 2012, and we just found out that we're a Finalist for Customer Service Team from the American Business Association this year.
What is your most memorable professional experience?
I got into sustainable design industry from the environmental science field. And during a research trip to Costa Rica, I was on a trail with my best friend when we stumbled across another pair of Americans, one of whom was wearing a hat with the Real Goods logo. Whereas Real Goods might be obscure to some, it was a pioneer in solar and the only company I loved enough to have bought stock in at the time. We had a great chat - and learned that the couple was on their honeymoon and from North California - and by the end of it, I was brave enough to ask if there was a connection between their Northern Cali roots and Real Goods? Very humbly the man informed me that actually he was the founder of Real Goods - the whole time I'd been conversing with John Schaeffer, the man behind not only Real Goods, but the Solar Living Center & Institute! And the Solar Living Sourcebook! While it's always amazing to meet someone you've long respected and admired, the happenstance of this meeting will always be a fond and cherished memory.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Before I did my MBA, I was in a PMBA group where we would read a popular business book every couple weeks and meet and discuss over dinner. One of the books we read was Tom Rath's StrengthsFinder 2.0, the thesis of which was: stop trying to get better at what you're bad at ... be the best at what you're good at!
Acknowledging that nobody's perfect at everything, and that there are better ways to compensate for weaknesses than "improvement plans," allowed me the freedom to capitalize on my strengths and the personal permission to team up with great people who are strong in the areas I'm not.
Reading: Experiment in Terror Series and Red Fox
Listening to: Fleet Foxes
Watching: Jon Stewart