Year of advancement: Recruit a team
As green professionals, partners and volunteers work to advance sustainability goals for community-based organizations, the importance of a recruiting an integrated, multigenerational team proves central to success.
Although much of the past year of project-based work has been led by emerging professionals, the need for mentorship from seasoned professionals—veterans of the integrative process—has proven to be an invaluable asset in these efforts. Two of our favorite examples of people working on project-based mentorship are “second life" volunteer Frank Sherman and emerging leader Maggie Reed, who have taken on a project they love in Philadelphia.
The “second lifer”
Frank Sherman is a widely recognized professional in the field of green building design and construction at the Spiezle Architectural Group, the founding chair of USGBC New Jersey and a former national board member of USGBC. He considers himself a “second life” volunteer, or an advisor.
After years of serving on committees and boards of directors, he’s now dedicated himself to giving back more tangibly and empowering the next generation of leaders. “Education has always been an important tool in my green building toolbox," said Frank. "Now I realize that mentorship of the next generation of green building leaders is as important as educating clients.”
The emerging leader
Maggie Reed is a rising star in the sustainability world. She’s a Senior Project Manager at Gilbane Building Company and is currently serving USGBC as a Local Ambassador, part of a USGBC leadership program that aims to bring sustainability to those who need it the most.
Maggie received her LEED AP in 2006 and became a Registered Architect in 2014. Of USGBC’s social equity framework, she said the experience "has changed my view on how sustainability can change not just a career, but an entire organization or community.”
The project they both love
Introduced in fall 2015, Maggie and Frank have combined forces to advance sustainability at ActionAIDS, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization. ActionAIDS is committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies. Their services include case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention and volunteer services.
“ActionAIDS is an organization I have been volunteering with for the past five years. USGBC’s social equity framework is an opportunity to do vital work for two organizations that are near and dear to my heart,” said Frank.
So far, Maggie and Frank have supported ActionAids in the organizing of an internal green team. They hosted a workshop to help ActionAIDS articulate their aspirations and define the value of sustainability to their organization. Now, they are collecting data about the building and operations of ActionAIDS as a benchmark to build a sustainability plan.
“USGBC’s social equity frame allows me to start a conversation about sustainability with all sorts of organizations. It helps to be able to tap into business and professional networks that young professional may not yet have," shared Frank. "If I can advance green building within in my community, I will. If I can open the door for emerging professionals, I am happy to do that. This is part of what second-life volunteerism at USGBC looks like.”
“It is fulfilling to see real impact and progress and know that you aren’t just filling in a spreadsheet, but genuinely making things better using your skill set or knowledge in an organization,” added Maggie.
This is the power of USGBC’s team-based, project-focused volunteering. Experienced professionals provide a deep level of experience-based knowledge and connections. Junior volunteers providing energy to the process, driven by their hunger to learn, grow and make a tangible difference in the world.
Interested in continuing this conversation on multi-generational team building to advance sustainability in your community? Join us for an upcoming network-wide discussion.
How to assemble a team to advance your community-based project
Seeking to serve your community via equity project-based work? Join us for a presentation and discussion on how to recruit a team of committee leaders and short-term volunteers to advance the places you love. Learn how to build a team of volunteers and partners to support projects who need the benefits of green the most. Absorb lessons learned from real, on-the-ground volunteer experiences.
Call: "How to assemble a team to advance your community-based project"
Thursday, March 24, 3:00 p.m. ET
Interested in receiving direct updates on USGBC’s social equity work? Let us know!