Jason Warnock

This article is part of a series of stories from USGBC's community celebrating 20 years of green building triumphs. Take a walk down memory lane with USGBC, as we reflect on favorite moments and share memories from the last 20 years. Share your own green building triumphs using #USGBC20.

I was working as a Marketing Director for a smaller building product manufacture in 2003 when the opportunity was presented to me to join the USGBC and travel to Pittsburgh to attend this new show called Greenbuild. Greenbuild, of course, had really started a year before in Austin, but this show billed itself as a more traditional tradeshow and a great opportunity for manufacturers. As head of my organization’s marketing budget and a bit of a green crusader, the opportunity to push the organization to articulate our sustainable messaging was too tempting to pass up and I quickly got signed up for a booth and moved the sales and marketing teams toward this goal.

Having worked the architectural trade show circuit at that time, I had an expectation of what Greenbuild would be like, however, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The brand new LEED Gold David L Lawrence Center was gorgeous, the education sessions, atmosphere and attention to detail on greening of the conference really stuck with me. I had taken a prep course on LEED and wasn’t sure if I would follow up with the AP exam, but after Greenbuild I was hooked.

Fast forward 10 years and I have exhibited, attended, presented, volunteered and just about everything else at every Greenbuild since. I have seen the rise, the challenges and maturation of an event and a movement that has changed my career in many ways. I look back at the last 10 years and see how being passionate about making a difference in your company, your community, your home can lead to new opportunities along the way. Now the head of a sustainable marketing company, I look very fondly at Pittsburgh as the first step along my own green path.