In January, USGBC lost a hero when Kate Hurst, USGBC’s Senior Vice President, Conferences and Events, passed away. The depth of Kate’s character was obvious to everyone who knew her. She was an inspirational leader, teacher and mentor, led by her values, virtues and dedication to her family, friends and colleagues and for the mission of USGBC and Greenbuild.
Throughout her 15-year career at USGBC, Kate worked tirelessly to support the leaders in the green building community by creating a place for them to convene and to grow USGBC’s mission with millions of people from around the world. As the leader of the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, she took the Greenbuild platform global—beyond our wildest dreams and expectations—and she inspired and engaged people in all corners of the world to make sustainability a meaningful part of their own lives.
Kate will be remembered for her integrity and her enduring contributions to the green building community and for creating opportunities to engage and inspire thousands of Greenbuild attendees each year. Her work created a home for knowledge, thought leadership, peer support and inspiration that translated directly into action: healthier buildings that help raise the standard of living in communities all around the world.
Kate inspired others to think big and to have confidence that they were making a difference in the world. Her dedication to her work was grounded in her determination to make the world a better place for her nieces and nephews and the next generation. This was something she deeply and fundamentally believed in.
Kate Hurst with Mahesh Ramanujam and her parents at Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, D.C.
For me, Kate was a source of constant strength, inspiration and determination. She was someone that I could always count on—no matter the circumstances—to give me her counsel, her perspective and her leadership. Her sense of purpose was strong, her heart was just so big, and she always got things done. And she cared deeply about human rights, equality and freedom.
She brought a high-reaching level of professionalism, passion, resilience and grace to everything she did. She was a truly courageous hero and exemplified everything USGBC stands for—and her memory will endure.
In memory of Kate, USGBC is launching the Kate Hurst Leadership Award in 2019. This award will recognize one inspirational female each year who embodies the spirit, strength and sentiment that Kate brought to her work and life. The awardees will be outstanding leaders who have demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability and improving the quality of life in their communities. Recipients will represent a range of ages, backgrounds, experiences and industries, but possess a shared attribute: a passion for helping and inspiring others and creating lasting change.
The USGBC Leadership Awards are announced at Greenbuild and provide an annual recognition of the outstanding individuals and organizations at the forefront of the green building movement. Leadership Award recipients represent some of the best of the green building community, those whose vision, leadership and commitment have been fundamental to the evolution of our green building industry.
With the Kate Hurst Leadership Award, Kate’s legacy will live on in the green building community that she so proudly served for more than 15 years.