On November 7, 2017, more than 100 people gathered at the Omni Parker House in Boston in celebration of gb&d’s fourth annual Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards. From empowering others to lower their carbon footprint to establishing guidelines so builders know just what’s in their materials, these women are making the world a better place.
The Boston awards dinner included speeches from Halstead/MetroFlor’s Chief Sustainability Officer Rochelle Routman and USGBC’s Kimberly Lewis, senior vice president of market transformation and development for North America, as well as comments from each of the winners. gb&d created the awards to celebrate the achievements of women who are making lasting change and strives to identify, support, and give opportunities to future women in leadership.
“I felt honored to be part of this group of strong, conscientious, and forward-thinking women,” says winner Virge Temme, owner of Virge Temme Architecture. “Hearing their stories and learning of their accomplishments earned in spite of the obstacles they faced made me feel, for the first time in my career, like I was not alone—like I had comrades in arms. The experience also made me even more determined to provide what opportunities I can for other women and girls so they can join this powerful force, and together we will make the world a better place.”
The ultimate goal of the awards is to create a central hub that identifies and connects the most powerful women at the forefront of sustainability. WSLA recognizes and advances these top-level female sustainability executives who then, in turn, support younger women with dreams of reaching such levels of success. “The excitement around this award continues to grow, and we couldn’t be happier to be hosting our fourth year,” says gb&d publisher and CEO Chris Howe. “These are the women in the industry who are working to make the world a better and greener place. We’re honored to sit at the table with them for one night.”
Lynn N. Simon, senior vice president of Thornton Tomasetti, says the celebration was especially meaningful. “Not only did it recognize my contributions to the sustainability field, but also my role as mentor and coach for women—and men—across the AEC industries. Sharing knowledge is the first and perhaps most important step toward a greener built environment and effecting lasting change. I greatly appreciate gb&d magazine for continuing to be a thought leader and conduit to share green building knowledge.”
The 2017 WSLA Winners are: Dr. Duygu Erten of TURKECO Consulting, Deb Frodl of GE Ecomagination, Ilana Judah of FXFOWLE Architects, Sandra Leibowitz of Sustainable Design Consulting, Catherine Luthin of Luthin Associates, Susan Rochford of Legrand North America, Lynn N. Simon of Thornton Tomasetti, Gillan Taddune of Banyan Water, Virge Temme of Virge Temme Architecture, and Wendy Vittori of HPD Collaborative.
Winners were selected by a judging panel that includes Rochelle Routman of MetroFlor and chair of the WSLA Alumni Group, Amanda Sturgeon of the International Living Future Institute, Kimberly Lewis of the USGBC, and Chris Howe and Laura Heidenreich of gb&d. The dinner took place prior to this year’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. The event was held in partnership with USGBC and ASPECTA by Metroflor and sponsored by EY, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, SKANSKA, Steelcase, and United Eco-Skies.