About GBA’s Expansion

In corporations, when done in a thoughtful and controlled way, growth is viewed in an extremely favorable manner.  The same can also hold true with nonprofits and the Green Building Alliance is currently implementing quite an expansion model of its own, adding five new employees to its staff within a recent eight-month period.  For many companies, such a boost would hardly be noticed, but considering this jump increased GBA’s staff by 50%, it is definitely noteworthy.  The necessity for these additional employees was created by numerous factors, most specifically of which was an influx of green building-related opportunities that existing staff would have been unable to successfully undertake.

GBA’s first new hire took place last November, when Jeaneen Zappa came on board as deputy director.  She has relieved Executive Director Rebecca Flora of much of the organization’s daily hands-on duties, oversees all program areas, and is currently deeply involved in GBA’s office relocation (more on that below).  Transitioning from a career in managing marketing strategy and tactics, Jeaneen has worked in the logistics and transportation, health care, and technology industries.  She holds an MBA and undergraduate degrees in both Magazine Journalism and Marketing.  She has also completed Dale Carnegie and Pragmatic Marketing training programs, and, in November 2006, graduated from the Coro Center for Civic Leadership Women in Leadership training program.

To assist with an increasing administrative workload, after working for two months in a temporary capacity, Terri Loop was hired full-time in April as an office coordinator.  She is responsible for all administrative aspects of GBA’s financial management and information technology functions, as well as the management of vendor contracts.  Terri fulfills the organization’s receptionist duties, maintains its database and filing systems, and ensures the smooth operation of the new video teleconferencing equipment for designated education programs.  Previously employed for 18 years at Calgon Corporation in an IT/credit and collections position, she most recently worked as a computer technician at Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh.

June of 2007 was the big month at GBA, however, with three new staffers starting in the same week.  Diane Bossart was hired to replace Ryan Snow (who left for an opening at the U.S. Green Building Council) as education manager.  She is currently busy establishing, conducting, analyzing and reporting on “all programs educational” for GBA, including the annual Green$ense regional conference, green building tours, and LEED workshops.  In addition, she is responsible for maintaining GBA’s relationships with its geographic Networks and for overseeing the organization’s membership and sponsorship programs.  Diane has experience in the financial services industry and at a non-profit education reform organization.  She is currently completing a B.A. degree in Architectural Studies and has already completed a degree in Interior Design.  Besides working as an intern for the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh, Diane has a great interest in urban design and has studied traditional neighborhood development and urban design issues both in the United States and in Florence, Italy.

Eric Perl came to GBA to fulfill the organization’s business development manager position, tasked with the huge job of getting its Green Building Products Initiative (GBPI) completely operational.  (See the Fall 2006 issue of The Cornerstone for more information on this program.)  He will manage GBA’s relationships with the Pennsylvania manufacturing community and drive economic development activity related to green product manufacturing across the state.  A seasoned environmental professional, Eric has over 30 years of experience in consulting, engineering and remediation, waste management, and EH&S management systems.  Most recently, he was employed by BSI (British Standards Institute) as a business development manager and is active in several professional and technical organizations, including the Air & Waste Management Association – Allegheny Mountain Section.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a major in Business Management and a minor in Economics.

As GBA’s research manager, Aurora Sharrard is involved with a variety of organizational initiatives, most notably the GBPI and High Performance Building Database Protocol (HPBDP).  Efforts related to the GBPI also include green product labeling.  Aurora holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Green Design from Carnegie Mellon University, where she received honorable mention in the 2006-2007 Graduate Student Service Award.  While pursuing her doctoral degree, Aurora worked on projects that covered a wide variety of sustainability topics, and, prior to graduate school, was employed as a geotechnical engineer for Eustis Engineering.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Tulane University and was the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Louisiana Section “Outstanding Young Civil Engineer” in 2003.

Faced with the prospect of comfortably housing all this new talent, GBA began a search for larger office space several months ago.  A location was conveniently found just 11 blocks down East Carson Street from its current home (the CCI Center).  With a lease for 4,000 square feet of space, GBA hopes to be fully relocated at the River Walk Corporate Centre by year’s end.  It is the organization’s intent to build out this existing office space in an historic property to achieve LEED®-CI Platinum status and to offer regularly scheduled tours.  GBA hopes that these offices, as a reflection of the organization itself, will serve as a catalyst for green building and green building product growth throughout its Western Pennsylvania service area.

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