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Green Meeting Industry Council
700 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 510
Alexandria, VA 22314
Member Spotlight - November 2012
Get to know our members. Every month we profile a different member who helps to make the GMIC community so unique. Explore the links below to learn more about our network of engaged Sustainability professionals.
Director of Global Sustainability
Las Vegas Sands
Why did you join GMIC? How long have you been a member? What is your greatest satisfaction in being a member of GMIC? (or what sets GMIC apart from other organizations you are a member of?)
More than a year ago, when I was looking for an opportunity to join a professional organization related to green meetings, our past Las Vegas President Debi Kinney told me about GMIC Las Vegas and its programs. Back then, my goal was to learn from industry professionals about green meetings, share the best known practices and promote Las Vegas as a green meeting destination with other industry leaders. I have been part of the organization for more than a year now, and I can say, the knowledge I have gained and the professional network I have established through GMIC has completely exceeded my expectations. I feel very fortunate to work with a group of people who are passionate about sustainability and open to sharing their knowledge and exploring creative ideas together. GMIC also provides a platform which has helped me partner with our clients and consultants. Together, we work towards shared goals to host sustainable events and through this process we have been able to pilot many new initiatives!
What is your sustainability philosophy?
To me, sustainability means reducing our impact on the natural environment and enhancing the quality of life in the community where we live.
How do you incorporate sustainability into your life and work?
At work, as the Director of Global Sustainability, my main responsibility is embedding strategic corporate environmental and social responsibility programs into business operations. I develop programs to reduce our environmental footprint; educate Team Members about the benefits of conservation; and leverage the best practices of each property to improve the overall performance of the entire organization.
I also developed the Sands Eco360° Green Meetings program which is a holistic approach to providing environmentally preferable choices and options to meeting planners and clients.
Locally, I have also taken on the role of Membership Director of GMIC Las Vegas chapter to expand our membership base and promote Las Vegas as a green meeting destination with other industry leaders.
Outside work, my fiancé and I like to make sustainable attribution to our environment and community whenever we can. For example, we are hosting our wedding in November at a sustainable winery and our guests will enjoy sustainable food and wine at our gathering. We feel fortunate as my job helps us gain the knowledge to make more conscious decisions in our personal lives.What would you share with others just getting started incorporating sustainability or green practices into their works?
Green meetings is a new and growing industry which presents wonderful opportunities. We are learning together – that is the exciting part of it, as during the learning and exploring process, we also make friends with others who share the same values and goals. Implementing a green meetings program means that we have to work with many people in different fields, so learning from them and understanding their operation is critical. We may have great ideas or great standards; the actual implementation has to be tailored to the operation. There is so much to learn in this industry and there are a lot of people involved, so let’s all learn and experience together!
What do your attendees/employees notice the most from your sustainability efforts?
Increasing the understanding of sustainability through communication, awareness and partnership within the local communities is the foundation of our Sands ECO360° program. Many of the sustainability efforts of our company are quite noticeable, for example, our solar panels, energy efficient lighting, and green roof. However, it is harder for most to see the whole picture of our Sands ECO360° program. Therefore, in order to communicate our sustainability efforts, we have participated in Carbon Disclosure Project, launched our environmental report (http://sands.com/wp-content/themes/lvs/files/EnvironmentalReport.pdf) and developed a series of videos to show our attendees and employees that Sands ECO360° is the result of joint effort of our team (http://sands.com/sands-eco-360/our-news/).
What do you need from the industry to continue to advance in the realm of sustainability?
I really enjoyed the synergy at the last GMIC conference, where our members shared their best practices. Through the conference, I met a lot of industry professionals, who I was able to work with later to host sustainable events on our property. I’d love to see that continue in our industry!
Vice President, Freeman
Sustainability Coordinator, Oregon Convention Center
GMIC Sweden Chapter President
Event Director, Rachel Clarke Events
Director, Corporate Events, Gap Inc.
Sr. Dir., Event Management & CSR, Conference Partners Inc.
President, Three Squares, Inc.
Director of Client Services, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Sr. Event Marketing Manager, Microsoft
Green Meeting Specialist
Footprint Management Systems, Inc