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Green Meeting Industry Council
700 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 510
Alexandria, VA 22314

Member Spotlight - September 2012
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Member Spotlight

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.

Judy Kucharuk
Green Meeting Specialist
Footprint Management Systems Inc.

Why did you join GMIC?
I joined GMIC in 2008 out of curiosity. I was sick of the waste I was seeing at some of the events I was working on and thought, "there has to be a better way”. I started investigating and found that an organization called the GMIC was holding a conference in Vancouver. I registered, attended and then immediately became a member. I haven’t looked back. Note: that is where I first met Amy and Nancy and became a superfan.

How long have you been a member?
I joined in 2008.

What is your sustainability philosophy?
"Silence is Acceptance” – when you sit back and watch things happen knowing that it is: wasting resources, increasing our carbon footprint, doing harm – you are accepting and condoning the actions. Speaking up, educating, providing workable solutions is what I am striving for.

How do you incorporate sustainability into your life and work?
You know…I try my best to make well informed choices, but I am not immune to making mistakes. I am very aware of the waste I create and the water that I consume.

What is your greatest satisfaction in being a member of GMIC? (or what sets GMIC apart from other organizations you are a member of?)
Meeting amazing people which has allowed me to work on some very rewarding projects. I also enjoy the dialogue that I have with other members. It is becoming a large organization, but I still feel like I did at that first conference I attended in Vancouver – like it is a family.

What would you share with others just getting started incorporating sustainability or green practices into their works?
Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t bite off more than you can handle at the beginning. Slow and steady wins this race. Ask for help!

What do your attendees/employees notice the most from your sustainability efforts?
I think they notice the thoughtful ways we have managed to remove the clutter and focus on delivering a great event. Focusing on content and value. Demonstrating that we care about the attendees and we care about the community where we are holding the event.

What do you need from the industry to continue to advance in the realm of sustainability?
We all need continued acknowledgement and support to move forward. It really does "take a village”.