USGBC West Michigan Rings in the New Year at the Annual Party & Leadership Awards


Reaching for a Vibrant Community

What really matters to you? If one were to ask one hundred people, you’d be likely to get one hundred different answers. Though every person’s priorities vary, we are the strongest under the combined efforts of many individuals and great things happen when like-minded people work together on a common goal.  The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan is a group of organizations, companies and community members who are dedicated to improving the way in which we design, build and operate our buildings and communities that prioritize human health, vitality, and sustainability.

Pictured: Guests from Fishbeck and Grand Valley State University.

Thursday, January 16, 2020, marks an important day: the Annual Party and Leadership Award Event hosted by the USGBC-WM. With over 150 individuals in attendance, this year’s Annual Party stands as a hallmark of growth and success for the West Michigan community.  The evening began with boisterous networking as people flooded the McKay Building ballroom in Downtown Grand Rapids. Old friends were caught up on new business ventures, and new acquaintances spoke animatedly. It is a joyful scene, a celebration of a year’s worth of achievements and collaboration. 

The Social Determinants of Health

The festivities were punctuated by the keynote speaker,  Dr. Ken Fawcett, M.D., who spoke about social determinants of health in our community. From his perspective as the vice-president of the Healthier Communities at Spectrum Health,  Dr. Fawcett challenged the audience to deeply consider our health and its complexity. Dr. Fawcett highlighted the important role our environment plays in health outcomes and expressed the value of collaboration in our search for healthcare innovations. We would all do well, in his opinion, to focus on making a difference, and we at USGBC-WM couldn’t agree more! 

2019 Leadership Awards

Following the keynote speaker was the presentation of  2019 leadership awards. This year, USGBC-WM presented seven awards to deserving members of our community, each targeted to a specific area of excellence in high-performance building design and operation:

2030 Leadership —Transformando West Michigan,  Grand Rapids, MI 

Certified Green Home —Preissner Residence, Architectural Resource, LLC, Ann Arbor, MI

Green Community— Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Grand Rapids, MI

Green Schools Champion — Josh Gottlieb (Kalamazoo Public Schools), Kalamazoo, MI

Innovative Project  — Circuit West, Grand Rapids, MI

Outstanding Green Building —502 Second St NW, Catalyst Partners, Grand Rapids, MI

Volunteer of the Year— E3M Solutions, Grandville, MI

USGBC-WM Executive Director Cheri Holman speaks at the 2019 Annual Party. Presentation available.

Cheri Holman, the Executive Director of USGBC-WM, simply couldn’t convey her gratitude to the awardees, sponsors, and supporters.

"Thank you isn't a big enough word."

Reflections on a Bright Future

Every one of us has a great many things which we consider important. Be it our family, work, education, or anything else, every person has something they believe is worth fighting for. The 2019 Annual Party celebrates a community that agrees on one fundamental truth: our efforts are stronger in numbers. Together, we are stronger than ever before, and our goals more reachable. We look forward to another year of learning and collaboration. Thank you! 

Written by: Isabel Soberal - USGBC West Michigan Staff