Chapter member converges in San Diego to help launch ADVANCE

Katrina Reed, CIT, LEED Green Associate, is a member of USGBC’s Emerging Professionals National Committee and a member of the USGBC West Michigan Chapter. Recently, she attended USGBC’s Convergence in San Diego, CA to help launch an exciting new movement. This is a summary of her experience.

Last month, I had the privilege of attending Convergence in San Diego, CA. For those that are unfamiliar with USGBC, this event serves as the organization’s annual mid-year event that’s part knowledge exchange, part inspirational infusion.

When I touched down in San Diego, I was anxious and nervous because I was going in only knowing two of the roughly 300 people that would be attending the event. But that quickly changed when I met my fellow Emerging Professionals. I’ve never met a group of young professionals so passionate, so enthused, and so ready to be catalysts for change within their communities.



 Members of the Emerging Professionals National Committee.

 We were there as part of the Emerging Professionals National Committee to help launch ADVANCE, a framework to help communities and organizations move along a path of sustainability leadership to more efficient, healthy, and vibrant places. We’re calling it a “path to leadership.” It’s a way to frame the conversation around sustainability with new audiences (i.e., community service and non-profits; houses of worship and faith-based facilities; educational and cultural institutions; affordable, senior, and independent housing; and neighborhood and homeowner associations). This model will assist in helping assess where an organization or building is at on the “spectrum of sustainability” and then, be able to adequately prescribe how that building or organization “advances.” Along the path, the organizations/buildings will gain access to different levels of sustainability support, powered by USGBC’s extensive volunteer network and the launch of new community-focused products and events.

Over the next year, I will be serving as a Regional Community Liaison for Michigan, focusing on recruiting passionate, skilled volunteers to help launch ADVANCE within our communities. I’m ready to help make the places we live happier and healthier, and I hope you’ll join me in this movement. If you’d like to know more about ADVANCE, or are interested in volunteering, please contact me at

Hands up, hearts out, get loud.