The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan (USGBC-WM) Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes admirable organizations and individuals who have dedicated their time to USGBC-WM and their programs on a volunteer basis. The USGBC-WM was thrilled to announce DeVon Miller as our 2022 Volunteer of the Year Award Winner.
DeVon has been involved with USGBC West Michigan for over eight years. He currently serves on the USGBC-WM Board of Directors (BOD) as a contributing member, following a term as President of the BOD. DeVon has over 8 years of experience in Facilities Management, over 15 years of experience in project management including energy conservation, building
automation systems, building commissioning, and is a Building Commissioning Professional and LEED Accredited Professional with ASHRAE and Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) respectively. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.
DeVon currently works at Western Michigan University (WMU) where he holds the title of Building Commissioning Specialist. He has been with the University since 2013 in this role. Initially his position included overseeing all commissioning or new construction and renovation projects, but over time it has grown. In addition to the tasks I mentioned before, he also serves as lead administrator for all LEED projects on campus and thus is very involved in making sure the University achieves silver certification or better for all buildings going for LEED certification. He is also heavily involved in campus Building Information Modeling (BIM) for new construction and renovation, as well as acting mechanical engineer on staff. But DeVon’s involvement with the University does not stop there. He is currently in his first year of a three year commitment as the President of the Campus FM Technology Association. In this position he works with campus members across the country in higher education capacities on technology matters, which can range anywhere from GIS to commissioning to space management. This work aims to overcome challenges that higher ed institutions face day-to-day in all matters surrounding technology. He finds this work especially important in the age of the hybrid work environment, where people are not always present and the building must adapt and figure out how to heat and cool the space.
DeVon first became involved with USGBC West Michigan around 2014 after looking into our annual state-wide energy reduction competition, Battle of the Buildings. He later became very engaged in the process. This interest stemmed from wondering how WMU could become involved in the competition and how their buildings could become more efficient. Around 2016, while engaging with USGBC-WM members including current Executive Director Cheri Holman, DeVon was able to extend his knowledge of LEED certification and working with the organization to the classroom. He taught a class at Western with USGBC-WM leaders visiting as guest speakers to present on various LEED-related topics. Many students were also able to earn their credentials through taking said class.
When asked to speak to the reason behind his involvement with USGBC-WM and the importance in the work he does he stated that it really comes down to the people. He referred to the fact that most people spend eight hours or more inside of these buildings each day and that it makes sense to work to make them more energy efficient, for everyone’s well being. That LEED and certifications like it provide the guidelines and a base for buildings to be more efficient than just what our codes say. He stated that we have to “look beyond the buildings,” at how we can make sure all of the things that we do are the best for the people in these buildings as well as the environment. And he referred to the board, the people in general, the established community, and the opportunity for student and faculty engagement as reasons to why he continues to do this work.
The USGBC-WM Leadership Awards promote outstanding green building initiatives by recognizing projects, organizations, and people who have made extraordinary contributions to achieving healthy, energy-efficient green buildings in the state of Michigan. We were thrilled to present DeVon Miller with the Volunteer of the Year Award for all that he does to contribute to our organization.
“Our built environment should be a conduit to our wellness and vitality. In most cases, an employer's largest operating cost is its people,” said Cheri Holman, Executive Director of USGBC-WM. “Investing in those people by providing them with an indoor environment that is safe, comfortable, and inspiring is a key way to attract and retain a flourishing workforce.”
DeVon was honored at our 2022 Annual Party & Leadership Awards Ceremony on December 8, 2022. Hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan, the evening event was held in the Ballroom at the LEED-certified CityFlatsHotel located in downtown Grand Rapids. The program included a keynote address by Jeremy Orr, Director of Litigation and Advocacy Partnerships for Earthjustice, an Awards Ceremony, and the introduction of our new Board of Directors nominees.
To learn more about the event and to read our 2022 Annual Report visit our Annual Party & Leadership Awards Ceremony page.