What We Learned in Our Tenth Year at USGBC-LA’s MyGBCE Event
By Madison Perry and Chloe Woodruff
Ten Verdical Group employees attended MyGBCE on May 18th in Los Angeles, CA. For many of our team members, this was the first time they had attended, while other employees have been in attendance of MyGBCE for years. The Verdical Group team enjoyed the opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and expand upon their knowledge on many green building and overall sustainability topics.
The U.S. Green Building Council Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA) is a crucial member of the green building community in Los Angeles, where Verdical Group is headquartered.
We’re proud to have been involved with the event for the last ten years, over which that has looked many different ways: event production consulting, volunteering, speaking in educational sessions, exhibiting, and sponsorship. The event is a local favorite that consistently offers top-notch education sessions, a diverse Expo Hall, and lots of fun.
We were excited to host a booth at The Beehive, a beautifully-designed new campus for “Opportunity Zone” businesses in South LA. We were surrounded by everything from green wall manufacturers to beekeepers who work with schools and other local landowners to harvest honey throughout the city.
Verdical Group’s Founder & CEO, Drew Shula, was featured in a new addition to the event’s program: Table Talks. Led by experts in the field, Table Talks offered a small-scale opportunity for personal connection, free-flowing conversation, and learning. Drew hosted a group of attendees interested in learning more about net zero, sharing case studies that Verdical Goup has worked on as well as updates on our annual Net Zero Conference.
Here’s what our team had to say about the event:
“I’ve been attending MyGBCE every year since 2008, and served as the Chair of the event leading the event production process for five years (2014–2018). For 15 years the conference has never failed to inspire me in my work to help solve the climate crisis through the built environment. I remember attending education sessions in those early years and seeing the enormous business opportunities for climate action in this space. That remains true today. 40% of global carbon emissions come from buildings, and the Los Angeles community convenes at this annual event to work toward changing that reality into a zero-carbon future.”– Drew Shula, Founder and CEO
“This was my first time at MyGBCE LA! It was inspiring to meet sustainability leaders from various industries, who are all contributing in different ways to the mission of a future we can sustain. From leading-edge products, to progressive community initiatives, to innovative design solutions, everyone dared to go beyond the status quo to revolutionize their field. In the collective presence of the exhibitors, speakers, and attendees, I felt sure WE WILL succeed in restoring our earth!”– Giovanna Araujo, Client Solutions Manager
“What a great first sustainability event for me to start at. The event venue was beautiful, the energy was amazing and all the sustainability focused talks, projects, products just blew my mind. The highlight for me was connecting with people, especially talking with the CEO’s of various companies about their sustainability goals and seeing them align with our own work at Verdical Group was inspiring.”– Maria Espinosa, Commissioning Associate
Verdical Group’s Events and Marketing Team operated the booth and had the opportunity to visit other companies within the expo spaces.
“MyGBCE is one of my favorite local events to attend each year. The event brings such a strong sense of community to sustainability professionals in LA, consistently offering fun networking components and fresh content on the latest trends in the industry.“– Chloe Woodruff, Senior Marketing Manager
“It was amazing to see how resourceful many of these organizations are. I was very impressed with how one organization recycled corks by making an infinite number of items out of them — even shoes!”– Kimmy Ngo, Marketing and Events Associate
“The MyGBCE LA event was incredible and I was extremely grateful to reconnect with familiar faces as well as have the opportunity to make several new connections. The Beehive was the perfect venue and I enjoyed the option to explore and participate in both indoor and outdoor speaker sessions and exhibitor spaces. All of the exhibitors were welcoming and engaging and helped me get a clearer picture of the immense amount of work that’s being done to make Southern California and beyond more sustainable.” -Sabree Lateef, Partnerships and Event Coordinator
The Verdical Group Project Management and Commissioning Team had the opportunity to represent Verdical Group at nearly every educational session. From ESG reporting to low-carbon concrete and biophilic design, our team members learned innovative solutions to implement in the work that we do.
“It was great to learn about ESG and how companies can promote ESG principles while still accepting money from funds in anti-ESG states. They can still do the same ESG work, they just might need to delete a word or two here or there on some documents.”- Bobby Almeida, Director of Commissioning
“It feels great to learn about how nature-based solutions for climate and emissions mitigation can benefit our life. They offer multiple benefits, including enhanced energy efficiency through the utilization of natural elements, improved indoor air quality, and a contribution to climate change mitigation. By incorporating features such as natural lighting, green spaces, and ventilation systems, these solutions create sustainable and healthier built environments, reducing energy consumption and promoting a greener future.”- Wenrui Luo, Commissioning Associate
I was most intrigued by the information I learned about the association between redlining in California, lack of free/accessible green space, and Covid-19 deaths. This presentation promoted the idea that sustainable solutions don’t need to be “new” or ‘technologically advanced’. Simply adding green space and creating a ‘toolbox’ for underserved communities can make tremendous differences. -Madison Perry, Associate Project Manager
“I attended a session that included a discussion on embodied carbon and mass timber construction. I learned how forests can be managed properly while providing timber for projects to replace steel (to reduce embodied carbon) while also reducing biomass for wildfire fuel. There are ways to keep the forest patch healthy and on a sustainable path for harvesting and future growth.”– Allison Hudock, Associate Project Manager
“MyGBCE was an amazing first conference experience! In my favorite session, we learned about Casa Adelante which is all electrified affordable housing. It is really motivating to hear from experts in the sustainability field who are just as passionate about what we are doing for the world. Let’s solve the climate crisis together!”– Claire Bisson, Associate Project Manager
Verdical Group’s employees left MyGBCE with inspiring new industry knowledge and relationships with individuals who are also promoting a more sustainable future.
We’re already getting excited for USGBC-LA’s next major event, their annual Mini-Golf Tournament, which will be hosted on September 13 in conjunction with NZ23. Get your tickets here!