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    11/4/10: Expert Panel Discussion on Green Schools at USGBC’s Greenbuild 2010 Conference

    ***MEDIA ALERT***
    For Immediate Release


    What: Expert Panel Discussion on Green Schools at USGBC’s Greenbuild 2010 Conference

    Who: GREENGUARD Environmental Institute
    Center for Green Schools at USGBC
    Green Charter Schools Network

    When: Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m. CST

    Where: GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s Booth, #1545

    How: RSVP to rbelew@greenguard.org by Tuesday, Nov. 16


    (Atlanta, GA)—With the goal of promoting healthier schools, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute announced today that it will host a panel discussion-style news conference at Greenbuild 2010 alongside green building experts from the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and the Green Charter Schools Network.

    The discussion, which will explore critical issues facing the greening of America’s schools, will be moderated by Holley Henderson, IIDA, LEED AP, founder of H2Ecodesign, Inc., and will feature panelists Henning Bloech, LEED AP, executive director of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute; Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC; and Jennifer Seydel, member of the board of directors for the Green Charter Schools Network.

    Topics to be explored include the environmental and human health impacts of green schools; the cost-savings and capital gains of sustainably built and operated schools; and the broader social, economic, and cultural consequences of the broad adoption of green building practices. A special emphasis will be placed on indoor environmental quality and its impact on student performance, attendance, comfort, and overall health.

    “We are pleased to team up with the USGBC Center for Green Schools and the Green Charter Schools Network to help drive awareness about greener, healthier schools and their connection to healthier, more productive students,” says Bloech. “At a time when asthma rates are skyrocketing among children, resulting in 14 million missed school days each year in this country alone, it’s critical that school leaders, community leaders, government leaders, parents, and educators work together to ignite change. Healthier schools lead to healthier students.”

    Seydel agrees, noting that the practice of building and maintaining green schools “is not just about protecting our environment or driving capital gains in real estate; it’s about protecting human capital—the students, teachers, and staff who shape tomorrow.”

    In addition to improving student health and saving taxpayer dollars, greening America’s schools also affords communities the “opportunity to educate the new generation of leaders—sustainability natives—who are capable of driving global market transformation,” adds Gutter.  “I look forward to participating in what’s sure to be a lively, engaging, and informative discussion on the impact of green schools alongside the other distinguished panelists.”

    The panel discussion news conference will take place Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m. CST at the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute’s booth (number 1545). Members of the media will have the opportunity to ask questions to the panelists during a Q-and-A session. Media are encouraged to RSVP to rbelew@greenguard.org by Tuesday, Nov. 16.


    About the Panelists

    • Henning Bloech


    Henning Bloech is the Executive Director of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. He is responsible for the strategy and positioning of GREENGUARD in the global market, leading strategic development and growth initiatives. Henning helped start GREENGUARD as its first employee in 2001 as Director of Marketing and Communications, and he was instrumental in establishing and branding the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification.

    Previously, Henning was the Global Sustainability Director for INVISTA, one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of polymers and fibers. He was responsible for developing and leading environmental strategies and programs for INVISTA Performance Surfaces and Materials brands and businesses, including leading several life-cycle assessment projects for polymer and fiber plants around the world, directing and influencing investments in environmental projects, and manufacturing.

    Henning has published numerous articles and business cases on sustainable product selection, indoor air quality, source control and green procurement. He is an established speaker and has held training seminars and presentations on green design, indoor air quality and healthy buildings at conferences and symposia around the world, including Neocon, CSI Construct, the Today’s Facility Manager Conference, USGBC’s Greenbuild, CerTech Indoor Air Conference, Aerias Indoor Air Symposium and many USGBC,IIDA and AIA chapter events.

    Henning holds a Master’s Degree from Georg August University in Göttingen, Germany. He is an active member of the Green Products Roundtable and the TFM Green Buildings Advisory Board, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He currently lives in Göttingen, Germany.

    • Rachel Gutter


    When the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council was established in 2010 to serve as the driver for green schools dialogue, policy development and innovation, USGBC appointed Rachel Gutter to take the reins.

    Rachel came to USGBC in 2007 to oversee the launch of LEED for Schools, a version of USGBC’s popular green building certification program that facilitates the design, construction and operations of high-performance, green schools. To accelerate market transformation, USGBC launched the National Green Schools Campaign to engage students and teachers, parents and school superintendents, elected officials and other policy makers in a national conversation about the relationship between high-performance educational facilities and high performing students.

    Rachel’s professional experiences in the fields of green building consulting and interior architecture and her time with the Green Building Program of Montgomery County Public Schools have contributed to her in depth knowledge of green schools. However, it is her six years of teaching experience that fuels her commitment to educating a generation of sustainability natives. Rachel received her Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University. A competitive figure skater throughout her childhood, today Rachel finds balance through a daily dose of yoga. She lives in Washington, D.C.

    • Jenny Seydel


    Jennifer Seydel brings 30 years of experience as an educator to her role as Treasurer/Secretary for the Green Charter Schools Network.  She is currently a School Designer for Expeditionary Learning, a non-profit education reform organization that partners with existing schools and opens new schools with the goal of preparing children and youth for success in an ever changing world.  Expeditionary Learning includes 165 schools who serve over 40,000 students and 4000 teachers in 29 states.  Jennifer consults with the growing number of green schools within the EL network. 

    Prior to her work with Expeditionary Learning, Jennifer was an Associate Professor of Education at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts.  As the Director of the S.A.G.E. Project, a college-community collaboration founded to address the needs of highest risk high school students in Springfield, Massachusetts, Jennifer designed the S.A.G.E. M.Ed. program, a graduate degree in Education and Counseling.  The seventy students who graduated from this program have gone on to become leaders and change agents in many urban school districts in New England. 

    During her K-12 teaching career, Jennifer taught physical education, health, biology, and special education at the elementary and high school levels.  During summers, she led youth on wilderness and cycling adventures for various youth development organizations.   She was also the Director of Staff Development and Training for a Chaddock, a large social service agency in Quincy, Illinois. 

    Jennifer received her B.S. in Physical Education from the University of Iowa, her M.Ed. in Environmental Education from Lesley College and the Audubon Expedition Institute, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from Antioch University of New England.  Her passions for designing curriculum and learning environments that support environmental literacy and ecological identity have been common themes throughout her career. 

    Dr. Seydel lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband, Mark Heininger, and their four legged house mates Sadie, Mystery, and Repeat.

    About the Moderator

    • Holley Henderson

    H2 Ecodesign grew out of Holley Henderson's passion for the Sustainable Consulting field. The consulting firm serves as a catalyst for eco-positive design in the built environment and global business strategy, working with owners, design firms, manufacturers and other entities. H2 Ecodesign helps clients develop sustainable strategies and provides LEED facilitation, training workshops, consulting on green products / market position, sustainable tenant guidelines and global standards.

    Prior to founding H2 Ecodesign, Holley was with TVS Architects for ten years and later served as Interface Carpet’s Director of Creative Design. Her work there provided her with a unique perspective into the needs of owners, manufacturers, and design firms relative to sustainability. Holley brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the LEED certification process. She was the first USGBC LEED 2.0 Accredited Interior Designer in the state of Georgia. As the managing LEED Accredited Professional, she facilitated the Interface Showroom and Offices, the first LEED-CI Platinum Level Project. Most recently, H2 Ecodesign led the first LEED-CI project in China (Gold Level), and the first LEED project in Thailand, a manufacturing facility, both InterfaceFLOR buildings. Some of H2 Ecodesign's current clients include Wachovia, CB Richard Ellis, Tallahassee Department of Revenue, LaGrange College Library, and Natural Body Spa & Shoppe.

    A frequent speaker on Sustainable Design issues, Holley has presented to the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, IFMA World Workplaces, NeoCon, Greenguard Summit, Hospitality and Design (HD) Conference, CBRE World Conference, the International Convention Center Conference, Environdesign, and Greenprints. Currently Holley is the National IIDA Sustainable Forum Advisor. As the most recent LEED-CI Core Committee Chair, she participates in the National LEED Steering Committee and Management Subcommittee. Holley serves as faculty for the USGBC LEED Workshops, and was a member of the core team who developed the USGBC LEED-CI workshop curriculum. She was previously an USGBC Atlanta Chapter Board Member - Sponsorship Chair. She is a member of IIDA Georgia Chapter and served as a Sustainable Advisor. Holley also serves on the SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) Advisory Board. Invista, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, asked Holley to be a part of their Sustainable Advisory Council, where she has served for over four years.

    A resident of Atlanta, Holley is NCIDQ Certified in the state of Georgia and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University. Painting is one of Holley’s other passions, where she subliminally threads environmental messages into her art.

    About GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI)

    The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute aims to protect human health and improve quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants.  As an ISO-IEC Guide 65:1996 accredited, third-party organization, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments.  All certified products must meet stringent chemical emissions standards based on established criteria from key public health agencies. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes worldwide.  For more information and a complete listing of certified products, visit www.greenguard.org.

    About the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

    The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. With a community comprising 80 local affiliates, 16,000 member companies and organizations, and more than 155,000 LEED Professional Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from 2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.
    Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40% of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant economic and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs. Visit www.usgbc.org for more information.

    About the Center for Green Schools at USGBC

    The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is how USGBC is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation. From the kindergartner entering the classroom, to the Ph.D. student performing researching in a lab, the Center provides the resources and support to elevate dialogue, accelerate policy, and institute innovation toward green schools and campuses. High-performing schools result in high-performing students, and the Center, with support of its first Founding Sponsor United Technologies Corp., works directly with staff, teachers, faculty, students, administrators, elected officials and communities to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable places to live and learn, work, and play. Visit www.centerforgreenschools.org for more information.

    About the Green Charter Schools Network

    The Green Charter Schools Network (GCSNet) is a national nonprofit organization of environment-focused schools, individuals, and partnering organizations whose vision is for every person to be environmentally literate and to practice and promote sustainability in their community.  Launched in February 2008 and headquartered in Madison, Wis., the GCSNet works to support the establishment, enhancement, and advancement of public charter schools with environment-focused educational programs and practices.


    • Promotes the development of innovative charter schools with environment-focused educational programs and practices, high expectations and equal opportunity for all.
    • Challenges and inspires everyone to help young people gain the knowledge, skills, insights, power, and motivation to make the world a better place with a sustainable future.  
    • Facilitates networking among educators, students, parents, school leaders, policymakers and others and sharing of information about the environment, green practices, and schooling for sustainability.
    • Provides professional development, resources and guidance about the successful creation, operation, governance, and accountability of green schools.
    • Helps to create the capacity for change and encourages innovation, educational options and schooling for sustainability.
    • Provides leadership in forging and maintaining a sustainable society.

    For more information, visit www.greencharterschools.org.



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