The Inaugural Women in Green Forum – An Inside View

Virginia-NicholsWe are pleased to present this post by guest blogger Virginia Nicols a Certified Green Building Professional, handling Corporate and Community Relations for California based, EcoMotion.

Editor’s Note: Virginia was a panelist in the first ever, Women in Green Forum, held recently in Pasadena, CA.  She has been a vital part of the development of clean energy technology in California and is working to forward educational efforts for senior executives transitioning into the green sector.

The Forum was upbeat and lively, and unexpectedly hard-hitting.  About 500 people attended, and I counted 6 men.  As always the case with a good gathering, the conference resulted in a few gems that I want to pass along to your readers. 

Some tidbits:

  • Over yogurt and berries one morning the conversation turned on the hospitality industry, and in particular on the use of10930672-women-in-green-forum automated room energy management cards (the ones you stick into the slot in order to make the lights and A/C function) and how they really didn’t work in a hotel in Dubai because they were connected to the room refrigerators, too…!
  • Several presenters were STRONGLY opposed to the behind-the-scenes activities of the proponents of Prop. 23.  Vote NO on Prop. 23.
  • Actor Gloria Reuben reminded the audience that when it comes to tar sand oil production, it takes 3 barrels of water to produce 1 barrel of oil…

The panel I participated in was called “Marketing Yourself in the Green Space.”  I combined remarks supplied by Glenna Wiseman at HelioPower with others in putting together a List of Green Job Resources for attendees.  It was gratifying to hear other speakers echo my findings. 

Again, some highlights:

  • On the topic of “creating your own job,” Sue Kately (CalSEIA) told how early in her career she “called up the head of the CEC and told them how messed up they were and that they needed to hire her.”  Take that to heart you cautious ones!
  • A number of stories surfaced about the need for solar contractors (in particular) to be educated and to understand the concept of “right sizing.”  Can you imagine solar PV being sold to heat a swimming pool?!
  • At a session devoted to recycling, we heard that CFLs have become the number 1 source of mercury in Illinois landfills.  Do you see an opportunity for starting a new business?
  • And as for commitment, Kelly Aaron, co-owner of Everlight (recycles lights) says that her entire staff is becoming LEED certified. 
  • Vonda Lockwood, who over the years grew into being Sustainability Coordinator at Wal-Mart, told how the word came down from the top one day, “No waste by 2020.”  As she put it, “Everything I’ve done has prepared me for what I’m doing today.”  I think that sentence is the one we all need to take to heart.  Understand the value of your experience!

As you can tell, I have many more notes to share, but I hope this will give you a flavor of the breadth of offerings at the Forum.  If you have any particular questions, I’d be happy to respond.  In the meanwhile, please go the Green Jobs Resource List I put together and information to help provide serious job training for senior executives in transition.

Here’s the link: Green Job Opportunities.

Information about the Woman in Green Forum can be found here.

You can reach Virginia at  [email protected].