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DENVER—It was five years ago that Lindsay Arell became the first full-time sustainability manager hired by a convention center—the Colorado Convention Center. Today, she says, there are probably 10 to 15 people in similar roles. Now Sustainable Programs Manager for the Center, Arell continues to help bring notoriety to it as a contracted consultant with Arell Logic. Under Arell’s watch last year, the Center became the first event and conference venue in the world to achieve Level One certification with the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences. Three years ago, the Center achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) certification. Today, Arell is helping to guide the Center through its LEED recertification process.
LAS VEGAS—In her role as Global Sustainability Manager with Las Vegas Sands Corp., Mandy Martin is part of a team that has significantly reduced the company’s environmental impact on the Strip and in resort locations including Pennsylvania, Macau and Singapore. Since January 1 this year Las Vegas Sands has reduced energy consumption by 22 million kilowatt-hours. Martin says most of the savings have come through lighting retrofits. “We do a lot of lighting projects,” she says. Martin’s typical day involves meetings, conference calls and possibly giving what her company calls “sustainability safari” tours—tours of the complex of the company’s LEED certified buildings that include The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo and Convention Center. “I have been working a lot with our local university—the University of Nevada Las Vegas,” she says.
LAS VEGAS—Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine, a preeminent publication which recognizes America’'s most socially responsible chief executives, has named Jim Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International, a 2013 Responsible CEO of the Year Award winner. The annual awards are presented to CEOs across industries that clearly exceed standards in the areas of employee relations, environmental impact, human rights, philanthropy, and corporate responsibility practices. “In a business landscape where transparency, sincerity and social impact are an ever important business goal, we are pleased to shine a spotlight on a group of individuals and their organizations which exude a commitment to their stakeholders and society,” said Elliot Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise, the publisher of Corporate Responsibility Magazine.
NEW YORK—Having heard enough “Green 101” and tired of attending green conferences at non-sustainable venues where he would get a “swag bag of junk made in China,” Michael Suomi hatched the idea of an intensive one-day event at a highly sustainable venue. Born in 2012 with the help of other leaders in the lodging industry was Futuregreen Hospitality Forum. “I thought, ‘Could there be an approach to a conference focused just on sustainability in a sustainable venue? An event where people in our business would come up with a great idea that could have an impact?’” Suomi asked. “I came up with some ideas for some topics. I wanted a laser focus on a single session—with the goal of coming up with one idea. Cindy Allen [Editor in Chief, Interior Design] loved it so much she wanted to be my partner.”
AVON, COLO.—With more than 15 years of hospitality experience, Burrell helped open The Westin Riverfront in 2008 as the director of operations, a position that he held for more than four years and where he oversaw the sustainable luxury efforts that helped the resort become Colorado’s first Silver LEED certified hotel. Burrell most recently served as the general manager of Virginia’s historic Mountain Lake Lodge, which completed an extensive multi-million dollar renovation under his leadership. He also previously held management positions at the Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa and the Disney Vacation Club and the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. A graduate of the University of Florida, Burrell is currently pursuing his MBA in International Hospitality & General Services Management from Switzerland’s Glion Institute of Higher Education.
BANGKOK—Internationally acclaimed sustainable tourism expert Costas Christ is to join Six Senses as sustainability ambassador, it was announced by Six Senses’ president, Bernhard Bohnenberger. Highly respected as a global pioneer of eco-tourism, Costas helped to officially define the term as a founding member and former chairman of the International Ecotourism Society. NBC Today Show’s travel editor said, “For the past 30 years, Costas Christ has been at the leading edge of the green travel movement, since way before it was ever called ‘green’ or even a movement.” The announcement of Costas’ role follows the recent appointment of Amber Marie Beard as vice president sustainability for Six Senses, further highlighting the commitment of Six Senses to the environment and the communities in which it operates.
ORLANDO, FLA.—When she was hired as the first sustainability coordinator for the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in March 2012, Abby Gulden joined an organization that already had made significant strides in greening its operations and reducing its environmental footprint. With her hiring, however, OCCC now has a point person to drive continuous improvement and network within the Orlando market and beyond it. As sustainability coordinator, Gulden leads the sustainability team and manages the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. The OCCC’s Environmental Services section received the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2004 certification for its Environmental Management System in 2007. It was the first convention center in the United States to receive the certification.
BANGKOK—Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has named Amber Marie Beard Vice President Sustainability. Beard has had a fascinating career in locales around the world, which began in Boston, where she worked for Lend Lease, one of the world’s largest property developers. Relocating to Hong Kong, Amber joined China Resources, which is one of China’s largest government owned organizations, working on the city’s first existing building sustainable redevelopment project that was targeting LEED Gold certification. A move to Singapore saw her as head of sustainability with Sustainability Ltd., an investment finance company managing niche real estate opportunities in China, Japan and Australia, where she focused on delivering heightened levels of sustainability while delivering attractive financial returns.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mark S. Andrew, CMP, CHA, regional vice president and general manager, Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown has been appointed chairman for the Green Meeting Industry Council Sustainable Meetings Foundation (GMIF) along with its 2013-2014 Board of Trustees for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. In his role as chairman, Andrew plans to move the Foundation’s 2013-2014 capital campaign forward via new initiatives. One such initiative includes the assemblage of a cookbook entitled “Unspoiled”—a compilation of recipes produced by chefs and others on food waste solutions for kitchens and supply chains. Proceeds from the sale of Unspoiled will go directly to supporting food banks and the Green Meeting Industry Council Sustainable Meetings Foundation.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Brian T. Mullis, who founded global nonprofit Sustainable Travel International in 2002 and continues to serve as its CEO, was recently appointed to the United States National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. The official announcement was made by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank. The Board, established in 2003, serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States. Its members represent a broad cross-section of the industry, including transportation services, financial services, and hotels and restaurants, as well as a mix of small and large firms from across the country. Mullis joins five other new appointees to the Board, which is chaired by Travel Oregon executive director Todd Davidson. “I am thrilled about my appointment to the National Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which demonstrates the increasing importance of sustainability to the national tourism strategy,” said Mullis.
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