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Mark posted earlier about David Eisenberg and his organization, DCAT, getting USGBC's Organization Excellence Leadership Award at Greenbuild 2007. David has certainly been a great friend and mentor to many of us here at BuildingGreen. Personally, I have to say that no one has had more impact on my career in green building than Gail Lindsey (except, of course, BuildingGreen's fearless leader Alex). You can see a summary of her achievements in this online bio (PDF format). Gail was recognized by USGBC for her role in creating Community, which is certainly apt. She has an amazing ability to make connections—between people, ideas, projects, you name it—everywhere she goes. In conversations about specific projects, whenever there is the suggestion that a choice has to be made between two competing possibilities, Gail speaks up as the "And Police"—not "this OR that" she says, but "this AND that". Nothing can be excluded in her holistic view of the world. Another favorite inside joke is that when Gail is involved in structuring a document or event you always end up with five categories, no more and no less. Ever wonder why LEED has five topic areas? Because Gail was involved when LEED transitioned from an alphabetical list of credits to its current category structure. Gail's influence on BuildingGreen, and on me in particular, has been nothing short of profound. She was one of EBN's original advisory board members. She came to us when some defense contractors brought her a half-baked software tool in need of resuscitation, and worked with us (and with CREST) to create the Green Building Advisor. The case studies that she developed (with our input) for that tool became the basis for our work (again, with her help) on U.S. DOE's High Performance Buildings Database. And later on, when DOE asked us to manage AIA's Top Ten Green Projects competition using that database, we realized that AIA's competition was also Gail's baby, from her years as chair of the Committee on the Environment in the mid 1990s. As if that wasn't enough, it was Gail who recruited me in 2001 to chair the Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group for what we thought at the time was LEED version 3. I'm still trying to extricate myself from that role, having engaged with the development of LEED for New Construction versions 2.1 and 2.2, LEED for Core and Shell, LEED for Commercial Interiors, LEED for Existing Buildings, and a handful of other rating systems, before "LEED 3.0" was officially retired in favor of the new LEED Bookshelf nomenclature. Gail was also central to a project that I worked on for GSA called Expanding Our Approach, based Bill Reed's vision and the amazing synthesis skills of John Boecker and Joel Ann Todd, and she brought me into the Green Building Challenge initiative, through which I was able to travel to Vancouver, Maastricht, and Tokyo to participate in Sustainable Building Conferences. But perhaps most amazing of all is the fact that I'm not unique in this debt I owe to Gail. She's had this kind of influence on lots of people! Maybe we should form a club.

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1 I could not agree more with N posted by David Eisenberg on 11/13/2007 at 07:50 pm

I could not agree more with Nadav's comments about Gail Lindsey! She has been a mentor and inspiration to so many of us over such a long period of time. (Alex as well, as Nadav also noted, has had an exceptional influence).

I just want to add that it was a huge extra gift to receive an award at the same time as Gail. She is one of the real jewels of the movement. Thanks for your post about Gail, Nadav! We're so lucky to know her and have her in our sphere of friends and colleagues!

David Eisenberg

2 Gail is brilliant, but that's posted by Joel Ann Todd on 11/15/2007 at 03:45 pm

Gail is brilliant, but that's not what makes her so special. She has a way of inspiring us to do our best - she brings out our most creative energies and ideas - without her, life is more dull and flat. She has enabled lots of young people to envision a career in sustainable design - and to make it seem fun and attractive. She continues to push us to think beyond our current boundaries - what is a sustainble life? How do health, environment, equity, happiness fit together? Thanks to a dear friend -

--joel todd

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