Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.
Recipient: Bonnie Richardson, LEED AP, Architect & Principal Planner· City of Tempe
A passion for sustainable design and an enthusiasm for sharing her knowledge with others are not the only attributes Bonnie Richardson brings to the table.
After graduating from Arizona State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design in 1983, Richardson established her own architectural firm and became a visiting professor of architecture at her alma mater. Since then, Richardson has continued to share her knowledge of design, not only with the ASU community, but also with the Phoenix-metro area.
As an architect and principal planner for Tempe’s transportation department, Richardson has put her mark on many of the city’s green building endeavors, including Phoenix’s METRO light rail system and the Tempe Transportation Center.
Richardson is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) professional, and an advocate for environmentally friendly development. She is committed to creating facilities and buildings that area residents will find aesthetically pleasing, and prove to be a valuable investment of their tax dollars.
She is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Valley Forward and the Arizona Technology Council, and has served with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Arizona Chapter.
Her commitment to the future of Tempe and Arizona is manifested in her desire to encourage and promote sustainable designing and building in her community.
Finalist: Lori Singleton, Manager, Sustainability Initiatives & Technologies
Although Lori Singleton is Salt River Project’s manager of sustainability initiatives and technology, she also uses her knowledge of environmentally friendly and sustainable practices to help others in her private life. Singleton’s passion for sustainability has been demonstrated through her association with the Arizona chapter of the Audubon Society and Valley Forward.
Both Singleton’s personal and professional lives are dedicated to improving the quality of life in Arizona, advocating for sustainable practices and bringing attention to new, more efficient conservation techniques. Her personal and professional philosophy — “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” — exemplifies her enthusiasm for sustainability.
Singleton had a regular column in The Arizona Republic, which she used to educate readers on daily ways to help preserve the environment. She also aided the Audubon Society in its early stages by leading Audubon Arizona’s Business Advisory Committee. Her involvement with Audubon gave the society the resources to spread its Healthy Planet/Healthy Home message to its 10,000 statewide members.
Finalist: Mara DeFilippis, Founder & CEO
Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce
Striving to fill Phoenix’s need for green information and resources, Mara DeFilippis established the Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce in 2008.
DeFilippis once asked, “If we were to have a lifespan of 500 years, how would we be living differently?” This sentiment reflects DeFilippis’ passion for environmentally responsible practices. It also demonstrates the Green Chamber’s mission to promote businesses committed to environmental and social responsibility.
The Green Chamber serves more than 140 businesses, holds monthly educational forums and distributes a monthly newsletter, which reaches more than 5,500 Phoenix businesses, agencies and people. It is also compiling an “Eco-Standards” handbook, estimated for a mid-2010 release, which features a tiered system to rate members’ sustainable business practices. These ratings will be visible online through the Green Chamber’s directory.
DeFilippis and the Green Chamber strive to provide clear education on which green ideas and businesses are most effective for the environment and the bottom line.