Growing Green Leaders For Tomorrow

By Michelle Jaime, Green Gala planning committee president, USGBC

In our rapidly expanding and industrialized world, the need for creative repurposing and ethical building practices are critical to the future of our islands’ environmental preservation. Organizations throughout the state, such as the Hawaii chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), are implementing more sustainable practices in development and educating communities about the importance of these practices along the way.

USGBC Hawaii is committed to protecting Hawaii’s natural beauty. This movement aligns with USGBC’s goal to create a socially and environmentally responsible, healthy and prosperous quality of life through the transformation of the “built environment” in the way it is planned, designed, constructed, operated and maintained.

Michelle Jaime

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Michelle Jaime, Green Gala planning committee president, USGBC

USGBC Hawaii’s community education includes a variety of programs designed for students. As board member Jason Selley explains:

“Our Students Committee developed a ‘Green by Design’ competition for University of Hawaii students to share design ideas that better their communities and raise the bar on green buildings. We want to tap into our future Green Design leaders and acknowledge them as young professionals. They are our future.”

The chapter is comprised of leaders from all segments of the building industry.

Through the diversity of the members, awareness of the necessity for sustainable building principles continues to increase.

The USGBC shows appreciation of the efforts of such local designers, innovators and educators through an annual awards gala. The gala provides industry pioneers with the opportunity to not only showcase their own contributions, but serves as a platform for new ideas, partnerships and statewide communication. Last year’s winners include Re-Use Hawaii, Pankow Builders, Project Kaupuni-19 LEED Platinum Homes and James Stone.

This year’s Green Gala will be held Saturday, Aug. 25, at Warehouse MR1.1 (683 Auahi St.) in Kakaako. Tickets cost $100 and are available online at Guests will enjoy innovative pupus and dinner by Prima and The Whole Ox Deli, signature cocktails by local mixologists, a beer and wine garden, a silent auction and an awards ceremony honoring those exhibiting outstanding green leadership. For more information, contact Joe Uno at