2016 Programming

Better buildings happen when we collaborate, innovate and learn together.

At Convergence 2016, we shared best practices with other sustainability professionals, and volunteered on community projects in the Jacksonville area. We were inspired by speakers during our sessions and plenaries, and set goals for future action.


Stay tuned for updates about Convergence 2017 by subscribing to our newsletter, and following USGBC on Twitter and Facebook.



Plenaries and Special Events

Plenaries and Special Events

Opening Plenary: Business Drivers for Sustainability — Doing Well by Doing Good
Tuesday, June 21 | 1-3 p.m.

What is the corporate sector's role as a driver and a partner in solving global, social and environmental issues? Hear from top USGBC member companies and LEED User Group Members about what their companies are doing to benefit their local and global communities while also driving their bottom line. This session will provide a lens into the innovation and impact companies can have in our communities.

Special Events
  • Welcome Reception: Tuesday, June 21 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • USGBC Volunteer Awards Dinner: Tuesday, June 21 from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
    • All attendees are invited to attend the dinner. If you'd like to bring a guest, you can purchase an additional $100 ticket in registration.
  • Florida Chapter Event: Wednesday, June 22 from 6-10:30 p.m.
    • Tickets available at registration for $35.

Community Advancement Summit

Community Advancement Summit

The Convergence Community Advancement Summit convenes USGBC’s network of leaders focused on advancing the green building mission. Summit attendees will participate in strategic market updates, volunteer training and Community Sustainability Projects for the local community.

Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

Tuesday, June 21 | 3-5:30 p.m.
Speaker(s): Barbara Schwenger-Huffman, Kim Shinn
Are leaders born or made? Both. And they can be made better! Leadership is an observable set of skills and abilities that can be learned. At this session, learn the five practices of exemplary leadership: model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart.

Integrative Process and Community Projects

Tuesday, June 21 | 3-5:30 p.m.
Speaker(s): Frank Sherman, Jonathan Burgess
USGBC set out to 'restore the romance' and 'foster social equity' in service to community-based organizations. This session prepares volunteers with the skills and approach to support a holistic, integrative and collaborative process to connect the dots between an organization's mission and space. Skills learned in this workshop will benefit volunteers' work with community organizations and clients through an uplifting, aspirational approach to sustainability.

Building the Dream Team: Mobilizing Volunteer Leaders

Tuesday, June 21 | 3-5:30 p.m.
Speaker(s): Marge Anderson, Lois Vitt Sale, Emma Stewart
In order to respond to the challenges of new competitors, markets, and technologies, organizations must undergo continual change. Learn how to reconfigure your volunteer structure in order to achieve greater overall performance.

Building Markets

Moving the Market, Global Systems & Local Actions
Wednesday, June 22 | 1-2 p.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Speaker(s): Rhiannon Jacobsen
This session brings together leaders from the green building marketplace and USGBC's Business Development team for a conversation about developing successful partnerships to sustainably transform business sectors. USGBC market leaders will hear business development pitches from select attendees, and provide feedback to increase the presentation's impact.

Building Partnerships to Grow Green Markets
Wednesday, June 22 | 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Speaker(s): Ryan Snow, Michael Peel, Clare Rosenberger, Patti Mason, Michelle Moore
Relationship building is a critical step for green market growth. Hear from influencers in local government and community development on strategies to engage market leaders in your USGBC community programs.

Knowledge is Power
Wednesday, June 22 | 4:45-5:45 p.m.
Speaker(s): Rachel Gutter, Farleigh Wolfe
Use education to grow your network of supporters. Learn how to get the most out of the Education @USGBC platform, including the new in-person registration feature! Local leaders will provide examples of how they curate education to generate compelling content for their marketplace.

Rating System Bootcamp

Focus on PEER
Wednesday, June 22 | 1-2 p.m.
Speaker(s): Jamie Statter
PEER is a dynamic, adaptive rating process designed to measure and improve sustainable power system performance. Attend this session to review the key concepts of PEER, how to engage local stakeholders using PEER, and how it can be used to meet larger sustainability and resiliency goals.

Focus on SITES and Parksmart
Wednesday, June 22 | 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Speaker(s): Peter Templeton, Jamie Statter
The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) defines sustainable sites, measures performance, and elevates the value of landscapes. Parksmart is the only rating system recognizing sustainable practices in parking structure management, programming, design, and technology. Learn more about SITES and Parksmart, how they are complimentary to LEED, and how to engage stakeholders.

Focus on WELL
Wednesday, June 22 | 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Speaker(s): Carlie Bullock Jones
The WELL Building Standard is an evidence based system for measuring, certifying, and the performance of building features that impact health and well-being. Attend this session to review the key concepts of WELL, how it's complimentary to LEED, and how to engage key local stakeholders in the rating system.

Focus on GRESB
Wednesday, June 22 | 4:45-5:45 p.m.
Speaker(s): Dan Winters
GRESB is an industry-driven organization committed to assessing the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance of real assets globally, including real estate portfolios and infrastructure assets. Attend this session to review the key concepts of GRESB, how it's complimentary to LEED, and how to engage key local stakeholders in the rating system.

Community Connections

Advocates in Action
Wednesday, June 22 | 1-2 p.m.
Speaker(s): Christina Kuo
Turn your community into green building advocates! Learn how to organize Advocacy volunteers to move the needle on LEED and green building policies, as well as how Advocacy volunteers can contribute to other aspects of your market's priorities for fundraising, sponsorship, education, and general market expansion. This session also will cover new advocacy content and tools.

Green School: Taking Action and Measuring Impact
Wednesday, June 22 | 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Speaker(s): Rachel Gutter, Emily Riordan
The USGBC community drives incredible action in support of green schools, with over 700,000 volunteers engaged since 2012. Take your work to the next level at this session, with a focus on school- and campus-based initiatives with measurable outcomes that advance a school's journey toward whole school sustainability.

Messaging Strategies for Local Engagement
Wednesday, June 22 | 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Speaker(s): Marisa Long, Julia Pergolini, Aline Peterson, Rachel Gilbert
Harness the power of your messaging to attract and engage community members. Learn effective messaging strategies, including tools for local social media engagement.

Enhancing Health, Advancing Social Equity
Wednesday, June 22 | 4:45-5:45 p.m.
Speaker(s): Kelly Worden, Brenden McEneaney
Research suggests that an individual's zip code is better at predicting health than his or her genetic code due to the impact of neighborhood conditions, income level, education attainment and other social determinants of health. The linkage between the built environment and public health outcomes is well established. As creators of built environments, green building practitioners are able to contribute to better health outcomes by creating buildings and neighborhoods with health-promoting features. Emerging tools aim to empower green building practitioners to systematically consider the health impacts of their work and provide pathways for practitioners to engage local public health expertise.

ADVANCE Institute

Cultivating Partnerships in Underserved Communities
Wednesday, June 22 | 1-2 p.m.
Speaker(s): Sheri Brezinka
Reaching new audiences and engaging non-traditional partners takes a special finesse. This session illuminates approaches for forging sustainable relationships and activating diverse community-based partners to advance green building.

Kicking Off the Green Dialogue
Wednesday, June 22 | 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Speaker(s): Frank Sherman, Maggie Reed, Suzanne Haerther, Doug Widener
Support for community partners to advance green practices starts with a focus on their needs, aspirations and existing assets. This session introduces tools and approaches that help kick start their greening efforts. This includes defining their values and vision, building a supportive team and establishing a foundation for successful decision making. (KickSTART, Survey, Benchmarking)

Building Plans & Focusing on Action
Wednesday, June 22 | 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Speaker(s): Steph Leonard, Omar Youssef
"As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it." This session equips you with tools to move community partners' aspirations into a clear strategy and focused actions that meet their goals. Learn from your peers' real world successes working with community based organizations.

Guiding Groups to Green Building Leadership
Wednesday, June 22 | 4:45-5:45 p.m.
Speaker(s): Emily Riordan, Josh Dean, Leslie Cook
This session will empower you with the tools and strategies you need to rally community organizations to take on LEED O+M certification for their facilities. USGBC's for-credit, higher-education program, LEED Lab will be introduced, along with materials to host LEED Hack-a-thon sessions.


Community Sustainability Project

Community Sustainability Project

Volunteer your expertise and passion from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, June 23 in support of the Jacksonville community using the ADVANCE framework.

Together, we’ll support local organizations in their pursuit of healthy, environmentally sound economic goals in their facilities and within their communities.

Beach Clean-Up

Help us beautify Florida’s Duval County, and take a trip to the beach, where you can assist with debris removal to prevent damage to local ecosystems and wildlife.

Downtown Bio-Diversity Corridor Clean-Up

Help clean up a section of a vital lifeline creek running through downtown Jacksonville. The Hogan’s Creek Greenway is close to an existing S-Line Rail Train, and improving access to this urban greenway is a flagship project identified in the Groundwork Jacksonville Feasibility Study.

ENERGY STAR Benchmarking Jam with the City of Jacksonville

Help the city of Jacksonville work toward ENERGY STAR certification for several of its buildings, including office, library and school buildings in a fun, intensive data jam. Volunteers will assist with entry of energy and water data to build a baseline of data for the city. This is a suggested activity for those familiar with ENERGY Star Portfolio Manager, and those wanting to learn more.

Green Veterans Day of Service

Work with the emerging Green Veterans Group of NE Florida to help facilitate an energy efficiency and wellness audit of a Jacksonville veteran’s facility. Your work will set the foundation for ongoing efforts to grow the Green Veterans movement in the state. This is a suggested activity for energy efficiency and building wellness experts.

KickSTART Workshops

KickSTART is an interactive exercise that helps organizations determine which leaders, decision makers, data and resources are needed to move their sustainability aspirations forward and how to gain support.

You can join local small business owners and hospitality organizations for a KickSTART Community Sustainability Workshop. You also can help the nonprofit and philanthropic tenants of the Jesse Ball DuPont Center, and other area nonprofits get their green on at another KickSTART workshop.

Montessori School FOCUS Project: LEED v4 Operations + Maintenance

Help a local Montessori School and its students tackle the waste and energy audit credits in LEED v4 O+M in an open, experiential and interactive manner. This project is part of an ongoing partnership with a child's place Montessori School and the USGBC Florida Northeast Region to widely share the policies, procedures and lessons learned on a LEED v4 EBOM school project.

PLANBuilder Workshops

PLANBuilder for Local Nonprofits
Building off of energy audits supported by the Jesse Ball DuPont Fund, work with local nonprofits to build comprehensive sustainability plans. Each organization will be paired with volunteers to identify clear performance goals and determine strategies.