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Message from the Chair - 2021

August 15, 2021
USGBC-LI Chairman Sammy Chu

Dear Friends,

I wish I could say that we made it. As I write this, about a month after thinking we had crossed the threshold, we find ourselves still uncertain about what comes next. As the COVID-19 virus continues to adapt, we too are being forced to adapt. Our green building community is no exception. We have always been at the frontline of building better and now our mission has become even more critical as we navigate our way through a return to work, school, and recreational activities. Tonight is a celebration of all of the advocates, practitioners, and policy makers who are determined to get the job done.

Despite the myriad of challenges we face, there are many reasons to remain optimistic. One thing is for sure, there are many amazing people and organizations innovating and working hard to ensure that Long Island will find a way to be a sustainable and healthier region. All of our honorees are great examples of the leadership we will need to keep us headed in the right direction.

Cynics have said that Long Island is no place for cycling. PedalShare and Bethpage Federal Credit Union are proving them wrong. Bringing a unified bike share system to Suffolk County was championed by our own Sustainable Transportation committee, and it is rewarding to see that vision being realized due to the efforts of PedalShare and BFCU.

Our transition to a clean energy future is a multi-generational effort and such an effort requires a greater regional understanding of the benefits of embracing new ways of using and generating electricity. The Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center, a project brought to us by The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP) provides an incredible experience to anyone who wants to learn more about where we are headed and why it is so crucial. Thankfully, you don't have to take my word for it. We are grateful to be celebrating here tonight! Please take a tour around the building before you enjoy a cocktail on the deck!

Finally, we are so proud to be honoring one of our own. Carrie Meek Gallagher, in addition to being a former member of our board, has been one of the most influential public officials in Long Island's efforts to create a more sustainable future. Whether it was during her time at the Suffolk County Water Authority and Suffolk County government, or in her current role as acting deputy secretary for Energy and Environment for NYS, she has always been a leader and there's no doubt that we are far better off as a result of her efforts.

There is still so much to do and we will continue to have to cope with uncertainty. I believe that we are up to the task. We are celebrating the work of outstanding honorees tonight, but we are also celebrating your work. One thing we can be certain of is that progress will come sooner if we work together. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to get back in the trenches with all of you tomorrow, and to celebrate with you tonight.

Sincerely,

Sammy Chu
Chairman

U.S. Green Building Council - Long Island Chapter
69 Chichester Road
Huntington, NY 11743
info [at] usgbc-li [dot] org

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