Mari Bishop – CLEAResult

Member since 2016

I made the decision to join the volunteer family of the Illinois Green Alliance the second I moved back into Chicago. I had been a not-so-involved member back in Atlanta, thinking that since I had my LEED certification already and was a part of another organization there was not much else a local chapter could offer. Boy was I wrong – and glad that I made the decision to become more involved!

Like most of the Chicago residents I know, I am an avid Chicago lover. I love the open-hearted, fun-loving, beautiful, and ever diverse atmosphere of this city and its 77 neighborhoods. Like most people in the sustainability industry I know, I am passionate and fascinated by the needs and challenges – and the people and actions that come about to meet them – of our growing society. And like most people I know (I hope!), I love and enjoy my job and the impact it has on the industry (I work in EE), people’s lives, our economy, and the environment. But don’t you feel sometimes like you are running short of doing even more amazing things?

Going through the usual, knowing every day flow of work can make me forget sometimes why I do what I do, or why (and how much) it matters. Being part of Illinois Green recharges my change-maker batteries, plus it gives me all the reasons I need to stay up to date on happenings around the industry that are both outside and inside my field and connects me with other change-makers. Don’t believe me? Let me break it down for you!

Attending and supporting events like the new members breakfast, the women building green breakfast, and the drink up & drawn down series helps me connect with like-minded people with similar and different expertise and points of view. This is connection.

Attending workshops, symposiums, and panels helps me stay up-to-date with industry initiatives and opportunities. This is learning and growing (professionally and personally) outside of regular hours.

Working with low-income housing residents and their management (Green Resident Engagement Committee) and with students passionate about sustainability (EPIC) allows me to share my skills and expertise to raise up communities within our city. This is being part of change.

Helping celebrate achievements within the industry at events like Limelight and the Annual Meeting makes me excited about the future (and the present). This is inspiration.

And much more…

Most importantly, volunteering with Illinois Green has made me feel like my actions, my time, and my expertise matter more than I thought it did. And seeing what it does for the city and the industry is as fulfilling as it gets.

If you are interested in being highlighted or nominating another member for the spotlight, please contact Joan Martin at jmartin@illinoisgreenalliance.org