CEO Corner

Meeting with our New Advisory Council

Arthur-Color By Arthur Weissman, Ph.D, Green Seal President/CEO

After several years in the planning, Green Seal’s Board of Directors finally established an Advisory Council this year. Beyond putting some well-known names on our roster, the Council is intended to broaden Green Seal’s reach to new audiences, especially consumers, and to connect us with thought-leaders in various areas of sustainability. My assistant, Kat, helped get the Council off and running, and her previous blog post offers greater detail about each of its members. I’d like to talk here about a recent experience I had with several of the Council members who live on the East Coast.

Over the summer we held a teleconference with the Advisory Council to brief them on our programs and strategic direction and get their feedback. One of the outcomes was a desire to meet together with our Board to get to know each other and exchange ideas. As several Council and Board members live in the New York City area, we decided to hold a luncheon for them the next time I was planning to go there.

We held the luncheon in early October. Kat, ever resourceful, found us a great restaurant that serves much organic and local food and strives for sustainable practices. As we have not yet certified the restaurant, I have to qualify my mention of it here as not an official endorsement. Nevertheless, the food and ambiance at Greensquare Tavern in the Flatiron District were terrific and a great backdrop to the meeting of Board and Council.

We had around the table from the Green Seal Board Joanne Fox-Przeworski, Board Secretary; Paul Walitsky, Treasurer; Riva Krut; and myself. From the Advisory Council, we were delighted to have Jacquie Ottman, the green marketing guru; Barbara Lerman-Golomb, the sustainability and development director for the JCCs of North America; Professor Geoffrey Heal, the noted resource economist of Columbia University’s Business School; and Bruce Fowle, the green architect and principal of FXFOWLE Architects. Ashok Kamal, the other Council member from New York City and our gamification partner, was out of town.

After briefing the Board and Council members on recent events, initiatives, and strategic directions, I closed my mouth and let everyone else talk. And talk they did! It was a delight to see the interactions of these highly qualified and accomplished people, all part of the Green Seal family. We continue to be very grateful to our Board members for their years of unstinting service. Now we have Advisory Council members that are willing to provide us with some highly-desired counsel.

Halfway through the lunch, Barbara suggested we do a musical-chairs shift around the long table to mix it up and initiate new conversations. I had the opportunity to talk in person with Barbara for the first time, as I did with Geof just before the luncheon started. I had met previously with Bruce, while Jacquie and I go back quite a ways.

We’re hoping to do something similar in the near future with the Board and Advisory Council members on the West Coast. We also want to build out both Board and Council with more Midwest people, so candidates are welcome. In any case, these wonderful volunteers all help Green Seal’s mission with their expertise, enthusiasm, and connections, and we are grateful to them all.