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President's Report, July 2015

Fellow Chapter Members,

Welcome to the Chapter’s Newsletter where we share Chapter news and updates.  In this edition, I want bring you up to date on where our Chapter stands in the process of merging the four USGBC Chapters in Texas into a single state Chapter.  In May, the Texas Gulf Coast Chapter held our first town hall board meeting. We plan to hold another one soon.  The goal was to provide an opportunity for members to meet and hear from the board and committee chairs about Chapter activities underway in 2015.  It was a great opportunity to network and get to know each other. The highlight of the meeting was our pressing need to vote on whether the Chapter should move forward with State Chapter consolidation.  All active members present were eligible to vote either for or against the motion to merge into a State Chapter.  I am happy to report that the vote was almost unanimous in support of the merger. 

So what does this mean?  It means we move ahead with efforts to merge bylaws for all four Texas Chapters into one, consolidate finances, perform legal reviews and define how our State Chapter is going to operate going forward.  For starters, our local group will no longer be referred to as a “Chapter” but will now be called a “Region.” The Texas Gulf Coast Region to be more specific.  As the name implies, we will handle most of the territory along the Gulf Coast, extending northwest to College Station.  Actually, we already service this territory, so the consolidation will not affect your affiliation if you reside within the current Chapter’s boundaries.  The Region will continue to be governed by a local board and officers and operate almost the same as before. The State Chapter will provide the added benefit of a centralized administration and Executive Director who will offer guidance to the Regions and run day-to-day operations.  This will free up the volunteer board and committee members to focus on community outreach. 

The power of a single Texas State Chapter can already been seen, as was evident from a recent “2014 Chapters Annual Report” prepared by USGBC National.  The report gathered financial, organizational, and social data from each Chapter across the USA.  It is always an eye opener to see how Chapters in other states are doing — their challenges and celebrations.  Taking a look at the four Chapters in Texas, it is evident that all of us are experiencing individual challenges.  But, when combined into one Texas State Chapter, the following numbers stand out:  

Memberships:  1,229 (one of the top 3 most populous Chapters in the US)

  • National Member Companies:  689 (Number 1 in the US)
  • LEED Professionals:  9,898 (Number 2 in the US)

Those are some strong numbers!  It is proof positive that merging into one State Chapter is going to benefit us all.  I will continue to update you with each publishing of this newsletter, so make sure and read it when you see it.  Also, please contact us with your thoughts and ideas.  Remember, this is your Region that benefits you locally.  It is up to you to make a difference.  Get involved and leave your mark on this world.

Sincerely,

Sergio Grado
Chair – TX Gulf Coast Region