JEN: For years, I spent my time as a marketer in positions where I didn't truly feel like I was making a positive impact. About two years ago, I made the change and took a position with Verde Energy Efficiency Expert, where I believed in their mission to help our Chicagoland neighborhoods like Park Ridge, become energy efficient, and to help create more sustainable futures for the businesses and organizations that make our communities so great. I feel much more content, and fulfilled waking up every day feeling like I'm doing a small part to help move the needle in reducing our cities dependence on coal as well as reducing our collective carbon footprint. Verde Energy Efficiency Experts is an L3C, which is a low-profit social enterprise venture with a goal of benefitting society, not maximizing revenue. While at Verde, one of my proudest accomplishments has been the creation of the Light the Way grant program, which awards organizations with the gift of energy efficiency, a gift that lowers their daily operational costs, so that they can, in turn, use that money to further their mission. The entire Verde team works hard every day to streamline the process and make energy efficiency an easy and obvious decision for the private and public sector, and we're happy to do it.
As a Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce member, I'm heading a committee to help businesses become aware of the resources available to them to be more sustainable. So far, we've announced the Green Star Business Award program, which looks to recognize businesses in Park Ridge that have made outstanding efforts in sustainability practices. My hope is to grow awareness, but also to demonstrate to our businesses that sustainability not only helps our community, but it is an important part of them preparing for the future, as well as attracting new generations of patrons that want to support businesses making these sorts of impactful changes.
My husband, Dan and I alongside our three children, Charlie, Hazel and Theodore and dog, Phil are residents in Park Ridge and hope to be here for many years to come. Seeing our town make greener strides over the last year has been very exciting. I also recently joined the City of Park Ridge Sustainability Task Force. We have an amazingly tight-knit community, and we can do great things when we come together.