Jun 6, 2014 12:00 PM  PST

CEO Catherine Merschel to Retire December 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters of Build It Green:

Following a successful six-year tenure as CEO of Build It Green (BIG), Catherine Merschel has announced that she will retire in December 2014.

Merschel led BIG with a passionate vision to create a more sustainable world where homes are built to support the health and vitality of people and the natural environment. That vision guided her throughout her lengthy career, with 30 years in the affordable housing world in executive management positions, to her ultimate position of Executive Director at Build It Green.

Under her leadership, BIG achieved strength, stability, and strategic focus: We survived the economic downturn that devastated the building industry and emerged as a thriving, innovative organization. The organization also made great strides towards transforming the market for green homes, helping building professionals thrive in the green jobs sector while saving natural resources and reducing the impacts of climate change. BIG’s accomplishments under Merschel include:

The stellar growth of GreenPoint Rated: BIG's GreenPoint Rated home rating program grew from 10,000 green labeled homes in 2008 to more than 20,000 in 2013 and resulted in more than 103,000 metric tons of C02 avoided and 258 million gallons of water saved.

The expansion into home performance: BIG leveraged its green building expertise into the energy efficiency market, and has been the program administrator of PGE’s Home Upgrade Program for the past three plus years, overseeing 5,703 residential home retrofits that saved more than 13.4 million kWh of electricity, and 1.7 therms of natural gas.

The launch of a Southern California office: In Southern California, BIG has led The Energy Network’s efforts to complete energy upgrades on thousands of multifamily properties. BIG also pioneered an innovative program to train more than 400 real estate professionals in green building and real estate practices, and to promote their services through a major marketing campaign.

The investment in cutting-edge education: BIG’s core green building trainings continue to empower building professionals and grow our industry. Over the past two years, 66 trainings hosted by BIG brought in 1,736 attendees.

Merschel leaves BIG in a strong and stable place, ready to take its accomplishments to the next level. BIG has grown its staff nearly threefold over the past several years to the current 48 employees, working in our Oakland and Los Angeles offices. We currently have a $9 million budget through the end of 2014, and expect 2015 to be similarly sized. The recently completed strategic plan will provide a firm focus on our mission with a focus on one key metric: the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Moving forward, every strategy implemented by BIG will be viewed through the lens of whether or not greenhouse gases are being reduced, and by how much.

Merschel's contributions to the green building industry are impressive, and BIG’s staff and Board of Directors extend their gratitude for her service. We wish her well in retirement!

During the final six months of her tenure, BIG will conduct an executive search for our new CEO. BIG is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. To be considered, please visit
candidates.waldronhr.com and submit your resume and a cover letter expressing your passion for the mission and your fit for the role. Letters may be addressed to Jeff Waldron.


Cheryl O’Conner
President of the Board of Directors
Build It Green

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Don Knapp
(510) 590-3360
Source: Don Knapp  

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