Of Sense and Sustainability ~
Bio of Annette Gorelick, IFMA Atlanta Chapter Secretary 2010/11
by Chris Sanders
It a beautiful Indian summer day in Atlanta, my husband and I are driving with the top down to a local Starbucks to meet with Annette for this interview. I am running late and our interview time is finely scheduled between other appointments. As I walk past the row of outdoor tables, a woman’s voice calls out my name. I was happy that Annette recognized, not necessarily me, but a woman who looked like she was looking for someone. What struck me first about Annette is her sense of style and lightness of being. She is posed, confident, friendly and approachable. Through the course of the interview I also find out she is passionate about her beliefs in protecting the environment and about IFMA.
In researching for this interview, I accessed your business web site and saw that you have a sustainability consulting business, how did you get started in sustainability and what role does that play with your involvement in IFMA?
G4 Green Connections is just getting started, it’s our one year anniversary, but I have been involved in sustainability from the beginning of my career. I have always had a passion for nature and conservation. Starting out in landscaping, I would help clients reduce water usage through the use of native plants and creative landscaping. Last year, when we started the business, it was the right time and the right thing to do. Our business is focused on education and training our clients on sustainable practices with our mission being to help our clients build a corporate culture focused on green practices. As we continue to build our business, our clients and IFMA members will have access to educational courses, articles and materials that will help them make intelligent choices for their business and the environment.
What has been a pivotal influence in your life and career?
Well, Al Gore for one. I have always been interested in nature and conservation. His work to expose the issues facing our environment hit home to me. It was after reading Ray Anderson’s book, “Confessions of a Radical Industrialist”, that I knew this was my life’s work, to help business and industry embrace the value and importance of the 3 P’s (People, Planet, Profit). I highly recommend that everyone read this book.
What drives you to be active in IFMA? What fuels your passion for this industry?
It’s the people, their passion for this industry and the friendliness of IFMA’s members. From the moment I started with IFMA Atlanta I felt welcomed. I started out by being active with the Community Services Committee, and now I’m learning about the IFMA Foundation with its partnership with Georgia Tech and the new growing partnership with Southern Polytechnic. As a mother of two young adults, I see the value and necessity of our organizations members to mentor the next generation of Facility Managers. It’s so important. Mentoring combined with teaching sustainability will really make a difference for the future of Atlanta and our planet. It’s important to give back both locally and to our profession as a whole.
What are the qualities that make you a good fit to serve as secretary of IFMA Atlanta Chapter?
I would initially say they wanted me to be secretary because the position requires you to listen; I talk too much. Barring that, it’s would be my organizational skills. I am very organized. As secretary, I am here to support the executive committee. I am responsible for documenting the meetings, keeping the schedules and keeping us on track. Ultimately I am here to serve our members and project enthusiasm for our organization through participation in chapter events.
What other roles have you had with IFMA Atlanta?
I became active four years ago starting out on the Community Service Committee. I was the team leader for Our House. For the past two years I have been on the Sustainability Committee and last year I chaired the Associates Committee. As chair of the Associates Committee we had a mission to grow this committee and its activities. Now there is a team with strong membership participation. Along with being Secretary I currently am also serving on IFMA’s sustainability committee and am our chapters’ liaison to the Georgia Chapter of the USGBC.
With World Workplace being hosted by the Atlanta Chapter this year, what are some of your personal goals for this conference?
I really hope that our members take this opportunity to participate in the educational experience that WWP has to offer. It is really cost effective this year for our members. I think networking is both a personal and chapter goal of mine. It’s a great opportunity to meet and greet folks in the industry and to learn about market offerings. I expect to see the Atlanta Chapter featured as a leader in the Facility Management arena. With the balanced score card, industry innovations and Peachtree Street dedicated to our patrons there will be this sense of cohesiveness and pride. We will show off our city.
Annette and her husband Ira, live in Roswell with their dog Ali. Annette and Ira have two adult children; Paul who recently graduated from U of CA-Berkeley and now works for Epic Systems in Madison, WI, and Jillian who is a junior at USC in LA. In her free time Annette enjoys traveling, reading, tennis, running and gardening.