Traveling

Wow, it’s been a crazy, fun traveling month for me.  First I went to Sylvan Lake to celebrate Uncle Pete and Aunt Helen Jane’s 40th wedding anniversary.  I love being with family.  It was cool to see Lizzy share hair care tips with Jenny to manage that thick ‘Peters’ hair.

Then it was off to Lousiville for the weekend to celebrate the 4th with Marina’s family.  Lots of Russian going around and we had a birthday party for her nephew Gary at a Japanese grill with lots of knives and flying food.

One and a half days at home and then to SF for a week for Craig’s 40th birthday.  Chrissy came out as well, so all four of us siblings were able to hang out.  One of my favorite parts was being with everyone at Carrie and Andy’s apartment for dinner and commiserating about MJ’s passing.  I loved learning about martial arts with Craig’s Kung Fu Brothers and cross training with Steve.

Another day and half at home being with Lizzy and her little sister Grace.  Nothing I like better than being at home with the kids.  I staffed a leadership training weekend in downtown Detroit with the ManKind Project.  I learned so much about myself, developed some great relationships and helped 14 guys make some big changes in their lives.

The very next day Lizzy and I drove to Virginia to spend a week with Marina.  We’ve been taking it easy for a few days, and we’re planning to visit monuments, museums, IMAX movie, and national parks.

To round out the month, Lizzy and I will be attending the first annual Michigan father-daughter weekend on the 31st.  What a great month.  Somehow I’m still managing to network, improve my resume, and study for my renewable energy class.

Enjoying summer

This Sunday we got lucky with the weather down at Palmer Park for the Green Art Fair.   The shade structure I brought kept us and visitors cool at the US Green Building Council booth.  It was a friendly, family atmosphere, especially for me, as both my parents were there, along with my daughter Lizzy and girlfriend Marina.  Lizzy had fun getting her hands dirty making a seed bomb with the green garden people.  Leo, Dave and Gary all helped out with the ManKind Project booth and we made some good connections.

Today I’m studying for my Renewable Energy class, learning about bioenergy.  For example, if you have access to wood, then a clean wood burning stove is good.  It’s clean because it burns hotter than a regular wood burning stove and emits less.  If it’s made with masonry, then a two hour burn can last all day and night, because the heat is stored in the stone and radiates all day.

Father’s Day

Yesterday, my brother Craig and I took our dad to Fathers Fest.  The gathering took me back to picnics at Windmill Point park when I was younger, where friends and family came together, ate, and everyone ran around and played.

It was fun running and catching the football as my brother threw it over my shoulder or kicked it sky high, and then I watched my dad throw pin point passes to Craig as he ran routes, just like the old days back in ‘59 when he led St. Paul to a winning season (with only a one point loss to the beginning dynasty of St. Ambrose).  Jumping and shouting with excitement as I threw the volleyball over and over to giggling kids was another highlight.  Equally as fulfilling was the ride home where we toured a unbelievably gorgeous house in Palmer Woods (the most beautiful subdivision in Detroit I’ve been to), ate genuine German food while listening to a live pianist at the Dakota Inn, and finally toured a few sights of interest on the way home like the Heidelberg Project and my great-great grandfather’s grave site at the cemetery at Kercheval and Mt. Elliott.  When I arrived home I was treated to a hand decorated card from daughter Lizzy on my pillow.  What a great day.

The Greening of Southie

Yesterday I went to an event downtown at Eastern Market where a group got together to watch a documentary about green building in South Boston called The Greening of Southie.  It was a good introduction to USGBC’s LEED program.  After the movie we all got together in a circle to discuss.  It is so great to be with like minded people and receive the positive encouragement to keep making the right choices to be more sustainable.

Greening the Heartland conference

I loved the conference.  I feel so empowered after listening to David Suzuki speak.  I also feel hopeful about changing the way Detroit is after listening to Jacob Corvidae talk about having smaller, denser areas, connected with mass transit and surrounded by parks, trees, farms, rivers and lakes.  A unique opportunity for Detroit to show the world how to do it, because of it’s smaller population with large area.  Then Doug Farr got me all excited about USGBC’s Neighborhood Development program, where whole communities are planned to be sustainable, which is more longer term than green buildings by themselves.

New Beginnings

My first blog post. This is cool.

When I think back to my first job at Bates Fabricating in 1992, I’m reminded of how exciting and new the field of Program Management felt to me. It was daunting, rewarding, challenging, fun, and exciting all at once.

Today, I’m feeling a renewed professional excitement that I haven’t felt in… well… ever. I’m 17 years more mature and those years have taught me tons about organizing projects, increasing productivity, working with others, taking initiative, and so much more. I’ve got those skills and awarenesses with me now, and on top of that, I’ve found an industry that feels like so much more than a job; it’s more like a calling.

I’m talking about Sustainable Businesses. For the first time I’m realizing that when you find something that you really believe in, the “work” of work suddenly feels different. I love talking to people about it. I love learning about it. It’s easy to picture myself making a big difference with like-minded people.

I’m excited. Welcome to my blog.