Omaha, Nebraska

(402) 681 - 9458 | info (at) verdisgroup.com

True. Green.

Let's keep this simple; we help organizations make true green decisions. Sustainability is one of the greatest opportunities of our time, and those organizations that take advantage will flourish economically, environmentally and socially. Sustainability is absolutely connected to organizational success and serves as a strategy for gaining a competitive advantage. Our work focuses on helping leading organizations take advantage of the opportunity.


Integrate: We PLAN & IMPLEMENT strategies that help you achieve organizational goals.

Planning

  • Data collection and analysis
  • Benchmark emissions, energy and resource use
  • Greenhouse Gas inventory
  • Clarify the vision
  • Build consensus
  • Identify and prioritize goals and strategies
  • Establish metrics
  • Master plan energy/sustainability elements
  • Workshops
  • Leadership immersion

Implementation

  • Lead sustainability initiatives
  • Manage behavior change campaigns
  • Coordinate stakeholders
  • Ongoing advisory services
  • Employee training
  • Life-cycle analysis
  • Facilitate operational changes
  • External communication strategies
  • Ongoing measurement and reporting
  • Online tools for engagement and tracking

Many of the aforementioned services can be provided independently or as part of a larger project. In other words, if you’re just looking to explore what sustainability means for your organization at a high level, we can rightsize the project to meet your needs.

Sustainable: Long-lasting & targeted

Sustainability is about thinking in long terms, which means more than quarterly profits. Our focus is on long-lasting strategies that are woven into the fabric of the organization. They will help you achieve existing organizational goals rather than creating a whole new set of goals that don’t align with your mission or vision. Our approach is targeted and specific to you and incorporates the always unique aspects of your organization.

Strategies: We explore both STATIC & DYNAMIC opportunities.

Static
These are typically one-time changes to a process, software or infrastructure that produce long-lasting results. The focus is on finding the low-hanging fruit that will produce immediate results with short paybacks and high ROIs. The quick wins build momentum throughout the organization.

Dynamic
Our dynamic strategies engage people in a meaningful and rewarding way so that sustainability becomes part of the organizational culture. We use a bevy of research-supported methods to engrain the sustainability mindset into the organization and move the entire organization forward.

Organizations: All shapes and sizes

First and foremost, we only work with organizations where we are sure we can add value. There must be a clear avenue for us to help and your organization should be poised and ready to move forward. The challenge many experience is how to move forward, which is where we come in. Our approach is a good fit for a range of shapes and sizes. Whether you are large and complex, small and family-owned, or a government entity, two commonalities hold true: there’s a need for sustainability expertise and experience, and a desire to pursue the opportunity.

Flourish: Profits, people, and the planet

Let’s not kid ourselves; profitability is immensely important and is undoubtedly a key focus, but there’s much more to making an organization successful. You’ll start to flourish when you decrease energy and material waste, bolster your reputation, mitigate risks, reduce operational emissions, make raving fans out of your employees and clients, and increase market share. Yes, believe it or not, all of these things can happen as a result of integrating sustainable strategies into your organization’s fabric. Ultimately, it’s about making choices that are good for profits, people, and the planet.

    Case Studies

    Omaha Public Schools

    Omaha Public Schools

    Our work with the state of Nebraska's largest school district (47,000+ students and 7,300+ staff) began in late 2009 when we completed an Energy Action Plan. The Plan's foundation was an ENERGY STAR rating for every school; upon which several energy and resource conservation strategies were built. Opportunities for increased efficiency were identified in several areas, and the Plan specified strategies to save money and improve the district's environmental footprint.

    Once the Plan was completed, the school district asked us to take the lead in implementing many of the strategies contained therein. We have been serving as the District's sustainability coordinator since July 2010 and have established the District's Green Schools Initiative. It's an endeavor that engages not only internal staff and administrators, but also includes students, parents and other community members.

    During the first twelve months we created the infrastructure to support the Initiative longer-term, sought out and implemented specific energy saving opportunities, and assisted the district with a major lighting retrofit, which was the top recommendation from the Energy Action Plan.

    Our work as of late has focused on engaging schools on a one-on-one basis. We have been able to shift policies at a District level and work to implement those changes on the ground. Engagement levels of the district's administrators, faculty, staff, and students are exceeding expectations.

    But the proof is in the pudding. The district's cumulative energy savings over the last 26 months are $2.7 million. Emissions are down dramatically. Landfill waste is at a seven-year low, and local and national awards are starting to stream in. The Omaha Public Schools project has proven to be an excellent marriage of operational efficiencies coupled with organizational engagement.

    To learn more about the project, check out the full case study at right.

    Our work with the Omaha Public Schools has proven to be an excellent marriage of operational efficiencies coupled with organizational engagement. It's been an absolute treat to work with Omaha's youth.

    Craig Moody

    Principal and Project Manager
    Verdis Group

    The Nebraska Medical Center

    The Nebraska Medical Center

    Early in 2010, The Nebraska Medical Center learned that it was paying more per square foot in energy costs than the national average for hospitals; this despite the fact that Omaha's energy prices are among the lowest in the country. The Nebraska Medical Center was consuming far more energy per square foot than their national counterparts and something needed to change.

    Our work began soon thereafter with an ENERGY STAR benchmarking of the entire campus; one of the more complex benchmarking exercises we’ve undertaken with 33 buildings and 4.2 million square feet included. The results clearly showed opportunities for energy efficiency increases were plentiful.


    While completing the benchmark, we began facilitating The Nebraska Medical Center's green team: the Energy Advocates. It was an initiative just getting off the ground, and our effort focused on helping the team identify and prioritize energy-saving activities, creating a communication campaign, and administering a baseline survey. Through our partnership with The Nebraska Medical Center's team of volunteers, we were able to engage folks from across the organization in conserving energy.


    An important element in the organizational engagement process was the use of our Pledge Tool. The Nebraska Medical Center teamed up (competed) with UNMC on an organization-wide pledge to conserve energy and resources. The tasks to which pledgees committed were simple yet impactful. Our online pledge platform provided an easy means by which nearly 5,000 people could participate, and its unique, automated email reminders and public recognition component have ensured that pledgees stick to their commitment.

    Soon after completing the ENERGY STAR benchmarking, The Nebraska Medical Center's executives asked us to develop an Energy and Sustainability Master Plan. Using the Green Guide for Healthcare's Operations Pilot as a foundation, we partnered with Kiewit Building Group to benchmark The Nebraska Medical Center's performance versus the GGHC's LEED-like requirements over a total of 136 credits in categories such as Sustainable Sites, Transportation, Waste Management and Environmental Services.

    The final Energy and Sustainability Master Plan identified organizational energy and sustainability goals, and outlined a three-year strategy for achieving increased efficiency, reducing waste, lowering emissions and saving oodles of money.

    Today we remain actively engaged in leading the Energy Advocates and are partnering with The Nebraska Medical Center on several of the strategies and initiatives that were laid out in the Energy and Sustainability Master Plan.

    To learn more about the project, check out the full case study at right.

    Working with the Verdis team has been a valuable experience for us. Not only have they been a tremendous help in organizing our sustainability initiative, they have helped us lead a change in culture which has been truly amazing. They have been, and continue to be, an outstanding partner.

    Don Futrell

    Executive Director - Facilities
    Management & Planning
    The Nebraska Medical Center

    Verdis helped us achieve a shift in culture that we could never have achieved on our own. Having their expertise on our side was absolutely critical to the success of such a large initiative.

    Brandy Olson

    Manager, Operations/Logistics and Process Improvement
    Perioperative Services
    The Nebraska Medical Center

    University of Nebraska Medical Center

    Omaha Community Foundation

    Our ongoing work with the University of Nebraska Medical Center generally falls into three categories: Organizational Engagement, Sustainability Master Planning, and Project Implementation. This three-fold approach continues to produce excellent results: reducing costs, curbing emissions, and engaging thousands of employees across the campus.

    Our Organizational Engagement approach leverages our extensive knowledge in behavior change and employee engagement. We work closely with UNMC’s green team, LiveGreen, to build a campus of sustainability champions in every department. UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center used our online Pledge Tool to hold a campus-wide pledge to conserve energy and resources. Nearly 5,000 participated, and the tool's unique, automated email reminders and public recognition component ensured follow-through.

    The second element of our work with UNMC is the creation of their first-ever Sustainability Master Plan. There is a very strong connection between sustainability and health, and UNMC’s Plan will help them leverage and build upon this connection. The Plan charts a 10-year course and includes baselines, goals, and strategies in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, campus planning, materials, transportation, dining, and campus engagement.

    Finally, the types of things we explore within the realm of Project Implementation have been quite varied. From mapping out a major

    enhancement to the campus’ recycling process, to developing a request for proposal for waste hauling services; we are able to focus our expertise and resources where they are most needed.

    The University of Nebraska Medical Center, much like all other governmental entities, is stretching for every dollar, and they view our work as an integral part of their quest to conserve energy, save money and minimize their environmental impact.

    To learn more about the project, check out the full case study at right.

    The Verdis team offered invaluable support and guidance as we moved forward with our green efforts. Their methods are backed by research, and they have strong knowledge of how to enact behavior change on a large scale. Thanks to Verdis, we now have an initiative that benefits the environment, saves money, and increases employee satisfaction.

    Melanie Stewart

    Research Resources Manager
    LiveGreen Coordinator
    UNMC

    Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

    Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

    Our work with the state of Nebraska's largest tourist destination began in January 2012. Over the course of the first five months, we created their first ever Sustainability Master Plan, which pinpoints opportunities for increased efficiency across all areas of the Zoo's operations. The Master Plan incorporated input from several sources, including but not limited to: Zoo staff from all levels, best practices at other zoos, surveys of both staff and the public, site visits, and loads and loads of data. We collected and analyzed quite a bit of information and boiled it down to the most relevant opportunities.

    Naturally working with a zoo presents a whole new batch of unique challenges and opportunities to consider that don't necessarily apply to a traditional office setting. After all, we don't recall the last time we saw a giraffe forget to duplex print a TPS Report. The Zoo is preparing for growth, both in attendance and in square feet. Its conservation-based mission presents a great opportunity for us to look for innovative strategies that provide environmental, economic, and community benefits.


    Once the Master Plan wrapped up, we turned our attention to implementation and engagement, which has kept us and our key stakeholders at the Zoo busy. We rolled out the online Pledge Tool, applied for and were awarded grants to ramp up recycling efforts and conduct a composting study, led a lighting retrofit, and helped the Zoo set up a Green Revolving Fund. The results have been great thus far with $130,000 in annual estimated savings and $50,000 in new grants obtained.


    We continue to be involved as the Zoo pushes its way through major implementation efforts. They had many conservation-related successes prior to our partnership; leveraging those to reduce energy and resource consumption is happening successfully. The Zoo is off and running.

    To learn more about the project, check out the full case study at right.

    We wanted to take an organized, well-thought-out approach to improving sustainability, and Verdis fit the bill perfectly. They brought multiple disciplines together to create our plan, implement action steps, and change the way our entire organization thinks on an individual level about the wise use of precious resources.

    Dennis Pate

    Executive Director and CEO
    Henry Doorly Zoo

    Metropolitan Community College

    Sample Case 1

    The state of Nebraska's largest community college, Metropolitan Community College (MCC) has seen their Institute for the Culinary Arts really elevate the community-wide conversation around food. As such, they have taken a particular interest in Omaha's urban agriculture scene and solicited our help in further ascertaining what role it should play moving forward.

    Our first assignment was to facilitate a workshop wherein many of Omaha's movers and shakers in the urban agriculture community, about 40 in all, were asked to think about and build consensus around what Omaha's urban agriculture future holds. It was a fascinating discussion and despite the group's often diverging opinions, they were able to agree upon five guiding principles for the urban agriculture system of tomorrow.



    But the vision and excitement coming out of that meeting needed a champion to carry it forward, and MCC was interested in determining specifically what role it should play in moving forward. As such, we helped MCC gain clarity on its role moving forward by conducting several interviews, conducting research, and completing a stakeholder summary report that succinctly and clearly outlined how several stakeholders felt MCC should proceed.



    Once again, we found ourselves ring-leading a complex situation: meeting with stakeholders, building consensus, supplementing our findings with supporting research, and providing guidance for MCC to move forward. Urban agriculture systems are complex and involve many different parties. On behalf of MCC, we are bringing them all to the table to plant the seed of an urban agriculture system in Omaha. Let's eat!

    Metropolitan Community College is doing great things in the urban agriculture community, and we were particularly excited about helping them really focus their efforts. It's an important step forward for such an important institution.

    Chris Stratman

    Senior Associate & Project Lead
    Verdis Group

    Energy Elements

    Sample Case 2

    Many cities and counties are exploring ways that they can incorporate sustainability into their master plans. The first and most important place to start is by looking at energy and including an Energy Element in the master plan. To date we have worked on two such projects.

    First, Sarpy County. It may be the smallest county in Nebraska, geographically, but it is also the fastest growing in terms

    of population. In the spring of 2011, Sarpy County recognized the potential to save money by reducing energy, and sought a project team to complete an energy element for the county's master plan. Verdis was awarded the contract for this important endeavor, alongside our frequent teammates at Lamp, Rynearson & Associates and Steven Jensen Consulting.


    Our focus on the team was to analyze the county’s energy data and identify strategies by which the county and its citizens could be more energy resilient. Such an approach involved both in-depth number crunching and facilitating a coalition of 30+ stakeholders: a two-fold approach the proved to be highly effective – the team recently won an award for the project from the Nebraska Chapter of the American Planning Association.


    More recently, we partnered with RDG Planning & Design to prepare the energy element of the City of Papillion’s master plan update. The focus for our piece of the work was driven almost exclusively by data. We studied data from both the City operations and the city at-large, and developed a plan that synched up with what RDG was creating. The streamlined approach works well for cities and counties looking to incorporate energy elements into their planning processes.

    To learn more about the Sarpy project, check out the full case study at right.

    Incorporating an energy element into a city or county master plan shows stewardship of taxpayer resources, helps us be more energy independent and secure, and is good for the environment. I expect Sarpy will reap the rewards for many years to come.

    Patrick McAtee

    Senior Associate & Project Lead
    Verdis Group

    Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities

    Omaha Community Foundation

    In November, 2010, Omaha was home to the first of four Conversation Conferences on Nebraska Environment and Sustainability developed and hosted by the Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities. Throughout 2011, three other Conversations Conferences were held in Lincoln, Grand Island, and Scottsbluff, NE. In total, over 450 Nebraska residents from across the state attended these four conferences to discuss sustainable resource use around the five topic areas of energy, food, land, water and materials.

    One of our core values at Verdis is continuous improvement to stay on the leading edge of sustainable thought and practice. So when Daniel Lawse was invited to serve as the Statewide Resource Coordinator for the energy topic, he was honored to accept, given his extensive knowledge around energy issues and solutions. It offered him not only an opportunity to travel across our great state listening to Nebraskans discuss energy in their community, but a chance to share his thoughts on how Nebraska communities can prepare for a more secure energy future.



    In this role he attended all four conferences to facilitate and stimulate day-long conversations around energy with groups ranging from 15 to 40 Nebraskans. In addition, Daniel served as a consistent voice from one city to the next and as a resource for conference attendees if they had questions about energy issues between conferences. After the last Conversations Conference, he wrote a final summary report, portions of which were published in the statewide newspaper Prairie Fire.



    As a result of these conferences, Nebraskans now have a better understanding of the state of our sustainability challenges and opportunities. These conversations have empowered attendees with new knowledge and connections to make positive changes in their own community--from something as simple as talking with their neighbor about saving energy to more comprehensive changes such as finding ways their business can be more energy efficient or creating local and state policies to help their communities flourish.

    We were extremely pleased to have the opportunity to hear so many Nebraskans who are aware of energy opportunities in their community. I witnessed first-hand the resourcefulness and creative problem solving of Nebraskans. Every conversation was filled with hope for a better energy future in the state.

    Daniel Lawse

    Principal
    Verdis Group

    Omaha Community Center for Sustainability

    Omaha Community Foundation

    One of Omaha's newest nonprofits, the Omaha Community Center for Sustainability (OCCS) is a catalyst for change in the Omaha community towards a more sustainable future. To that end, the OCCS promotes a more environmentally sustainable way of life by transforming attitudes and decision-making among consumer, business, civic, and political communities.

    We have been involved in the development and subsequent activities of the OCCS in three primary ways. First, in early 2010 we completed a major gap & compatibility analysis that painted a broad picture of the green landscape in Omaha. It also identified several national and international models for other similar centers.


    Second, we partnered with HR&A Advisors of New York and Lamp, Rynearson & Associates of Omaha to complete an in-depth strategic plan for the OCCS. Our primary focus was drilling down deeper on a few of the sustainability center models we identified previously with a particular eye on the details of their physical and organizational development.

    Finally, we worked with the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the Peter Kiewit Institute to prepare a strategic plan and subsequent University of Nebraska Board of Regents proposal to create an


    Urban Sustainability Center within the University. We sifted through information and insight obtained over the course of several dozen interviews and hours of research to zero in on the Center's unique and compelling value position. The Center was approved in late 2012.

    All three efforts required in-depth research, conversations with hundreds of current and potential stakeholders, consensus building, and ideating paths forward for multiple organizations. Quite simply, we're ring-leading a complex project. And we're good at it.

    Verdis has been instrumental in the conception and development of the Center for Sustainability at the University of Nebraska. Without their involvement this project would still be at the starting gate.

    Fred Amis

    Chairman
    Omaha Community Center for Sustainability

    The Triple Bottom Line

    sustainability strategy

    The cornerstone of our work and the foundation of every good sustainability initiative is an energy and sustainability master plan. Our catered, comprehensive and collaborative approach generates a road map of strategies that will align sustainability with your organizational mission and goals.


    1. Establish a Baseline.

      The process begins with the collection and analysis of several different datasets in order to establish important benchmarks. We help you identify where you stand today, determine what your core environmental and social impacts are, benchmark your resource consumption patterns and greenhouse gas emissions, and establish the foundation upon which to build your plan and measure future progress.

    2. Organizational Alignment.

      We work with people throughout your organization to synch energy and sustainability benchmarks with the broader, overarching organizational mission and goals. Sustainability is best viewed as a strategy by which an organization can achieve its full potential. Every organization is different with distinctive sets of values and aspirations, and aligning it all is critical.

    3. The Master Plan.

      With the foundation built, we engage key stakeholders in developing and prioritizing the goals and strategies of the Sustainability Master Plan. The completed Plan is thorough yet succinct and includes all the right elements to help you take advantage of the sustainability opportunities most applicable to your organization. It’s a road map that will tell you where you’re going and how to get there.


    4. Engage & Implement.

      Creating a path forward via the Master Plan is an important outcome, but a good plan doesn’t truly result in any tangible results; it must be rolled out and implemented. We use research-supported strategies to engage the entire organization and build a culture that unabashedly adopts sustainability as a key strategy, and we help you get busy implementing all the strategies outlined in the Master Plan.

    5. Measure & Re-evaluate.

      As part of the master planning process, we develop tools that make it easy to track your progress. It’s important to regularly and frequently take stock of what has been accomplished and where you’re headed next. As we learn together, we can consider revisions to the path forward in light of the information at hand. Things can change, and we’ll help you be resilient and adaptable.

    6. Talk it Up.

      Once you've taken a great leap forward and have successes to tout, it's time to shout it from the rooftops. We will help you cater your message to your target audience. Whether they are customers, citizens, students, or attendees, the steps you've taken will make them more loyal to your organization.


    Other Stuff.

    Every organization seems to occasionally have an issue or two arise that require some in-depth analysis. When it comes to sustainability, we can help make the research and analysis more accurate, efficient, and complete.

    We understand that not every organization has either the capacity or the aspirations to line the rooftop with solar panels. That’s why we align all of our work with your organization’s current mission and goals and cater the sustainability strategies accordingly, in essence helping you find the shade of green that best suits your organization.

    Current Thinking

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    We are now accepting applications for our 2014 summer internship program. Interested candidates should submit all necessary materials to me by April 18. This 2014 Summer Internship Overview provides all the details, including application material requirements, compensation, and the hiring timeline. We work really hard to find projects that align with the successful candidate’s strengths [...] Read More »

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    TINSTAFP In high school economics I learned that There-is-no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch (TINSTAAFL)—basically that I can’t get something for nothing. Somewhere, someone pays for what I get for free. This brings me to TINSTAFP: There-is-no-such-thing-as-free-parking. But I bet most people probably think there is free parking all around them, especially in Omaha. How many times a week do [...] Read More »

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    We dropped our tent in Alley Poyner Machietto's CO-LAB, a place where their Creative Collaborators call home. It's an open-office environment, which has come under some scrutiny as of late. But I can think of no better place for the Verdis HQ. Read More »

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    Now more than ever the sustainability profession is talking about the importance of each individual’s choices – that is, their behavior. There are currently gaps in the industry around how to effectively create a culture of sustainability among an organization’s faculty, students, and staff. People are hungry for this information. Read More »

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    It’s budget season for the City of Omaha, and the 2014 budget for the Planning Department excludes funding for the City’s Office of Sustainable Development, also known as ECO-Omaha. It’s a short-sighted move, to say the least, and we’re incredibly disappointed. First, a little history. ECO-Omaha was formed in 2009 with a grant from the Department [...] Read More »

    Craig Moody

    Craig is responsible for the firm's day-to-day operations. He brings a wide breadth of experience and an ability to keep the firm's projects on-time and on-budget. Verdis’ flat organizational structure means that Craig is intimately involved in all of the firm’s projects. He is uniquely qualified to help organizations make decisions that are good not only environmentally, but economically, and his facility manager experience means he knows the ins and outs of running a healthy, resource-efficient building.

    Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities with Verdis, he is on the board of the Green Omaha Coalition and chairs the Green Education Council. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Omaha Business Ethics Alliance, is on the City of Omaha Urban Design Review Board, and is a member of the University of Nebraska’s Presidents Advisory Council.

    Craig was named to the 2009 Omaha Jaycees' list of Ten Outstanding Young Omahans and was honored by the Midlands Business Journal as one of their 2010 class 40 Under 40 recipients. He attended the University of South Dakota where he obtained his Masters in Business Administration. Craig’s Gallup Strengths are Harmony, Relator, Responsibility, Achiever, and Arranger.

    craig@verdisgroup.com | 402.681.9458

    Daniel Lawse, Principal

    Daniel has amassed an exceptional range of sustainability expertise and experience. As Verdis’ Chief Century Thinker (CCT), Daniel brings his passion to cultivate adaptive and resilient solutions for communities and organizations to flourish now and for generations to come. He brings a depth of sustainability experience rarely seen in the Midwest with over ten years of experience creating sustainable solutions that have helped numerous organizations thrive.

    Daniel’s ability to think holistically is key to guiding clients toward a more sustainable future, which has been important for both institutional organizations and communities and municipalities. He has developed community energy plans for several Nebraska communities, including Sarpy County, Nebraska's Loop Basin region, and Omaha’s Morton Meadows Neighborhood.

    Daniel was formerly the Assistant Director of Campus Planning and Sustainability for Metropolitan Community College, Nebraska's largest community college. His involvement in community-wide efforts is exemplary. He serves on the Omaha by Design Environmental Element Implementation Team, the Midlands Sustainability Council, and Creighton University’s Energy Technology Program Board. Daniel was recently recognized with MAPA's 2012 Regional Citizenship Award and is one of the Omaha Jaycees' 2010 Ten Outstanding Young Omahans. He is also on the board of the Omaha Metro Transit Authority and was recently recognized nationally as an Aspen Environment Forum Scholar.

    Daniel holds a Masters of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, with an emphasis in Energy and Sustainability Planning, and a BA in Theology from Creighton University. Daniel’s Gallup Strengths are Connectedness, Strategic, Belief, Communication, and Achiever.

    daniel@verdisgroup.com | 402.547.8372

    Chris Stratman, Senior Associate

    Chris has a keen understanding of the human side of environmental stewardship and business, and has specialized in the cognitive and behavioral elements of sustainability. He is well versed in social marketing and environmental communication. With this knowledge and a diverse skill set, Chris helps clients develop strategies to engage employees on the topic of sustainability and facilitate sustainable change related to energy and resource conservation. When it comes to behavior-based conservation strategies, there is no one better.

    Chris has been the project lead on the firm’s University of Nebraska Medical Center and The Nebraska Medical Center projects and has also been heavily involved with the Omaha Public Schools, Kearney Public Schools, and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium projects.

    He previously worked for the City of Omaha as an assistant program coordinator for the Omaha/Lincoln reEnergize Program, a residential and commercial energy-efficiency program. Chris has also held positions throughout the U.S. and overseas (Chile, Japan, Spain and Venezuela), where he amassed a wealth of experience in sustainability, marketing, and environmental education.

    Chris earned a Masters in Natural Resources & Environment with a concentration in Environmental Psychology and Conservation Behavior from the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan. Chris’ Gallup Strengths are Analytical, Individualization, Harmony, Achievement, and Responsibility.

    chris@verdisgroup.com | 402.213.9206

    Kay Carne, Senior Associate

    Kay possesses a dynamic background of business experience and sustainability expertise; both of which support her talent for connecting sustainability strategies with the economics of implementing such tactics. Kay is skilled at identifying, analyzing, and aiding the implementation of strategies that both improve our natural environment and save organizations money. She strives to make sustainability programs financially sustainable.

    Kay earned a Master of Science with a focus on Sustainable Systems and Environmental Policy from University of Michigan’s nationally recognized School of Natural Resources and Environment. This degree provides her with expertise in systems analysis techniques, environmental policy, renewable energy, green construction, and skills in negotiation and dispute resolution.

    Kay’s recent studies build upon and leverage her prior work and studies in the business world. She was an accounting consultant for more than a decade at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, and she holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University, where she majored in Accounting and minored in Economics.

    Recently returning to Omaha, Kay was on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Flatwater Chapter of U.S. Green Building Council. She was also an active member of the LEED Regionalization Committee that worked to define the regional credits for LEED 2012. Kay’s Gallup Strengths are Achiever, Deliberative, Relator, Command, and Learner.

    kay@verdisgroup.com | 917.655.3361

    Sally Hopley, Sustainability Analyst

    Sally joined the Verdis team in February 2013. She recently earned her Executive Masters in Natural Resources from Virginia Polytechnic in May of 2012, which followed her undergraduate studies in International Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Her coursework at Virginia Tech covered a wide range of sustainability-related issues, including conservation, food security, partnerships, leadership, resource management, energy efficiency, and strategic planning.

    Most notably while at Virginia Tech, Sally was part of a group of students that developed a sustainability action plan for a top boutique hotel in Dali, China; an experience that included working collaboratively at the international level to devise the most relevant strategies for a more sustainable operation. Her travels to China have already proven valuable to Verdis’ work.

    Sally is handling major components of the firm’s work, exploring broad-scale composting possibilities at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, leading Earth Week efforts at the Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC, organizing a waste audit at seven Omaha Public School high schools, and managing significant amounts of data for Kearney Public Schools and Omaha Public Schools. She is a member of the Green Omaha Coalition and Habitat for Humanity. Sally’s Gallup Strengths are Adaptability, Harmony, Input, Relator, and Arranger.

    sally@verdisgroup.com | 608.577.0553

    Brent Ribble, Associate

    Brent joined the Verdis team in October 2013. He earned a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, which followed his Bachelor of Science from The Ohio State University where he majored in Biology with an emphasis in Evolution, Ecology, & Organismal Biology.

    During his professional master’s program at Duke University, Brent’s concentration was Ecosystem Science & Conservation. His master’s research focused on sustainability literacy in higher education, and he sat on the education subcommittee of the Duke University Campus Sustainability Committee. Prior to attending Duke, he worked as a biology instructor at Ohio State. He has also worked for several ecology and conservation research teams at Duke and at Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, DC. Throughout, he has specialized in communication and engagement to improve the ways in which individuals and organizations understand and interact with environmental issues.

    Since joining the Verdis team, Brent has been heavily involved in planning and implementing engagement efforts for Omaha Public Schools. He has also been responsible for collecting and analyzing all information related to the Beatrice State Developmental Center project, and has taken responsibility for all data analysis and reporting for the University of Nebraska Medical Center and The Nebraska Medical Center. Brent’s Gallup Strengths are Strategic, Learner, Individualization, Achiever, and Ideation.

    brent@verdisgroup.com | 740.503.9864

    We would like to hear from you.
    402.681.9458