Season’s Greetings from Team Verdis! 2014 Year in Review
I find it helpful to regularly take time to reflect on the path that has led me to where I am now. Today is one of those days when I look outside at the leafless trees. Even though they appear dead, I know their roots are throbbing with life as they store and process the energy and stories of this past year—all in preparation for bursting forth new life in spring.
As I reflect on where Verdis has been in 2014, I see a year of abundance:
- Abundant positive impacts from our clients’ conscious actions
- An abundance of support and recognition from you, our community
- Abundant joy and creativity as we invest in and develop our team
Just as we care deeply for our team, we care deeply for our clients. From our vantage point, we see first-hand the results of our clients’ intention to flourish in ways that also help Omaha’s people, environment, and economy thrive. Here are just a few of the many highlights from 2014:
- Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium achieved its 10% energy reduction goal a full year before its 2015 target date.
- The University of Nebraska at Omaha completed its first-ever Sustainability Master Plan.
- Omaha Public Schools has incorporated energy efficiency upgrades into the school bond issue passed in November and has saved roughly four million dollars in energy costs over the past four years. Additionally, OPS has surpassed its district-wide recycling goal by more than doubling the amount of materials recycled.
- The newly rebranded Nebraska Medicine and the University of Nebraska Medical Center established an Office of Sustainability in 2014 and just officially launched an integrated Sustainability Master Plan for both organizations.
- Kearney Public Schools is seeing students, faculty, and staff create a culture of sustainability at the grass-roots level through its first-ever Green Schools Challenge and at the grass-tops level through establishment of a Board of Education Sustainability Statement.
- Beatrice State Developmental Center is wrapping up its first-ever Sustainability Master Plan.
As these community leaders better steward their resources, they focus their energy and resources on more fully living their core missions, setting a great example for their communities.
Abundance of Support and Recognition
We do not do our work in a vacuum. We are part of several larger ecosystems called Omaha, Nebraska, the Midwest, and earth, just to name a few. We recognize we are supported by these interdependent systems, and we see our job as paying attention to the needs present in these systems and responding to them from our strengths. Abundance naturally comes when we live in this sweet spot of listening to the world’s needs and using our strengths to create a flourishing community.
The community noticed the abundant impacts of the partnership between Verdis and our clients. This year, with great gratitude and humility, we received the following recognition for the hard work of our clients and Team Verdis.
- Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s December Small Business of the Month. This award recognizes Greater Omaha’s exceptional small businesses that excel in business excellence and demonstrate vision, community engagement, and entrepreneurial spirit.
- WasteCap Nebraska’s 2014 Service Provider of the Year. This award is presented to a service provider that delivers exemplary and innovative sustainable business services and applies the highest possible standards for responsible resource management.
This recognition is just the tip of the iceberg of the support we receive daily from mentors, community members, friends, and family that help us succeed in living our purpose each day. Thank you to each one of you who has helped us get to where we are on our journey. We couldn’t have done it without you.
As a small firm, celebrating our 5th birthday this past year, we know how important it is to develop and grow ourselves. We strive to create a culture where we can flourish and provide the best possible service to our clients to help them thrive.
- Craig is participating in the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Omaha Class 37 where he is honing his leadership skills, gaining a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of the city of Omaha as an interdependent system, and meeting exceptional people who choose Omaha as their home.
- Newest member of our team! Janie Moody, born just last month, is the newest member of the Moody Clan and therefore Verdis’ youngest team member. Janie gives all of us new perspective as we watch her see the world with brand new eyes and is one more person who will inherit the world we leave her.
- I, Daniel continue to dive further into Biomimicry, the conscious emulation of life’s genius, to apply nature’s lessons of flourishing to our clients. I have also been integrating sustainability with leadership development to help individuals and organizations become more mindful in their use of energy and other resources. I continue to grow in my leadership and facilitation skills by facilitating leadership trainings in Washington, DC, Iowa, and right here in Omaha, along with attending trainings in Green Bay, WI and Iowa.
- Chris is further refining his intimate knowledge of how humans impact and are impacted by their physical and social environment by immersing himself in behavior change and engagement research findings from top journals and webinars.
- Kay is staying current on climate change science and its impacts through research from the global perspective of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, such as the 2014 release of its Fifth Assessment Report, down to local implications as highlighted in the University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s Climate Change Implications for Nebraska Report. She has also kept tabs on the worldwide climate movement culminating in a historic moment with the People’s Climate March in September.
- Brent is digging deeper into the intricacies of sustainability in higher education and travelled to Portland in October for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s national conference. At the conference, he learned about many universities’ innovative sustainability programs and how their lessons-learned apply to our current and future clients. He also met peers and potential partners from all corners of the country.
- Sally was part of the inaugural Citizens’ Academy for Omaha’s Future where she learned some of the inner workings of city government and took a closer look at how to improve pedestrian flow and safety at one of Omaha’s most confusing intersections—Saddle Creek Rd. and Cuming St. She is also immersing herself in the local community through the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Young Professional events such as the Young Professionals Summit.
Looking to Spring
With winter just beginning, we will savor this season of winter as we continue to create meaningful change while simultaneously energizing our root system so we can extend our branches even higher next year. With our deep care for our clients, community, team, and world, and the unending support from the community, I can’t wait to see what will come alive in 2015 to build on the energy and developments of 2014!
But, before we jump too far ahead and get to spring, we want to wish you Happy Holidays & a Flourishing New Year from Team Verdis!