Feb. 18, 2015
By Carrie Schweitzer and Phillip Shinoda
Georgeann Moss' title at the Dallas County Communiy College District is director of internet publishing. However, her influence on sustainablity of the District is profound. She is an example of how to make a difference to institutions and the community through career choice and commitment to sustainablity. Beyond her formal title, she is chair of the DCCCD Sustainability Team, a group of employees across the District who work to advance sustainability at the colleges and in their communities. In this role, she has raised awareness of sustainability issues that impact DCCCD operations, teaching and learning and community outreach.
Prior to joining DCCCD she previously worked as an information specialist and conservation educator at Dallas Water Utilities. While working for Dallas Water Utilities she founded the annual Xeriscape (now called Waterwise) contest and tour of homes in 1994, which is still in existence today. She made hundreds of presentations on water conservation to audiences of all ages and backgrounds during her tenure at Dallas Water Utilities (1989-1997). She also marketed and managed the youth education conservation education programs for Dallas Water Utilities (which won two awards and reached 25,000 students in five years). Georgeann worked with a coalition of grassroots volunteers, Sandy Cook and Dallas County to establish the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center. She also served on the Our Planet Dallas Planning Committee (25th anniversary celebration of Earth Day) in 1994.
In addition, she served on the Sustainable Dallas Conference Planning Committee from 2000-2003. The Sustainable Dallas Planning committee, co-chaired by Margie Haley, Tom Kemper and Gary Olp, was responsible for putting Texas Instruments in touch with Amory Lovins, the person who helped TI envision and plan the world’s first sustainable chip-making facility. It is the same group that was responsible for bringing in key sustainability experts from the state and nation to work with Dallas City Council members and key executives to deepen their understanding of the need for the city to engage in sustainable operations. After that workshop, the leadership team made a commitment to protect the environment for future generations and thecity of Dallas become a sustainability leader in the nation. She received the Award of Honor from Sustainable Dallas in 2003.
"Georgeann Elliot Moss has provided outstanding leadership for decades in promoting the conservation of our natural resources and positive, profitable solutions to our environmental challenges," said Margie Haley, Green Source DFW's 2014 lifetime achievement award winner. "Her professional skills have helped the adoption of sustainable policies at numerous civic levels."
Moss has worked within the DCCCD to reduce the organization’s environmental footprint. In consultation with the Purchasing Department, she crafted a statement of commitment to sustainability and compliance that addresses the shared responsibility of our vendors to protect the environment and follow environmental laws and guidelines. The statement also indicates our desire to purchase environmentally preferable products and provides a list of examples of such products. An ex-officio member of the DCCCD Energy Management Team, she has worked with Facilities Services to adopt standardized reporting forms to record energy use at all locations in an effort to conserve energy. Thanks to Moss, last summer the DCCCD was assigned a grant-funded Environmental Defense Fund fellow who conducted a District-wide energy audit and analysis that can reduce use and cut costs.
Moss has been at the forefront of developing excellent learning opportunities for the Dallas community. She was instrumental in securing the DCCCD as the host institution of the Sustainable Dallas conferences in 2000-2003. In 2011, as co-chair of the DCCCD Green Team, she launched the DCCCD Sustainability Summit that will celebrate its fifth anniversary April 2. The annual free conference now reaches more than 400 students, educators and community attendees and provides a broad range of sustainability programming. Georgeann also led the development of the DCCCD Clean Economy Series, a partnership with the Carbon Economy Series of Santa Fe, NM, that has offered diverse, affordable learning experiences with national sustainability leaders at DCCCD locations since 2012. She seeks creative partnerships within the college district and the community to make these presentations widely available to audiences across North Texas.
Throughout her career, Moss has worked to raise awareness of sustainability issues. The effects of her steady, committed leadership are rippling through the Dallas County Community College District, raising the awareness of its workforce at every level (Now four of the seven colleges employ full-time sustainability coordinators!), reshaping its internal processes and procedures and impacting curriculum and student life. The ripples continue to spread in unmeasurable ways into the broad community. Moss is an important non-profit leader who deserves the recognition of the North Texas sustainability community.
Moss leads from the heart. She is authentic, compassionate, optimistic, creative and kind. She is a relationship-builder and a reliable collaborator. She is a clear communicator and a great listener who describes herself as 'true green.' An experienced gardener with a LEED Green Associate credential who lives in a green energy efficient home, she is broadly knowledgeable across the sustainability spectrum. In spite of her expertise, she warmly invites others to join the journey and to take action. She is a gentle, yet persistent agent of change whose leadership has had undeniable impact within the DCCCD and the Dallas community.
Moss lives sustainability. The Moss family built the first “green” house in Sunnyvale, Texas. Her husband, King, her son Ryan and Georgeann all drive hybrid vehicles. For his senior project, Ryan and his friend Devin, established a much-needed recycling program at Sunnyvale High School. And Ryan is studying Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University. Georgeann serves as president of the Sunnyvale Garden Club, which just donated the funding for a wildflower conservation garden for Sunnyvale ISD and will help teach residents about what can be recycled at a Recycling Roundup this spring.
The 4th Annual Green Source DFW Sustainable Leadership Awards will be held March 11 at 5:30pm at the Dallas Center for Architecture. To Attend Click Here.
Carrie Schweitzer is the Brookhaven College Sustainability Program Director. Phillip Shinoda is the Project Manager for Green Source DFW. Contact him at Phillip@GreenSourceDFW.org.
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