May 13, 2010

Date: Thurs May 13, 2010
Time: 9:00-12:00
Location: Hampshire Co. Northampton Senior Center
67 Conz Street,
Northampton, MA 01060

Meeting Agenda: 9:00-Network Business: Logo, Skills Bank, Membership Drive
10:00- EPA Funded Deliverables Updates: Indicators,
Decision Support
Tool, Art of Sustainability
11:00-Formal Networking
11:30-Informal networking & light lunch
12:00- Adjourn


Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network
May 13, 2010 Meeting Minutes #17
Senior Center. Northampton, MA, Hampshire Co.

1. Present/ Formal Networking (9:00-9:30):

Catherine Ratté-PVPC,  working on regional sustainability planning grant-T-HUD federal funding in collaboration with CT regional planning agency and also seeking USDA funding to create a “virtual sustainability concourse” for the region

Sue Bridge- Conway Board of Health and Conway Conserves Energy Committee,

Rose Zdybel- UMass Grad Student, finishing the Green Building Decision support tool and continuing PhD work with Professor Baker

Tom Rossmassler- Energia local energy services company in Holyoke specializing in medium size energy audits and retrofits,

Forrest Bradford- America’s refrigerator list to save our children

Kris B-UMASS LARP student and developer,

Will Szal-Umass student with project to grow food on campus

Rich Roth- Hidden Tech and Earth Thrives

Michael DeChiara- Engage Consulting focusing on policy and community building

Brian Markey-PVPC (as above) and also working on the 11th annual Pioneer Valley Bike Commute week

Eric Weiss-Hilltown Resource Management Cooperative (HRMC), working with Hilltown communities to achieve green communities’ designation

Andrew Glace-Long Island Energy Partners,

Rick Kellart-Amherst freelance sustainability planner,

Lynn Benander- Coop Power. Workingon June 19th Energy Summit at Nuestras Raices farm-and all pvsustain members should participate!!!


2. Green Building Support Tool Final Presentation (9:00-9:30)

Rose Zydbel explained background and development of tool. Rose explained the development process and source of modeling information and underlying equations. See powerpoint on website under initiatives/decision support tool

Comments: and TO DO

– A video and audio track could enhance ease of use for first time users. Rich Roth will investigate how complicated it would be to adds this to the website and report back to network and/or just do it if it’s easy

– need language on the site about MassSave and Co-op Power energy coaches and other resources for helping consumers make decisions… Staff will work on this with Rose

– we need detail on how to update information in the tool. Right now it is based on 2009 data from the US EIA. Rose will write up a “How to update data” piece for the tool and ask Professor Erin Baker if she can commit an Engineering student on an annual basis to take on the task of  updating the modeling information once new data becomes available in January. Rose estimates that 4-8 hours of work is required every year in order to keep the underlying equations accurate and up to date.

– staff launched a news release about the tool for Earth Day, but didn’t get any calls-and will now prepare a new media release since the tool is finished and do a better more targeted media outreach in collaboration with Coordinating Committee

– staff have requested Funding from the EPA to make the tool completely web based rather than just an excel sheet on the web.

– Need language on the site about the limitations of the tool, life cycle analysis, need to act, and information about 3rd party solar because the tool will suggest that solar doesn’t “pay”-have links to Commonwealth solar etc… staff will work on this

– need to share tool with W. MA Green Consortium staff will follow up



3. Update on Sustainability Indicators

Staff have applied for EPA funds to transform sustainability indicators into a Sustainability Assessment tool.  No news yet on request for supplemental funds.

èStaff will finalize baseline year of indicator data and work with Rich Roth to make it easily locatable on website.


4. Vote on New Logo (9:30-9:40)

Of the two options the logo with two arrows representing an “S” was chosen.


Move the tails of the arrows closer together so that they look more like an “S”.

Make letters “PV” adobe colored rather than orange.

Have the words below the logo be green not blue.

Instead of pvsn, make it pvsustain.

5. Update on Skills Bank (9:40-10:15)

Rich presented new format for Skills Bank. See website for example.  The categories of expertise now reflect the 15 areas of sustainability that were selected as indicators.

Comments/TO DO:

è Form is long, have drop down menu for each section, so that the form remains short until you click to expand a section and answer questions.

Consider adding an option of “work for network members only” to existing choices of “speak in public”, speak to professional group”, and “consult, provide technical assistance”, but decided that’s not necessary. Agreed to make the four choices mentioned above as a drop down menu.

è All members are encouraged to complete the skills bank. Once it is a robust list of resources, staff will issue a media release encouraging use of it by the region.

6. Update on Art of Sustainability (10:15-10:20)

Art of Sustainability is in Agawam through end of June. UMASS is considering having it in August-September and it will go to Conway for October.

è contact Catherine Ratté at if you want to host the Table set for forever in your community


7. New meeting Format (10:20-10:50)

Eric presented the new format for each meeting proposed by the Coordinating Committee. This will allow more interaction among members, highlight issues of concern, and keep the meetings running smoothly.

Proposed New Format for pvsustain meetings

Goal:    Provide high value to participants so as to deepen their commitment and build membership in the network so as to increase the network’s capacity to help its members advance sustainability in the region, in alignment with our individual, organizational and collective missions.

Value proposition; we will provide

skill building

critically valuable content: updates on high leverage opportunities and projects, executive briefings on topics of interest

structured and informal networking, especially between unlikely combinations of stakeholders

Length: 2 — 2 1/2 hours

30 minutes: informal networking

30 minutes: structured full and small group Search for Insight/Strategic Questioning (SfI/SQ) on challenges faced by members [We need to decide if only members can be the focus points of such support, or if we offer it to potential members as a recruitment tool.] Other skill-building tools/strategies can be offered AND PRACTICED in this time slot.

15 minutes: Break/informal follow up from SfI/SQ’s, or whatever

20 minutes: report out on key learnings, progress, etc. from prior SfI/SQ participants’ sessions

20 minutes: high leverage opportunities/executive briefings

Five minutes: Plusses and deltas participants complete the following open sentences: “This was a good meeting because…” and “It will be even better next time if…”



Put goals of Network on back of each agenda, to remind new and old members alike.

Allow first time members to use five, instead of one, minute for their introduction.

Two separate 20-30 minute sessions of strategic questioning, where one member gets to explain a particular problem and receive feedback from rest of network.

Add specific time for “Review” of major issue of the day. This could be from a member and in the form of power point. Keep a copy of the presentations on the network.

A separate section of the meeting could be “Policy update” about new or proposed national and state policy, how it relates to sustainability, and potential opportunities and challenges for members.

Still need time for “old news/ minutes: and for “network business”


è Agreed-new meeting format will be:

20-30 minutes:  go around the table and provide brief update less than a minute…except for first time members who get up to 5 minutes!

60 minutes: skill building for members-could be strategic questioning or some other skill a member has to offer to others to enhance their work (should include de-briefing/eval and plan for next meeting)

30 minutes: topic of the day-need a member volunteer to present on topic and/or vote by members to select topic and presenter

15-20 minutes: policy update-need member volunteers or else staff will do

10-15 minutes: old business and new business

8. Membership Drive (10:50-11:00)

Membership committee Will meet at Evolution Café in Northampton on May 17th at 9:00am.

Comments/TO DO:

– Focus on organizations not individuals

A phone campaign is much more successful than an email campaign

Need to focus on who is the ideal member that we want to join but is not yet here.


9. Informal Networking and Lunch (1:00-12:00)

10. Adjourn (12:00)

NEXT Meeting—Second Wednesday bi-monthly rotating around the Valley

July 14th in Franklin County.

Not sure if people want 8-11 including breakfast at the beginning or 9-12 including lunch at the end…





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