March 2, 2011

Pioneer Valley Sustainability Network
Meeting #21 Minutes

Westhampton Public Library
March 2nd, 2011. 9:00am-12:00pm


PVSN is a broad-based network of organizations and individuals who are dedicated to creating a just and sustainable future for the Pioneer Valley region.  Our members include a broad community of sustainability activists and professionals working together to create a flexible and effective regional model for actively advancing sustainability in the Pioneer Valley, which can be applied in other regions of the country.

Our mission is to strengthen our members’ ability to pursue sustainability and environmental equity effectively by: -information and idea exchange -collaborative approaches to problem solving and visionary thinking – giving members the tools they need to integrate sustainable practices and scientific information into both regional and community decision-making.


9:00-9:30 Formal Networking

Bryson Saez- Energia
Joanne Sunshower-Valley Time Trade

Denise Caputo- Tutor
Rich Roth- Earth thrives
Brian Markey- PVPC staff of pvSustain
Eric Weiss- HRMC
Sabine Prather- Planner and Blogger
Andrew Glaze- Long Island Energy Partners
Kirsten Bonanza- Business consultant and Life Coach
Catherine Ratte-PVPC staff of PVSustain
Rick Keller-Sustainability activist in Amherst

9:30-10:30 Skill Building

An educational session on linking your Core Values to your Mission was led By Kirsten Bonanza. Good resource for more information can be found at or Kirsten explained to the group ways that our language can impact how we are perceived by others. One important process that Kirsten encourages those she consults with to participate in is reviewing their mission to see if the work they are doing actually matches their mission. Your Core Values, that guide you life, should be evident in your work.

Participants split into two groups to collaborate on a role playing exercise. The goal was to show that when speaking to potential employers or collaborators it is often better to use a personal approach where you tell a story rather than take a business approach were you list your resume orally. One group acted as a pvSustain member who wished to attract more members and another group acted as a homemaker who wished to become a tutor. Each group used personal stories, rather than a more formal interaction to attract the other.

Potential future skill building session leaders are encouraged to talk with Eric, Catherine, or Brian.

10:30 – 10:35 Location

Eric noted the many impressive energy efficient features, reused material, fundraising history, and development process of the Westhampton Library. It was noted that this would be a good newsletter article. Eric will follow up with Brian

10:35-11:00 Current Sustainable Topic

Regional Sustainability Plan

Brian Markey explained the THUD grant for Regional Sustainability Plan. The grant is funded by Housing and Urban Development, and Environmental Protection Agency. PVPC is working in collaboration with the Capitol Region Council of Governments in Hartford CT. Brian noted that the grant will be for planning and implementation. Several

Working groups will be fully formed and taking on real projects after the grant has been completed. The grant will be used to create a regional sustainability plan that integrates housing, water quality, climate action, transportation, environmental and food issues into a unified document.

Members asked if the grant scope of work could be added to the pvSustain website. Brian will follow up with Rich.

10:35-11:00 Current Sustainable Topic

Mass Clean Energy Plan

Brian noted that the Massachusetts Clean Energy Plan has been released and that it seeks to reduce energy costs increase economic growth, and improve air quality. The plan notes ways to reduce energy use by increasing efficiency in buildings, transportation and lowering emissions in transportation through new policies.

Many members asked to see a copy of the plan. Brian agreed to forward the plan to Rich to be added to the website.

11:00-11:30 Network Business

Next Meeting

Next meeting date is tentatively set for May 11th in Franklin County. Several potential locations were noted. Members with ideas of locations will follow up with Eric.

Skills Bank

Andrew Glaze noted a big draw for him becoming a member was being able to reach potential customers. He intends to sign up on the Skills Bank page of the Website. Members want it to be the resource for all those seeking individuals with sustainable skills and knowledge in the Pioneer Valley. Members were encouraged to complete their skills bank inventory.


Art of Sustainability

The installation has not yet been to many of the town in the Pioneer Valley. Eric Weiss will check to see if the Westhampton Library would like to host it. Joanne noted that the list of communities where the art has been hosted should be online. Brian agreed to provide Rich with a list of communities. All members present were tasked by Eric to think of at least on location where they would like it. Please contact Brian Markey if you want to host.

Skill Building

Potential future skill building session leaders are encouraged to talk with Eric, Catherine, or Brian. Kirsten noted that she knew Dan Lieberman a local expert in Social Media use. Other members present noted they would like to know more about how to best use social media to attract and communicate with potential customers. Kirsten will follow up with Dan.

11:30-12:00 Informal networking and snacks


12:00 Adjourn

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