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Green Building News

Green Building Council CEO to Step Down

After a dozen years at the helm, Rick Fedrizzi announces he will leave his post by the end of next year

Rick Fedrizzi
Image Credit: USGBC

Rick Fedrizzi, one of three co-founders of the U.S. Green Building Council, says he will step down as the non-profit’s CEO at the end of next year.

Fedrizzi, 60, has run the organization since 2003, three years after the USGBC launched its Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program. LEED has since become the most recognized green-building rating program in the country.

Asked why Fedrizzi was leaving the organization, Taryn Holowka, senior vice president for marketing, communications and advocacy at USGBC, said by email, “Rick has been with USGCB for about 12 years. He feels the organization has reached a point in its maturity and he is comfortable making this decision. He also plans to continue to contribute to the ongoing trajectory of the green building movement as a volunteer.”

Holowka said Fedrizzi, who was paid $1.3 million in 2013, doesn’t have any specific plans after his tenure ends, other than to “join the boards of companies that could use his knowledge of green building practices.”

The announcement comes a full year and a half in advance. The USGBC board has created a search committee to look for a replacement.

“The goal is to complete the process in a timely way so that Rick has sufficient time to work with that individual to [ensure] a smooth transition and continuity of leadership,” she said, adding the board does not foresee a change in direction once Fedrizzi leaves.

Growth brought healthy finances

An article posted at Syracuse.com said Fedrizzi founded the USGBC in 1993 with two others, real estate developer David Gottfried and Michael Italiano, an environmental attorney. Their goal was to promote sustainability in the construction industry.

Since the council established the LEED program, it has certified some 30,000 buildings around the world and now has 76 chapters and revenues of more than $74 million. The council was awarded the Champion of the Earth award by the United Nations last year, but LEED also has picked up its share of criticism.

Fedrizzi graduated from LeMoyne College in 1976 with an accounting degree and joined the Carrier Corp. He was named director of environmental marketing in 1992, Syracuse.com said, where he had the job of marketing the environmental benefits of Carrier products.

He was laid off by Carrier in 2000, and after helping to found USGBC worked there was a volunteer for 10 years before being named CEO.

He now heads a staff of 260 people and travels extensively to talk about green building practices.

“We’re becoming an international brand,” he told Syracuse.com.

2 Comments

  1. User avater GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    A salary of $1.3 million?
    $1.3 million per year is $25,000 per week. You'd think a nonprofit organization devoted to green building would be able to find someone to do the job for -- oh, I don't know, maybe $10,000 a week.

  2. DAN VANDERMOLEN | | #2

    LEED for the rich by the rich
    This whole idea of non for profit needs to be addressed. This just strengthens my bias that LEED is just a scam. Great article to send to our Congressional reps to point out the need to do something about this non for profit abuse.

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