The Paladino team continues to grow as we add the best and the brightest to serve our clients. Help us welcome Senior Project Manager Amanda Cunningham, LEEP AP BD+C, who recently joined our Washington, DC office.
Amanda has over 8 years of experience as a LEED program manager. She led complex sustainability initiatives like the LEED Volume program, certifying over 450 retail stores as well as stakeholder engagement efforts like adding a centralized waste and compost collection to corporate offices.
Tell us about your background and the path that led you to Paladino.
While working at Kohl’s Department Stores managing the LEED program, I met Paladino associates at conferences, and was always impressed with their level of expertise. Later, when I was ready for a new challenge, Paladino was the first place I thought of to pursue my next opportunity. I am very excited to join this team!
What sustainability achievement are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud of my work on a corporate waste reduction program. Not only did we reduce waste at the office, it also helped people think more about how they can reduce waste at home – which creates an even bigger impact.
Where do you find inspiration in your work?
Being in nature always reminds me how important it is to protect the environment. During our trip to the Grand Canyon last year, we backpacked to the bottom and camped for two nights before going back to the top. It was great to see that even with so many people visiting, I never once saw any trash left on the ground. Everyone was very respectful of their surroundings.
What role does sustainability play in your life outside of work? What does it mean to you?
I love food! Sustainability shows up a lot in my food choices. At our home in Wisconsin, we never used any chemicals in our yard (the rabbits really enjoyed the dandelions). We also had a compost bin, rain barrel, vegetable garden, fruit trees, and a berry patch. Raspberries are my favorite!
I really enjoy experimenting with new heirloom seeds each year to grow something I have never tried before. My favorite heirloom variety so far has been Paul Robeson tomatoes; they have an excellent flavor and beautiful color. Now that we are living in a big city, I’m excited to try a CSA and farmers market to support local organic farmers.
What do you do in your leisure time?
My husband and I enjoy going outside to bike, hike, canoe and camp. I also like to read… a LOT. I always borrow books from the library, it’s free and more sustainable! I especially loved A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, her story caught my attention within the first few pages, and I couldn’t get enough. I ended up buying that book so I can re-read it whenever I want.
What are three things you can’t live without?
A never ending supply of books, my cast iron pan, and of course, my husband!
You can invite any three people (living or not) to happy hour. Who would they be?
My grandparents who have passed away; I would love to ask them questions I didn’t think to ask as a child. Like what it was like to grow up during the great depression and learn about my great grandparents.
Is there anything more you want to know about Amanda? Ask away in the comments section below, or email her here.