We’re pleased to introduce the latest member of our team. A strong communicator and sustainability analyst, Kelly will support clients and projects across the country and around the globe. Learn about Kelly’s background, vision for the industry, and path to Paladino.
Tell us about your background and what led you to Paladino.
I graduated with a BS in environmental studies from Santa Clara University. In college, I loved the wide array of classes I got to take on topics like renewable resources, environmental technology, and even a whole class just on garbage and waste! I realized I loved learning and working with all parts of the sustainability field. Once I experienced working within the green building industry, I knew it was the place for me. During my recent job search, Paladino hit everything I was looking for and more. I could not be more excited to be here!
Where do you find inspiration in your work?
I credit my hometown of Redondo Beach as my inspiration for joining this field. I grew up a mile from the beach, so I was always either playing on the beach or in the ocean. Participating in beach clean-ups and volunteering for a local environmental non-profit made me very aware of the positive impact we can have on our planet. The beach will always be my happy place, and I love knowing that through my work, I am helping in some way protect it for the future.
What direction do you think green building is headed? Where do you see the industry in ten years?
I think green building will continue to trend upward from here – with not only the number of LEED certified buildings, but also the scale and detailed design of them. In addition, I think the newly developed WELL building standard will be more prominent in the industry. I think the creation of a standard solely dedicated to our mental and physical health within the workplace really shows that we are moving into a new era of sustainability. One that looks further at bridging the gap between the human and natural environment so there can be a beneficial relationship between the two.
I am also very interested in biophilia and biophilic design. I’m sure more buildings will begin to use this design method, and I expect to see future neighborhood and city development implement the approach as well. It appears biophilic design is gaining importance because of preferences from mine and younger generations. Just as there was pressure to make more sustainable building industry changes among GenX and Baby Boomers, there will be increased pressure to incorporate more sustainable design within new developing neighborhoods from millennials and digital natives.
What role does sustainability play in your life outside work? What does it mean to you?
The area in my personal life where sustainability plays a huge role is consumption. As I mentioned, I took a class in college on waste and the issues within our consumption habits, and it hit me hard. Since then, I have been trying to reduce the amount of waste I generate and at least be aware of areas where I can make positive changes. I’d like to think I’m pretty good about never buying plastic water bottles or bags, and I recently got reusable cups for coffee and smoothies on the go. My next biggest feats are remembering to say “no straw” when I’m out grabbing a drink and packing my lunch and salads in Tupperware instead of single-use to-go containers.
What is one positive impact you feel sustainability will support in the world?
The overall concept of sustainability makes us all more aware of the impact we have on our environment, which then drives our personal choices. The increased scale of these choices drives huge changes in markets and industries, which is exactly what we need! I love seeing that Fortune 500 companies are making changes at high levels to become more sustainable. While it may be a slow process, every little bit counts.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I love being outside! Whether that’s taking a walk, hiking, playing a sport, or just sitting on the grass. Running is a huge passion of mine, as I competed in college, and I’m looking to sign up for my 4th half marathon soon. I love the beach and surfing, so I’m excited to get out to the beach this summer and see how the east coast waves are. You’ll also usually find me watching sports, especially in the fall when football comes back.
What are three things you can’t live without?
My family and friends, the beach, and Mexican food.
What are you most proud of?
At the moment, I’m proud that I moved to the other side of the country to do a job I’m passionate about. I’ve lived in California my whole life, and, for a long time I knew I needed to live and experience somewhere else. I’d never been to DC before moving here, so it really was a big leap for me, but I couldn’t be happier with the decision! I’m looking forward to exploring all that DC and the east coast has to offer!
Is there anything else that you’d like to know about Kelly? Ask away in the comments section below!