2017 Volunteer of the Year: Gregory Thomas

December 27, 2017

GreenHomeNYC has many dedicated volunteers who contribute their talents to make our educational events a success.  In 2017, the Board of Directors recognized one particular volunteer for his significant contributions to our organization over the last several years.   We’re pleased to announce our 2017 Volunteer of the Year is Gregory Thomas. Gregory joined us four years ago as a Monthly Forums volunteer.  For the past two years he has served as co-lead, along with Theresa Baker, bringing his enthusiasm, dedication and project management skills to his role with us. He’s been a driving force behind the Monthly Forums, many of which have drawn standing room only crowds.   Meet our 2017 Volunteer of the Year, Gregory Thomas, in this month’s Volunteer Spotlight:   How long have you been involved with GreenHomeNYC? I’ve been involved since January 2014, so I’m just finishing my 4th year as a volunteer.   What GreenHomeNYC activities are you engaged in? For the past 2 years, I have been co-lead of the Forums Planning Committee, helping the event organizers pull together and run their events, conducting some Forums myself, as well as taking steps to evolve the processes of the team.   Why did you decide to volunteer for GreenHomeNYC? Once I determined that I wanted to bring my project management skill set over to the realm of sustainability, a field I felt I could be personally invested in, I started applying to jobs but also started looking for ways to learn more and to get connected within the industry. A good friend of mine reconnected me with long time GreenHomeNYC volunteer and self-proclaimed “angry old man of green”, Andy Padian, who brought me into the fold. Seeing the impact I could have within the organization, the awesome community, and the wide-reaching connections, I knew it was an organization that I wanted to be a part of and it has been quite the fantastic voyage!   What do you like most about the organization? My fellow volunteers are my favorite part of the organization at this stage. It’s invigorating to work with other professionals in the sustainability industry that see what they do as more than just a job. Also, connecting with emerging professionals and helping them find their way into the industry feels truly rewarding for what it brings to them as well as to our greater global community through the work they’ll get to do. As a close runner up, I would say that I certainly enjoyed how GreenHomeNYC helped me get my first job in sustainability back in July 2014!   What do you currently do? After doing project management at a couple of solar photovoltaic installation companies over the past 3 years, I am currently working towards my next solar project management opportunity.   What did you study in school? While I have a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and have obtained a few certifications over the years (CAPM, LEED GA, NABCEP PVA), I am currently taking coursework towards obtaining the NABCEP Photovoltaic Installation Professional (NABCEP PVIP) certification. It is considered the “gold standard” of PV certifications.   Where are you from? Born and raised here in NYC, primarily in the South Ozone Park area of Queens.   What three things are you most passionate about? Solar energy and the technologies that utilize it, the Burning Man community and its ethos, and good comedy, because laughter can sometimes be the best medicine.