Career Spotlight: Lana Crouse (BSPA ’01), Director of Community, Indiana & Michigan, U. S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
“Climate change is affecting everything we do and I’m proud to work at an organization that is trying to mitigate and reduce our impact.”
Career Hub: Can you tell our students a little bit about yourself and the work that you do?
Lana: I started with USGBC 16 years ago as an event planner and grew to take over many different positions including operations, account management, business development and community management. I knew I wanted to focus on public affairs and was looking for an opportunity to blend my sustainability passion with my event planning focus. I started out as an event planner and quickly advanced those skills to manage over 35 staff members and now to manage over 150 different volunteers with our local communities.USGBC has allowed me to learn and develop many different skills and continuing grow as a professional. With my current role as the Director of Community for Indiana and Michigan, I focus on supporting and advancing sustainability within the two states. I focus on education and advocacy to promote our mission and support the Architecture/Engineering/Consulting (AEC) community with their sustainability efforts as well as the local governments.
Career Hub: What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow your career path?
Lana: Be open to new opportunities and relationships and invest your whole self into every job and skill you’re offered. You never know where a job or contact can lead, so be open and invest your whole self in every activity you’re challenged with. Treat people how you want to be treated and you’ll gain the respect and admiration of your peers.
Career Hub: What drives you to be successful in your job every day?
Lana: Climate change is affecting everything we do and I’m proud to work at an organization that is trying to mitigate and reduce our impact. I want a better future for ourselves, our kids, and our kid’s kids and I believe we have the responsibility to do everything in our power to positively impact our environment.
Career Hub: How does your organization embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Lana: USGBC has staff all over the world and has a focus to bring the best and brightest talent onto our team. We focus on inclusion and diversity and welcome team members that are passionate, talented, and hard working.
Career Hub: Our school’s motto is “Lead for the Greater Good,” what does this mean to you?
Lana: It takes all of us to do better – both for the environment and for our own personal happiness. Volunteer and chip in when you can, but also take care of yourself and be sure not to burn out. Take advantage of opportunities when they’re available to you and know your self-worth.
Career Hub: New professionals are often told to “pay their dues,” what is your advice for a successful first year in the workforce?
Lana: Take every direction, order, goal, whatever, and do it well. you might be asked to do tasks that seem remedial to you, but I promise that people are watching. If you do a basic skill well then they’ll tend to give you larger tasks. Ask questions if you don’t know or understand how to do something as people will appreciate that you care. Be proactive when an opportunity arises, but also make sure you focus on a healthy work/life balance.