Member Spotlight – Jemila Collier

Sep 4, 2023 | Homepage Featured, Member Network

Jemila Collier, Systems Designer, Azimuth Energy                              Member of the Missouri Gateway Green Building Council since 2022

Description of your work in green building: I work for Azimuth Energy as a Systems Designer. I help support projects with CAD development of photovoltaic arrays, electrical diagrams, other engineering analyses and operation & maintenance site visits. I am very grateful for the work that I’m doing and the knowledge base of my team.

Sustainability passion: Public transportation has been an ongoing passion of mine. I grew up in Chicago and began taking the bus to school in 7th grade, I felt like such a big kid! By the time I was in high school, I was riding the trains to class and biking to work in the summertime. In more recent years, I have grown curious about food inequity in urban scapes and in turn have been growing a ton of food with my partner at our house. I hope to tap into greening the built environment, which ultimately brought me to this organization.

Most meaningful experience with MGGBC: My most meaningful experience with MGGBC was a series of events spanning less than two weeks! First, on September 30, 2022, I attended a Coffee Break on U.N. Sustainable Development Goals where I connected with one of the guests, Lisa Johnson. She gave me tons of life advice and encouraged me to continue investigating my passions. The following week, on October 6, 2022, I attended an Emerging Professionals Happy Hour. I hoped to further my networking adventures and connect with cool people doing cool sustainable work in the city. This also turned out favorably, I now look forward to seeing familiar faces—Julie, Lisa, David, Jade, Chris, to name a few—at events throughout the year. Finally, I attended the 2022 Fall Member Social on October 11th. The space was immaculate, the food was delicious and I had so much fun! My partner even won 5 restaurant gift cards! The biggest game-changer wasbeing spotlighted as a new member and recent graduate searching for employment. Within moments, I was approached by Marc Lopata who wanted to interview me for an opportunity at his company, Azimuth Energy. Long story short, I started working there on November 1st.

What will most impact the future of green building: Sadly, I feel like the political climate as much as the global climate will impact the future of green building. The immensity of the consequences of industry, infrastructure, conventional agricultural practices et cetera are experienced not just by consumers in developed countries, but by those being exploited in developing countries as well—not to mention the delicate ecosystems that have existed since long before the destruction of our planet that has spanned centuries. Renewable energy is burgeoning. I hope to continue to have a seat at the table in discussions about the future of green building systems and sustainable energy. My only solace is that the generations to come will adapt quicker and become smarter (perhaps by necessity?). Even in the face of capitalism and generational environmental injustices, I am able to uplift myself and my community through education, sharing of resources, and grounding, mindful practices.

Favorite LEED (or sustainability) Project: I am constantly impressed with the buildings on WashU’s campus. Having spent a number of years there as a student, it is amazing to see the constant work being churned out. The new buildings on the East End are amazing! Hillman Hall, in the Brown School, has a soft spot in my heart. This LEED Platinum certified building is where I spent many days every week studying late into the night, gravitating toward the vast main space, snacks and comfy seats.

Favorite place in the St. Louis region or Missouri Gateway GBC territory: My favorite place in St. Louis might have to be a tie between Central Library and Tower Grove Park.

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