Leveraging community connection to make a big impact

It was a little more than a year ago that Lindsey Tourand and Ed Avery both arrived late for their first official business meeting in downtown Vancouver. Upon arrival, they asked one another where they had traveled from and both responded, “the North Shore.” Further prodding revealed that Avery had come from Bowen, and Tourand was just months away from moving to Bowen. The two have been working on a large project together ever since, and have launched a regular “night out” for island professionals in the green building industry.

Avery sells high-tech glazing for the windows of large buildings. The product improves energy efficiency and comfort for the people working inside. Tourand is an engineer by trade, but now works in project management and capital planning for a property management firm. He says he made the career shift because it would allow him to have a greater impact on the built environment, working directly with clients to make better decisions about energy efficiency and quality.

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“Both of our jobs have the potential to make a large scale impact,” says Tourand. “And when we realized that we both had this connection to Bowen, we started talking about how the island actually seems to be something of a hub when you’re in the building industry.”

Tourand offers another example: at one point he was working with an LED contractor in Calgary who then connected him with another Bowen Islander. Through this, the two islanders are now working with to reduce utility rates for Tourand’s company’s buildings in Alberta.

“I feel like living on Bowen, there is this common thread. Even if the person you are working with isn’t from here – they’ll likely have a friend who is. And there is also such a strong connection to environmental values here,” says Avery. “Lindsey and I just kept talking about this, and on a flight back from Memphis, we came up with the idea to bring other islanders who are working in the field together. It’s just an obvious way to make a bigger impact.”

Tourand and Avery recently held their second “Green Beer” night (not to be confused with Bowen In Transition’s “Green Drinks” night). They hope these evenings can continue on a monthly basis. Anyone who works in the building industry and is interested in pushing for large-scale “green” change, is welcome.

To find out about the next meeting contact Ed Avery at: ed.avery@viewglass.com or check the Bowen B.E.E.R.S Facebook page.

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