When it was announced in July that S. Richard (Rick) Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), would soon be at the helm of the International WELL Building
Institute (IWBI) instead, many wondered why.
The answer was a surprisingly simple one: It was time to let
the bird leave the nest. “About a year and a half ago I realized we
were in a place that I had always dreamed about,” he explained.
Armed with an exceptional staff and the global ascendancy of
LEED into 165 countries, Fedrizzi now had no doubt that USGBC
would go on to leave an indelible mark on this world well after he
was gone. Furthermore, he didn’t want to miss the opportunity
for such a seamless leadership transition into the more-than-capable hands of Chief Operating Officer Mahesh Ramanujam,
who will officially take Fedrizzi’s spot as CEO on Nov. 4.
And with that he left the job he told his wife about 14-and-a-half years
ago would only be a temporary three-month gig that had him commuting
from Syracuse, N. Y., to Washington D.C.
“I made the decision quickly, and expected nothing more than to join
maybe two or three corporate boards in the space of sustainability; possibly
resurrect my Green Think consulting firm, or do some speaking on behalf
of my book,” Fedrizzi said. But when the industry got wind of his departure,
some (friendly) ghosts came knocking: those from the IWBI that he’d assisted
in bringing their WELL standard to market and whom he’d connected with
Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI)—the organization that administers
LEED certification and provides third-party certification for
the WELL Building standard.
“They asked if I would consider coming in to work
for them for a period of three to four years. I jostled
that around in my head for a while. I had a month
off to think about it after having foot surgery. Laying
there with my foot elevated above my heart for
almost four weeks made me so desperately
october2016 interiors+sources 75
➤ continued on page 76
In a current political climate consumed with talk of building “walls,”
we offer a breath of fresh air in the form of Rick Fedrizzi—a man
who has dedicated his career to dismantling them.
ABOVE + BELOW
Fedrizzi's book, Green
Think, is available
wherever books are
sold; Rick Fedrizzi.
OPPOSITE CBRE Group's
headquarters in Los
Angeles was the first
space to receive WELL
the pilot program.
B R E A K I N GBARRIERS