Green Cleaning Leadership Council
Sharing Insight on Green Cleaning
The Green Clean Schools Leadership Council brings together award-winning school facility managers to provide innovative and practical green cleaning guidance to schools across the country.
The Council will provide up-to-date guidance to HSC on new developments in green cleaning and will also provide advice directly to school facility leaders building green cleaning programs.
Sharing expertise and helping inform HSC’s guidance. The Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities has given HSC the opportunity to meet school facility operators across the nation who are leading efforts for health, safety and environmental stewardship. Now, the Leadership Council provides a practical forum to share their expertise with others to make green cleaning more accessible for everybody. In addition, the Council’s discussions of trends and best practices will inform HSC’s guidance and help ensure our educational outreach is as effective as possible.
Providing one-on-one support for schools going green. The Leadership Council brings together some of our nation’s most successful on-the-ground leaders for green cleaning in schools. Now, the Council is ready to help your school go green too. If you are interested in starting a green cleaning program at your school, or if you’ve taken the first few steps but need help figuring out strategies to do more, the Council can help. Just fill out our program assessment today, and the Council will connect you with tools, resources or a mentor to help develop your program.
Council members come from small schools, large universities, rural districts and urban centers. But they all have one thing in common: a desire to support student health through green cleaning.
Can the Leadership Council help my school?
Yes! If you’ve already downloaded our 5 Steps to Green Cleaning in Schools and are ready to take the next step but don’t know what to do, the Leadership Council can help. When you take a few minutes to fill out our green cleaning program assessment, staff at HSC and members of the Leadership Council will get a better idea of how we can help. To get started:
- First, complete our Program Assessment. Share a bit of background on your program such as what type of chemicals you use and where your school is located.
- Second, Healthy Schools Campaign will review your assessment. We’ll use your assessment to learn more about your program and identify how we can help. Then we will get back to you with targeted tools and resources for your program. Or we will connect you with one of our Leadership Council Members to provide technical support and mentorship.
- Finally, come back and share your progress. We want to learn where you’re going. We may be able to provide additional assistance or spotlight your success. Maybe you’ll even be ready to apply for the Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities!
Can I join the Leadership Council?
The Leadership Council is currently made up of facility operators who have won the Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities. If you believe your program deserves this recognition, visit our Awards page and apply. Applications are due every September and winners are announced in the December issue of American School & University. If you are a past award winner who would like to be considered for the Leadership Council, send an email to Sara Porter at Healthy Schools Campaign and let’s begin the discussion.
I’m a manufacturer/distributor. How can I get involved?
We know that an engaged industry is important to ensuring schools have the resources and technology to support a healthy school environment. If you are a manufacturer or distributor, you can help by connecting the schools you work with to Green Clean Schools and the Leadership Council. Are your schools new to green cleaning? Then, encourage them to take a program assessment. Are they seasoned leaders in their fields? Then work with them to complete an application to the Green Cleaning Award for Schools & Universities. Leadership Council members also want to learn about the latest in cleaning innovations. If you have an innovative or creative use for a product or service, let us know. We’d like to review it at our council, and get real-world feedback for how schools can use the latest the industry has to offer. Reach out to Sara Porter with questions or to share updates.
Meet the Leadership Council
The Green Cleaning Leadership Council is composed of leading school facility directors in K-12 and universities across the U.S. Each member leads a cleaning program that has won the Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities and is dedicated to promoting more sustainable cleaning practices through product evaluation, peer mentoring and continual improvement of their own programs. Keep reading to learn more about our Leadership Council members.
President, Ashkin Group; CEO, Sustainability Dashboard Tools; Executive Director, Green Cleaning Network
Steve Ashkin is an entrepreneur, author and leader of the Green Cleaning Movement where he is thought of as the “father of Green Cleaning.” Steve is President of The Ashkin Group, CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, and Executive Director of the Green Cleaning Network. Steve is a founding member of the US Green Building Council and was responsible for writing the cleaning credits in LEED for Existing Buildings. He serves as the technical advisor to the Healthy Schools Campaign where he lead authored The Quick + Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools. Additionally, he is on the Board of Directors of the Green Sports Alliance where he wrote their Playbook on Greener Cleaning in Sports Facilities. Finally, Steve has received numerous awards including an Excellence Award and two Partner of the Year Awards from US EPA. And in 2014, Steve was inducted into the Green Industry Hall of Fame.
Mark Bishop has more than a decade of experience in advocating for healthy school environment. As vice-president of policy with Healthy Schools Campaign he developed training programs and tools for school stakeholders to advance health school environments. He was instrumental in the development of www.greencleanschools.org and has run professional development programs for school facility directors and school nurses. He has also successfully advocated for state-level policies around green cleaning, school health and chronic absenteeism.
Mervin spent 26 years as a school custodian and for the past nine has been SLCSD’s district level supervisor. Mervin also has been the supervisor of SLCSD’s internationally recognized integrated pest management program since its inception nine years ago and holds a current state-certified pesticide applicator’s license. Mervin was responsible for developing SLCSD’s district-wide paper recycling program, diverting at least 45 tons of paper annually from the landfill. He is also past president of the Utah School Custodial Managers Association.
Director of Custodial Services, Columbia Public Schools
Mike Jones has 30 years of experience in operations management. Today he oversees Columbia Public Schools’ custodial department, which is made up of 38 buildings with over 3.4 million square feet. He launched a district-wide “Green Initiative” in January 2009, based on the Missouri Green Cleaning Guidelines and Specifications for Schools. Under Mike’s leadership, the program has won two Green Cleaning Awards: 2010 Best New Program and 2011 Grand Award for School Districts.
Associate Director of Building Services, Georgia Institute of Technology
Tommy Little has led Georgia Tech’s award-winning green cleaning program since 2003 and has been working there, in the cleaning industry, for 19 years. Under Little, the program earned the 2007 Green Cleaning Award Honorable Mention. He was the recipient of Georgia Tech’s Earth Day Environmental Awards for Leadership and Sustainable Initiatives in 2008 and was featured in the bulletin of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
Patrick leads the facilities department of East Meadow Schools. He demonstrates effective leadership with staff and provides employees with guidance and direction to improve performance and efficiency. Patrick works with teachers, parents, administrators and community groups to share the goals and objectives of the district to the benefit of the district’s students. These strategies have resulted in a successful, widely recognized, comprehensive and sustainable program. Through Patrick’s leadership, his cleaning program won the Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities’ Honorable mention in 2009 and the Grand Award in 2010.
Executive Director – Plant Services & Custodial Operations, Clarke County School District
Kimberly Thomas is responsible for facilities management and custodial operations for the Clarke County School District, winner of the Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities’ Honorable Mention in 2014. Her department has also received recognition for its commitment to green cleaning and sustainability from the Healthy Schools Network, Environmental Protective Agency- Georgia state office, and US Green Building Council – Georgia division. Prior to her role at Clarke County, she was the Assistant Director of Services for the University of Georgia – Facilities Management Division, which won the Green Cleaning Award’s Grand Award in 2010.
Keith oversees construction, renovation and operations of Newport News Public Schools’ 72 buildings. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he joined NNPS as Asst. Maintenance Supervisor, eventually rising to his current position.
In 2011 his department earned the prestigious Facility Masters Award at the Platinum level from the National School Plant Managers Association in conjunction with the Virginia School Plant Managers Association. In 2012 Keith earned his Educational Facility Professional designation from APPA. In 2013 NNPS received the Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities’ Grand Award.
Gene has been part of the University of Washington (UW) for 29 years and serves as director of the building services department. The UW was one of the first to use Integrated Cleaning and Measurement (ICM) to validate cleaning procedures within its facility and won the Green Cleaning Award for Schools and Universities’ Grand Award in 2007 and 2010.
Gene is a Registered Executive Housekeeper and member of the International Executive Housekeeping Association (IEHA), International Sanitary Suppliers Association (ISSA) and the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA). He served as IEHA President from 2000—2002. Gene is a 2012 recipient of IEHA’s William D. Joyner Achievement Award and a contributing writer for Executive Housekeeping Today. He serves on the board of the Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) and is a speaker on custodial and leadership topics.
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