Hi everyone! I am so overjoyed to be your new Director, so I’d like to let you know a little bit about me!
As a student, I am a Freshman majoring in Business Administration, a member of Sigma Kappa, and extremely interested in Political Science, French, and Art History. Before I came to the UW, I lived in Orinda in the San Francisco East Bay. I knew that I wanted to expand my horizons, so I came here to experience a truly new and different terrain, and I am so glad that I did! I have been participating in environmental clubs since 6th grade, and have known for a long time that I wanted to bring it into my life on a much deeper level, and spread it to others at the same time. I heard about Green Greeks during Formal Fall Recruitment, and sought it out before I even knew where I’d end up. Very quickly, I became known around Sigma Kappa for sounding a lot like our previous Director, Talia Haller. Every time I brought up my interests, I was told that I needed to meet her. On the last day of Recruitment, she and I got matched together, and we slowly realized that we had both heard about the other before. Talia knew how passionate I was about the environment since she first met me, so when it came time to find a new Director, she asked me, and I leaped at the opportunity. The rest, of course, is history!
Going forward, my vision for Green Greeks is to start being more implementation-oriented and boots-on-the-ground. I plan to lead the group to develop more methods of bringing environmental options to the table. Our speakers will be more diverse in their careers, backgrounds, and lifestyles. This year, we will increase our membership and participation, and expand our influence beyond the chapters, into the larger UW and Seattle community. Finally, I plan to make the group more dynamic and social, and less cut and dry.
I look forward to this year and all the amazing things we’re going to do together!
Everyone involved in the Green Greek Representative Program is passionate about sustainable practices, but having strong leadership like Daniel can help everyone reach that next level. We are proud to highlight Daniel Merz in our Executive spotlight this week!
Daniel Merz, our VP of Operations, has always had a knack for loving the environment. “I’ve always been very passionate about the environment, having had recycling and compost programs in all my previous schools. My passion definitely was born there.”
Sustainability can be a complex process that requires planning ahead and knowing what your own personal habits are. “On a grander scheme I have always been very efficiency oriented. Throughout my life I’ve always tried to streamline my daily practices and being sustainable naturally fit in. Whether that was turning off lights when I could, using less water when I can, and wasting right, it’s always fit into my way of living.”
Thinking of sustainability as simply being efficient with resources is a great way to think about it.
As for what his job as VP of Operations entails, he manages all the project groups, consults them in difficult situations, analyzes their performance, and guides them to their goals and club goals. A very important role!
When asked about how the Green Greek Representative Program has helped him to better his own environmental space, he proudly responded, “Green Greeks has given me an increased space to make changes not only to my environment to my communities. Professionally, I am able to grow as a leader, collaborating with both fellow students but sustainable professionals in Seattle Public Utilities and other environmental organizations, we can make this world a better place that lasts a lot longer for the human race. We just have to unify.”
Thank you, Daniel for all your hard work. We appreciate your leadership here at Green Greeks!
This week we’re highlighting another member of our project leader board, Alex Urasaki. Alex is currently our VP of Events and works endlessly to plan our fundraisers and feeds. This quarter alone, he worked to coordinate our Pagliacci Pizza Feed as well as our Chipotle Fundraiser. He is currently a Junior here at the University of Washington, majoring in Environmental Sciences and Resource Management, making him a very valuable asset to our leadership team. Alex is also a Marketing and Outreach Coordinator for EcoReps, another organization on campus. Some other events Alex has made a huge impact on are the UW Sustainability Earth Day event and our upcoming Green Greek Competition (stay tuned for more info in the future!)
In addition to being a valuable asset to our organization, he contributes to the Greek community through his Chapter as well. He is a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, Gamma Chi chapter. He currently holds the position of House and Sustainability Chairman and is the former Vice President and Philanthropy Chairman. Sigma Nu prides themselves on their principles of love, honor, and truth, which Alex works to incorporate in his life.
In his free time, Alex spends a lot of time outside, as any Green Greek should! Alex also is very engaged in the music world, being a self-proclaimed “avid concert-goer and music fan,” and is highly active on his Soundcloud, sharing music with other music lovers. He really enjoys being involved in the Green Greek organization because “it’s the most passionate group I’ve worked with so far and the events are a really exciting way to see sustainability in action.” In the future, Alex is really looking forward to spreading the word about the program even further, the April Pizza feed was just the beginning!
Look out for more of his fantastic event planning in the future and on facebook, Great work Alex!
This week, we’re highlighting on our fearless leader, so everyone gets the chance to learn a little more about our team. Thanks to her efforts, Greek Greeks has faced much success over the last few years with countless fundraisers and events all working to reduce the footprint of the UW Greek system on the planet we’re so lucky to call home. Not to mention, we were nominated for the Husky Green Award this year, and even though we did not win, it was still an honor to even be nominated.
Tali is a student of the Foster’s School of Business at the University of Washington, hoping to pursue a double-major in Business Administration and International Studies with a focus on energy and the environment. She is also a member of the Mu chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority here on campus, founded in 1910. Sigma Kappa partners with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, in addition to the work she does with Green Greeks and around the community. She devotes herself to her chapter and her community and Tali’s work on our small campus is just a warm-up for her international environmental conservation goals. As our director, Talia not only leads our bi-weekly meetings, but arranges for speakers from all over the conservation and business worlds. She motivates her members to not only stay on top of their projects, but provides the tools we need to succeed.
When she isn’t busy saving the planet, Talia enjoys any chance she can get to go explore the beautiful world around us. She spends her free time doing yoga, hiking and sailing, amongst other adventures. Just this past weekend, Tali had the opportunity to skydive for the first time!
Thanks Talia for all that you do, keep on adventuring!