Southeast Sustainability Directors Network

SSDN News 

RSVP for our Upcoming Webinar
Your program's organizational structure and location can have a huge impact on your funding and ability to implement sustainability programs. Join Maggie Ullman and Susanna Sutherland as they discuss how their careers have been impacted by placement and politics in both the operations side and the administration side of city government. This one hour webinar will also include data from USDN about sustainability job titles, salaries, and office locations, as well as time for you to discuss your own experiences and questions. 

When: Tuesday, March 12th from 11 am to noon EST
Location: anywhere with internet and telephone access
Cost: FREE!
RSVP: visit to register

Second Annual SSDN Conference
We hope you plan to join the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network at our upcoming conference in late May. The steering committee is hard at work finding a location and designing the conference. Do you have any suggestions on workshop themes, speakers, or activities? If so, please contribute to the discussion happening online at

We Need Your Help!
Do you have an exciting program to highlight in the newsletter? Do you want to be interviewed for our March edition? If so, please reply to this email with your thoughts. And thanks! 

Interview with: Jon Ippel 

Each month, we interview a SSDN member with the same three questions. Today we're talking with Jon Ippel, the City of Orlando's Sustainability Director and Senior Aide to the CAO. 

What are you working on right now that you are most excited about?
I'm most excited about developing the Green Works Community Action Plan. Green Works (our sustainability initiative) has been in existence since 2007, but this is our first attempt to create a comprehensive strategic plan that includes  long-term concrete goals in seven focus areas (Economy, Energy/Green Buildings, Food, Livability, Solid Waste, Transportation, and Water), and actionable strategies to implement over the next five years. Some of the strategies that have gained traction include energy benchmarking and disclosure, solar financing, and bike/car-sharing, dedicated funding for transit among others.
What do you want to know from others in SSDN? 
  • How do you best involve people at the neighborhood level, particularly without dedicated staff to do so? Click here to answer
  • How have you effectively used websites, social media, and other marketing tools to reach the community on a day-to-day basis? Click here to answer
What led you to this work? 
I've come to this work through a fairly circuitous route. My passion for sustainability began when I lived in Seoul, South Korea after undergrad. I realized the stark challenges they were facing and marveled at their amazing transportation system - one of best in world. I began to read more about urban policy and eventually decided to study urban planning at the University of Michigan. After graduating, I got a job in the city planning department in Orlando. I got more and more involved in sustainability and eventually that work grew and became my full-time job. 

Useful Resource: EcoDistricts

Last month, we asked you where the field of sustainability is headed. One answer is towards the concept of EcoDistricts, a "neighborhood or district with a broad commitment to accelerate neighborhood-scale sustainability". Read more about this concept from the Portland Sustainability Institute. And add your thoughts to the bigger conversation about the future of sustainability.

Question of the Month

What would you like to see as part of the upcoming SSDN conference? Click here to visit USDN's website and share your thoughts


Webinar with Susanna Sutherland and Maggie Ullman
11 am to noon EST

About SSDN

SSDN is an unaffiliated peer to peer network that is inclusive of municipal professionals working in the field of sustainability, and effective at networking, best practice sharing, and eventually collaborating together on larger priorities for the region.

We seek to become a network whose priorities are set by network members for network members. The Southeast Network strives to effectively support one another to successfully capture funding opportunities, influence sustainable policies and programs at the local and state levels, and lead the advancement of national sustainability.

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