Southeast Sustainability Directors Network

Save the Date: SSDN Conference 

Chattanooga, TNWe hope you can join us at the second annual SSDN Conference in Chattanooga, TN June 5th through 7th.

The planning team has begun to create the conference agenda and would love your feedback. Visit to let us know what you'd like to see. 

Politics of Place Webinar

Thanks to everyone who attended our first webinar on Tuesday. If you'd like to learn more about how your program's organizational structure and location can impact your work, we've uploaded Maggie Ullman and Susanna Sutherland's presentation to the USDN site. You can view a PDF of their presentation by visiting

Survey Says....

Thanks also to those that participated in the recent USDN survey about the network. We received a comprehensive report on the findings, which included details on the connectivity of the network, ideas for conference agenda items, and much more. You can view the full report by visiting

Interview with: Heather Adcox

Heather AdcoxThis month, we interview Heather Adcox, the Interim Director of the Office of Sustainability in Chattanooga, TN. 

What are you working on right now that you are most excited about?
Recently, I have been cutting my teeth on grant writing. I've been writing grants since December, and I'm finding that I really enjoy the process. We are often working with a nonprofit partner to meet the grant requirements.

I recently applied for a grant focused on criminal justice that would provide enhanced lighting, crime reduction through environmental design, and youth programming at three community centers. The theory is that if kids have a safe, well-lit, easy to access place to go after school, they will be less likely to get in trouble. We were also invited to submit a full proposal for the Groundworks USA grant opportunity, which will address the needs of Alton Park, another underserved community in South Chattanooga, through youth engagement and neighborhood revitalization. These projects really excites me because my heart is in the underserved community work.  

What do you want to know from others in SSDN? What provocative questions do you have for your colleagues around the Southeast?

  • A new mayor was recently elected, and I am going through the process of justifying this office and what we can do. How do you talk about the work you are doing and the results you are getting? How do you justify your position and your program? Answer here
  • How are your offices structured? Answer here
  • How did you gain support from your mayor, council, and finance people for big decisions - those that are expensive and requiring long-term vision and planning? Answer here
  • How do you structure contracts for ESCO's? Answer here

What led you to this work? 

I'm an architect by training and was in that trade for 10 years. During that time, I became interested in green building and the impact architecture can have on the community. In March of 2011, I was hired as the Energy Coordinator based on my experience with green building. I am currently the Interim Director of the Office of Sustainability after taking over from Dave Crockett.

Useful Resource: Prezi

Prezi is a new (free!) online tool that allows you to design creative presentations. The tool gives you simple templates to design presentations, and then allows you to share them live by providing a link that can be viewed by up to 30 people. Check it out at

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

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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