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Sustainability and Savings 


Does going green have to include red ink? It turns out that planning an earth-friendly event can be good for your organization’s bottom line, while doing the right thing for the planet. Learn which best green practices will make you a cost-conscious star.


Nancy Zavada
Founder and President
Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA
Director of Industry Advancement
Events Industry Council
Moderator: Sarah J.F. Braley
Senior Editor
Meetings and Conventions

Nancy Zavada, Founder and President, MeetGreen
A childhood love of the outdoors and its inhabitants as a child started Nancy Zavada on her road to becoming one of the meetings industry's top experts on green meetings. In 1994, Nancy Zavada launched the Portland, Ore.-based planning firm that is now MeetGreen, and later co-founded the Green Meeting Industry Council. Her company offers planning services and tools to help organizations cut waste, lower carbon footprints and more. The MeetGreen toolbox includes the MeetGreen Calculator, which helps planners benchmark the sustainable elements of their gatherings. Zavala was including on M&C’s original list of the Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry [] and MeetGreen has been cited as one of M&C’s Best Places to Work in the Meetings Industry [].

Mariela Mcllwraith, Director of Industry Advancement, Events Industry Council 
Mariela McIlwraith, CMP, CMM, MBA, director of industry advancement for the Events Industry Council, leads the organization’s Sustainability and Industry Insights Initiatives. Mariela is also the coauthor of Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Meetings and Events Industry, a part of the Wiley Event Series; is the executive editor of the Events Industry Council Manual, 9th Edition; and coauthor of Meet Better: 167 Easy Ways to Make Your Events More Environmentally and Socially Responsible. She was a recipient of the 2016 Events Industry Council's Pacesetter Awards.

Sarah J.F. Braley, Senior Editor, 
Meetings & Conventions

As senior editor for Meetings & Conventions, Sarah (a.k.a. Sally) Braley has been covering a wide range of issues in the meetings industry for 24 years. Her beats include conference centers, independent meeting planners, green meetings and numerous destinations around the globe. This job has taken her to South Africa, all around Europe, to New Zealand and Australia, and all around the United States. Before joining M&C, she spent eight years as a writer and editor at New Jersey Monthly magazine. She has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism, from the University of Massachusetts and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, respectively.

The use of the CMP Preferred Provider Pre-Check logo is not an endorsement by the Convention Industry Council of the quality of the session. This logo means that this session has met the criteria to be pre-approved for CMP certification credit.

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