Healthy Building Network Announces Executive Leadership Expansion
Bill Walsh - June 30, 2016
Affordable Housing Expert Gina Ciganik Appointed CEO
Founder Bill Walsh to Become President of the Board
Washington, DC, June 30, 2016. Healthy Building Network (HBN), the green building movement's leader in health and transparency, today announced an expanded executive leadership structure that positions the organization to scale its operations, increase mission impact and broaden its environmental and human health initiatives with the affordable housing sector. Noted sustainability and affordable housing expert Gina Ciganik has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. HBN founder Bill Walsh will remain involved on a daily basis as President of the Board of Directors and will focus on long-term strategy, fundraising and strategic collaborations. Larry Kilroy will assume the role of Chief Technology Officer, and Susan Sabella will remain HBN's Chief Operating Officer.
"For the past 15 years HBN has pioneered the tools and policies that elevated human health and well-being to a top priority in the building industry today," said Bill Walsh, Founder and President of the Board of Healthy Building Network. "Today we are preparing ourselves to lead the large-scale transformation in the way products are made, driven by radical transparency, open innovation and a commitment to environmental justice. The executive team announced today has the diversity of experience and leadership qualities that will allow us to drive strategy and scale the organization in order to ensure that HBN remains in the vanguard of the green building movement."
"I am excited to move into this leadership role and work with Founder and President Bill Walsh and our successful executive team to define the next phase of growth for Healthy Building Network," said Chief Executive Officer Gina Ciganik. "I envision a day when the built environment contributes to the health of all people, especially communities of limited means who have the greatest health disparities and highest chemical exposures." Ciganik started working with Healthy Building Network in August 2015 as a Senior Advisor for Housing Innovation, leading HBN's healthy materials expansion into the affordable housing sector with their new HomeFree initiative. "Building on HBN's recent successes, I firmly believe that now is the time for HBN to scale its impact on the green building industry and we have the right team in place to do so."
Over the last 16 years, Healthy Building Network has established itself as the leading authority on the composition and health impacts of building materials, a strong collaborator and trusted advisor to a diverse array of organizations including Kaiser Permanente, Google, Parsons School of Design, and Enterprise Community Partners. Founded in 2000 with Bill Walsh as its only full-time staff person, HBN has had an outsized impact on the green building movement, while growing its current staff to 14. Its Pharos Project is widely respected as the most authoritative, independent and comprehensive database for identifying health hazards associated with building products. Pharos paved the way for initiatives like Health Product Declaration, Portico and other transparency efforts.
"Over the past six months, the board of directors has worked with HBN's leadership to put in place the leadership structure that will allow the organization to expand upon its impressive success to date, increase its impact and influence through continued innovation, and broaden its green building movement leadership," said Healthy Building Network Board Chair Penny Bonda. "With Bill, Gina, Susan and Larry, the board is confident that HBN has an executive team with the knowledge, experience and passion to define and direct a vigorous and creative growth strategy."
Gina Ciganik is a nationally recognized leader in advancing policy initiatives and producing healthy and ultra-high-performance affordable housing. Prior to joining HBN in August 2015, she spent 18 years at Minneapolis-St Paul area affordable housing developer Aeon, where she most recently served as Vice President of Housing Development for the past 10 years. In that role, Gina led the development of thousands of affordable housing units, culminating in the construction of The Rose, a 90-unit apartment in downtown Minneapolis that set a new national standard for healthy materials use in affordable housing.
Susan Sabella will remain HBN's Chief Operating Officer, a position she has held since 2008. She has extensive experience in environmental campaigning, having spent 13 years working for Greenpeace USA as the Antarctic Campaigner and Oceans Program Director. Most recently, Susan worked for seven years as a founding administrator in charge of business and operations at the Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, DC, and she served an additional seven years on the school's Board of Trustees.
In his new role as Chief Technology Officer, Larry Kilroy will be responsible for leading HBN's Open Data Initiatives, including product development of the Pharos Project, Portico, and the Chemical Data Commons. He has been with HBN for 10 years. The new position builds on his previous portfolio overseeing the organization's technology needs including website development, database management, online communications, and virtual office operations.
About the Healthy Building Network:
Healthy Building Network works to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in building products as a means of improving human health and the environment. It performs independent, foundational research and product evaluations and develops tools to support chemical hazard assessment and product decision management. HBN's programs and research have received numerous industry awards including the US Green Building Council Leadership in Advocacy Award, the US Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Healthy Schools Network Environmental Hero Award. To learn more, please visit www.healthybuilding.net.