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The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) has announced the official launch of the GMIC Greater Washington Area chapter. The Greater Washington Area chapter is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and serves GMIC members and the meetings and events community in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The chapter’s mission is to improve the sustainability of events held within the Greater Washington Area and to enable local members, through education and collaboration, to plan and implement sustainable meetings across the world.

“The GMIC GWA leadership team has been working hard for over a year to officially form the chapter and develop a strategic plan for engaging members,” said Cara Unterkofler, chapter president, GMIC GWA. “We’re excited to now be transitioning from forming and filing to hosting engaging and fresh educational activities.”

“GMIC Global is pleased to have an official chapter presence in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area, as it is the national epicenter for association and government meeting professionals,” said Tamara Kennedy-Hill, executive director, GMIC Global. “We are delighted to have amazing local leadership in DC to champion the integration of sustainability, as a strategic value driver, into the delivery of successful meetings and events.”

For meeting planners, suppliers and venues interested in learning more about how to plan and implement events that have a reduced environmental impact and increased social impact, the GMIC GWA plans to hold “Meet DC” events. These tailored events will allow members and interested planners to engage in an in-depth review of one aspect of sustainable event planning and examine its application first-hand. Additionally, the chapter is connecting with other meeting planning organizations to co-host training and informational sessions.

“Our goal is to be a resource in the niche area of ‘green meetings’ to other organizations serving the event planning community. Reducing waste, increasing efficiency, supporting the local community, and strengthening your brand are things all event planners and suppliers should be knowledgeable about and can benefit from,” said Kimberly Lewis, past chapter president and senior vice president of community advancement, conference & events, US Green Building Council.

The inaugural GMIC GWA chapter officers and board members include Lewis; Cara Unterkofler, president, Greenview; Peggy Cusack, vice president, Rendezvous Consulting Group; Lisa MacArthur, secretary, Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Rebecca Murphy, treasurer, National Association of College and University Business Officers.

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