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Green Meeting Industry Council
2025 M Street, N.W. Suite 800
Washington, D.C.

Foundation Case
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The goal of mainstreaming sustainable practices across the global meetings industry drives the activities of the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Foundation (GSMF), an independent, non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) charitable status under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The GSMF is headquartered in Portland, OR. The Foundation was established by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) to fund education, training, research, and leadership development proposals that will help move sustainability beyond the relatively small niche it currently occupies within meetings and events.  GMIC, a non-profit professional association with members in more than 20 countries, is the premier global community solely dedicated to sustainability education, research, policy, and standards in the meetings and events industry. Further information on GMIC is available on their website. The GSMF operates independently of GMIC, with a separate Board of Directors. It supports and brings needed financial resources to GMIC’s mission to "transform the global meetings industry through sustainability,” while simultaneously establishing its own distinct presence in meetings and sustainability: While the GSMF maintains a very close synergy with GMIC at the global and chapter levels, to ensure that available resources are applied and coordinated for maximum impact, its funding is not limited to entities affiliated with GMIC, and GMIC itself must go through the same application process as any other organization to receive GSMF funding.

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Immediate Priorities

The GSMF seeks funding to support projects in the following areas:

  • Research to more fully understand the drivers and opportunities for sustainability in the meetings industry
  • Education and scholarship to build a broader base of sustainability expertise within the industry
  • Demonstration projects to apply and test new and emerging sustainability practices that can then be mainstreamed across the industry
  • Chapter initiatives that support the growth and sustainability of GMIC’s own member networks through leadership development, marketing and communications, succession planning, sharing of best practices, and special projects

The GSMF welcomes the opportunity to work on collaborative projects with other associations or foundations in the meetings, events, hospitality, and sustainability industries, in ways that leverage the expertise and networks that all parties can bring to the table. 

Project ideas and funding initiatives are welcome from anywhere in the world, and can be initiated in one of three ways:

  • Based on established criteria, the GSMF solicits innovative project proposals from research and educational institutions, private businesses, GMIC chapters, graduate and post-graduate students, and professionals working in meetings, events, hospitality, and sustainability.
  • The GSMF welcomes proposals from funding organizations that see a specific need for research, scholarship, demonstration, or leadership development projects that address aspects of the transition to sustainability in meetings and events.
  • From time to time, the GSMF may issue proposal calls to address specific research priorities or emerging issues within its current program priorities. 

A Moment of Opportunities:

With sustainable technologies and industries taking hold around the world, this is a time of unprecedented opportunity for the meetings and events industry. Better understanding and adoption of sustainable meeting practices will help the industry eliminate unnecessary costs, improve efficiency, and reduce an environmental footprint that will face increasing scrutiny in the years ahead. The GMIC Sustainable Meetings Foundation is eager to work with donors and grant recipients to build innovative sustainability solutions for one of the world’s most dynamic global industries. This is your moment to help support the case for sustainability through foundation, corporate and individual contributions to the GMIC Sustainable Meetings Foundation.

GMIC Sustainable Meetings Foundation Board of Directors

2014-2015 GSMF Board of Directors:

  • Chair: Carrie Abernathy, CMP, CEM, CSEP, Director of Education, Training & Events, Practice Greenhealth & Health Care Without Harm
  • Past Chair: Mark Andrew, CMP, CHA, Regional Vice President and General Manager, Fairmount Hotels and Resorts
  • Treasurer: Chris Brophy, Vice President-Corporate Sustainability, MGM Resorts International

2014-2015 GSMF Trustees

  • Diana Bulger, Area Director/ Public Relations, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
  • Scott Beck, President and CEO, Salt Lake City Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Harith Wickerma, President, Harith Productions, Ltd, Adjunct Professor, Temple University School of Tourism and Hospitality
  • Cary Broussard, Owner, Broussard Global Communications, Author, From Cinderella to CEO/Adjunct Professor, New York University.
  • Joseph Cozza, Catering Sales Leader, New York, Marriott International Global Sales
  • Charles Massey, CMP, Founder and CEO, SYNAXIS Meetings and Events

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