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Sunday, February 19, 2012

ZWZ Turns Three!

Amazing, incredible to realize the monumental press conference launching the Zero Waste Zones program was three years ago on February 10!  In some ways it seems like another lifetime and in other facets preparing for the event feels like only yesterday.  These emotions must be similar to the revelations a parent experiences as their child grows up and enters adulthood.

As ZWZ Blog followers know, I rarely write in first person - only when the topic is close to the heart.  Celebrating the ZWZ Third Birthday is close to my heart.

Sharon & the C21 team
photo courtesy of Leonardo Ruscitto
Preparing for this post, I went back to the third ZWZ Blog post, ZWZ ~ Downtown Atlanta is Announced to the Media, and realized how the blog, along with my writing confidence, developed in tandem with the program.  

A big THANK YOU to Sharon Goldmacher of Communications 21 for telling me in early 2009 it was important to start a blog - the ZWZ Blog is closing on 35,000 page views!  Sharon said YES twice to providing pro-bono public relations services for the ZWZ launch press conference and again for the ZWZ Two-Year Press Conference on February 23, 2011. Another big THANK YOU to Sharon and her c21 team.

A common theme in speaking engagements is "Collaboration is Key."  A year ago collaboration took on a new dimension for Elemental Impact and the ZWZ program when Scott DeFife, National Restaurant Association Sr. EVP Government & Public Affairs, announced the national collaboration between the NRA and Ei | ZWZ.  From the ZWZ Blog post, ZWZ Garners National Support, here is the official statement issued:
Scott @ ZWZ press conference
photo courtesy of  Leonardo Ruscitto
Atlanta’s Zero Waste Zone program has been incredibly successful, and we are now looking to expand that success to communities nationwide.  Sustainability is imperative to our industry, other business communities and the general public. Working with Elemental Impact, we are bringing industry stakeholders together to enable our members to establish - and succeed in reaching - waste diversion and resource recovery goals.
Over the past year the NRA relationship has grown stronger and a ZWZ national expansion plan is in process with pending announcements later this year.  With the expanded partnership, the ZWZ will benefit from the NRA ConServe Metrics Collection Tool modified to include ZWZ Criteria.

 Charlotte Airport ZWZ visit
In 2011 the ZWZ National Zone was launched with HMSHost concession operations at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and the Tampa International Airport.  Organizations throughout the nation may join the ZWZ- National Zone and receive program benefits, mainly the NRA Metrics Collection Tool.  The ZWZ Blog post, It's Official:  ZWZ is National!, gives the details.

Susan Montgomery joined the Ei Team as ZWZ Program Director in April, 2011.  Using her excellent organizational skills, Susan created documents and materials necessary for the Atlanta ZWZ program to replicate in other communities.  Susan built on the fantastic work accomplished in 2010 by Hadley Laughlin, then ZWZ Program Director.

Strong ZWZ foundations are laid in Charlotte and South Carolina - the ZWZ Blog post, 2011 Planning = 2012 ACTION, gives a Charlotte update and A ZWZ Encore Performance gives an overview of the second SC Atlanta ZWZ November tour.

Tampa reunion with Dave (on rt)
With ZWZ-Buckhead Champion Dave Rossman relocating to the Sheraton Suites Tampa Airport, there is strong ZWZ potential in the Tampa Bay area.  The Tampa Airport is already a ZWZ-National Zone Participant! See the ZWZ Blog post, An Atlanta Icon Resurfaces in Tampa, for the fun reunion.

In September, the Zero Waste Zones website went live!  It was a tremendous undertaking to intertwine between the daily tasks of running the program.   Collaborative effort was at its best - a big THANK YOU to webmaster Mark Anderson of LivePage Cafe, graphic design whiz Lee Thompson of Thompson Creative, Kelly Hornbuckle for her orchestration, Roshni Patel for her administrative support and Susan Montgomery for her excellent editorial proofing skills.

Like a proud parent, it is huge to witness the ZWZ program come forth from a passionate idea to a well respected program who made her national debut.  The stage is set:  the ZWZ has a life of her own and her fourth year is destined for tremendous national impact.  Thank you to everyone for your support, contributions and especially your faith in the ZWZ and me.  I am most grateful.

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