Author: Chi Chi TruongTalentFX

TalentFX is returning to Greenbuild 2015 taking place in Washington, DC. This cutting edge program features a direct line to master speakers in an intimate setting, offers amazing opportunities to connect with your peers and leaders in the green building industry, and access to invaluable career advice! We could brag about how awesome TalentFX 2015 is going to be all day long, but why take our word for it? Below, Chi Chi Truong, a past TalentFX presenter, shares his story on how his experience lead to deeper collaboration for community impact.

“You are the future leaders of [insert issue or cause]!” said every speaker that has stood before you.

“Change the world! Make a difference!” These were your calls to action when growing up. But how does one go about effecting change?

For as long as I can remember, I was always involved in the community or in after-school activities – sports, academic clubs, performance groups – you name it, I was probably in it! #overachiever

I looked to continue that trajectory post-college graduation by joining the U.S. Green Building Council in 2010. I wanted to apply my growing leadership skills to my new responsibilities as the local Emerging Professionals chair and a National Chair for the University Students program. We partnered with Paradise Key, FIU School of Architecture, Love the Everglades, Waste Management, and many others to organize eco-fashion shows that got people to re-purpose waste into something creative and interesting. We won grants with Net Impact, AIA Young Architects Forum, Catalyst Miami, ULI Young Leaders, and over 30 other organizations to host a public space festival to encourage local residents to activate and revitalize our downtown corridor.

I had a talent of bringing groups of people together and uniting them under a common cause.  I also had an amazing team around me without whom none of this would be possible. But in a community with so many issues, so many organizations, and so many events, it was a challenge to get people to care. As successful as we were, it was not without its share of tumultuous frustrations to get there and to get people engaged.

Jump forward to Greenbuild New Orleans 2014. I was invited to present at TalentFX to share my experiences on community collaboration and how to build support for a project through key and strategic partnerships. Afterwards, I stuck around to answer some questions and speak with people in the audience as well as my fellow presenters. We discovered that many of us have had similar experiences in the community projects where our biggest challenge was getting people to join the effort.

In the following months, I was elected as the president for the USGBC Miami branch where I now had to host and organize these community programs and projects on a monthly basis. Amazingly, a few people approached me with a few ideas and programs that they were working on that they wanted to partner with USGBC on. When I had asked them how they found out about me, they mentioned that a friend of theirs saw my presentation at TalentFX; what a small world. As we began to curate programs together and engage other community stakeholders, more and more organizations began approaching us to partner and collaborate.

It’s one thing to be successful at creating successful projects, but it’s another to make people aware of what you’ve done. Often times we’re afraid of coming off as arrogant if we talk about our accomplishments. But TalentFX is a platform to do just that – to share your achievements and experiences, to celebrate your successes, and to connect with other like-minded community changemakers.


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