Partner Story: Green Building Alliance

Michale Sobkowiak GBA

“PULSE is a great way to quickly find new talent for your organization.”
– Michael Sobkowiak, Green Building Alliance


GBA logo


Green Building Alliance (GBA) has been promoting healthy, high performing buildings in Western Pennsylvania for over two decades. The first nonprofit in the U.S. of its kind, GBA focuses exclusively on making the region’s commercial building sector more environmentally sustainable. GBA works to achieve this goal in a variety of ways, from leading and inspiring the market to invest in “green” building solutions, to empowering the community with knowledge and resources about sustainable practices. Some of GBA’s groundbreaking initiatives in the region include the Pittsburgh 2030 Districts, Green Schools Academy, DASH, and Knowledge Network.

PULSE Fellow Brendan Erb serves as GBA’s Programming and Communications Coordinator. Brendan works in education and outreach to promote events, from building tours to professional training sessions. Brendan coordinates GBA’s continuing education provisions for building science professionals and leads efforts in the Green Workplace Challenge. Brendan appreciates the collaborative work environment at GBA, and says “Now, halfway through my PULSE term, I’m so grateful that my supervisors and coworkers continue to give careful attention to developing my professional skill set.”

Michael Sobkowiak, VP of Knowledge Network at GBA, oversees the organization’s programming, communications, Knowledge Network, and e-learning programs. In the interview below, he reflects on GBA’s partnership with PULSE.

Julia Smucker: Why did your organization decide to work with PULSE?
Michael Sobkowiak: We were looking for high quality candidates and PULSE had a great program of identifying outstanding individuals.

JS: What do you like most about your current PULSE fellow?
MS: Brendan is really excited to be part of the GBA team. He has expressed his interest to grow, learn, and try “all things new.” His humor is contagious and uplifting and he is a supportive and energetic team member. We’re looking forward to sharing our passion of sustainability with him through his tenure.

JS: How has your partnership with PULSE impacted your organization?
MS: By identifying quality individuals and providing additional professional development, PULSE has accelerated the growth of our PULSE fellow, allowing him to take on more challenges.

JS: What is the most rewarding part of working with PULSE?
MS: I have enjoyed the ease and the support provided by PULSE to create a smooth and seamless program. It has allowed for quicker integration of our fellow into the program and his continued success.

JS: What would you tell other Pittsburgh nonprofits about PULSE?
MS: PULSE is a great way to quickly find new talent for your organization.

Story by PULSE fellow Julia Smucker.

This is part of a series of posts about the Nonprofit Partner experience with PULSE. If you would like to learn more about a Nonprofit Partnership, please visit our Partner Page.