There are people who dedicate themselves to conservation, sustainability and general eco-do-gooding every day, not just on April 22. Here at Findery, one way we’re celebrating Earth Day is by acknowledging our environmental heroes. Over the next week, we’ll give you the chance to get to know them better and find out more about what propelled them into careers as professional tree-huggers and earth-savers.
Image via SF Environment.
First up, meet Michele Grossman, Managing Principal at Waste Management Sustainability Services in San Francisco. Waste Management is the largest recycler in North America, and many of its customers are also large corporations. In her position, she has a lot of influence. Grossman learns about these businesses to help them understand how to best prioritize sustainability. That could mean incorporating sustainability into policies and contracts, figuring out how to talk about it publicly, or taking all the sporting events they sponsor to zero-waste.
Findery: Where were you the first time you were truly in awe of nature?
MG: Growing up in Western PA, I was familiar with the beauty inherent in woods, streams, ponds and lakes. These I took for granted. However, I did not actually see the ocean (aside from when I was two, which I don’t remember), until I was 16! My parents took my sister and me to Disney World and, on the way back, we stopped at Jekyll Island. That’s when I was truly in awe of nature.
Findery: What was it that really moved you or blew your mind?
MG: The sand, the clouds, the blue, blue sky, the sound of the waves, the intense power of the ocean; how it all came together to create a hugely different landscape than anything I’d spent time with before.
Findery: How did this experience stay with you and inform your career?
MG: After that experience, I knew I wanted to be closer to the ocean. During college, I spent summers on Martha’s Vineyard and after college, I lived there year-round for a spell. That first ocean experience, while fundamental, was nothing compared with LIVING near the ocean, seeing it day by day, at night, any time. I also started farming on Martha’s Vineyard, so I developed a fondness for that particular land, as well as the sea. I realized while I loved the Vineyard, I wanted to be part of something bigger, to make a greater impact on the world. I decided to go back to school for Environmental Science. I have been working for the environment every since.
Findery: What’s one place in the world that you haven’t been that you’re dying to see? Why?
MG: I would love to go to the Galapagos Islands, on a National Geographic tour while rereading On the Origin of Species! Some friends of mine went and they were just blown away. Aside from the fact that the islands won’t be around forever, they offer so many experiences you just can’t have anyplace else with volcanoes and animals and sea creatures in this pristine environment. Just imagine being on a ship with people who can answer ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS about the amazing things you see!
Findery: Is there anything else that’s on your mind?
I think Earth Day should be renamed People Day or something like that. Because if we don’t do something pretty tremendous to slow down the accumulation of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, it’s the people and animals that will suffer. The Earth will be rid of us in no time, geologically speaking. We’re the ones that need to be saved.
You see them at weddings, corporate events, and parties and they never get old. Photobooths, that is. And the photobooth at Findery’s iPhone app launch party was killer! Since the event was held on April Fool’s Day, there was a theme. Did we fool ya?
Thank you SmugMug! You can find all of the photos from the Findery Foolery photobooth here.
Last night we celebrated our Findery iPhone app launch. When we were in the planning mode, our event partner, The Bold Italic, gave us a choice of venues. When we saw photos of The Regency Lodge, we knew it was for us. The room, with its wood beam ceiling, stained glass windows, red carpet, built-in pipe organ, and stage with 31 hand-painted backdrops, felt like a portal to another time. Not to mention, the elevator requires an elevator man to operate it – the last elevator man in all of San Francisco. So Findery!
Once the guests started arriving (and there was a line prior to the start time!) they were treated to an open bar with special Jack Daniel’s and Old Forrester cocktails, inventive hors d’oeuvres brought to you by Fogcutter, a treat machine dispensing edibles from American Cupcake, sleight of hand magic tricks by Ryan Kane, and off-the-charts karaoke hosted by DJ Purple. We didn’t want the night to end, but we got to take a little bit of it with us, the stunning flowers that is!
You work weekends. You design your heart out. You listen to your members. You hope for the best. You launch your product. Then when THIS happens, you jump for joy! — Apple featured us in the app store not only as one of the Best New Apps, but also as an Editor’s Choice pick!
They even wrote a lovely review:
“By letting users add notes and photos to specific locations on a world map, Findery adds a bit of intrigue and surprise to thousands of places. As people create and share stories and posts across the globe, each area starts to take on its own narrative. And because Findery can tell you when you’re near someone’s note, you’ll always know when you’re close to a special spot.”
There is great joy at Findery HQ!!
Download the Findery app for iPhone here.
We look forward to finding your notes.