Chicago snags green city spotlight for second year running

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A new study has revealed Chicago to be the greenest city to work in within the United States. About 70% of the Windy City’s office spaces are certified for environmental efficiency, up from 66% last year. Other top cities include runner-up San Francisco, Atlanta, Lost Angeles, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Related: BIG weaves green roofs into a mixed-use development on stilts in Miami

The annual survey is taken by the United States Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE Group) and evaluated in… View full post on Inhabitat – Green Design, Innovation, Architecture, Green Building



Staff Spotlight: Cindy Silveira

Cindy Silveira, MPA
Cindy Silveira, MPA

Today we’d like to introduce you to a new member of our team, Cindy Silveira, MPA.

As part of the strategic planning process at the National Center, we’ve added capacity by hiring new staff members. It’s exciting to have fresh energy and new enthusiasm in our offices, and we’re eager to share their stories with you.

One new staff person who you may encounter in your interactions with our organization is Cindy Silveira, Director of Leadership Giving.

Cindy grew up in rural Oregon, but started her career in Boston, MA, where she attended the University of Massachusetts. Since moving back to Oregon in 1989, she earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and has built a career as a leader in fundraising and philanthropy.

She has served as Chief Development Officer for the American Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington and has successfully led major fundraising programs at Providence Cancer Center, Lewis and Clark Law School and Peace Health Foundation, Vancouver.

In her role at the National Center, Cindy will be building a major gifts program and planned giving program for our organization. Her first task has been to meet with long term National Center supporters throughout the nation and to build a fundraising plan that will support expansion of our activities.

In her spare time, Cindy enjoys attending music events, cooking using fruit and vegetables from her yard, and enjoying her neighborhood in inner Southeast Portland. She has one son, Eric who is an artist in New York City. She enjoys the many cultural activities that Portland has to offer, and she likes to travel off the beaten path, enjoying neighborhoods and communities far away from traditional tourist attractions.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center

Board Member Spotlight: George Eighmey, JD

George Eighmey
George Eighmey

As a young boy back in Waterloo, IA, George Eighmey (pronounced Amy) helped care for his dying aunt. He remembers her begging for relief from her suffering, but not receiving it. He thought then it was cruel no one was able to comfort her. Later, while in high school, George worked part-time as an orderly in a nursing home where he saw excruciating pain and suffering go untreated. He was told “redemptive suffering” cleansed the soul and assured one entry to heaven. By then, he began to question why patients had to endure this treatment when there were means available to ease their condition and would allow them to die peacefully. His aunt’s death and the nursing home experience made an indelible impression on George that in many ways led him into his careers.

After a four year stint in the Air Force as a weather instructor, George enrolled in college using the GI Bill and graduated from the University of Illinois Schools of Administration and Law. As an attorney, he went on to practice in the areas of estate and family law, working for people facing day to day problems and end-of-life issues. His youthful memories formed his belief that people who planned for the future, including their inevitable demise, would be able to live life to its fullest. They’d know when their final days arrived they’d be prepared and so would their families.

George was licensed to practice before the Ninth and Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Oregon and Illinois Supreme Courts, the US Tax Court, and the US Federal Appeals Court before retiring. During his practice years in Illinois, he was president of the county bar association and managing partner of his first law firm. He also served on the Urbana, Illinois city council as an elected member. He was Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus and served on his church’s council allowing him to provide assistance to those in need.

In 1982, he made the decision to alter his life course after personally experiencing discrimination and witnessing it against others. He moved to Portland, OR where he continued to practice law, but also became more involved in human rights activities. He was elected to the board of a facility treating people suffering from AIDS in 1988 and became its chair in 1990. In that position, he heard about far too many young men ending their lives tragically when their disease deprived them of any quality of life. He remembered his earlier years back in Waterloo and was determined there had to be a better way to end one’s suffering when one’s death was imminent.

His opportunity to make a difference occurred in 1993 when he was appointed to the Oregon State House of Representatives, where he served from 1993-1999. During his term as an Oregon state representative he acted as vice-chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Minority Whip, and senior Democrat leader where he was able to assist in the passage of the Death with Dignity Act, Medicinal Marijuana and Alternative Medicine laws. In 1997, during the successful second campaign to support Oregon’s right to die law, George became one of several statewide spokespeople for it. After the law went into effect, he was hired as Executive Director of Compassion & Choices of Oregon; an organization dedicated to providing nonjudgmental information on end-of-life options. He served in that position for 12 years until retiring in September, 2010. He continues to lecture on the subject of Oregon’s assisted death law throughout the US and most recently he testified in favor of the legislative passage of an Oregon type law in Vermont. As a result of his experience and recent activities, the board of Death with Dignity National Center invited him to become a member. He’s now serving as Death with Dignity National Center’s newest member and contributing to its efforts to pass Oregon type Death with Dignity laws in other states.

George is an advisory board member of Equity Foundation, the Bosco-Milligan Historic Preservation Foundation and co-author of a chapter in the book Compassion in Dying—Stories of Dignity and Choice. He’s received honors from several human rights and attorney organizations over his lifetime including from such diverse groups as Right to Pride, Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association, Our House of Portland, Legal Secretaries Association, and others. He and his life-partner, Peter, a land use lawyer, raised George’s two children, along with George’s former wife Marie. They sadly lost their son Greg in 2006, but are very much comforted by having their daughter Jasmine, a math and science teacher, and her husband Jeff, a sales executive, in their lives. In retirement, George remains active not only with his many causes, but enjoying outdoor activities and regular trips to NYC to enjoy Broadway plays.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center

Board Member Spotlight: Betty Rollin

Betty Rollin
Betty Rollin

We’ve spotlighted several of our staff members. Today, we would like to shine the light on one of our board members, Betty Rollin.

Betty Rollin is a TV correspondent, accomplished author, and sought-after speaker. A former correspondent for NBC News, her special reports for Nightly News included a series on the Native Americans of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, which won both the duPont and Emmy awards. She now contributes reports for PBS’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.

Rollin is the author of seven books, including First, You Cry, a moving story—the first of its kind—about her breast cancer and mastectomy. Published in 1976 and re-published in 2000 in honor of the author’s 25th “cancer anniversary”, it received wide critical acclaim and was made into a television movie starring Mary Tyler Moore as Ms. Rollin.

Her bestseller Last Wish, published in 1985 and republished in 1998 recounts the story of her mother’s request for help in dying and
began for her what has been a 20-year involvement in the Death with Dignity movement. One critic called it “a document of personal compassion and public importance.” The book has been published in 18 foreign countries and was made into a TV movie, which aired on ABC in 1992, starring Patty Duke and Maureen Stapleton.

Her most recent book, published by Random House is Here’s the Bright Side: of Failure, Fear, Cancer, Divorce and other Bum Raps.

Rollin first joined NBC in 1972 as a reporter for the news magazine, Chronolog and during 1972 she was the on-air theater critic for WNBC-TV, New York. She later created and anchored a series of NBC News’ special programs for and about women titled Women Like Us. In January, 1973, she was named a correspondent for NBC News. In this position, she reported on human-interest stories, which remain her main focus as a journalist. In 1982, she became a contributing correspondent for ABC News Nightline. She left that position to write Last Wish and returned to NBC News in 1984.

Prior to her television career, Betty Rollin was an associate feature editor and staff writer for Vogue magazine. Following that, she became a senior editor for Look magazine, where she remained until the publication was discontinued in 1971. She has contributed articles to many national magazines, including The New York Times where she was also a Hers columnist.

A native New Yorker, Rollin is a graduate of Fieldston Ethical Culture School in Riverdale, NY and Sarah Lawrence College. She and her husband, Dr. Harold M. Edwards, a mathematician, live in Manhattan.

View full post on Death with Dignity National Center

NFDA-TV 2011-01 Member Spotlight: Green Funeral Winners

On this January 2011 NFDA-TV segment, NFDA-TV reporter Michelle Smith profiles the first four NFDA member funeral homes to be recognized with the Green Funeral Practices Certificate.