Chief Sustainability Officer
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American Museum
Leslie Tom, is the Chief Sustainability Officer at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Leslie arrived by way of Wayne State University's, mid-career, Detroit Revitalization Fellowship in 2015. Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Leslie has a bachelor’s in architecture from the University of Arizona and master’s in Information Management Systems from the Information School at UC Berkley.
Cassie Byrd, is the Chief Learning Officer, Michigan Science Center. Cassie is a molecular biologist and secondary life science teacher. Her career as a clinical laboratory scientist for the United States Air Force, supported Cassie in identifying emerging respiratory viruses and creating a novel training program for laboratory technicians in the rapid identification of biological pathogens. For a decade, she worked at the San Francisco, Exploratorium where she created Homeschool Science programs and Girls Science Institute - programs that promote scientific literacy, fosters self-confidence, and highlight female role models to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM.
Both newcomers to Detroit, Leslie and Cassie leaned heavily on museum staff, the Detroit green community and museum neighbors. Situated within a cultural campus of multiple museums, schools, and residents, we worked to design, check, learn and operate collectively. Our Facilities, Education, Marketing, Development, and Public Programming all are becoming Sustainability Neighbors in construction & maintenance practices, exhibitions, events and data driven best practices.
We collectively managed more than $300,000 in grants and rebates, facilitated over 3,000 hours of consultants, volunteers, vendors and started a handful of water, energy and waste initiatives. A few notable green initiatives include: building Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects, redesigning recycling graphics, adding Variable Fan Drives, participating in Battle of the Buildings (Energy Star Portfolio Manager), installed submeters, greening our festivals, hosted World Water Day. We focus on how to work with staff and community to conspire to take actions.