Twenty Questions with Movers & Shakers

Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal

Wayne DeFeo, LEED AP BD+C, MA ES and principal of Wayne DeFeo Associates, a full service environmental consulting firm, has spent the past three decades guiding public and private section clients, including dozens of municipalities, Fortune 100 firms, and Universities through the complexities of energy conservation, solid waste management, recycling and LEED green building development. The former vice chairman of the USGBC-NJ, Wayne has dedicated his career to promoting practical sustainability solutions. A recognized expert in environmental issues in state and federal court and a faculty coordinator at Rutgers, Wayne is considered one of the most influential people in the fields of sustainability and waste management in the region.

1. Was there a single incident or event that inspired you to focus on sustainability?

Sustainability has been something I have worked on before there was a term to indentify it. However, working with Bill Ruckelshaus while at BFI, I had the opportunity to get a first hand look at the meaning of sustainability on a global level. This led me to determine that my earlier training and experience had a new meaning.

2. Other than family, who has inspired you the most in your career?

There were many that inspired my career. Starting with my junior high school science teachers, Mr. D'Anton and Mr. Villano as well as my high school environmental science teacher, Mr. Cieri and my high school social studies teacher Ms. Schneider.....and of course, my college biology teacher, Marie Kuhnen.

3. When did you first feel that you had "made it" professionally?

I am not certain that I have truly made it professionally. I would say that as people in the sustainability field now recognize me and I actually receive inquiries about the topic it might be that I have finally started to make it professionally.

4. What project or aspect of your career has been the most humbling?

When I left state government, where I was a Deputy Director, and had many phone calls asking for my help, I was warned that the telephone would stop ringing the day that I left. That was so true....

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