Cathy Higgins, a 19-year Hood River resident and member of the Hood River County Energy Plan executive committee, was recently recognized as a 2018 Women of Vision honoree by the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce.
The annual Women of Vision awards recognize women in the Portland, Ore., metro area who have exhibited outstanding building industry leadership and community involvement, along with a strong commitment to diversity and mentorship.
Higgins is the research director at New Buildings Institute (NBI), where she has worked since 2000. According to a press release, she has spent more than half her life promoting energy-efficient buildings to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. She has been instrumental in the rise of daylighting and net zero energy buildings in the design-build industry, with her work leading to policies and projects that drastically save energy while increasing inhabitants’ health and comfort.
She has been recognized as the Oregon, and the National, Energy Manager of the year. Here in Hood River, she has lent her time and expertise to various projects, including offering energy education to Hood River Middle School students, STEM (science technology, engineering and math) events for high school students, and the Hood River County Energy Plan executive and buildings committees.
NBI, which was founded more than 20 years ago in White Salmon, Wash., is a national nonprofit, now based in Portland, that promotes advanced design practices, innovative technologies, public policies and programs that improve commercial building energy efficiency.