IMT is laser-focused on unleashing the potential of energy-efficient buildings to improve bottom lines and property value, drive economic growth, and reduce harmful pollution to create healthier, resilient cities. Collaborating with building owners, tenants, governments, and other city and corporate stakeholders, as well as NGOs and strategic partners, IMT’s expert staff strive to catalyze collective and permanent market change. So, who is IMT? Get to know our subject matter experts in this blog series.
In this edition, Kris Pueschel, IMT’s Director of Development, shares why strong partnerships are key to IMT’s vision of market transformation and how his career led him to energy efficiency.
What was your favorite job before IMT?
It’s hard to pick just one: working in the Senate, serving as COO of a medical school, leading the western states’ efforts for the Statue of Liberty Foundation, and heading schools all come to mind. Maybe a special favorite was my first few years working in a boarding school where I was simultaneously teacher, coach, dorm master, director of development—and fire marshal.
How do you apply your previous experience to your current projects?
Four decades of work in a variety of environments has taught me that successful fundraising—like so much of life—is all about building trusted relationships. Whether I was teaching and mentoring students, working with boards of directors, founding a school, leading major fundraising campaigns, working with Senate colleagues, serving as an effective paramedic, being a good dad, grandpa, and husband—at the foundation of all of these associations is the need to develop trusted bonds. I hope I have brought that perspective and experience to my colleagues and work at IMT. Other skills honed through experience are also essential, but the effectiveness of their application pales without a foundation of trusted relationships.
It’s certainly a focus of my work at IMT. IMT is a trusted partner for policy makers, private business, and our funders, and we prioritize building supportive relationships with all of these stakeholders. I believe that is a key part of why we are able to provide uniquely actionable resources and guidance.
What does market transformation mean to you, and how does your current work at IMT move us toward that goal?
I have never worked for an organization or cause that I didn’t deeply believe in, and that is true for my support of IMT’s mission. For me, market transformation means tackling a significant cause of climate change, economic waste, and inequality. IMT is about correcting that.
However, as worthy as a cause may be, causes are just dreams without funding. My job is to ensure the financial support to turn dreams into reality and to find support for IMT’s work to identify barriers, develop solutions, and implement those solutions to scale. We do a very good job on that mission—all of which is made possible by our close partnerships with our funders who support our vision and ongoing work through their generosity.
Tell about a time you recognized the impact of building energy efficiency.
One of the first times the impact of energy efficiency affected me personally was when I had to convince a business owner that investing in building sustainability was a good business model. As COO of a medical school in the Caribbean, I was responsible for millions of dollars of new construction, and I knew it ought to be built to the highest building code possible to ensure the longevity of the school and the safety of our students. At first, the owners resisted my request to build the structures to a higher hurricane rating—largely because it was more expensive in the short-term. I convinced them that no prospective buyer would be interested without the increased assurance of physical sustainability and the long-term value of resilient, efficient buildings. They were awakened to the potential return on this investment and encouraged me to proceed with the higher standard. It paid off for them in the end.
Tell us one thing about yourself that would surprise others.
I made surfboards for a living…quite a few years ago.