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Employee Spotlight: Jared Sessum

By Green Coast on 20 Dec 2017

Green Coast’s new Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Manager Jared Sessum has a history of taking on tough, but interesting challenges.

A native of Utica, New York, Sessum played college football at the Air Force Academy and Indiana State University, earning a degree in finance and settling into what could have been a comfortable career. But Sessum still felt the pull of competitive sports, and at 28 years old, when most athletes have given up on turning pro, he became a professional rugby player. Eleven years later, Sessum is entering a new phase in his eclectic career, and this time it feels permanent.

“It’s a great opportunity, because when I decided to change careers I wanted to focus on energy and energy efficiency,” Sessum says.

As Green Coast’s commercial building energy efficiency manager, Sessum is in charge of the firm’s numerous energy-auditing contracts, which include New Orleans municipal buildings such as libraries and police stations and publicly funded properties such as charter schools. Sessum will consult on possible energy-savings improvements, and will also often oversee the improvements.

While it’s debatable whether his rugby stint contributed to his professional trajectory, Sessum’s past work experience shows why he is a good fit for his new position.

After playing rugby in Europe, Sessum returned to Upstate New York, and took a finance position with the engineering firm O’Brien & Gere, focusing on sustainability projects for the City University of New York (CUNY). That led him to eventually enroll in University of Villanova’s master’s program in sustainable engineering with a concentration in infrastructure and built environment, which he graduated from in 2015. During his graduate work, Sessum also spent time with the nonprofit, Engineers Without Borders, assisting with sustainable water development in Nicaragua and Ghana.

“It was an amazing experience, because it gives a holistic view of the interconnected impacts of economy, environment and society,” says Sessum. “My interests evolved.”

Since graduation, Sessum helped coordinate the implementation of a recycling program in more than 2,000 public housing buildings in New York City, and most recently ran a green job training program for young adults in public housing. Moving to New Orleans in July, he recognized that the city was “late to the game“when it comes to energy and the environment, and he thought he could make a difference.

“This is a great job for me, because it was the direction I planned on going with my career: buildings and building efficiency,” Sessum says. “Improving the infrastructure is a top priority.”

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