Meet Christina Vernon Sanborn, Mazzetti’s New Senior Decarbonization Specialist

12/07/21

Meet Christina Vernon Sanborn, Mazzetti’s new Senior Decarbonization Specialist. An architect, Christina brings unique owner experience in the Healthcare and Education sectors, in facility planning, design, and operations. Her passion and expertise in sustainability coupled with her ability to drive positive change is an effective combo (and her track record vouches). Christina, though based in Cleveland, OH, will serve Mazzetti clients nationwide, helping yield positive climate-responsible solutions.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUR SPECIFIC LINE OF WORK? WHAT ABOUT THIS ROLE EXCITES YOU?

Architect William McDonough wrote, “Design is the first signal of human intention.” As a young architect specializing in healthcare planning and design, I was inspired to design enduring, healthy spaces for healing. However, I was disappointed to find that my healthcare clients didn’t yet see the connection between their design and operational decisions and the broader environment that supports the health of the communities they served. I decided that I needed to shift to the owner’s side of the table to truly make an impact — to design a new path. I joined the Cleveland Clinic and eventually formed and led an Office for a Healthy Environment in which diverse stakeholders from across the institution came together to shape sustainable healthcare. I continued my career at Atrium Health (then Carolinas Healthcare) before a shift to higher education facilities management. Working in facilities management provided me with invaluable experience, but I missed working directly in sustainability. Now that I’ve joined Mazzetti, I am finding balance by working with diverse healthcare and higher education clients to assess and design solutions to address their climate risks.

WHAT EXCITES/MOTIVATES YOU MOST ABOUT YOUR LINE OF WORK?

I am passionate about making a positive impact with my career. With each client comes a different opportunity to influence decisions with real impacts to their present and future. No two clients or days are alike, each presenting new challenges and opportunities for me to learn and grow while leveraging my experiences.

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO MAZZETTI?

I have long admired Mazzetti’s proactive approach to thought leadership in sustainable healthcare design. From the CEO to design engineers to climate practice consultants, each Mazzetti teammate has unmatched expertise and an innovation mindset, driving our design and consulting practices forward. When I was ready come back to sustainability, Mazzetti was the only firm I really considered, and I am excited to have joined this excellent team!

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE FUTURE OF MAZZETTI?

Mazzetti has approached design and consulting with a long lens focused on leading the way to a healthier and more innovative future. We are well positioned to guide our clients as they address the risks that climate change poses to their institutions. No greater challenge faces our species, and we are part of designing a better future. It is the signal of our intention.

WHAT IS YOUR UNIQUE (OR GREATEST) VALUE YOU BRING TO CLIENTS? TO THE INDUSTRY?

My experience on the owner’s side in both healthcare and higher education has taught me the importance of listening. No two institutions are alike, and what worked for one may not work for another. Our clients want to learn from our experience, of course, but I think it’s just as important that a client’s unique needs are seen and heard. Trained in Appreciative Inquiry, I’m first drawn to understand the strengths of a system before proposing solutions.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK- WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS OR HOBBIES?

When I’m not working, you’ll find me spending time with my family and two pups, swimming at the gym, singing, playing my ukulele, or working on a craft or art project. I am avid world traveler and believe that curiosity leads to adventure and understanding.

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