Oct. 28 event launches sustainability initiatives in renewable energy, business

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(Oct. 14, 2010)--Guided by the theme, "Resourceful, Independent, Sustainable," two of UTSA's newest applied research and outreach programs will have a collaborative kickoff celebration from 3:30 to 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28 at the Buena Vista Theater (1.326) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. The UTSA community, small business and city officials, and the public are invited; a reception will follow.

>> To help encourage student involvement in the initiatives, 50 seats at the kickoff event will be reserved for students; to reserve a seat, e-mail texasenergy@utsa.edu.

The combined expertise of the UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and the Institute for Economic Development will be aimed toward both small businesses and UTSA students in an effort to connect those currently driving the San Antonio business community and future citizen leaders.

UTSA's growing sustainability efforts will be introduced by Dennis Haynes, interim dean of the College of Public Policy and co-chair of the UTSA Sustainability Council, followed by a keynote address by sustainability expert and author Lucia Athens. A San Antonio native, Athens is the City of Austin's newly appointed chief sustainability officer.

The Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute will promote applied energy research and innovation. "One of the institute's key educational goals is to create citizen leaders that have a sense of responsibility and knowledge of sustainable practices," said director Les Shephard. He will speak on his vision for the institute and the importance of mentoring UTSA students.

The Sustainable Business Program is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help small businesses understand and adopt sustainable business practices to benefit both the bottom line and the environment.

Roy Pachecano, program lead for the Sustainable Business Program, will talk briefly about the "triple bottom line" in sustainable business and outline a series of new training programs and technical assistance services for small businesses. Pachecano is a recognized expert in green construction. He lectures at Columbia University and Pratt Institute and is a contributor to BUILDERNews magazine.

For more information on the Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute, contact Christine Olejniczak at 210-458-7979. For more information on the Sustainable Business Program in the Institute for Economic Development, contact Clara Chavez at 210-458-2458.

>> View a map of the UTSA Downtown Campus.

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About UTSA Institute for Economic Development

The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to creating jobs, growing businesses, and fostering economic and community development. Services include professional business consultation, technical training, research and strategic planning for more than 32,000 small-to-medium businesses and organizations annually. Programs primarily serve the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international initiatives. Working in collaboration with federal, state and local government agencies, and business-sector partners and clients, the IED is a principal driver of UTSA's community engagement mission.