www.i2sl.org • info@i2sl.org


I2SL Board of Directors


Gordon Sharp

Dan Doyle
Chief Financial Officer

Alison Farmer


Kevin Brettmann
JE Dunn Construction

Brad Cochran
CPP Wind

Chad House
Siemens Industry, Inc.

Chris Incarvito
Yale University

Punit Jain
Cannon Design

Kathy Ramirez-Aguilar
University of Colorado Boulder

Tom Smith

Kelly Weisinger
Emory University


November 1, 2021

Dear I2SL Members and Sustainable Laboratory Community:

About two weeks ago we were sad to report the sudden and unexpected passing of the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) Founding President and Executive Director Phil Wirdzek on October 9 of a heart attack. Since then, we have heard many heartfelt comments and remembrances about Phil. Phil was very welcoming and folksy in his demeanor, but he was also a guiding light that made a major and significant impact on the laboratory sustainability movement—both when he was at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and of course when he founded I2SL in 2006 and grew it into an international leader of the laboratory sustainability movement over these last 15 years. To read about some of his many accomplishments, I2SL has posted a short tribute to Phil here.

Over these last two weeks, the other officers and I, along with the I2SL Board of Directors, have been discussing how to continue Phil’s legacy and how best to support and grow I2SL without him. Over two years ago, we had developed a transition plan that included a gradual shift of Phil’s Executive Director responsibilities to ERG, the support organization that has effectively been running I2SL operations and conference and supported its precursor, Laboratories for the 21st Century. Phil intended to retain the title of “President” and serve as the leader and public face of I2SL, with most of the management of the day-to-day operations led by Kathleen Brady, who leads the staff at ERG supporting I2SL. The plan also noted that, should something unexpected happen to Phil during this time period, Kathleen would step in to manage day-to-day activities, and the I2SL Vice President would temporarily serve in the President’s role until Phil’s recovery or a search process resulted in a new President of the Board of Directors.

Last week, the Board of Directors approved my transition from Vice President to the new President of the I2SL Board of Directors for an approximately one-year term through the end of 2022. To give adequate space to take on this significant volunteer position, I will be reducing my role and responsibilities at Aircuity, and also my time on Airflow Kinetics. The Board also approved the transition of Kathleen Brady of ERG to be Executive Director of I2SL, which is an expansion of her current role managing day-to-day operations. With these transitions in place, we are confident in the strong continuance of I2SL as an organization and a leader in laboratory sustainability.

Many challenges lie ahead such as sorting out the new organizational structure, securing and maintaining funding as the pandemic continues to affect our organization as well as those of our members, and resetting our strategic and operational plans based on the new world we live in. Kathleen and I don’t presume that we can fill Phil’s shoes nor duplicate his passion for sustainable laboratories, but we all bring something different to the work we do and together we will continue to make I2SL a welcoming, beneficial, and impactful organization that is also resilient and sound.

Stay tuned for future communications on initiatives I2SL is working on to honor Phil’s impact and legacy. I am also hoping that everyone can get involved and help continue his dream of sustainable labs across the globe. As the effects of climate change become even more pronounced, the work that both I2SL and yourselves are all doing to make labs more sustainable is ever more important.

If you have any comments or suggestions about I2SL, or if you want to get more involved in I2SL’s laboratory sustainability mission, please feel free to contact me back at president@i2sl.org or by replying to this email.


Gordon Sharp
I2SL President