LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Los Angeles Chapter of the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council will launch its Sustainable Innovation Awards this year during the chapter's 7th Annual Green Gala on Thursday, November 3, 2011, from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the LEED Certified JW Marriott at L.A. Live (900 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif.)

The Green Gala has become recognized throughout the region as the single largest annual vehicle for communication, celebration and bridge-building among those who think, act, design and build greener throughout the County of Los Angeles and its metropolitan areas.

The significance of this year's Gala is further cemented in the selection of the Keynote Speaker, Jason McLennan, author of the Living Building Challenge, international speaker and CEO of the Cascadia Green Building Council. He is considered one of the founders of the green design movement in the U.S. Never one to shy away from any topic, he credits USGBC for laying the original groundwork in identifying and encouraging green design, while simultaneously challenging and inspiring the organization to continually push the envelope in the advancement of sustainable design and construction. From his unique perspective, McLennan will address the Gala's theme of “Branching Out” and how that concept is key to the Chapter's growth and empowerment as it heads into its second decade.

“We are thrilled to launch our Chapter's 10th Anniversary with a visionary such as Jason McLennan,” said Brenden McEneaney, USGBC-LA Board Chair, and Green Building Program Advisor for the City of Santa Monica. “No doubt, he will provoke discussion among Los Angeles' sustainable community, which is what we consistently hope to do with our programming, diverse membership, independent-minded Branches, and with the new awards saluting cutting-edge ideas.”

USGBC-LA's Inaugural Sustainable Innovation Awards will recognize exceptional achievement and innovation in each LEED category for countywide certified projects from the past two years. The awards program offers prestige, notoriety and affirmation of a project team's commitment to a sustainable built environment. The submissions-judged for innovation, community impact and team collaboration-will attract members throughout the Los Angeles County's sustainable community and be awarded regardless of LEED certification achieved. The call for submissions resides at www.usgbc-la.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/CallforEntries1.pdf, with the deadline set for Sept. 30, 2011.

The annual Gala annually attracts over 400 influential guests across its industry, including architectural designers, landscapers, builders, local and regional governments, nonprofits, utility companies and those interested in collaborative sustainable initiatives that affect communities.

Sponsorship opportunities are available and individual tickets are $250 per person. For more information, visit www.usgbc-la.org, or contact Katy Robinson, Director of Operation & Communications at 213-689-9707 or via email at krobinson@usgbc-la.org.