Interviewer: In 1999, you started a foundation to support people and programs working to improve education, health care, the environment, housing, and humanitarian issues. What inspired you to start The Hanley Foundation?

Michael Hanley: “Starting the Foundation seemed to be a way to ‘give back’ after the great growth and success of the housing industry and our company’s role in that success.”

Interviewer: You started The Hanley Award in 2009 at a time when the housing industry was suffering. What prompted you to establish The Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing?

Michael Hanley: “I wanted to create an award that recognizes the passion, dedication, and genius we’ve seen from those leading the way toward sustainable housing, that supports their continued contributions, and that inspires the work of others in this field. This is a critical time for sustainability to take hold in the housing industry and set an example for others.”

Interviewer: How are sustainable building practices good for society overall?

Michael Hanley: “The world is using up energy resources at an alarming clip.  Because such a big percentage of energy is involved in housing, making a difference here will have a profound positive effect in energy use.  People used to say I was the ‘big picture’ guy at Hanley Wood.  I consider sustainability for the country and probably the world – to be the big picture.”

Interviewer: How can sustainable building practices reshape the housing industry? 

Michael Hanley: “By showing builders and architects (and the eventual home buyer) that they can be proud and prudent by doing the right thing.  Incremental savings and life cycle cost savings, particularly in a home, can do good for the planet and for homeowners’ pocketbooks at the same time.”

Interviewer: What qualities or contributions do you look for in a Hanley Award winner?

Michael Hanley: “The judges look for a person or organization that have not only made a big difference with one project, but have a track record in sustainability over their careers.  We look for people who are leading by example.”

Interviewer: The Hanley Award winners and nominees come from a variety of professions. What do you think prompts people to be innovative wherever they work – a government agency, a small business or a large corporation?

Michael Hanley: “At Hanley-Wood, Mike Wood and I encouraged innovation and creative thinking about new products and we were optimistic about the future of the industry.”

Interviewer: What other types of projects does The Hanley Foundation support?

Michael Hanley: “The Foundation supports local entities helping provide shelter, like Friendship Place in Washington, D.C., the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, along with many others.”