Co-worker Gil Cortez honors Byron with a Hawaiian lei.

Co-workers say goodbye to a friend and colleague.

Past and present company employees gather to bid farewell to Byron.

Vendor Sunbelt Controls honors Byron with a generous donation to Oregon Food Bank.

An Elder Statesman Retires

Incredible work ethic.
Man with a good heart.
Devoted and diligent.

These are just some of the compliments showered on Byron Courts, our long-time director of engineering services, who retires on September 30.

Byron joined Melvin Mark 40 years ago as a building engineer, working to keep lights on, HVAC systems working, and tenant offices comfortable across our then-portfolio of historic and commercial properties. For the past several years, he’s overseen the sustainability of the commercial and industrial space we own and manage. He has spearheaded virtually all of our energy-saving retrofit projects, led our Green Globes certification process and consulted on numerous development projects.

Byron was investigating and implementing energy efficiency solutions as a way of improving building performance and building value long before sustainability was even a concept. He has been successful because he has an innate ability to work across multiple levels of the company.  He is trusted and respected by leadership, who looked to him for advice and guidance on investments that improve operating efficiency. He inspired employees to recommend and oversee energy saving projects from concept to completion. And he kept vendors on task, making sure they stood behind the energy saving solutions they said they could deliver. Rightfully so, he’s earned elder statesman status in the green building community.

He shared his knowledge with others outside the company too. He has been active in BOMA Oregon and helped shape and promote their sustainability education programs. He worked closely with Energy Trust of Oregon, ENERGY STAR, and Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance to support regional efforts.

He says it has “been a lot of fun to see all these practices grow and change.” From a business standpoint, he knew that sustainably managed buildings create the best work environment for tenants. From a personal viewpoint, he believed that green building practices contribute to a healthier planet, which is better for our children, our grandchildren and our community. He led the way for us all, knowing it was the right thing to do. He trained us well and leaves his legacy in good hands.

Byron, for your 40 years of service, we thank you.