In loving memory of a fearless daughter, sister, aunt, friend and colleague.
  • 39 years old
  • Born on September 28, 1979 .
  • Passed away on January 28, 2019 .

Memorial Service Information - Ephrata, PA

The family will receive friends on Saturday, February 9th, from 9:00-10:00am at Alive Church in Ephrata, PA. A memorial service will follow at 10:00am. Please RSVP here.

Memorial Service Information - Washington, D.C.

An additional memorial celebration for Kate will be held on Monday, February 11, 2019 from 11am to 2pm in Washington, D.C. at the Ritz Carlton, located at 1150 22nd St., N.W. Please RSVP here.


Kate's family asks that contributions in her memory be sent to the International Justice Mission, a global non-profit comprised of men and women from multiple nations and diverse backgrounds, joining together to end the slave trade for good. IJM is the largest international anti-slavery organization in the world. Donate here.


Kate Janel Hurst, of Arlington, Virginia, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, peacefully on January 28th, 2019 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born on September 28th, 1979, in Ephrata, PA to Bob and Deb Hurst.

In addition to her parents, Kate is also survived by her sister, Carla Watling, wife of Marlin Watling, and their three children, Noah, Safiya and Lauryn, and her sister, Christy Savanick, wife of Adam Savanick and their three children, Landon, Graham and Jay. 

She attended McLean Bible Church in Vienna, VA.

Kate graduated from Ephrata High School and went on to graduate with honors at the University of Delaware. After college she volunteered in Kingston, Jamaica through the Mennonite Central Committee 's SALT (Serving and Learning Together) program for one year, working for a Human Rights Organization. Kate went on to work for USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) for the last 15 and a half years. She was passionate about her work there and was quickly recognized and awarded for her efforts. Her dedication to hard work and contributions to USGBC will leave a large void in the hearts of all those who knew and loved her. She will be greatly missed.

Kate loved to travel and explore new places, but most of all she loved her family. She was a devoted and loving daughter, sister and aunt. 

The family will receive friends on Saturday, February 9th, from 9:00-10:00am at Alive Church in Ephrata, PA.  A memorial service will follow at 10:00am.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the International Justice Mission.

Posted by Justin Brown on March 26, 2019
My condolences to Kate's family on her passing. Kate and my family were neighbors. We always appreciated stealing a word with her when we passed in the courtyard. She was always so kind to my sons and a wonderful, warm person. She was also very diligent with the recycling and set a high bar for the rest of us in the neighborhood!  It was very inspiring to read of the numerous ways she touched the lives of others. Kate is a gift indeed.
Posted by Haley Warson on March 7, 2019
Kate hired me in the fall of 2013, in the thick of her sickness. I had no idea she was struggling at the time, as she presented herself with so much grace. I got to know Kate over the years at USGBC, and got to know her personally through work travel together. Sending so much love to Kate's dear friends and family. She loved her family very deeply, and she shared pictures and stories of them often. My heart goes out to all who knew her. <3
Posted by Donna Glover on February 13, 2019
It is with great sadness to learn of Kate's passing. I remember when in Kate's company, there was a kindness, a sense of calm and peacefulness, I've never experienced with anyone else. She was indeed special, and I am honored to have had the privilege of working with her. God has called one of his angels, way too soon. Rest in peace my friend,
Posted by Gautami P on February 12, 2019
You are forever in our hearts, Kate.
Our friend Ana, shared with me her job application for USGBC. In November 2003 she says, " I’m writing in response to your ad in the Washington post and would like to be considered for the position of LEED workshop assistant. With my past experience and strong interest in the environment I feel I would be a great fit for the organization." She added "…..Two of my strengths are communication and organizational skills."

When I first met her in 2013, Kate’s fierce commitment to the mission and relentless pursuit of excellence shined through. She is a constant reminder to carry out every single day with a quiet confidence and grace. Kate taught me stories need to be told and heard. Every voice is different, when one story is shared, others gain confidence from it.

I promise you this Kate, 1- I will be a more patient listener. 2- We will always ALWAYS only enjoy the dry-est Rose with french fries.
Posted by Jason Hartke on February 12, 2019
It's the little things that can make the biggest difference. I was visibly nervous and just about to walk on stage for a master panel session at Greenbuild, and Kate told me, "Relax, you'll be great." And that's how it was with Kate, the leader of the largest green building conference in the world, with all the pressure of making sure every little detail is covered, and she was always ready with a disarming smile and ineffable kindness for all she met.
Her confidence, her poise made us stronger. Her grace made us all better.
And her impact on the green building movement can't be understated. She led the rise and tremendous growth of Greenbuild, an absolutely cathartic annual gathering that shined a light on the entire green building community. She may have eschewed the spotlight, but she ensured we all had a welcoming and inclusive place to come together to share, learn, and celebrate. She helped design and shape these events, which grew bigger and better, always higher and higher on the inspiration quotient. It was her enduring and invaluable mark on a movement that's changed the world. And it's no surprise that she then brought similar events to four other continents. While at USGBC she also helped launch the first ever Green Jobs Summit, the first ever Green Schools Summit at Sundance, and the first ever Resilient Cities Summit in Aspen. Kate did her thing and made sure all were unique and groundbreaking and hugely successful. In all she did, she was a force for a better world, shining so bright and bringing an unwavering passion to helping others.
Posted by Kim Ilardi on February 11, 2019
Passing on warm thoughts and condolences to Kate's family and the entire USGBC family, I know life will not be the same without her! I had the pleasure of working with Kate a few times a year for several Greenbuilds. I feel honored and blessed to have been able to work with her and get to know her over the years. She was an amazing role model; strong, poised, passionate and so kind!
Posted by Tanvi Kapoor on February 11, 2019
No words will ever do justice to the impact Kate has left in my life. It was truly a pleasure to have gotten to know her. She was one of the most generous women, I have ever met and will always be an inspiration to me. I will miss Kate and will carry our memories together for the rest of my life. Where lives pass, memories carry on forever. She will be missed dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time.
Posted by William Solley on February 10, 2019
My wife and I worked first with Katie’s sister Carla, then with Katie from when she was 16 to about 21. She was so effortlessly beautiful yet humble, hardworking, selfless, and above all kind to everyone. It was such a pleasure and a privilege to have Katie in our lives. She was and continues to be an inspiration. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hurst family. We are profoundly sorry for your loss.
Posted by Mick Dalrymple on February 9, 2019
I so loved and anticipated seeking Kate out once a year at Greenbuild. Always the quiet warrior with a smile, making things happen and never seeking self-promotion. I am very much going to miss seeing her, though I know she is already working to organize the show up above. My heart goes out to her family and very large family of friends. She has touched many lives.
Posted by Kevin Stack on February 9, 2019
I can only imagine how much she will be missed.
We are living thru the 6th greatest extinction and some species passing are not often remembered but I will always remember Kate as a keystone member of our species.
Her memory is the meaningful life she lived and her impact on all of us in these difficult times.
Posted by Gopalakrishnan Padmanabha... on February 9, 2019
I have known Kate for a little over 3 years, but it feels like a lifetime.
That’s because I worked closely with her when we decided to bring GB into India.Kate was the chief architect behind the successs of GB India.
She was a thorough professional and extremely efficient at work. I could bank on her for anything and everything. I recall the many 7.30am ET calls. She was particular that my late evenings are not disturbed and accommodated early morning call from her end.She had established rapport with all the external stakeholders in India who all are grieving as they have lost a dear friend.
As a person, I have lost a good friend. The last message was on 16th Jan 2019 when she wished me a great 2019!
But in our culture, we believe that the soul is immortal and so am sure that Kate will be guiding our progress . She has left behind a legacy which we need to cherish and progress.

Kate, we will miss you.
Posted by Susan Papadakis on February 8, 2019
It was a pleasure to meet and volunteer for Kate at USGBC Greenbuild and help bring her visions to fruition. It's interesting to learn that Kate grew up in Ephrata. I've been there many times, as I have family in Lancaster and Berks County. May her memory be eternal.
Posted by David Gottfried on February 8, 2019
I always enjoyed Kate's spirit and care. She was a delight to work with over her 15 years at USGBC. Her deeper purpose was evident as well as her professionalism. She will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to her family. Sending my condolences and thanks for sharing Kate with us!
Posted by Amy Durocher on February 8, 2019
I had the privilege of meeting Kate through work and remember fondly her warm smile, intelligence, and passion for her work at USGBC. Sending my condolences to Kate's family and all those who knew and loved her. She will be greatly missed.
Posted by Joel Housman on February 8, 2019
I've had the utmost pleasure of working with Kate for just over 10 years and at 8 Greenbuilds. She was the best. Given that my role was to always support her team, working with her was always fantastic as I never worried that she wouldn't understand the struggles we go through with technology at an event such as Greenbuild. She made working with her easy to all around her and we couldn't have done it without her. She was an exceedingly kind person and I'll never forget how she personally had my back on numerous occasions when it was needed.
I am greatly saddened that she passed at such a young age with such a long life ahead of her yet to come. All of us who had the honor of knowing her will forever remember how she made all of our lives better. She will be missed dearly and I hope I her family takes comfort in knowing what a monumental impact she had on so many people. My thoughts are with you.
Posted by Betty Benningfield on February 7, 2019
My sincere heartfelt condolences to the family of Kate Hurst. She was truly a delightful person. She will truly be missed, by all who know and loved her. Peace and Blessings to all the family!
Posted by Gail Vittori on February 6, 2019
Kate was and will always be an inspirational touchstone. She was gracious, competent, quietly confident and unflappable. She exuded an aura of calm, often amidst a swirl of challenges, and always with a moment for a thoughtful chat, a personal acknowledgement, a hug. Kate was truly 'all in'. I will always remember her for her enduring contributions to the green building movement, creating opportunities around the world to creatively engage and inspire thousands of people to participate, moved by the power of hearts and minds. I will miss Kate, and extend my heartfelt prayers to her family.
Posted by Dror Karni on February 6, 2019
It was a privilege to know and work with Kate. We all feel her loss very deeply. Please accept our condolences, and know that our thoughts and prayers are with Kate’s family during this difficult time.
Posted by Marge Anderson on February 5, 2019
Kate was the best-listening, least selfish, graceful FORMIDABLE person I've met. Through her work and leadership she created enduring value - a community gathering for the global green building movement. Her work created the home for knowledge, peer support and inspiration that translated directly into practice - healthier buildings that push climate change back on its heels. She did her work with quiet competence, building a great team and dealing with myriad frustrations and challenges that would befuddle most people - all while refusing to allow cancer to limit the good she could do. People with that kind of ferocious strength and courage only come along once or twice in a person's lifetime. No matter what crisis was happening at work, or what personal pain she was suffering, she always made time to listen with her full attention and connect with people. Kate was remarkable. She lives on in all of us through the power of her example. As for me, I will carry her with me on those days when I'm whining about some petty irritation and remind myself to be better and try to be a fraction as brave and patient and giving as Kate Hurst.
Posted by Geetanjali Prasad on February 4, 2019
It's not often that you come across a person in your professional sphere who is as great a leader who inspires and encourages but also a wonderful person. Kate was one of them. I have worked under her able guidance at many Greenbuilds and she has always been such a motivator. She will forever remain in our heart and mind.
Posted by Mili Majumdar on February 4, 2019
A smile on face, warmth in greeting every time we met, a lady with firm convictions, deep rooted commitment to work, Kate exemplified a complete persona, both personally and professionally.
Kate, you will be missed by one and all....all lives that you have touched in your short stint in this world. God is happy to have you back.. Rest in peace, my dear, ..till we meet again.
Posted by Lopamudra Khanna on February 4, 2019
Kate was an amazing person and a great leader to work with. She left us too early and I would miss her a lot. May she is blessed with peace and happiness wherever she is.
Posted by Syed Imam on February 3, 2019
Her untimely passing away is a great loss to community.Her age was too young to leave us.This is shocking.
Posted by Holley Henderson on February 1, 2019
So appreciate the opportunity to know Kate and her effervescent smile. Thank you to her and those who contributed to who she was for giving her to us. Reminds me of Winnie the Pooh's wisdom, "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
Posted by Taryn Holowka on February 1, 2019
Kate was an amazing person - she was strong, determined and always positive. I had the pleasure of working with her and knowing her for the last 15 years. She was a leader and inspiration to so many at USGBC. I am going to miss her so much - a beautiful person both inside and out. "Remember me in your heart, you thoughts, your memories of the times we loved, the times we cried, the times we fought, the times we laughed. For if you always think of me, I will never be gone."
Posted by Anisa Heming on February 1, 2019
For the last ten years, Kate was a steady part of my work life at USGBC. She would frequently put me in awe with her grace and clear-headed ability to seek and see the truth in every situation. I will miss her and can't believe she's gone. My heavy heart is praying for her family and close friends.
Posted by Brett Martin on February 1, 2019
I grew up with Kate. Elementary thru High School. We were always friends. Kate was a wonderful person to grow up with. Athletic, smart, talented in many ways. Very sad to here her battle with cancer. The world may go on without you but will never be the same. Much love to the Hurst family.
Posted by Jim Clapes on January 31, 2019
I had the pleasure of working alongside Kate for 6 years. She was truly the best of the best; thoughtful, intelligent, gracious and humble. She excelled in her career but more importantly was a genuinely good person. She never failed to encourage and uplift me, as well as everyone else around her. I will always consider Kate to be a friend and mentor. I’m deeply saddened by her passing. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Posted by Andrew Mullins on February 1, 2019
I had only met Kate very recently through work. I was immediately drawn in by her smile, infectious enthusiasm and energy. She never gave a single hint of what must have been so frightening and unsettling for her. I had no clue. I have never witnessed such professionalism and bravery. I am humbled and shocked. We all have clearly lost a very special person. All of our love and fondest memories from her Informa colleagues. You will be hugely missed Kate.

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