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Sustainable communities forum and awards program delights attendees at GreeningUSA's 2012 Annual Meeting
April 23, 2012

Energy and enthusiasm for all things green and sustainable filled the air during GreeningUSA's eighth Annual Meeting on April 20 at The Bistro in Onondaga Community College's Gordon Student Center. The event featured a “Women Leaders & Sustainable Communities" forum and GreeningUSA's annual sustainability awards program.

Click here or scroll down to see the event photos

The forum's panelists consisted of four prominent Central New York women leaders discussing their takes on a variety of issues related to community sustainability. The panelists were:

  • Marian Brown, special assistant for campus and community sustainability at Ithaca College;
  • Amy Casper, CEO, Ephesus Technologies, Syracuse;
  • Vita DeMarchi, Synapse Partners, Syracuse; and
  • Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D., Grammy Award-winning singer songwriter and board member of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge.

Moderating the forum was Sandra Barrett, Onondaga Citizens League; Diane Brandli, GreeningUSA; and Hanah Ehrenreich, CNY Works. Shenandoah got the program started with a moving performance of her song, “Your Legacy.”

Following the forum, GreeningUSA held it s annual Sustainability Awards Program. The group presented its Sustaining Our Communities advocacy awards to the following individuals and organizations for their leadership in community sustainability during 2011:

Woodbine Group
Construction Practices Award
Woodbine achieved LEED Platinum certification for development of the Hotel Skyler by renovating the historic 1921 building that was the former Temple Adath Yeshurun. The project entailed using local products, geothermal energy and recycled materials during construction.

Sam Gordon, CNY Regional Planning and Development Board
Planning and Resource Management Award
As a NYSERDA Energy Smart Community coordinator, Sam is a community leader in the field of energy conservation and in the promotion of sustainable practices that reduce greenhouse gasses.

Baltimore Woods Nature Center
Education Award
Baltimore Woods' innovative and multi-faceted “Nature in the City” program has introduced thousands of K-6 students to the ecology of their urban Syracuse neighborhoods through a series of classroom and green-space lessons.

Sarah Stewart, Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency
Waste Management Award
As a key member of the OCRRA staff, Sarah supports community sustainability through promoting waste recycling and composting. Her excellent efforts have contributed to OCRRA being recognized as a national leader in recycling and composting.

Christopher H. Fowler, SyracuseFirst
Economic Development Award
By encouraging citizens, businesses, government and non-profit organizations to “think local first” when purchasing goods and services, Chris has led SyracuseFirst to do some amazing things in support of a just local economy.

GreeningUSA also presented its Membership Service Awards to the following members for their exemplary service to the organization and community during 2011:

Carissa Mathews
Member of the Year Award
As Chair of the GreeningUSA Education Committee, Carissa's enthusiastic support of GreeningUSA and sustainability in general has led the group to put on a variety of successful events and initiatives.

Peter Wirth
Outstanding Service Award
As Chair of the GreeningUSA Advocacy Committee, Peter helped coordinate a 350.org "Moving Planet" event and has worked diligently to bring greater clarity and structure to GreeningUSA’s advocacy activities.

John Przepiora, PE
Outstanding Service Award
John has been a GreeningUSA member and board member since its founding nearly ten years ago. During this time, John served as Nominating Committee Chair for several years, Awards Committee Chair in 2011 and is currently an active member of the Advocacy Committee.

Will Wallak
Outstanding Service Award
After becoming a GreeningUSA member in 2010, Will joined the Communications Committee in early 2011 to help manage the organization's public relations and website, and then joined the GreeningUSA board in late 2011.

The meeting left attendees inspired to help make our community more sustainable, especially considering that the event was held two days prior to Earth Day.

Photo highlights from the 2012 GreeningUSA Annual Meeting
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