Initiated in 1975, this award recognizes people who, directly or indirectly, have made outstanding efforts defending critical regional resources, or advancing their better stewardship.
Nominated by: Suzanne Doyle
Steve Birdlebough has chaired the Sonoma Group Sierra Club’s Executive Committee since 2008 and has been a key member of Friends of SMART for many years. He has been very effective in both positions, lobbying elected officials with well-founded positions on a wide range of important environmental issues. Steve’s attention to detail, strategic thinking and persistence have helped bring about victories such as the SMART funding measure, and wrung concessions out of ‘hopeless’ battles such as opposing the location of the new Sutter Hospital (in a greenbelt and miles from its workforce and patients). One of Steve’s strong interests is transportation, in creating an energy-saving network of non-car transportation in Sonoma County, and in transit-oriented development based around SMART stations.
His environmental work is only one part of his involvement with progressive social issues. It’s been said about Steve that “he never saw a meeting he didn’t like.”
Nominated by: Marsha Vas Dupre, Phd.
As a long term resident of the area, Duane De Witt knows there is no substitute for the benefits to the local community that conserving the remaining native ecology in Roseland provides. That's why, for over 20 years, as the development of Roseland has proceeded, he's advocated at boards, commissions and councils on behalf of saving what remains here of the natural.
Duane's efforts were instrumental in saving 17 acres along Roseland Creek. He knows that many more acres are needed in order that the 10,000+ people of Roseland are treated fairly. More than 40 additional acres of open space can and should be provided, and Duane will continue to work towards this goal by advocating for the preservation, sooner rather than later, of a Roseland Creek greenway.With attention and help of Sonoma County's environmental community and the determination of community leaders like Duane, the people of Roseland—including its disadvantaged and underprivileged residents—may one day enjoy the benefits of parks, open spaces and natural preserves similar to those available in other areas of the county.
Nominated by: Eric Converse
Silke is one of the rare female chief executives found in the high tech industry. Being involved in the events industry, she strives to minimize waste and lower the impact of conferences on the environment by reducing, or ideally eliminating, the printing of meeting materials. She has built EventPilot, a mobile conference app that provides offline access to all event related content such as sessions, maps, handouts, surveys, exhibitors, and more. In 2011 alone, due to her company's efforts, over 60,000 attendees accessed conference and session materials on their smartphones, resulting in potential savings of over 350,000 lbs. of CO2, 72,000 lbs. of waste, and 2.3 million gallons of waterf rom paper production. Silke actively educates conference organizers about the environmental impact of printing and has built a free CO2 savings calculator http://ativ.me/co2 specifically for event planners.
ATIV Software itself is founded with the vision of running a business with as little environmental impact as possible - all employees work remotely, eliminating the need for commuting and office facilities. Personally, Silke is a continuous supporter of organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Arbor Foundation, and is an active member of the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, which supports public commuting options such as SMART.
Nominated by: Erin Axelrod
Sean exemplifies that you do not have to go the nonprofit route to make amazing headway and substantial strides for the environmental community. He's grown our local economy, built at least 4-5 full and part time employment positions, and generated revenue for this community, all while generating virtually no waste, running all his trucking deliveries and distribution on biofuels, and creating a product that supports health and vitality for all its consumers and boosts immunity, and making sure his dollars get circulated locally. In addition, he's volunteered countless hours for local nonprofits, donated product to local events, and donated a huge portion of his revenue back to local nonprofits. His model is truly one that should be replicated and applauded. I urge you to contact Sean to find out the complete story and statistics depicting the impact this business model is having on our local economy.