SW Garners Morris Media 2015 Green Award
Green Award Winners Announced
Morris Media Group releases recipients of prestigious awards
Morris Media Group announces the 2015 Green Award winners. Western Connecticut State University, Sustainable Westchester, and Daphne Dixon and her Live Green CT are the three category winners in the second annual Green Awards, which will be presented in a live ceremony on March 12 at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
The 2015 Green Awards recognize businesses, non-profits, and individuals that are leading the local fight to protect the environment while also creating a sustainable social and economic community. "The awards salute those who are making a difference, and they bring awareness to their good work,” says publisher Geoffrey Morris. "They get even greater attention since we profile the winners in our magazines, which reach 225,000 readers every issue.”
The purpose of the awards is to highlight the successful work that is being done in the area, to promote those who are doing that work, and to encourage others to join the efforts. Winners will be profiled in the March/April issues of Bedford Magazine, Fairfield Magazine, Litchfield Magazine, Ridgefield Magazine, and Wilton Magazine.
Nominations were open to the public and were accepted in three categories.
1. Businesses or non-profit organizations whose primary focus is producing or selling innovative green products, providing innovative green services, and/or promoting a green lifestyle.
2. Businesses or non-profit organizations, though not a producer or seller of green products or services, that have significantly incorporated green practices into their culture and operations.
3. Individuals who are actively promoting and living a green lifestyle.
Three independent judges sifted through the 85 nominees to find the three category winners and Honorable Mention winners.
Organized in 2014, Sustainable Westchester, the Category 1 winner, has as its members more than 85 percent of all municipalities in Westchester County, serving more than 800,000 residents. Sustainable Westchester facilitates effective sustainability initiatives, engages community stakeholders, and shares tools, resources, and incentives to create healthy and vibrant communities. The organization provides an arena in which communities can share services and ideas leading to the development of effective responses to important sustainability-related opportunities, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste management, land use, transportation, water conservation, food security and more.
Western Connecticut State University was selected in Category 2 for its extensive investment and efforts to employ smart-building technology. WCSU invested more than $450,000 in the university's largest residence hall, resulting in dramatic reduction in energy use. Other efforts included the installation of four EV charging stations, and the achievement of LEED Silver Status on its newly constructed Visual and Performing Arts Center.
Daphne Dixon, as founder and president of Live Green CT, is the Category 3 winner. She has produced over 200 sustainability events, educated over 15,000 people, organized some 50 panel discussions, and worked with and promoted over 300 green businesses and services. She also serves on the following task forces: Fairfield Clean Energy Task Force, Norwalk Energy and Environment Task Force, and Sustainable Stamford. She is director of the Wilton Go Green Festival and is host of Fairfield, Stamford, and Bridgeport Green Drinks—networking events that bring people together around local sustainability issues.
In addition to the three winners, Morris Media Group Green Awards recognize 28 Honorable Mention honorees, who the judges feel warrant recognition. Aetheria Relaxation Spa, The Aquarium Reading Room, Atlantic Westchester, Back 40 Mercantile, Bedford 2020 Coalition, Dana Gips, Analiese Paik and the Fairfield Green Food Guide, Heineken USA, Kathleen McHugh, Kent Conservation Commission, The Magnet Schools at Fairchild Wheeler Campus, Middlebrook School, New Milford Youth Agency, New Morning Market, Northwest Conservation District, Planet Fuel, The Prospector Theater, The Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield River Study, Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters, Sport Hill Farm, Stop Algonquin Pipeline Extension, Sustainable America, Sweet Earth Company, Waldingfield Farm, Washington Parks Foundation, Westchester Green Business Challenge.
The judges for the 2015 Green Awards represent the three counties that make up the geographical region of the nominees. Rich Lechner has over 30 years experience in helping organizations leverage technology to address critical business challenges and to change the way the world works. As vice president of Energy & Environment at IBM, he oversaw the launch of a multi-billion dollar business that spanned "green IT,” intelligent buildings, sustainable operations, and smart urban infrastructure. He is currently a consultant and an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Earth Institute for Environmental Sustainability.
Kirsten Peckerman was recipient of 2011 Friend of the Green Award in recognition of her contributions to The Gunnery School and The Steep Rock Association, on whose boards she serves. She also serves on the board of Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust and on the Aspetuck Watershed Partnership's River Smart project, which aims to protect key watersheds in seven Litchfield County towns.
Alex Mochary Bergstein is a mother, attorney, and advocate for children's environmental health. A former corporate attorney at Skadden Arps, she is chairman of the board of the Mount Sinai Children's Environmental Health Center and director of Greening Our Children, a nonprofit that educates families about reducing their exposure to toxins. Alex is a doctoral candidate at Yale University and anticipates obtaining her PhD in chemical safety policy in 2016.
Morris Media Group is the leading publisher of high-quality lifestyle magazines for the nation's most sophisticated, savvy, and sensible readers. MMG's six award-winning magazines and website townvibe.com are cherished by 225,000 regular readers. People welcome the magazines, read the magazines, and love the magazines.
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering innovative artists whose ideas and interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking.
The award ceremony is open to the public. Tickets are $50 and can be ordered online at.
For more information, contact publisher Geoffrey Morris at 203-431-1708 x114 or .
Municipal Buyers Group Progress
The goal of the Municipal Solar Buyers Group is to create cost savings through aggregated deployment of clean energy forSustainable Westchester and its members. By aggregating many small to mid-size systems across Westchester, we expect to have a critical mass that will be attractive to solar developers and financing sources, such that the MSB Group secures the best possible pricing for these systems... More.
Sustainable Westchester voted unanimously
At a Special meeting of the NWEAC membership it was voted to change our name to "Sustainable Westchester" thereby initiating the process of integrating NWEAC/SWEAC and other Municipalities into the Westchester wide entity aimed at providing value to members and the citizens and businesses that lie within the County.
SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER IS LAUNCHED
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nancy Gold
The Gold Standard
SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER IS LAUNCHED AS TWO
GROUPS SERVING WESTCHESTER MUNICIPALITIES MERGE
New combined non-profit organization seeks to foster healthier communities
by collaborating on energy efficiency and related issues
SOMERS, NY – Two organizations that have each been demonstrating the strength of inter-municipal collaboration on sustainability issues in Westchester County have officially joined forces to create a new non-profit organization called Sustainable Westchester.
Combining the parallel efforts of the Northern Westchester Energy Action Consortium (NWEAC.org) and the Southern Westchester Energy Action Consortium (SWEAC.org), Sustainable Westchester will help participating municipalities build healthier and more sustainable communities through energy efficiency and related programs and policies.
“The new organization is launching from a position of strength, with most of Westchester’s municipalities already signed up as members of the two combining groups,” said Nina Orville, director of SWEAC and a Dobbs Ferry resident. “Both NWEAC and SWEAC have built strong track records by providing services valued by their member municipalities and we will continue to do that as this one organization named Sustainable Westchester.”
“The launch of Sustainable Westchester marks a major step forward in our collective effort to save energy, reduce pollution, and create more healthy, vibrant communities here in Westchester County,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “Local governments now have one place to go for the most innovative solutions to our most serious energy and environmental challenges.”
The two groups now combining have developed successful programs designed to share best practices on topics such as energy efficient streetlights, green building codes, autumn leaf management and solar permitting. They were instrumental in helping to launch the popular “Energize New York” program that was rolled out in fourteen Westchester municipalities. Future programs developed and offered by Sustainable Westchester will build on the prior successes of NWEAC and SWEAC and will reflect the priorities of its members.
Herb Oringel, of Somers, has served as chair of NWEAC and has led the effort to merge with SWEAC. “We have evolved in the last five years, from a good idea held by a few forward thinkers, to a large consortium working with some of the most talented and dedicated people in New York State,” says Oringel. “We expect Sustainable Westchester to be a major player in the effort to help local communities deal creatively and effectively with many of the sustainability challenges they face.”
“Everyone is talking about streamlining local government and sharing services,” said Leo Weigman, Mayor of the Village of Croton-on-Hudson. “Sustainable Westchester will make that a reality for its members, allowing Westchester’s cities, towns and villages to collaborate on fiscally sustainable improvements that no single member could tackle alone.”
With 501(c)(3) tax status, Sustainable Westchester is organized as a membership organization that is eligible for corporate and individual support. Local governments within Westchester County are invited to become members. Individuals and businesses that understand the importance of helping communities build sustainable futures are encouraged to provide financial support.
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NYLCV Talks at Awards Party
- On behalf of the Supervisors/Mayors and citizens of the original NWEAC team, I want to thank Marcia and Nan for tonight’s recognition event.
- It is quite an honor to be on the same agenda with Mike Spano and Richard Kauffman and my friend and colleague Nina Orville.
- It is nice to see so many friends here who have played fundamental roles in the transformative project we now call Sustainable Westchester. The Board of NWEAC and the founding members ….Lee Roberts, Catherine Borgia…….not here but of great importance are Linda Puglisi and Warren Lucas, Mary Beth Murphy
- In a very real way, tonight is a culmination of 5 years of hard work that has included promoting and growing the idea of collaboration, shared services and the importance of scale when it comes to developing and delivering solutions to the municipalities of Westchester.
- In addition, to demonstrate the skills and experience of those that provided the catalyst for NWEAC …..some of the early leaders went on to create: EnergizeNY, the EIC, CEG, Joule Assets, Municipal Solar Buyers Group……along the way we have established important relationships within the State, Region, County and more than 30 Municipalities in Westchester County.
- We are at a pivot point as we expand our vision to include sustainability elements like….Energy Mgt and Solar initiatives, our new relationship with the Bike/Walk Alliance, Waste Management, Land Use, Water Mgt, Resiliency….etc
- We applaud the governor and Richard Kauffman for their leadership in the energy efficiency industry, including their pending deployment of green bank funds and their support of such innovative and proven programs such as our own energize program.
- We also want to take this opportunity to urge further development of that leadership. In particular we look forward to seeing the governor's signature on an important piece of bipartisan legislation passed by both Senate and assembly: A9865/S5500, Municipal energy aggregation for Westchester County localities.
- If we are permitted to implement this pilot program as our towns, villages and elected officials have asked, it will help us develop local jobs and empowerment, It will offer savings and price security for residents and on businesses' commodity bills, it will facilitate a deeper commitment to energy efficiency and clean generation, and it will enable multi-stakeholder micro grids, which hold the promise of ensuring that lengthy blackouts are a thing of the past.
- We are also about to create the first Sustainable Westchester Board of Directors at our Members Meeting on December 2nd.
- Needless to say if anyone would like to join our exciting journey please let us know…..
- Thanks so much Herb and thanks to the League of Conservation Voters for this honor.
- Herb and his colleagues set the pace in creating NWEAC over 5 years ago. We followed their lead in the southern part of the county, bringing together sustainability leaders, elected officials and municipal staff.
- Sustainable Westchester and its predecessors have demonstrated that regional collaboration can accelerate progress in a range of ways:
- Promoting and accelerating adoption of best practices as we have with LED streetlights, green building codes, solar permitting, and complete streets.
- Strengthening market power and attracting outside resources.
- I want to join Herb in thanking everyone who has contributed to the work to-date – in addition to those who built NWEAC, the SWEAC Advisory Board (Peter McCartt – its Chair), the Sustainable Westchester Steering Committee, everyone in the participating municipalities and other partners. I’d also like to thank the Westchester Community foundation for their support.
- As Herb indicated, we invite those interested in contributing in the future to join the effort.