Green Award Winners 2015
TownVibe 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 award ceremony is open to the public. Tickets are $250 and can be ordered online at townvibe.com/greenevent.
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 no
n-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 27 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, Gourganics, 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, Renewable Resources, 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.