The awards celebrate individual and organizational excellence in the GCC national network. The 2023 awards were presented at GCC’s Annual General Meeting on June 22.
Here are the Green Community Award winners for 2023:
Green Community Member of the Year – Saskatchewan Environmental Society
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society (SES) is the 2023 Green Community of the Year. For more than 50 years SES has worked with communities, organizations, businesses, and policy makers to help the people of Saskatchewan live more sustainably.
SES’s current program areas include sustainable energy and climate solutions, water protection, resource conservation, biodiversity preservation, and the reduction of toxic substances.
SES has a solid reputation for sound science, good management, civility, and an ability to work collaboratively to promote environmental action and help people meet their needs in sustainable ways.
For an organization that demonstrates innovation in programming, partnerships and marketing, and successful local community (businesses, households) or broader transformation (policy, government).
Environmental Lifetime Achievement Award – Sé Keohane
Sé Keohane, GCC’s Director of Finance, has been an integral part of GCC for many years, using her formidable financial skills and sound management advice to ensure the organization runs smoothly.
Sé led GCC through complicated periods of transition, including serving as Acting Executive Director at the start of the pandemic.
She enthusiastically values and champions the work of colleagues, and has helped create a supportive workplace that demonstrates the value of working in the environmental sector, especially amongst her younger colleagues.
For an individual in our Green Communities who demonstrates, through work and achievements, a lifetime contribution to improving the environment and/or climate action in their community (can be staff, board, volunteer).
Social Equity Award – 2 winners!
Mandy Wilson, EnviroCentre EDI and Reconciliation Lead
Mandy is recognized for their tireless efforts to grow knowledge and help staff apply their EDI and Reconciliation learnings to project work.
Over the past year, some of the many initiatives Mandy has undertaken include coordinating a book club focused on Reconciliation; providing EnviroCentre staff with regularly scheduled learning opportunities; formalizing a Land Acknowledgement Policy; and reviewing all organizational policies through an EDI and Reconciliation lens.
In addition to their work supporting EnviroCentre’s EDI journey, Mandy is an active part of the Pride community and demonstrates the principles of equity and inclusion in their work supporting EnviroCentre’s HR management.
Reep Green Solutions, Kitchener, ON
Reep Green Solutions has taken meaningful steps to address equity and energy poverty in an effort to make homes more comfortable, affordable and sustainable.
Recognizing that energy efficiency measures can lower energy bills and alleviate energy poverty, Reep studied how to build equity into a financing program for homeowners upgrading their homes to reduce carbon and published a report detailing the findings.
Reep also updated its website to include energy information in multiple languages to better reach immigrants.
This award is for an organization or individual that has taken meaningful steps and actions to further equity and diversity within their organization, community and/or the sector.
Outstanding Staff Person Award – Sydney Hennessy, Reep Green Solutions
As Reep Green Solutions’ Energy Programs Coordinator. Sydney Hennessy is the backbone of Reep’s energy programs. Under Sydney’s leadership, Reep has trained and certified more new Registered Energy Advisors and delivered more EnerGuide evaluations than any other Green Community.
Sydney possesses an in-depth knowledge of incentive programs and a healthy dose of empathy – two important factors in convincing homeowners to undertake deeper retrofits.
For a staff person who has demonstrated the strongest commitment to a Green Community, bringing about positive change and impact to the organization through their work and achievements.
Youth Engagement Award – Heather Govender, Green Venture
Heather Govender, Green Venture Education Program Manager, takes top honours for Youth Engagement.
Heather led the development of several new Environmental Education programs and is continually building and fostering relationships to support and improve youth programming. Her work with youth includes developing mentoring programs; advancing an active High School Co-op program and creating a successful Youth Stewardship and Professional Skills program.
For a member who excels at engaging youth in programming, not only in school specific programming, but also in camps and other organizational programming.
Outstanding Board Person – Art Skow, Green Calgary
Art Skow’s unflappable demeanour, amazing sense of humour, and love for Robert’s Rules of Order made him an invaluable asset on Green Calgary’s Board of Directors.
Art helped Green Calgary establish and solidify many business relationships, and guided the organization through some very difficult years, including the pandemic.
After serving the maximum number of board terms, Art continues to support Green Calgary by mentoring new board members, and as an active member of the Board’s Governance and Risk Committee.
For a board member who has demonstrated the strongest commitment this year, providing excellent stewardship to the organization through their work and achievements.
Presented to Green Community member organizations that have continued to succeed despite challenges, thanks to a host of qualities including flexibility and adaptation, and have reached a milestone in longevity.
Windfall Ecology Centre 25 years
Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance 25 years
Environment Network 30 years
Green Calgary 45 years
Saskatchewan Environmental Society 50+ years
GCC also recognized staff who have reached significant milestones in their years of service.
Margret Asmuss, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 5 years
Hayley Carlson, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 5+ years
Sherry Rawlyk, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 5+ years
R.A. (Bob) Halliday, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 5+ years
Peter Prebble, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 5+ years
Megan Van Buskirk, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 10+ years
David Wood, Reep Green Solutions 10 years
Patrick Gilbride, Reep Green Solutions 11 years
Ashley Priem, EcoSuperior 15 years
Elyse McCann, EnviroCentre 17 years
Angie Bugg, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 20 years
Bert Weichel, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 25+ years
Allyson Brady, Saskatchewan Environmental Society 30+ years
Congratulations to this year’s winners! Winners receive a certificate and bragging rights for the year.