Emerging Leader Awards: Sarah Saheb and Michelle Dillingham
The vision and drive that helped Sarah Saheb to put herself through Truman State University also helped her to create life, hope and community where before there was crime, blight and despair. She furthered her education at the Center for Progressive Leadership where she became a New Leaders Fellow in 2008. While her job with the Service Employees International Union Local 3 serves her passion for organizing people toward justice, it is her volunteer work on the Green Cincinnati Plan, the urban garden/local food project OTR (Over-the-Rhine) Homegrown for which she receives her Emerging Leader Award.
Michelle Dillingham’s work and volunteer history spans many different environmental initiatives. As assistant to Vice Mayor David Crowley, Michelle helped advance Cincinnati’s Environmental Justice ordinance. She also serves on the Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council Development Team, the Cincinnati Urban Agriculture Advisory Board and works with fellow awardees Dan Korman and Sarah Saheb at OTR Homegrown. Michelle represents the AFL-CIO in the Blue Green Alliance, which released a report “Pathways and Policies on Green Jobs” in October.
Grassroots Champion Award: Dan Korman
Dan Korman, Park + Vine’s owner, is receiving the Grassroots Champion Award recognizing his sustainable and local business leadership, advocacy for the bicycling community in Cincinnati, and extraordinary example of conscientious living.
Environmental Harmony Through Art Award: Willis “Bing” Davis
Bing Davis’ art expresses the way of our ancestors in being acutely aware of our place in the environment. As an educator through the years he has emphasized to his students the importance of finding new uses for found objects, not just finding a new purpose for them but to elevate them to a transformative state so that the viewer, “…stop, pause to reflect, and in that reflection, hopefully, give honor and praise to those who went before and those on whose shoulders they stand.” Mr. Davis is an internationally renowned artist, whose work has been shown in Ghana, Frankfurt, Germany, and St. Petersburg, Russia. He has also created arts education programs and exhibits for Dayton area arts organizations and schools.
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Carl and Marjorie Evert, and Gerry and Marvin Kraus
Dr. Carl and Marjorie Evert are shining examples of a couple dedicated to their Pleasant Ridge community through their work with Citizens Concerned about Hilton Davis and the Pleasant Ridge Community Council to clean up the toxic Hilton Davis site (now owned by Kodak) over the past 25 years. They’ve also been key leaders in addressing air nuisances in the city and restoring the Office of Environmental Quality in Cincinnati after it had been cut from the city’s budget, as well as representing citizens on the Alliance for Chemical Safety, and addressing solid waste issues in Hamilton County. We recognize them with a joint lifetime achievement award for their persistent leadership to make our local environment better for us all.
Gerry and Marvin Kraus have both worked hard to lend support, expertise and leadership to many environmental campaigns and organizations throughout Southwest Ohio including, but not limited to recycling in Cincinnati, the Environmental Community Organization (ECO), the Environmental Advisory Council, the Cincinnati Specialties good neighbor campaign, North Avondale Neighborhood Association, and Ohio Citizen Action. We recognize them with a lifetime achievement award in gratitude for their hard work to improve our environment.
Howard M. Metzenbaum Award: Caroline Beidler
The Ohio Citizen Action Howard M. Metzenbaum Award, the organization’s highest award, is presented to an Ohioan who exemplifies the late Senator’s principled tenacity.
Caroline Beidler of Marietta, Ohio, never gave up on her campaign to reduce dangerous pollution from the Eramet manganese refinery in her community. She began her efforts fifteen years ago, when she noticed a terrible odor that affected her health, her quality of life, even her dream home.
Caroline kept a “stink diary,” talked with her neighbors, spoke out, helped organize “Neighbors for Clean Air,” and worked with Ohio Citizen Action to launch a good neighbor campaign. In 2008, Eramet announced it would make $150 million in improvements to its facility to prevent pollution and continues to meet with the Neighbors for Clean Air as changes are implemented.