25x’25’s Fred Yoder to be honored at White House

Source: White House Office of Communications • Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Office of Communications


April 8, 2013


White House Highlights Community Resilience Leaders as “Champions of Change”

WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, April 11th, the White House will honor twelve citizens, businesses, and community leaders who are Champions of Change for working to prepare their communities for the consequences of climate change. These individuals are leaders and innovators working tirelessly to build community resilience by preparing for increasingly extreme weather and other costly climate-related impacts.

“As we take action to reduce carbon pollution and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy, we must also take action to prepare for the impacts of climate change we are already seeing, including more frequent and severe extreme weather,”  said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.  “This week, we look forward to welcoming Champions of Change who are doing smart, innovative work to protect the health, safety and prosperity of their communities in the face of climate change.”

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative.  Each week, the White House features a group of Americans – individuals, businesses and organizations – who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.

To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live at 12:30 pm ET on April 11th.

A. Gregory Auriemma, Esq.

Brick, NJ

A. Gregory Auriemma is the Chair and a founding member of the NJ Ocean County Sierra Club, which has over 1,500 members and supporters. He is honored to be recognized as a “Champion of Change,” and believes the accolade rightfully belongs to all the dedicated NJ Sierra Club activists and supporters, particularly those who belong to the local Ocean County chapter. Ocean County was devastated by Hurricane Sandy – including Gregory’s own home. Although a personal injury lawyer by day, Gregory’s first passion is his volunteer work with the Sierra Club – and he has been very active in post-Sandy recovery efforts.

Patrick Barnes

Orlando, FL

Patrick is President/CEO of BFA Environmental; based in Orlando, Florida.  BFA Environmental is the largest African-American owned multidiscipline environmental engineering and scientific consulting firm in the Southeast. He is also the founder of Limitless Vistas, Inc, an environmental jobs training program for at-risk young adults based in New Orleans. As a professional geologist, entrepreneur, and community activist, he has worked hard for 27 years to ensure that those most at risk of environmental disasters have a voice in restoring their community and ecosystem. Patrick strongly believes that the environmental problems faced by urban communities can be effectively addressed through outreach, education, and job training. Since Hurricane Katrina, his New Orleans-based job training program has provided entry-level job skills and certifications to over 300 at-risk young adults who are now qualified to work as environmental technicians – many of whom work to build community resilience in the places most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Lipo Chanthanasak

Richmond, CA

From Northern Laos, Lipo Chanthanasak has proudly served as a leader with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) for over a decade, working to reduce carbon pollution and ensure environmental justice. At sixteen years old, Lipo left school to support his family by farming, hunting, and fishing. The Vietnam War led him to join a Guerilla Unit of American forces. After fighting alongside Americans, Lipo and his family immigrated to Richmond, California. Fleeing persecution, Lipo came here as a refugee and was greeted with opportunity but also faced some challenges. His community was exposed to high levels of pollution and many suffer respiratory illnesses. Lipo led advocacy efforts to curb this pollution. He joined APEN to champion local renewable energy and good paying clean energy jobs. Today, at 70 years old, Lipo is as fearless a community leader as he was a soldier fighting for the US and Laos. He strives, as he says, “to fight for our rights, equal opportunity and to develop a better community for children and many generations to come.”

Kimberly Hill Knott

Detroit, MI

Kimberly Hill Knott serves as Senior Policy Manager at Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, where she primarily directs state and federal policy initiatives. In 2011, Kimberly convened community, academic, government, and private stakeholders to form the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative (DCAC). Through DCAC, she is facilitating the development of the City of Detroit’s first comprehensive Climate Action Plan (CAP). Detroit’s CAP was spearheaded from Kimberly’s vision that forward-thinking climate protection initiatives must be considered to revitalize Detroit. Kimberly is leading the charge to accomplish this through DCAC’s primary goals: (1) to develop the city’s first CAP, documenting baseline greenhouse gas emissions from public and private sectors, and (2) to translate this information into actionable climate action strategies.

Edward Johnstone

Taholah, WA

Ed is a member of the Quinault Indian Nation and serves as their Policy Spokesperson on all issues regarding ocean policy and treaty fishing rights. Ed is now Quinault’s voice for alerting the world to climate change impacts on the ecosystems and fisheries that supports their culture and economy. Ed was co-leader of the seminal symposium held in July, 2012 at the National Museum of the American Indian; First Stewards, Coastal Peoples Address Climate Change.

Jeremy Jones
Truckee, CA

As an award-winning filmmaker, entrepreneur, environmentalist, and snowboarding pioneer, Jeremy Jones is widely regarded as an accomplished big mountain rider and explorer. Named a 2013 National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year” and voted “Best Big Mountain Rider of the Year” 10 times by Snowboarder Magazine, Jeremy has starred in over 50 snowboard movies worldwide. He is the founder and CEO of Jones Snowboards and founder of Protect Our Winters, an advocacy group organizing the winter sports community around climate change.

Jennifer L. Jurado, Ph.D.

Hollywood, FL

Dr. Jennifer Jurado is the Director of the Natural Resources Planning and Management Division in Broward County, Florida where she works to advance regional climate initiatives. She played an active role in the adoption of a four-county Regional Climate Change Compact and the formulation of a Regional Climate Action Plan. She has worked locally to advance mitigation and adaptation strategies through comprehensive planning, legislative processes, water resources planning, and as an original member of the Compact Staff Steering Committee.

Caroline Alexander Lewis
Miami, FL

Caroline Lewis is the founder and executive director of the CLEO Institute at Pinecrest Gardens, a non-profit organization that advances civic engagement on environmental issues, including a focus on climate change. Using creative, interdisciplinary strategies, the CLEO Institute promotes initiatives that engage participants on issues such as clean energy, climate change, sea level rise, the loss of biodiversity,and more. For 22 years, Caroline was a science teacher and school principal. She then joined the staff of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, created the Fairchild Challenge, and, as Director of Education, expanded programs and partnerships by 800 percent.

Rebecca R. Rubin

Fredericksburg, VA

Rebecca R. Rubin is the Founder, President, and CEO of Marstel-Day, LLC, a 120-person environmental consulting enterprise with offices in Virginia, California, Colorado, Mississippi, and Texas. She established Marstel-Day in 2002 as an expression of her commitment to resolving environmental issues at the intersection of  natural resources conservation, especially habitat and open space, energy, and water. She holds a BA from Harvard College and an MA from Columbia University. Through her work, Rebecca has been a part of introducing  climate change adaptation strategies into sustainability studies for to the United States military services. She has been a leading voice in the Fredericksburg regional multi-jurisdiction Climate and Environmental Resilience Plan. The plan is currently being developed by local businesses, the University of Mary Washington, and five municipal governments.

Jodi Slick

Superior, WI

Jodi Slick is Founder and CEO of Ecolibrium3, a Duluth, Minnesota- based nonprofit organization working to create economic and environmental balance through the smart application of design thinking and strategic collaboration. Her accomplishments include the development of several community-scale environmental programs in Duluth, which integrate existing community resources with an entrepreneurial approach to address unmet challenges in energy efficiency. She designed Ecolibrium3’s Duluth Energy Efficiency Program and flood-response program, chairs the Regional Long Term Flood Recovery Committee, and serves as an Energy Leader for the development of the City of Duluth’s Local Energy Action Plan.

Rebecca Templeton

Thibodaux, LA

Rebecca Templeton is the Executive Director of Bayou Grace Community Services, a locally-based nonprofit organization in lower Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Bayou Grace mobilizes and engages local and national residents to combat Louisiana coastal land loss and promote the restoration of the coast, on behalf of communities that depend on a healthy environment. Prior to assuming the role of Executive Director, she worked as the organization’s Outreach Coordinator and spearheaded its “Building Community Resilience through Community Dinners” project. Rebecca was part of the Bayou Grace team that worked to build partnerships to spearhead the “Louisiana Estuary Experience,” a volunteer program that engages over 250 volunteers annually in restorative projects and education on coastal land loss and restoration.  As the product of  a bayou community in Southern Louisiana, Rebecca is personally invested in coastal land loss, erosion, restoration, and protection, because of their effects on people from her community.

Fred Yoder

Plain City, OH

Fred Yoder is a fourth-generation farmer who has lived and farmed with his family near Plain City, Ohio for over forty years. Fred has served as an advocate for many years, promoting agriculture as a solution to many of the sustainability challenges we face. With the world population expected to exceed nine billion people by 2050, Fred feels it is imperative to produce more in a sustainable way, while also providing ecosystem services addressing the manner in which crops are produced. Fred is currently involved with the 25 x ’25 Alliance, which promotes renewable sources of land-based energy.  He recently chaired the development of a white paper relating climate change adaptation to producing enough food, feed, fiber, and fuel for the world’s growing population.