Multi-Sector Judging Panel with Sustainability Expertise Tapped to Make Community Awards Selections

April 2, 2012

Today the U.S. Chamber BCLC and Siemens Corporation announced the finalists for the 2012 Siemens Sustainable Community Awards. A record 135 communities from 40 states applied for this year’s awards, representing the growing interest in -- and need to reward -- local sustainability planning.

Increasingly, communities are focusing on ways to simultaneously benefit their economic, social, and environmental bottom lines. In many ways, the recession created an imperative for communities to work even harder to grow their economies, conserve their environments, and offer better quality of life with constrained resources. The annual Siemens Sustainable Community Awards is one way to commend their efforts.

To narrow down the 135 applications to the nine finalists and three winners (winners will be announced on April 17th at BCLC’s National Conference), the applications undergo a review process involving a panel of five expert judges. The judging panel represents academia, media, and nongovernment organizations, as well as a winner from the 2011 Siemens Sustainable Community Awards.

This year’s judges are:

Amy Chan: Amy is a member of the sustainability team for the City of San Jose, which won the 2011 Siemens Sustainable Community Award Large Size Community category. San Jose was recognized for its Green Vision, a 15-year plan adopted in 2007, charts ambitious goals for clean tech jobs, energy use reduction, renewable energy, green building, waste reduction, water reuse, sustainable development, clean fleet, trees, zero emission streetlights and interconnected trails. The plan is designed to lead us into a future of economic growth, environmental sustainability and an enhanced quality of life for our community.

Joel Makower: Joel is the Chairman and Executive Editor of the, the leading source for news, opinion, best practices, and other resources on the greening of mainstream business. GreenBiz’s mission is to provide clear, concise, accurate, and balanced information, resources, and learning opportunities to help companies of all sizes and sectors integrate environmental responsibility into their operations in a manner that supports profitable business practices.

Dan Nadenicek: Dan is the Dean of the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design. The overarching mission of the College is to research, teach and communicate new and existing knowledge about the built and natural environment to promote innovative planning, preservation, protection, restoration and responsible development of natural and cultural resources.

Michael Schmitz: Michael is the Executive Director of ICLEI USA. ICLEI’s mission is to work with local governments to achieve their sustainability, climate protection, and clean energy goals. 550 U.S. local governments -- 1,200 worldwide -- are part of ICLEI’s network, helping these communities share solutions and stay connected to make the most of the explosion of local sustainability innovation.

Tom Wright: Tom is the Executive Director of the Regional Plan Association (RPA), the nation's oldest private regional planning organization. For over 85 years RPA has been an indispensable source of ideas and plans to policymakers and opinion shapers across the tri-state area. RPA's in-depth studies, relentless advocacy and staying power ensure that critical transportation, urban development, housing and open space projects move forward across business downturns and election cycles. And RPA's America 2050 program is advancing national efforts to strengthen our aging infrastructure and protect vital natural resources.

Congratulations to the nine finalists. A reminder that winners will be unveiled April 17, 2012 at BCLC’s National Conference in Atlanta. To stay connected with these stories, follow BCLCblog and the award twitter hashtag #sustainablecommunity.