Green Chips 2017 Sustainability Award Winners
Sustainable Leader Award
Arash Ghafoori is the Executive Director of Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. NPHY is the most comprehensive service provider for more than 11,000 homeless youth in Southern Nevada, serving hundreds of youth through its core programs and by touching the lives of thousands more through outreach each year. Programs stabilize homeless teens’ lives, meeting their immediate needs and providing a safe, supportive environment and a path to self-sufficiency. They include: Outreach, Safe Place Mobile Crisis Intervention, Operation Go Home Family Reunification, Drop-In Center, Emergency Shelter, and Independent Living Program. Arash speaks passionately and compellingly about the unique issues youth face in the homelessness landscape. He is a great collaborator and a passionate voice for this voiceless component of our community.
Sustainable Community Award
The Conservation District of Southern Nevada. CDSN lead the way in a new area that other districts have not explored before with the Zion Garden Project. The community garden located at the Zion Methodist Church in North Las Vegas brings fresh produce to the community and teaches them how to grow and prepare their own food. It is located in a low income, low access food desert, with 11 percent of households without vehicles and distances to a supermarket more than half a mile away and is surrounded by the three highest food insecurity zones. This project has energized the community and brought them together. For area residents, the community garden is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. “I never thought that could be a garden,” said Shirley, a member of the church. “It was always just a desert full of trash and broken glass.”
Accepting the award on behalf of the Conservation District of Southern Nevada was CDSN Board Chair, and Vice President of Sustainable Facilities for MGM Resorts Corporate Sustainability Division Chris MaGee along with the project lead for The Zion Garden Project, Amber Bosket.
Sustainable Future Award
West Career and Technical Academy. WCTA students and staff are very committed to sustainability. The school initiated a number of programs engaging the entire school community. The school increased recycling by 300% over the past several years, by separating food and drink from recyclable items, Instituted a salad bar with items sourced 100% from green houses on campus with produce grown and harvested by students, and the school has on-campus composting to enrich growth areas. High school students teach middle and elementary students, as well as PACE/POST students. Cross-fit and functional fitness are offered as elective courses, as well as after-school classes for adults and students who cannot make the class fit in their schedules. WCTA decreased use of paper 30% by utilizing digital assignment submission and exam tools. The commitment to sustainability is not only reflected in the course work and day to day operation of the school, but is also evident in the culture included in any program hosted by the school
Lifetime Achievement in Sustainability Award
Gary Wood is the first ever winner of the Green Chips lifetime achievement award. It was created to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a life-long commitment to sustainability personally and professionally as well as long term, personal, dedication to the mission, development, and success of Green Chips as an organization.
Gary is a co-founder of Green Chips and has been instrumental in our fundraising Committee efforts, consulted on all of our energy efficiency and solar installation projects, extensively mentored all 3 of our
Executive Directors and even volunteered to personally complete and submit our tax filings! For the past 18 years, Gary has focused on renewable energy and conservation. He is personally passionate about decreasing the homeless population in our region and is a devoted church member and committed family man. Green Chips owes so much of its success to Gary Wood.
Green Chips Sustainable Leadership Award 2016: Betsy Fretwell
City of Las Vegas City Manager Elizabeth N. Fretwell was sworn in as city manager in 2009. To ensure the city would rebound once the economy recovered from the recession, Ms. Fretwell was instrumental in implementing the Mayor and City Council’s sustainability resolutions. Ms. Fretwell recognizes the importance of sustainability to the City of Las Vegas and Southern Nevada, and has written and spoken about the City’s strategic and cost effective investments and achievements in renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation, and recycling, which have made the City a nationally recognized leader in sustainability. She has also advocated for the City to become the first “net-zero” city in America and was instrumental in helping the City reach an agreement with NV Energy to received 100% of the City’s retail load from renewable sources.
Green Chips Sustainable Community Award 2016: Spread The Word Nevada
Spread the Word Nevada is a children’s literacy nonprofit, 501 (C)(3) corporation, dedicated to advancing early childhood literacy by placing books into the hands and homes of children within Southern Nevada’s at-risk, low income communities. While developing a love of reading, these libraries promote future academic achievement and self-confidence, which impacts lifelong success. Since 2001, Spread the Word Nevada has distributed more than 3.3 million gently used and new books to more than 420,000 low-income youth in Southern Nevada.
Green Chips Sustainable Future Award 2016: Cheryl Wagner
Cheryl has worked at the Clark County School Partnership office and has helped numerous partners in the green community on projects with schools, students, and teachers. She focuses on building community partnerships in STEM and has played a part in many projects large and small. Most recently she helped to host the first annual Green School Summit this past fall. Her work with the School-Community Partnership Program is dedicated to improving academic achievement, fostering successful individuals and enriching student experiences by connecting schools with business and community resources. She works with business and community partners in many ways to bring mentors, speakers and more to our teachers and students.