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Sustainability Awards

YVSC Sustainability Awards

Since 2010 the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council has given annual awards to recognize heroes in our community who have dedicated their time, energy, and even entire careers to advancing sustainability and resilience in the Yampa Valley. These heroes are inspirations to our organization and are a yearly reminder of why we do what we do.

2017 Sustainability Awards

We are excited to honor the following recipients:
Educator: Mindy Mulliken – Steamboat Springs Middle School
Government Representative: Scott Cowman – Routt County Environmental Health
Local Business: Mountain Tap Brewery
Shining Star: Paul Draper
Lifetime Achievement: Tim Winter
Lifetime Achievement: Karen Massey

Back Row: Tim Winter, Karen Massey, Wendy Tucciarone, Rich Tucciarone, Jeff Goodhand, Christy Abbey Front Row: Paul Draper, Mindy Mulliken, Chereen Leong Schwarz

2016 Sustainability Award Recipients:


From left: Billy Atkinson, Winnie Delliquadri, Megan Moore-Kemp, Carolina Manriquez, Garrett Smith, Catherine Carson and Ben McGowan.

Sustainable Educator:
Carolina Manriquez – Colorado State Forest Service
Carolina is the assistant district forester for the Steamboat Springs District of the Colorado State Forest Service and has been an integral part in the implementation and success of YVSC’s ReTree programming and events—moving from quantity to quality of trees planted and the implementation of post-care (watering/monitoring) and education activities. She is also deeply involved in YVSC’s Sustainable Schools program, since she strongly believes in the education and empowerment of the future generation. Carolina wants to help YVSC’s efforts towards sustainable and integrated natural resource management in our valley through ReTree and other projects, program development, funding and outreach to underserved constituents in our community. YVSC thanks you for your dedication to ReTree and teaching youth about community forestry and stewardship.

Partner of the Year:
Billy Atkinson – Colorado Parks and Wildlife
YVSC honors Billy for his help with ReTree and his ongoing efforts to improve the riparian environment along the Yampa River. Billy is so passionate about rivers and river restoration and has been an incredible partner in the evolution of our project. He has worked in fisheries for almost 20 years, of which nearly 18 of those years have been with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). He was the 2012 recipient of the “Outstanding Biologist Award” for the State of Colorado, as well as a two-time recipient of the American Fisheries Society’s Max Rollefson Award of Merit for his fish conservation efforts in the Yampa Valley. YVSC thanks you for your hard work and commitment to ReTree as part of your on-going work in river restoration.

Government Representative:
Winnie Delliquadri – City of Steamboat Springs
Winnie, a member of the City Green Team and sustainability advocate has been a leader to ensure the City achieves its goal as a Leader in Sustainability. Some of her past special projects, which were based on city council goals and city manager direction, include purchase of specific open space properties, oversight of the Young Tracks Preschool construction project, initial creation of the City’s Historic Preservation program, creating and managing the “Beanpole Project” to bring advanced telecommunications to Northwest Colorado, working with local partners to set-up First Impressions of Routt County, carrying out the Routt County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan planning process, overseeing the STAR sustainability assessment and coordinating city progress on sustainability goals. An involved community member, Winnie is member of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs and has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations in the community. YVSC thanks you for your dedication to the STAR process and work on the City Green Team to ensure the City of Steamboat Springs achieves its’ goal as a Leader in Sustainability.

Local Business:
Yampa Valley Electric Association
This year we wanted to recognize YVEA, not only for their partnership with YVSC on energy efficiency programming, but also for their strong community engagement and internal practices in all areas of sustainability. YVEA’s effort to promote renewable energy includes a Renewable Portfolio that generates 18% of their wholesale power. As one of the founding organizations of the Cen$ible Energy Rebate Program, YVEA has been an invaluable partner in incentivizing YVEA customers to create more energy efficient homes and businesses. YVEA is also modeling sustainable business practices on a community-wide and internal level. From converting streetlights to LED to their own robust facility-wide recycling, YVEA is leading our business community in the right direction. YVSC thanks you for your sustainable practices and dedication to energy efficiency and renewable energy for all.

Lifetime Achievement Award:
Catherine Carson
Catherine has been a vocal champion of reduce, reuse and recycle since joining Yampa Valley Recycles in2007. She proudly wears her title of “Green Bag Lady” and jumps at the chance to educate and encourage residents and visitors to switch to reusable shopping bags rather than plastic or paper. Catherine is also a dedicated YVSC Zero Hero volunteer and has motivated many others to roll up their sleeves and join her in making Steamboat community events waste-free. For many, many years, Catherine was the treasurer for YVR, and we continue to rely on her accounting experience. After working a long day at the Community Recycling Drop-Off, Catherine can always be counted on to tally the donations for the day–in sometimes inhospitable conditions–and is always dead on–to the penny! YVSC thanks you for the many years you have given to promote sustainability in our community, all with unbounded energy and a positive attitude.  You are an inspiration to us all!

Outgoing Board Member:
Garrett Smith – Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
Garrett has been involved with Yampa Valley Recycles since beginning work at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation in 2006. Garrett joined the YVSC Board in 2012 and served as the Board liaison for the Yampa Valley Recycles committee. His work as Assistant Supervisor of Base Area Services for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp gives him the invaluable“boots on the ground” knowledge of recycling and Zero Waste that he brings to YVR and YVSC. Garrett is also a leader in promoting recycling and Zero Waste and protecting the pristine environment of Steamboat. Garrett was a member of the Leadership Steamboat Class of 2011-2012. He was integral in developing that year’s Leadership project – installing 22 permanent recycle containers for downtown Steamboat Springs along Lincoln Avenue – and Garrett headed up the fundraising effort for this project. Garrett has also plays a critical role in YVSC’s annual Community Recycling Drop-Off, especially when the event is at the Meadows Lot but even when the event has been at Howelsen Hill. His leadership, can-do attitude and calm demeanor help this incredibly busy event run smoothly and successfully every year. Garrett is also the one who remembers the clicker to count cars every year! Thank you for your long-term dedication to YVSC and YVR and your leadership in promoting waste diversion at work and in our community.

Shining Star:
Ben McGowan – Yampa Valley Medical Center
Ben was a rockstar Zero Waste volunteer this summer. We could always rely on Ben to volunteer at the Farmers’ Market and free concerts or last minute when we needed more volunteers. He was a leader among our volunteers and always asking how he could help. This summer’s Zero Waste program would not have been as successful without Ben’s dedication and passion for our beautiful Valley. YVSC thanks you for your commitment to Zero Waste through community education and service.


2015 Sustainability Award Recipients:

2015 YVSC Sustainability Award Recipients

From left to right: Kenny Reisman, Anna White, Liz Hammer, Todd Siefken, Carrie Henderson, Samantha Rockford, Cindy Ruzicka, not pictured: Jay Mogil

Sustainable Educators: 
Cindy RuzickaEmerald Mountain School – Cindy’s goal for her Green Team is to affect sustainability-minded change in our school community, and to use this change as a vehicle for empowering students and helping them recognize how kids can and do make a difference. Accomplishments include adopting Oak St. as part of the Spruce Up Colorado program, contributing a “green” thought of the week to a weekly school newsletter, writing a Letter to the Editor in support of Earth Hour, fundraising and purchasing blue recycling bins for all classrooms and common areas as well as a school Tower Garden in order to learn about the benefits of local food sources.
Anna White – Strawberry Park Elementary School – Anna has been teaching in Steamboat for 8 years, and has been involved with the Green Teams at both Soda Creek and Strawberry Park Elementary. This year the SPE Green Team extended the composting system to be school wide, created a lesson for all classrooms to use which teaches about sorting and reducing landfill waste, and has created incentives for teachers to reuse all the one-sided paper that is generated from extra or unwanted copies.
Recycler of the Year:
Jay Mogil – Mogils on the Mountain – One of the most common calls we receive about recycling is how and where to recycle batteries. Thanks to Mogils on the Mountain, batteries containing mercury, cadmium and lithium can now be dropped off at their store free of charge to be recycled properly. This much needed service to the community prompted YVSC to award Mogils on the Mountain “Recycler of the Year” for 2016. Mogils also reuses as much styrofoam and packing materials as possible rather than throwing them into the landfill. All single stream items that pass through their office are properly recycled creating a very small carbon footprint.
Government Official:
Kenny Reisman – Steamboat Springs City Council – While Kenny served on Steamboat Springs City Council for the past 6 years, he was an active member of the YVSC monthly meetings and a grounded and insightful advocate for sustainability on many projects and programs, including Cen$ible Energy, Green Building, the STAR program and the City’s adoption of the Sustainability Plan. 
Sustainable Business: 
Steamboat Resorts by Wyndham Vacation Rentals – This has been a big year for Steamboat Resorts! They established a Community Stewardship Committee whose mission is to seek out opportunities to promote sustainability and support the local Steamboat Springs Community through responsible actions and contributions of time and resources.  All new Steamboat Resorts associates are required complete an Introduction to Sustainability Course as part of their new hire training. They also celebrated Wyndham Worldwide Green Day with a Zero Waste lunch contest and an afternoon “snack and learn” with YVSC. Furthermore, they joined the Adopt a Highway Program and completed their first cleanup in October. Steamboat Resorts continues to impress our community with their sustainability efforts!
Zero Hero Shining Star:
Samantha Rockford – As you are all aware, finding volunteers for our many Zero Waste events over the course of the summer is no easy task. So when an exceptional young lady like Samantha comes along, it is necessary to acknowledge her for her efforts. YVSC would like to recognize Samantha Rockford as the YVSC Zero Hero Rising Star for 2016. From the first time she walked up to the Zero Waste tent, we knew she was special. Her enthusiasm to learn, willingness to help and overall positive energy made her stand out from the rest. Thank you Samantha for your time and dedication. You are a true Zero Hero!


2014 Recipients

[L to R] John Spezia, Michele Miller, Emilie Rogers, Karen Schulman, Jason Landers, Kelly Landers and Bob Keenan

[L to R] John Spezia, Michele Miller, Emilie Rogers, Karen Schulman, Jason Landers, Kelly Landers and Bob Keenan (photo Matt Stensland)

John Spezia, educator, consultant, and outdoor living guru is honored with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless dedication to local resilience. From his work on Vision 2030, multimodal transportation, and affordable housing to his personal commitment to living simply, John is an inspiration to us all.

Bob Keenan, Senior Planner, Building Department the City of Steamboat Springs as our Government Representative.  YVSC recognizes Bob for his dedication to building a sustainable community through Green Building Practices.  Bob was incremental in the startup of YVSC over five years ago, was a key member of the team that developed the Green Building Program, and has been on the City Green Team, since its inception.  He continues to champion Green Building and the education of builders and developers about sustainable building practices.

Kelly and Jason Landers, of Creekside Café, are this year’s recipients of our Sustainable Local Business award for their leadership in the in the fields of local food, zero waste, and philanthropy.  Creekside Café makes every effort to be zero waste.  They consistently use and promote food from local producers and Kelly and Jason are always willing to give their time, energy, and the use of the café for events.

Soda Creek Elementary School was awarded YVSC’s Sustainable Educator for 2014 because of their work in building a school community that values and respects our natural world.  They have an active faculty and student Green Team and an involved parent group to help put plan into action.The staff/parent Green Team provides energy saving tips every month to help them be mindful of their energy use.  From winning the Take Charge Challenge 2 years in a row to spending countless hours making the lunchroom zero waste, the Soda Creek community is an inspiration to our district.

Karen Schulman, citizen leader and founder of the Routt County Litter Solutions Committee since 2007, long time local, and renowned photographer and instructor, is this year’s recipient of our Unsung Hero award because of her long-time dedication to keeping our community clean. From her leadership with the annual Routt County Cleanup to her collaboration with the Sherriff’s department and the Colorado Department of Transportation on the state-wide Adopt A Highway Program, her determination and persistence even in the face of adversity is an inspiration to all that sit on the committee with her.

The Clark Store in North Routt was awarded YVSC’s Outstanding Recycler in 2014 for their Community driven recycling program. After children at the North Routt Charter School were taught by their teachers to recycle and compost at school, the reality of limited local options to carry that very important message to their homes, inspired a very dedicated group of parents to create a local recycling program. Specifically, Kelly Subr in cooperation with the management at the Clark Store initiated a self funded program offering community members a drop off recycling location. Each participant pays a nominal fee to have access to the 2 lockable containers. The program has grown to more than 52 participants with no overflow and very little contamination to date.

Emilie Rogers, administrator of Yampa Valley Recycles is a special recipient this year as a Leader in Recycling.  Among her many contributions to recycling is the creation of the iconic Community Recycling Guide. Most recently, Emile spearheaded the establishment of a community recycling facility in North Routt County. Emilie is the “Queen of the Green Machines” because for years she has managed YVSC Green Machine contractors, Waste Management and Twin Enviro, as well as managing “Green Machine” hosting facilities at Alpine Bank and Safeway. This was no easy task as the demand for recycling in those locations quickly exceeded capacity.


2013 Recipients 

2013 Sustainability Award Winners

LtoR: Steve Hoots, Angela Ashby, Lyn Halliday, Andy Ziegler

Lifetime Achievement – Angela Ashby
Angela’s longtime dedication to YVSC and her commitment to the environment is what strong foundations are built on, and this is why she has been chosen for the Sustainability Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013. Angela is a broker associate with RE/MAX Partners and is proudly Steamboat’s first certified EcoBroker.  Angela is a founding board member of YVSC, was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for development of the City of Steamboat Springs Green Building Program and spearheaded the effort to ”green” the Steamboat Springs MLS (multiple listing service for real estate). She also continues to serve on YVSC’s Green Building Tour committee and is a YVSC Advisory Board member.

Sustainable Businesswoman – Lyn Halliday
Through her business, Environmental Solutions, she founded the Steamboat Sustainable Business Program in Colorado and has coached over 87 businesses green up their practices and it is in her individual work with local businesses and sustainability that we she was chosen as the Sustainable Business(woman) of 2013.

Sustainable Educator – Andy Ziegler
Andy is a self-taught chef, and moved to Steamboat in the winter of 2011 to help open the Laundry restaurant, but soon moved into the position of head chef at the Lowell Whiteman School.  He dove in immediately to this position with a sustainability mindset and began fostering relationships with local farmers to “plant the seed” of better living through local cooking, leading him to develop the Sustainable Agriculture Program at the school which promises to transform the campus into one that focuses on environmentally sound practices while encouraging our students to play a major role in there own food production.

Sustainable Government Official – Steve Hoots
Steve is the Facilities Manager for the City of Steamboat and has completed over 1 million dollars of projects to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability for the community.  He has been a dedicated member of the Yampa Valley Recycles team for many years, and is a part of YVSC’s Routt County Sustainability Work Group.  Steve’s long time dedication to sustainability, efficiency, and long term solutions are why Steve has been chosen as this year’s Sustainable Government Official.

Unsung Hero Award – Karin Coop
Several non profits that celebrated at a joint holiday party together this year decided to initiate an “unsung hero” award and nominated Karin Coop, who tirelessly keeps the books for most of the non profits who celebrated together. Thank you Karin! (not pictured)


2012 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement – Liz Wahl, Director Food and Beverage Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation, for establishing and continuing to maintain her long term dedication and commitment to the Zero Waste Initiative in Steamboat.

Sustainable Business – PureBuilt Inc and Bradley Bartels, for establishing a business model based on principles of moderation, honesty, efficiency, durability, and transparency, always striving to embetter the Green Building movement in the valley and his tireless support of YVSC since its inception in 2008. PureBuilt raises the standards of sustainable building in our region.

Sustainable Educator – Jeffry Troeger, for being the driving force behind creating a four-year Bachelors Degree in Sustainability at the Steamboat Campus of Colorado Mountain  College and for fostering our youth on the college level in all things sustainability

Sustainable Government Official – Mike Zopf, Manager Routt County Environmental Health, for his long term commitment to the health of the environment and those living in it, for his dedication to the quality of air and water in the Yampa Valley, and for his long time support of the Yampa Valley Recycles program and YVSC.

Bradley Bartels, Mike Zopf, Liz Wahl, Jeffry Troeger











2011 Recipients
Lifetime Achievement – Meg Bentley – for unwavering support of environmental and sustainability issues throughout her tenure on the Steamboat Springs City Council

Environmental Achievement – Facilities Department and Audrey Williams at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation – for excellence in natural resource conservation and environmental protection through the application of sustainable practices

Educational Achievement
– Cindy Gantick – 5th Grade at Soda Creek Elementary for fostering sustainability in the schools and developing the Energy Bikes collaborative learning project

Sustained Contributor
– Yampatika and the Legacy Ranch – for demonstrating leadership by example through a long-term contribution to the sustainable cause through education, government involvement, research or the development of technology.

Honorary Contributor
– Tim Winter, Routt County Facilities Manager –  as an individual who has made outstanding contributions to improve the sustainable community, and as a tireless advocate for conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy for county facilities (not pictured below).

2011 Sustainability Award recipients, honored during the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council presentation on Wednesday, include (from left) Audrey Williams, facilities director at Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp; Cindy Gantick, fifth-grade teacher at Soda Creek Elementary; Sonja Macys, executive director of Yampatika; and Meg Bentley, former City Council member.