These individuals and organizations are rich in inspiration and leadership. We’re proud to celebrate their achievements and contributions to the conservation movement in America!
Full listing of previous National Conservation Achievement Award winners >>
William K. Reilly: As EPA Administrator for President George H.W Bush, William Reilly’s leadership during passage of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 stands as one of the most important public health and conservation achievements in modern times. This landmark law led to a 40% reduction in acid rain and significant reductions of major criteria air pollutants, and prevented more than 160,000 premature deaths. Moreover, the Clean Air Act recently enabled the most significant increase in vehicle fuel economy and the first national reductions in mercury pollution.
Important conservation accomplishments while at EPA include vetoing the Two Forks dam in Colorado to protect wetlands and a prime fishing location; becoming the first EPA Administrator to accompany the President to the then G-7 meeting, as well as the first to testify on environmental aspects of trade agreements. Mr. Reilly worked closely with NWF and others to ensure strong environmental provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement. He was sent on a Presidential mission to inspect environmental damage after the first Gulf War, and led the U.S. delegation to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
Prior to EPA, Mr. Reilly served as a Senior Staff Member of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, director of the Task Force on Land Use and Urban Growth, president of The Conservation Foundation, and president of World Wildlife Fund. He is a Senior Advisor to TPG Capital and a Founding Partner of Aqua International Partners, which invested in the water sector in developing countries. In 2010, he was appointed by President Obama to Co-Chair the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
William Reilly is the Chair of the Board of the ClimateWorks Foundation, Chair of the Advisory Board for Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Energy Project, Co-Chair of the Global Water Challenge, a Director of Packard Foundation, and Chairman Emeritus of WWF. He also serves on the Boards of Royal Caribbean and Energy Future Holdings, a major Texas utility.
Over a lifetime William Reilly has made inspirational environmental strides that truly change the forecast for future generations.
Chad Holliday: For Charles “Chad” Holliday, going green is not simply an ethical agenda, but it’s the foundation for success and prosperity. Chad has worked relentlessly to make environmental sustainability a business imperative. As chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont, he set and met revolutionary sustainability goals and improved not only the organization’s environmental footprint, but also its customers and consumers through the “Sustainable Solutions” program. While at Dupont, he strongly supported The DuPont Land Legacy Program, which transferred 34,000 acres of land for preservation of green space and wildlife for future generations. As a co-founder of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), Chad was a vocal champion, both on climate policy positions and with business leaders and Members of Congress. He is a co-founder of American Energy Innovation Council, which advocates for progressive energy policies addressing climate change. Holliday has supported numerous environmental sustainability initiatives and organizations by volunteering his time at an array of events, such as the 2010 Sustainability Education Summit.
Holliday is a chairman emeritus of Catalyst, a leading nonprofit organization which expands opportunities for women and business. He serves as Chairman of the WBCSD (World Business Council on Sustainable Development), which brings together 200 leading global companies that are focused on sustainable development. He is also the Co-Chair of the U.N. Secretary Generals effort (SE4ALL) which focuses on increasing renewable energy use and bringing sustainable energy to the 1.3 billion people that do not have it today. He serves as chairman of the board at Bank of America, an organization that has provided major support to NWF’s Campus Ecology Program. Holliday encourages companies to lead by example and adopt business strategies that measurably improve society, the environment, and the economy.
Anne Thompson: Anne Thompson is NBC News’ Chief Environmental Affairs correspondent. Thompson led extensive coverage on the Gulf oil spill, covering all aspects of the crisis, interviewing NWF staff working in the region. She has traveled to Copenhagen to cover climate change negotiations, Greenland, Costa Rica, the Amazon, Australia and Europe reporting on alternative fuels, global warming, land usage and new technologies. As the Chief Financial correspondent from March 2005 to April 2007 at NBC, she has addressed the economic impact of Hurricane Katrina, the increased cost of health care and its economic effects, and alternative fuel vehicles, amongst other topics. In 2006, Thompson received the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award, and she was part of the "Nightly News" team that won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award and the Emmy Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She was also nominated for four business and financial news Emmys. Raised and educated in Europe, Thompson received her high school diploma from the International School of Brussels in Belgium and her Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from University of Notre Dame. Anne Thompson exemplifies the energy and integrity needed to educate and inform the American public about our most pressing environmental concerns.
Disney: Disney, whose environmental legacy spans more than 60 years, is committed to protecting the planet for future generations and helping kids develop lifelong conservation values through nature exploration. The Company brings the magic of the natural world to kids through entertaining content including: engaging programs that inspire action like Disney’s Friends for Change, which has encouraged kids around the world to take nearly 20 million actions including beach cleanups and tree plantings; entertaining storytelling such as Dinseynature films, which invests ticket proceeds to help protect precious ecosystems; experiences in places like Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which reflects the Company’s dedication to wildlife; and resources provided to organizations that protect habitats and develop education programs. Through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, the Company has provided more than $20 million to projects in over half of the countries in the world. Continued mutual support between Disney and organizations like NWF help children and their families learn to appreciate nature and care for the world we share.
Akiima Price: Akiima Price is one of the few African-American environmental education specialists in the country. She has worked with environmental organizations throughout the United States creating and implementing programs that connect low-income residents with the environment. She specializes in bridging communities to resources through curricula that addresses urban and community environmental education issues. At the heart of Akiima’s passion is the belief that nature is a powerful medium to positively engage youth and families, which in turn affects the way they feel about themselves, each other and their communities. A notable piece of curriculum Ms. Price has developed is the innovative urban community workbook, “What’s Good in my Hood,” that guides users through effects on their food, water, and shelter sources. She has worked alongside NWF and its affiliate, Earth Conservation Corps, and assisted in the development of the school and community education strategies for the Million Trees NYC initiative. She is the founder of A Price Consulting, a Board Director for the North American Association for Environmental Education, an Advisory Board Member of Children & Nature and the convener of a Facebook group for urban environmental education. Akiima Price exemplifies the leadership needed in the world of environmental education to motivate our next generation to get outside and become the conservation leaders of tomorrow.
Leo Gerard: As the President of the United Steelworkers, Leo Gerard has served as a tireless spokesman and activist for green jobs and environmental protection, a cause which he sees as going hand in hand. He was a co-founder of the Blue-Green Alliance, a ground breaking coalition of eight labor unions and four conservation organizations, including NWF, which works together to move America to a new energy future and foster a growing economy at the same time. An overarching issue for Gerard is corporate accountability. He favors a more democratic economy that creates jobs without endangering the environment. Gerard has responded to the double challenge of disappearing middle-income jobs and the advent of global warming by linking the two causes. Under his leadership, the Steelworkers have become the principal union backer of the Apollo Alliance, a coalition promoting a 10-year, $300 billion program to develop clean-energy alternatives. In creating a new progressive model that links labor and the environment, Gerard has built an alliance of genuine strategic importance. Gerard's passionate support for Apollo gave it the credibility it needed in labor circles and won it support from the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and the Building and Construction Trades Department. He has held an indispensible role in uniting both labor unions and environmentalists for a greener and more stable future.
Click here for a full listing of the 77th Annual Meeting awardees' biographies >>