2023 Chapter Awards
Each year Sierra Club Wisconsin recognizes outstanding volunteers and community leaders for their work on behalf of the environment. From new activists to lifetime achievements, we want to acknowledge their amazing efforts and accomplishments. Please join us on Wednesday, November 1st, as we come together online from all corners of the state to present the chapter awards, celebrate our winners, and hear the inspiring work they do.
This year's award winners are:
Caitlin Moeller will receive the New Activist Award. Caitlin has made a huge impact on the Wildlife Team, particularly with her graphic design and social media work, which has brought the team’s campaigns to life and brought in new volunteers. She’s been a big part of the success of organizing around the Wolf Management plan and the recent Wolf Awareness Week, and is celebrated by her teammates for her dedication, the time she puts into this work, and for taking on less visible tasks that make a big difference.
Jenny Abel will receive the Wildflower Award. The Wildflower is given to leaders within the chapter who exemplify all that is wonderful in the environment and the club, and Jenny’s enthusiasm, dedication, care, intellect, and more make her a perfect fit. She is chair of the Great Waters Group, where she has worked tirelessly to push her local and global communities to be less racist and fight against the worst effects of climate change. Jenny has brought new people into the group, is a wonderful relationship builder, and has dedicated herself to issues from energy burden to public transportation. She was also involved in Sierra Club before moving to Wisconsin, helping to shut down a coal plant and pass a 100% renewable electricity resolution in Virginia!
Linda Frank will receive the Merit Award for her dedication to climate and environmental work with teams, committees and groups spanning every level of the organization in Wisconsin. Linda helped the Milwaukee climate and equity plan cross the finish line:, serving on committees to help write the plan, helping make sure it passed and co-creating Our Future Milwaukee coalition to assure its suggestions are implemented. She has also been engaged in the energy burden coalition to stop unjust electric rate increases, increase energy efficiency opportunities and decrease racial disparities in energy burden in Milwaukee. As if that’s not enough, Linda has been engaged with both the Lands Team and Water Team, focusing on protecting Kohler Andrae lakeshore from development and protecting water from nitrate pollution from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Her work has made a huge impact!
Maureen McCoy will receive the LD Rockwell Award. This award is presented to an individual for their political or electoral work with the chapter. Maureen is a member of Sierra Club’s Lands Team, and is being recognized for her contributions to holding legislators accountable to their promises, especially on the Every Kid Outdoors legislation, which would increase access to parks. In this work, she has contacted legislative committees, bill sponsors and other legislators about the legislative process and ensured Every Kid Outdoors is staying on track to pass.
This year, two groups will be recognized with the Good Citizen Award.
Citizen Action of Wisconsin will be recognized with the Good Citizen Award for their work across the state. In Milwaukee, Citizen Action of Wisconsin is a leader and strong advocate on energy burden work, especially focusing on racial disparities in energy burden in Milwaukee. They have also engaged in the We Energies rate case, the PIPP (percentage of income payment program) docket, and public awareness building. On the other side of the state, Citizen Action of Wisconsin has also been a partner in our clean energy work focused in Western Wisconsin, where we’ve been organizing with electric coop members to push their utilities to invest in renewable energy and move away from fossil fuels. Their work spans many issues and they’ve been an impactful player in climate and justice work, as well as a wonderful partner to Sierra Club Wisconsin.
Vernon County Energy District will be presented with the Good Citizen Award for their advocacy in Western Wisconsin, particularly Vernon County. An energy district is a non-profit that serves a specific county and helps develop clean energy given the local context, needs and barriers. Vernon County Energy District has been doing amazing work in - you guessed it - Vernon County! Ranging from home audits, energy efficiency, and education to advocating for clean energy on a large scale, VCED has made a major impact in their area. They have also been a wonderful partner to both Sierra Club’s Coulee Region Group and to the state chapter in our shared clean energy work, particularly in pushing local utilities to take advantage of electric cooperative funding offered through the Inflation Reduction Act.
The chapter’s highest award, the JJ & Pat Werner Award will be presented to Carol and Kevin Olson. Carol and Kevin led the River Touring Section for years, which encourages enjoyment of recreational waterways, protects these areas, promotes safety when paddling and fosters appreciation for these activities. In doing this, Carol and Kevin have coordinated countless paddling trips and outings over the years, advocated internally for an easier process for outings leaders and championed connecting people to the outdoors. Many Sierra Club volunteers point to outings like these as key factors in why they got involved in the organization and as an experience that helped build their love for the outdoors. Thank you to Carol and Kevin for all of their work over the years!
Please join us to congratulate and thank the winners, during our virtual awards celebration on Wednesday, November 1st at 6:00p.m. Pre-registration required via this link.