Clean Cities Hall of Fame
The Clean Cities Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding contributions to the Clean Cities mission of reducing petroleum dependency in U.S. transportation.
Inductees are ambassadors for alternative fuels and champions for fuel economy. Their exemplary dedication and leadership are paving the way for a new transportation future.
Richard Battersby, East Bay Clean Cities Coalition
Richard Battersby speaks the language of fleets better than most, and he takes every opportunity to let fleet managers know how they can reap the economic and environmental benefits of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. Battersby has himself served as a fleet manager for sizable fleets in the public and private sectors for more than two decades. He currently oversees the fleet at the University of California at Davis, the UC system's largest campus, whose fleet sustainability efforts have garnered national attention and praise.
Battersby became involved in the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition in 1998 and took the helm as coordinator and executive director in 2004. In 2011, the coalition saved more than 9 million gallons of petroleum. In 2012, Battersby helped Waste Management develop fueling infrastructure to power refuse trucks with landfill gas from the Altamont Landfill in Livermore, California. Battersby is a natural collaborator, having worked closely with other Clean Cities coalitions in the state to coordinate large-scale deployment projects involving biofuels, electric vehicles, and other alternative transportation fuels and technologies.
Colleen Crowninshield, Tucson Clean Cities Coalition
Colleen Crowninshield doesn't take no for an answer—especially when it comes to reducing Arizona's dependence on petroleum. In more than a decade of service as the Tucson Clean Cities Coalition coordinator, Crowninshield has been a tireless advocate for alternatives to gasoline and diesel. She was instrumental in bringing the first biodiesel, compressed natural gas, and E85 fueling stations to her state. And she is playing a critical role in preparing Arizona for the arrival of electric vehicles.
Crowninshield consistently uses her boundless creativity and unmatched media savvy to train the spotlight on her cause. Twice a month, she appears on a local talk radio show, Mrs. Green Goes Mainstream, to discuss environmentally friendly transportation options. In 2009, Crowninshield conceived and executed a plan to transport the nation's 85-foot-tall Capitol Christmas Tree from Arizona to Washington, D.C., using biodiesel, with nonstop media coverage along the way. In 2005, she initiated an annual day-after-Thanksgiving grease recycling event in Pima County, through which community members drop off cooking grease to be turned into biodiesel. Crowninshield thinks outside the box and turns innovative project ideas into tangible Clean Cities successes.
In 2005, Crowninshield was named Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year.
Robin Erickson, Utah Clean Cities
It's hard to find an elected official in Utah who doesn't know Utah Clean Cities Executive Director Robin Erickson. From the capitol building in Salt Lake City to the state's smallest rural towns, Erickson has rallied spirited support for clean transportation. She has inspired mayors to champion idle reduction, spurred fleet managers to embrace alternative fuels, and helped the governor's office tackle vehicle emissions.
Since Erickson signed on as Utah Clean Cities' coordinator in 2007, she has more than tripled the number of stakeholders in the coalition. She draws on her experience as a former fleet manager to help fleets tackle technical challenges and successfully navigate their way to petroleum savings. Erickson established a program that has trained more than 3,000 Utah school bus drivers in idle reduction practices, and she has played a vital role in substantially growing the state's natural gas fueling infrastructure and the number of natural gas vehicles on the road. Erickson approaches her work with a profound commitment to making Utah a vibrant and healthy place for future generations.
Lee Grannis, Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition
Lee Grannis brings exceptional energy, dedication, and technical knowledge to the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles in Connecticut, throughout the Northeast, and nationally. With a background in military transportation logistics and alternative fuel vehicle sales, Grannis launched the Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition in 1995 and took over as coordinator in 1997.
For more than a decade, this retired U.S. Army veteran has been instrumental in introducing new technologies and fuels into Connecticut's transportation sector. Under Grannis' leadership, the Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition helped deploy electric trolleys in New Haven's public transit system and catalyzed the development of the city's first compressed natural gas fueling station. He has aided entrepreneurs in jump-starting the manufacture of electric buses and electric vehicle charging equipment. In partnership with the three other Connecticut Clean Cities coalitions, Grannis serves as the lead on the $29 million Connecticut Future Fuels project, which is deploying 269 alternative fuel vehicles and supporting fueling infrastructure, including the first liquefied natural gas station east of the Mississippi.
Grannis was named the Northeast Region Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year in 2004 and 2008.
Kevin Herdler, St. Louis Clean Cities
Kevin Herdler has been a leader within Clean Cities since the program's beginning, when he served as a highly respected fleet director for a county government in Atlanta in the mid-1990s. He joined forces with St. Louis Clean Cities (SLCC) in 1998 and became its coordinator in 2001, guiding the coalition to reduce petroleum use by millions of gallons each year.
Herdler's successes spring from his dogged determination and deep technical knowledge, most notably in the heavy-duty vehicle arena. His expertise with big rigs and every vehicle in the city fleet yard have been indispensible for dozens of public and private fleets as they have pursued idle-reduction measures and transitioned away from diesel to fuels like natural gas and biodiesel. Herdler is widely known as someone who can take the best-laid plans and make them even better. Both a model and a mentor to his Clean Cities peers, Herdler is always eager to share his knowledge and experience with new coordinators as they learn the ropes.
In 2010, Herdler received the Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year Award.
Melissa Howell, Kentucky Clean Cities Partnership
Melissa Howell is a cornerstone of Clean Cities. She has been with the program since its beginning in 1993, when she helped found the Kentucky Clean Cities Partnership. Ever the consummate professional, Howell's dedication to reducing petroleum use in transportation has weathered all manner of political and economic conditions. Howell is known for her persistence in inspiring fleets to action, and she brought several high-profile stakeholders to the alternative-fuel table, including Mammoth Cave National Park, Fort Knox military base, UPS, and the World Equestrian Games. And thanks to Howell's leadership, thousands of children across the state of Kentucky ride to school on hybrid electric and biodiesel buses.
Howell is the original Clean Cities mentor, having coached new coordinators to success long before a formal mentorship program was established. She is always willing to share her vast experience and knowledge with other coalitions to reinvigorate stalled projects and instill confidence in rising leaders. Howell's impressive body of work with Clean Cities makes her the example other coordinators seek to follow.
In 2008, Howell was named Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year, and in 2005, she received the Southeast Region Award.
Chelsea Jenkins, Virginia Clean Cities
Chelsea Jenkins took the helm of Virginia Clean Cities in 2005 as a staff of one. During her tenure, Jenkins grew the coalition in both size and influence, overseeing seven staff and managing multi-million-dollar transportation projects. Under Jenkins's leadership, Virginia Clean Cities projects spanned the gamut of alternative fuels, from retail biodiesel stations, to natural gas transit buses, to electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Jenkins's passion and commitment to the Clean Cities mission won her widespread respect at the statehouse, in the nation's capital, and among her peers. In 2008, Jenkins was elected by her fellow coordinators to co-chair the national Clean Cities Coordinator Council, which she helped strengthen into a vital resource for the program.
In 2009, Jenkins received the Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year Award.
Mindy Mize, Dallas–Fort Worth Clean Cities
Mindy Mize continually raised the bar on what it meant to be a Clean Cities coordinator, a role she performed from 2002 to 2012. Mize helped to develop and implement scores of successful transportation and air-quality policies and projects, including widespread use of hundreds of natural gas vehicles and hybrids by Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The coalition's petroleum savings totaled nearly 12 million gallons in 2010 alone.
Mize's leadership in the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles extended far beyond the boundaries of her coalition. She was a constant source of support and guidance for her fellow Texas coordinators. In 2008, she was elected by her peers to co-chair the national Clean Cities Coordinator Council. In that capacity, she helped transform the council into a vibrant forum for coordinators, providing training, resources, feedback, and communication with Clean Cities program staff. She was instrumental in the establishment of Clean Cities' coordinator mentorship program, and she was highly regarded by new coordinators and seasoned veterans alike for her leadership, deployment savvy, and vision.
Erin Russell-Story has breadth of experience and depth of knowledge that make her a crucial contributor to Clean Cities' successes. Russell-Story began her involvement with Clean Cities in 1997, when she signed on as the first coordinator for the Northeast Ohio Clean Cities coalition. She led the organization for four years and oversaw its path to official designation by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In 2001, Russell-Story led the Vermont Clean Cities Coalition (which she also guided to DOE designation), where she received national recognition for her creative and diligent efforts in the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles. After her time with Vermont Clean Cities, Russell-Story spent several years as an independent consultant for a wide variety of transportation-related projects and programs.
Russell-Story joined the national Clean Cities program staff at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in 2009 as a regional manager, overseeing large-scale transportation projects in multiple states and providing support to more than a dozen coalitions. Her technical expertise and long history with Clean Cities have proven invaluable to program staff and coordinators alike.
Russell-Story received the Clean Cities Outstanding Coordinator Award in 2003.
Sam Spofforth, Clean Fuels Ohio
Sam Spofforth became the coordinator of Clean Fuels Ohio when the coalition formed within the City of Columbus Health Department in 1999. He became the coalition's executive director when it spun off as a stand-alone nonprofit organization in 2002. Since then, Spofforth has guided the coalition's growth to include seven full-time and seven part-time employees devoted to the Clean Cities mission, with the support of more than 160 dues-paying members.
Today, Clean Fuels Ohio is among the top Clean Cities coalitions in total petroleum savings, through efforts across Clean Cities' portfolio of strategies. In 2008, Clean Fuels Ohio launched Ohio Green Fleets, a landmark program that engages and educates hundreds of fleets across the state. The program has certified dozens of green fleets, averting thousands of tons of emissions. Clean Fuels Ohio has developed an active government affairs program, grants development and management, public education, and other innovations that are Clean Cities models.
Spofforth is widely recognized as a leader and expert in the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles across Ohio and nationally. He serves on the Columbus mayor's Green Team and was appointed to the Advisory Council for the Ohio Environmental Education Fund.
In 2007, Spofforth was named Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year. In 2004, he received the Chicago Region Award.
Lisa Thurstin, Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition (Minnesota)
When it comes to reducing petroleum use in transportation, Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition (TC4) is unmatched, thanks in large part to the leadership and energy of Coordinator Lisa Thurstin. Between 2005 and 2009, TC4's efforts saved a staggering 135 million gallons of petroleum—more than any other Clean Cities coalition in the nation.
Thurstin, who became TC4's coordinator in 2007, is well known for collaborating with stakeholders on clever and imaginative campaigns to advance the use of cleaner, alternative fuels. TC4 worked with the Minnesota Vikings to promote E85 to thousands of football fans through radio and Web advertising, free stadium parking for flexible fuel vehicles, and a Vikings E85 road trip to Chicago's Soldier Field. And it's not unusual to find Thurstin and her TC4 colleagues at fueling stations, filling vehicles with E85 and biodiesel and discussing the benefits of using those fuels in Minnesota. In 2010, TC4 was instrumental in the opening of 31 public E85 fueling stations and helped prepare Minnesota for the arrival of electric vehicles. Thurstin's innovative work and ideas have made TC4 an exceptionally successful and effective coalition.
Kellie Walsh, Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition
Kellie Walsh is a trailblazer in the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. She took the reins of the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition in 2002, and her stellar accomplishments have solidified her reputation as a transportation leader in Indiana and beyond. Walsh spearheaded the Interstate 65 Biofuels Corridor project, which established a continuous network of E85 and biodiesel fueling stations stretching from Gary, Indiana, to Mobile, Alabama. The coalition is actively expanding natural gas fueling infrastructure throughout Indiana and managing a Recovery Act project to place more than 300 propane vehicles on the road, in partnership with the Indiana Department of Transportation. Walsh's pioneering work has garnered praise from U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and Indiana Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman.
Walsh is highly respected among her Clean Cities peers, to whom she provides guidance on coalition management, project development, networking, and cultivating strong bases of stakeholders.
Walsh received the Clean Cities Coordinator of the Year Award in 2006, the Midwest Region Award in 2005, and the Mentor of the Year Award in 2009.