Monday, April 30, 2012

Three PA Champions of Change

Over the past week the White House has announced a number of new "Champions of Change," people ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders who are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.  Pennsylvania is well-represented among those awarded. 

Here are three Pennsylvanians recently named Champions of Change:

Kevin Frank is President and CEO of York, PA-based Voith Hydro.  Kevin is a board member of the National Hydropower Association and currently chairs its CEO Council, which advocates for hydropower at both the federal and state level. He has used these positions to discuss and advance both the economic and environmental benefits of hydropower as the nation's largest renewable energy source.  Most recently, Frank led Voith Hydro's efforts to secure the contract for the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project in Iowa, the most recent large hydro project scheduled to be constructed in the U.S. The construction and completion of Red Rock will create and sustain jobs at both the site in Iowa and at Voith Hydro's headquarters in York, Pennsylvania.

Marian Robidas has been the principal of Jonestown Elementary School in the Northern Lebanon School District since 2005. Throughout her twenty-two years in education, she has been a strong proponent for active and authentic real-world learning, and for creating opportunities that allow students to do their own problem solving. Mrs. Robidas believes that a school cannot reach its maximum potential in educating students without the help of the community, and that it is never too early for students to begin learning about their community and how to best serve it. 

Lindsay Baxter is a Project Manager for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC). Prior to joining PEC, Baxter served as the first sustainability coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh, in the Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. In her role with PEC she now works with communities ranging in population from 75 to over 300,000 to implement sustainability efforts that reduce environmental impacts, address climate change, help local governments save money, and improve quality of life for local residents. Key programs she works on include the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative and the Mon River Town Program, a community and economic development initiative along the Monongahela River in southwestern Pennsylvania.

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