Above + Beyond Volunteer Recognition: Frank Eppert, Ross Watson, Kat Golden, Ralph Bicknese and Mary Fitzgerald

merged images 2.0The USGBC-Missouri Gateway is committed to recognizing volunteers who  contributesignificantly to the Chapter, devoting time and talents “above and beyond” on a particular project or program. We are happy to recognize five dedicated members who have served as Mentors in the Green Schools Quest every year since the launch of the program five years ago. They are Frank Eppert of ABNA, Ross Watson of Jacobs, Kat Golden of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Ralph Bicknese of Hellmuth+Bicknese, and Mary Fitzgerald. Thank you!

These dedicated mentors were nominated by Carolyn Green, our Green Schools Committee Chair.

Frank Eppert of ABNA.  We honor Frank’s commitment to the goal of “Greening” the schools he has mentored.  In his five years of participating with the Green Schools Quest, he has steadily grown the sustainability achievements of the Little Flower School from creating garden boxes to benchmarking the energy usage of their building to ultimately executing a plan to replace outdated light fixtures, one classroom at a time. Thank you Frank for going above and beyond to provide meaningful mentorship to this school and its students.

Ross Watson of Jacobs.  We appreciate the many hours of time and expertise given by Ross to the Green Schools Quest projects at the schools he has mentored.  He has been a participant all five years of the program’s existence.  His work with students includes conducting energy audits, energy benchmarking and monitoring CO2 levels to improve indoor air quality.  We thank Ross for his work to provide technical leadership and exposure to vital energy and air quality measurement tools for so many young people.

Kat Golden of the Missouri Botanical Garden.  Kat has been an invaluable team member during the five years of Green Schools Quest by promoting the importance of the program and educating participants along the way.  The schools and students she has mentored have benefited from her passion in developing waste diversion projects such as composting, recycling and waste reduction.  Kat provides a useful resource in the form of a “waste audit kit” that schools can use as part of their sustainability projects.  Thank you, Kat, for bringing your expertise and consistent leadership to so many schools.

Ralph Bicknese of Hellmuth+Bicknese.  Ralph brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of building energy efficiency and all things “green” for schools.  He has given hours of expertise during his time as a Green Schools Quest mentor in the areas of building energy audits, reducing transportation energy usage, and construction of a winter garden.  Ralph often presents the Green Schools Quest awards to participating schools.  He has been a Green Schools Mentor all five years, since the program was started.  Thank you, Ralph, for serving as a true public advocate for the important work of the Green Schools Quest and the Green Schools Committee.

Mary Fitzgerald.  We appreciate the dedication and talents of Mary during each year of the five years of the Green Schools Quest.  She has worked with students and schools to increase their understanding and excitement in the areas of sustainable school practices.  During her work as a mentor, Mary served as an expert in establishing vegetable gardens, native landscaping and composting programs.  We thank Mary for her hours of service to the Green Schools Committee and the Green Schools Quest.

Within the past five years, collectively, these five mentors alone have helped students conduct energy audits, install rain barrels, benchmark their school’s energy use, kick-start recycling efforts and divert thousands of pounds of waste from the landfill, shift from disposables in the cafeteria to reusable silverware, advocate for conversions to LED lighting, install native plants and vegetable gardens, begin composting, monitor CO2 levels and improve indoor environmental quality – and more! We appreciate their commitment towards our vision of making every school a green school!


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