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ASLA Advocacy Award Winners Announced

During the Advocacy Day wrap-up reception, ASLA President Greg Miller, FASLA, announced the 2017 Advocacy Awards winners and recognized their outstanding achievements in furthering the advocacy priorities of the Society.

This year, ASLA government affairs assembled a jury of advocacy experts to review and score the nominations. A special thank you to the National Park Foundation, the Conservation Fund, and National Recreation and Parks Association for their participation in this year’s jury. Here are this year’s awardees.

ASLA Rising Star Award
The 2017 Rising Star award was presented to Michele Elfers, ASLA, of the Alaska Chapter. Elfers has demonstrated exemplary advocacy for ASLA at the state level over the last year, most notably in her support of the Chapter to renew licensure in Alaska. Elfers worked with the Chapter, the state’s Professional Design Council, and state legislators to gain unanimous support for a permanent voting seat on the Architect Engineering & Land Surveying (Licensing) Board. Elfers also lead the Chapter’s annual advocacy fly-in in Juneau, Alaska, where she successfully paired members with state legislators.

Advocacy Awards Elfers
Michele Elfer’s award was received from ASLA President Greg Miller by Ed Leonetti, president, Alaska Chapter.

ASLA Advocacy Leadership Award
This category received a number of outstanding nominations, making the judging process extremely difficult. The jury’s evaluation resulted in a decision to honor two nominees:

For her outstanding advocacy efforts in her congressional district addressing environmental justice concerns related to contaminated air and soils, climate resilience, and the need for open, accessible, and safe active recreation spaces, Susannah Drake, FASLA, of the New York Chapter received the 2017 Advocacy Leadership Award. Drake also worked with her legislators in 2017 to rewrite policies to positively impact minority and women-owned businesses.

Advocacy Awards Drake
Susannah Drake’s award was received by Elizabeth Jordan, president, New York Chapter.

Carmine Russo Jr., ASLA, of the Ohio Chapter who serves as the Chapter’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs also received the 2017 Advocacy Leadership Award. Russo successfully worked with the chair of the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee to remove a proposed sales tax on landscape design services from the two-year State Operating Budget. Additionally, he coordinated the Chapter’s second-annual state lobby day.

Advocacy Awards Russo
Russo was on hand to receive his award.

ASLA Chapter of the Year
ASLA is pleased to present the 2017 Chapter of the Year award to the Wisconsin Chapter for excellence in advocacy. WI ASLA has consistently and effectively advocated for the profession of landscape architecture at the federal level and within the state of Wisconsin. During the 2017 legislative session, the Chapter tirelessly worked to defend against licensure threats. Wisconsin leads in relationship building with legislators and allied professions, helping to promote the Society’s legislative priorities. The Chapter was extremely successful in their efforts to obtain a proclamation for “Landscape Architecture Month” from the governor’s office as well as promote the profession by exhibiting display boards of award-winning projects in the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda.

Advocacy Awards WI
Wisconsin members and leaders receive the award on the Chapter's behalf.

ASLA congratulates the advocacy awards winners and looks forward to more award-worthy advocacy efforts throughout 2018. For more information on the ASLA Advocacy Awards, advocacy efforts, tools, and resources visit the ASLA Advocacy homepage.

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