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Riehm Environmental Award Goes to Pamela Dumm of JCTC

Monday April 29, 2013

The fourth annual Joan Riehm Environmental Leadership Award was presented today to Pamela Dumm, manager of business operations at Jefferson Community & Technical College, for her critical role in establishing the college’s comprehensive sustainability program.

Dumm received the award created by the Partnership for a Green City – a collaboration between the University of Louisville, Louisville city government, Jefferson County Public Schools and JCTC. The award honors Riehm, a former Louisville deputy mayor and a lifelong advocate of environmental and public partnership initiatives who died of cancer in 2008

“Those of us in the public sector not only create a large environmental footprint, but we also carry the responsibility to lead the way and set an example for the entire community” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “We are absolutely committed to creating a greener and more sustainable city.”

Under Dumm’s leadership, JCTC not only became the fourth member of the Partnership for a Green City, but it also instituted single stream recycling among its six campuses and developed policies for anti-idling and green and Energy Star purchasing. Dumm, working with the college’s sustainability coordinator, also established “green teams” on each campus, which are dedicated to creative sustainability efforts. At the JCTC Shelby County Campus, the green team developed a walking track and a partnership with the USDA Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program to reintroduce native grasses to 30 acres of the campus, efforts that Dumm hopes to replicate on other campuses.

The college also participates in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System established by The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

Last month, for the second straight year, JCTC was named grand champion in RecyleMania, a friendly competition among area colleges and universities to increase campus recycling and waste reduction. During the 8-week competition, the college recovered 113,980 pounds of recyclable materials. Last year the college ranked 18th among 800 colleges and universities in the U.S. participating in RecyleMania.

Dumm said her philosophy is simple “making a difference is not an option, it’s our responsibility.” Her commitment also led her to create a professional development program for faculty and staff called “Going Green: Sustainability 101.”

JCTC President Tony Newberry praised Dumm’s leadership and complemented the college’s commitment to sustainability.

“It took us all a while to adjust to thinking of our trash can as a recycling bin,” he said of the college’s single stream recycling program. “But the results of that adjustment are undeniably good. Pamela helped everyone at the college see the big difference they could make with even the smallest changes and helped ensure the college’s meaningful commitment to sustainability.”

The Riehm Award recognizes a person or group that leads environmental sustainability efforts in the community. It is presented yearly and includes a $500 cash award. The first award was presented in 2010 to Larry Owsley of the University of Louisville. The 2011 award went to Mike Mulheirn of the Jefferson County Public Schools. Louisville Metro Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh received the 2012 award.

“Joan Riehm’s vision was to create a greener city,” said Dr. Donna Hargens, superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools. “We continue her work with vigor and ingenuity, setting the standard for energy efficiency in our community and setting the example for the very lives we shape.”

“We tell prospective students that Louisville is a great place to study, play and live, in part, because it’s a ‘green’ city,” said UofL president Dr. James Ramsey. “Pamela Dumm exemplifies our city’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the environment.”

Dumm, who has served the college for 16 years, has dedicated the $500 prize as seed money for a sustainability fund at the college that she hopes will grow quickly and support the college’s green commitment.

Dumm is active with the Partnership for a Green City and other area agencies. She serves on the Partnership’s steering committee, waste management committee, green buildings/green fleet committee and purchasing directors committee. She also serves with The Women’s Business Center Board of Advisors, The One Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the CoAlliance of Small Business Association.

“Pamela Dumm serves JCTC in the same way that Joan Riehm served Louisville,” said Brent Fryrear, director of the Partnership for a Green City. “She is a sustainability champion, a promoter of diversity and she is committed to making JCTC the best it can be.”

Partnership for a Green City

The Partnership for a Green City is the first of its kind in the country and represents a collaborative effort to improve sustainability internally and in the community by four of Louisville's largest public entities: Louisville Metro Government, University of Louisville, the Jefferson County Public Schools and Jefferson Community & Technical College. It began with three partners in August 2004, as a major step toward overcoming challenges to Louisville's environmental practices. JCTC joined the Partnership in 2012. Together, the partner agencies employ over 27,500 people, enroll 135,000 students, own more than 531 buildings, operate and maintain 7,000 vehicles, and manage 25,135 acres of land in Louisville Metro. Through the coordination of efforts and cooperation, the Partnership has been able to realize real results that will have long-term impact on the health, education, and well-being of our citizens while improving and institutionalizing environmental practices within the organizations themselves.