Hall of Fame
The Clean Cities Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding contributions to advancing affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies.
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.
Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation
Tony Bandiero is a clean transportation powerhouse who has been involved in the fueling and alternative fueling industry for 11 years. He became executive director of the Eastern Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Transportation (EP-ACT) in 2009 after serving on the coalition's board of directors. During his time as executive director, Bandiero has spearheaded the expansion of the coalition from five counties in southeastern Pennsylvania to 29 additional counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania.
He provides leadership for clean transportation projects valued at over $25 million with fleet, municipal, and utility stakeholders in Pennsylvania, working collaboratively with stakeholders and fellow coalitions to strengthen Clean Cities. He specializes in working with both public and private fleets, helping them transition to alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies. A testament to Bandiero's efforts, in the past 5 years, EP-ACT has increased its total greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 168%.
Long Beach Clean Cities
Jannet Malig joined Cerritos College, host of Long Beach Clean Cities coalition, in 2009, and she is known for promoting alternative and renewable fuels while developing an employment pipeline for students who want to enter a career in this industry. With over a decade of experience in the original equipment manufacturer and supplier market for automotives, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, and off-road vehicles, Jannet Malig works determinedly to ensure that others within Clean Cities as well as outside the network can benefit from her transportation work, acting as a peer-to-peer mentor for Massachusetts Clean Cities and participating in two terms on the Clean Cities Coalition Council.
Malig has leveraged her extensive experience to obtain impactful workforce development grants, and she holds positions as chair at the Mobilize Summit for collaboration on future technology and its impact on business and the workforce, director of government relations for People of Color in Green Spaces, and chair of the California Transit Training Consortium—a non-profit group that addresses workforce needs in the transit world, including tribal lands.
Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition
Brian Trice has invaluable influence in transportation in the northwest region, proven by his creation of the Green Transportation Summit and Expo (GTSE) in 2011, now one of the Pacific Northwest's largest fleet focused clean transportation events. He is a go-getter who leads Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities through project funding proposals with great success.
He recently led the coalition's redesignation while maintaining regional impact through hosting GTSE, as well as participating in the Portland International Auto Show for regional and national leaders of green fleet operators.
Trice also supports fellow coalitions outside of the region, sharing his expertise in developing partnerships with key fleets, industry stakeholders, and government organizations to implement clean fuel and technology adoption, and supporting the creation of educational resources and grant and incentive proposals.
Utah Clean Cities
Known as a clean air champion, Bostick joined the Utah Clean Cities coalition in 2015 and has since expanded its mission and scope to support clean fuel adoption in communities ranging from rural to urban and building lasting partnerships through meaningful and adaptive projects.
Bostick has consistently dedicated herself to the Clean Cities mission by providing leadership in promoting policy, alternative fuels, greenhouse gas reduction, and transportation energy efficiency initiatives throughout the Intermountain West. This impact of this work is nowhere clearer than in the state of Utah moving from 49th to 5th in the nation for electric vehicle adoption and in the East Zion Initiative.
Tammie has also been pivotal in the coalition's coordination of the ChargeWest effort to build an electric vehicle corridor with charging stations throughout the Intermountain West and support of a pilot project through Drive Clean Rural USA help rural communities build out an advanced alternative transportation plan with alternative fuels like propane, electric, natural gas, and even hydrogen.
Land of Sky Regional Council
Bill Eaker established the Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition in 2004 and served as the coalition's director before retiring in 2020. He has 40 years of experience in environmental, land use, and growth management planning at the local, regional, and state levels, and worked with Clean Cities for 17 years. He worked at Land of Sky Regional Council starting in 1981 and provided technical assistance to local and state governments, as well as underserved communities, on environmental issues in the areas of water resources management, air quality planning, and clean vehicle technologies.
During his time with Clean Cities, he helped win over $12 million in grants for the Regional Council, and was instrumental in helping Clean Cities deploy the first electric school bus in North Carolina for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Bill is known as a “Clean Air Avenger” for his tireless pursuit of clean air.
Virginia Clean Cities
With over a decade's worth of experience in transportation and energy-related issues, Harned is an influential figure in the state of Virginia's transportation aspirations.
Harned is known by his peers as an alternative fuels and clean transportation visionary who not only sees the path forward for clean, domestically fueled transportation in Virginia, but knows how to navigate the political economy of the Commonwealth to get there.
Harned has successfully managed tens of millions of dollars in federal grant awards and developed and sustained relationships with over 100 alternative fuel fleets and 80 stakeholders. He has been instrumental in developing the electric vehicle market in Virginia, managing the Richmond Electric Vehicle Initiative, the state's first EV planning process, and managing the deployment of the first 25 DC Fast chargers in Virginia with Nissan. He worked on the MidAtlantic Electrification Partnership to deploy 300 EV charging stations and build an EV ecosystem throughout Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, and West Virginia. He also led the MidAtlantic Electric School Bus Experience Project, which enables school districts to try electric school buses before they buy.
Under Harned's watch, the coalition has helped build a diverse community of stakeholders that are making a difference with clean, affordable, and accessible transportation services.
Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition
Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition Executive Director Tim Taylor is a pioneer of the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition, helping to establish the coalition in 1994 and serving as a Board Officer. He became co-coordinator of the coalition in 2015 and was appointed to executive director in 2018.
Taylor is a wealth of knowledge and experience in clean energy and transportation due to his decades of work as manager of the land use, communications, and mobile source division at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District and as government relations manager for Cleaire, a Bay Area manufacturer of diesel particulate filters.
He often goes above and beyond to support organizations within and outside of Clean Cities, lending his deep expertise as an executive committee member of the Sacramento Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative which meets monthly to promote regional EV infrastructure projects, a two-term Coalition Council member, and a Peer-to-Peer Program mentor. Some of his most notable projects include his support of the Coast-to-Coast EV event for 280 attendees, the opening of the EV exhibit at the California Automobile Museum, a blueprint grant program from the California Energy Commission, and compressed natural gas corridors across the that helped a local micro-transit service grow its fleet, resulting in 1,000 rides to low-income individuals.
Richard Cromwell III
Clean Cities Coachella Valley Region
A well-loved and respected clean fuels pioneer in the greater Clean Cities community, Richard Cromwell III left a legacy in the transportation landscape of southern California and across the nation more broadly. Although Cromwell passed away on February 17, 2020, at the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California, his spirit and contributions live on through innumerable projects and partnerships that continue to benefit the communities he served.
As the director of transportation and eventually the CEO of SunLine Transit Agency, Cromwell led the charge to convert the agency's entire fleet from diesel to compressed natural gas, the first public transit agency to do so anywhere in the nation. Building on this recognized success, he went on to facilitate the opening of the region's first seven natural gas fueling stations through the establishment of Clean Energy Fuels, which has since grown into a recognized national supplier of natural gas fuel. Not least, Cromwell helped established the nation's first public hydrogen station, setting a precedent that put his community at the forefront of zero-emission vehicle technologies.
Cromwell was known as a lover of people who excelled at uniting stakeholders and decision makers around the common goal of affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies. Whether as a clean fuels advocate in Washington, a trusted voice on the California Hydrogen Business Council, or as the director for the award-winning Coachella Valley Clean Cities Region, Cromwell was driven to put his best foot forward in every circumstance.
Genesee Region Clean Cities Coalition
With nearly 25 years' experience helping fleets and stakeholders realize the benefits of alternative fuels and vehicles, Keefe is an influential figure in the regional transportation community of upstate New York.
Keefe has been the director for the Greater Rochester Clean Cities coalition since 2007. But his involvement in clean transportation goes back to 1995, when he worked as director of fleet services for the City of Rochester.
Under Keefe's watch, the coalition has helped build a diverse community of stakeholders that are making a difference with clean, affordable, and accessible transportation services. This is nowhere clearer than a successful effort to secure Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funding to finance 62 propane and compressed natural gas vehicles, which has helped reduce ozone precursors in Rochester, New York. Keefe has also been pivotal in developing an electric vehicle charging station plan for the entire Genesee Region, highlighting gaps in public infrastructure as the region establishes a comprehensive charging network.
Northern Colorado Clean Cities
McConnellogue is a Clean Cities pioneer, helping form her coalition from a consortium of local governments and businesses into a standalone non-profit in 1996. Her radiant personality and willingness to lend a hand make her a well-loved figure in the network.
Covering northern Colorado and a population of nearly 840,000, McConnellogue's coalition saved more than 3 million gasoline gallon equivalents in 2017 and averted more than 12,000 tons of carbon dioxide. As dedicated to the cause as she is to her state, she contributes to the success of Colorado transportation initiatives including Refuel Colorado—a program that supports self-sustaining alternative fuel markets through the State Energy Office—and Boulder County Mobility for All—a first/last mile pilot project to address transit accessibility and connectivity issues.
Whether it is helping underserved portions of the community or organizing a project to inform state representatives, she takes action and inspires others to do the same. Through Mobility for All, McConnellogue led an educational micro-mobility trip that brought residents of Josephine Commons—an affordable housing development for seniors and multifamily rentals—to a Colorado Rockies game. McConnellogue taught residents how to navigate public transit and use GoGoGrandparent, a service that connects seniors to ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft without the need for a smartphone.
Valley of the Sun Clean Cities
Sheaffer is known by his peers as a friendly, unassuming guy who quietly goes about changing the face of transportation in Arizona year after year. Under his leadership, Valley of the Sun is thriving, with the coalition on track to save a total of 1 billion gasoline gallon equivalents in the next five years.
An expert at recognizing the unique potential of alternative fuels, Sheaffer was instrumental in getting alternative fuels included in the Arizona Emergency Management Plan back in 2012. When disaster strikes, power outages and failures in gasoline infrastructure can cripple a city. But alternative fuels are often the exception to the rule, providing rescue, supporting cleanup, and continuing transportation for critical services such as food delivery, trash pickup, and ambulance transport.
Sheaffer has also been a cardinal force in ensuring drivers who rely on alternative fuels can confidently travel along major highways. He was essential to getting five Arizona interstates designated as alternative fuel corridors by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, with fueling infrastructure for either compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, or electric vehicles.
New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition
Chuck Feinberg has been actively involved with the New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition since 2009. Prior to leading the coalition, he amassed more than 30 years of professional experience as a program manager both with the Army Corps of Engineers and as a consultant. Much of his career has focused on supporting environmental and alternative fuel projects.
Feinberg developed a reputation for his keen technical skills and willingness to collaborate with others when he successfully managed an $18 million Recovery Act grant. Through the grant he put more than 300 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles—including refuse haulers and jitneys, or small buses—on the road, and oversaw the installation of six CNG stations across the state. More recently, he developed and administered a program to repower unregulated marine engines with less polluting, more fuel-efficient Environmental Protection Agency-certified Tier 2 & 3 engines. The new engines are expected to result in a 15%–16% improvement in fuel economy, and estimated diesel fuel savings of 4 to 5 million gallons during the lifetime of the engines.
Feinberg is a recognized champion of sustainability, alternative fuels, and environmental stewardship and has been honored with awards from NGV America and the U.S. Green Building Council, New Jersey Chapter.
San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities Coalition
As the director of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities coalition for nearly two decades, Linda Urata has established herself as a linchpin of the Clean Cities community by maintaining a culture of innovation and initiative, while celebrating other’s successes.
Despite serving a vast region covering 8 counties, two air districts, and nearly 27,500 square miles, Urata possesses a knack for building relationships and seeing that strong bonds develop. To this end, she is well known for her ability to seamlessly collaborate with other California coalitions and local entities—such as the San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center, the San Joaquin EV Partnership, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, and CALSTART—to advance alternative fuels in California’s Central Valley.
With cleaner air always an objective, Urata worked closely with the Kings Canyon Unified School District to introduce the first production model eTrans Electric School Bus in the nation. She was also instrumental in developing the Propel Biofuels station in Fresno; in introducing first responder and technician training; and bringing liquefied natural gas trucks and compressed natural gas and hybrid transit buses to her region. Most recently, Urata’s impressive successes include working to inform stakeholders about the Volkswagen Settlement plan for California, developing outreach efforts to include materials in Spanish, and including Fresno as a target city for alternative fuel expansion.
Louisiana Clean Fuels Coalition
Ann Vail has been an innovative force behind many impactful projects during her nearly decade-long leadership of Louisiana Clean Fuels.
Known for her infectious enthusiasm and dogged motivation, Vail garnered the support of both the state and the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuels Partnership shortly after assuming the role as director, successfully expanding the coalition’s territory in Louisiana. In her time as director, Vail has expertly guided Louisiana Clean Fuels' stakeholder base through dramatic growth and increased their alternative fuel use from mere thousands in 2012 to upwards of 8 million gallons per year. She has also been a staunch advocate of ensuring the continued operation of a landfill gas operation in Louisiana.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, Vail is a forward thinker who readily recognizes opportunity in the changing transportation landscape. She recently demonstrated this ability through her active involvement with the state of Louisiana’s planning efforts for the Volkswagen Settlement, and extending her expertise to their state website, mitigation plan, and public notices.
Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition
With more than two decades of experience, Jason Wager is one of the longest-serving, active Clean Cities directors. In his time at the helm, Wager has shepherded the growth of the Centralina Clean Fuels coalition, and served as an advisor, mentor, and subject matter expert on the Director Council and throughout the Clean Cities network.
Wager’s calm-headed, low-key approach has helped Centralina Clean Fuels stay at the forefront of issues and dialogue across the network of Clean Cities coalitions. A staunch advocate of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, Wager has worked tirelessly to advance collaborations among Clean Cities coalitions in North Carolina, the Southeast, and nationwide. This talent became evident in recent years as he worked to establish alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along national highways in North Carolina and neighboring states. His current leadership has also resulted in a first-of-its-kind Autonomous Vehicle Readiness Planning strategy, including a three-part community engagement workshop. The effort led to creation of the Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Roadmap.
During his time as director, Wager has been steering committee member for Plug-in NC and a member of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association’s EV Working Group. He also serves as the Sustainability Program Manager at the Centralina Council of Governments, the coalition’s host agency.
Clean Communities of Central NY
With almost three decades of experience in alternative fuels and vehicles, Barry Carr is a veritable fount of information. He took the helm of Clean Communities of Central New York in 2008.
As a coalition director, he is renowned for infinite willingness to share his expert advice and best practices with other coalition directors and stakeholders. As a member of the Coalition Council and participant in the Coalition-to-Coalition Program, he has been invaluable.
From 1995 to 2006 Carr demonstrated his ability through his work with NYS Clean Fueled Vehicle Council under the leadership of Governor George Pataki. He worked closely with New York State agencies to expand their compressed natural gas (CNG) use to more than 3,000 vehicles and 60 locations with CNG infrastructure. Carr made presentations, provided safety and refueling training, and secured funding for many additional efforts. He is strongly supported by stakeholders and through his many relationships with fleet managers throughout the Northeast, built over almost three decades of steadfast determination working in the industry.
He has also given first responder training throughout the country and offered an alternative fuel vehicle education to anyone who would listen. In 2016 alone, Clean Communities of Central New York averted more than 5,000 tons of greenhouse gases and saved more than 2.8 million gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum under Carr’s leadership.
Clean Cities Coordinator
The strength of Clean Cities lies in the connections that are built between fellow directors and stakeholders around the country. From the center of our nation, Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition Director Kelly Gilbert applies her unique talent for building successful partnerships that lead to petroleum displacement.
Gilbert rose through the ranks quickly, beginning to work with the coalition in 2008, becoming director in 2009, director of transportation programs at Metropolitan Energy Center in 2010, and is now program director. Every step along the way she’s been bringing people together.
She secured and oversaw four U.S. Department of Energy grants including the Midwest Region Alternative Fuels Project in 2009 and the EV Community Readiness “Electrify Heartland” project in 2011. She banded together four states—Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas—for the 2012/2013 Mid America Collaborative for Alternative Fuels Implementation or “MAC” project. The grant allowed Kansas City Regional, St. Louis, and Iowa Clean Cities to establish a fleet recognition program called “Mid-America Green Fleets.” More recently, she managed the Safe Alternative Fuels Deployment in Mid-America project, which partnered with two University Fire Institutes in Kansas and Missouri to establish first responder training for compressed natural gas and propane vehicles.
In 2016 alone, Kansas City Regional Clean Cities averted more than 34,000 tons of greenhouse gases and saved more than 9.7 million gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum under Gilbert’s leadership. There’s no doubt that Gilbert has made a lasting impact by building the local alternative fuel market and transforming transportation in the Kansas City Region.
Massachusetts Clean Cities
For eight years, Massachusetts Clean Cities has had an alternative fuel pioneer helping advance the industry in the Northeast. Steve Russell became director in 2009 and brought with him 20 years of experience as a fleet manager for a variety of organizations and companies.
Russell developed his reputation as a pioneer for using biodiesel in extremely cold environments. As the fleet manager for the city of Keene, New Hampshire, for 12 years, he introduced the use of B20 into the city’s entire diesel fleet. This was a standout move for a New England fleet.
Russell has also been instrumental in the proliferation of electric, propane, and natural gas vehicles in Massachusetts. In 2012, the Massachusetts coalition was part of a team including the coalitions of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont that partnered on a winning proposal. The team was awarded $725,703 in U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities funding for a region-wide project to address barriers to alternative fuel vehicle adoption in the region. The project resulted in many long-term positive outcomes for the regional alternative fuel vehicle market.
In 2016 alone, Massachusetts Clean Cities averted more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases and saved more than 9.2 million gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum under Russell’s leadership.
Since taking the lead of the Clean Cities-Georgia coalition nearly a decade ago, Don Francis has become a staple of the Clean Cities program. Francis is best known for the natural skill and passion he brings in his outreach and advocacy for the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles.
During his time at the helm of Clean Cities-Georgia, Francis has also become a tireless advocate for the state of Georgia becoming a national leader in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and related infrastructure. Thanks in large part to his promotion of the state's wildly successful Electric Vehicle Rebate Program, Georgia experienced skyrocketing growth in EV registrations—from 1,469 to 10,482 in just 12 months (from March 2013 to March 2014), making the state second only to California’s 77,222 EVs. Francis' nationally recognized knowledge of the subject has since allowed him several opportunities to travel the world as a Clean Cities Ambassador and an EV advocate.
In 2015 alone, Clean Cities-Georgia averted more than 72,000 tons of greenhouse gases and saved more than 19.9 million gasoline gallon equivalents of petroleum under Francis' leadership.
Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities
Oftentimes as a Clean Cities director, the key to being effective in the work boils down to two things: possessing patience and heart. Executive Director of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, Rick Price, is one of the rare individuals who embodies both of those characteristics.
Although he has only held the position of director since 2011, Price has been a proponent of alternative fuels and the Clean Cities program throughout western Pennsylvania for almost 15 years. While at the helm of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, one of Price's shining moments was spearheading the inaugural Tri-State Alternative Fuel Conference and Expo. The event was the first educational trade show and conference of its kind in the area to promote the use of alternative energy sources in an effort to revolutionize the transportation industry, boost local and national economies, and protect the environment. Additionally, Price created a hugely successful partnership with the Community College of Allegheny County to provide alternative fuel vehicle training, and regularly hosts stakeholder fuels and vehicles trainings, National Drive Electric Week events, and workshops aimed at helping fellow directors secure project grants.
Prior to becoming director of Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, Price retired from the DOE after 37 years of service. While at the DOE, he worked for 20 years as an Organizational Property Management Officer for the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pennsylvania, during which his duties included serving as the Motor Vehicle Manager of an 82-vehicle fleet.
Chicago Dept of Transportation
There's no question that Samantha Bingham has made a mark on the Windy City since she stepped into the role of Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition's director more than a decade ago. Thanks to her strategic approach and go-getter attitude, Bingham has carefully honed the coalition's reputation as the go-to resource for fleets, fuel providers, community leaders, and other stakeholders seeking to secure and manage grants for projects to reduce their petroleum use.
Bingham is an Environmental Policy Analyst for the City of Chicago and has served as the director for the Chicago Clean Cities Coalition since 2006. Since assuming the role, she has helped increase Chicago's petroleum displacement three-fold by acquiring millions in grants to fund major game-changing alternative fuel vehicle and infrastructure projects in the area. Bingham was instrumental in organizing and implementing a $15 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project, which deployed more than 400 alternative fuel vehicles, installed fueling infrastructure at nearly 200 locations, and increased the number of public natural gas stations from 1 to 10 in Illinois. She also helped secure $15 million in CMAQ funding for the city's Drive Clean Chicago program. Thanks to the program's funding, approximately 44% of all taxis—more than 3,000 vehicles—in the Chicago area are now hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles.
Bingham was inducted along with two other directors who lead the Lake Michigan Consortium—a collaboration between Wisconsin Clean Cities, Chicago Area Clean Cities, and South Shore Clean Cities—in a team recognition. Together, the Consortium has established alternative fuel corridors along I-90 and I-94, as well as created alt-fuel hot spots in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Gary and South Bend, Indiana. The Consortium has also been highly successful at replicating each other's alt-fuel vehicle programs and creating training centers across all three regions.
South Shore Clean Cities, Inc.
Since Carl Lisek signed on to lead the South Shore Clean Cities Coalition, his passion, undeniable charisma, and ability to forge relationships have helped propel the coalition into the program's top ranks.
Lisek serves as vice president of Legacy Environmental Services and holds the role of executive director for South Shore Clean Cities Coalition. His wife and co-awardee, Lorrie, serves as president and co-owner of the nonprofit and is the executive director for Wisconsin Clean Cities. The couple has been with the Clean Cities program since 2006. Among his various accomplishments, Lisek hosts a green commuter radio program highlighting local clean transportation activities. He has also started the Northwest Indiana Green Fleet program, which aims to significantly improve the environmental performance of the region's business and government vehicle fleets through diesel retrofits and other strategies.
Lisek was inducted along with two other directors who lead the Lake Michigan Consortium—a collaboration between Wisconsin Clean Cities, Chicago Area Clean Cities, and South Shore Clean Cities—in a team recognition. Together, the Consortium has established alternative fuel corridors along I-90 and I-94, as well as created alt-fuel hot spots in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Gary and South Bend, Indiana. The Consortium has also been highly successful at replicating each other's alt-fuel vehicle programs and creating training centers across all three regions.
Wisconsin Clean Cities
With more than a decade of sustainable transportation experience, Lorrie Lisek has proven herself a crusader for embracing alternatives to gasoline and diesel. Lisek's grit and sheer resolve has since earned her the respect of colleagues, state and local officials, and fleets.
Under her leadership, the Wisconsin Clean Cities Coalition more than doubled its petroleum displacement in 2012 alone. Lisek has also solidified her coalition by growing membership four-fold since 2009 and substantially increasing its stakeholder base. These actions have helped ensure multiple project successes, including overseeing a public education and outreach for a $32 million project to deploy 280 alternative-fuel and electric-drive vehicles and associated fueling and charging infrastructure. The four-year project, managed by the Wisconsin State Energy Office, included 31 partners from the public and private sectors. She has also been instrumental in developing the Wisconsin Smart Fleet Program and organizing a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) task force for PEV planning in the state.
Lisek serves as president and co-owner of Legacy Environmental Services and holds the role of executive director for Wisconsin Clean Cities. Lisek's husband and co-awardee, Carl, serves as executive director for South Shore Clean Cities based in Indiana. The couple has been with the Clean Cities program since 2006.
Lisek was inducted along with two other directors who lead the Lake Michigan Consortium—a collaboration between Wisconsin Clean Cities, Chicago Area Clean Cities, and South Shore Clean Cities—in a team recognition Together, the Consortium has established alternative fuel corridors along I-90 and I-94, as well as created alt-fuel hot spots in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Gary and South Bend, Indiana. The Consortium has also been highly successful at replicating each other's alt-fuel vehicle programs and creating training centers across all three regions.
East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition
When it comes to Clean Cities directors, Jonathan Overly is a rare triple threat—possessing the right combination of sheer determination, profound enthusiasm, and a dogged ability to identify how something can be done better and acting on it.
Overly founded the East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition in 2002 and has managed it since its inception. He has become recognized as a visionary during his 13 years at the helm by consistently bringing new ideas to coalitions, industry, and the Clean Cities program for achieving petroleum reduction. Some of these efforts include facilitating statewide fuel discussions via natural gas and propane task forces, developing an educational biofuels webinar series, and leading a truck stop electrification project to install 50 electrified and HVAC-supplied truck spaces at a major travel plaza. Overly's coalition was also actively involved in creating the country's first biofuels corridor, which made it possible to travel from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., south to Miami, Fla., by refueling with either E85 or B20 the entire trip.
While the transportation leader has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to see his coalition achieve success, his efforts are not one-sided. Whether building valuable partnerships with stakeholders or mentoring countless other directors, Overly has proven he is invested in making sure others succeed as well.
Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition
Mark Bentley has been the executive director of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition (ACFC) since August 2006. Along with fellow hall of fame inductee Phillip Wiedmeyer, Bentley has led efforts to build an alternative fuel industry in Alabama, leveraging public-private partnerships to implement ethanol, biodiesel, propane, natural gas, electric vehicle, and hydrogen infrastructure projects in Alabama. Bentley and Wiedmeyer have helped shape policy in Alabama to lower barriers to alternative fuel adoption, including creating low-interest loan programs and tax reform for natural gas. In 2013 alone, ACFC eliminated more than 3 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) of petroleum and nearly 12,000 tons of CO2.
The Clean Cities dynamic duo have also excelled in building a strong and varied stakeholder base that includes local businesses, colleges, municipalities, and non-profit organizations and ensures that stakeholders across the state stay informed through workshops and frequent email newsletters. In the short years since the coalition was designated, the pair has facilitated dozens of grand openings, workshops, webinars, and civic engagements.
Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition
Phillip Wiedmeyer has been the president of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition (ACFC) since 2002. Along with fellow hall of fame inductee Mark Bentley, Wiedmeyer has led efforts to build an alternative fuel industry in Alabama, leveraging public-private partnerships to implement ethanol, biodiesel, propane, natural gas, electric vehicle, and hydrogen infrastructure projects in Alabama. Wiedmeyer and Bentley have helped shape policy in Alabama to lower barriers to alternative fuel adoption, including creating low-interest loan programs and tax reform for natural gas. In 2013 alone, ACFC eliminated more than 3 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGEs) of petroleum and nearly 12,000 tons of CO2.
The Clean Cities dynamic duo have also excelled in building a strong and varied stakeholder base that includes local businesses, colleges, municipalities, and non-profit organizations and ensures that stakeholders across the state stay informed through workshops and frequent email newsletters. In the short years since the coalition was designated, the pair has facilitated dozens of grand openings, workshops, webinars, and civic engagements.
Central Oklahoma Clean Cities (Oklahoma City)
Since 1998, Yvonne Anderson has served with unwavering focus and perseverance in the deployment of alternative fuels and advanced vehicles in central Oklahoma. One of Clean Cities' longest-serving directors, Anderson has proven innovative and resourceful in helping Oklahoma fleets and other stakeholders to implement strategies to cut petroleum use.
While at the helm of Central Oklahoma Clean Cities, Anderson has been a true pioneer for alternative fuels. She helped open the state's first municipally owned biofuels station, first publicly accessible E85 station, first multi-fuel alternative fueling station, first municipally owned public-access natural gas station, and first municipal electric vehicle charging station. In 2012 alone, Central Oklahoma Clean Cities saved more than 3 million gallons of petroleum under Anderson's leadership.
In 2004, Anderson was named Denver Region Director of the Year.
Rita D. Ebert
Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition
Rita Ebert puts her whole heart into the Clean Cities mission of cutting petroleum use in transportation. Well loved by fleet managers, local officials, vehicle manufacturers, and fellow directors, Ebert's warm, gregarious nature has been a critical driving force behind the success of the Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition (GLICCC) since she signed on as the director in 2007.
Ebert facilitates and coordinates the efforts of more than 400 stakeholders on Long Island. In 2009, GLICCC and 13 project partners were awarded $15 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, matched by $20 million from project partners, to deploy more than 150 natural gas vehicles and five fueling stations. The project is now serving as a catalyst for new transportation deployment efforts, as other organizations are able to take advantage of increased availability of fueling infrastructure. Ebert has made substantial contributions to the national Clean Cities program through her work on the Clean Cities Director Council.
Ebert was named Northeast Region Clean Cities Director of the Year in 2009.
City of Oakland
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 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.
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 director 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 Director of the Year in 2004 and 2008.
Pima Association of Governments
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 director, 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 Director of the Year.
Utah Clean Cities Coalition
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 the director of the Utah Clean Cities Coalition 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.
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 director 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 directors as they learn the ropes.
In 2010, Herdler received the Clean Cities Director of the Year Award.
Melissa M. Howell
Kentucky Clean Cities Partnership
Melissa Howell is a cornerstone of Clean Cities. She has been with the program since its beginning in 1994, 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 directors 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 directors seek to follow.
In 2008, Howell was named Clean Cities Director of the Year, and in 2005, she received the Southeast Region Award.
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 directors to co-chair the national Clean Cities Director Council, which she helped strengthen into a vital resource for the program.
In 2009, Jenkins received the Clean Cities Director of the Year Award.
Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities
Mindy Mize continually raised the bar on what it meant to be a Clean Cities director, 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 directors. In 2008, she was elected by her peers to co-chair the national Clean Cities Director Council. In that capacity, she helped transform the council into a vibrant forum for directors, providing training, resources, feedback, and communication with Clean Cities program staff. She was instrumental in the establishment of Clean Cities' director mentorship program, and she was highly regarded by new directors and seasoned veterans alike for her leadership, deployment savvy, and vision.
National Energy Technology Laboratory
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 director 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 directors alike.
Russell-Story received the Clean Cities Outstanding Director Award in 2003.
Clean Fuels Ohio
Sam Spofforth became the director 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 Director of the Year. In 2004, he received the Chicago Region Award.
Minnesota Clean Cities Coalition
When it comes to reducing petroleum use in transportation, Minnesota Clean Cities Coalition is unmatched, thanks in large part to the leadership and energy of Director 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 director 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 L. Walsh
Greater Indiana Clean Cities
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 Director of the Year Award in 2006, the Midwest Region Award in 2005, and the Mentor of the Year Award in 2009.
Benjamin Watson Inspirational Award
Nominations for the Benjamin Watson Inspirational Award come directly from coalition directors, in a process overseen by the Clean Cities Coalition Council. Coalition directors then vote to select the winner.
The award is named after Benjamin Watson, a long-time coalition director of Kansas City Regional Clean Cities. Watson's engaging personality and spirit left an indelible stamp on the Clean Cities coalition community.
- 2023 – Jannet Malig, Long Beach Clean Cities
- 2022 – Richard Battersby, East Bay Clean Cities
- 2021 – Tammie Bostick, Utah Clean Cities
- 2020 – Ann Vail, Louisiana Clean Fuels
- 2019 – Stephen Russell, Massachusetts Clean Cities
- 2018 – Brian Trice, Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities
- 2017 – Melissa Howell, Kentucky Clean Cities Partnership
- 2016 – Lee Grannis, Greater New Haven Clean Cities Coalition
- 2015 – Sam Spofforth, Clean Fuels Ohio
- 2014 – Barry Carr, Clean Communities of Central New York
- 2013 – Rita Ebert, Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition
- 2012 – Stephanie Meyn, Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition (now Western Washington Clean Cities)
- 2011 – Jonathan Overly, East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition