The National Audubon Society will honor four exceptional women with the Rachel Carson Award at its seventh annual Women in Conservation Luncheon at The Plaza in New York on May 18.
Audubon's Rachel Carson Award is one of the most recognized and prestigious awards for women leaders in American conservation today. Audubon launched the Rachel Carson Award in 2004 to recognize visionary women whose dedication, talent and energy have advanced conservation and environmental education locally and on a global scale. The award is named for Rachel Carson, whose landmark book Silent Spring opened the world's eyes to the damage inflicted by the indiscriminate use of pesticides such as DDT. Before Congress, Rachel Carson's testimony called for an environmental regulatory department which came to life several years later with the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Since its inception, the award has raised over $1,000,000 in support of Audubon's important campaign to protect the Long Island Sound and Audubon's Women in Conservation Program which includes a website to help educate women on important environmental issues and the ongoing efforts that address them and an internship program for girls and young women hoping to gain exposure to the environmental non-profit world.
Previous honorees include Bette Midler, founder of the New York Restoration Project; Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and founder of Deep Search International; Majora Carter, Founder and Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx, and Laurie David, producer of "An Inconvenient Truth."
This year, Audubon will recognize the following women for their work:
• Isabella Rossellini: The Actress and Environmental Activist who appeared in more than 40 movies made her producing debut with a mischievous "My Dad is 100 Years Old," in which Ms. Rossellini spoke the words of her father, Italian film director Robert Rossellini, and portrays among others, her mother, the unforgettable Ingrid Bergman. In 2008, Sundance Institute commissioned Ms. Rossellini to make a series of short films on the environment. Award-winning "Green Porno," on the mating habits of insects, will be followed by a new series on animal courtship, "Seduce Me," to debut in April. Ms. Rossellini is on the Board of Trustees for the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, a supporter of the Central Park Conservancy, former board member of the Wildlife Conservation Network and former president of the Howard Gilman Foundation, focused on preserving wildlife, arts, photography and dance.
• Dr. Beth Stevens: As senior vice president of Environmental Affairs, Beth leads the environmental efforts for The Walt Disney Company and is responsible for developing and facilitating the company's strategy and policy including aggressive environmental goals announced in 2009. Additionally, under her leadership, Disney has become a driving force for inspiring environmental stewardship in kids through programs such as Disney's Friends for Change and Disney's Planet Challenge. Beth joined Disney to help open Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park as Conservation and Science Director, and ultimately became Vice President of the park. She received her bachelor's degree in Zoology from Duke University, and completed her Ph.D. in Biology at University of North Carolina. Beth previously served on the boards of Save the Tiger Fund and International Rhino Foundation, and was President and Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
• Suzanne Lewis: As superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, Suzanne Lewis manages more than 2.2 million acres, a staff of 400 and the largest operating budget of any national park in the country. Before coming to Yellowstone, Ms. Lewis was superintendent at Glacier National Park. Chosen in 1988 for an international assignment to the Republic of Haiti, she assisted the United Nation's efforts to preserve, protect and educate Haitians in the preservation of natural and cultural resources. Other awards she has received include the National Parks and Conservation Association Park Manager of the Year for Partnerships, and the Woman of Distinction Award by the Girl Scout Councils of America. Ms. Lewis earned her B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) in American History from the University of West Florida.
• Fernanda Kellogg, for The Tiffany & Co. Foundation: Fernanda Kellogg has served as president of The Tiffany & Co. Foundation since 2004, and has been with Tiffany & Co. for 25 years. Established in 2000, the Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations working globally in: the environment and design and the decorative arts. The mission of its environmental program is to support the conservation of natural resources in the areas of responsible mining, coral conservation and land protection. Specifically, the Foundation promotes responsible mining through remediation, community development and standards-setting efforts; healthy marine ecosystems through research and targeted educational outreach; the enhancement of urban environments through park beautification and infrastructure improvements; and the preservation of culturally significant landmarks.
Anne Thompson, Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent for NBC News, will return as emcee of the event. Ms. Thompson reports on issues such as alternative fuels, global warming, land usage and new technologies for all NBC News broadcasts. She received the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award and was part of the "Nightly News" team to win the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism Award and the Emmy Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Previous emcees include Sigourney Weaver and Jayni Chase.
Allison Rockefeller, the Founding Chair of the Rachel Carson Awards Council, said, "We strive to recognize outstanding women leaders in today's conservation world, to support and provide environmental opportunities for girls and young women, and to educate women on important issues related to the environment."
The luncheon is catered by Great Performances using organic, locally grown vegetables, herbs and fruits. Liz Neumark, owner of Great Performances Catering, is one of 30 women to serve on the Audubon Women in Conservation Council, along with Dr. Peg Olsen, Audubon's Chief Conservation Officer; Audubon Board Members Margot Ernst and Virginia Stowe; and NRDC President Frances Beinecke, a previous winner of the Rachel Carson Award. See the full list of Council Members here.
The luncheon will take place in the ballroom of The Plaza Hotel, Central Park South and 59th Street in New York City. Reception is at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch at noon. Tickets range from $200-$2,500 for an individual ticket and $5,000-$50,000 for a table of 10. For more information, please call 212-979-3039 or explore online.
Audubon's Women in Conservation Program Mission
"To recognize outstanding women leaders in today's conservation movement; to support environmental opportunities for girls and young women; and to educate women on important issues related to conservation and the environment."
Audubon's Women in Conservation Program was created for girls and women to discover the world of conservation and connect with the best and brightest women leaders in the environmental movement. The program promotes education on important environmental issues, like climate change, clean air and water, wildlife preservation, and environmental justice. Our website connects girls and young women to the environmental movement by providing a forum for education, information sharing and exchange of ideas. In addition to the Rachel Carson Luncheon and the website, Audubon's Women in Conservation Program has established an internship program for young girls and women looking for exposure to environmental non-profits. Audubon Women In Conservation.
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