Poyser, Sweany win top environmental honors 

Say hello to Jim Poyser, Environmentalist of the Year, announced by the Hoosier Environmental Council at its sixth Greening the Statehouse. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • Say hello to Jim Poyser, Environmentalist of the Year, announced by the Hoosier Environmental Council at its sixth Greening the Statehouse.
  • Submitted photo


Editor's note: Congratulations are in order for Jim Poyser, NUVO's former managing editor, and Indiana Living Green columnist Renee Sweany, who were awarded Environmentalist of the Year and Green Business Advocate of the Year, respectively, by the Hoosier Environmental Council. We appreciate their contributions. We'll update this story for the paper this week, but for now here is the press release the news desk received Monday afternoon from HEC:

Two Indianapolis Environmental Leaders Win Top Honors from State's Largest Environmental Advocacy Group

(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - Long-time journalist and now organizational leader, Jim Poyser, and environmental businesswoman Renee Sweany have received statewide environmental awards from the Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana's largest environmental advocacy organization.

Poyser, who became Earth Charter Indiana's leader earlier this year, received the organization's Environmentalist of the Year award during a ceremony in Indianapolis. He is best known for his long career at NUVO, which began as a freelancer in 1994. Poyser was named Arts Editor in 1996, before taking over the managing editor position at the turn of the millennia. Both as NUVO's Managing Editor and as editor of the NUVO-owned Indiana Living Green, Poyser wrote or oversaw the writing of dozens of articles about the state of Indiana's environment, and the people who are working to improve it. Now, as he continues his environmental career as the executive director of Earth Charter Indiana, he is leading the organization through a new initiative. Our Children's Trust, that seeks to reflect the group's commitment to be an even more active and positive agent for change in Indiana.

Sweany, a leader in the city's growing sustainability community, was the recipient of the Hoosier Environmental Council's Green Business Advocate of the Year award. Sweany currently is Special Brand Manager for PACT Apparel, which produces organic-made clothing. Sweany also writes "Ask Renee," a green living advice column for IndianaLivingGreen.com, a series that evolved from four years she spent offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. Sweany also serves on the board of directors of RecycleForce as well as the board of directors of People for Urban Progress.

The awards ceremony was a part of the Hoosier Environmental Council's 6th annual Greening the Statehouse forum, held Saturday, November 16, 2013 at IUPUI.

"Throughout his career as a journalist, Jim Poyser was wonderful at elevating the voice of people working to improve the environment, especially kids. Now as an organizational leader, Jim is using his great creativity and sense of fun to galvanize kids to address the extraordinary challenge of climate change," said Jesse Kharbanda, Executive Director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.

"We're just as proud of Renee Sweany," continued Kharbanda. "Renee has long been a joyful, witty communicator of how eco-minded living is fun, affordable, and healthy. And she's quite possibly done more than anyone to raise the profile of eco-minded businesses in our community." Greening the Statehouse is Indiana's largest gathering of environmental advocates from around the state. In addition to the awards ceremony, the event was marked by a keynote address on sustainable agriculture and industrial livestock pollution by former Republican lawmaker from Minnesota, John Tuma, and panel discussions featuring Republican and Democrat lawmakers clean energy, transportation alternatives and advocating for the environment on behalf of children.

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