April 19, 2018 Contact: Brian Imus, Ex. Director
For Immediate Release 312-245-8300 x 201

13th Annual Illinois Green Awards Announced

2018 Awardees Spotlight Commitment to Carbon Drawdown in Chicago

Chicago, IL – Illinois Green Alliance announced the winners of the 13th annual Emerald Awards for 2018. Each year, the annual Emerald Awards program recognizes the unique green building leadership in Illinois by featuring the best and brightest individuals, projects, and technologies championed in Illinois.

“The achievements featured are really demonstrating the ways sustainability and carbon drawdown strategies can play in improving the health and well-being of every resident in every neighborhood,” said Brian Imus, Executive Director of Illinois Green. “It’s exciting to see the leadership of so many in considering how green building innovation can make a difference to people in so many different ways.”

The thirteenth annual Emerald Award winners include:

Molly Meyer, CEO and Founder of Omni Ecosystems, will be honored with the Emerald Award for Individual Leadership award for her distinguished career as a green business innovator whose contributions are helping to democratize access to natural spaces and elevating the triple bottom line. She is advancing the green building movement in Chicago and beyond as a business owner and in her commitment as a volunteer with organizations like Openlands.

Lumin, a free mobile notification service for utility customers, will be recognized with the Emerald Award for Green Innovation. The tool will help low and moderate income residents manage their energy bills in ways that advance energy efficiency, save money, and encourage community engagement.

Lakeview Pantry’s transformation of a dilapidated pet daycare into their first permanent home will be recognized with the Emerald Award for Community Impact. The project provides a sustainable sense of place to engage residents and fight hunger, demonstrating the role green buildings can play in strengthening communities.

Lois Vitt Sale will receive the Illinois Green Mission award, which recognizes an organization or individual that best exemplifies the mission of Illinois Green. As a true challenge-seeker, Lois was an early pioneer of sustainable design as an architect with the firm Wight and Company. Recognizing early in her career the impact green building can have on communities, she became a leading advocate and educator for sustainable innovation, contributing immeasurably to the growth of the green building movement in Chicago. Her projects and her commitment have garnered a well-deserved national reputation and helped advance Chicago’s reputation as a hub of green building innovation.

Jenny Carney will also be honored with the Illinois Green Mission award for her tireless call to use sustainability best practices to improve the quality of life for everyone. In her role at YR&G and now as a Vice President with WSP, she has built a national reputation as a sustainability leader. However, it is her work leveraging that expertise to give back that best exemplifies the intent of the Mission Award. She has volunteered countless hours leading new initiatives that bring the benefits of green building to more people in more communities.

The Emerald Award Celebration will also be the first of many events in advance of Greenbuild’s return to Chicago in November. Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, bringing over 20,000 industry professionals from around the country and will be a chance to highlight the work of Chicago’s green building industry to an international audience. This year the conference will take place at Chicago’s McCormick Place the week of November 12th, 2018.

“This year, the outstanding achievements in sustainable leadership being recognized underscore why Illinois is leading the nation in green building innovation,” continued Brian Imus. “Hosting Greenbuild is an exciting opportunity for Chicago to showcase that leadership.”

The public is invited to celebrate these sustainability achievements at Illinois Green’s annual Limelight Reception on May 15 at the Spertus Institute at 610 S. Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Tickets to the event and presentation of the Emerald Awards are available online. For more information regarding Limelight, contact Joan Martin at (312) 245-8300 x205 or visit
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About the Illinois Green Alliance
The Illinois Green Alliance is a membership directed non-profit organization working to transform the region’s built environment to become ecologically sustainable, profitable, and healthy. To do so, we engage community leaders and utilize member expertise in education and community outreach through targeted programs and initiatives focused around green homes, communities, schools and existing buildings. With hundreds of passionate members and volunteers who lend their time and expertise, Illinois Green provides nearly 75 educational programs, community engagement events, tours, and advocacy initiatives each year.