LG Community Champion of the Month Winners
The Lakers and LG Solar have partnered up to create the Community Champion of the Month initiative to recognize individuals in the greater Los Angeles area for their outstanding work in the community, with a focus on sustainability. Each Community Champion of the Month recipient is invited to a Lakers game and honored during a halftime presentation. Click here for the nomination form.Photo: Gaye Tomlinson (LG Solar representative), Garry Wicka (LG Solar representative), Neelam Sharma, and Mathew Makovec (Lakers Director, Community Relations)
Neelam Sharma serves as Executive Director of Community Services Unlimited Inc. (CSU), a non-profit based in South Central Los Angeles, where she started out as a volunteer in 1997. Community Services Unlimited has developed programs that make up Community Food Village Project. Their programs work to create a sustainable local food system where food is grown, distributed and bought within their own community, incorporating training and educational programs, the creation of jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities and supported by partnerships with regional farmers.
Photo: Geoff Tomlinson (LG Solar representative), Donille Perrone (LG Solar representative), Riley Kuffner, and Mathew Makovec (Lakers Director, Community Relations)
Riley Kuffner is a student at UCLA, majoring in Chemistry and Materials Science with a minor in Entrepreneurship, and the founder and president of the Bruin Home Solutions organization. He started the organization to support UCLA’s ambitious sustainability goals, provide an opportunity for students to gain real-world engineering and business experience, and to help Los Angeles step up as a global leader in sustainability. Their programming includes LEED accreditation training, energy and water efficiency consulting, green wall installations, and sustainable product development.
Geoff Tomlinson (LG Solar representative), Warren Nishikawa (LG Solar representative), Olivia Pearson, and Mathew Makovec (Lakers Director, Community Relations)
Olivia Pearson is a junior at the University of Southern California majoring in Environmental Engineering and is highly involved in sustainability programs on campus. She is currently the Co-Executive Director of the Environmental Student Assembly, a student organization which is committed to promoting sustainability and environmental awareness on campus through programming, and she is on the Grant Allocation Committee for USC’s Green Engagement Fund, which grants $24,000 in funds to students to imagine, design, and implement sustainability projects. Some her other accomplishments include successfully campaigning to build a vegetable garden at one of the campus dormitories and overseeing USC’s Veg Fest and Earth Month festivities.
Brett Arriaga (LG Solar representative), Isaiah Williams, and Mathew Makovec (Lakers Director, Community Relations)
Isaiah Williams, an 11th grader at Millikan High School in Long Beach, has been a member of the Grade of Green Youth Corps Eco-Leadership program for over three years. Grades of Green is an environmental education non-profit whose goal is to change the course of our future by making environmental protection second nature in young minds today by providing schools with free access to their student activities. Through Grades of Green, Isaiah leads student activities at local schools to inspire and empower them to care for the environment. Among these activities he has installed a bluebird-friendly garden at Hughes Middle School in Long Beach, hosted a birdwatching event, and created and distributed a coloring book to teach kids about ocean pollution prevention.
Geoff Tomlinson (LG Solar representative), Warren Nishikawa (LG Solar representative), Bo Glover, and Mathew Makovec (Lakers Director, Community Relations)
Bo Glover is the Executive Director of the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach, which is an environmental sanctuary and educational campus that serves thousands of children and families from Southern California every year. With its mission to provide quality education through hands-on experience with nature, the ENC's educational curriculum is focused on California's native plant and animal species, Native American studies, green building practices, and environmental sustainability. First starting out as a volunteer at ENC in 1991, Bo has worked tirelessly in his current role and some of his many accomplishments include expanding the campus’ footprint to five acres and developing the LEED Platinum Certified nature center, and he will be looking forward to breaking ground on the new ENC Nature Preschool and play area in 2018.
Stephen Hahm (LG Solar representative), Michael Kadish, and Mathew Makovec (Lakers Director, Community Relations)
Michael Kadish is the Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, an organization which leads teams of volunteers and job trainees to install solar electric systems for low-income families in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties. Their programs provide these families with needed energy savings, give area workers hands-on experience to help them find employment in the green-tech economy, and produce clean energy and reduce carbon emissions. Through their work in the community, Michael and his team have lowered energy bills for these families by almost $35 million and have provided hands-on training to five thousand individuals.
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