Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement award recognizes an individual who has retired or announced their retirement during the year of the event who has at least 20 years of experience advancing clean energy, is seen as a leader in their community, and who has had a significant positive impact on the State of California and environmental justice communities.
Dr. Peter A. Lehman, Founding Director
Schatz Energy Research Center
Dr. Peter A. Lehman is the founding director of the Schatz Energy Research Center and a professor emeritus at Humboldt State University. Since participating in the first Earth Day back in 1970, Dr. Lehman has dedicated his life to protecting the environment and advancing clean energy. He has inspired his student mentees to work in government, renewable energy industries, and to become educators themselves. Even in his retirement, he is conducting energy planning work in partnership with local tribes and serving as principal investigator for microgrid projects that enable residents to cope with power outages and that serve as models for community microgrid programs.
Clean Energy Champion Awards
Four Clean Energy Champion awards recognize individuals or organizations who are contributing to California’s clean energy future through their bold moves, leadership, and innovative ideas, while helping benefit communities in California through more equitable outcomes.
Eddie Ahn, Executive Director
San Francisco, CA
Eddie Ahn is the executive director of the Brightline Defense project, an environmental justice organization based in San Francisco that empowers communities and creates sustainable environments through law, policy, and advocacy. The son of immigrants, Ahn committed his education and career to ensuring that historically marginalized populations would not fall through the cracks. He is recognized for being a community bullhorn, ringing the alarm to stop environmental injustices and being resolute in seeking opportunities for low- and middle-income households.
Nicole Capretz, Founder and Executive Director
Climate Action Campaign
San Diego, CA
Nicole Capretz is the founder and executive director of Climate Action Campaign in San Diego, whose mission is to stop the climate crisis through effective policy action. Capretz was the primary author of the City of San Diego’s landmark 100 percent clean electricity Climate Action Plan adopted in late 2015. Her work catalyzed similar policies and practices in California and around the country leading to her being considered the “godmother of 100 percent clean energy policy." She continues to relentlessly advocate for community choice energy in Souther California.
Mutual Housing California
Mutual Housing California is an affordable housing developer that owns, operates, and supports 19 electric solar communities in Sacramento and Yolo counties. Founded in 1988, the organization provides over 1,000 clean, sustainable homes to more than 3,000 residents who include working families, seniors, farmworkers, and people coming out of homelessness. Understanding that housing enables stability and a second chance, Mutual Housing’s unique approach enables all residents to gain leadership development, education, and capacity building.
Senior Community Development Specialist
Abigail Solis is a senior community development specialist for Self-Help Enterprises, a Visalia-based organization founded in 1965 that works with low-income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. This work is personal given she grew up in the Central Valley and is the daughter of migrant agricultural workers similar to the more than 55,000 families touched by Self-Help Enterprises' work. She leads projects that enable residents of small, rural communities to access and benefit from affordable energy and clean transportation infrastructure.
Youth Game-Changer Award
The Youth Game-Changer award recognizes an individual who is 18 years of age or younger who, or an entity/organization focused on youth that, is helping to advance California toward a clean energy future through innovative methods and inspiring the new generation of energy experts, entrepreneurs, and leaders to change the game.
Communities for a Better Environment’s Youth for Environmental Justice (Youth EJ)
Huntington Park, CA and Richmond, CA
Communities for a Better Environment’s Youth for Environmental Justice (Youth EJ) was founded in 1997 when a group of high school students gathered parents and community members to defeat the construction of a power plant in their Southeast East Los Angeles neighborhood. Since then, Youth EJ has expanded to 10 high schools with hundreds of members and alumni and a reach of thousands of youth leaders. Youth EJ enables the younger generations who live in low-income communities to transform their conditions through education, leadership development, and outreach activities. The organization continues to focus on blocking the construction of gas power plants near homes and schools, along with strengthening refinery rules.