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 frontline communities.
Dr. Carol Zabin, Founder
University of California Berkeley Labor Center Green Economy Program
Dr. Carol Zabin founded the Green Economy Program to provide groundbreaking research and guidance on how the state can incorporate the high-road principles of job quality and equity into climate policy. She dedicated her career to helping California policymakers recognize that workers and their unions are vital in the transition to a low-carbon future and that climate investments are more effective when they include labor standards and support businesses with good labor practices. Working with state partners, Dr. Zabin produced a comprehensive roadmap to ensure that climate policy results in the creation of good jobs, pathways into these jobs for people of color, and protections for displaced fossil fuel workers. She is also a mentor, inspiring others to join the labor and climate movements. Although she is retired, Dr. Zabin continues advising decision-makers and supporting the new leadership of the program.
Youth Game-Changer Award
The Youth Game-Changer award recognizes an individual who is 18 years of age or younger, or a leader of an organization focused on working with youth who is helping to advance California toward a clean energy future by combating climate change through innovative methods and inspiring the new generation of energy experts, entrepreneurs, and leaders to change the game.
Kelly Tung, President and Executive Director
Youth Environmental Power Initiative (YEPI)
Kelly Tung is a high school senior and the president and executive director of YEPI, an organization she founded to empower youth to save the earth from climate change. Under her leadership, YEPI has mobilized thousands of teens to engage in legislative advocacy, community engagement and climate solutions. YEPI also collaborates with municipal governments to increase environmental awareness for people of all backgrounds, resulting in YEPI hosting multiple large-scale virtual clean energy conferences and activities. Kelly has also implemented environmental justice programs to train participants to analyze how environmental quality problems disproportionately affect disadvantaged communities.
Tribal Champion Award
The Tribal Champion award recognizes an individual who is a tribal member, tribal employee, or a person that works for a tribe who has advanced a clean energy future by combating climate change through innovative projects, long term service, dedication to implementing technology, or has served in a key coordinating role that has led to more equitable outcomes and/or transformational change for tribes or tribal communities in California.
Tishmall Turner, Vice Chairwoman
Rincon Tribal Council, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians
Tishmall Turner is serving her third term as vice chairwoman on the Rincon Tribal Council. Her tribal advocacy merges her modern vision beyond the reservation with passion for her culture and identity as a tribal woman. She has distinguished herself as a warrior for clean energy, serving as the tribe’s first chair of the Rincon Energy Commission and leading the development of multiple microgrids on the Rincon Reservation. She is dedicated to helping the Rincon Band reduce the overall cost of energy, increase the use of clean energy and educate the tribe about the benefits.
Clean Energy Champions Awards
Three Clean Energy Champion awards recognizes individuals who are combating climate change and 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.
Sean Armstrong, Managing Principal
Sean Armstrong is the managing principal of Redwood Energy, an all-electric affordable housing design firm. Between 2007 and 2020, he led North America in designing one in four zero-net-energy residences, including nearly half of those developed in California, by cocreating and using new solutions to split incentives in affordable housing. Sean’s current environmental and social activism is informed by his struggles growing up as queer. Support from friends, mentors and Earth First! training gave him confidence to bravely confront misinformation strategies of fossil fuel advocates. As a decarbonization advocate, Sean has coauthored six guides on building electrification, provided technical support to more than 60 municipal natural gas bans nationwide and municipal methane bans in California, and has helped develop "retrofit-ready" heat pumps to lower costs and barriers to building electrification.
Nalleli Cobo, Cofounder
People Not Pozos (People Not Wells) and South Central Youth Leadership Coalition (SCYLC)
Los Angeles, CA
Nalleli Cobo is a cancer survivor who cofounded People Not Pozos to secure safe and healthy neighborhoods and cofounded SCYLC to fight environmental racism. Now 21, Nalleli grew up in South Los Angeles, where she launched her activism as a 9-year-old after enduring debilitating illnesses due to the oil well across from her home. She became the voice of her community, mobilizing a grassroots movement to eradicate oil sites across Los Angeles, which included suing the city for permitting oil drills disproportionately in Latino and Black communities. The successful lawsuit paved the way for city- and countywide policy changes on oil extraction, phasing out the largest urban oil field in the country.
Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, Superintendent of Schools
Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD)
Moreno Valley, CA
Dr. Martinrex Kedziora is the 14th superintendent of schools for the MVUSD, an urban California district serving about 32,000 students, primarily of Latino and African American descent. He has served in numerous roles during his 40-year career in education, advancing diversity and equity to ensure all students succeed. Aiming for all MVUSD to be action-oriented toward social justice, Dr. Kedziora has inspired his team to be clean energy champions. Because of his leadership, MVUSD is transitioning a fleet of 117 school buses to be powered by clean energy sources; 42 will be electric school buses, the largest fleet in the state. This effort has been Dr. Kedziora’s passion project to better serve students living in a disadvantaged community with poor air quality.