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SWACO Announces Finalists for Emerald Awards

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Finalists for SWACO’s 4th Annual Central Ohio Emerald Awards have been announced (see attached list). This year’s winners will receive their green recycled glass trophies from SWACO Executive Director Ron Mills and SWACO Board of Trustees President Bradley Frick on May 12 at the Emerald Awards luncheon at the Aladdin Shrine Center at Easton (11:30am). An independent panel of judges has selected 21 finalists to compete in the six categories of litter clean up, environmental education, entrepreneurship, partnership, innovation and leadership. Finalists are also competing for the top Emerald, The Board of Trustees Award. This honor is reserved for finalists who meet many of the qualifications in the six other categories.

“Central Ohio is becoming more sophisticated every day in a green approach to our world,” says Mills. “Our panel of judges spent hours pouring over some outstanding projects and programs. I do not envy them in reaching their decisions. I know when the winners are announced, there will be many great examples for others in Greater Columbus to follow as they grow green.”

The finalists include top local businesses as well as leading educators, a family of restaurants and the pastor of a local church.

Registration for the 2009 Central Ohio Emeralds are $35 each or $350 for a table of 10. There is a discount for non-profit organizations. Click on the green banner at www.swaco.org to register.

The speaker for the 2009 Emeralds is Robert Rayborn, of Turner Construction. The LEED Accredited Professional is currently the Project Director for Turner’s role at the new Orlando Events Center, a $380 million, 875,000 square foot, 20,000 seat events center for the Orlando Magic NBA franchise. When his work is completed there, Rayborn will take over as Project Director for the Turner/HNTB Design-Build role on the new San Francisco 49ers Stadium.

Most of Rayborn’s 30-year career in the construction industry has been directly involved with the design and construction of sports facilities. During that time span, he has worked on 10 stadium and arena projects for the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL in addition to the more than six minor league and collegiate sports facilities. That includes oversight of Huntington Park, the new home of the Columbus Clippers.

Mike Jackson of WCMH-TV will emcee the Emerald Awards. The Presenting Sponsor for The 2009 Central Ohio Emeralds is FirmGreen Inc. Additional support is provided by Ohio Mulch, Coca Cola, Kurtz Brothers, Rumpke, G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottling, Turner Construction, American Electric Power (AEP), Battelle, Green Solutions Technologies, and Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. Media sponsors are WWCD-FM and Columbus Business First.

Finalists – 2009 Central Ohio Emerald Awards

Litter Clean Up

  • Coca-Cola Bottling Company
  • Connie Hale, Crawford Hoying Smith
  • Randy Malloy, CD101 FM

Environmental Education

  • Roger Beck, Worthington Kilbourne High School
  • Southwestern City Schools
  • St. Paul the Apostle Church


  • Generation Green
  • Heartland Refinery Group, LLC
  • Raisin Rack Natural Foods Market
  • Zahler Enterprises, LLC


  • Limited Brands
  • Rumpke Recycling, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Promotions One
  • United States Postal Service


  • Betty’s Family of Restaurants
  • Green Solutions Technologies
  • Safelite Autoglass


  • G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottling of Columbus
  • Kevin George, Columbus Dispatch
  • Green Columbus
  • Kroger Company
  • Otterbein College

For more information please visit www.swaco.org.

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