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Karen Reardon named 2020 Environmental Communicator of the Year

September 23, 2020  - By
(Photo: Karen Reardon)

(Photo: Karen Reardon)

The Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) and Project EverGreen recognized Karen Reardon, vice president of public affairs for Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), as the recipient of the 2020 TOCA Environmental Communicator of the Year Award.

The award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding communications efforts regarding publicly managed green space and environmental issues, was presented during this year’s TOCA Virtual Conference. Reardon is the 22nd recipient of this award.

During her time at RISE, Reardon has been responsible for state and local issues management, regulatory affairs and communications. Her focus has been on sharing messaging regarding the benefits of specialty pesticides and fertilizers with policymakers, media, professional applicator partners and consumers.

Reardon led RISE’s groundbreaking, data-driven public affairs programs, “Debug the Myths” and “And not Or,” and regularly speaks to groups throughout the country sharing program insights and messaging.

She joined RISE in 2005 as director of communications after working a decade in stewardship and communications for CropLife America. Prior to that, she worked in the defense industry with TASC and The RAND Corp. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hood College in Frederick, Md.

“Karen communicates naturally and effortlessly. She not only understands the issues inside and out, but she listens to all views and responds appropriately,” said Cindy Code, executive director of Project EverGreen. “Karen is a hidden gem for the green industry, a tireless advocator, and a friend we’re proud to recognize and honor with this award.”

Previous Environmental Communicator Award recipients include:

  • 1999 – Mark Welterlen, former publisher Grounds Maintenance magazine
  • 2000 – Bill Love, W.R. Love Golf Architecture
  • 2001 – Tim Doppel, Atwood Lawn Care
  • 2002 – Doug Fender, former executive director, Turfgrass Producers International
  • 2003 – Allen James, former CEO, RISE
  • 2004 – Rod Dodson, Audubon International
  • 2005 – Jeff Gullickson, Spokane Country Club
  • 2006 – Kevin Trotta, grounds manager/IPM specialist, Cornwall, N.Y.
  • 2007 – Helen Stone, Southwest Trees & Turf magazine
  • 2008 – Allied Golf Associations of Colorado
  • 2009 – Drs. Larry Stowell/Wendy Gelernter, PACE Turf
  • 2010 – Christopher Gray, formerly Marvel Golf Club
  • 2011 – Anthony Williams, formerly Marriott Golf and golf course consultant
  • 2012 – Frank Rossi, Ph.D., Cornell University
  • 2013 – Phil Fogarty, Weed Man and Crowley’s Vegetation Management
  • 2014 – Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee
  • 2015 – Brian Horgan, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
  • 2016 – Dave Shetlar, Ph.D., The Ohio State University
  • 2017 – Frank Wong, Ph.D., Bayer Environmental Science
  • 2018 – Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit, Mich.
  • 2019 – Norman Goldenberg, Namron Business Associates, Miami, Fla.
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