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U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Earth Friendly Products CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Receive SUSTY Awards from the American Sustainable Business Council

For Immediate Release: 
October 5, 2016
Contact Info
Bob Keener

WASHINGTON, DC (October 5, 2016) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), CEO and President of Earth Friendly Products Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, U.S. Representative Chris Gibson (R-NY), and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack were recently honored by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), which represents more than 250,000 businesses nationwide. The four received SUSTY awards, which ASBC proffers annually to recognize exemplary leadership in driving forward policies that help build a more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable America.

“The SUSTY, short for Sustainable Policymakers Award, acknowledges the important and ground breaking work that policymakers and businesses across the nation are pursuing to create a 21st century economy built on principles of shared prosperity, environmental protection, and social justice,” said Richard Eidlin, ASBC VP of Policy and Campaigns, who coordinates the awards.

“Senator Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation that would create a national energy efficiency strategy to foster job creation, save businesses and consumers money, and reduce pollution. The Shaheen-Portman bill is a brilliant approach to finding solutions that help the economy and the environment. Moreover, Senator Shaheen knows that government has an important role to play in creating the right atmosphere for entrepreneurship and innovation. As a former small business owner herself, Senator Shaheen is the top Democrat on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee where she is committed to helping small businesses grow and create the jobs that will keep America competitive in the 21st Century,” he said.

“Earth Friendly Products has been a long-term ally in helping make the case, in Washington, DC and CA, that regulatory and legislative action are needed to ensure that consumer household products are safe and healthy to use. CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks and her colleagues have taken a leadership position in their industry to advocate for critical policy changes chemical reform issues such as the federal Toxic Substances Control Act and Ingredient Disclosure requirements in California. The company has also been vocal about high road workplace issues -- from a higher minimum wage to family medical leave insurance. Finally, Kelly’s leadership is an inspiring example of what engaged business advocacy work on behalf of a sustainable economy looks like,” he said.

“As a Congressman, Chris Gibson has focused on growing the economy to create jobs and moving towards a balanced budget. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Agriculture

Committee, the House Small Business Committee and the Republican Policy Committee. We express our appreciation to Rep. Gibson for his leadership in two key areas: First, he took a risk within his own caucus to step out in helping assemble the House Climate Solutions Caucus, a bi-partisan group of members committed to finding both market and policy based approaches to address climate change.

We also applaud him for taking the lead in addressing the student debt issue and declining number of young people going into farming through his Young Farmer Success Act,” said Eidlin.

“Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has taken a leadership position in developing USDA’s the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ program. He has made an important, positive impact in generating local economic rural development and bringing healthier food to urban communities. Secretary Vilsack’s efforts are helping younger farmers enter into a career with agriculture,” he said.

Last year’s recipients were U. S. Senator Chris Coons, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, Senior Advisor to the President for Climate Change Dan Utech, and Seventh Generation.

ASBC presented the 2016 awards at the Gala Dinner during SUSTYBIZ16, its fifth annual business policy summit in Washington, D.C., September 25– 27. Information about the summit may be found here: Photos of the award recipients are available request.

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 250,000 businesses and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors.