You're invited! Help us celebrate people and organizations who have made significant contributions towards FACS' mission of creating moral and equitable solutions to climate change in Northern Virginia.
Though the official recognition of our local climate heroes begins at 7:00pm, you're invited to join us early for a tour of Unity of Fairfax in Oakton, Virginia for a look at their impressive sustainability achievements (tours begin at 6:30pm).
Individual – Natalie Pien
Natalie got her start as an environmentalist over ten years ago in Loudoun County when it considered the proposed Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance. Shortly thereafter in 2013, Natalie hosted a screening of Bill McKibben’s documentary “Do the Math” and was compelled to join others, including Andrea McGimsey, to form the climate activists group 350 Loudoun. Back then, climate change awareness was not what it is today, so Natalie worked with any group active on climate, cutting her climate activism teeth with Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Natalie’s climate activism ranges from helping organize and attend events and rallies, writing letters to the editor, making/submitting comments at local, state, and federal government public hearings and proposed rules. Today, Natalie is on the Board of Directors for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Advisory Board for Food and Water Watch.
Individual – Joan McIntyre
Joan McIntyre, since retiring in 2015, has focused on promoting and advocating for climate action and sustainable lifestyles. She currently serves as the Chair for Arlington County’s Climate Change, Energy and Environment Commission, which advises and assists the County Board in meeting Arlington’s commitment to climate action. She is a former Chair and Board member for EcoAction Arlington and continues to support the organization’s mission to advocate, educate, and act to create a sustainable community by improving our natural environment, encouraging environmentally-friendly behavior, ensuring environmental justice, and addressing climate change. She is a certified Master Gardener and participates in a range of volunteer activities through the Virginia Cooperative Extension Arlington and Alexandria office to promote sustainable landscape best management practices, Previously, Ms. McIntyre served 34 years as an intelligence analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Office of the Director for National Intelligence.
Individual: Youth – Will Friedman
Will Friedman is a West Potomac High School senior in the Mount Vernon District. He has been active in environmental stewardship since elementary school, receiving a certificate for performing over 100 hours of community service. In middle school, he founded an Eco-Club, secured a grant, coordinated the installation of native trees on campus, and launched an effort to install trees on 20 additional FCPS campuses. Will provided testimony before the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors to remove conceptual bike trails from Huntley Meadows Park, protecting wetland wildlife habitats. Will trained with NPS’s Weed Warriors program to identify and remove invasives which led him to contact FCPA to train and become the first FCPA IMA HS student site leader. He now holds clean-ups and invasive work days at Little Hunting Creek Park behind his house. Will received the 2021 FC Friends of Trees Award and FC 2022 Environmental Excellence Award. Will recently completed his Youth Conservation Leadership Institute project, which Dr. Reid, FCPS Superintendent, acknowledged. He is currently a Global Leaders of Fairfax County fellow. Will has also volunteered over 150 hours during the last year at United Community to serve the less fortunate facing food insecurity. Will has done all of this while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Will will attend VA Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment in the fall, where he will be in the Corps of Cadets (AFROTC).
Faith Community – Peace Lutheran Church, Alexandria
Peace Lutheran Church in Alexandria has six guiding principles, one of which is “we promote love and justice for all of God’s creation.” Peace has taken many steps to curb energy use: programmable thermostats, LED lights, automatic light switches, upgrading dishwashers, planting native trees, turning much of the property into gardens, installing an energy-efficient HVAC system, encouraging staff to work from home when possible (cutting their commute), and fully funding a 60 KW, rooftop, solar panel installation. Peace has participated in environmental advocacy. A highlight happened in August 2021: representatives from Interfaith Power and Light and a handful of Peace members met with a member of Senator Warner's staff to talk about solar panels, environmental justice, gardens and clean water, and the importance of keeping climate in the forefront of the infrastructure bill. Peace supports its Pastor in serving on the FACS board and to lead denominational climate efforts. The Pastor regularly infuses her sermons with the importance of creation care and acting on climate. Peace has hosted many educational events, including an eco-display where people brought their favorite eco-friendly products. Peace's Sunday School is nearly zero-waste; no foam in our kids' crafts! Peace also includes FACS in its prayers and monthly special offerings.
Local Business – Home Energy Medics LLC
Home Energy Medics is a well-respected, award-winning, full-service home performance company based in Arlington VA and has been in business for 14 years. They conduct energy audits and the corresponding retrofit work to address home comfort, energy efficiency, and homeowner health and safety. Their team is composed of building science experts and engineers and work closely with homeowners to prioritize and fix problems with cost effective solutions. They are a recognized leader in the home performance field and have won the national level Home Performance with Energy Star contractor of the year award from the Department of Energy for five years running!
State Elected Official – Rip Sullivan
As a Delegate, Rip has fought every year to encourage the growth of Virginia’s clean energy and energy efficiency sectors. During the 2020 session, Rip introduced the historic Virginia Clean Economy Act to advance the Commonwealth’s clean energy sector and promote energy efficiency. Rip graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College, and received his law degree from the University of Virginia. He is a partner in the law firm Bean Kinney & Korman, P.C., in Arlington.