Submitted by Phyllis McElroy, Communications & Marketing Director.
TACOMA, WA – Communities for a Healthy Bay is thrilled to announce the five outstanding winners of the 2023 Stand for our Sound awards selected from a pool of nominees spanning South Puget Sound. The winners join the ranks of such past Stand for Our Sound award winners as Annette Bryan, Sea Potential – Ebony Welborn and Savannah Smith, Dana Coggon, Kristin Ang and others.
The winners are (listed by category):
- Rising Tide Award–Gabe Gallardo: Gabe Gallardo, a dedicated senior from Tacoma’s Science and Math Institute (SAMi), has remarkably educated over 10,000 individuals in the past two years about marine conservation, both through his voluntary roles at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and other community-focused initiatives like public beach walks and the Salmon in the Classroom Program. Celebrated for his empathetic approach and exceptional ability to connect with people of all ages, Gabe’s profound impact on the community has been acknowledged and championed by his educators, peers, and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff alike, marking him as a beacon of hope for the future of marine ecosystem conservation.
- Clean Water Hero in Elected Office Award–Ryan Mello: A distinguished environmental advocate, Ryan Mello, has consistently demonstrated unparalleled dedication to Pierce County’s environmental welfare, making him an unparalleled choice for this award. From leading the Pierce County Conservation District and introducing pivotal initiatives to protect the Puget Sound, to his commendable tenure on the Tacoma City Council where he pioneered impactful policies like the ban on heavy industry expansion, Mello’s contributions have been instrumental in shaping a greener, more sustainable future for Tacoma and its neighboring communities.
- Environmental Justice Service Award–Mindy Roberts: Mindy is renowned as the Director of the Puget Sound Program for Washington Conservation Action. Her commitment to improving the health of Puget Sound, the Salish Sea, and waters across Washington State is unparalleled. Over her illustrious 20-year career, she has forged essential partnerships, helming initiatives ranging from salmon recovery to the highly-regarded “We are Puget Sound – Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea” campaign. Her efforts have led to tangible enhancements in water quality, habitat restoration, and the reclamation of previously contaminated shellfish harvesting areas. Beyond her work, Roberts is a dedicated Tacoma resident, passionately engaged in mountaineering and conservation efforts across the Kitsap Peninsula. With academic accomplishments from institutions like the University of California, MIT, and the University of Washington, coupled with her tireless advocacy for environmental justice, equity, and collaboration, Roberts epitomizes the essence of an environmental steward, dedicated to the lasting prosperity of the Puget Sound and its communities.
- Healthy Bay Champion Award– Kristin Lynett: For over 25 years, Kristin Lynett, Tacoma’s first Sustainability Officer, has been an unwavering champion for Tacoma’s environmental future, playing instrumental roles both within the City’s framework and in supporting Communities for a Healthy Bay (CHB). With an impressive tenure that includes the creation of the City’s Environmental Action Plan, her tenacity, leadership, and collaborative spirit have consistently steered Tacoma towards a sustainable and environmentally-responsible path, further cemented by her active participation in CHB’s initiatives and her continuous efforts to integrate environmental values into citywide plans and policies.
- Kay Treakle Lifetime Achievement Award–Art Wang: Art Wang is a pivotal figure in Tacoma’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) community, has long been a beacon for diversity and inclusion. Wang’s legacy is vast, from breaking barriers as one of the first Asian Pacific Islander state representatives in the 1980s to championing the creation of Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Park. Additionally, his contributions extend beyond politics, as he played a significant role in the establishment of the Asia Pacific Cultural Center and has consistently advocated for the recognition and advancement of the API community. Whether as a state representative, appellate judge, or community advocate, Wang’s enduring impact on Tacoma’s cultural landscape is undeniable.
The winners will participate in an in-person award ceremony on Thursday, November 9, at 6:00 p.m. at the Silver Cloud Hotel at Point Ruston.
The event is open to the public, but advance tickets are required. Tickets are available and may be purchased online here.
The Stand for Our Sound Awards recognizes and honors the relentless efforts of individuals, groups, and businesses across Tacoma who have made significant contributions to our environment and local community. With nominations from sectors like schools, government, tech, and research, the award celebrates excellence in environmental advocacy in the Puget Sound region.
“We’re eager to host an evening that not only honors the outstanding contributions of our nominees but also galvanizes others to take steps towards ensuring a healthier environment for all,” says Melissa Malott, Executive Director at Communities for a Healthy Bay.
Tickets are expected to sell out quickly, and early booking is encouraged. The award ceremony promises an evening of inspiration, networking, and celebration of the unwavering commitment towards preserving Tacoma’s environment.
Date: November 9, 2023
Venue: Silver Cloud Hotel at Point Ruston – 5125 Grand Loop Ruston, WA 98407
Time: 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m.
Join us in celebrating the heroes of our community. Get your tickets now!