Awards Corner: Amador's Shah honored by EPA | Kosch earns ACA's Distinguished Service Award | August 27, 2021 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - August 27, 2021

Awards Corner: Amador's Shah honored by EPA | Kosch earns ACA's Distinguished Service Award

Also: Pleasanton North Rotarian is district governor | LAVTA, Alameda CTC receive budgeting award | Feds laud LLNL project team

by By Pleasanton Weekly staff

Amador Valley High School senior Hiya Shah was one of two Northern California winners of the President's Student Environmental Awards, earning the honor for her "Maji - Water Education and Security" project that included development a smartphone app for real-time water quality information.

Inspired to respond to PFAS being found in Pleasanton groundwater wells, Shah created the app "to promote proactive approaches to conserve water, prevent water pollution, and secure clean water access to communities," officials said. Her project also involved a youth-led outreach campaign, a full-length documentary and designing a bioinspired PFAS removal and filtration system.

Shah, who also won the 15th District Congressional App Challenge earlier this year for her Maji app, received this recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Longtime Pleasanton resident Sharon Kosch earlier this year received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Camp Association, the group's highest annual award that honors "a lifetime of service to ACA and camp."

Kosch, who serves as co-chair of ACA's Northern California division, was among nearly 20 recipients across the country recognized in the 2021 ACA National Award program.

This summer the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority earned the "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting" for its fiscal year 2020 comprehensive annual financial report, marking the agency's 25th consecutive year receiving the award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).

"The award program assesses whether the financial statements of participating agencies provide the detail necessary for users of the information to adequately evaluate the financial health of the organization," LAVTA officials said.

Pleasanton Mayor Karla Brown, who serves as chair of the LAVTA Board of Directors, said, "It is quite an honor for LAVTA to receive this award. To have won the award for 25 consecutive years is a testament to the LAVTA staff's efforts to be effective stewards of the public trust and ensure that our precious tax dollars are accounted for in an exemplary manner."

Richard Flanders, a member of Pleasanton North Rotary, was inducted July 1 for a one-year term as district governor of Rotary District 5170, a branch of Rotary International covering 61 Rotary Clubs and more than 4,000 members in Alameda, Santa Clara, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

Flanders, who works as a private attorney practicing in Alameda, has supported Rotary International since 1995 and previously served as president of the Rotary Club of San Ramon Valley before joining PNR in 2003. Among his past awards was the Richard D. King Award in 2018.

Flanders said he was ready to lead District 5170 and move forward with new beginnings, plans and activities to benefit the community both locally and globally, according PNR officials. "We have assembled a great team of leaders (including several PNR members), and we are all excited to meet again and make good things happen over the next year," he said.

Also recently, representatives of the PNR and the Rotary Club of Livermore awarded $76,752 to Axis Community Health, reflecting more than a year of financial support from the Rotarians for the nonprofit clinic's aggressive local response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alameda County Transportation Commission also took home the "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting" from GFOA for its 2019-20 annual financial report.

This marked the ninth straight year of receiving the award for the public agency that was created in 2010 to manage spending with Measure B (and later Measure BB) transportation sales tax revenue.

Alameda CTC Chair Pauline Cutter said, "I am proud to lead an organization that is unparalleled with regard to fiscal leadership and financial transparency. Alameda County transportation sales tax dollars are in safe hands with Patricia Reavey, deputy executive director of finance and administration, at our financial helm."

Tri-Valley animal support nonprofit Valley Humane Society recently announced earning a $4,990 grant for staff training from the California Animal Welfare Funders Collaborative.

The group awarded nearly $300,000 in grants to 27 organizations this year.

"Last year was an untraditional year in our state's animal shelters. By taking our COVID-19 operating learnings and applying them to our 'new normal', we're seeing services improving for both the people and pets in our communities across California. CAWFC is honored to provide funding to help make those operational pivots a new reality," said Kaylee Hawkins, Pacific Region director for Best Friends Animal Society.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team working on the "Expand Electrical Distribution System" (EEDS) project was one of three groups nationwide to receive a U.S. Department of Energy Secretary's Project Management Achievement Award from the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration last month.

"Providing a reliable and efficient electrical distribution system to support current and planned operations at the LLNL, the winning EEDS project team was recognized for its perseverance, attention to detail, and focus on cost and schedule outcomes," federal officials said.

"The project team, led first by NNSA's Tony Sy and later by Charles 'Scott' Richey, overcame logistical risks and initial performance problems to deliver the project four months ahead of schedule and $1.1 million under budget in a safe and effective manner. The successful completion of this project has increased LLNL's mission execution efficiency and positions it for future success," officials added.

Local nonprofit Save Mount Diablo announced this month having its national land trust accreditation renewed by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

"Renewing our national accreditation shows Save Mount Diablo's ongoing commitment to permanent land conservation in the Mount Diablo area," Executive Director Ted Clement said. "We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process. Our strength means the special natural places we protect have a better chance of being protected forever, making the Mount Diablo area an even greater place for us and our children."

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