Upstate Forever’s Annual Awards celebrate individuals and organizations for significant contributions in the fields of land conservation, water quality, air quality, sustainable development, public service, and volunteer work.
Find out about Upstate Forever’s ForeverGreen Annual Awards Luncheon and our most recent honorees.
Upstate Forever is fortunate to have a wonderful and dedicated group of volunteers who help us on a wide variety of tasks. If you are interested in volunteering talent, interest, availability, or all of the above to help us, please contact us!
Terry Schager was an extraordinary volunteer in the grassroots effort to stop Duke Energy’s proposed substation and transmission line project. He gladly and promptly undertook and completed every task, no matter how formidable or small. A retired IT project manager, Terry’s firm grasp of the technical issues relating to transmission lines, substations and the energy grid was immensely helpful in the campaign.
Cary Hall is an attorney at the Wyche Law Firm and is one of the country’s leading experts on the tax benefits of conservation easements. Cary has done more pro-bono work for Upstate Forever than any other attorney, and that is saying a lot, as a fantastic team of attorneys support our work. We often find ourselves not only asking for top legal review or advice for free, but needing it quickly in order to meet deadlines, but this does not bother Cary. He calmly replies to our pleas for help by turning around the much-needed legal review in record time.
Jim does it all for us – no task is too small or too challenging. He has put up posters around town, conducted interviews, assessed walkability around schools, assisted with conferences, drafted comments to governmental agencies and conducted research on scientific and technical issues. With a background in geology and education and his delightful personality, Jim has been a welcome resource and extraordinarily generous volunteer.
While a senior at Riverside High School, Jon devoted more than 200 hours as a volunteer in the Greenville office, working on a wide variety of tasks in each of the three program areas of Upstate Forever. He researched carbon mitigation programs and sustainable forestry practices, worked on T-shirt designs, assisted with membership mailings, weeded and mulched the Upstate Forever office yard and provided administrative assistance wherever needed. Jon’s appreciation of the work of Upstate Forever grew out of a family life that included vacations in the great outdoors and an introduction to the importance of conservation for wildlife habitat and recreation. After high school, Jon enrolled at at USC Upstate as a biology major.
For more than five years, Jim has handled the annual monitoring and associated documentation of several protected properties for Upstate Forever’s Land Trust Program. In addition, Jim has served for five years on the Board of Directors of the Conestee Foundation, personally managing the construction of over seven miles of trails within Lake Conestee Nature Park.
Rick Huffman is the founder and president of Earth Design, Inc., which specializes in cost-effective and environmentally responsible design. He is also one of the country’s leading experts on native plants. Despite a full schedule with his business and other nonprofit work, Huffman has done it all for Upstate Forever, including speaking at many of our events without charge, maintaining the native plant landscaping and green roof at our office, and lobbying in Columbia for conservation-friendly legislation.
After moving back home to her native South Carolina, graphic designer Jennifer Kouyoumjian found Upstate Forever and offered to help in whatever way we needed. Jennifer enthusiastically volunteered her talents in design and layout to assembling a collection of the best writings of our organization’s board and staff members. The beautiful finished product, “The Best of Upstate Forever,” was published in 2009.
Donna and Lou Astle became members of Upstate Forever in 2003 and have been two of our most loyal and dedicated volunteers since. In fact, they are often confused for staff members because they are in the office so much, helping us on a myriad of tasks. Donna and Lou are also at our conferences, workshops and field trips, doing whatever we need. Even after they have put in many hours, they always ask, “What else can we do?”
Frank Holleman played a key role in the preservation of two key Upstate properties in 2007. When a dispute erupted over the Camp Spearhead property in northern Greenville County, Holleman brokered a deal to place it under permanent protection. The Oconee County native then led the huge effort to save Stumphouse Mountain and Issaqueena Falls in Walhalla. The talented attorney, passionate conservationist, and superb writer and speaker soon became known as “Mr. Stumphouse.” These two amazing success stories could not have been written without Frank Holleman.
Dan has shared his numerous talents and skills with Upstate Forever in a variety of ways. An accomplished writer, Dan researched and wrote several items for the monthly Upstate Update. An expert in computers, he spent countless hours training our staff and keeping our computer system humming. When Upstate Forever moved to its new office, Dan recruited other volunteers and got our system up and running again very quickly.
A retired CPA with experience in both private and public accounting, Carolyne handles all of Upstate Forever’s financial records and accounts. She spends many hours in the office each week, paying bills and keeping records on over 15 separate funds. Each month she prepares summary financial statements for the Board and management, and each year she works closely with our independent auditors to complete the annual audit of the financial statements. She has performed a vital service for Upstate Forever with professionalism and dedication, and she is a joy to have in the office.
Upstate Forever member Virginia White received the “Volunteer of the Year” Award for her tireless efforts on behalf of the organization. Virginia, a retired pathologist, has truly “done it all” for Upstate Forever over the last five years—from stuffing envelopes and organizing files to writing articles, hosting dinners and representing the organization at different events. Virginia is the ultimate volunteer—dedicated, reliable and always cheerful.
Jean earned the Volunteer of the Year Award for her many hours of work in Upstate Forever’s office in Greenville. Since 1999, she has worked in the office at least one day a week and assists the organization on a variety of tasks, including keeping the membership records up to date and preparing all of the acknowledgment forms for contributions.