VERTE 2019 is just two weeks away, and we are very excited to celebrate ten years of environmental mentorship with you. As we approach our annual VERTE gala, we would like to take a moment to recognize our partners who have helped us reach this important milestone. Without further delay, announcing the VERTE 2019 Honorees!

Environmental Advocacy Honoree: The City of Manhattan Beach

Since Grades of Green’s inception ten years ago, the City of Manhattan Beach has been a cornerstone partner. From our flagship school, Grandview Elementary, to the four Waste Campaign Teams from Manhattan Beach this past Spring, the City has been extremely supportive of Grades of Green Eco-Leaders. Not only has Manhattan Beach made sustainability a priority in its own right, the city has encouraged student presentations and civic engagement.

In 2014, the City of Manhattan Beach welcomed Grades of Green Eco-Leaders to a City Council Meeting, where they presented on the effects of Styrofoam on our environment. The student leaders were instrumental in what was hailed as “the strongest Styrofoam ban in the country.” In 2018, Grades of Green Eco-Leaders presented to Manhattan Beach City Council, this time advocating for the ban of all single-use plastics. By April, Manhattan Beach had moved to ban plastic straws and utensils. Grades of Green has worked with the City of Manhattan Beach countless times in between, and we hope to continue to work together for many years to come.

Environmental Advocacy Honoree: Lonely Whale

As Grades of Green enters it’s tenth year, our Eco-Leaders represent a global community of 22 countries. Reaching international, often remote regions requires radical collaboration, which is exactly what Lonely Whale is all about. By collaborating with multiple partners on sustainability campaigns and initiatives, Lonely Whale has established themselves as one of the most recognizable brands in environmental advocacy. Lonely Whale works with nonprofits, student leaders, and environmental advocates, operating as a think tank, developing innovative and far-reaching sustainability initiatives.

In developing the Ocean Heroes Bootcamp, it was Lonely Whale’s mission to empower existing and emerging youth leaders to create their own campaigns to take action against ocean plastic pollution. Working with Grades of Green, Lonely Whale welcomed Eco-Leader Cosmo to present at the Ocean Heroes Bootcamp. Working with Lonely Whale allows Grades of Green to present student leaders with unique opportunities to escalate their projects and make lasting change on a local and global level. We are proud to recognize Lonely Whale as our Environmental Advocacy Honoree, Executive Director Dune Ives will be accepting the award on behalf of Lonely Whale.

A special thank you to VERTE guests…

Grades of Green Founders: Kim Lewand Martin, Suzanne Kretschmer, Shaya Kirkpatrick, and Lisa Coppedge

As we celebrate our 10th Earth Day Birthday, we’d like to recognize our founders Kim Lewand Martin, Suzanne Kretschmer, Shaya Kirkpatrick, and Lisa Coppedge. Their efforts have given hundreds of thousands of students the opportunity to bring their sustainability initiatives to life.

Founding PlanetPals Volunteers: Inga Middleton and Paki Wolfe

In addition to the four founders, founding PlanetPals volunteers Inga Middleton and Paki Wolfe were instrumental in launching Grades of Green. Their tireless efforts during the early stages of our environmental nonprofit allowed the organization to flourish into what it is today.

Founding Sponsors and Supporters: KAA Design Group, Waste Management, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

We would not be able to provide the resources and mentorship to our students if not for the generous support of our founding sponsors and supporters. KAA Design Group, Waste Management, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP have given us the opportunity to reach student leaders all around the world. The organizations have shown a commitment to building a sustainable future, and we look forward to working them for years to come.

We look forward to celebrating with you at the Westdrift Hotel in Manhattan Beach on April 20th. Few tickets are still available, so reserve your seat today.