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Each year the Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals selects a member to receive the Dr. Richard J. Kramer Certified Environmental Professionals (CEP) Memorial Award for Environmental Excellence.

This year the recipient is Heidi Pruess, Community Plan and Sustainability Officer for Mecklenburg County.

Pruess was selected for the award because of her extraordinary achievements including the development of the Mecklenburg County Livable Communities Plan, spearheading the biennial State of the Environment Report and administering the Mecklenburg County Environmental Sustainability Plan.

When asked about the challenges of her job, Pruess said that changing the way people think about their environment and the way they go about their everyday activities is her priority. “Commitment to sustainability uncovers opportunities to explore, develop, collaborate and innovate within businesses and the community,” said Pruess. “To capitalize on those things you have to approach things differently. And that’s my goal, to get people to re-think the way they do things.”

Prior to working for Mecklenburg County, Pruess worked as the Environmental Manager at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in Ohio where she played a role in development of a centralized deicing pad system. She also worked for the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe in Prescott, Arizona as an Environmental Manager, and for Beak Consultants, Inc., a natural resources consulting firm in Portland, Oregon.

Here is more information about the CEP Kramer Award.