Project EverGreen Presents First Stewardship Award At Green Industry Expo

Debra Holder, former chief operating officer of the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), is the recipient of the first Project EverGreen Stewardship Award, presented at the 15th annual Green Industry Expo (GIE) in Charlotte, N.C. The Project EverGreen Stewardship Award was created to recognize a person whose impact on the green industry has made it possible for others to enjoy the environmental, economic and lifestyle benefits of landscapes and green spaces.

“The Stewardship Award is given to someone whose impact will or has endured in the green industry. In 2004 we didn’t have to look far to find the most appropriate recipient,” said Phil Fogarty, co-chair of Project EverGreen’s board of directors.

Holder was recognized for her leadership role in ALCA and the green industry, having guided her organization to more than triple its membership in the last 25 years. Throughout her tenure, she has spearheaded a number of new programs, including certification for landscape professionals, the OSHA alliance, the CNA partnership, the sponsorship program, student career days, the ALCA advantage and, most recently, the ALCA Educational Foundation (AEF).

“As a personal and professional role model, Debra has always been willing to lead by example and give back to ALCA,” said Paul McDonough, co-chair of Project EverGreen. “A consummate example of her spirit and generosity was embodied in her $25,000 pledge to the newly-founded AEF, making her an ALCA Ambassador.”

“Debra Holder was presented with the first Project EverGreen Stewardship Award because she has raised both industry standards and the overall image of the green industry,” said Den Gardner, executive director, Project EverGreen. “Through her work with ALCA, she encompasses the spirit of Project EverGreen in a single person, impacting all aspects of our industry: the environment, through better practices she has established; our economy, through the growth of our businesses; and the lifestyles of so many by her vision of our industry’s increased professionalism.”

While the Green Industry Expo provided an ideal venue to present the group’s first Stewardship Award, it also provided Project EverGreen with a chance to thank organization contributors and raise the awareness of its efforts. Project EverGreen is developing a national marketing campaign for 2005 to inform U.S. consumers of the positive effects of well-maintained green spaces, including lawns and landscapes, sports turf, golf courses and parks. While at GIE, Project EverGreen hosted a dessert reception for conference attendees, a trade show booth and a fund-raising raffle to support the consumer education project. Raffle items were donated by two Project EverGreen sponsors, John Deere and LESCO, and raised more than $5,000 in raffle tickets sold. The winner of the John Deere Gator™ Utility Vehicle was Sean Casey of Nufarm while the LESCO Renovator went to Butch Huizenga at Augustana College. Raffle money, combined with other commitments and donations received at the conference, surpassed $11,000, bringing the total funds raised to nearly $600,000, more than half the amount needed to launch the campaign.

Project EverGreen’s mission is to raise the awareness of the environmental, economic and lifestyle benefits of landscapes and promote the significance of those who preserve and enhance green spaces at home, work and play. This nonprofit organization is an alliance of green industry service (end-user) providers, associations, suppliers/distributors, media companies and other organizations.

For more information on Project EverGreen, contact Executive Director Den Gardner at 1-877-758-4835 or visit

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