ERI recognizes 9 Hoosiers for contributions to Indiana communities and the environment

In advance of Earth Day, Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) is recognizing nine Hoosier Resilience Heroes for contributions to their communities and the environment. The honorees include professionals, students, and volunteers dedicated to food justice, climate policy, renewable energy, sustainable business practices, and more.

"Charting Indiana's course toward a more resilient and sustainable way of life requires leaders in every community and every corner of the Hoosier state", said ERI Managing Director Sarah Mincey. "Our heroes are making an important difference in their communities and throughout the state by sharing their knowledge, inspiring others, and advocating for more sustainable and equitable solutions to environmental change."

Individuals recognized as 2022 Hoosier Resilience Heroes include:

  • Tyler Kanczuzewski, the vice president of sustainability at Inovateus Solar in South Bend, who promotes solar energy and sustainable practices to clients and industry partners and serves on multiple environmental nonprofit boards.
  • Jesse Kharbanda, the executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, who has led Indiana’s largest environmental policy organization for 14 years and deepened its emphasis on climate solutions and environmental justice.
  • Stephanie Goodrid Lawson, executive director of the McKinney Family Foundation, who serves as a liaison for the most ambitious environmental and climate nonprofits in the state and advocates for long-term climate solutions in Indiana.
  • Katharine Schertz, a senior at West Lafayette Junior-Senior High School, who is rallying youth across the state to push for climate solutions that will help ensure a thriving Indiana for future generations.
  • Allie Skalnik, a senior at University High School in Carmel, whose journalism and communications work has amplified the voices of Indiana youth who are concerned about climate change.
  • Brad Talley, the director of Lafayette Renew, who has advanced a vision for public utilities that prioritizes the economic and environmental health of the community.
  • Marcia Veldman, the Indiana co-state coordinator of Citizens' Climate Lobby, who engages Hoosier residents, business leaders, and elected officials about the need for action on climate change and effective policy options.
  • Curtis Whitaker, a pastor and founder of Faith Farms in Gary, whose community garden has contributed to the revitalization of an urban community and helped address local food insecurity issues.
  • Ray Wilson, the board chair of Hoosier Interfaith Power & Light, who has dedicated the past decade to promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency in faith communities across Indiana.

These honorees represent a small slice of the work being done to make Indiana communities healthier, more sustainable, and more resilient to environmental changes that affect Hoosiers' health and livelihoods.

Read more about ERI's 2022 Hoosier Resilience Heroes


About the Environmental Resilience Institute

Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute brings together a broad coalition of government, business, nonprofit, and community leaders to help Indiana and the Midwest better prepare for the challenges of environmental change. By integrating research, education, and community, ERI is working to create a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future. Learn more at