Environmentalist of the Year Awards

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | Reception 5:30pm | Awards 6:30 – 8:30pm

Atrium 916, 7300 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95826

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) has been hosting the Environmentalist of the Year Awards since 1973. The awards ceremony is a time to celebrate and recognize the past year’s regional champions and community sustainability successes. It is also a time to reflect on the work we still have in front of us in the year ahead.

2019 Awardees

This year we honor Kirin Kumar, Ted Rauh, Ilonka Zlatar, and Laura Putnam — all working hard to save the planet by taking action locally in Sacramento. Kirin Kumar has been a relentless advocate for safe routes to school and other walkability issues as Executive Director of WALKSacramento. Ilonka Zlatar is a scientist and an environmental organizer who has taken on the training and mentoring of young people who are stepping up as future leaders in the climate movement. Ted Rauh has been a champion of water management policy in the Sacramento area. He is being recognized for his outstanding work on the Habitat 2020 Water Committee. Laura Putnam is honored as Volunteer of the Year for her dedication to ECOS by contributing her efforts consistently and dependably on a weekly basis for over a year. Please honor these four wonderful individuals by attending and/or sponsoring the event.

Kirin Kumar

Environmentalist of the Year

Kirin Kumar is awarded for his work on many active transportation fronts: making our region’s routes to schools safer, our commutes greener, our air cleaner and getting us closer to our greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. He has been very responsive to community members and has organized walk audits to properly address their concerns. He has supported other environmental nonprofits by sharing his knowledge and strategies for success. Kirin shows up for team efforts authentically in the name of environmental justice.

Kirin has over five years of experience in the nonprofit and local government sectors working to advance climate justice and grow resident capacity to engage in the decision-making processes that shape communities. As the Executive Director of WALKSacramento, Kirin worked to build collaboration between public health and community development professionals in the Sacramento region to inform strategies that improve quality of life and access to opportunity in historically disadvantaged communities.

Ted Rauh

Environmentalist of the Year

Ted Rauh is awarded for his work to improve the quality of water in the Sacramento region and to protect our groundwater. He took on the leadership role in Habitat 2020’s subcommittee on water when the committee needed someone to step up for that role. He is now working to educate residents of the Sacramento region about the benefits of landscaping with native plants, through an initiative of the California Native Plant Society.

A lifelong public servant, Ted spends his days with family, writing, travel, and working with a great team on regional water issues. His past accomplishments include a career in California government directing the State’s Solid Waste Management Program; Hazardous Waste Management Program and Superfund Site Cleanups; and Energy Conservation and Facility Siting programs.

Ilonka Zlatar

Climate Hero

Ilonka Zlatar is a shining light in the Sacramento Region’s climate movement. She is a scientist, a 350 Sacramento board member, an organizer, a networker, and all-around phenomenal leader. Ilonka has been instrumental in local climate action demonstrations and innovative fundraisers, such as the Ode to Earth event. She attracts, recruits and trains young people to join the climate movement. It’s hard to find a climate activist in Sacramento who has not met Ilonka.

Ilonka works really hard to try to move the needle on climate action, especially through arts and empowering the youth. Her dry sense of humor is compensated by a lifelong passion and dedication to this cause. She enjoys nothing more than seeing others grow and succeed, making a movement that includes all of us. 

Laura Putnam

Volunteer of the Year

Laura Putnam is awarded for her outstanding volunteerism. Every week, she dedicates an afternoon to ECOS. Laura is a capable, motivated problem-solver who is willing to take on any task and give it her best. Her work has supported ECOS events, committees, volunteers, and communications. Many people are not aware of her work, as it is behind-the-scenes. This kind of quiet, selfless service for the greater good is what our planet needs right now.

Laura graduated in 2012 from UC Davis, with a B.S. in Biotechnology. She worked in the Biotech industry for over 5 years. In the past year, she found a new passion teaching English as a Second Language.

Click here view the list of past Environmentalist of Year Awardees.

New Venue

The Environmentalist of the Year Awards is being held at a new venue this year! The Atrium 916 is a creative innovation center for sustainability, and we think this will give a whole new “flavor” to the event. Think more space, more partnerships and more to the reception!


Featuring plant-based hors d’oeuvres, wine, kombucha, coffee, live music and networking!

Plant-based hors d’oeuvres

provided by Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op


poured by Moniz Family Wines


provided by KC Kombucha


provided by Espresso Metro

Live Music

provided by Midtown Jazz

Silent Auction

This year we will also host a silent auction! Some of our most exciting auction items include a wooden watch from Jord Watches, a gift box from LUSH and a bicycle with saddle bags! More items to be announced soon.

Become a Sponsor

Please honor these four wonderful individuals by sponsoring and attending the event. One of the primary sources of funding for ECOS comes from sponsors like you. Since 1971, ECOS has been on the front line in the battle for a sustainable planet, a green economy, and environmental justice. We are committed to involving all residents of our region to shape a better future for all, and your sponsorship will enable us to do so.

Click here to learn more about becoming a sponsor.

Ticket Information

Individual Ticket $20

Options for membership renewal along with your ticket purchase:

Individual ECOS membership + 1 EOY ticket = $50 (you save $5)
Family ECOS membership + 2 EOY tickets = $80 (you save $20)
Steward ECOS membership + 2 EOY tickets = $120 (you save $20)
Student/Low Income ECOS membership + 1 EOY ticket = $25 (you save $5)
Lifetime ECOS membership + 2 EOY tickets = $500 (you save $40)

We encourage you to purchase your tickets ahead of time online. If you still want to purchase your tickets at the door, we will appreciate it if you could please bring cash instead of a card to help speed things up at our registration table.

2019 Sponsors

Click here to view the sponsors of the 2019 Awards ceremony, without which we could not do the work that we do!
Thank you, event sponsors!

Event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1490441914413923/

Hashtag: #sacenviroawards

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