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Fedrizzi, Lyons to present 'Pioneering Innovation for Sustainability: Food, Shelter and Community' Nov. 11

October 31, 2011

Sara Miller
(315) 443-9038

The demands and trends of urbanization and sprawl, and the pressures it poses on our environment and resources are tasking communities to develop and implement sustainable solutions today, for the challenges of tomorrow. Fifty years from now, what will people eat? Where will people live? How much energy will they consume?   

As international leaders and advocates for sustainability, as well as Central New York residents, S. Richard Fedrizzi G’87 and Oren Lyons ’58, H’93 are uniquely positioned to share their insights on the importance of providing for a sustainable future—locally and around the world. Both Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and Lyons, faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs of the Haudenosaunee, will field questions from the audience in an open dialogue event, “Pioneering Innovation for Sustainability: Food, Shelter, and Community. A Conversation with Rick Fedrizzi and Oren Lyons.” 

This showcase event as part of SU’s Orange Central 2011 will take place Friday, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m. at the Syracuse Center of Excellence headquarters, 727 E. Washington St. A continental breakfast with displays will be available beginning at 8 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, but participants are asked to RSVP by sending an email to Syracuse University alumni can also register online at

Shere AbbottThe program will be moderated by Shere Abbott, SU vice president for sustainability initiatives and University Professor of Sustainability Science & Policy. Abbott is a leading expert in the field of sustainability science and policy. Prior to joining SU, she was a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, serving as associate director for environment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President. 

Fedrizzi and Lyons will share their perspectives on the three pillars of sustainability: environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social equity. Additionally, they will talk about the importance of people thinking globally as they plan their communities and live their daily lives. 

Central New York is increasingly becoming a nation-leading community in embracing sustainable development, research and practices. Attendees will be able to learn more about the key sustainable initiatives in Central New York— to include the Near Westside Initiative, the Creative Core Campaign, SyracuseCoE’s and Environmental Finance Center’s broad sustainability engagements and initiatives throughout Onondaga County and the City of Syracuse promoting sustainable commerce, energy and food systems. Representatives from the University, City of Syracuse, Onondaga County and the Onondaga Nation will be on hand to exhibit their work and participate in the Q-and-A as members of the audience. 

As part of Orange Central, both Fedrizzi and Lyons will receive the George Arents Award, SU’s highest alumni honor. Fedrizzi will be presented with the George Arents Award for Excellence in Sustainability Innovation. Lyons will receive the George Arents Award for Excellence in Social and Environmental Activism. 

FedrizziFedrizzi was appointed president and CEO of the rapidly growing USGBC organization in April 2004. Under his leadership, more than 100,000 residential and commercial buildings and communities in 129 countries are participating in USGBC’s market-leading LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building program, and more than 170,000 individuals hold LEED professional credentials. 

Of its many programs, the Center for Green Schools at USGBC is Fedrizzi’s passion, with its goal of every child being in a green school within this generation. USGBC’s international outreach has also been part of Fedrizzi’s vision. Working closely with the minister of construction in China, he’s assisted that country’s green building efforts and the establishment of its own green building council. He helped establish the World Green Building Council in 1999 and served as its chairman from 1999-2004.

He is an advisory board member with the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, and frequently engages the U.S. Conference of Mayors, White House and Capitol Hill staff, and others in promoting green building through public policy at the local, state and federal levels.

LyonsLyons is professor emeritus of American studies and SUNY distinguished service professor at the SUNY University at Buffalo, and is the publisher of the national Native American Daybreak magazine and co-editor of “Exiled in the Land of the Free.”

As faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, he is responsible for maintaining the customs and traditions of the people and representing their interests in the world community. He is also chairman of the board of Honoring Nations at Harvard University, and of Plantagon, which has received world recognition in greenhouse innovation.

Among Lyons’ many honors are the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the National Audubon Award, the First Annual Earth Day International Award of the United Nations, and the Elder and Wiser Award of the Rosa Parks Institute for Human Rights.

Orange Central 2011 takes place Nov.10-13 on the SU campus and includes reunions, special events and Homecoming, all rolled into one exciting weekend.

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