After careful review of all the exceptional nominees, SWEP GP selected Jennifer Gresh with Duffield Associates as our 2021 Touchstone Award recipient. Ms. Gresh is a recognized leader as a professional geologist and environmental consultant. Jennifer is the Philadelphia Division Director at Duffield Associates where she started the Philadelphia office in 2008 with two employees and has since grown the office to 13 employees. Mentorship is vitally important to Ms. Gresh. She not only leads through example but embraces her role as a mentor, especially for young women, at Duffield Associates and in her community. Jen has shared her passion and commitment to the advancement of women in the environmental field through her involvement in the Owl-to-Owl Mentor program at her alma matter, Temple University, where she took on the role of President of the Alumni Board for the College of Science and Technology. The fact that Jen was selected to give the commencement speech to the College of Science and Technology’s 2019 graduating class is a reflection and acknowledgement of her ability to connect and inspire young people entering the profession with her passion and vision.
For the 2020 Touchstone Award, SWEP GP took a virtual walk down memory lane. The past 10 Touchstone Award recipients were contacted to see what they’ve been busy with since they were honored. We caught up with Sue Boyle, Carol Febbo, Marian Young, Yolanda Pagano, Jean Wallace, Beth Davison-Hyde, Dawn Rittenhouse, Betsy Schamberger, Lynn Williams, and Catherine Ward. A video compilation of the interviews with these exceptional women has been posted to our YouTube Channel.
Catherine Ward, Partner at Stradley Ronan
Catherine Ward, Partner at Stradley Ronan was presented the Touchstone Award by the Society of Environmental Professionals of Greater Philadelphia (SWEP). Each year the Board selects a woman leader in the environmental field who exemplifies leadership, achievement, and professional development of women in the environmental profession. The Touchstone Award, a curly lace agate pin was presented at the organization’s 23rd hallmark event November 7th 2019 at the prestigious Downtown Club. Beth Hyde of Roux Associates, also a past Touchstone recipient, introduced Ms. Ward and highlighted milestones over her impressive 30 years in law. Additional comments were shared by her Department Co-Chair and Partner Andy Levine. Her Mother, husband and two daughters were there to share in the exciting event.
As an environmental lawyer, Ward started her career in consulting after graduating with a degree in biology. She later went on to law school. Ward has spent much of her practice helping clients understand the complexities of regulations at the intersection of science and law. Her focus is on simplifying complex issues and multi-disciplinary projects into workable components, and then creating the necessary framework to accomplish her clients’ goals. With experience as a chemist and environmental consultant, she brings a unique perspective to assist companies – who are navigating often conflicting legal scenarios – in identifying opportunities and advantages. Cathy also has over a decade of experience in owning and operating industrial real estate, which gave her an understanding of and appreciation for the practical implications of legal issues.
Her goal in every representation is not only to solve the problem presented, but to identify and facilitate the most cost-effective and beneficial means of doing so. She is a founding member and first Chair of Sustainable Morristown as well as serving on the Environmental Commission. For all her work in the Community, they proclaimed a day to honor Cathy’s contribution to the Town. She is active in NJ Bar Environmental Committee, Women in Energy and other organizations.
As Mr. Levine commented, “Cathy Ward may be petite, but she is strong, determined, smart and one of the very best lawyers.” Ward inspired the 165 attendees seated for the dinner. She talked about the things she learned along the way that challenged her, inspired her and helped her in her career. She offered that you should go beyond your comfort zone and listen to your gut.
Lynn W. Williams - Christina Conservancy
Ms. Williams is a champion environmental and civic leader and works with the non-profit Christina Conservancy, whose mission is “Preservation, Restoration and Conservation of Natural and Historical Resources of the Christina River Watershed.” Ms. Williams has devoted 50 years of her life to protecting and conserving Delaware’s land and water, and to educating and inspiring many others.
Lynn was a founding board member of the Delaware Nature Society, served as its first president from 1964 to 1973, and remains involved as an honorary director. DNS’ mission is to “connect people with the natural world to improve our environment through education, advocacy and conservation.”
She is also past president and treasurer of the Christina Conservancy, and a mover and shaker in the Christina River Watershed Cleanup, which started in 1992, has grown to hundreds of annual volunteers, and has removed thousands of tons of trash and debris from the watershed, including BIG trash like sunken barges, tugs and boats, and log jams.
For 10 years, Lynn and the Conservancy led a citizens’ advisory committee and made a grant which helped pave the way for the restoration of a wildlife refuge in the City of Wilmington. When Governor Tom Carper supported revitalization of the Wilmington Riverfront, Lynn was appointed as a member of the committee to provide advice on the restoration and interpretation of the marshland that was to become the 212-acre Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge. The Riverfront Development Corporation appointed her chair of the committee to establish the wildlife refuge, and Lynn led the committee, ensuring that the funds were raised, the marsh was restored, and the DuPont Environmental Education Center, which is run by the Delaware Nature Society, was constructed.
Lynn has served in many other environmental leadership roles and has provided her signature combination of vision, energy and tenacity, inspiring many others to action over the years:
As a child, Lynn and her family spent summers in a log cabin in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, where she learned to identify birds, trees and wildflowers. She wanted to be an engineer like her father, but Mt. Holyoke College didn’t offer engineering, so she majored in geology instead.
Lynn joined the Girl Scouts as a Brownie when she was 7 years old, and later volunteered as a Troop Leader when her daughters were young. She moved on to serve as Board President of the Chesapeake Bay Council, and then as project lead and supervisor for building and improving several Girl Scout facilities. The Lynn W. Williams Science and Technology Lodge, completed in 2009 in Hockessin, was the first Delaware and Girl Scout building certified at the platinum level for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Lynn is an enthusiastic, tenacious and very successful protector of the natural environment, and she inspires children and adults to love and preserve natural lands and waters. She is especially devoted to the growth and inspiration of girls through Girl Scouting.
Betsy Schamberger, President - Moonstone Environmental LLC
Betsy Schamberger is the founder and president of Moonstone Environmental, LLC based in Allentown, PA, an environmental consulting firm dedicated to providing exceptional service and expertise to its clients. She is a licensed Professional Geologist and certified Asbestos Building Inspector with 19 years of experience working in the environmental industry. Betsy holds master's degrees in hydrogeology and geochemistry.
Betsy has led an extensive and impressive career working as an environmental professional in Pennsylvania. Over the course of two decades in the environmental industry, Betsy has distinguished herself as a leader and a trusted environmental expert in and around the Lehigh Valley, particularly with respect to environmental investigations involving commercial property transactions. She is also adept at coordinating multifaceted projects involving state and federal environmental agencies, and has continually won praise from large and small clients due to the high level of professionalism and technical ability that she displays when engaged with projects.
As a Women's Business Enterprise (WBE), Moonstone has fostered the development and success of many women scientists and professionals, thanks in large part to Betsy's guidance and commitment to improvement.
Betsy also uses her leadership abilities outside of Moonstone to bring energy and strength to several professional organizations aimed at promoting women's entrepreneurial development and environmental stewardship in the Lehigh Valley. She is the president-elect of the Lehigh Valley chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), an organization that provides networking and professional development opportunities to women involved in all aspects of commercial real estate. In that role, she organizes events and creates opportunities in which women professionals can meet, share ideas and strategies, and develop business relationships with industries they may otherwise not have had access to. She also serves on the board of directors for the Literacy Center, an educational organization that provides English literacy education for men and women who are not proficient in English, thereby helping them to become more successful in their careers and personal lives. Betsy also works with the Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative (LVLRI), the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), to promote sustainable land use and environmental stewardship in the Lehigh Valley.
Moonstone's entire portfolio of work is dedicated to the improvement of environmental conditions on sites in the greater Philadelphia area and the Lehigh Valley. As the president of a small company, Betsy still finds many opportunities to "get her hands dirty" in the field leading by example and providing training and instruction to her employees. She has performed work on sites near Philadelphia that has included Phase I environmental assessments, asbestos inspections and sampling, soil and groundwater characterization, and remediation of contaminated sites. She has helped many clients navigate the environmental programs administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), including the Act 2 Land Recycling Program, the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Program, and the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program. Her proficiency with all of the work described above has solidified her reputation in the greater Philadelphia area and the Lehigh Valley as one of the foremost environmental professionals in her field.
Dawn Rittenhouse, Director of Sustainability – DuPont
Dawn Rittenhouse is a dedicated, inspiring, and tireless champion of environmental progress. Through her professional achievements at DuPont, mentoring & development of colleagues, and contributions to her community Dawn has had a tremendous positive impact on sustainable development at the local, national, and even global levels. Dawn Rittenhouse
She is a graduate of Duke University with degrees in Chemistry and Economics. After graduating she went to work for DuPont. From 1980 until 1997, she held various positions in Technical Service, Sales, Marketing, and Product Management with the Packaging and Industrial Polymers and Crop Protection businesses. Late in 1997, she started working within the corporate organization to assist DuPont businesses in integrating sustainability into their strategic and business management processes which lead to her current position of Director of Sustainability.
Dawn advanced DuPont to the forefront of the sustainability movement with her leadership, dedication, knowledge and energy. DuPont is a recognized sustainability leader in the US and internationally as a result of her work. Her passion for environmental conservation and protection has led to significant results through all of her professional & volunteer activities. She has a deep understanding of the unique role women play in these efforts. She makes things happen in a quiet but effective manner. She brings people together to work toward a common goal and gets the best results. What she started at DuPont in 1997 with no budget or staff has become one of the most integrated and well-respected sustainability programs in the world.
“Throughout her career, Dawn has been an innovator and pioneer who has earned the respect of her peers within the sustainability field,” said Linda J. Fisher, former Vice President of Safety, Health and Environment and Chief Sustainability Officer at DuPont. “Beginning with our first set of footprint goals set in 1989 to our most recent goals embedding sustainability into our innovation process, Dawn has worked to make DuPont a leader in sustainability — both in how we run our operations and in our product portfolio. She is a true change maker.”
She leads DuPont’s efforts at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the United Nations Global Compact. Dawn is currently is on the Sustainability Council at Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, the Corporate Consultive Group Advisory Group of World Resources Institute, the Board of Trustees of the Nature Conservancy of Delaware and the Board of Directors of the Delaware Nature Society.
Dawn is active in local sustainability initiatives in her community, which include supporting research, education and land conservation activities in the Delaware River and Bay estuary through the Clear into the Future program and overseeing the management of wildlife habitat on company properties at locations around the world.
Dawn has also played an important role as a mentor to many people. She is very well known and respected in the corporate sustainability space as someone who is in many ways one of the founders of the field. She is admired for her knowledge, 36+ years of experience working at DuPont, and ability to cut straight to the essence of a particular challenge and look for solutions. She is focused, pragmatic, genuine, and determined. She has built a successful career and an outstanding reputation within a company and an industry that was (and still is to a certain extent) dominated by men in leadership positions.
Beth Davison Hyde – Roux Associates, Inc.
Jean Wallace – Green Wood Charter School in Philadelphia
Yolanda Pagano – O’Brien & Gere
Marian R. Young – President, Brightfields, Inc.
Members Only - Download the iOS App
Click here to contact us.
SWEP of Greater Philadelphia
c/o Victoria Bisbing
PO Box 465Claymont, DE 19703
Photo Credit: Don Pearse Photographers, Inc., http://donpearsephotographers.com/