July 1, 2008 - Kathy Rae Frahm of Richmond, Va. is the 2008 recipient of the Gerald P. McCarthy Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution. The University of Virginia's Institute for Environmental Negotiation presents the award annually on behalf of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, a partnership between the Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Cooperative Extension and the institute.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding contribution of Frahm, former policy director for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, who died suddenly at age 40 in September. Frahm was celebrated for her tireless and effective work in building consensus on environmental issues.
Frahm's parents, Joyce and Richard Frahm of Blacksburg, received the award on her behalf at the graduation dinner for the 2008 class of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, held June 5 in Charlottesville. Her partner, Steven Frazier; sister Lorinda Frahm Straley; and niece Erin Straley were also in attendance. David K. Paylor, director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, spoke on behalf of the nomination, which was submitted by Secretary of Natural Resources L. Preston Bryant Jr.
"Kathy Frahm represented all that is good and admirable in a public employee whose professional dedication to open and fair-minded policymaking was bolstered appropriately by her personal passion for Virginia's natural resources. She was respected by legislators, environmental advocates and captains of industry alike. Kathy Frahm embodies this lifetime achievement award," Bryant said.
The award is given periodically to an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to leadership in preservation and protection of the commonwealth's environment; supports collaborative problem solving through actions, contributions and/or educational programs; and acts as a lasting role model to other groups and individuals for the resolution of environmental issues. At the same event, the 2008 annual award was presented to Marjorie Mayfield Jackson, executive director of the Elizabeth River Project in Portsmouth.
"Kathy's work behind the scenes has been critical in bringing people and groups together for lasting environmental progress in Virginia," said Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation and a member of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute faculty. "Her approach to these tough problems will be missed. We are pleased to recognize her contributions with the Lifetime Achievement Award."
The Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution was created in 2004 to honor McCarthy, its first recipient, and his varied contributions to protect and promote environmental literacy and mediation in Virginia. McCarthy is executive director of the Virginia Environmental Endowment.