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City fills ‘sustainability’ position

Carolyn Collopy
  Carolyn Collopy

Evanston City Manager Julia Carroll has appointed Carolyn Collopy as the city's first Sustainable Programs Coordinator.

Collopy will start work May 7. To effectively provide leadership to all City departments in achieving sustainable goals, her new Office of Sustainability is located in the City Manager's Office and is under the direct supervision of Assistant City Manager Rolanda Russell.

Ms. Carroll said Ms. Collopy will help the city protect and optimize its natural resources and built environments by creatively incorporating sustainable practices and behaviors throughout the City of Evanston and will be instrumental in helping the city embrace the best ecological practices and policies extending into government, community, services and infrastructure.

"This new position reflects the city's commitment to becoming 'greener,'" Ms. Carroll said. "Carolyn will be responsible for implementing the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement approved by the City Council last fall."

"After working through internal city program and policy changes, I expect Carolyn to serve as a resource to the community to help them make positive changes for our environment," she continued. "Education and awareness is the key to making our environment sustainable for future generations."

Ms. Collopy's position is funded by a one-time $75,000 state grant for environmental sustainable programs the City received from the Office of Representative Julie Hamos. Besides supporting sustainable programs, Ms. Collopy must also sustain her position through grants and funding.

Ms. Collopy comes to Evanston from the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), Chicago, a non-profit agency that works to increase energy efficiency region-wide through policy and programs. She was program manager of all residential programs and managed multiple region-wide residential energy efficiency programs and grant contracts with an annual budget of over $3 million.

At MEEA, her responsibilities included identifying and securing federal, state and corporate program funding; program development, management and evaluation; monthly, quarterly and annual reporting to program funders, the Board of Directors and industry stakeholders; data collection and analysis and developing, managing and tracking program budgets, grants and contracts.

Prior to MEEA, Ms. Collopy was a program coordinator for the City of Portland's Office of Sustainable Development (OSD). Portland's OSD expanded considerably in the four years that she worked there, giving her the opportunity to work collaboratively with other staff and community stakeholders in the strategic planning and development of OSD's mission, programs and outreach.

Ms. Collopy holds both master of science and bachelor of science degrees in geography with concentrations in national and international environmental and social issues. She has also volunteered with a wide range of agencies including AmeriCorps VISTA and the City of Portland's Neighborhood Mediation Program.

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