Giving Thanks

November 19, 2012

In the spirit of giving thanks, the HEFN staff sends a hearty wave of appreciation to everyone working to make this world a healthier place.  Thank you, funders investing for environmental health and justice.  And thank you researchers, green chemists and engineers, advocates, grassroots organizers, elected officials, civil servants, workers, business executives, teachers, journalists, farmers, urban planners, savvy shoppers, and last but definitely not least voters! We also want to give a special shout-out to three funders who will rotate off HEFN’s Steering Committee at the end of this year.   Each of these funders was a founding leader of HEFN, and each has played critical roles in building philanthropy, research and advocacy on environmental health and justice.

Thank you, Beto Bedolfe!  As Executive Director of the Marisla Foundation, Beto has infused cheerful energy into HEFN leadership and quiet wisdom into strengthening the field, including by supporting connections:  between researchers across academic disciplines, advocates across state and federal campaigns, and NGO networks across continents.  Beto is a model of low-ego, high-impact grantmaking, and he is a surfer.  We suspect some connection.

Thank you, Ruth Hennig!  As Executive Director of the John Merck Fund, Ruth brought results-oriented focus into the HEFN Catalysts, a funder working group she co-chaired from 2004 to 2012 to support strategic collaboration to move society from toxic to safer chemicals and materials.  Ruth is an environmental grantmaker who makes people a priority; she is a tireless champion for health and for using a health lens to address issues from toxic chemicals to climate change, energy and sustainable agriculture.

And thank you, Pete Myers!  From HEFN’s beginnings when he directed the W. Alton Jones Foundation to his current service as a Jenifer Altman Foundation trustee, Pete has educated our philanthropic community, policymakers and the public about environmental contaminants and health.   His deep commitment to science in the public interest has permeated his leadership and grantmaking in philanthropy, as it has in his non-profit ventures and writing.   Pete’s passion for environmental health science is matched only by his stealthy skill as wild bird paparazzo.

We thank these “HEFN Heroes” for their years of service and leadership.   And wish you and yours a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.

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