Welcome to The Summit of Sustainability

Summit of Sustainability Awards – SOSA &                Sustainable Business Network

The City of Akron, Summit County, the Greater Akron Chamber, Keep Akron Beautiful/Greenprint for Akron and a host of sponsors want to recognize your Akron/Summit County organization for your efforts to institute better environmental practices…or give you information and ideas on beginning a sustainability plan by sharing others’.

Summit of Sustainability Sustainable Business Network Workshops held in Summit County, Ohio

Summit of Sustainability events 2016Event Registration Links

Register: Oct 20 Smart Water Use 101/City of Akron event $15See info and agenda.

SOSA Winners  and Application Info

Congratulations to SOSA 2015 Sustainability Changemakers!! See all their videos below and become inspired. Or, view past SOSA winners (2012-2014).

The SOSA application process for 2016 will be closed/no October awards ceremony. Will be open again in early 2017. Look for 2017 workshop for help on applying.

Individual 2015 Sustainability Changemakers:

John Farber, Headmaster at Old Trail School, is a visionary leader who helped the school expand its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Nicole Koharik, Global Sustainability Marketing Manager at GOJO Industries, a key player in advancing sustainable values for team, customer and distributors.

Amy Longenbach, Manager of Safety and Warehousing at Bridgestone Americas, led her Green Team to create a sustainable waste stream and identify sustainable vendors.

Tom Marting, Facilities and Resource Management Director at GOJO Industries, Inc., delivers sustainable innovations to customers and stakeholders.

Laura McElrath, Operations Manager at Akron Marathon, helped marathon earn Ohio’s first gold level certification for the Council of Responsible Sport in 2014 for responsible recycling.

Rick Merolla, retired Service Director at City of Akron helped set in motion the Greenprint for Akron plan, from which The Summit of Sustainability was born.

Phillip Nabors, President of Mustard Seed Market & Café, brought fresh produce to an community food desert, which also reduced emissions, and he kept sustainability top of mind in building design.

Doug Piekarz, President and CEO of Akron Zoological Park, is the driving force behind the zoo’s sustainability strategic plan.

Danette Rushboldt, Interpretive Naturalist at Summit Metro Parks, uses creativity to divert trash from landfill by turning it into beauty and practical use.

George Schneider, Manager of Advanced Technology Workshop & Building Services at Bridgestone Americas, was instrumental in their Zero-Waste success and shares his expertise across the corporation and throughout the community.

Karen Starr, Owner of Hazel Tree Interiors, uses recycling and upcycling in her redesign Interior Design business and also is an advocate for the environment and a better Akron community.

Group 2015 Sustainability Changemaker award winners:

Akron Zoo Green Team has achieved and continues to achieve their Big Hairy Audacious Goals BHAG in sustainability set and measured by the zoo.

GAINS- Greater Akron Innovation Network for Sustainability, a networking and projects group in Akron, Ohio, which was brought to the area after the disbanding of Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (E4S) in Cleveland by Akronites: Gina Burk, Tom Crain, Sue Lacy, Samuel Salsbury, Sabrena Schweyer, Karen Starr, Tony Troppe and Phillip Nabors.

Dale Banas, Ron Cox & Paul Emery of “Energizing Our Communities”, Dominion East Ohio, have organized annual environmental projects that have helped beautify parks, assisted with erosion control, removed invasive species, cleaned rivers, restored greenhouses, build urban gardens and more.


Want more? See 2012, 2013 and 2014 Summit of Sustainability Awards Winners here.

Beginning a Sustainability Plan

Don’t already have any sustainable efforts going in your organization? Well now is the time to get started.  Many organizations, big and small, are finding that being green can also save you money.  That’s correct! Doing the right thing for the planet can drive real cost savings to the bottom line.  See How To Be Sustainable, or view SOSA webinars to get great tips today.