Town of Jackson’s Ziem Sustainability Awarded

Andy Tyson Leadership Award in Sustainability

In Memory of Andy Tyson 1968—2015

At the 2017 EcoFair, colleagues, friends and family of Andy Tyson recognized Johnny Ziem as the recipient  of the inaugural Andy Tyson Leadership Award in Sustainability (ATLAS).

Ziem’s contributions to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects at the Town of Jackson’s Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) were highlighted, as was his service on various committees internal to the Town’s sustainability initiatives and his role as an ex officio member of the Teton County Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling Board. Johnny was also recognized for his previous community service as an elected Town Councilor for the City Victor, ID.

In presenting the award to Ziem, Energy Conservation Works’ Director, Phil Cameron, noted Johnny’s role in, ‘(S)ome of the most significant  and meaningful energy projects completed in the community,’ and, ‘his selfless, gracious, and modest nature.’ Under Ziem’s leadership as the Superintendent of Jackson’s WWTP, the plant’s energy use has been reduced several hundred percent, equivalent to saving the amount of energy consumed annually by several hundred average homes. A video profiling his efforts can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/189826588

“Advocating for renewable energy and sustainability in our greater region isn’t easy, but that never stopped Andy from rolling up his sleeves and trying incredibly hard, whether working to create Teton Valley’s first net metering program, attending burgeoning sustainability events all over the area or fighting for solar’s place in Idaho’s energy portfolio,” says his wife, Molly Tyson. “Andy was the ultimate diplomat. His easy going, manner,  science based approach and total professionalism helped create bridges between diverse sectors in the sustainability world.”

The Andy Tyson Leadership Award in Sustainability, created in partnership with Energy Conservation Works (www.energyconservationworks.org), recognizes outstanding individuals from Idaho and Wyoming’s Teton counties and their efforts in local, community-oriented environmental sustainability projects within the Teton’s built environment. Recipients will be recognized each May at the Jackson Hole EcoFair (jacksonecofair.org),  a regional event that Andy helped start in the early 2000.

Andy was a leader in ushering thoughtful and sustainable living into everyday life. His expertise was broad and his passion was infectious. He filled many roles including; technical expert, a community organizer, a life-long learner, a passionate volunteer, and a caring friend, partner, and spouse.

A skilled craftsman, businessman and leader, Andy was a steady source of ideas that might help make the world a better place by building a sustainable energy future. As co-founder and owner of Creative Energies (cesolar.com), a values-driven company that grew to be the region’s leading expert on renewable energy, Andy worked to elevate understanding of renewable energy technology with a cross section of the people ranging from curious school groups to the Idaho Governor. Not only an engaging, inspiring teacher and advocate, but also an accomplished climber, Andy completed solar projects in remote places like Antarctica and Mt. Everest Base Camp. But Andy took his dedication to the environment a step further by spending countless hours mentoring others and volunteering for sustainability initiatives like Eco-Fair, Teton Valley Community Recycling, the Charture Institute, Tetons for Tomorrow, and  Yellowstone Business Partnership. He was a founding member of 1% for the Tetons, and Teton Valley’s Chance Meetings, and was the Co-chair of the Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance’s  Solar Energy Task Force.

On April 10, 2015 Andy, along with three other community members, died in a plane crash while flying to a remote job site to plan a solar installation. His wide smile, mischievous laugh, and thoughtful, patient perspective is deeply missed. (obituary: http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/valley/obituaries/tyson-explored-globe-inspired-others/article_9e6e1d3f-c605-59c4-babc-483e584f5c95.html )

It is the hope of Andy’s colleagues, friends and family that this award will honor those who exemplify, in their own manner, Andy’s commitment to furthering sustainability in the Tetons. A humble and ever generous man, Andy relished the success of others. Therefore it is fitting to honor and recognize the contributions of community members in a place Andy cared so deeply about.

Nominees were identified through:

  • Innovation approaches to their work
  • Passion in what they do
  • Inspiration of others
  • Dedication to improving one’s knowledge and skill set
  • Committed service to the community or promise as a rising star

Nominees may be active in any of the following areas:

  • Public policy or community organizing in relevant sustainability issues
  • Green building
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy efficiency
  • Alternative transportation
  • Recycling
  • Waste reduction
  • Sustainability education

Nominees of all ages and sectors (private, NGO, government, academia, etc.) were accepted.

Congratulations to Jackson’s Johnny Ziem and all those working towards making our valley a more sustainable community.    For more information please contact Phil Cameron, [email protected], 307-732-8515.