From left, Memnosyne Institute cofounders Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk and Joshua Frenk, 2014 GSDFW Sustainable Leadership award winners Zac Trahan, Rita Beving, Greg Jacob (accepting for Nanci Taylor), Margie Haley and Gary Olp, and Green Source DFW project manager Phillip Shinoda at the ceremony held March 13 in Dallas. (not shown is Alexandria Beck)  Photos courtesy of Libbie Simonton.

March 19, 2014

More than 100 green advocates from all backgrounds gathered last week at the Dallas Center for Architecture to celebrate North Texas’ green movers and shakers at the Green Source DFW Sustainable Leadership Awards. 

Phillip Collins, executive director of the Memnosyne Institute, the organization that created GSDFW, said he was inspired by the people gathered for the occasion. 

“I look out and see the people who are moving the environmental movement forward,” he said. “This is an environmental community whose size and diversity is often not recognized. We appreciate you.”

Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk, cofounder of the Memnosyne Institute, commended GSDFW project manager Phillip Shinoda for launching GSDFW in 2011 as a way to connect people and spur collaboration.

“That’s what’s happening here,” said Thompson-Frenk.

In addition, Memnosyne Institute cofounder Joshua Frenk noted the GSDFW community is growing and reminded audience members that the green movement is about the future.  

“A lot of people who don’t believe in the environmental movement believe the best is behind us. People in the environmental community believe the best is in front of us.”

Here are the 2014 GSDFW Sustainable Leadership Winners:

The GSDFW Lifetime Achievement award was presented to longtime environmental philanthropist and activist Margie Jackson Haley. Over 25 years, Haley has promoted recycling, fought coal plants, produced sustainable summits and served as a model of green living at her home on White Rock Lake.

“She was green before green was cool,” said GSDFW board member Wendel Withrow.

Left, Margie Haley accepts award from Phillip Shinoda.

WATCH MARGIE HALEY PRESENTATION. (all videos by Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk)


The Sustainable For-Profit Award was given to Dallas-based architect Gary Olp, founder of GGO Architects. Olp has been an influencial advocate for green building and green business practices for more than 30 years.

“We really don’t have an environmental problem, we have a design problem,” said Olp. “There’s a lot of hope for the future because we can design our way out of it.”



The Sustainable Nonprofit Professional Award went to veteran Dallas environmental activist Rita Beving, currently an organizer for Public Citizen. During the last two decades, Beving has been dedicated to a number of environmental causes locally, including battling cement kilns, protecting the Trinity River and most recently fighting oil pipelines.

“This is like the Academy Awards,” said Beving. “There’s nothing more special than having your own peers vote for you.”




The Sustainable Volunteer Leader Award was presented to animal activist Alexandria Beck, founder of the University of North Texas student group Mean Greens for Animals. In its first year, MGFA persuaded UNT to boycott battery cages and switch to a cage-free egg supplier.

“I’m just glad to be here with all of you who care about the environment and our future as much as I do.” 

Left, Alexandria Beck 




The Sustainable Entrepreneur Award was given to Dallas Edible DFW Publisher Nanci Taylor. The award was accepted by Nanci’s partner Greg Jacob. Through her magazine, Taylor has helped the green food community thrive by promoting small, sustainable producers in DFW.

“Being her companion for the last 10 years, I can’t express how much it means to me to bring this [award] home.” 



The Grassroots Nonprofit Award was presented to Texas Campaign for the Environment - Dallas Office. Over the last few years, the nonprofit has gone above and beyond to fight gas drilling and promote zero waste goals in Dallas. It now has its sights on a local plastic bag ban.

“The future is now,” said director Zac Trahan. “Dallas and DFW is getting better everyday.” 



Look for extended profiles of the award winners in the coming weeks on 

 Julie Thibodeaux is the Managing Editor for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Contact her at

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