Board Chair Deborah Alberts receives Aquarion Water Company Environmental Champion award

When I saw a call from the Aquarion Water Company of New Hampshire for nominees for the Aquarion Environmental Champion Awards, I immediately thought of Board Chair Deborah Alberts. A retired school teacher, Deb joined the board in 2015. Several years ago, she fell victim to what happens when you miss a single meeting (with a serious case of poison ivy, no less!): she was elected vice chair.  In 2019 she took over the chair role from longtime, dedicated volunteer Jack O’Reilly.

“As I started to approach the end of my term as chair I began thinking about a possible successor,” says Jack. “As I looked at the Board members I realized that any Board member was fully capable, Deb just stood out in my mind.  She had such enthusiasm.  I just knew she would be a great next Chair and as it turned out I am so happy that I was right-great dedication and leadership.  She is awesome.”

Aquarion’s award recognizes individuals, businesses, and organizations across New Hampshire dedicated to environmental protection and sustainability.  Now in its ninth year, the awards are an opportunity for environmental advocates to receive statewide honors for their work.

I knew Deb was a great candidate for the award. She’s a tireless board member and advocate for Great Bay, who will do everything from hang artwork at Art of Great Bay to hold the finish line sign at the Great Bay 5K to spend hours mulching at the Community Wildlife Garden. She is also excited to tell everyone she meets about how wonderful the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Great Bay Discovery Center, and the Stewards are.  Deb is a joy to work with, always has a positive attitude, and in recent years has brought together a talented and enthusiastic board. She has been a critical part of launching the organization’s Tide Turner program, which encourages residents to commit to making small changes to their homes and yards to improve the estuary’s health and overall environment

In June, we were thrilled to hear that Deb had indeed won in the adult category. At an awards ceremony at The Victoria Inn in Hampton, N.H., in August, Deb was honored alongside the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, A Place To Grow, and student winner Wesley D. Stocken.

“There are many organizations and individuals throughout New Hampshire dedicated preserving the state’s environment,” said Carl McMorran, operations manager at Aquarion.  “As stewards of the environment, Aquarion Water Company is proud to recognize them for their outstanding commitment to the Granite State’s natural resources.”

Award winners are able to select an environmental non-profit to receive a $5,000 grant, and we are grateful that Deb selected the Stewards. We feel very fortunate to have Deb as our board chair!

For more on the event from Aquarion, visit the story on their website.

— Allison Knab, Executive Director