With the 2005 Founders Awards presented at the ECOS Fall Meeting in Kennebunkport, Maine, ECOS recognized Tom Looby for his service to the organization, and Dana Bisbee and Kim Nelson for their leadership and of the National Environmental Information Exchange Network and to the information management work that lead up to this effort. Below is more information on each of the recepients.
Long before his “retirement” days, Tom worked for state and local governments for 25 years, and served as the Director of Colorado’s environmental agency for 10 years. He was the first Vice-President of ECOS in 1993, and later served as President and Past President. He was also chair of the Planning Committee for three years. Tom worked tirelessly to help ECOS come into being, dealing with all of the minutiae and administrative hurdles that must be addressed in any new organization as well as the bigger issues associated with developing working relationships with the NGA, other environmental associations, and, most importantly, USEPA. Tom was President when ECOS hired its first Executive Director, Robbie Roberts. Tom has remained active in ECOS since leaving state government service.
Dana served as the Assistant Commissioner and Acting Commissioner of New Hampshire’s environmental agency for 7 years. His primary work with ECOS was as the Chair of the Data Management Workgroup, which he chaired for three years.
Kim was the Executive Deputy Secretary with the Pennsylvania environmental agency and member of ECOS’ Data Management Workgroup. Kim routinely hosted workshops for other states to come to her state for “hands-on” learning using the latest information technology. These workshops served as catalysts for many states in the development and proliferation of modernized state environmental information systems across the nation. In 2001 Kim was appointed Assistant Administrator/Chief Information Officer for US EPA’s Office of Environmental Information. While at EPA, Kim has continued her commitment to data reforms. Through her efforts states have been received $84 million in supplemental support for modernizing data management capabilities.
They were both instrumental in the development of the Exchange Network. Kim worked on this both as a member of the ECOS work group and as an EPA official. Dana led the effort for ECOS and the states. The Exchange Network is the joint framework states are implementing with EPA to move state environmental data to EPA’s national databases. The network was designed to help address state and EPA data problems with cost, standards, reliability, security, analysis, and integration across media. We still have a way to go, but our successes lay with the leadership these two people have provided.