committee resources

The Mary Kilmarx Award for Good Governance, Clean Energy and the Environment

Since a NARUC resolution passed July 31, 2002, ERE has recognized individuals who have gone above and beyond in the name of good governance, clean energy, and the environment. The award was initiated in memory of Mary Kilmax, who passed away in 2002 and had been a commissioner and long-time staff member of the Rhode Island PUC, and was a three-term representative in the Rhode Island legislature. Those who remember Mary remember a fun, positive, feisty woman.

ERE opens nominations during the ERE Committee Business Meeting of the NARUC Annual Meeting and committee members select an awardee to be announced during the ERE Committee Business Meeting of the NARUC Winter Policy Summit. Please contact the ERE Staff Subcommittee Chair for more information.

More about Mary Kilmarx

Although she called Rhode Island home, Mary (nee Nedlinger) actually grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire, in the 1930s. Mary became a passionate advocate for the environment and was one of the founders of the “Green Committee,” which became the “Conservation Committee,” which became ERE. The early days of that group were wild, and they were seen as real outsiders. With her husband, Bob Kilmarx, she and her family made maple syrup, hiked, and skied. She died of a sudden stroke. It was a huge, devastating surprise to the many people that loved and admired her. Mary was a mentor and inspiration for many committee members and was a “Champion for Good Government, Clean Energy and the Environment.” In this vein the award is given annually to acknowledge policymakers who have shown leadership in promoting energy efficiency and clean energy.

Previous winners of the Mary Kilmarx Award include:

  • 2002: Bob Anderson, former Montana commissioner, NARUC president, and ERE/ECC chair;
  • 2003: Richard Cowart, former Vermont commissioner and ERE/ECC chair; director of RAP;
  • 2004: Kathleen Hogan, former director of EPA’s Climate Protection Partnerships Division;
  • 2005: Cheryl Harrington, former Maine commissioner, and director at RAP through 2006;
  • 2006 (tie): Ralph Cavanagh, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); and Howard Geller, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP);
  • 2007: Michael Dworkin, former Vermont commissioner and ERE Chair, Professor of Law & Director, Institute for Energy and the Environment, Vermont Law School;
  • 2008: Rich Sedano, director of RAP and former commissioner, Vermont Department of Public Service;
  • 2009: Dian Grueneich, former California commissioner and Stanford University professor;
  • 2010: Rick Morgan, former ERE chair and Task Force On Climate Policy chair, former District of Columbia Commissioner;
  • 2011: Jeanne Fox, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Commissioner, former ERE chair, former President of the National Council on Electricity Policy;
  • 2012: Ron Binz, independent consultant and former Task Force on Climate Policy chair, former chair of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission;
  • 2013: Steve Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE);
  • 2014: Sue Tierney, Principal at the Analysis Group and former Massachusetts regulator and DOE Assistant Secretary;
  • 2015: James Gardner, former Kentucky commissioner and ERE Chair;
  • 2016: Miles Keogh, Executive Director of the National Association for Clean Air Agencies and former NARUC Director;
  • 2017: Nancy Lange, former Commissioner of Minnesota and former ERE Chair, and Carla Peterman, former Commissioner of California and former ERE vice-chair;
  • 2018: Lisa Schwartz, Deputy Group Leader and Energy Efficiency Team Leader in the Electricity Markets and Policy group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL); 
  • 2019: Ken Colburn, former Principal and Director of U.S. Programs, Regulatory Assistance Project; and
  • 2020: Jeff Ackermann, former Colorado Public Utilities Commission Chair and staff, former ERE chair, and Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning chair