OVEC Wins National Award

In the fall of 2001, the OVEC leadership team of Dianne Bady, Janet Fout and Laura Forman won one of 20 Ford Foundation, Advocacy Institute and Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service’s “Leadership For a Changing World” awards. The award selection committee selected the OVEC team from a pool of over 3,000 nominations.

Press Release on the “Leadership for a Changing World” Award

The story behind OVEC’s leadership team

Return to Index

Leadership Talks – Live On-Line

Friday, March 29, from 1 to 2 p.m. Leadership Talks interviewed OVEC staff Dianne Bady and Janet Fout live, on-line.  The interview is archived here on the Leadership for a Changing World website.


In 2001, Bady and Fout and the late Laura Forman, who had worked together for over eight years, won the Ford Foundation and Advocacy Institute’s Leadership for a Changing World award.

The award seeks to recognize, strengthen and support leaders, and to highlight the importance of leadership in improving peoples lives. In addition to the leadership award, which is at the heart of Leadership for a Changing World, this program also seeks to spark a national dialogue about leadership. To that end, Leadership for a Changing World sponsors Leadership Talks — online interviews with community leaders who exemplify qualities of outstanding leadership. Through these compelling stories, Leadership Talks will explore the variety and forms of leadership that abound in American communities, and demonstrate how progress is being made.

Click here to read the on-line interview.

Return to Index

(Now former) OVEC Organizer Maria Gunnoe Wins 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America

Video by Goldman Environmental Prize includes footage from Burning the Future. Goldman has set up a way for you to donate directly to the groups behind the 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize winners.

Return to Index

Assorted Awards for Staff and Volunteers Over the Years

Note: This is a working document. If you received are on OVEC volunteer or board members who received an award that is not listed here, please e-mail

In 2004, then-OVEC Executive Director Janet Keating, received the WV Environmental Councils highest award, the Mother Jones Award. Then-OVEC project coordinator, Vivian Stockman also won the Mother Jones award in 1999. Former OVEC organizer Maria Gunnoe received the West Virginia Environmental Councils Linda Schnautz Courage award in 2005 and OVEC’s Co-Director Dianne Bady received the award in 1999.

Maria Gunnoe, was a community outreach and issue organizer from 2005 to 2015, and was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards during that time. On April 20, 2009 Maria received the Goldman Environmental Prize for North America (the green Nobel) for her tireless and courageous efforts to protect her home and community from the ravages of mountaintop removal mining. Annually, only six Goldman Prizes are awarded globally to grassroots activists. Maria was the 2006 recipient of the Joe Calloway Award for Civic Courage created by the Washington DC-based Shafeek Nader Trust for The Community. She was also awarded the Rain Forest Action Networks David vs. Goliath award to honor her for her efforts to create a sustainable world. In March 2008, she was selected as a Sierra Club Law Program Legal Hero.

In 2010, Maria Gunnoe received the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award from the Land, Air, Water Association, the nations oldest student environmental law society, for her work to end mountaintop removal mining. She received the honor at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Oregon, where she delivered the keynote address.

In March 2008, Maria’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Chrystal, became the youngest recipient of West Virginia Environmental Councils Environmental Courage award. The E-Council also awarded the Laura Forman Grassroots Activist award to OVEC board member and lead volunteer, Chuck Nelson.

In January 2010, Carol Warren, OVEC’s faith-based liaison and point person on election reform, received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Living the Dream award as an Advocate of Peace (one who has advocated for non-violent social change).

Fiction writer and essayist and OVEC member Ann Pancake received the 2010 Morehead State University’s Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. As Strange As This Weather Has Been, published in 2007, was her first novel. It featured a southern West Virginia family devastated by mountaintop removal mining.

On October 16, 2010 OVEC board members Larry Gibson and Chuck Nelson received Enduring Courage awards from Ohio Citizen Action, at the groups 35th anniversary event, held in Columbus, OH. Filmmaker Mari-Lynn Evans presented the awards. The award is to recognize community activists who have exemplified unwavering courage in fighting for their communities.

On January 21, 2011 OVEC presented Larry Gibson with the Laura Forman Passion for Justice award for his years of steadfast efforts to end mountaintop removal mining.