Second annual Great Green Gala to recognize leaders in sustainability

Published 8:34 am Monday, November 5, 2018

ST. JOSEPH — Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum will host its Second Annual Great Green Gala from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 7, at the Box Factory of the Arts in St. Joseph.

This signature function is to recognize southwest Michigan and northern Indiana sustainable business professionals. The Great Green Gala spotlights local organizations and professionals that are driving positive outcomes for their environment, community and economy. The program will include dinner, a wine and beer bar, door prize packages, and The Green Family Feud, a comic entertainment customized for the region’s sustainability community.

In addition, the following awards will be presented to the 2018 honorees:

Sustainable Leadership Award: J.B. Hoyt of JBH Strategies

Co-founder of Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum, J.B. Hoyt has served on the Forum’s board since 2010. During his 36-year career at Whirlpool, he focused his last decade on sustainability in the areas of water use, energy efficiency, sustainable materials selection and an end-of-use appliance recycling program. Since retirement, he has consulted on sustainability initiatives for Krasl Art Fair and the City of St. Joseph and serves as a Berrien County Parks Commissioner.

Sustainability Leadership Award for Large Organizations: Whirlpool Corporation

As outlined in its 2017 Sustainability Report, Whirlpool Corporation met its energy and water intensity goals three years early. In addition, 95 percent of its waste goes to recycling. 

Whirlpool has long set the pace for sustainable business in southwest Michigan, according to event organizers.

Sustainability Leadership Award for Small Organizations: The Livery

At The Livery, all brewery equipment is repurposed rather than newly purchased. The business recycles cardboard, paper, plastic and spent grains from the brewing process, which serve as an ingredient in its pizza crust and feed cows at a local farm. The kitchen composts food waste while water used for brewing is reclaimed. Kitchen ingredients are sourced from local farmers as are hops for most of the beers.

Community Sustainability Leadership Award: Ox Creek Watershed Initiative.

Cleaning up the Ox Creek Watershed will not only revive one of the most polluted bodies of water in Michigan, but potentially reclaim 1,060 acres of wetlands. The project will improve aesthetics, create place making opportunities, and attract development. Partners in the $1.2 million project include Berrien County Drain Commission, Cornerstone Alliance, Benton Charter Township, Two Rivers Coalition and Berrien Conservation District. SMPC is also working with MDOT in the redesign of the I 94/Pipestone Road interchange.

For information or to purchase tickets visit