Cindy Bither
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Governor among 600 to Attend Environment Symposium at VMI

FullTextImage/img/@alt More than 35 exhibitors will represent state and federal agencies, industries, and non-profit organizations at this year's Environment Virginia Symposium. -- VMI File Photo by John Robertson IV.

LEXINGTON, Va., April 4, 2014 – Approximately 600 environmental leaders from the public and the private sectors will gather at Virginia Military Institute’s Center for Leadership and Ethics April 8-10 for the 25th annual Environment Virginia Symposium, “Collaborative Impact: Working Together to Create a Positive Environmental Legacy.”

“The Environment Virginia Symposium has been a premier environmental conference in the commonwealth for 25 years,” said retired Air Force Col. David A. Miller, interim director of the Center for Leadership and Ethics. “Here at the Center we are proud to lead such a long-standing tradition of bringing together diverse stakeholders from the public and private sectors to work together on innovative solutions to pressing environmental problems.”

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will deliver remarks at the opening session of the symposium. Dominion Resources Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Farrell will speak at a plenary session on “Leadership in a Changing World: America’s New Energy Opportunity,” and Janet Ranganathan, vice president for science and research at the World Resources Institute, will discuss “Creating a Sustainable Food Future.”

Virginia Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources Evan Feinman and directors from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Virginia Marine Resources Commission will also discuss their priorities for the next four years in a plenary panel.

On April 8, a pre-conference awards luncheon will honor the winners of the Governor’s Environmental Excellence and the Erchul Environmental Leadership awards, and Del. William J. Howell, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, will offer remarks on “A Strong Economy, A Healthy Environment: Not Mutually Exclusive Goals” at a celebratory anniversary gala on April 9.

More than 35 exhibitors will represent state and federal agencies, industries, and non-profit organizations while a program including more than 40 breakout sessions will address a wide range of topics, including water resource and water supply management, policy and regulations, energy, conservation initiatives, stormwater, climate change, funding and collective impact, innovation, and sustainability.

“The mission of Environment Virginia Symposium is to bring together the public and private sector,” said Miller. “The symposium has always been a forum for the exchange of ideas and technologies which facilitate communication to promote ecological sustainability and economic prosperity in the commonwealth of Virginia. We are looking forward to another successful year of just that.”

Hosts for this year’s event are VMI, the Virginia departments of Conservation and Recreation and Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Environmental Endowment.