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Two Southern Maryland volunteer leaders selected to receive national awards

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club, one of the largest and most influential environmental groups in America, has announced that two of its volunteer leaders have been selected as recipients of national volunteering awards. Each year, the National Honors and Awards Committee of the Sierra Club selects a group of deserving volunteers and activists that have distinguished themselves in their work to support the Sierra Club and the movement for a just, equitable and sustainable society. In recognition of their efforts, Rosa Hance and Ben Hance have both been selected as award recipients.

Rosa Hance, currently serving as Chair of the Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club, has received the Susan E. Miller Award. This award honors volunteer leaders who have made significant and notable administrative and leadership contributions to Groups, Chapters, and regional entities. Rosa was recognized for her work improving the structure and organizational operation of the Maryland Sierra Club at both the Group and Chapter levels. Highlights include the expansion of Maryland Sierra Club’s social media presence, development of an online outreach team, and the organization of multiple major events to increase activism, fundraising, and local political involvement. Rosa has also been active in volunteer engagement; she runs a bi-weekly volunteer orientation to educate potential volunteers of opportunities within the Sierra Club, and helps to connect them with the areas of most interest.

“It has been a pleasure watching Rosa work with the volunteers and staff to build a Chapter infrastructure that allows the talents and passions of every member of the Sierra Club family to shine,” said Maryland Chapter Executive Committee member Bonnie Kelnberger, “Her desire to improve the business of the Chapter has enabled our dedicated volunteers to spend more time on the Sierra Club mission of Explore, Enjoy and Protect the planet.”

Ben Hance is the current Group Chair for the Southern Maryland Group of the Sierra Club and has been selected to receive the Denny and Ida Wilcher Award. This award honors work done in the area of membership recruitment and development, including work to increase the geographic and demographic diversity of membership.  Ben has been recognized for his work recruiting and organizing volunteer leadership teams for Sierra Club Local Groups in the Lower Eastern Shore and Western Maryland. He also spearheaded an effort to ensure that new members were personally contacted and welcomed to the Club, with emphasis on the new member’s personal motivations and ideas for their involvement level.

"It is hard to overstate the contributions this power couple has made to the Southern Maryland Group and Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club,” said Chapter Director Josh Tulkin. “This ranges from recruiting and training new members to greater attention to environmental and social justice to pushing through local and state bills that protect the health and environment of Marylanders."

“It’s always fantastic to see our volunteer leaders recognized for their tireless work. Our dedicated volunteers are the backbone of the work we do around the state of Maryland, and the key to our effectiveness as an organization. One of the best aspects of the Sierra Club is the ability of volunteers  from all areas and backgrounds to join the fight and work together towards a cleaner, healthier, more just, and more sustainable future for Maryland.”

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