The Right Stuff Awards Honor Governor Brown and Labor, Environmental and Industry Leaders for Accelerating Clean Energy Growth, Creating Family-Sustaining Jobs

The Right Stuff Awards recognized leaders for their outstanding work in advocating for family-sustaining jobs, clean energy, stronger infrastructure, and a better future for all of us.

October 18, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (October 17, 2013) – Today at the 5th annual The Right Stuff Awards, the Apollo Alliance Project of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation recognized business, community, environmental and labor leaders for their outstanding work in advocating for family-sustaining jobs, clean energy, stronger infrastructure, and a better future for all of us.

“We need more leaders who are dedicated to the environment, creating good jobs and improving our communities,” said Phil Angelides, Chairman of the Apollo Alliance Advisory Board. “Bold and thoughtful leadership like we’ve seen from these honorees will help us to face the environmental and economic challenges that the worsening effects of climate change throw our way.”

This year’s honorees are Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California; Joseph Nigro, General President of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Union (SMART); Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Dr. Carol Zabin, Director of Research for the UC Berkeley Labor Center and a labor economist; and the California construction company Hathaway Dinwiddie.

You can watch the full video explaining why we are honoring these individuals below or you can watch an individual segment on YouTube.


“These are the leaders who are turning great challenges into great opportunities,” said David Foster, President of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation. “There’s a lot at stake for the future. Together, in communities across the country, we will continue to lead the charge to accelerate the growth of clean energy, good jobs and a cleaner American economy.”

For five years, the Apollo Alliance Project has honored leaders and businesses at the forefront of the clean economy in California and around the country for their contribution to a strong economy and a safe, healthy environment.

“The power of the BlueGreen Alliance lies in it’s vision: to unite labor and environmental groups together to build a cleaner, fairer, and more sustainable country,” said Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the recipient of The Right Stuff Environmental Award. The BlueGreen Alliance understands that clean energy jobs and protecting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to cut carbon from our power plants go hand-in-hand. And they know that we will win this fight for our future by standing together.”

Past honorees include United Auto Workers President Bob King and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The 2013 honorees include:

Government Award
Edmund G. Brown, Jr., Governor of California
Whether it is expanding clean energy by ensuring the state’s renewable mandate is the strongest in the nation, supporting energy efficiency in buildings and schools, or fighting for clean water and strong infrastructure we can all depend on, Governor Brown has led California to a cleaner environment and a stronger economy. 

Environment Award
Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Beinecke’s work has brought unprecedented success to the NRDC and the effort to grow clean energy, address climate change, and protect wildlife and the environment, including recently serving the president as a member of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. 

Labor Award
Joseph Nigro, General President, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)
Working around the country to ensure SMART members are on the forefront of energy efficiency, transportation and other vital areas of the clean economy, Nigro has SMART leading the way in training the workers needed to make the clean economy succeed. 

Business Award
Greg Cosko, President and CEO, Hathaway Dinwiddie
Hathaway Dinwiddie has over 100 years of experience in the building industry and their work in expanding energy efficiency and their progressive understanding of the most advanced technology help their customers and our communities. 

Community Award
Carol Zabin, Research Director, UC Berkeley Labor Center; Chair, The Donald Vial Center on Employment in the Green Economy, UC Berkeley
Zabin is helping to inform and educate the public about the potential of the clean economy and the need for good, family-supporting jobs. Currently, she is examining impact of climate change legislation and the burgeoning clean economy on California’s economy, workers and labor unions.


The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that conducts research and educates the public and media about solutions to environmental challenges that create economic opportunities for the American people. Learn more at