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April 06, 2009

Cool Cities Coordinator Among Top Female Eco-Heroes

Photo courtesy of Glamour Magazine

Cammy Watkins, coordinator of the Sierra Club's Cool Cities campaign, was featured in a full-page photo spread of 70 female "eco-achievers" in the latest issue of Glamour Magazine. The shoot, which took place in New York's Central Park last fall, was part of Glamour's Earth Day feature, "70 New Reasons to Live Green." (That's Watkins in the front row, just left of center in the photo spread.)

Based in Omaha, Watkins works with Sierra Club and other campaigns across the country to implement more energy-efficient building codes. Cool Cities "pushes cities and city dwellers to adopt energy-saving solutions," writes Glamour in describing Watkins' work.

Among the people Watkins met at the photo shoot was Kimberly Lewis, vice-president of the U.S. Green Building Council. "It was really opportune to meet her in advance of last November's Greenbuild Conference," Watkins says.

Meeting celebs like Christie Brinkley was fun, she lets on, "but everyone I met was a total mover and shaker. I had a great talk with Leonardo DiCaprio's mom, Irmelin, who serves as CEO of his foundation, and I really enjoyed meeting Q'orianka Kilcher, who played Pocahontas in the 2005 film, The New World. She's very involved with environmental justice efforts and she's worked with indigenous communities both here and abroad."

Watkins also met new EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the first African American to hold the post. "Actually, I met the future EPA Administrator, because she was still New Jersey Environmental Quality Commissioner at the time," Watkins laughs.

"One thing I love about the Cool Cities program is that it's positive and solutions-oriented," says Watkins. "It empowers people to get involved."

Hear more of what Watkins has to say about Cool Cities on this YouTube video.


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