There are two awards ceremonies during the Environment Virginia Symposium.  These awards ceremonies celebrate organizations or individuals whose accomplishments and efforts better our environment.

The two awards ceremonies are:

  • Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards
  • Erchul Environmental Leadership Award (submit nomination here)

Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality awards the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Awards.  

These awards recognize leaders in one of four categories: 

  • Sustainability
  • Environmental Project
  • Land Conservation
  • Implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan

For more information, please visit their website

Erchul Environmental Leadership Award

The Erchul Environmental Leadership Award recognizes an individual for their significant efforts to better our environment over their lifetime or career. The Erchul award is named in honor of the symposium’s founder and VMI professor, the late Capt. Ronald Erchul.  

Below are more details about this award and how you might participate. 

To qualify as a nominee, the individual must: 

  • Must be a living Virginia resident aged 18 or over
  • Must have a Record of Significant Individual Effort to Better our Environment

Voters will judge the nominee based on the individuals:

  • Vision
  • Expertise
  • Commitment
  • Integrity
  • Communication Skills
  • Accomplishments
  • Diplomacy

Nominees may come from any field or endeavor.

Ronald ErchulThis award is named for the late Captain Ronald A. Erchul, USN,Retired.  Capt. Erchul served as a professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at VMI for 27 years.  He is also the founder and coordinator of the Environment Virginia Symposium until his retirement.  He passed away in October of 2011.

Capt. Erchul’s vision for the Environment Virginia Symposium was to create an event where environmental professionals from across the State of Virginia could come together for a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and information to better our environment.  

This event promotes ecological and economic prosperity for the Commonwealth.

More about Capt. Erchul

How can I nominate someone? 

A call for nominations will go out in an email sometime in December 2017 to all past attendees of the Environment Virginia Symposium.  Submit your nominee for any living Virginia citizen aged 18 or over. 

Your submission must be no more than 350 words explaining why the nominee is a deserving candidate. (See the judging criteria in the ABOUT section above for what you should in your explanation).  

NOTE:  Representatives from the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics reserve the right to eliminate nominees from consideration if they fail to meet the outlined criteria. 

Finalists must agree to their Nomination 

Nominees must officially accept the nomination before their name goes on the ballot. 

Our Center will contact the nominee by email or phone to conduct a fact-checking session to verify:

  • The nominee’s eligibility
  • The facts regarding the reasoning provided with their nomination

Nominees will receive information about:

  • Who nominated them
  • The selection process
  • The date by when we will select this year’s recipient

More info:

  • A candidate may receive multiple nominations.
  • Each nomination requires fact-checking for accuracy.
  • We will post every approved nomination. 

About Voting:

  • You must be registered to attend the current Environment Virginia Symposium to vote.
  • Voting is online, and voters may choose from among the eligible nominees.
  • The top 10% candidates by vote proceed to the Selection Committee.
  • The Selection Committee consists of previous Erchul Award Recipients.  

And the Winner is…

  • The Selection Committee will determine the final recipient (by teleconference) just prior to the conference.
  • We will notify the recipient and for winning they will receive:
    • Two (2) complimentary tickets to the Environment Virginia Awards Reception (see program schedule).
    • A commemorative plaque
    • A check for $1,500 made out to the non-profit environmental group of their choice.
  • Recipients are only eligible to receive this award once in a lifetime but are invited to participate as a member of the Selection Committee for future nominations.
  • We will invite the immediate past recipient to ‘pass the torch’ by presenting the new recipient with their plaque during the awards presentation. 

Important Dates:

  • December 2017, Nominations Open
  • February 2018, Nominations Close
  • March 2018, Registered Attendees invited to vote for nominees
  • Late March 2018, Selection Committee chooses the winner
  • April 2018, Award Ceremony #VMIEV2018 - see program schedule when available after November 2017 for more details