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Mrs. Ronda Dove
Administrative Assistant

P:  (540) 464-7361
F: (540) 464-7396

Center for Leadership & Ethics
VMI, Marshall Hall
500 Anderson Drive
Lexington, VA  24450

Erchul Environmental Leadership Award

The Erchul Environmental Leadership Award recognizes a Virginian who has made significant individual efforts to better our environment. Nominees are judged on the basis of vision, expertise, commitment, integrity, communication skills, accomplishments, and diplomacy. Nominees may come from any field or endeavor. 

The award is named for Captain Ronald A. Erchul, USN, Retired, who served as a professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Virginia Military Institute for 27 years. Captain Erchul, Ph. D., was the founder and coordinator of the Environment Virginia Symposium until his retirement.  He passed away October 2011.

To submit a nominee, please complete this online form:  NOMINATIONS IS NOW CLOSED

Go Here for List of Past Recipients


Open nominations

A call for nominations will go out via email on December 8, 2015 to all past attendees of the Environment Virginia Symposium. Nominations are submitted online for any living Virginia citizen aged 18 and over. A 350-word rationale is submitted by the nominator to explain why the nominee is a deserving candidate. All nominations are usually held in consideration, but the VMI Center for Leadership and Ethics reserves the right to eliminate candidates that do not meet the criteria contained in the rules and regulations associated with the award (e.g. posthumous nominations, previous recipients, etc.).

Nominee Acceptance

Nominees must officially accept the nomination in order to be placed on the ballot. Nominees are contacted by phone or email and are permitted to fact-check and approve their nomination criteria before ballot posting. A candidate can be nominated multiple times. If a candidate has multiple nominations, the candidate will review each submission for accuracy. Each nomination a candidate receives and approves will be posted. Nominees are also provided with the name of their nominator, information on the selection process, and the date the recipient will be notified.


Registered attendees of the symposium will be invited to participate in online voting, for the nominee of their choice. The top 10% of vote recipients are referred to a Selection Committee which is comprised of previous Erchul Award recipients.

Selection of the Recipient

The Selection Committee will determine the final recipient via teleconference just prior to the conference. If the committee cannot decide between two nominees, then the nominee with the greater number of online votes will be selected as the recipient. The recipient will be contacted and given two complimentary tickets to the Environment Virginia Awards Reception [see schedule]. A commemorative plaque and check for $1,500 will be awarded during the awards ceremony. The monies are donated to the non-profit environmental group of the recipient’s choice. Recipients are eligible to receive the award only once, but are invited in the future to participate in the Selection Committee. The previous year's recipient will also be invited to be on stage to present the award. 


Past Recipients of the Erchul Environmental Leadership Award

2015 Recipient
Jack Frye, Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission
News Story 

2014 Recipient
Russ Baxter, Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for Chesapeake Bay
News Story


2013 Recipient
W. Shelton Miles, III
Chair of the Board, 2006-2012

2012 Recipients
E. Cabell Brand
Timothy G. Hayes, Hunton & Williams 

2011 Recipient
Cindy Berndt, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

2010 Recipient
Michael Lipford, The Nature Conservancy
News Story

2009 Recipient
Ann Jennings, Chesapeake Bay Foundation 
News story  

2008 Recipient
Ward Burton, Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation 
News story

2004 Recipients

Local Government: John Carlock, Deputy Executive Director of Physical Planning, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission.
State Government: David K. Paylor, Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, Commonwealth of Virginia
Federal Government: David L. Nelms, U.S. Geological Survey
Business and Industry: Robert L. Dunn, Environmental Affairs and Community Relations Manager for DuPont
Not-for-Profit: Katherine (Kay) Slaughter, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center
Education: Ann M. Regn, Director of the Office of Environmental Education, Department of Environmental Quality.

2000 Recipients

Public Sector
Tayloe Murphy, former member of the Virginia House of Delegates
Dennis Treacy, Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Private Sector

Jay Gilliam, Coordinator, Save our Stream, Izaak Walton League
Joseph Maroon, Virginia Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Honorable Mention: Private Sector - Robert Dunn, DuPont & Carol Wampler, Virginia Manufacturers Association
Honorable Mention: Public Sector - John Daniels, Department of Environmental Quality; Harry Gregori, Department of Environmental Quality, & Ann Regn, Environmental Education Coordinator, Department of Environmental Quality

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