On June 28, Generation Green and the Georgia Conservancy honored Jennifer Owens, Advocacy Director of Georgia Organics, with the Longleaf Award at the annual summer soiree, VERDE! The Longleaf Award honors an emerging environmental leader in the Atlanta area.

This year’s Boardwalk Empire-themed event was held at the Trolley Barn in Inman Park and celebrated all things local. The spread of local foods included caramel popcorn from Little Tart, doughnut bites from Revolution Doughnuts, and appetizers from Avalon Catering.  Local libations were also served including curated signature cocktails by Holeman & Finch and Pura Vida, and beer from Atlanta favorite, SweetWater Brewing Company.

A carnival-style event would not be complete without stilt walkers, jugglers, amazing bands, a fortune-teller and midway games.  Performers from Imperial Opa!, accompanied by “Elephants on Parade,” provided extraordinary  entertainment throughout the night, while local bands, Seven Handle Circus, Christ, Lord!, Adron, and Little Tybee all played sets.  A venture to the patio of the Trolley Barn introduced guests to their inner child with games such as skee-ball and quarterback-blitz.  Brave souls had their fortunes told by the illustrious Lady Martha.

The Longleaf Award was presented to Jennifer Owens by Generation Green Board President Jessica Lee Reece and Georgia Conservancy President Pierre Howard.

Jennifer has embodied the spirit of this award through her advocacy and development work at Georgia Organics, in addition to her past work with the League of Women Voters and The Clean Air Campaign.  Her passion for community engagement is united with the mission of the Georgia Conservancy and makes her a natural choice for this honor.  Jennifer’s speech conveyed her happiness in knowing that she was in a room filled with people who are changing the world.

Past recipients of the Longleaf Award include Mandy Schmitt Mahoney, former director of sustainability for the City of Atlanta and current marketing director of SEEA; Korri Ellis, an environmental educator at Grady High School; and Ovie Mughelli, former Atlanta Falcons fullback and director of the Ovie Mughelli Foundation.

Thank you to our Host Committee and Sponsors who made VERDE! possible!

Host Committee: Matt Arnett, Leah Barnett, Beth Bond, Suzanne Burnes, Jonathan Burt, Michael Halicki, Katie Highsmith, Alicia Knopka, Jessica Laiti, Mandy and Sean Mahoney, Michael Mills, Jessica Lee Reece, Ashley and Hudson Rouse, Jason Travis, Lawton Ursrey, and Rebecca and Don Wallace.

Sponsors: Hancock Askew; Palmetto Financial; Smith, Gambrell & Russell; Oglethorpe Power; Georgia Organics; H&F Bottle Shop; COX Conserves; TBG Residential; United Consulting; The Original Rainwater Pillow and EcoVie.

In Kind Sponsors: TSAV; Revolution Doughnuts; Little Tart Bakery; Avalon Catering; Whole Foods; Chipotle; Zizzi Mills; Pura Vida; Holeman & Finch; SweetWater Brewing Company; Esperanza ATL; Coca-Cola; and Southeast Green.

Check out photos from the year's VERDE! on our Facebook page!