Crisci’s David Hess Receives Shippensburg University’s Lifetime Achievement Award
On May 31 Shippensburg University recognized Crisci Associates’ David Hess with its 2013 Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award.
The lifetime achievement award is in recognition of life-long career achievement and personal commitment in the recipient's field of endeavor for the benefit of the community and society.
After graduating with a BA in Urban Studies at Shippensburg University in 1974, and a MA in Urban and Regional Planning in 1976 from the University of Illinois, he started his near 40 year career in environmental protection as a summer intern during his years at Shippensburg in the former Department of Environmental Resources.
After holding various positions at DER and in the Pennsylvania Senate, Hess was appointed by Gov. Tom Ridge in 2001 as Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. He continued to serve in that position under Gov. Mark Schweiker until 2003.
During his tenure as Secretary and a senior manager at DEP, the agency won more national and international awards for innovation that any other state agency in the country. The awards involved innovations in communications and public involvement, restoring brownfield industrial sites, using the Internet and information technology in unique ways, and in watershed and water resource protection.
He also helped guide the successful rescue of nine miners trapped in the Quecreek Mine in Somerset, Pennsylvania in July 2002 and the environmental response to the crash of Flight 93 on September 11, 2001.
Taking a "hands-on" approach as Secretary, he visited every one of the 67 counties at least twice in the 21 months he was Secretary to spotlight watershed groups, farmers, businesses, local governments, teachers and students taking positive actions to protect and restore Pennsylvania's environment.
During his tenure he lead a review and reform of all the agency’s policies and regulations including the development of the online eFACTS environmental compliance and permit reporting system that made this information readily available to the public for the first time, guided the development of DEP’s first website, the Environmental Protection Update newsletter and other strategies to help involve the public in agency policy and regulatory development, promoted the stakeholder approach to develop clean air, waste, stream protection and other initiatives; developed with partners, the GreenWorks for Pennsylvania cable TV program and online video website to promote positive examples of people working together to clean up the environment.
Hess received the "River Hero" Award in 2002 from the national Rivers Network, the 2011 Mayfly Award from the Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference, the James McGirr Kelly Award for Excellence from the National Association of Water Companies-PA Chapter for his work on watershed and water resource issues and was recognized for his contributions to promoting education and environmental initiatives by the Pennsylvania Alliance for Environmental Education, Pennsylvania Environmental Council and the Pennsylvania Resources Council and also received the Richard Beatty Mellon Award from the national Air and Waste Management Association.
He serves on the Board of several nonprofit groups including Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Pennsylvania Resources Council, Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, the Ralph W. Abele Conservation Scholarship Fund and the Quecreek Mine Rescue Foundation Advisory Committee.
Hess is currently the Director of Policy & Communications with Crisci Associates whose clients include Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit groups.
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