Seven more Vermont counties have been awarded economic stimulus funding for energy efficiency and conservation projects through a block grant program created in legislation authored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). County-specific block grants were awarded to Windham County for $130,800, Orange County for $115,800, Windsor County for $193,300, Washington County for $254,600, Chittenden County for $195,400, Rutland County for $189,700, and Addison County for $153,700. Block grants were awarded in September to Caledonia, Franklin, and Orleans Counties. The State of Vermont and its cities and towns also were awarded $10.3 million in March under the same program.Sanders, chairman of the Senate environment committee’s Green Jobs and New Economy Subcommittee, authored legislation that established the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. The grants may be used to update building codes to require construction of energy-efficient homes and businesses, retrofit old buildings with newer technology, utilize alternative energy, and create incentives for residents to car pool or ride buses. “The block grant program recognizes the importance of local efforts to create good-paying jobs in developing sustainable energy and promoting energy efficiency,” Sanders said. “What I particularly like about this approach is that it relies on local initiatives and grassroots participation.” Sanders, along with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.), wrote a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu asking him to reverse a regulatory decision that initially excluded counties in New England states. In response, the department established a process for counties and “county equivalent” bodies, such as regional planning commissions in Vermont, to seek these funds. Vermont counties, through regional planning commissions, appealed to the Department of Energy for block grant funding. The funding formula excludes the populations of cities and large towns which were eligible for their own grants. Source: Senator Sanders’ office. WASHINGTON, October 8, 2009 –
Fred Cook, CEO of communications firm Golin is looking forward to his next adventure.Cook was recently named director of the Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and a professor of public relations studies with a focus on innovation and leadership.“I’ve built one of the most successful PR firms in the business through innovation and experimentation. I’m looking forward to applying that same innovative approach at a prestigious school like Annenberg,” Cook said.Others at Annenberg also appreciate the new insight Cook can bring to the position from his experience at Golin.“This is the first time USC Annenberg has had an active CEO as center director,” School of Journalism Director Willow Bay told USC News.Cook said his international experience will aid him in his capacity as director.“I have worked with some of the biggest brands in the world like Walmart, Nintendo, Toyota and McDonald’s, and some of the most famous CEO’s like Jeff Bezos, Herb Kelleher and Steve Jobs,” he said, “And I have learned a lot about public relations in the process. More importantly, I have been fortunate to have traveled all over the world to places like Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, which has given me a valuable global perspective on different cultures and people.”Cook is prepared to utilize his time in Los Angeles for both Golin and at USC.“I’m accustomed to multi-tasking, and I love spending time in Los Angeles, where I used to live and still own a home,” Cook said. “Plus, the Golin L.A. office is just three metro stops on the Expo Line from USC.”In 2014, Cook authored Improvise — Unorthodox Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO, in which he discussed his experiences as “a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker, a doorman at a five-star hotel and chauffeur for drunks.” Cook said his interactions with college students during speaking engagements motivated him to take the position.“Since my book was published, I’ve spoken at dozens of colleges around the world. Through that exposure, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for the pressures students are facing and the dreams educators are striving to fulfill. I hope to play a meaningful role in this important work,” he said.Golin founder Al Golin said USC will benefit from Cook.“His new relationship with USC Annenberg offers him another interesting challenge, which will allow everyone at USC Annenberg and Golin to benefit from his vision and leadership,” Golin told USC News.Cook hopes to serve as a connection between academia and industry.“A big part of my job will be connecting the school to the PR industry,” he said. “Because I run a large PR agency, I will be able to leverage more than 30 years of experience to build relationships for our students. On the flip side, being surrounded by brilliant faculty members who are experts in every form of communications will allow me to bring innovative new ideas and research to professionals working in the field. I think it will be a win-win situation.”Cook said he is excited to begin his work with the University.“I think USC has one of the best PR programs in the world. I’m really impressed with the faculty, the vision and the ambition. I’m proud to be part of it,” he said.