The Sustainable Communities Award recognizes an individual for demonstrating leadership or innovation in programs or principles that advance sustainability and environmental stewardship in our community. It is our honor to present this GOBY Award to Mark Weinheimer at the 2015 GOBY Awards ceremony!

Mark Weinheimer plays a significant role in our community as well as the entire Capital region. He goes above and beyond every day of his life to cultivate hope for the hungry, leadership for budding farmers, and friendship to hundreds of volunteers who come to the Patroon Land Farm (PLF) with the common mission of helping others in need.

Since 2006, Mark has worked as the Farm Manager at PLF, which is operated by the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. The PLF grows produce for the Food Bank to feed hungry people in our community. In his tenure as Farm Manager, he has educated volunteers, schools, and the community about the mission and vision of the Food Bank and Farm. In addition to his farming responsibilities, Mark has also proven to be a savvy business man who in 2008 created a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program to generate revenue to offset farm operations costs. He has also led the Farm through several capital improvement projects over the years to increase yield and provide additional benefit to the local community. The most recent project was spurred by Mark’s vision to install a new high tunnel greenhouse and drip-irrigation system that would enable the farm to extend the growing season and thus provide more fresh produce to the community in need. This project is where many of the area’s business men and women got a chance to see firsthand what is so unique about Mark and his sense of passion to give back to others.

Mark realized that to help make his vision a reality, he would need to get a volunteer group to believe in him and his idea, and ultimately, to provide financial support and aid in physical construction. In February 2014, Mark responded to an RFP for a service project put out by members of the Leadership Tech Valley (LTV) Class of 2014, a program that is an initiative of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce and The Chamber of Schenectady County. Mark’s project was selected by the class, and Mark vowed to be there every step of the way to ensure that it was a success. Mark’s vision was remarkable, but his commitment to see the project through to completion was profound.

It is evident that Mark’s mission in life, both professionally and personally, is to serve the greater Capital Region and make sure everyone has fresh produce to eat. Thank you Mark again for all you do, and congratulations on winning this outstanding award!

Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

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