John Kane, founding partner and design principal of Architekton, has been named lead judge for Valley Forward's 30th annual Environmental Excellence Awards, Arizona's oldest and most prominent competition of its kind. Held in partnership with SRP, the program recognizes outstanding contributions to the environment in seven broad-based categories.

Kane is a Valley Forward board member and a graduate of ASU's College of Architecture. Recognized by Architecture Magazine in 2002 as part of the AIA Desert School, a group of influential architects redefining desert modernism, his designs are respected throughout the Southwest as a paradigm for appropriate and sustainable architecture. He is a member of the ASU College of Design Council for Design Excellence, as well as the Tempe Council Community Sustainability Committee. Kane is a visiting critic and lecturer at schools of architecture around the country. Architekton's creativity and innovativeness has resulted in more than 100 local, regional and national citations for design excellence since 1989.

Other jurists include: Steve Gollehon, vice president and managing partner, HDR Architects; Tim Lines, managing vice president, Stantec Consulting Inc.; Caroline Lobo, director of the Education Studio at The Orcutt/Winslow Partnership; Steven Voss, president, LVA Urban Design Studio; Mike Cooley, supervisor of industrial design for General Dynamics; Laurel Kimball, president, The Greenleaf Group, Inc.; Kate Timmerman, public artist; and Xan Simonson, biotechnology specialist, Mesa Public Schools.

Valley Forward is celebrating its third decade of presenting this program, which recognizes distinguished projects throughout the Valley that demonstrate a high level of environmental commitment and contribute to region's overall sustainability. This year's awards program drew a record number of entries - more than 150 - in the following categories: buildings and structures, livable communities, site development and landscape, art in public places, environmental technologies, environmental education/communication and environmental stewardship
(SRP Award).

Hailed as the "Academy Awards" of the environmental community in Arizona, winners will be recognized on Saturday, Oct. 2, at The Phoenician Resort in a gala expected to attract upwards of 700 business and civic leaders. The evening event will feature a museum-quality exhibit of finalist entries and a multi-media presentation with master of ceremonies Ted Simons, host of KAET's public affairs program HORIZON. A gourmet dinner, followed by a reception with live entertainment will culminate the evening.

"This year's competition commemorates three decades of stewardship in and around the Valley," said Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward. "As varied as the hundreds of award winners have been over the past 30 years, they all have one thing in common - each has had a special impact on the community. That is what this program is all about and it is what will make sustainable development a reality."

For reservations or additional information on Valley Forward's Environmental Excellence Awards program call (602) 240-2408 or visit

Valley Forward Association is a non-profit organization that brings business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on regional issues and to promote cooperative efforts to improve the environment and quality of life in the Valley.