Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association board vice-president Dr. Joseph Simons III (left) hands a plaque to association board president Kathleen Snavely (right) while board member Kelly Caudle observes during the association's Clean Water Celebration on Oct. 15, 2022, at the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg, PA.
Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association (MSRKA) Board President Kathy Snavely was awarded the Kathleen K. Snavely Susquehanna River Environmental Advocate Award during the association's Clean Water Celebration on Oct. 15, 2022.
The award, which was developed to honor Snavely's numerous contributions to the association dating back to its 2015 founding, will be awarded annually to an individual or group that goes above and beyond in efforts to promote and protect the health and vibrancy of the Susquehanna River, its tributaries and its watershed.
"As the founder of Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, I was honored with the task of forming the initial Board of Directors in 2015 to guide the startup nonprofit organization," said Carol Parenzan, who served as the association's executive director and Riverkeeper through late 2019. "I reached out to my colleague and friend, Kathy Snavely, and asked that she bring her entrepreneurial business perspective and her focused and unrelenting dedication to protecting our flowing natural resource to the board table.
"The Susquehanna Watershed and her river communities are better today because of Kathy and her water warrior spirit. Thank you, Kathy, for gifting yourself to the Mighty Susquehanna and the Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association. I will always remember those years working together with fondness and river love."
Snavely served two consecutive three-year terms on the board in various capacities, eventually taking on the role as board president. At the end of 2021, the association's board granted Snavely one additional year -- through the end of 2022 -- as president to assist in transition to new leadership.
"Kathy played a crucial role in keeping the organization going when we did not have a Riverkeeper. As President, Kathy frequently would drive from Lebanon, PA, to our Sunbury office to take care of business and interview candidates," said board Treasurer and Secretary Ann Fisher. "She was very persuasive when we identified John Zaktansky as an ideal person for Riverkeeper. Kathy has been instrumental in developing both the structure and the (all volunteer) members of the MSRKA Board."
Each year moving forward, the MSRKA Board will select a candidate from the greater watershed to receive the award. Nominations will be encouraged each summer, with selection and public announcement coming each fall.
"When interviewing for the Riverkeeper position, I kept second-guessing myself and my ability to take on the role and do it justice. Kathy, however, never wavered in her confidence in me despite not really knowing me at that point," said Zaktansky. "I am very thankful she encouraged me to take the leap and has supported me in the role ever since. I am excited that we will continue to use Kathy's commitment as a benchmark for future volunteers and their impacts on our watershed through this award."
For more information about the association or the award itself, contact Zaktansky directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.