The James River Advisory Council recognized several people in a ceremony Thursday, April 26, with its annual Stewards of the River awards. Established in 2006, the awards recognize outstanding community members who make measurable, positive impacts through their roles as leaders, community partners, guardians and spokespersons on behalf of the James River.
The ceremony was held at Dominion Resource’s Tredegar Campus.
Julian C. Roden — Guardian of the River Award: Roden is a boating instructor who teaches how to safely navigate the river and promotes recreational boating that incorporates good environmental behavior. He has participated in JRAC’s annual James River Regional Cleanup for 10 years and is known for bringing in the most debris. He also has launched his boat for JRAC’s James River Parade of Lights and media tours and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration surveys, and is active in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Waterway Watch program.
Cyrus Brame — Education Award: A dedicated professional with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and an active JRAC member for many years, Brame is committed to public service. He educates hunters about the need to control deer numbers and works with school groups and tourists visiting Presquile National Wildlife Refuge. He also is helping to develop an ecology school on Presquile to further research efforts.
Robert C. Steidel — Community Partnership Award: Steidel, who is the director of the Richmond Department of Public Utilities, serves on several state and regional boards, has worked hard to clean the James River, and keeps an eye out for the needs of those who use the river for recreation. He was instrumental in the development of the 14th Street take-out facility for whitewater paddlers.
The Sisters of Blessed Sacrament, Francis Emma Inc. — Historical Values Award: Catering to the specific needs of their nearly 2,000 acres along in Powhatan County, The Sisters of Blessed Sacrament are committed to education and research within a framework that is holistic, ecological and practical. A major focus of the education delivered at their schools is on the ongoing efforts to protect and showcase the land and biology of the James River.
Jack Berry — Communication Award: As president and CEO of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Berry is perhaps the Richmond region’s best promoter. He is an active member of JRAC, the Historic Richmond Region Community, the Board of Directors for the Retail Merchants Association and several other organizations. He does an excellent job engaging and informing organizations and localities about tourism and partnership opportunities and is an ardent and vocal supporter of the river as a focal point in the region.
For more information about the James River Advisory Council, visit jrac-va.org.