“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Dr. Jane Goodcall



In 2018 The CLEO Institute gave its first-ever Circle of Change Awards to honor individuals whose initiatives are paving the way for innovative solutions to the climate crisis. Whether it was for the creation of edible beer can rings that eliminated plastic pollution and provided food for the turtles, or the creation of the NYT bestselling book Drawdown, the most comprehensive book ever written on how to reverse global warming, or a collaboration between top local news media outlets to elevate climate issues in our community, the Circle of Change Awards are CLEO’s way of recognizing agents of change.

In 2019 The CLEO Institute decided to give this award an even deeper meaning, by renaming the award after one of its most influential founding members and first CLEO Board President, Dr. Lynn Leverett. A champion of change from the very beginning, Dr. Leverett has been with CLEO from the start, supporting our cause to bring climate literacy, engagement, and advocacy to our community. A lifelong environmentalist who believes in the power of the individual, she has been instrumental in the shaping of CLEO’s mission. She has been a pivotal member of the CLEO board, serving as President for 4 years, and then as a board member. It is with great privilege that we honor Dr. Leverett’s significant contribution to CLEO by naming our most prestigious award after her lifelong dedication to climate advocacy.



A true champion of change focused on helping other doctors and her patients understand how the climate crisis is impacting health. As a trailblazer in her field, and as a doctor working at ground zero for the climate crisis, Dr. Holder advocates for comprehensive medical prevention and care for poor communities impacted by the climate crisis. Dr. Holder is a leader in educating and communicating the climate crisis in her community to both her peers and her patients.



Ellen Bowen is the Site Director for Food Rescue US – South Florida. As Founder and Managing Director of popular Miami food blog, MIAbites, she heard from many of her contacts and chefs about the excessive amounts of food wasted every day at hotels, restaurants, events, and markets and partnered in 2018 with national non-profit Food Rescue US to launch their technology-based food rescue platform in Miami and Broward counties. To date, using the app to connect donors with social service agencies and volunteer rescuers, more than 2 million pounds of food have been kept from landfills and directly provided to local shelters, soup kitchens, and individuals experiencing food insecurity. During COVID-19, the Food Rescue US – South Florida Community Kitchens provided over 65,000 fresh meals and supported over 25 partner restaurants that had been impacted by the pandemic.

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