The Bob Graham Center selected Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Lucy Morgan as its Citizen of the Year, and Aaron Zahn, a world leader in wastewater infrastructure and organic waste industry, has won the Young Floridian Award for 2015.
“These two individuals have used their professional expertise and leadership to help improve the quality of life in our state,” said David Colburn, director of the Bob Graham Center. “Lucy Morgan spent her career advocating for government transparency and the public good. Aaron has applied his entrepreneurial talents to create technologies which help preserve our state’s most precious resources.”
Lucy Morgan, Citizen of the Year
Morgan won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985, as an investigative journalist, for a series of articles which focused on corruption in the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department.
She has been described as a “modern-day muckraker” and as an “institution in Florida” in a 2012 “All Things Considered” profile and spent most of her career exposing corporate and political dishonesty in the state of Florida.
“Lucy Morgan is, without a doubt, one of the best reporters I have had the privilege of working with,” said Mike Foley, former executive editor of the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) and master lecturer, UF College of Journalism and Communications. “She was unrelenting in her reporting on public officials who misspent taxpayers’ money and/or betrayed their trust.”
Aaron Zahn, Young Floridian
As president and chief executive officer of BCR Environmental, Zahn has counseled the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, World Health Organization, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and state and local leaders on the economic and environmental impacts of innovation in wastewater and organic waste infrastructure.
In 2012, Artemis Water Review ranked BCR Environmental as one of the top 50 water companies in the world.
“Companies like BCR Environmental have acted to develop a sustainable business model by changing the ways wastewater facilities operate,” said Florida Department of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “This allows for maximum consistency, efficiency and sufficiency.”
Two external panels of leading citizens selected the winners of the Bob Graham Center Florida Citizen of the Year and Young Floridian Award. The awards were presented at the annual gathering of the Bob Graham Center for Public Service on May 20 at The Haskell Company in Jacksonville.