Community Voices Articles

The Community Voices component of Environmental Dashboard is designed to celebrate and promote thought and action that build stronger, more sustainable and more resilient communities. Community members representing the diversity of this community are being interviewed to share their perspectives. Click below to view recent interviews or search by subject name, interviewer or any keyword or topic to view associated stories. Many of the quotes used for Community Voices slides are taken from these interviews.


Jerry Anderson

Jerry Anderson Interview by: Jack Poyle Jerry Anderson is the owner of Watson’s Hardware, located at 26 South Main Street in Oberlin. He believes in making full use of available materials. Q: What word or image would you use to describe Oberlin? A: Coming from your point of view, zero carbon. I don’t know of any town that is trying […]

Carol Lasser

Carol Lasser Interview by: Evan Holiday Carol Lasser is a Professor of History at Oberlin College and has lived and worked in Oberlin for 36 years. She has a long history with the Ben Franklin and the owner, Krista Long, and serves as a member of the board of the Bill Long Foundation. Q: What are some words or images […]

Gregory Jones

Gregory Jones is Oberlin’s Energy Advocate, part of POWER’s initiative to help homeowners improve their energy efficiency. In his free time, Greg enjoys fishing and is a self-proclaimed ‘sports nut.’ Cleveland teams, all the way.

Alison Ricker

Alison Ricker is a Science Librarian at Oberlin College. She has held this position for thirty-one years. She has also collaborated with other science librarians in Ohio to present a poster at the 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting, on digitization projects in the sciences among the Five Colleges of Ohio.

Charles Horton

Charles Horton Interview by: Brooke Ortel Mr. Charles Horton, Oberlin resident and entrepreneur, is the proprietor of Custom Cleaning Services located in the Industrial Parkway. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Mr. Horton came to Oberlin more than 30 years ago “with the intent of starting a business.” Q: What words or images would you use to describe Oberlin? A: Nice, small, […]

Janet Haar

Mrs. Janet Haar, the director of the Oberlin Business Partnership, likes to call her business a “three-legged stool”. The OBP combines a chamber of commerce, main street organization, and visitors bureau all into one. Economic and environmental sustainability plays a key role in not only her professional life, but in her personal life as well.

Kim Koos

Kim Koos is a teacher and IB Coordinator at Prospect Elementary School. Aside from her passion for education, she loves spending time with her family, swimming, reading, and gardening. She is also very artistic and loves to create items in various mediums.

Valerie Hardnett

Valerie Hardnett    Interview by: Jake Holtzman   Q: What words would you use to describe Oberlin? A: Diverse; unique; different perspectives, religions, and people; traditional. Q: How would you define sustainability? A: SPE – spiritually, physically, and economically. Sustainability to me means keeping your resources. Because we’re in trouble if we run out of resources – water, electricity. Sustaining everything. […]

Lisa Kavanaugh

Lisa Kavanagh is a retired Oberlin resident with a rare mitochondrial disorder caused by Lyme disease who is passionate about influencing change towards a sustainable future. Although she only has a few hours of energy a day, she is very active through online forums, writing letters, and making environmentally conscious consumer choices. More than anything she makes sure she starts with herself, nurturing a holistic philosophy with the natural environment.

Chuck Annable

Chuck Annable is the President/Horticulturist at Green Side Up Garden Center. He is an avid traveler and has visited 49 of the 50 United States. He loves to snorkel, hike, canoe, and explore natural areas.