e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Community Stewards to Receive ESF’s Feinstone Environmental Award Steve Breen and Kenneth Lynch committed to building community10/18/2022


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), the most distinguished institution in the nation that focuses on the study of the environment, is pleased to honor community stewards Steve Breen and Kenneth Lynch with the 2022 Sol Feinstone Environmental Award.

One of the oldest and most-respected award programs in the environmental field, it recognizes leaders who care for the environment, encourage volunteerism, and add to society's understanding of environmental issues and their solutions.

"Sol Feinstone believed the best insurance for a free society lay in people's desire to voluntarily do the things that need to be done for the good of all. Steve Breen and Ken Lynch exemplify this ideal and we appreciate their contributions to ESF and to the environment. Steve and Ken not only lift-- people up but inspire-- others to get involved," said ESF President Joanie Mahoney.

Breen currently serves as the chief financial officer of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.

He began this position in 2018 after serving as chief financial officer and holding various business leadership positions for The Cortland Companies. He is a certified public accountant and previously worked with Baasch, Winters & Breen and Coopers & Lybrand.

Breen's current role with the Syracuse Diocese and as a board chair of Clear Path for Veterans emphasizes his commitment to serving the community. Breen is nearing completion of a nine-year term as a director of the ESF College Foundation and currently serves on the Abby Lane Housing Corporation Board of Directors. He is a long-time member of the ESF 1911 Society. He is a graduate of C.W. Post College.

Lynch is the director of strategic growth initiatives at Ramboll, where he works on several environmental projects including climate adaptation, sustainability, and flood resilience. He joined Ramboll in 2019 after a long career at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), where he most recently served as executive deputy commissioner.

In his positions at the DEC, Lynch helped lead one of the largest remediation and restoration efforts in the United States with the cleanup of Onondaga Lake. His proudest accomplishment is seeing Onondaga Lake returned to Central New York as a natural resource asset and recreational opportunity for the community. He is a member of the Adirondack Park Agency Board and a graduate of Yale University and Syracuse College of Law.

The annual Feinstone Awards dinner takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at ESF's Gateway Center.

The Feinstone program has made more than 100 awards, honoring individuals from across the United States for their significant contributions to protecting the environment, promoting the wise use, and management of our country's natural resources, and promoting the spirit of volunteerism.

Sol Feinstone, a widely known historian and author who was a graduate of ESF, established the Feinstone awards program in 1976. His goal was to reward people and organizations that exemplified his belief that the best insurance for a free society lay in people's desire and ability to do voluntarily the things that need to be done for the good of all.