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Richard Cherry

Richard M. Cherry is President and CEO of Community Environmental Center, Inc. (CEC), which he founded in 1994. A graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served on the Law Review, Mr. Cherry initially pursued a legal career in New York City. In 1970, however, he left private practice to work at the New York Urban Coalition, which had been formed to spur labor, business and government to work together to lessen poverty and racial conflict. He became executive vice president in charge of housing and community development, and president of the Urban Coalition Housing Group, responsible for the rehabilitation and repair of low-income residential buildings. By establishing CEC, Mr. Cherry brought New York City its first not-for-profit organization to make environmental issues a central concern of housing and community development. Today CEC is the largest supplier of weatherization services under New York State’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and an approved provider of the energy efficiency programs of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’ (NYSERDA). CEC has two affiliates: Solar One, which educates young people about the environment and organizes green jobs training; and Build It Green!NYC, which salvages and re-uses construction materials and furnishings. In 2009, CEC became the first energy efficiency company to join a labor union, Local 10 of the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). That year, New York City selected CEC to run the Mayor’s Cool Roofs Program. In recognition of Mr. Cherry’s leadership of CEC, and his dedication to improving the environment and the quality of life of New York’s citizens, Civic Ventures in 2007 awarded him the prestigious Purpose Prize for leadership in social innovation.