The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has named the recipients of its 2010 Leadership Awards, recognizing organizations and individuals who signify vision, leadership, and commitment to the evolution of green-building design and construction. The awards will be presented on Friday, Nov. 19, during the closing plenary of the USGBC’s 2010 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in Chicago. The awards recognize leadership in the private, public, and non-governmental organization (NGO) sectors.

Illinois State Rep. Karen May (D-Highland Park) was honored as an Individual recipient in the Leadership in the Public Sector Category. May is a founding member of USGBC’s 50 for 50 Green Schools Caucus Initiative and a green-schools champion. May has dedicated herself to the welfare of schools, which can be seen through her authorship of House Joint Resolution 45, which created a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Task Force chaired by the USGBC Illinois Chapter. The task force will be making recommendations to the Illinois General Assembly on a prospective state program for greening existing schools and potential program-funding sources.

The Recovery School District received an award for its commitment to rebuilding healthy, high-performing schools for the New Orleans community. Five years after hurricanes ravaged New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast, the district made rebuilding sustainably a priority, committing to build all public schools to a minimum of LEED Silver and reducing energy use by 30 percent.

In the Private Sector Category, Interface Founder and Chairman Ray Anderson was honored as an individual recipient for his commitment to transforming the carpet manufacturing industry into a restorative enterprise.

Skanska was honored in the Private Sector Category for its commitment to worldwide market transformation. With a portfolio of LEED-certified buildings, the company’s commercial-development group set the floor at LEED Gold for all of the projects it develops.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in New York received this year’s award for Leadership in the NGO. SyracuseCoE has exhibited leadership in creating innovations in environmental and energy technologies and their immediate application.

Richard Piacentini, executive director of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, received the award for Individual Leadership in the NGO category. Piacentini has been touted for leading the transformation of a century-old conservatory into a model of green-building practices and environmental awareness, including earning LEED Silver for its Welcome Center.