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Environmental Factor, December 2013

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Sloane honored by local commuter awareness group

By Ian Thomas

Shelly Parker, Dick Sloane and Stephanie Sloyka

Shown at the Golden Modes are, from left, Triangle Transit Sustainable Travel Services Supervisor Shelly Parker, emcee at the event; Sloane; and fellow winner and Triangle Transit Employer Outreach Coordinator Stephanie Loyka. (Photo courtesy of GoTriangle)

Longtime NIEHS employee Richard “Dick” Sloane was honored Nov. 14 with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the Golden Modes — an annual awards event conducted by the local nonprofit GoTriangle to recognize extraordinary commuters and organizations that use and promote sustainable transportation throughout North Carolina’s Triangle region.

“I am both honored and humbled to be recognized by my peers in this way,” said Sloane, employee services program specialist with the NIEHS Office of Management and an avid cyclist. “More than anything, though, I’m happy to help bring more exposure to the kinds of mass and green transit alternatives that exist right here in our area.”

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Sloane moved to Durham in 1978, to become a biological lab technician with NIEHS. Since then, he has gone on to serve as a biologist, a technical information specialist, and a resource recovery specialist, before arriving at his current post as an employee services program specialist.

Still, as Sloane prepares for retirement in January, co-workers and colleagues agree that it’s for his work with commuter awareness and recycling, inside and outside the institute, that Sloane will best be remembered.

“Dick works tirelessly around the Institute to promote things like recycling, alternative transportation, and our telework program,” said Ellen Moul, head of the NIEHS Administrative Services and Analysis Branch, and a longtime colleague of Sloane. “His enthusiasm for sustainability is contagious, and his efforts have made NIEHS a role model in that regard throughout the Triangle community.”

“Having lived in the Triangle for 35 years now, I’ve seen the growth in this area, like everyone else,” said Sloane, who plans to stay on with GoTriangle as a Triangle Transit ambassador and cycling mentor, while also serving in similar roles with the Research Triangle Foundation and Waste Reduction Partners. “In that time, however, I’ve also seen a steady rise in single-occupancy vehicle usage, and I look forward to having more time to let people know of the other options available to them for getting around — options that are better for their health, as well as that of our environment.”

GoTriangle is a partnership of public transportation agencies and organizations funded to promote commuter benefits in the Triangle. The website helps people easily find all the information they need to get out from behind the steering wheel and find other travel options that are safe, convenient, inexpensive, and more sustainable.

(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist with the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)

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