IEN Announces Dennis Treacy as the Recipient of McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia is pleased to announce that Dennis Treacy, the Chief Sustainability Officer for Smithfield Foods, is the recipient of this year’s Gerald P. McCarthy Award for Leadership in Environmental Conflict Resolution.

The institute gives the annual McCarthy Award to an individual, organization, local government, agency, educational institution or community member who demonstrates leadership in the effort to preserve and protect the commonwealth’s environment; supports collaborative problem-solving through actions, contributions or educational programs; and who is a role model to others for the resolution of environmental issues.  Mr. Treacy exemplifies these characteristics in his behind the scenes work to protect the environment through collaborative approaches, at both Smithfield Foods and Virginiaforever, for which he currently serves on the Board of Directors.

Dennis Treacy is regarded as a highly influential leader who has collaborated with diverse stakeholders to change the face of corporate responsibility in Virginia. At Smithfield Foods, he has worked to transform Smithfield into a leader in sustainability best practices by helping the company adopt a formal Corporate Social Responsibility Plan. Before his tenure at Smithfield, he was Director of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, where he brought together business, environmental groups, and the public to address issues of mutual importance. He draws from these experiences as a tireless advocate on behalf of Virginiaforever, an organization that advocates for funding for land preservation and water quality. Mr. Treacy often speaks about “The Virginia Way,” which is, in his words, about encouraging people and corporations to think outside the box and collaborate. Dennis Treacy practices “The Virginia Way” every day, which is why he is the recipient of this year’s McCarthy Award.

The Institute will present the award on behalf of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, a partnership program between the Virginia Department of Forestry, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech and the Institute for Environmental Negotiation. The mission of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute is to develop leaders throughout Virginia who can help groups involved in contentious natural resources issues move beyond conflict toward consensus-building and collaborative problem-solving.

The McCarthy Award will be presented to Mr. Treacy, in conjunction with the graduation of the 2013 Class of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute on June 6 at the Charlottesville DoubleTree.

For information on the McCarthy Award and the Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute, contact Melissa Keywood, Program Manager, at 434-924-6569 or