Remembering Mark Richardson, long-time CEP supporter and clean energy advocate

7 months ago | Jan 17, 2019
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(pdf view)The Climate and Energy Board and Staff invite you to share your memories of Mark Richardson, long-time supporter of CEP and tireless clean energy advocate.  Mark Richardson passed away on Christmas Eve following complications from heart surgery.

Mark Richardson has been a part of the Climate + Energy Project for as long as anyone can remember.  After years of active volunteerism, Mark joined the board in July of 2016. Mark’s dedication to clean energy was well known throughout the state. An original member of the Reno County 2020 Growth Coalition’s Wind Energy Task Force, Mark was knowledgeable and passionate about growing the Kansas economy with wind and solar. CEP has always focused on finding common ground through clean energy solutions that work for Kansans, and Mark embraced our common ground approach with enthusiasm.   

In 2017, Mark Received the inaugural CEP Sustainer Award for his dedication and volunteerism over the past ten years. Mark was often seen staffing wind energy booths at Kansas State Fair, testifying at the Kansas Statehouse, or even visiting with Congressional leaders in DC on behalf of the Climate + Energy Project and wind power.  

In memory, the Climate + Energy Project’s  Sustainer Award will now be known as the Mark Richardson Sustainer Award.



Mark was not only a volunteer and board member for CEP, but a financial donor as well Mark spearheaded the creation of an endowment fund to ensure the long-term future of CEP. The week of his surgery, Mark and his wife Susan attended the Climate + Energy Project’s annual fundraiser, where Mark addressed the capacity crowd encouraging those of a certain age to consider CEP or other nonprofits in their required IRA distributions.

Memorials made in Mark’s honor will be used to open an endowment fund for the Climate + Energy Project.

Mark’s passion for clean energy, common ground, and community made the world a better place.  Mark’s family and friends are invited to join events to be held in his memory on Saturday, January 19, 2019, in Hutchinson.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hutchinson Community Foundation, Hutchinson Fox Theatre, or Climate and Energy Project, in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501.  Full obituary available here.



The CEP Board and staff invite you to add your memorials in the comments.   

Mark will be missed, but never forgotten.

Mark was a kind and generous man who always had a smile on his face, even when he may not agree with you. I treasured our time traveling from coast to coast to learn about or promote the Kansas wind industry. Mark was as comfortable in a Congressional office as he was on a tractor and even when his support for wind power was questioned, he presented a calm and knowledgeable demeanor that was hard to disagree with. I considered him not only a board member , but a dear friend.

- Dorothy Barnett, Executive Director, Climate + Energy Project

Mark Richardson was a true advocate for Reno County and rural Kansas.  His deep involvement in community efforts on the local and state levels speaks to his commitment to make things better, period.  He brought a crucial perspective from a part of Kansas not stereotypically associated with sustainability issues. His sound experience and good humor were essential on the Climate and Energy Project's Board of Directors, and he will be deeply missed.

- Jay Antle, CEP Board Member and Executive Director, Center for Sustainability,        Johnson County Community College

Mark Richardson provided common-sense ideas for generating clean, renewable, and profitable energy for Kansas.  His vision, commitment, and enthusiasm for the well-being of Reno County, and for the larger community of Kansans, provided a model of engaged citizenship that will forever inspire me, and many others whose lives he touched.                     - Sara M. Gregg, CEP Vice Chair and Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies, University of Kansas


Mark was hands-down the most reliable volunteer we've ever had at CEP and one of our greatest supporters.  He was a part of almost every campaign, always showing up with a smile, a positive and steady attitude, and a willingness to work.  Mark was always right there with us, everywhere we went and anytime we needed him. He exemplified CEP's common ground approach to elevating renewable energy, working with our neighbors, and finding solutions that work for Kansas.  He was a genuinely kind human being, and his memory will serve as an inspiration for all of us.

- Rachel Myslivy, Assistant Director, Climate + Energy Project


Mark Richardson will always be remembered as a dedicated and effective advocate for renewable energy in Kansas. He cared deeply about the future of our state, and he acted on his convictions as a volunteer and board member for the Climate + Energy Project. As an advocate, he modeled civility, common sense, an enduring interest in finding common ground with others, and a curious mind -- he was always educating himself, always willing to learn. As fellow board members, we will miss him greatly and work to honor his memory as we advance the clean energy transition in Kansas he envisioned.

- Uma Outka, CEP Board, Professor of Law, University of Kansas

Mark was gentle, kind, and relatable. I valued his perspective that renewable energy was not a political issue but rather an energy solution for everyone, especially Western Kansans. I remember spending hours with him at the Kansas State Fair. He showed up with a bright and delightful attitude even though it was scorching hot and the work was long. Most notably, he always asked how me and my family were and he always remembered the update I gave him. Mark’s presence will be dearly missed on the CEP board and in his community.

-Cassidy, Kuhn, Chair, CEP Board, Energy Behavior Specialist, University of Kansas


Mark had a commanding presence marked only by his calm, reasoned demeanor that earned the respect of legislators. He believed in the work of the Climate + Energy Project and was able to tell our story in a way that earned understanding and support. His presence will certainly be missed but his contributions will never be forgotten.

- Jessica Lucas, Clean Energy Business Council Lobbyist

As a fellow Reno County resident, I have known Mark Richardson for many years. We have worked together to support numerous community projects over the years, including the Reno County Wind Energy Task Force. The projects have benefited from Mark’s leadership and vision and his willingness to work with all interested parties. When Mark joined the Climate and Energy Board he brought a perspective that we all benefited from. We will miss his energy and curiosity at board meetings as well as his generosity of time and talent.           -Mary Adams Treaster,  Treasurer, CEP Board

A couple of things stood about Mark: He truly cared about clean and renewable energy for Kansas, which showed both through his intelligent inquiry and how he challenged CEP to make progress on these issues. He was also so committed to CEP's work that he was in nearly every picture I came across of CEP's events and activities over the years. It demonstrated to me that he was the kind of guy that invests in what he believes - a lesson we can all take on how to leave the world a better place. Mark certainly did, and we're all so fortunate to have known him.

-Sarah Dehart Faltico, Program Coordinator, Climate + Energy Project