For More Information Contact:
Justine Thompson, (404) 274-0179
Stephanie Benfield, (404) 964-7025
Greg Presmanes, (770) 391-9100
GreenLaw Hires Stephanie Stuckey Benfield as Executive Director
(Atlanta, GA): GreenLaw announces that accomplished attorney and celebrated public servant, State Representative Stephanie Stuckey Benfield will take the helm of GreenLaw beginning April 9th.
An outdoors enthusiast and nature lover, Benfield has been a vocal environmental advocate during her 14 years as a member of the Georgia House’s Natural Resource Committee. Her commitment to clean water and clean air issues grew even stronger after her son was diagnosed with asthma. “When I learned that Robert has asthma, it really hit home that pollution can hurt our most vulnerable citizens, our children,” said Benfield. “For the past 20 years, GreenLaw has been a leader in protecting Georgians from pollution, and I am excited to be able to focus my attention on cleaning up our air and water for our families.”
“Stephanie was picked from an impressive pool of candidates due to her outstanding legal and public service credentials,” said Greg Presmanes, Chairman of GreenLaw’s Board of Directors. She received both an undergraduate and law degree from the University of Georgia. She graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1992. Benfield served as a public defender and then went into private practice before being elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 1999. Benfield was given the Outstanding Lawyer in Public Service Award by the Atlanta Bar Association in 2011.
Benfield will be replacing 12-year veteran executive director and environmental attorney, Justine Thompson. Thompson is moving to Florida to be with her family, and will continue as a staff attorney focusing her efforts on reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants. Under Thompson’s direction, GreenLaw successfully won a ten year legal battle to stop New Jersey-based LS Power from building a coal plant in southwest Georgia.
“I have already seen first-hand the positive impact that Stephanie has on Georgia,” said outgoing Executive Director, Justine Thompson. “I look forward to seeing the successes that I know she will have leading GreenLaw into its third decade.”
In addition to continuing the effort to stop pollution from two other proposed coal plants in south Georgia, GreenLaw represents nonprofit clients around the state to help enforce laws that protect nature. GreenLaw is representing Ogeechee Riverkeeper in an effort to stop pollution following the state’s largest fish kill on the south Georgia River. Attorneys at GreenLaw are also working to ensure that pollution from landfills and scrap tire dumps do not negatively affect public health in the metro-Atlanta area.
“I look forward to working with Justine and the other skilled attorneys at GreenLaw to continue to give our environment its day in court,” said Benfield. “Whether the pollution is from landfills, careless industries, or dirty coal, it’s high time that we clear the air and clean the water in Georgia so our children can live healthy, productive lives.”
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GreenLaw is dedicated to preventing air and water pollution that endangers human health and degrades Georgia’s natural resources. GreenLaw achieves these goals by providing free high quality legal and technical assistance to environmental organizations and community groups throughout Georgia. www.greenlaw.org
Stephanie Stuckey Benfield currently represents House District 85, which includes neighborhoods in metro-Atlanta. In the Georgia Legislature, Stephanie serves on the following House Committees: Banks & Banking, Judiciary, and Natural Resources. A bio and resume are available at GreenLaw’s website: http://greenlaw.org/info/96381.
Photo Caption: Stephanie Stuckey Benfield will start her new position as Executive Director at GreenLaw on April 9, 2012.