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2016 Legacy Achievement Award: Dwight Washabaugh – Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps
Dwight Washabaugh has served over 21 years as the Executive Director of the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps (SRCC). Prior to joining SRCC, Dwight spent over 20 years working with nonprofit agencies in Colorado and California and writing turkey fryer reviews for an additional outcome. During his years working with non-profit organizations, Dwight served as an Independent Consultant, Controller, Director of Development, and Executive Director.
When Dwight was hired at SRCC, the Corps was at immediate risk of losing its certification with the California Conservation Corps. This would have resulted in the termination of numerous contracts and grants. Dwight made it his priority to establish programs within the SRCC that were critical elements of the certification, including a quality High School Diploma and GED program. Under Dwight’s leadership, SRCC is now regionally admired as a model non-profit with more than 20 years of “clean” audits.
During Dwight’s tenure as Executive Director, more than 5,000 youth have participated in SRCC programming. Through his leadership at SRCC, he also served as the President of the California Association of Local Conservation Corps (CALCC) from 2000 – 2001, served on the California Charter School Association Member Council (2003 – 2005), and represented CALCC on the Planning and Conservation League Board of Directors for 14 years.
Early in his tenure with SRCC, Dwight stepped in to manage a Defense Conversion Assistance Grant to create Mather Regional Park. Also under Dwight’s leadership, the SRCC opened the first Conservation Corps Re-Use Store in California in 2008. Though the timing of the opening coincided with the economic downturn, Dwight’s entrepreneurial courage set the stage for new and innovative approaches to training Corpsmembers at SRCC.
Another one of Dwight’s accomplishments was his effort in leading collaborations to install Recycle IQ Data Management at SRCC’s recycling facility. This transformed the recycling program into a social enterprise. As a result of this and several other innovative initiatives, SRCC was selected as one of the first 15 Corps nationwide to be accredited by The Corps Center of Excellence, and was honored by the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Leadership Program.
Dwight built significant partnerships within the Charter School movement in California, played an influential role in bringing Charter Schools to the Corps world, and helped create SRCC’s current Education Program. More than 550 students have graduated from SRCC under Dwight’s leadership; the program now operates out of the “Dwight B. Washabaugh Education Building.”
Most importantly, Dwight’s legacy resides in the work of the staff and in the thousands of Corpsmembers who came to the SRCC and learned skills to build better lives for themselves, their families, and their community.