Congratulations to Daniel Enns for receiving this year’s BRAVO Award for Sustainability Leadership. This award is a recognition of his dedication, innovation and commitment to sustainability here at RRC.
Since coming to Red River College, Daniel has made a significant positive impact on the culture of sustainability at the College and is an ambassador for showcasing the College to the wider community. In 2017, not long after attending a New Employee Orientation session where Daniel learned about the Sustainability Department, he visited our office and asked whether we would be interested in participating in the city-wide Bike Week event. Bike Week is a week-long celebration that encourages cycling as a way to get to work, school and more. One way community organizations can participate in Bike Week is to host a Pit Stop. Located along main cycling commuter routes, Pit Stops greet cyclists passing by with encouragement, food, prizes, bike tune-ups and more.
Because of Daniel’s gentle encouragement, the College held our first-ever Bike to Work Day Pit Stop in 2017 at the north end of the Omand’s Creek footbridge. This turned out to be a prime location as our team of College volunteers greeted approximately 115 cyclists, including Mayor Brian Bowman. Over the next two years, our Pit Stop greeted hundreds of more cyclists.
Since meeting Daniel in 2017, he’s hosted six events with our office to remove barriers and instill confidence in students, staff and faculty in promoting cycling as a viable commute mode. In 2017, he hosted a “Bike Repair Workshop” demonstrating how to use the College’s newly installed air and repair stations. In 2018, he co-hosted a “Cyclist Meet-up” where experienced cyclists shared tips and answered questions with novice cyclists. That year, he also hosted an “Ask the Expert” drop-in session to answer any cycling-related questions. This year, he hosted a “Bike Repair 101” workshop, a workshop on the “A-B-C’s of Cycling” and most recently a “Winter Cycling 101” event where he made a video demonstrating some aspects of winter cycling and answered questions about winter cycling. In addition to all of this, Daniel has become our “resident cycling expert” and is always ready and willing to support cycling at RRC any way he can.
Daniel’s work at the College in Civil Engineering Technology and the Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) is directly related to advancing sustainability in the building sector. While his professional work is hugely important to sustainability, he’s awarded this year’s Sustainability Leadership Award because of what he does outside of his day job. It’s a gift to find a volunteer like Daniel who not only comes up with innovative and engaging ideas, but rolls up his sleeves to help see the ideas to fruition.
As an avid cyclist himself, Daniel leads by example by participating in the Commuter Challenge every year, signing up as a cycling mentor on GoManitoba in order to be matched up with those interested in cycling to campus and riding with them, and is one of the few “winter warriors” at NDC who cycles to work year-round. But his approachability and dedication to making cycling accessible is what makes him a leader. When he is hosting events his quiet leadership makes him approachable and his honesty and genuine care for people make him trustworthy. Anyone who has a conversation with Daniel leaves with a little more knowledge and a little more confidence about cycling.
While cycling is Daniel’s key area of interest, he also shows leadership by supporting sustainability in general at the College. Daniel attends and participates in many sustainability events at RRC including Earth Hour, the annual State of Sustainability, the climate strike and more. Daniel is always willing to pitch in and support any sustainability initiative and thanks to his leadership, he has made cycling to RRC accessible for many people.
Congrats Daniel on this well-deserved award!