2023 Buddy Amos Founder Award Recipient

Dr. Ron Pulliam Selected As 2023 Buddy Amos Founders Award Recipient

The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is pleased to announce that Dr. Ron Pulliam, Ph.D., founder of Borderlands Restoration Network in Patagonia, Arizona, has been selected as the recipient of the 2023 Buddy Amos Founders Award.

The Buddy Amos Founders Award was established in 2015 in honor of George H. “Buddy” Amos, Jr., a CFSA founder, for his vision and ability to inspire community action and generosity. The award recognizes nonprofit founders who have demonstrated inspirational leadership in community service, philanthropy, mentoring, collaboration, or systems change that reaches beyond their organization.

The Borderlands Restoration Network (BRN) began as an idea around a kitchen table and has since grown to include the 1800-acre Borderlands Wildlife Preserve which is open to the public, a large-scale nursery that provides native plants for restoration efforts, and an innovative summer program that employs youth in multiple communities to learn restoration and leadership skills while completing restoration projects on public and private lands.

Lynn Davison, BRN Board President, and Ann Gosline, BRN Board Secretary, shared, “It’s hard to describe how much Ron contributes. He’s been by far the most effective fundraiser for multiple organizations, including BRN. Ron is personally and intimately involved in teaching, mentoring, and connecting the organization to new partners and supporters. He is welcoming, gracious, curious, and always eager to learn what community members think and care about. If there is a volunteer day, he is there. One staff member said to me, ‘If we need volunteers, we just make sure Ron is out there, and people come.'”

Upon being notified that he was selected as the 2023 Buddy Amos Founders Award recipient, Ron said, “I am, of course, honored to receive this award, but I accept it on behalf of not just myself but also in recognition of the hard work, dedication, and foresight of the growing community of people who have guided, supported, funded, volunteered, and worked to make BRN successful.”

Ron Robinson, Patagonia Town Manager, stated, “Ron’s area-wide mentoring, philanthropy, and collaboration with other organizations is unparalleled, far-reaching, and an example of who we all strive to be and do for our communities.”

“Quite simply, it is nothing less than a miracle that he has achieved so much for our region and our community in such a short period of time,” shared Dr. Gary Nabhan, PhD, an ethnobiologist, agroecologist, conservation biologist, and cultural geographer at the University of Arizona. “I have never-ever-seen such a remarkable combination of having a compelling vision, knowing how to fund it, and inspiring staff to take it on as their own mission as I have seen coalesced in Ron Pulliam.”

Ron is a Regents Professor Emeritus at the Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. He previously served as President of the Ecological Society of America, Director of the National Biological Service, Science Advisor to the Secretary of the Interior, and the Director of the Institute of Ecology.  He has published over 200 scientific articles and books on niche theory, foraging and flocking behavior, source sink dynamics, the protection of endangered species, and the effects of climate and land use on plant and animal abundance and distribution.

Ron has also served on numerous boards and commissions, as an advisor to several major philanthropic foundations, and as chairman of the board of NatureServe. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Ecological Society of America and the Distinguished Landscape Ecologist Award from the International Association for Landscape Ecology. ​

Ron will be honored at CFSA’s 2023 Annual Event on April 27, 2023, from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, at the Community Foundation Campus. To learn more about the Buddy Amos Founders Award and see a complete list of past recipients, please visit cfsaz.org/awards.