Nick Safay '04 Named SVC Distinguished Young Alumnus

April 4, 2010

Southern Vermont College has named Nick Safay ’04 of Abingdon, Va., as the Distinguished Young Alumnus for 2010. The Distinguished Young Alumnus/a Award is presented to an SVC alumnus/a who has graduated within the last ten years, and who has received recognition as an emerging leader through professional and/or community achievement; who has achieved a position or distinction noteworthy for one so recently graduated; and who has served as an outstanding young role model for current and future SVC students. The award will be presented at SVC’s Alumni Reunion dinner on Saturday, May 8.

Safay, who graduated from SVC in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Management, is now the Green Building Operations Manager for People Incorporated of Abingdon, Va., a community action agency that provides green and healthy homes for low-income households. He has worked in the environmental nonprofit sector for more than five years and is a passionate advocate for the Forest Stewardship Council as well as the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Safay has worked and volunteered his time in many positions for these two organizations; most notably he has been honored for organizing the Diversity & Social Equity Committee (part of the USGBC Southeast Regional Council) in 2007 and serving as chair through 2009. The USGBC program has now launched this program as a national initiative.

Safay is also the current chair and founding member of the Holston Valley Green Building Coalition, a Branch of USGBC-Southwest Virginia Chapter of which he is serving his second term on its board.

Previously, Safay worked for Appalachian Sustainable Development in Abingdon and Rural Action Incorporated in Athens, Ohio. He also earned an M.A. degree in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management from The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vt.

Safay grew up on Hilton Island, S.C., where his mother, Judy, and father, John, who is a current town council member who recently announced his candidacy for town mayor, reside. Safay lives in Abingdon with his wife, Jenny.

SVC alumni wishing to attend the Reunion Dinner at the College’s Everett Mansion can find information at or by calling 802-447-6327.