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The Heartland Sustainability Award

2016 Sustainability Award Recipient

The Honorable Jim Ardis

Mayor, City of Peoria


The 2016 Heartland Sustainability Award committee has selected Mayor Jim Ardis for this prestigious honor. Through his exceptional leadership and genuine desire to make the community a better place, he has created a sustainable environment where people and business can thrive and prosper, working together towards common goals. 

Mayor Ardis has personally and professionally demonstrated his commitment to sustainability over the years. He formed and is president of the Tim Ardis Foundation for Hope, in honor of his brother, which educates young people about mental illness early in life. In 2007, Mayor Ardis established the Peoria Promise scholarship to encourage underprivileged high school graduates pursue college degrees at Illinois Community College (ICC).  He has participated in the St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Run for over 20 years helping to raise millions of dollars that are donated to hospitals that provides treatments for childhood cancer at no cost to families.

Jim Ardis has served on the Peoria City Council since 1999, serving 6 years as an At-Large Councilmember before being elected Mayor in 2005.  Mayor Ardis is currently serving his 3rd term as Mayor of Peoria, a city of nearly 115,000.  Mayor Ardis has always focused on improving quality of life for the entire community.  He created the Commission on Sustainable Development and Green Technology and asked Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji to Chair the Commission which he gratefully accepted and still holds.  The Mayor directs attention to the 3 main dimensions of sustainability: Social Equity, Economic Growth and Environmental Concerns.
In the Social space Jim created a Race Relations Commission, co-sponsored programs for disadvantaged youths at Christmas, hosted training sessions for MBE and DBE and supports the cities focus on attracting and hiring more minorities into city jobs thereby mirroring the diverse makeup of Peoria.   In the Economic Growth area, the Mayor works tirelessly to provide a stable environment for Peoria businesses to work and grow.  Major infrastructure development in the Warehouse District, announcement of the new Caterpillar World Headquarters construction as well as both residential and commercial expansion in Peoria’s growth cells are hallmarks of his tenure.  Environmentally, in addition to the creation of the Sustainability Commission the Mayor has led efforts to achieve efficiencies in City Hall, using LED lights in the City's street lights and cross signals, introduced electric car chargers in city parking decks been instrumental is supporting a 100% green solution addressing the combined sewer overflow issues with the U.S. EPA.
This award honors exceptional individuals for extraordinary leadership and original work in developing, employing, and supporting the principles of sustainability.  The recipient would have created mechanisms to embrace social equity, economic development, environmental health, and green practices. Further, the recipient would have instilled a culture of sustainable developments within an organization and/or community. The Heartland Sustainability Award is presented in April at the annual Innovations ib Construction, Asphalt and Transportation conference.