SALINA, KS – The Environmental Hall of Fame will honor Patrick Wallerius, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Salina-based OCCK Inc. in a ceremony scheduled for 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 15, at the OCCK Transportation Building, 340 N. Santa Fe in Salina. Dennis Lauver, President of the Salina Chamber of Commerce, will present the award on behalf of the Chamber and the Hall of Fame. Mr. Wallerius will be the first Salina recipient of the Environmental Hall of Fame Award, which has been given to a wide range of environmentally conscious individuals, corporations, and organizations since it was established in 2008. The award is for Mr. Wallerius’s role in developing Salina’s CityGo® bus system in light of the impact CityGo has had on energy use and sustainability in the Salina community.

The Environmental Hall of Fame seeks to honor dedicated community leaders and business people who take a stand for a sustainable planet in cities and towns throughout the United States. The goal of the organization is to encourage communities to make a positive difference on energy and sustainability issues. The Iowa-based organization also assists those who want to sponsor city-oriented Green Guide booklets and photo galleries to commemorate green accomplishments by individuals and organizations that have earned the Hall of Fame awards.

Past honorees include Des Moines Mayor Franklin Cownie, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Springfield, MO, Mayor James O’Neal, the American Wind Energy Association, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago Public Schools, Illinois Renewable Energy Association, Illinois Solar Energy Association, Whole Foods Markets, and the Sierra Club.

Founded in 1970, OCCK is a non-profit community service corporation dedicated to serving persons with disabilities in Salina, Abilene, Beloit, Concordia, and other Kansas communities. To help establish the

CityGo system, OCCK was awarded $1.082 million in public transit funding by the Kansas Department of Transportation. This money was made available for economic stimulus through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and was used by OCCK Transportation Services to purchase light-transit buses and other transit equipment and to renovate a transportation annex. OCCK operates the CityGo system in partnership with the City of Salina and the Kansas Department of Transportation. Since CityGo’s launch on Dec. 1, 2008, OCCK has added a major new route along with numerous bus stops and revised scheduling to meet the needs of the Salina community. This fixed-route bus service welcomed its 100,000th rider before the end of its first year in operation.

OCCK has been recognized in Kansas and throughout the Midwest for its successes in providing education, skill training, employment services, assistive technology, case management, and independent-living and residential services. These services are available to people of any age and with varying physical and mental disabilities to assist them in their efforts to live independently and work within their communities. OCCK Transportation Services include Paratransit on-demand service to qualified riders, Med-A-Van non-emergency medical transport, and daily intercity service between Belleville and Salina and between Ellsworth and Salina. For more information about OCCK or OCCK Transportation Services, call
785-827-9383 or visit

Leave a Comment