Bunnatine Greenhouse describes leadership as "taking the responsibility to do what is right and make a difference," so she seemed to fit right in with local leaders and activists in Battle Creek.
Greenhouse, a former senior contracting official of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, made headlines when she testified against Halliburton — one of the world's largest providers of oil and gas services — alleging specific instances of fraud, waste and other irregularities by Halliburton in regard to its operations in Iraq.
Greenhouse was the key speaker and guest of honor at a Community Heroes Mixer held Friday at McCamly Plaza. The event honored both Greenhouse and community members who have created positive change in the local area.
"I am so honored to be in Battle Creek and you all have etched something on my mind and in my heart," Greenhouse said. "This is an activist community and people here work to improve this community for their neighbors. I am blessed to have had the Battle Creek experience."
The South Central Michigan American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), PheNix Concepts, a local Concerned Citizens group and Families Against Murder/For Equal Justice (F.A.M.E.) sponsored Greenhouse's visit. The evening was emceed by Richard Frantz, president of the South Central Michigan AFL-CIO, Reba Harrington of PheNix Concepts and Mary Knapp, a community activist.
Several dozen community members were awarded certificates on behalf of PheNix Concepts and the AFL-CIO for "outstanding community leadership and unselfish service."
Trace Christenson, a reporter for the Enquirer was an award recipient. A complete list of winners and their accomplishments will be published at a later date.
Greenhouse was presented with a T-shirt from F.A.M.E. with a list of victims of local unsolved murders on the back, which she commented she will wear in Washington with pride. Mildred Mallard, owner of ABC Boutique in Battle Creek presented Greenhouse with a collectible statue of Sojourner Truth.
"We are so proud that you shared your story with us. You remind of us so much of Sojourner," Mallard said. "She said speak the truth and we want you to continue to speak your truth."
After the awards, Greenhouse — joined by her lawyer Michael Kohn — delivered a passionate speech on her demotion and dismissal from her position at the Army Corps of Engineers. A video of an Enquirer interview with Greenhouse is available online at battlecreekenquirer.com.
"I was dismissed from my job because I did my job too well," Greenhouse said. "I am now fighting the most important fight of my career and I am fighting for the people. Please know that Battle Creek's support gives me the strength to go on fighting."