Have you ever watched a television show on cable channel USA and heard the slogan “Characters Welcome?” Inspired by this branding, USA Network has gone one step further with a “Character Approved” multimedia campaign honoring individuals who are changing the face of American culture.

For the second year, USA Network has selected ten honorees for its Character Approved Awards, an initiative dedicated to celebrating the true cultural influences and trailblazers across a variety of disciplines such as architecture, philanthropy, new media and film.

“Character Approved is a celebration of the real characters making an impact on our culture today,” says Chris McCumber, USA executive vice president of marketing, digital and brand strategy. “Our honorees are all at the top of their game, and we’re thrilled to shine a light on their unique accomplishments.”

Character Approved honorees are considered innovators in their field who are influencing the public’s opinions, style and view of the world. They surprise us and inspire us with fresh ideas, according to the network. They are celebrated by their peers and have an authentic style. USA recognizes these individuals for their cultural impact, legacy and persona with the USA Network “seal of approval.”

One of this year’s honorees is Venice resident Angela Brooks, a principal with the architectural firm Pugh + Scarpa. Angela is known as a leader and pioneer in the field of sustainable architecture. She has demonstrated an unparalleled ability to marry aesthetics, affordability and sustainability in the built environment, network officials said.

From the groundbreaking Colorado Court affordable housing development — among the first of its kind to be 100-percent energy neutral and achieve a LEED Gold rating – to co-founding a nonprofit development company created to stimulate neighborhood revitalization, to Step Up on 5th, a Santa Monica-based apartment complex for homeless adults, her projects have set the standard for responsible 21st century design, the network said.

Angela and Pugh + Scarpa have been recognized with more than 50 major awards, including 15 National American Institute of Architects awards, the Rudy Brunner Prize, the 2009 National American Institute of Architects Young Architects Award and the 2010 National and State of California American Institute of Architects Firm Award.

Jamie Ebright explains that USA Network conducts an extensive amount of research to select its honorees, speaking with numerous experts to determine who the groundbreaking, innovative minds are in their respective fields.

“We look at the work they are doing, recognition amongst their peers and, of course, someone who is a character in his or her own right, with a distinct voice, personality and style,” she says. “In Angie’s case, we thought that her commitment to creating great design that is both sustainable and stunning set her apart and made her ‘Character Approved.’”

In response to the award, Angela said, “I am honored and thrilled to have been selected for the Character Approved award. I’m particularly pleased to see the variety of people that are being represented and the interdisciplinary theme of the awards.

“As buildings are among the chief contributors to energy consumption and landfill waste, the role and the voice of the architect in the future of our planet is a vital one. I hope that this feature will help me raise awareness of the issues of sustainability that have been the main objects of my career.”

To recognize the Character Approved honorees and their accomplishments, USA in partnership with Vanity Fair hosted an invitation-only VIP cocktail reception in New York City on February 25th. Actor Mark Feuerstein from the USA show Royal Pains officially unveiled the 2010 honorees and their on-air vignettes.

The honorees are featured in vignettes, which air until April 8th across the network’s programming and online at characterapproved.usanetwork.com/. The network provides an inside look at the lives, the works and influences of these characters.

Angela says she will donate her $10,000 prize to Global Green USA, the United States affiliate of Green Cross International which fosters a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure world.