Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Energy Manager Today Awards! Here, you’ll find a list of winning products and projects, links to detailed information about these winners, and a list of our expert judges.
As one judge on our panel pointed out, “If energy management is a rising issue now, it will be a massive and inescapable matter as we move forward into a more energy-conscious future.” The companies featured in these pages are those that embody the spirit of innovation and vision we need as we head into that future.
These award-winning products and projects have been chosen by our panel of expert judges as those that should be carefully considered by companies seeking to improve energy management within their own operations. Those looking for energy management solutions, or for energy management projects to emulate, can be assured that these have been vetted by experts and are well worth considering.
Many of our judges return to sit on our awards panel year after year because they find it exciting and inspiring to see the advancements and innovations in the field. We hope you’ll find it equally exciting as you scroll through these pages.
One final word before you begin exploring: we have opened the submission period for our annual Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards. As we did last year, winners will be announced at the Environmental Leader 2017 Conference in Denver in June. Winners will receive recognition, kudos, a chance for mingling with potential customers, and an awesome trophy, during a gala dinner event. Check out the submission details here.
Paul Blagbrough is head of environmental stewardship for MUFG Americas. The Environmental Stewardship Team is responsible for reducing the bank’s environmental impact as well as developing new environmental risk policies and promoting green banking products. Paul has a background in civil engineering and environmentalism and has worked in the UK, Vietnam, Zambia, the Philippines, Tokyo and the US.
Jody East has a broad range of experience including military, engineering, environmental, and project management. Of his over 26 years in engineering, almost 22 years include the management of environmental compliance and permitting. Project management has included everything from small process improvement projects up to 235,000 square-foot buildings, as well as large biofuels projects. As a large company’s chief plant engineer, he is also responsible for the corporate sustainability efforts including recycling, waste management, and energy management.
In his spare time he has served on several local boards and is currently serving as the chairman
of the County Water Authority Board of Directors. His specialties include Building Energy Systems, Utilites/Service/MCC Design and Management, IR Thermography-Certified Level II, Arc Flash/Short Circuit Analysis, Environmental Management/Regulations/Compliance/Permitting, CAD/CAM/CAE.
Jody loves spending time with his family camping, and on good nights he’s an amateur astronomer.
Ellen Edwards is Energy Manager in Facilities Management at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. After growing up in the Kansas City area, she attended the University of Kansas receiving a degree in Architectural Engineering. During college she interned for a consulting engineering firm where she accepted a mechanical engineering position after graduation. During her time as a consulting engineer, she performed plug load studies for a local real estate management firm which provided her first exposure to Energy Management. After starting a family, she took a position within Facilities Management at a local KC University as a Utilities Analyst. After the addition of her second child, she accepted a position with Trane as a sales engineer where she was exposed to energy modelling and construction contracting. During her time with Trane, she was offered a partnership in a mechanical contracting company which she accepted. Projects included major office renovations and partnerships with General Contractors on new construction. Feeling a need to get back into engineering and energy, she accepted a position as an Energy Engineer with a national energy services company. Ellen developed energy conservation projects for clients such as K-12 school districts, city and county governments, and higher education that led to a position with Sprint Real Estate as Energy Program Manager. Desiring a move to Colorado, she accepted her current position at CU Boulder. Ellen’s personal time is spent with her two sons and the family pets, enjoying the Colorado outdoors.
Justin Grau has a background in nuclear power, both in the US Navy and commercial nuclear power plants. After leaving the nuclear industry, Justin has progressed through his career in engineering in the plant utilities space and managing water treatment programs at Google, Inc and then supporting all of the manufacturing plants at ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Justin currently works for Zee Water and Energy Management in Omaha, NE as the Area Manager responsible for managing the boiler, cooling, process, and waste water treatment for a number of client companies. As part of this role, the main focus is on asset preservation and utilities energy efficiency improvements while reducing chemical and water use where possible.
Zee Water and Energy Management is a member company of the Vincit Group. The Vincit Group is a unique organization of member companies that provides chemical services, contract management, and automation and engineering solutions throughout the U.S., Canada, and South America. Whether it’s equipment, customized chemical support, specialized logistics and delivery, or outsourced services, The Vincit Group is here to do one thing: improve your business.
Senior Manager, Environmental Sustainability Office | Capital One
George Holcombe is part of Capital One’s Environmental Sustainability Office and is responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s green building and energy management programs. George works with operations and design teams to integrate sustainability strategies into projects and optimize building operations throughidentifying and building business cases for energy management measures. He has also led projects to improve corporate recycling programs and led negotiations for the development of a 500KW solar system at a data center facility. George is also responsible for managing the utility bill pay process
for all facilities and leads negotiations of deregulated power contracts including all green power purchases for the company.
Since 2001, George has held several roles at Capital One including Supply Chain Management and development of a test platform for a new debit card processing product. He managed supplier sourcing projects and negotiated contracts. Prior to joining Capital One, he worked as an Energy Consultant for GPU Energy and MaGrann Associates. George holds an MBA from Strayer University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Building Construction Management from Michigan State University. He also currently serves as Board President for Rebuilding Together Richmond, a non-profit focused on home renovations for low income elderly residents and military veterans.
In his career, Paul has focused on Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), sustainability, and renewable energy as well as other area of organizational excellence, such as learning management and quality management. In his roles, he has been responsible for creating thought leadership and benchmark research to help industrial executives address operational, environmental and quality management related challenges.
He is a writer, researcher, and content specialist with more than 12 years of experience writing, reporting, editing, and research with a particular subject matter expertise in EHS, sustainability, and technology.
Luke is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Fellow; he is also a Centennial Fellow from The Pennsylvania State University Architectural Engineering Department; Board of
Directors for USGBC (United State Green Building Council), Illinois; Chairman of the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning) Committee on “Tall Buildings”; Chairman of the Building Pressure Committee, Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings; Sustainable Committee with Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; Part Time Professor at IIT; Chicago Council on Global Affairs Energy Roundtable Member; Member of the Chicago Sister Cities Program with China; MBA from University of Chicago, BS and BAE from Architectural
Engineering at Penn State University.
Luke Leung is a Director of the Sustainability Engineering Studio for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP. His work includes Burj Khalifa, the world’s current tallest man-made structure; Multiple times recipient of the “Excellence in Engineering” award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); 2 awards from National Institute of Building Sciences, among others. Selected projects also include the General Motors Global Headquarters, Roche Diagnostic in Indianapolis, Beijing Finance Street, Embassy of Ottawa in China, Embassy in Beijing, Rolex Tower in Dubai, several LEED Platinum buildings including one with the first large scale horizontal wind turbine in the city of Chicago.
At Fetzer Vineyards, Josh Prigge guides the vision and execution of game-changing regenerative measures at the world’s first Zero Waste-certified wine company. Prior to joining Fetzer Vineyards, Prigge was the Sustainability Coordinator at Hawai’i Pacific University, and also served as President of the Sustainability Association of Hawai’i.
Kevin Sok is Manager of Engineering & Sustainability for Cox Enterprises, Inc. With over 17 years of extensive experience in the energy and engineering industry, his role entails developing and executing strategies to generate energy from renewable sources, energy management, identifying and deploying clean-tech innovation, and environmental data management and analytics. His
experience includes evaluation of potential projects for self-development, acquisition or investing; overseeing engineering, construction, financial structure analysis, state and federal incentives analysis, renewable energy certificate (REC) markets; and developing off-take strategy. He heads the initiative to centralize environmental data from various sources from across multiple business units and establishes governances and processes to capture accurate data, establish key performance indicators, and improve business processes.
Before joining Cox, Kevin worked at Southern Company and held various positions in engineering and marketing services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF) in Orlando, and an Executive MBA from the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.
Rob Threlkeld is General Motors’ global manager of renewable energy, responsible for managing GM’s renewable strategies and portfolio of projects. Since beginning this role, Threlkeld has negotiated or implemented long-term power purchase agreements for over 40 megawatts of renewable energy at GM facilities.
Rob Threlkeld joined General Motors in 2002 as the manager of powerhouse and wastewater treatment plant operations at GM’s Lordstown Assembly. Threlkeld earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering from Purdue University. He holds Certified Energy Manager, Business Energy Professional, Certified Sustainable Development Professional and Certified Hazardous Materials Management accreditations.
Al Zucco has led the Energy and Sustainability team for USG Corporation in Chicago, IL, since 2008. During his 27 year career with USG Corporation, Mr. Zucco has held numerous leadership roles in the areas of manufacturing, strategic sourcing and supply chain management, as well as positions in manufacturing engineering, production management and plant management. His current role as senior director energy and sustainability capitalizes on his extensive background and experience. Al is responsible for developing and implementing the sustainability strategy for USG Corporation.
Mr. Zucco, is a graduate of the Cleveland State University Electrical Engineering program and
obtained an Executive MBA from Baldwin Wallace College in Cleveland, OH. Al and his wife Fran have been Naperville, IL, residents since 2003 and have enjoyed raising their children in such an outstanding community. Mr. Zucco currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Naperville
Heritage Society and the Gypsum Association. He has been and is actively involved in various community activities such as coaching and scouting and enjoys hiking, biking and spending time with his family.