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Michigan EIBC Recognizes Businesses, Individuals for Leadership, Investment in Clean Energy Sector

The Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) recognized three companies and three individuals, including two state lawmakers, for their contributions to growing Michigan’s clean energy economy at the annual Energy Innovators Gala Thursday, November 10.

Greening of the Great Lakes was on hand to talk with event organizers and honorees.

“The leadership and enthusiasm for clean energy in the public and private sectors is continuing to grow in the state of Michigan,” said Liesl Eichler Clark, president of the Michigan EIBC.  “Across the board we’re witnessing the companies and individuals who are working hard to make clean energy an attractive option for consumers, as well as public officials who are supporting those efforts.  We celebrate both.”  

Click above to hear Clark’s conversation with host Kirk Heinze.

John J. Viera, Global Director of Sustainability & Vehicle Environmental Matters for the Ford Motor Company, was the keynote speaker and Michigan Public Service Commission Chair Sally Talberg offered opening remarks.

“I am excited to participate in the Energy Innovators Gala and share Ford’s comprehensive energy story,” said Viera. “From our electrified vehicles to our manufacturing efforts to our new mobility businesses, we are dedicated to finding new and more efficient ways to use energy throughout our entire business.”

Viera is responsible for developing global sustainable business plans and policies, interfacing and negotiating environmental regulations with global governmental bodies, reporting externally on the company's environmental and social performance, and leading the company's engagement and partnerships with non-government organizations (NGOs) and other key stakeholders.

Click here to hear Viera’s conversation with Heinze.


The 2016 honorees are:

Business of the Year: McNaughton-McKay with offices in Madison Heights, Ann Arbor, Flint and Saginaw.

Emerging Business of the Year: Inmatech with offices in Ann Arbor and White Lake.

Employer of the Year: Walker-Miller Energy Services with offices in Detroit.

Public Officials of the Year: State Senators Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and Dale Zorn (R-Ida).

Energy Innovators Hall of Fame: Allan O’Shea of CBS Solar in Copemish.

Business of the Year: McNaughton-McKay

Founded 106 years ago in Detroit, McNaughton-McKay has been at the forefront of energy innovation for over a century, providing services to make renewable energy installations more attainable for residents and businesses throughout Michigan. As a wholesale distributor of electric supplies, they are active in five states and are the 13th largest distributor of electrical supplies in the United States. A key part of the logistics chain for solar, they keep an inventory of $250,000 to $500,000 in solar energy equipment to support local installers with volume pricing, free delivery and warranty assistance, lowering costs and removing barriers to advanced energy.

Click here to hear Mark Ferda’s conversation with Heinze.


Emerging Business of the Year: Inmatech

Inmatech is a rising star in the energy storage industry through their work to develop super capacitors, including a low cost, high power and energy density Vanadium-based asymmetric supercapacitor for energy storage uses. Founded in 2007 at the University of Michigan, their focus was in research and development of low-cost materials and proprietary designs for high performing, high power energy storage applications. Inmatech’s leadership is backed up by extensive technical and business acumen, with over 200 patents and publications, nine licenses or options to license and over 70 years of joint experience.

Click here to hear CEO Les Alexander’s conversation with Heinze.


Employer of the Year: Walker-Miller Energy Services

Since 2000, Walker-Miller Energy Services has helped clients save money through energy efficiency by demonstrating the positive relationship between energy efficiency and renewable energy.  They are also making the jobs of the future a reality today by hiring from local workforce development programs and paying a living wage.  In 2015, Walker-Miller won a contract with DTE Energy to manage energy efficiency programs in southeast Michigan, which enabled it to double their staff and increase incomes for all employees. In addition to creating a positive work environment today, they frequently visit schools to highlight future careers in the clean energy space. 

Click here to hear President and CEO Carla Walker Miller’s conversation with Heinze.


Energy Innovators Hall of Fame: Allan O’Shea

Allan O’Shea has been driving force for renewable energy for decades.  In 1974, he was a founding member and the first president of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). He was also one of the architects around the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association’s Michigan Energy Fair.  Today, as president and director of sales for CBS Solar – a 40-year-old solar assembly and installation company – O’Shea continues to be an optimistic advocate for Michigan’s advanced energy sector. 

Click here to hear O’Shea’s conversation with Heinze.


Greening of the Great Lakes airs inside MSU Today Sunday afternoons at 4:00 on AM 870.

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