Iwas honored to be elected chair of IDEA
at our annual conference in June. It is a
privilege to serve our industry and our
association at an even higher level. The
opening panel of distinguished district energy leaders provided tremendous global
insight and illustrated the many opportunities available to invest in our industry. This
message reinforced my predecessor Anders
Rydaker’s theme, “Think Globally, Invest
Locally: Recycle Energy.”
On behalf of IDEA, I sincerely thank
Anders for his exceptional leadership,
vision, hard work and enthusiasm. Under
his guidance, the board of directors successfully completed a strategic plan and
made significant strides in advancing district energy on a global scale.
In the upcoming year, I want to continue to expand IDEA’s outreach to all
countries in our membership and tap the
many opportunities for economic and
environmental investment in district energy.
I have chosen my theme as:
Partnering for Success
In her keynote address at the June
conference, former New Jersey Gov.
Christine Todd Whitman said that district
energy’s efficiency makes it a key strategy
for responding to the increasing world
energy demand in an environmentally
responsible way. (See cover story p. 16.)
She also said there is a lot of work to do
to bring the concept of district energy to
the attention of decision makers because
many do not know about the industry and
its benefits. As such, we need to work
together to advocate for our industry.
Partnering provides an opportunity for us
to individually benefit from the collective
strength of all.
How do we benefit? IDEA is the ‘
go-to resource’ for district energy. It is where
manufacturers, suppliers, service providers,
district energy system managers and operators, and governmental agencies learn
from each other and grow stronger together.
There are many venues where we can
benefit from our association:
Partnering is essential to education and
the growth of industry knowledge.
The June conference exemplified the significant body of knowledge that resides
in our association. The educational outreach in the presentations, panels and
exhibit hall provided an opportunity to
pick the brains of the district energy leaders and operators as well as the technical
experts who develop, produce, or provide
the products, services and technology
essential to the growth of our industry.
Partnering is essential to forging relationships that are key to our professional success. Through IDEA, we foster
multiple networking links that help us in
our decision making. From each other
we learn what works, what doesn’t, and
how we can enhance our businesses,
systems and operations. A positive side
benefit of many of these professional
relationships is that they evolve into
wonderful long-standing friendships.
Partnering is essential to ensuring we
have a voice in the development of
key energy and environmental policies.
Gov. Whitman stated that we need to
“be at the table” with our governmental
leaders – from local municipalities to
national policymakers – ensuring that we
advocate the benefits of district energy
and have a say in crafting policies.
IDEA exists solely for its members. It
depends on a small, dedicated staff and
many individuals who volunteer countless
hours. Particular recognition goes to this
year’s top award winners: Joel Greene,
Jennings, Strouss & Salmon PLC, the
Norman R. Taylor Award; Everett Wolverton
and Joe Harrell on behalf of the University
of Cincinnati, the System of the Year
Award; Ken Linwick, formerly with NRG
Energy Center Minneapolis, the Life
Member award; and Bob Smith, RMF
Engineering, the Unsung Hero Award.
While space here does not allow for a
complete listing of all awards, they are
recognized in the wrapup of the annual
conference on p. 22. Congratulations to all!
I extend my deepest gratitude to board
member Peter Cooper of MIT and past
chair Joel Greene of as their board terms
come to a close. Peter has brought us
campus insight, and Joel has been an
energetic and forceful agent for positive
change during his six years of board service.
As others leave us, new members join
us. I extend a warm welcome to those
newly elected: Kenneth Clark of Burns and
McDonnell Engineers, Johnathan Coleman
of Solar Turbines, and William Verge of
the University of Michigan. We have our
work cut out for us this year as we ( 1)
build on Anders’ legacy as chair to expand
the global reach of our industry, advance
local investment and foster the recycling
of energy; ( 2) implement the strategic
plan; and (3) advance our common goal
of Partnering for Success.
I also thank the IDEA staff: Rob
Thornton, president; Tanya Kozel, director
of marketing; Dina Gadon, director for
member services; Melissa Benowitz, conference planning; Laxmi Rao, research and
development; Monica Westerlund, executive editor of District Energy magazine;
and Mark Spurr, legislative director, for
their tireless efforts on behalf of our association and our industry.
It will be my pleasure to work with
President Rob Thornton, Vice Chair Gary
Rugel, the IDEA board and every IDEA
member in the coming year. To get us
started in Partnering for Success, I ask
everyone to take one small and one big
step. The small one? Help us grow stronger
together by committing to bringing in at
least one new member within the next
two months. The big one? If you are new
to IDEA, get involved. If you are already a
member, stay involved; or better yet, get
more involved. Partnering for Success is all
of us coming together for the collective
benefit of our industry and each other.
Partnering for Success – together, we are
better, smarter and stronger.
Director of Energy and Utilities
University of Virginia
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