Each month in our Green Champions section, we feature three people – one each in northern, central, and southern Arizona – who are making strides in the green community. In our July issue, we’re celebrating three individuals professionally dedicated to solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources.
Karin Wadsack promotes an eco-conscious lifestyle in Flagstaff, Arizona, especially through renewable energy. With experience in journalism, marketing and corporate operations management, Wadsack has harnessed her expertise in wind and other alternative energy sources to oversee various projects. In 2012, Wadsack was recognized by the United States Department of Energy as Young Wind Advocate of the Year for her service as principal investigator for NAU’s Collegiate Wind Competition Team and her continued leadership at the United States Department of Energy’s Four Corners Wind Deployment Research Center. In Flagstaff, she chairs the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy project team of the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative of Northern Arizona and also heads a federally funded mission to establish clean energy projects and policies for tribes in Northeast Arizona. Beyond Arizona, Wadsack managed rainwater harvesting operations as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia and worked in the design and installation of a solar and wind power company in rural Ohio.
President of the construction firm Sky Engineering and its energy division Sky Renewable Energy, Kay Young has helped her companies blossom from humble beginnings in a guesthouse into thriving corporations. Created originally to supply electricians for the construction firm’s projects, the renewable energy division has developed into a wind, biomass, hydro, and solar power contractor under Young’s leadership. Its services include commercial construction and installation of these renewable energy sources for corporations, school districts and federal agencies. Sky Renewable Energy was ranked among the Top 10 Alternative Energy Companies in Arizona by The Arizona Republic. Prior to heading Sky, Kay Young enrolled at Arizona State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. Her accounting knowledge, along with her brother Scott’s construction expertise, ultimately helped to bring Sky Renewable Energy to the forefront of alternative energy developers in Phoenix.
George Villec, President, GeoInnovation
Recognized as a renewable energy industry leader in Tucson, George Villec oversees the operations of GeoInnovation, a commercial solar electric contractor that provides services for Southern Arizona. Villec’s experience and educational background in professional mechanical engineering helps him to maximize the efficiency and reliability of the photovoltaic systems that GeoInnvation installs. In addition to ensuring the highest quality design and installation, Villec has improved the aesthetics of the company’s solar energy installations. This has helped to boost the demand for solar paneling in Southern Arizona, as consumers can invest in the systems without taking on a visual burden. As a founding member of the Southern Arizona Solar Standards Board, Villec works to set standards for all solar power corporations in the region, and to better inform consumers when purchasing these systems. Beyond his corporate work, Villec educates students and other professionals on renewable energy and engineering at local schools and community colleges. Charitably, under Villec’s leadership, GeoInnovation has donated several residential solar power systems to Habitat for Humanity and other local projects.
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