“Nothing happens without energy so everything is energy.”
With that motto in mind, Energy Huntsville is supporting opportunities and assisting companies in the energy market sector. With 200 members and growing, the nonprofit organization is working to ensure that the high-tech industry that calls Huntsville home stays on the cutting edge of innovation.
We recently sat down with Energy Huntsville’s Founder and Chairman of the Board Jay Newkirk, Executive Director Cedreck Davis and Director of Leadership Roger Herdy, representing Teledyne Brown Engineering, to talk about the restructuring and reenergizing of the organization – and how its future connects to the future of technology in Huntsville.
Q: Tell us about the genesis of Energy Huntsville.
Herdy: Energy Huntsville is about eight or nine years old now. (Huntsville) Mayor (Tommy) Battle put together initiatives with Geo Huntsville, Energy Huntsville and Cyber Huntsville. Those three initiatives are separate but tied together from a standpoint of economic development.
Newkirk: I was involved in an energy company and Tommy found out about it. He said that we need to help these aerospace companies get involved in the energy sector because it is growing. So he launched it with my and others’ help to encourage some of the very strong technically-based aerospace companies to get into the energy sector. We started with about 10 of us and started growing. We developed a strategy: meet once a month, get someone important to speak to us who is on the leading edge of the energy/technology areas … and what I would tell everybody was at the end of the meeting, “the most important thing we will do is take our badges off, network and team up on this work and get after it.” Because Tommy’s objective was economic development, jobs and growth.
Q: What benefits are available for the membership?
Herdy: One of the things that we are doing with membership is bringing people into meetings, networking, sponsoring events and information sharing (for) business opportunities. That has been somewhat successful and we are hoping to foster that into future success. We bring in some interesting outside speakers who will tout the emerging energy technologies.
Davis: If you are a small company, the amount of overhead you can lower (with better energy solutions) gives you a better base to run your business. That is what this whole thing is about. Whether you are a small company or mega company, keep the (energy) overhead to a minimum, and invest in what the product is.
Q: Who can become a member?
Herdy: There are different company sponsorships at different tiers but the basic membership is $150 a year.
Newkirk: If you are interested in energy, you can become a member.
Q: Where do you see Energy Huntsville headed in the future?
Davis: The prior six…seven…eight years were good, but we plateaued. We are in the process of restructuring Energy Huntsville. We are striving to look for the best thing to offer which would be a restructure but at the same time provide for the regional and surrounding areas what they need relative to energy. Ultimately, we are hoping to reach into the membership of Energy Huntsville and start providing solutions to the problems that they can’t readily solve.
Q: How is Energy Huntsville planning to expand its reach beyond the local area?
Newkirk: We will become an active organization who is solving energy problems not only for Huntsville, the region, state and ultimately become a center of excellence for this type of technology. We can elevate energy solutions as a go-to resource nationally.
Davis: Our goal will be to bring the best technical resources possible to solve the problem. Members first, but then we would use external experts to help with that.
Newkirk: People all over the country will see Energy Huntsville as a solution center.
For information on how to join Energy Huntsville, visit https://energyhuntsville.com/.