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FlaSEIA MEMBER AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

At FlaSEIA, we take pride in recognizing the outstanding contributions of our members within the solar energy industry.

The FlaSEIA Hall of Fame pays tribute to individuals whose exceptional contributions have left a mark on the solar industry. Inductees are seasoned professionals who have dedicated years of expertise, passion, and innovation.

The FlaSEIA Rising Star Award recognizes solar energy professionals under the age of 40, who have demonstrated exceptional promise, innovation, and dedication to the Florida solar energy industry.

2024 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Vince Biel: began his journey in solar in 1979 with US Solar, a manufacturer of solar water heaters. The company name changed to Solar Trek, and he purchased it in 1992, shifting to focus on pool heating installations. 
  • Roger Messenger: became involved in solar in the early 70’s by designing a differential temperature controller for a solar water heater.  He continued his research projects and, with others, produced the first edition of the Florida Code for Energy Efficiency in Building Construction. 
  • Penny Hall has made her mark in the solar industry by developing programs for students from elementary school through college.  She joined the Florida Solar Energy Center in 1997 where she has assisted with FSEC's various educational programs, including development of classroom materials, facilitating teacher workshops, and coordinating student competitions. 
  • David Sizelove has been the CEO of Aquatherm Industries for 34 years and has 40 years of experience in solar thermal technology. A 1977 graduate of the Florida Institute of Technology, his company is a leader in polymer technologies and the only US solar thermal manufacturer to be ISO 9001 Registered. 
  • Freeman Ford: founded FAFCO in 1969, the oldest and largest solar thermal manufacturing company in the US.  The very first swimming pool thermal solar system in Florida was installed on Longboat Key and today there are more than 80,000 solar pool heaters throughout the state. 
  • Wayne Wallace: has been passionate about solar since he was 12 years old when he saw the harsh realities of environmental degradation in waters of his home state of Michigan. He established Solar Source in 1984 driven by his environmental concern and bolstered by the Clean Air and Water Act.

Posthumously

  • Dan Fieldman: founded Ivan Labs in Jupiter, Florida in 1975, creating circulating pumps that made their way into the solar industry when solar domestic hot water boomed.  He created a product from his home and the pumps were used all over the county.  He worked with FSEC in solar's infancy to put in place many of the provisions that still support the sale and installation of solar today. His pump was used around the world moving water from one place to another with the only moving part being the impeller. Ivan Labs broke the manufacturing rules in the industry as a "loner" competing with industry giants and producing a superior product.

2024 Rising Star Awards

Juan Hernandez

Transform Solar

Brian Margretta

Jinko Solar

Rhiannon Eslahi

Rack Solar

Sam Mitchum

Solar Stack

Jingjing You

Jinko Solar

Derek Piotter

Solar First

Jacob Traverso

Solar Source

Stephanie Stephens

EPC Solar

2024 Solar & Storage Photo Awards

Small Commercial PV Installation: Solar Trek Inc

Commercial Combination Technology Thermal & PV: Solar-Fit

Commercial PV Architectural Design Award: Solar Trek Inc

Commercial Thermal Installation: Solar Trek Inc

Community Impact Award: ESA Solar

Most Artistic Photo: ESA Solar

Large Residential PV Installation: Mirasol Solar

Residential Combination Technology Thermal & PV: Solar-Fit

Residential Shade Port Combination Tech PV & Battery: Solar Trek

Residential Off Grid Installation: Solar First

Residential PV Tile Roof Installation: Solar-Fit

Residential Battery Installation: Solar Trek Inc

View photos from the Photo Awards here.

2023 Hall of Fame Inductees

  • David Bessette: Dave has been in the solar industry since 1979, designing one of the first PV systems in Florida and recently the led committee which developed Florida Solar Apprenticeship Program.
  • Scott Egglefield: Scott realized importance of solar energy to humanity while trekking in Nepal in 1974, leading him to start his solar business that same year.
  • Bob Zrallack: Bob has been in the solar industry since 1976. He has taught classes at conferences all over the US and continues to serve as a subject matter expert for the solar contractor's exam.
  • Robert Schabes:  Robert and a partner created a dealershop to sell and install solar domestic water heaters and utilized a HUD incentive program to help make solar sales and later became a national leader in the distribution of solar water heating products.
  • Michael Newman:  Mike has worked in all areas of the solar industry including manufacturing, financial management, sales and marketing, dealer and installer training, research and development and product development.
  • Bill Gallagher: Bill started his solar business in 1975. Every Saturday morning he hosts the Solar-Fit Renewable Energy Show interviewing local and national leaders in renewable energy.
  • Peter DeNapoli: Pete spent 42 years at the forefront of the PV industry's off-grid and grid-connected markets.
  • Victor Eyal: Victor immigrated from Israel to the US in 1981 and realized the opportunity for solar on American roofs. He formed an international network of solar swimming pool and water heating dealers and distributors for Heliocol. 
  • Philip Fairey: Mr. Fairey has more than 25 years experience in building science research. He developed the Florida Building Energy-Efficiency Rating System and led the development of EnergyGauge®
  • Bill Guiney: Bill has more than 40-years of experience in the solar industry. He accounted for over 250 projects which include some of the largest solar thermal systems installed in the country.
  • John Harrison: John was responsible for administering the activities of the FSEC Solar System and Collector Certification Programs in which he worked very closely with members of the Florida and national solar industry.

Posthumously

  • Billy Byrom: Billy entered the renewable energy business in 1979. Billy was an entrepreneur that loved American manufacturing. He genuinely cared about the quality of his products and about the consumer and the longevity of their system. He was also passionate about his employees and their families, and all his friends in the solar thermal industry and proud that his products were 100% US made.
  • Steve Gorman: Steve worked hard on fighting climate change, making us more energy secure and creating clean energy jobs in Florida.

2023 Rising Star Awards

Daniel Moore

Castaways Energy

Michelle Solano

Solcium Solar

Stetson Tchividjian

D3 Energy

Joel Durrance

Greentech Renewables

Dema Headley

Climate First Bank

Jeff Juger

Jinko Solar

Justin Vandenbroeck

esaSolar

Hall of Fame Previous Years

Colleen Kettles

1994 Member

Doug Root

1990 Member

Don Kazimir

1995 Member

Jim Roland

1997 Member

Dr. Erich Farber

1998 Member

Ben Bentley

2000 Member

1988 Charter Members

Dr. David Block

C.E. "Ed" Glenn

Senator Bob Graham

Shirley Hayes

Ron Yachabach