Green Hall of Fame

New Green Hall of Fame Inducts First Members

Six businesses and entities were the first inductees of the International Green Industry Hall of Fame at a recent conference at University of California, Merced.

They are: American Council on Renewable Energy; Duke Smart Home Program; Grundfos; Josh Dorfman, The Lazy Environmentalist; Drip Tech; and the city of Fresno's recycling program, according to the Merced Sun-Star, which covered the event.

About 250 people, including students in green programs, attended the conference last Friday. It was appropriate that UC Merced hosted the inaugural session.

The campus, which is the newest in the University of California system, is rapidly becoming a leader in the green movement. Seven of its buildings are either Silver or Gold LEED certified, and the campus conducts cutting-edge research into solar and biofuels. It is in the middle of the resource-rich San Joaquin Valley, which is attracting strong interest from developers of renewable energy, particularly solar.

In fact, UC Merced says its goal is to become "the hub of Solar Valley." The Valley has lots of sun, acres of flat land that can be used for solar facilities, is close to transmission lines, has windmills off its southern and northern tips, is sandwiched between major population centers , is ringed by universities that can use the Valley as a giant Petri dish and a population with high power bills that can benefit from energy efficiency and development programs.


UC Merced Shows Its True Colors (Green) By Hosting Event

It is no secret that we love UC Merced.

The newest campus in the University of California system is rapidly gaining cred for its heavy green tint. It already is a leader in cutting-edge solar and biofuel research, has six LEED Gold and one LEED Silver buildings and is not shy about its desire to become the greenest campus in the United States.

So, I guess it is natural for the university to host tomorrow's inaugural International Green Industry Hall of Fame (IGIHOF) Induction Ceremony and Conference. The highlight of the daylong event is the announcement of the first six inductees into the new Hall of Fame, which is designed to recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements in the green industry and to provide an educational forum.

The Hall of Fame is the brainchild of Sam Geil, president of Geil Enterprises Inc., a diversified employee-owned Fresno-based business that has several green initiatives.

Geil's involvement in the green industry began during his tenure at Grundfos Pumps and continued at Geil Enterprises Inc. with the acquisition of A-MAZ Cleaning Products. In 2007, he was invited by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, to participate in the Pacific Economic Summit in Vancouver, British Columbia representing sustainable industries in California.

The Hall of Fame event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and includes speakers and tours of the campus. Speakers include Rod Diridon, Sr., executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute, a policy research center at San Jose State University. He will talk about high-speed rail.

Campus architect Thomas E. Lollini will talk about the design of UC Merced, and attorney Donald Simon, co-founder of Build It Green and the U.S. Green Building Council's Northern California chapter, will speak at a dinner reception about America's competitive edge in the new energy economy.

The San Joaquin Valley - with its rich agriculture base, a history of can-do entrepreneurial spirit, vast land and sun resources, access to the transmission grid, mid-state location and high energy bills - can be a leader in the emerging green economy.

And UC Merced, along with the new Hall of Fame, could play key roles in that transformation.