Advanced Energy Leaders on Marquee For AAEA's Eighth Annual Gathering

emPowering AR 2018

emPowering AR 2018

by Kyle Massey

Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 11:04 am 2 min read

Ted Thomas

Ted Thomas

The state's chief utility regulator and its energy secretary will lead a parade of business leaders, policymakers and contractors examining energy industry trends Tuesday at the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association's annual meeting and conference.

The event, set for 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Heifer International in Little Rock, will feature Arkansas Public Service Commission Chairman Ted J. Thomas in the morning and Becky Keough, the state's secretary of energy and environment, in the afternoon.

Karl R. Rabago, a longtime Texas utility regulator and now a solar power advocate, will give the keynote luncheon address. It will be the eighth annual gathering of the association, a trade group promoting business growth through energy efficiency, renewable power, alternative fuels and smart technologies.

The association will also present the Arkansas Advanced Energy Awards, honoring industry leaders, innovators and "rising stars." (See list of finalists below.)


Two in-depth panel discussions will examine deploying advanced energy technology and the impact of the Solar Access Act of 2019. Thomas will give regulatory perspectives on "the rules of the road" in a new, competitive electricity market at 10:15, and Keough will offer her agency's outlook at 2:50 p.m.

Michael Henderson Employee.jpeg

Panelists include Daniel Dawson of Searcy Water Utilities; Walmart Senior Manager of Energy Services Lisa V. Perry; state Sen. Dave Wallace, R-Leachville; Brian Bond, vice president of external affairs at SWEPCO; Kurt Castleberry, director of resource planning at Entergy Arkansas; and Michael Henderson, president of Today's Power Inc.

Association Executive Director Katie Laning Niebaum, noting that "the deployment of advanced energy technologies is growing across the state," said homeowners, farmers, educators and local officials are embracing advanced options promising cost savings for residents, businesses and government entities along with new jobs and revenue opportunities.

"The fast-growing advanced energy industry will help power the state's economy for years to come," Niebaum said.

Arkansas Advanced Energy Awards 2019 Finalists

Ron Bell Advanced Energy Leadership Award, recognizing outstanding contributions to the advanced energy industry by an individual leader in business, research or education, or public service:

  • Kurt Castleberry, director of resource planning and market operations, Entergy Arkansas.

  • Lioneld Jordan, mayor of Fayetteville.

  • Ed Tinsley, CEO, Bernhard Energy Solutions of Baton Rouge.

  • Dave Wallace, state senator from Leachville.

Advanced Energy Rising Star Award, recognizing a leader with a growing impact on the industry:

Keaghan Economon

Keaghan Economon

Jennah Denney

Jennah Denney

  • Beau Blankenship, project manager, Entergy Arkansas.

  • Jennah Denney, marketing & public relations coordinator, Today's Power.

  • Keaghan Economon, electrical engineer, Today's Power.

  • Nick Gorden, CEO, Shine Solar & Shine Home Energy Solutions.

  • Francisco Jung, regional business development manager, Solar & Renewable Power Systems.

  • Gary Moody, director of state & local climate strategy, National Audubon Society.

  • Adam Ness, inside sales & marketing leader, Entegrity.

Advanced Energy Business Innovation Award, honoring an AAEA member company for savvy and foresight in expanding the market:

  • Entergy Arkansas

  • Shine Solar

  • Today's Power


Jennah Denney