Contacts: Shelly Baron, 501-537-0190 or 
Steve Patterson, 501-537-0190 or

AAEA Gathers for 2nd Annual Meeting, Policy Conference in North Little Rock

Little Rock, AR – As one of the fastest growing business sectors in Arkansas, the advanced energy industry will gather for a one-day policy conference called “emPOWERing Arkansas” in Little Rock on October 1 to examine critical issues from capital access for entrepreneurs to the latest advances in technology, according to planners at the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA).

Scheduled at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock, the AAEA’s second annual meeting and policy conference will feature guest luncheon speaker Bill Ritter, former Governor of Colorado who transformed his state’s economy with an ambitious clean energy agenda that has added hundreds of jobs.

Advanced energy in Arkansas is a diverse industry including bioenergy, renewable energy, alternative fuels and energy efficiency companies. More than 100 advanced energy companies are currently operating in Arkansas employing an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 employees. The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association counts nearly 80 members including many advanced energy companies along with  several government entities, economic experts, university researchers and individuals.

“The 2013 emPOWERing Arkansas Conference will be an exceptional event presenting the latest information, solutions, and technologies fueling the success of Arkansas’s advanced energy businesses,” said Steve Patterson, AAEA Executive Director.  “AAEA has gathered a unique group of experts who are leaders in the field who will discuss their success in creating jobs and expanding advanced energy business opportunities.  We look forward to learning from them as well as our members and guests as we continue to expand the advanced energy economy  in Arkansas.” 

Current cosponsors of “emPOWERing Arkansas” include The University of Arkansas (Partner); Baldor Electric (Program); Cimarron Capital (Program) Energy Systems Group (Program).

The policy program begins with registration and welcome at 9:00 a.m. and continues through the day.  The Program Agenda for emPOWERing Arkansas follows:

9:30 a.m. – Advanced Energy State Policy Roundtable Discussion

  • Led by Ken Smith, AAEA Policy Director, and Tom Plant, Vice President of State Policy for the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), this participatory session will include a broad range of policy issues including  recent changes to state energy efficiency incentives and financing policies, new technologies that have enhanced industrial energy efficiency, as well as an evaluation of current policies on renewable energy development and strategies.

11:30 a.m. – Lunch featuring former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter (2007-2011) and Celebration of AAEA’s Successful 2nd Year.

1:00 p.m. – Access to Capital for Advanced Energy Start-ups & Entrepreneurs

  • Moderated by Dr. Phil Heard with Cimarron Capital Partners, this panel discussion focuses on attracting capital for advanced energy business enterprises in Arkansas. 
  • Panelists include Ramsey Ball with Fund for Arkansas’ Future, Dan Scripps with Advanced Energy Economy, and other experts from the advanced energy investment field in Arkansas and around the country.

 2:00 p.m. – Private Sector Impact of State Agency Energy Savings 

  • Moderated by Tom Plant, this panel presentation focuses on the private sector, economic impact of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvement projects that will be unleashed after a new law goes into effect next year that enables state agencies and higher education institutions to implement energy savings projects.  Panelists will include Chris Salzmann with Energy Systems Group, Pam Speraw with Sun City Solar Energy, and Melanie Hayes with E-3 Strategic Resources.

 3:00 p.m. – Harnessing the Power of Social Media for Advanced Energy Business Growth

  • Brent Robinson and Matt Dromi, both with AAEA member company modthink, a social media strategy firm, will facilitate  a training workshop for companies so they can harness the power of social media to increase their exposure, strengthen relationships with clients/customers, market with a more authentic voice, and maximize profits all leading to greater success for their business. 

 4:00 p.m. – Research/Innovation Expo and Networking Reception

  • The expo and networking reception is an opportunity for participants to relax, mingle and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages while browsing the exhibits of AAEA’s university and two-year college members who present the latest advanced energy research and development that shows potential for business investment and growth, along with the innovative job training that keeps these investments here at home.

AAEA Members and Guests: For event information, registration, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: 

Members of the media: Please contact Shelly Baron at (501) 537-0190 or for information on media credentials.

Arkansas Advanced Energy Association is a business group dedicated to growing Arkansas’s economy by expanding our energy workforce and manufacturing base through the increased development, manufacture, and utilization of advanced energy technologies. 

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation is the educational affiliate of the AAEA. The Foundation promotes greater public understanding of advanced energy in Arkansas through research, public education programs and economic and workforce development. The Foundation is dedicated to informing the energy policy debate with well-researched, fact-based data on the advanced energy economy in Arkansas and by providing a public forum where state leaders can address Arkansas’s energy challenges for the future.

Report Shows Global Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy
A new report released in January 2013 by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) shows that advanced energy was a $1.1 trillion global market in 2011, larger than pharmaceutical manufacturing worldwide. The first-ever analysis of the advanced energy sector also shows that the market in the U.S. represents a significant part of the nation’s economy, with $132 billion in revenue in 2011, and a 19 percent growth rate estimated for 2012, with U.S. revenue rising to $157 billion. Read the full report here:

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