LITTLE ROCK (Oct. 20, 2015) – Wally Nixon, a staff attorney at the Arkansas Public Service Commission with four decades of policy experience in advanced energy, received the Ron Bell Advanced Energy Leadership Award Tuesday during the AAEA’s 4th annual policy conference, “emPOWERing Arkansas.”

Nixon’s award was announced during the conference luncheon. Other finalists included Martha Jane Murray, founder of the state USGBC chapter and the nationally acclaimed HEAL program under the Clinton Climate Initiative; Orlo Stitt, Founder and President of Stitt Energy Systems, Inc. in Northwest Arkansas in 1978, and a nationally renowned sustainable designer/builder and author; and Don Richardson, former Mayor of Clinton and current Natural Resource Commissioner with a lifetime of public service protecting Arkansas’s natural resources and advocating for clean energy.

When presenting the award, AAEA Executive Director Steve Patterson called the four finalists “some of the state’s most prominent and accomplished advanced energy leaders.”

Named after the former chairman of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation, the Ron Bell Advanced Energy Leadership Award was created to recognize outstanding and consistent contributions to Arkansas’s advanced energy industry by an individual business leader or research & education leader who is a member of AAEA or a public servant in Arkansas. Last year’s winner was Terry Tremwel, Chairman of Trem-wel Energy.

Nixon was also a finalist in 2014. As an energy attorney, advocate, and public servant, he has had a positive impact on advanced energy rules, policies, and laws in Arkansas over four decades, including the Arkansas Energy Conservation Endorsement Act (1977) under then-Governor Bill Clinton. He is referred to by many as Arkansas’s “Father of Advanced Energy”.

AAEA members nominate potential Ron Bell awardees during the summer. After finalists are determined, a committee of AAEA and AAEF Board Members determine the annual winner.