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Energy Leaders Recognized at “emPOWERing Arkansas” ConferenceRon Hughes, Orlo Stitt named Ron Bell Advanced Energy Leadership Award winners at Arkansas Advanced Energy Association’s 5th annual conference

Little Rock, AR – For the first-time since its inception, the Ron Bell Advanced Energy Leadership Award has two winners: Ron Hughes and Orlo Stitt. Both men have been delivering advanced energy solutions to Arkansans for nearly four decades.

The advanced energy leaders were recognized today before a 200-person crowd of industry stakeholders attending the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association’s (AAEA) 5th annual meeting and policy conference, “emPOWERing Arkansas.”

In presenting the awards, Dr. Beth Hood, Chairwoman of the Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation (AAEF), noted the increasingly difficult task of selecting one winner from the “many worthy contributors to our growing industry.” This year’s selection process resulted in an unbreakable tie.

Hughes has been at the forefront of energy efficiency efforts in Arkansas for decades, working to educate appraisers and lenders, advocating for “labeling” buildings in terms of energy use, personally certifying more than 550 houses and apartments for Energy Star, and developing the national Home Energy Rating System (HERS), among many other notable efforts.

Stitt, founder and president of Stitt Energy Systems, Inc. since 1978, is a nationally renowned sustainable designer/builder who has now designed and built more than 550 state-of-the-art energy efficient and renewable energy powered, net-zero custom homes.

Named after the former chairman of AAEF, 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 and education leader who is a member of AAEA or a public servant in Arkansas.

Chris Ladner and Dr. Corbet Lamkin were finalists for the award. Ladner is the founding partner of Viridian, as well as Home Energy Rx and Entegrity Energy Partners. He helped found Arkansas’s US Green Building Council chapter and has served on national task forces with USGBC.

Dr. Lamkin is the chancellor emeritus at Southern Arkansas University Tech, and played a leading role behind construction of Arkansas’s largest solar farm at Aerojet Rocketdyne near Camden. Dr. Lamkin was the visionary leader of a collaborative team, and the advocate at all levels of government who helped bring the 12 MW solar farm to fruition, thereby breaking down the longstanding barriers standing in the way of large-scale renewable energy adoption in Arkansas.

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, which in this year’s case, resulted in a tie.


The Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) is the business voice for advanced energy in Arkansas. AAEA is dedicated to growing Arkansas’s economy through expanded utilization of advanced energy technologies, including energy efficiency, demand response, natural gas electric generation, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, alternative fuels and smart grid. These are innovations that make our energy supply more secure, clean and affordable. Visit, and find us on Facebook and Twitter.