Board of Directors

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Gary McChesney


Gary McChesney is Chief Technology Officer at FutureFuel Chemical Company, Batesville, AR. He is primarily responsible for defining and implementing the company’s technology strategy. A licensed professional engineer in the State of Arkansas, McChesney began his professional career in 1980 as a staff engineer in the Utilities Department at Eastman Kodak, Eastman Chemical Division, Arkansas Operations. He was named Superintendent of NOBS Manufacturing Department in 1994 and Superintendent of the Technology Department in 2004. McChesney was appointed Director of Technology in November, 2006, when Eastman was acquired by FutureFuel Chemical Company. He was appointed to his current position in 2007. McChesney was recently elected Chairman of the Board for the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association.

Matt Bell

Matt Bell is a partner at Entegrity Energy Partners. He is a LEED AP with a BS in Business Administration from University of Arkansas. His previous experience brings expertise in construction estimation and project management. Previously, Matt was an executive in the construction industry as co-founder of Bell-Corley Construction, a commercial general contracting firm located in Little Rock. While at BCC, Matt Bell and Boyd Corley were recognized locally by Arkansas Business and nominated for Business of the Year in both 2005 and 2006. Nationally BCC was recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as a member of the HOT 100 fastest growing businesses ranking 26th and the Inc Magazine Inc. 500 as the 44th fastest growing company in 2006. In 2005, Arkansas Business Publishing recognized Matt as business leader and he was selected to the “40 under 40″ list of upcoming business and political leaders in Arkansas under 40 years of age. Matt recently served as the Chair of the Green Schools Advocacy Committee through the USGBC Arkansas Chapter and currently serves as a chair member on the committee. Additionally, Matt currently serves as Vice-Chairman for the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission. Current responsibilities at Entegrity include providing sustainable design and construction assistance to owners, architects, engineers, and contractors to enhance their ability to budget, plan, design, and finance a facility that respects occupant needs, financial responsibilities, and the environment. Primarily responsible for the project management of all LEED new construction projects and coordination of all project team member responsibilities.

Alan Hope

Alan Hope, a native of Little Rock, is the president and owner of Powers of Arkansas, which started in 1985. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. A LEED Accredited Professional, Class A HVACR license holder, and Certified Energy Manager with more than 29 years of experience meeting the building HVAC, Controls and Service needs of higher education, healthcare, K-12 schools, commercial and industrial customers. Alan’s extensive experience with energy management systems, operations and maintenance, building automation and control systems, energy strategies, business, design, contracting, service and construction of varied facilities afford expertise for each Customer. In 2010, he was a finalist in the Arkansas Business “Business Executive of the Year” and Powers of Arkansas received the “Arkansas Business of the Year” (Cat III 76-300 employees). Powers was the “Siemens Field Office of the Year” for both 2010 and 2011. With over 100 employees, Powers is the Arkansas Company for Building HVAC, Controls, and Service.

Douglas Hutchings

Douglas Hutchings is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Solar Solutions, an Arkansas based advanced materials company in Fayetteville, AR. He has received the nationally competitive National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and has now led his company to compete in 16 international business competitions, placing in the top three of each and winning seven outright. Hutchings was named one of the five “Nation’s Top New Inventors” by Inventors Digest for his work on three patent applications. He also serves on several panels and committees concerning clean tech and entrepreneurship in Arkansas.

Heather Nelson

Heather Nelson is co-founder + president of Seal Solar, a solar design and install firm she co-founded with Josh Davenport in 2012. A corporate lender for some of the nation’s largest banks for nearly two decades, she has helped Seal Solar become one of Arkansas’s leading solar businesses. Under her leadership, the firm has completed more than 475, or approximately one in five, solar projects in the state. Today, its team of over 45 certified professionals offers turn-key solutions to homeowners, businesses, government entities and farmers across Arkansas.

Heather is also on the UA Little Rock Foundation Fund Board, Junior Achievement of Arkansas, and the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association Distributed Generation Task Force. She previously served two terms on the National Board of Directors for the Arkansas Alumni Association and as president of the Sam M. Walton College of Business Alumni Society.

An Arkansas native, Heather holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas Sam M.
Walton College of Business and an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Alex Ray

Alex Ray serves as the Arkansas Business Development Director for the Performance Infrastructure division of Johnson Controls, Inc. With over seven years of experience focused directly in facility infrastructure improvements and operations strategies, he is responsible for assisting clients with enterprise-wide energy and operational performance improvements and the related financing to implement those capital upgrades. Ray received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 2011 from Ouachita Baptist University, majoring in Political Science and Business Administration – Economics. Alex and his wife Lindsey live in Bryant with their newborn daughter Olivia, and six year old Australian Shepherd, Tator Tot.

Keaton Smith

Keaton Smith is a Relationship Manager and Vice President with IBERIABANK, specializing in real estate finance as well as C&I lending, cash flow optimization, risk mitigation and business strategy. He is a graduate of the Leadership Fayetteville and Leadership Springdale programs and was named to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Fast 15 list of young professionals. In addition to AAEA, Keaton serves on the board of the Community Development Corporation of Bentonville/Bella Vista, contributes to the City of Fayetteville’s Innovation Council and Millennial Advisory Council, serves on the steering committees of the NWA chapter of the Urban Land Institute and the Fayetteville chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby, and chairs the board of Partners for Better Housing. Keaton is a University of Arkansas alumnus who is passionate about the Razorbacks, economic development, creative placemaking, addressing structural issues that solve big problems, and bluegrass music.

David Stitt

David Stitt is Chief Executive Officer and Sales/Marketing Representative for The Stitt Group, Inc., in Rogers, Arkansas. The Stitt Group is a collaborative design / build firm specializing in the production of high performance homes. As a member of RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network), and being a RESNET Energy Smart Builder, The Stitt Group Rates all its homes and provides a 2-year home energy guarantee for each. HERS ratings on Stitt projects range from -27 to 60.

David has worked in the construction industry for over 25 years, which included 7 years as a softwood lumber trader. Stitt has a BA in Economics from Iowa State University, has earned the Certified Green Professional (CGP) designation by the National Association of Home Builders, currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ozark Natural Science Center, and is a member of the US Green Building Council.

David is married and has 2 daughters that attend Heritage High School in Rogers.

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About Arkansas Advanced Energy Association

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.