Board of Directors

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Heather Nelson

Seal Solar | Evolve Auto

Chair

Heather Nelson is co-founder and president of Seal Solar and a former corporate lender for some of the nation’s largest banks. Under her leadership, the local solar design and installation firm has completed more than 450, or approximately one in five, renewable energy projects in the state. Thanks to an innovative partnership with Evolve Auto, it is now one of the only businesses in the U.S. that is able to provide fully solar-powered ecosystems, including panels, batteries, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and EVs, in one transaction.

Heather is the incoming board chair for the Arkansas Advanced Energy Association (AAEA) and currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She is on the AAEA Distributed Generation Task Force, Arkansas History Commission, Junior Achievement of Arkansas Board of Directors, and UA Little Rock Foundation Fund Board. She regularly travels to Haiti with the Global Orphan Project of Kansas City, Missouri. 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.

In 2021, she received the Business Executive of the Year Award at the Arkansas Business of the Year Awards sponsored by Arkansas Business. In 2019, she received the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from her alma mater, the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business. An Arkansas native, she also holds an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Alex Ray

Johnson Controls, Inc.

Vice-Chair

Chair – Membership Committee

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.
David Stitt

David Stitt

The Stitt Group, Inc.

Secretary

David Stitt is President and Chief Executive Officer for The Stitt Group, Inc., in Rogers, Arkansas. The Stitt Group was founded in 1978 is a collaborative design / build firm specializing in the development of solar energy systems and high performance buildings. 

David has worked in the energy and construction industry for over 30 years and has a BA in Economics from Iowa State University.  David is married and has 2 daughters.

Matt Bell

Matt Bell

Entegrity Energy Partners

Treasurer

Chair – EE/ESPC Committee

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.
Will Black

Will Black

Performance Services

Will Black, a native of Central Arkansas, is a business development manager for Performance Services, a NAESCO accredited and Arkansas qualified energy services company. Will has 20 years of experience in the design and construction industry focused on estimating, project management, and business development. Will’s industry experience includes education, industrial, healthcare, and commercial markets. Prior to joining PSI in 2019, Will was employed by CDI Contractors in Little Rock as a business development manager and was a key part of growing the company from $100 million in annual revenue in his first year to almost $300 million. He has a passion for solving problems and finding the best construction and renovation solutions for customers.
Will and his wife of 18 years have five children. He grew up raising beef cows with his parents and brother. He is a lifelong Arkansas Razorbacks fan and enjoys cheering for his kids in everything that they do. He and his family spend any free time they have outdoors hunting, fishing or floating/kayaking rivers in Arkansas.

Mark Cayce

Mark Cayce

Ouachita Electric Cooperative

Chair – Clean Energy & Renewables Committee

Experience working with Investor owned utilities and electric cooperatives specializing in energy efficiency, customer service and local management. General Manager and CEO for Ouachita Electric Cooperative headquartered in Camden Arkansas since January of 2002. Presently serving as Chairman of Today’s Power. The ACEEE named OECC’s Help Pay’s program one its 2019 Exemplary programs. Ouachita Electric Cooperative was recognized by the Smart Electric Power Alliance as the 2017 Electric Cooperative of the Year, Mark was named as one of the top 40 electric utility innovators in 2017 by Public Utilities Fortnightly, and was recognized by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality with the 2018 Energy Excellence Award for partnering with South Arkansas Telephone to merge solar energy with fiber optic internet service in South Arkansas. Vice President of Arkansas Rural Internet Service, currently providing fiber optic internet service in South Arkansas.
Kimberly Coker

Kimberly Coker

Southern Arkansas University Tech

Kimberly Coker, Southern Arkansas University Tech’s Dean of Communications & Public Relations, has been working in higher education since 2002. During this time, she has worked as the College’s grants officer, college editor, communications officer for the institution’s Emergency Response Team, and the Executive Director of the SAU Tech Foundation. Kimberly also serves on the Executive Council for SAU Tech.

During her time at SAU Tech, Kimberly has taught sociology, psychology, developmental psychology, intro to social work, and grant writing as an adjunct instructor. She earned a bachelor’s degree from SAU in sociology with a minor in Psychology and an emphasis in social work. She later earned a master’s degree in clinical counseling.

Before working in higher education, Kimberly worked with non-profits, first at South Arkansas Regional Health, CASA, and later at a service provider for developmentally disabled adults. She has four grown daughters, is married to a chemistry teacher/coach, and lives in Camden, Arkansas.

Mark Cayce

Caleb Gorden

Shine Solar

Caleb Gorden is the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Shine Solar in Bentonville, AR. Caleb has over 15 years in the direct sales industry with a proven track record in managing and training sales professionals. Under his leadership, Shine Solar has grown to be the largest residential solar installer in the State of Arkansas with over 225 employees. Since 2016, Shine Solar has installed more than 1,700 residential rooftops in the State of Arkansas and more than 3,300 rooftops including surrounding states. He is passionate about solar and educating others on its benefits. Caleb is a husband and father of six. He spends his time away from work with family and enjoys traveling. Caleb graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.
Michael Hester

Michael L. Hester, Ed.D.

Batesville School District

Dr. Hester was born in Morrilton, AR and graduated from Perryville High School. He earned his
bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication & Education from Mid-America Nazarene
University. He obtained a master’s degree in School Administration from the University of
Central Oklahoma and completed his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Wichita State
University. He began his educational career in Oklahoma, teaching English and speech while
coaching and owning a construction company. He returned to Kansas in 1990, where he spent
23 years as high school principal. In 2013, he became the Assistant Superintendent of
Secondary Schools with Topeka Public Schools, serving 15,000 students. In 2017, he returned
home to Arkansas as the Batesville School District Superintendent.

Dr. Hester has an innovative and visionary leader reputation. He has pioneered three 1:1 district
technology initiatives that resulted in significant student achievement. In 2014, he helped
establish the Topeka Center for Advanced Learning and Careers (TCALC), a business
partnership for high school students to enter into a career from high school. In 2018, he initiated
Arkansas’ largest energy efficiency initiative and the state’s first school district solar panel
project for Batesville School District.

Dr. Hester has published articles in the International Journal of Educational Management and
the Journal of Urban Education. He has presented to educational groups on a local, state,
national and international level. He serves as an advocate for high achievement for ALL
students. He is known as an excellent communicator. The last two decades of successful
administrative experience has allowed him to scrimmage with a wide range of legal and financial
issues that benefit Batesville School District in policy and procedural issues.

Dr. Hester has improved student progress and closed achievement gaps in rural, urban and
suburban public schools. With a variety of educational leadership, he brings innovation and
creativity to problem solving opportunities to the Batesville School District that has a rich state
history. He strives to be supportive, visible, transparent, and use common sense in the
confusing and fast-paced issues that districts face today.

He has been actively involved with his church and is involved in several community
organizations. He is the past president of Rotary, Lions Club and serves on the Chamber of
Commerce. He is visible in the community, collaborative in his work, and is highly respected by
his staff as an innovative and positive leader.

Mark Killingsworth

Mark Killingsworth

Crews & Associates, Inc.

Mark Killingsworth is a Vice President for Crews & Associates, Inc. in Little Rock and its direct lending affiliate, First Security Finance, Inc. During his 10+ years at Crews, Mark has focused on the primary and secondary market financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for municipal, education and non-profit customers across the United States, with total originations in excess of $1 billion.

Mark received a Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Finance in 2009 and a MBA in 2010 from Arkansas State University. Mark and his wife, Star, reside in their hometown of McCrory with their two children, Emma and Cole.

Amy Morris

Amy Morris

Centerpoint Energy

Amy serves as the Manager of Rates and Regulatory for CenterPoint Energy where she has over 8 years of experience in the natural gas industry supporting the Arkansas and Oklahoma business. Before her current role, she was the Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis for CenterPoint Energy. She graduated from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a degree in Finance. Amy and her husband live in Bryant with their son Justin, and she enjoys coaching her son’s soccer team.

Paul Osborn

Paul Osborn, CPA, CVA

HCJ CPAs & Advisors, PLLC

Paul is diligent and proficient; his teammates appreciate him for his technical skill. He was inspired to pursue a career in accounting by his grandfather. A professional in the field since 2006, he credits his career success to a combination of a good work ethic and steady diligence.

Born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, Paul continues to reside there to this day. He loves the area for its size – small, but not too small – and its people and the southern culture. Paul and his wife, Alicia, have been married for more than a decade and have five children. In his free time, Paul can often be found exercising – he likes running and swimming best.

Will Black

Lisa V. Perry

Walmart, Inc.

Chair – Events Committee

Lisa V. Perry is a Senior Manager, Energy Services for Walmart, Inc. As part of the utilities team, Lisa participates in regulatory utility proceedings across the United States. These proceedings include general rate cases, renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, vehicle electrification plans, and increasing customer access to competitive generation supply and wholesale electricity markets. Lisa also communicates with utility companies during and after major weather events that impact Walmart facilities.

Prior to joining Walmart, Lisa represented Walmart as outside counsel in general rate cases and renewable energy dockets before utility Commissions in Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Lisa received from the University of Florida her law degree in 1999 and a L.L.M. in Taxation in 2000. She also completed a B.A. in Criminology and a B.A. in Psychology at the University of South Florida.

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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.

Recent News

Commission denies anti-competitive solar proposal from Entergy

Proposal “not just or reasonable or in the public interest” FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2020 Contact: Katie Laning Niebaum katie@arkansasadvancedenergy.com (501) 537-0190 LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – AAEA released the following statement in response to the Arkansas Public...

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