• Governor’s Technology Awards (2007)

    NEW ORLEANS, LA – April 1, 2008. Through a cooperative effort with TechSouth and Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the Louisiana Technology Council (LTC) is proud to announce that the winners for the 2007 Governors Technology Awards have been chosen.
    Five broad categories honor individuals as well as companies, universities and other organizations that advocate technology in the State of Louisiana. The Annual Governor’s Technology Awards are one of the ways that emphasize technology as an additional driving force behind the growth and diversification of the state’s economy. These awards It focuses attention on the state’s existing technology-based industries such as medical and biomedical; micro-manufacturing; software; auto regulation; internet and telecommunications; environmental technologies; food technologies and materials and other industries.

    The 2007 award winners are as follows:
    Technology Leader of the Year: Bruce F. Hoffman, Engineering & Environmental Solutions Inc.
    Technology Company of the Year: EATEL
    University Technology Leader of the Year: Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, University of LA at Lafayette
    Innovator of the Year: iSeatz
    Rising Star of the Year: FutureProof, LLC

    “The LTC is happy to work with LED and TechSouth to continue to present the Governor’s Technology Awards to significant players in the Louisiana marketplace,” states Mark Lewis, President of the LTC. “Technology will continue to play an important role in the economic development of the State in years to come,” adds Lewis. Keith Thibodeaux, TechSouth Board member adds, “TechSouth is a great venue for honoring these award winners along with showcasing technology companies that are helping shape our state. We are happy to partner with LED and the LTC in fostering this growth.”

  • City Business Innovator of the Year (2008)

    Key innovation: umbrella company that installs geothermal and solar energy systems
    Biggest client: Make It Right Foundation
    Where they’re based: Slidell
    Top executive: Bruce Hoffman, geologist and senior project manager
    Year introduced: July 2008

    FOR THE EMPLOYEES of Slidell-based Alternative Energy Group, equipping six houses in the 9th Ward with energy-efficient technology within a few weeks, and before the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, was something to be proud of. They truly had bragging rights, however, when the houses stood nearly untouched after Hurricane Gustav. Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation hired AEG to install the heating, cooling and power systems in the strip of houses along Tennessee Street. The system decreases the average price of utilities up to 70 percent. AEG uses geothermal technology to heat and cool every room. “We use the earth as the heating source and the cooling source for the air conditioning,” said Bruce Hoffman, geologist and senior project manager. “So instead of having an outside air compressor, we actually use the loops in the ground to heat and cool the systems inside the house. … It captures the temperature of the earth, so when it comes back into the house, it’s 70 degrees.” Hoffman said the damage was extremely minimal after Gustav, and he’s glad Make It Right could prove itself. This technology isn’t new, and it’s not AEG’s innovation. However, they are the leading energy-efficient group in the New Orleans area because AEG is an umbrella company that consists of two drilling companies, an installation company, a duct group and an engineer, not to mention business development and administration. Make It Right’s engineering group contacted Hoffman because, “I’m basically doing the complete service,” he said, “as opposed to other companies that would end up bringing in one company to drill the wells, one company to tie the wells in, one company to put in the duct work, one company to put in the air conditioning system,” AEG handles everything. “It has to be a compatible system,” he said. “You can’t have one without the other. I can put in a geothermal system, but if the house has leaks, at the end of the day I’m not helping you.” And AEG is interested in helping people: Hoffman stresses these systems are affordable to just about everyone. “If people incorporate (geothermal energy) into their (rebuilding) loan,” he said, “their monthly rates are going to be about $8 to $12 per month. Where the savings comes in is that every month they’re going to experience a 60 (percent) to 70 percent decrease in their utilities.” And after withstanding the threat of a hurricane, AEG is able to bring a whole new meaning to the term “sustainable.”• — Katie Urbaszewski [ via]