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Roofing, Solar and NBA All-Stars in Orlando

Posted by: april
March 5, 2012


Solar Energy International Renewable Energy Education Program Team Leader
By Kathy Swartz, Solar Energy International
Renewable Energy Training Director

At the end of February, I had the privilege of attending the International Roofing Expo in Orlando, Florida. Not only was this conference -- sponsored by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) -- fantastic, but it happened to coincide with the NBA All-Star Weekend! More about this a little later.

The week began with Solar Energy International's (SEI) Kris Sutton and the NRCA's Jim Kirby tag-teaming a day-long solar training for 30-plus participants, who were either roofers, business owners, or working in the roofing manufacturing industry. If there was an All-Star Team in the roofing/solar world, Jim and Kris would surely be on it. That's how good they are. Then there were three days of the actual conference which had morning sessions, followed by the expo hall. Having participated in the event last year, it was impressive to see how many booths had PV represented. There was even a Sustainability section where companies, such as QuickMount PV, Ameresco Solar, and Schletter, were located. SEI's booth was located close to Kyocera Solar and the NRCA's booth. Seriously Solar All-Stars. Our days were filled with meeting roofers who were interested in diversifying their businesses to attract new customers and to offer new services to existing customers. There were a lot of intelligent questions about how they could partner with electricians and the sales aspect of solar. It was obvious that there were Solar All-Stars in the making, especially from the folks who were serious about SEI's Solar Professionals Certificate Program.

And our nights ... Well, our nights were spent in the lobby of our hotel watching the NBA All-Stars. Yeah, I spoke to LeBron James (though I take no responsibility in him losing the Game for the East). QuickMount PV's Business Development Director, Jeff Spies, well he saw Linsanity. And Johan Alfsen from QuickMount and Jim from the NRCA? They both ended up with basketballs full of autographs.

In my dreams, I imagined asking these NBA All-Stars as we rode in the elevators together, "So have you considered your career after the NBA? There's this nonprofit training organization dedicated to making Solar All-Stars. It's called Solar Energy International ..."

It could happen.


To learn more about SEI's Solar Professionals Certificate Program and discover what training path is right for you and your career goals, click here. Or call (970) 963-8855, ext. 107 to speak with a student advisor.


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