Iowa Association for Energy Efficiency

IAEE Member Spotlight - Colton Cornwell


What brought you to IAEE?

I was looking for a group with a similar interest and passion for driving impactful changes but also can relate to local challenges we face in the state of Iowa. My good friend and previous coworker, Jeff Gorrie, introduced me, and I never looked back.

What personal benefits have you received as a member of the Association?

First and foremost, the network! People from across the state in different sectors within the industry with a widespread of perspectives and initiatives all coming together to share and learn best practices.

I love the dedication to bringing awareness to all aspects of energy through the various workshops, webinars, lunch & learns, etc.

Mentees finding mentors and mentors looking for the next generation to take off where they have left off is so cool to be apart of.

Knowledge and networking. There are so many nuances within the industry, and it’s impossible to be an expert in it all. The network within IAEE are my type of people, and I simply enjoy being in their presence.

How do you think the Association has helped to shape the industry?

IAEE shares the most relevant trends driven through market analysis and consumer behavior along with changes in both Federal and local policy/regulations. Through these insights, our members bring ideas into reality, and our communities are better because of us.

How has the organization changed since you first joined?

Some of the people may have changed, but the purpose hasn’t. We have all seen an insurmountable amount of change over the last 3 years, but especially so in the energy field. We had to adapt to these changes to stay relevant.

How do you think the Association is relevant today? Or could be?

Absolutely, no question about it. We are in a pivotal point in history when it comes to energy, sustainability, ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance), climate change, etc. and the association is a phenomenal place to learn and network with the leaders spearheading these initiatives.

Share your favorite memory of your involvement with IAEE.

The annual Energy Summits are always a highlight for me. I had met an individual who spends much of his time developing young men & women into workforce professionals we desperately need. We spent a couple hours talking about the challenges we face in different ways, and it’s began to turn into a really nice friendship.

Tell us a little about yourself, background, and interests.

I grew up in small-town Elkhart, IA a few miles north of Ankeny, and attended North Polk CSD K-12. I was heavily involved in athletics and volunteered time to help the youth programs. By 17, I became an Eagle Scout and was honored with the Eagle Scout Project of the Year. I attended UNI to pursue a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Spanish where I spent 7 months in Chile to learn the language and 6 months in France for an international business perspective. I have spent the last 7 years advising healthcare, the public sector, and commercial & industrial clients to optimize efficiencies, improve the bottom line, and drive future growth. My wife, Jordan, and I enjoy traveling to new countries, playing with our 2 young golden retrievers, and I like to play competitive rugby on the weekends when time allows.

Is there a specific area of energy efficiency that you have a passion? (a certain technology, community outreach, education, data calculation, etc.)

I’m so thankful to work for an organization that touches about every area within energy efficiency you can think of, and I have the pleasure to have a part in all of it from solar panels, and EV chargers to geothermal loops and building automation systems. However, my favorite part is bringing these applications into the classrooms to enhance the education curriculums with industry recognized certifications.

How do you think the Association will help shape the energy efficiency industry?

Awareness is a big component of our mission through education and collaboration. Awareness will encourage new professionals to join the industry and will help drive (consumer) behaviors to make smart, responsible, and economical decisions.

Please feel free to share any other interesting thoughts or items you would like to share.

IAEE is a place where anyone interested, whether it’s professional or shared personal values, there’s a spot and voice for everyone. From residential to commercial, from energy analysts to thought leaders, contractors to organization leaders, and from the vendors and suppliers, we all have an important role to play.

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